Y’alls on crack.

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I bought some Lite-On led displays with integrated shift register driver a few years back. They’re kinda cool, reducing the microcontroller pin count needed to drive two digits of alphanumeric displays to a mere three — chip select/enable, clock, data in. Not bad at all, even if they don’t have serial out like a proper shift register; the last cell of the shift register is connected to output latch to remove the need to externally fire the latch.

But good luck reading that datasheet.

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So far so good, right?

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aargh.

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AAAUGH. WHY?! WHHHHYYYYY??!!! All this is missing is a liberal use of Comic Sans.

Please, do not do this.

Fiber Seeking Backhoe incidents are uh, phun

Wild-Backhoe-Appears

Even more challenging when your backup network connection is an old AT&T “Business Class” ADSL that gives you 786 kilobits *when* it feels like working, interspersed with random 1-7 second dropouts. Oh well. Crank the Delay Cushion on the Comrex Access up to 10000 mSec and have, uh, …. phun.

GE Orion VCO adjustment / alignment for band changes

What you’ll need: Multimeter, dummy load, Orion programming software OrionVCOs(Programmer for Windows or the older DOS software), radio code files for the radio (used when programming; re-uploaded each time the flash memory fills up).

If you are moving the band split (and this is probably why you are here), you also need the SC or SC4 files.

Full instructions follow this silliness…

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The Westinghouse Prog Stom Ass’y, or Lost Arts in Electronics

IMAG2765…You read that right, the module has an ancient TYPO on it.

Today I was at the Miami-Dade County Store, and somewhere in the shelves of weird old broken network hardware and PCs that had been picked clean by creepy Jamaican exporters, this one bronze colored anodized aluminum mystery box peeked out at me. The thing just had a strange energy about it, I couldn’t really explain it.

This box has silently served hundreds of thousands of people on their way to work, to play, in good times and bad. But what is it? And what’s with the typo?

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Mac OS X is beating your hard drives to death. Here’s the fix.

You read that right.

Quick link to the fix before I get to my usual rambling: hdapm. Install it and it will automatically set itself to auto-start on each boot and disable the auto park feature for all your drives.

Under Linux you can also use the hdparm command. Please note that you still need to fix your Mac OS X system with hdapm though as it will by default reset the power management on each boot!!
hdparm -B 255 [device]
or, if that throws an error
hdparm -B 254 [device]

device is usually /dev/sda.

My usual rambling as to the background on this problem follows…. 🙂
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Bye now Florida.

Scottdemort won. After mostly destroying the state and its economy in his first term, he now has four more years to finish the job.

 

Funny how accurate this is for being over half a century old — South America does pretty much own at least most of South Florida.

See also

 

Interesting patterns in Miami-Dade County election results

As the Miami-Dade County election results trickle in, I noticed an interesting feature to the software used to display them on the website: if you click on Precincts Reporting, it will neatly give you a color map of which precincts voted towards that particular issue.

On a side note, Miami-Dade County is known for having really weird cultural boundaries for no particularly good reason. For an idea of just how strong this effect is, check out Culture Mapped and the Racial Dot Map (kinda coarser data, but you can see the sharp differences between black/white/Hispanic).

Here’s the result of just overlaying two of them: the race for state governor, and Amendment 2 on allowing medical use of marijuana.

Note how closely they correlate.
electionPreResults

Also note that I did not observe the logical fourth condition shown ANYWHERE – a precinct preferring Charlie Crist but not medical use of marijuana.

The few bright green precincts left appear to be the results of missing data (I did this based mostly on the early voting+absentee ballot data!) and the tan areas are where the medical marijuana issue tied.

Oh yeah, as for why I call him Scottdemort, well, it was better than my other name for him: Dicksnot.

I’M SO DAMN POLITICAL TONIGHT.

Replacement for the L603C

Cockus Blockus. :(
DENIED!!!

At left: The very common ULN2803; picture borrowed from Adafruit Industries, who sell them for $1.95 a pop.

The Harris Z16HD+ transmitter at work has a bunch of these STMicro L603C Darlington arrays all over in weird places where Harris decided to run things unnecessarily off the +50-60V PA power supplies.

Original part datasheet: L603C
T
he L603C’s max voltage is 90V.

The only replacement I have found so far that has a suitably high voltage rating: SG2823J. SG2800 series (SG2823)

It’s $65 a piece at Digi-Key!

At this point the question can be raised of “how much is that piece of equipment REALLY worth to you?”. If you need to replace an L603C that is used in a lower voltage application (voltages below 50V), the common, inexpensive ULN2803 is your chip! (See link above.) If you need that high voltage, though, prepare to open your wallet a bit wider than usual…

Why it all sucks

Microsoft Windows: it’s fragile and its innards are buried in obscurity and Mandelbugs. The networking stack likes to die for no reason.
Mac OS X: oh dear eris, Apple, what the ever living fuck?! You broke EVERYTHING on Mavericks. SMB defaults to a  protocol that’s known to run at dialup speeds for no good reason. System will not even touch a disk with a guid partition table with data corruption. (Linux is all like “hey, I see a checksum error. I’m reading your disk anyway, because this isn’t harmful. Here’s how to fix it. Would you like some coffee while you do this?”)
Linux: there’s no simple *click*, this folder is now shared. Configuration files have to be hand edited. Why?!
Marketron, Citrix MetaFrame: well no duh we’re having severe compatibility problems, marketron is running a citrix virtualization service (MetaFrame XP) which went end of life/support IN 2007!!! Well no shit new versions of the client won’t work right. OSaaS: obsolete software as a service.

Sorry, it’s been a long, tough week. Doesn’t help that I turn on the DMR radio and hear everyone but me up at the excellent Melbourne Hamfest and I’m just surrounded by broken computers and annoyance.

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