2018 January 24

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Albany County Rail Trail
Alfred E. Smith Building
Automobile Industry
Delmar, NY
John Boyd Thacher State Park
Preston Hollow
Truck Camping

January 2018
« Dec   Feb »

Questions? Need an updated map? Email me andy@andyarthur.org.

For at least some of my LED sign Arduino projects I’m thinking of building, I’m thinking of adding a MicroSD card module, that lets you store large amounts of data. I’m concerned with some of the more complicated LED signs,πŸ”€ especially those with animated pictures or a wide variety of text strings, I may quickly exhaust the 2 KB of SRAM memory that the Arduino Uno and Nano use for storing variables.

MicroSD Arduino shields are cheap, they will set you back about $5 for two of them on eBay. Then you have to find a MicroSD card, the smallest one I’ve seen is about 4 GB (!) for 3 or 4 dollars. I don’t know how you could exhaust that amount of data with a 16 MHz processor, even if you are recording a lot of data non-stop. Well, I guess actually over time, that could happen. But if I were just using it to store per-constructed text strings, like lots of holidays or maybe sunset data, I doubt I could ever use more then a megabyte or two of data. πŸ’½MicroSD cards probably are just as fast as any of the built in memory of the Arduino Uno.

That said, I am not sure if I have enough memory to use an SD Card, because the nature of SD cards is they have to read and write 512 bytes at a time, which is quite a bit of space by the time you include the driver.πŸ’» It’s probably not worth the extra hardware, just to store some strings.

I think I might just see if I can further optimize my code to save space.πŸ—œ I’m actually not out of space, even for the Nano rather then the Uno which will eventually go in my LED sign.πŸ˜• I can certainly implement more things as a functions, and maybe try to further re-use some of my variables. Who knows how much I can save space-wise though, because compliers often take advantage of space savings.

If the SD card idea and coding efficiency don’t pain out, another possibility is to use something more powerful and memory intensive like a more powerful microcontroller like the Arduino Mega or a microprocessor Raspberry Pi, but both of those options consume more power.πŸ–₯ I’m not really interested in using more expensive, larger, more power hungry components, especially if they are expected to be left running 24-7, as is common with a lot of the projects I’m building.

Good evening! Partly clear and 25 degrees in Delmar, NY. There is a west-northwest breeze at 15 mph. The current wind chill is 13. β˜€With that breeze it feels a bit chilly, maybe I need to pull the thermostat above 50 when I get home.♨ Been so mild, been keeping the heat down but I don’t think that’s a good idea tonight. 

Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low of 13 degrees at 5am. Two degrees below normal. Maximum wind chill around 0 at 6am; Northwest wind 9 to 15 mph.☁ In 2017, we had light snow and mist in the evening, remaining overcast into the early morning. It got down to 30 degrees. The record low of -12 occurred back in 1963.

Tonight will have a Waxing Gibbous Moon with 53% illuminated.🌖 The moon will set tonight at 12;46 am. The Blue Moon is on Tuesday night. The sun will rise at 7:16 am with the first light at 6:45 am, which is 49 seconds earlier than yesterday. Tonight will have 14 hours and 15 minutes of darkness, a decrease of 2 minutes and 8 seconds over last night.

Tomorrow will be sunny,β˜€ with a high of 27 degrees at 2pm. Four degrees below normal. Northwest wind 10 to 13 mph. A year ago, we had light drizzle snow in the morning, which became light sleet drizzle and mist by afternoon. The high last year was 40 degrees. The record high of 61 was set in 1938. 9.5 inches of snow fell back in 2000.

Traffic out of the city is moving quite well, with few complaints. 🚌🚗🚓🚕The elevators were moving slowly but the bus was right on time. Seems like I should be home by a quarter before six.🕥

Right now, a split verdict on the weekend. Saturday, a slight chance of showers after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 47.β˜€β™¨ Chance of precipitation is 20%. Sunday, showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 43. Chance of precipitation is 70%. Typical average high for the weekend is 31 degrees.

As we head closer to the weekend it looks like a slight downgrade in the forecast, β˜€but still Saturday looks quite nice for late January. Sunday, so so but it certainly won’t be taxing my heating system or heating bill. The Pine Bush hike should be nice. 

In four weeks on February 21 the sun will be setting at 5:35 pm, which is 36 minutes and 29 seconds later then tonight. In 2017 on that day, we had drizzle, mostly cloudy skies and temperatures between 44 and 18 degrees. 🐹Typically, you have temperatures between 36 and 19 degrees. The record high of 65 degrees was set back in 1981.

It will be nice not commuting home in the darkness at least on the days when I get out by five. By then the weather should be starting to moderate at least a bit. πŸ˜€

Looking ahead, Blue Moon is in 1 week, February Save the Pine Bush Dinner – 40th Anniversary is in 4 weeks, Independence Day is in 23 weeks and Inaugeration Day 2021 is in 156 weeks.

😎Only 120 days remain until the start of Memorial Day Weekend!😎

How to Drive a Trabant


" In a rare informational video, I show you how to steal my Trabant if you happen to find it with the keys inside. Typically, I don't let this happen, but you'll be prepared to make off in my communist box if I do. I'm not worried. You won't exactly outrun the police in a Trabant. Of course, all of these instructions assume you already know how to drive a car with a manual. I'm not letting you near my Trabant if you don't already know that."