I suppose that this is really a blog, though I hesitate to call it that. The real bloggers seem so much
more interesting. I cover stuff which I find interesting, and I hope that you will too.|
If you really want, you can get an RSS feed of Chateau Gladstone news here:
For more information about what I'm interested in, see the Ponding pages.
1-Wire Barometer woes
5 Oct 2001 (Updated 28 Oct 2001)
I'm in the process of building a 1-wire barometer to add to the weather station.
However, it isn't going very well. See the progress page for the full story.
Update: I'm going to add an instrumentation amplifier to do the level shifting, provide some gain and buffer the input to the A/D.
Update: It now works much better with the instrumentation amp. I'm leaving it running overnight to see if it
really works (i.e. measures the pressure)!
Lots of Salamanders
26 Sep 2001
I received 28 Northern Two-lined Salamanders from a friend who
scooped them out of his swimming pool. We added them to the
top pond and they promptly vanished. Some of them climbed out
and hid under the rocks around the edge. Some of them
climbed up plants. Some hid under rocks on the bottom.
I guess that this is more than enough for one pond. We will
see in the spring whether they return to breed!
Picture gallery working again
19 Sep 2001
It turned out that the fish gallery stopped working when
the unix time rolled over to 1000000000. I was using alphabetic sorting to find the most recent image (the image names contain the unix timestamp). This doesn't work as I didn't have leading zeros on the old 999999000 numbers. I wonder how many other people have been bitten in the same way.
The Pondcam is BACK!
27 Aug 2001
I finally got around to replacing the pond cam. I'm using
a small NTSC camera mounted inside the old housing. I'll update the
camera construction web page over the next few days
with more details.
The focus doesn't appear to be quite
right, and the water is rather cloudy so the image is not
all that it might be. I also haven't yet added the anti-fouling
circuitry. I am using a glass view port rather than the
pexiglass one which was starting to cloud up.
One of the frogs is in the newspaper
14 Aug 2001
As you may recall (if you are a frequent visitor here), we evicted
a number of bullfrogs earlier in the year. The recipient of
one of them wrote up her experiences for the local paper --
the Framingham Tab. You can read the article here.
Code Red Worms!
3 Aug 2001
This is not really a pond issue, but I stuck up a page to
monitor the progress of the
Code Red worm. If you don't know, this is a computer worm
that infects Microsoft IIS servers and replicates quite
virulently (for the first 20 days of each month).
3 Aug 2001
This weekend should see the pondcam reactivated. I bought
a CMOS 640x480 camera that seems to work nicely, and I was
also given a piece of coated glass to use as the front window. By passing a small current from the glass and another electrode, the idea is to prevent algal growth.
Apparently this scheme works in the ocean, but according to
the literature, nobody seems to use it in freshwater.
A Salamander arrives
16 Jul 2001
OK -- the salamander arrived by car from a friend's
swimming pool where it had fallen in. You can see a picture
of it on the Pond life page. I stuck
it in the top pond as I suspect that the big fish might
eat it. We will see whether the frogs eat it anyway.
Another big storm
30 Jun 2001
Another big lightning storm came through and destroyed
various bits of equipment. This is the reason that the
weather readings stopped after 6pm today until I replaced
the 'dongle' that is used to interface the sensor network
to the computer. I also lost the mouse (it melted!) and
various bits of networking gear (hub, print server).
It was all on my UPS and surge supressors, but I guess
that not much can be done for lightning. I have a whole
house surge supressor as well. I'll put up the lightning
photographs soon -- I managed to capture some strikes on
Update The print server has recovered but it looks
as though the webcam didn't make it. Still, this may be
an excuse to get a better camera!
Update I had disconnected the 1-wire network from
the dongle on Sunday July 1 before the next storm came
through. Unfortunately, one of the temperature sensors
seems to have gone shortcircuit in the second storm. It
was just wired to the end of a long peice of wire, and I
guess that the induced voltage was too large (although since
it is all twisted pair, I don't really understand it).
I think that the new network will have more voltage
supressors, but I'm nervous about the capacitative loading
that it will introduce.
The storm of June 20, 2001
20 Jun 2001
In spite of the weather forecast, this wasn't a bad
storm. I did get a couple of lightning pictures.
See the storm page. I've also included
the various weather charts for the day, and the graphs
are somewhat interesting (if you like that sort of stuff).
Open source server for the Rio Receiver -- this is what I use.
The Doc Searls weblog -- he seems clueful and I read him.
Open source audio/video streaming software -- this drives my pondcam
The Citizen Weather Observer Program is a loose collection of amateur weather station operators.
Information about SPF (Sender Permitted From)
Neat description of the Gunnera Manicata -- a truly monstrous plant!