Sunday, July 31, 2022

let us mind the same thing...

Philippians 3:7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. 

Saturday, July 30, 2022

the narrow path...

Tested out the rover on a mission to the end of my driveway. I was curious to see if the GPS and compass positioning was accurate enough for the rover to successfully navigate a 12' wide road. Set 13 "waypoints" in mission planner for a total travel distance of 214 meters. I walked along with it (just in case) but it was on its own and not receiving any inputs from me. The rover did a good job although it got a little close to the edge at one point. I think I need to adjust the steering trim a bit. It followed the mission quite accurately and stopped right where it was supposed to - so overall, I was very pleased with the performance. This is where I got the controller hardware.  95,101,70,0,B

Friday, July 29, 2022

Thursday, July 28, 2022

life in the slow lane...

Finally got the rover to run a waypoint mission successfully. After everything I went through, it turned out all I needed to do was reverse the steering. (At least I think that was what the problem was...) 92,99,74,0,B

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Back to square one...

I've screwed around with all the parameters so much; the rover behavior was getting worse instead of better.  So I decided to start from scratch by re-flashing the firmware on the Pixhawk.  As usual, I found a video describing the best way to do this.  Unplugged everything from the microcontroller, removed the micro SD card, and reformatted it.  The system wouldn't let me simply download and flash the same vehicle firmware.  Instead, I had to download a different vehicle first to erase the existing firmware - then do it again to erase that vehicle and put Ardurover back onto the microcontroller with all the default parameter settings.  And so it goes... 91,101,73,0,B

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Monday, July 25, 2022

baby steps...

Took all day yesterday to get the rover functioning (sort of).  Just getting it to light up correctly was pretty rewarding and I actually got it to move a couple of times the way it was supposed to.  Pretty steep learning curve for me here - very little about this is intuitive at all.  There are over 600 different "parameters" that can be adjusted - depending on the type of vehicle and remote controller being used and all the functions required for operation (it took 2 hours alone just to figure out how to program a 3-way switch on my RC transmitter for manual/auto/return to home).  I think I spent more time searching for answers on the internet than I did physically working on the project.  After almost giving up on them, it was about 8PM when I finally got the telemetry radios to talk to each other.  It took a very long time to figure out that I needed to find and install the correct drivers for them and set up the correct com port and baud rate for data transmission.  They are used to wirelessly communicate (300-meter range) with the rover from the ground station software called "Mission Planner" loaded on my laptop.  Along with the ability to adjust all the parameters, Misson Planner allows me to see the position and speed of the rover in real time on a Google Earth map and program the microcontroller (Pixhawk 2.4.8) on the rover to go to specifics points autonomously via its onboard GPS and two compasses.  Different versions of the same controller and software are also used for DIY boats, planes, and various forms of "copters".  The big plus for me is that my project is just a slow-moving ground vehicle and can't fall out of the sky.  90.98,73, .15",B

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Friday, July 22, 2022

one off coin...

...for a patron

Thursday, July 21, 2022

down the rabbit hole...

Not even autonomously roving yet - but already thinking about long range options.  This package sends telemetry data back to the ground station from up to 40 kilometers away.  95,101,81,0,B

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

everything but the battery...

Everything mounted and plugged in.  A little more "advance troubleshooting" before I add power and try loading a waypoint mission.  101,106,70,0,C

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

so far so good

Successfully flashed the Ardurover firmware onto the Pixhawk and calibrated the compass.  Connected the RC receiver and was able to see control inputs from my transmitter.  Also figured out how to set up one of my transmitter 3 position switch channels to toggle between manual, auto, and return to home.  Next up is to make all the rest of the connections then wade through a ton of menus and settings to fine tune this so it will be able to control the rover.  Nothing about this is intuitive at all - but it has been surprisingly easy so far.  99,105,72,0,B

Monday, July 18, 2022

Sunday, July 17, 2022

foolish and weak...

