The Story Of Lost Code

Some days you really gotta wonder what the hell were you thinking and where did you leave that? Before I had decided to design the board the micro is on, I had pretty much written the code and had it all working, come time to upload the code and finishing things off, i cant for the life of me find the code anywhere on my computer.

Screws me where the hell it is and the best I could find was an early backup that would have been more work to fix than actually starting from scratch. So, starting from scratch it was going to be. Start with getting the 2 rotary encoders working followed from the 6 push buttons, then the SI5351A and finally the LCD screen. All seems simple enough, well it was going swimmingly till I started on the buttons.

So this is my cheats way of doing key debounce, it works well and does a great job of debouncing the button so you only register one key press. But for whatever reason having 3 or more buttons functions called like that from the main loop, causes them all to fail and I have no idea why, other than for some bizarre reason it was getting locking in the while statement of the 3rd function.

I honestly have no idea why its doing that, or why it should be entering the while loop at all on the 3rd function. So I needed to find a fix, and fix it I did by writing an actual debounce library to use on buttons.

Now the button code looks a little cleaner, the read class is essentially a modification of digitalRead to use the millis timer to debounce, which is much nicer as its non blocking, unlike the delay call i was using. The difference is now I still get the odd double key, rather than always getting one per push.

So now the doing my head in is over, I can actually move on to writing the code to make each function work and do its thing, other than being a placeholder than does nothing than print to the serial monitor.

Code huh, it can be a pain in the arse.


An Australian Antenna Story

On 40m i use 40m quarter wave. Its a hellically wound wire on a sota beams light weight fiberglass poll. At each joint in the pole I have used electrical tape to stop the pole from collapsing in wind and rain. This is only temporary till I get arsed to drive into Brisbane and buy some aluminium tube. Or so i said 18 months ago LOL

Anyway, if you look closely the blue tape is evenly spaced out up the pole but is missing in places. When i taped the seams I taped all of them. I only noticed yesterday that some were missing, when I saw the thief in action.

A Satin Bower bird, who has his bower in my neighbors yard, flew in, landed sideways on the poll and started to undo the tape. He started by pulling with his beak to get a hold, then swung around the pole like it was a swing until the tape fully unraveled and he dropped to the ground. Then picked up his bounty and flew back to his bower hoping to impress his girlfriends.

My mistake? Using blue electrical tape. Satin Bower birds collect blue things. When it comes to blue things they are kleptomaniacs and this one has decided to steal my antenna. HAHAHAHA

Here he is in action, trying to steal the blue tape from my antenna. HAHAHA


40m Vertical Almost Finished

The 40m vertical is up and running. I just need to make another 4 radials and a ton more lawn staples and peg the crap out of it and leave it be till the grass grows over the wires. Cant say I enjoy building antennas and i still need to make the radiator out of aluminum, but that is going to wait a while. Now i just need some 40m signals so i can see how its working.


Radial Day

Not much fun scalping the lawn to lay radials when you have hay fever HAHAHA. Stupid fucking runny nose and watery eyes that feel like sand. Not sure I will get the radials all laid before the rain hits, but i am making progress. Next job is to pull down the existing antenna and lift its radials.


40m Vertical

So I have finally pulled my finger out my arse and should have the antenna actually built and ready to use in a couple of days. Tomorrow I head to the hardware to get the bits I need to finish it off and monday I will lay the radials and erect the radiator. I have only been talking about it for the last 12 months LOL and will finally be able to take down my portable antenna and return it to the portable station.


Doing My Head In

Nothing can be easy can it. So I remembered before we moved I had designed and built this control board with the intention of using it to control most parts of a radio. All good, you might think, but that is where the fun begins.

Windows 11 does not like the programmer I am using to program the bare IC’s. Linux on the other hand says my programmer is fine, but I have to fuck about with permissions each and every time I boot up for it to work.

Everything uploads fine in Arduino IDE but I hate using it and if you do not know all the correct flags in PlatformIO it shits its pants and complains.

I was using 2 16×2 LCD’s and 2 encoders, got dropped pixels on one screen and the other is not being detected by the processor. Neither encoder was working with the polling method and as there is only one interrupt on the processor, i gotta dick about now and refactor the code to only use one encoder and I might not have the flash space for that.

Anyway, I think I am at a point now where I have solved all the major problems and can get onto writing code to make it all work together. Here is hoping. Worst case scenario is that I redo the board using a better processor with more flash and ram. I got plenty here to choose from.

This is where I am at currently.

Its fun to bust out all the toys and make a mess.

PlatformIO settings for using USBasp programmer with the ATmega328p bare bones.


The Gilligan’s Island Desk Mic

Things often change and this is actually a big one for me. For just about forever I have used a headset and would probably use it still for contests, but for daily driving, I have been using my headset as a huge hand mic. Not the best way of doing things, but it was getting the job done.

I did dig out the hand mic and was using it for the last couple of days, but for a while now, I have had the idea to build a desk mic. Yeah you can buy them, yeah they are not all that cheap, but what always got me with them is that you really had no way to adjust them to fit your own unique needs.

So we have the above. The Gilligan is born. Its not the final product, it is just a mock up in wood to get the shape and dimensions just right for what i need. What will come after this is something similar but in steel with either a nice hammer tone finish or polished to a high shine.

The insert is out of a CB mic i bought off ebay, I have had it on the air for a quick test with Steve VK3KTT and from the video he sent back, it sounds just fine to me. Nice, clean and natural sounding. Cant ask for more, now I just need to buy the steel and get welding.