2008-04-22 – Tuesday – 03:48:16

Like so many around here, the construction of this house has been abandoned, victims in the collapse of a large building company. The timber is warping with exposure to the elements, plants are starting to grow through the perimeter in a slow reclamation. Although I could ramble on about what I think of the way the economy and the world are headed, my pessimism is boring :)

a home at the end of the world...

2008-04-18 – Friday – 01:44:42
a home at the end of the world

The hot water system died the other night. I can't say that I recommend cold showers, brr. It's been replaced now, even if the glum weather continues. Friends are visiting this weekend so hopefully there'll be a reprieve!

Today the Sharp infrared ranger arrived, buried in green and grey packing peanuts in a comically-oversized box (something typical of ordering anything online from the USA). I'm eager to give it a test run!

the sound of the grid...

2008-04-15 – Tuesday – 00:37:44
the sound of the grid

A sub station not far from here. When you can hear the 50 Hz electric hum in the air you know that the warning signs aren't just for show. The openness of these stations is surprising considering the havoc that could be caused by someone breaking in, albeit at the risk of death. I wonder how long it will be before every house has a solar panel, with distributed power generation supplementing the grid a norm. Just like water tanks.

Maybe it's not as far away as people would assume...


2008-04-11 – Friday – 01:45:35

It's been another busy month! I gained another year of age and the controversial local government amalgamations are now (mostly) complete and a fact of life. The weather is still unsettled as the temperature slowly slips into winter ranges.

Work has been busy but interesting and I've continued development of some personal electronics projects. The first to be completed is a 3 channel 240 volt switching circuit driven by a PICAXE microchip. I've learnt the programming syntax and successfully written a few basic programs, so the next step is to create custom circuit boards to integrate the chips with the (very neat) optically isolated solid state relays. All the required chemicals for the developing and etching of the boards have been gathered, now I just have to do it. The process is similar to creating silk screens but the chemicals involved (ammonium persulphate, sodium hydroxide) are nastier. While that's happening I'm also creating a remotely monitored passive infrared motion sensing and smoke detection system - still waiting for some of the parts. There's a Sharp infrared distance sensor on the way too; I have some ideas for creating an interactive artwork based on it.

More updates soon, I promise :)