1 Corinthians 1:27  But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

Here God calls those who are not necessarily wise, mighty, or noble according to the ways of the world. Instead, He takes ordinary people and gives them the wisdom and strength to extraordinary things.  This confounds or confuses those who consider themselves to be of high education, intellect, and position because of their pride. This is because pride, along with lust of the flesh and eyes, which is not of the Father, but is of the world (1 John 2:15-16). When this happens, believers are despised and persecuted (1 Corinthians 4:10; James 2:1-6; 2 Timothy 3:12) until such time as God sets things right forever.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Last of the scrap copper...

Chopped up what is left (9.8 lbs.) of the 100-pound horde of scrap copper I snagged last year.  Made enough aluminum bronze to cast 32 more skulls.  I have cast 140 of them in the past year.  89,95,72,0,B

Friday, July 15, 2022

Thursday, July 14, 2022

skull bags

Due to arrive Saturday.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022


Bit the bullet and ordered the controller, GPS module, telemetry transmitter/receiver, and assorted cables and connectors to add autonomy to the rover project.  82,99,77,0,B

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Rover double feature

Advertised range of the new transmitter/receiver combo is 600 meters.  I managed to make it out to 750 meters.  Had to use binoculars to steer the rover after about 200 meters.  The telemetry overlay is from my Mavic Pro that I flew out to meet the rover after it stopped.  Another FPV test with a Wyze Cam V3 coming up next.  95,101,71,0,B

Monday, July 11, 2022

a decade...


Sunday, July 10, 2022

a great wrath...

Zechariah 7:9 Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: 10 And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. 11 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. 12 Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts. 

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Friday, July 8, 2022

running out of road...

One more heavy rain and this could be a problem...

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

like a sponge...

Got 3/8" of rain at 2 AM this morning.  By 5 PM today, the desert was back to its old crusty self.  97,101,65, .38",B

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

That Bunn Special...


Finally got the replacement mainspring and installed it.  Was hoping that the watch would magically start running when I wound it up.  No such luck.  I really didn't want to disassemble it, so I peeked inside with my magnifying loupe and found the problem pretty quickly (there really aren't that many parts).  The impulse jewel is gone.  Since replacing that is something that is beyond my skill set, the watch is either going back to the owner or to a real watchmaker.  I am waiting to hear back from a couple of online pocket watch restoration guys that I contacted.  The owner is going to rely on my recommendation so I want to make sure I find someone that will repair and fully service the piece.  My deal was no labor charge if I can't get it running - just parts which amounts to about 50 bucks for the new mainspring and a couple of case screws.  I gave it my best shot.  86,100,70,0,B   

Monday, July 4, 2022

a perfect storm...

Got what I consider the perfect storm yesterday afternoon.  Just under a quarter inch of rain out of a 10 minute downpour.  A little rain that fast doesn't destroy my road but really gets the creeks flowing and I was able to top off my second creek tank by pumping 1,500 gallons into it...while the sun came back out.  80,97,76, .24",B

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Satan's folly

It is not widely known that Buzz Aldrin took communion during the Apollo 11 moon mission and read John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.  The ritual and scripture reading were not broadcast nor publicized because of a woman named Madalyn Murray O'Hair.  In 1971, she filed a lawsuit challenging the open readings of the Bible by US astronauts (who are federal employees) during their spaceflights - spurred by the reading from the book of Genesis by the crew of Apollo 8.  A very vocal atheist, she spent a lot of time bringing about lawsuits involving religion.  Her son William J. Murray became a Christian in 1980 and later a Baptist minister, publishing a memoir in 1982 about his spiritual journey.  His acceptance of Christ as his savior incensed his mother to the point where she made this public announcement: "One could call this a postnatal abortion on the part of the mother, I guess.  I repudiate him entirely and completely for now and all times...he is beyond human forgiveness."  In 1995, Madalyn Murray O'Hair was brutally murdered and dismembered along with another son and a granddaughter - the victims of a kidnapping and extortion plot.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

20 skulls...


...ready for etching and final polishing.

Friday, July 1, 2022