Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Where has the time gone?

Ahhh springtime, when the bleak dreary doldrums of winter are transformed due to an astronomical combination of the revolution of the earth around the sun and a slight tilt in the rotational axis of the earth in comparison to the elliptical plane of the sun.  This scientific "magic" creates a season that leads to the emergence of life as well as an inversely proportional availability of time. Springtime begets green begets yard work begets baseball (OK, the last one is a bit of a reach, but baseball is, in fact, dependent upon the former).  The last two of which make up a considerable portion of my springtime, uh, time.

OK, so that's neat and all, but essentially, I'm just using it as a way to create a diversion from the fact (excuse) that I haven't been all that productive of late.  I have actually had quite a bit of progress made since the time that I have last spoken here, but when compared to the time lapse, I'm going to call this an "unproductive" period.

Despite all of this, I finally have a product that I'm willing to pawn off as a completed prototype.  I got everything put together the other night and closed the case up.  So at least it isn't naked anymore.
It still needs more testing and working a few bugs out here and there, but for the most part, it is at least presentable.

It took quite a bit of time to get everything placed in the box like I wanted it to.  The case definitely needs to be bigger to get everything I want crammed in there.  Routing the power wires inside the box was quite tedious.

As far as software changes, I added a feature to store and restore the current phase of the fermentation program to/from EEPROM (non-volatile memory).  This allows the thermostat to automatically restore itself to it's previous settings in the case of a power outage or brown-out.

I also re-wrote all of the code that calculates the temperature changes during a phase of the program where a temperature gradient is involved.  So now it is a much more accurate calculation. If you want to, for instance, cool the freezer down 15 degrees over a period of 24 hours, it is able to do that correctly and consistently.

Now it's time to run some more tests on it. AND, the tests that I have planned will at least result in the production of some more home brew... so I've got that going for me...  which is nice.

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