History repeats itself

As I could have predicted, I have been putting off writing in my blog and working on my projects for a while now. Both have been in the back of my mind, but for one reason or another, I have been neglecting to do anything about them. I have been running into a few problems with the Anemometer, and those things need to be ironed out – issues with the RTC not updating or storing the time correctly, issues with having the anemometer write data to an SD card while simultaneously outputting to the serial monitor – things that I never imagined I would have to take into account. The DS1337 is purportedly hot swappable with the more common DS1307, at least, that is what I figured when comparing registers between the two and the DS1307 worked fine when I was testing code, but when I switched to the DS1337, I started getting the wrong data.

Another big issue I’ve been having is getting the Arduino to write data to an SD card and print the same data to the Serial monitor at the same time. The issue doesn’t appear to be a problem with getting the tasks done, but an issue of getting the tasks done on time. It appears that writing to the SD card takes too long for the Arduino, which is causing issues. I believe if I’m going to have the Anemometer tackle both tasks at the same time, I’d have to switch over to something with multiple cores like the Parallax Propeller. While I would have to learn a new platform, I would have two cores to run side by side and not interfere with one another.

I imagine I’m going to have to write two versions of code – one to store the data to an SD card, and another to view the streaming data. If I go the route of having two versions, I’d like to add a low power display to the live-view version so you can view the wind speed without having to hook it up to a computer.

I’ve also been working on learning how to use KiCAD – an open source schematic/PCB editor. I’ve used Eagle CAD in the past, but I’d like to support the open source community by using free and open source software and hardware where I can – not to mention possibly selling anemometers and the brains with a free version of Eagle – something that isn’t exactly legal. The software definitely has a learning curve, that is to be expected, but the benefits of using a full featured software package vs. a stripped down version highly outweigh the negatives.

By the end of this week, I’m going to have a version of the Anemometer finished that stores data to an SD card. I have to set goals here or I’m going to end up falling into the same pattern as before, and these past few weeks. Once that version is complete, I’m going to set it up to capture wind data for a few weeks so I can start working on a Python program to graph the data.

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