STM32WXX Project

I’ve been working on a ARM Cortex M4 based weather station with APRS transmitter as part of my Masters in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington. I’m making good progress. It is FreeRTOS based and I’ve gotten all the tasks and queues running and time, location, and weather data flowing. I integrated with the real time clock just to find out that it drifts 5 minutes per hour – looks like I’ll need to periodically re-synchronize that with the GPS signal, LOL.

This is a complete rebuild of the Texas Instruments Tiva based project with a better  sensor for weather and an MCU from the much more popular STM32 family.

Next step is to write an AX.25 packetizer and the modulator. You can follow my progress here or on GitHub: https://github.com/allendav/STM32WXX

NFC and Apple Card

When you get your Apple Card, you’re invited to hold your phone near the card to activate it. I wondered if it was communicating with the card or something in the packaging.

One destructive outburst later, I had my answer. An NFC device inside the packaging:

A quick download of the “Hold” app from the iOS store reveals the simple URL the NFC device prompts the phone to access (and then activate the card):

Embedded LiveWire

The e-moto has five processors to manage performance and app-based connectivity, according to HD’s chief engineer for EV Technology, Sean Stanley.

TechCrunch, “Inside Harley-Davidson’s EV shift with a ride on its LiveWire

I would very much like to 1) own a LiveWire (had the pure joy of a demo ride back in August) and 2) learn more about these five processors. 🙂

My own photo, taken during the Harley LiveWire Demo Event in August in Seattle at the Wick.

2019 April Space Station SSTV Event

This past weekend, I was excited to see that the cosmonauts on the Space Station were commemorating Yuri Gagarin’s flight into space with a special Slow Scan Television (SSTV) broadcast. I hadn’t set up the antenna since we moved into our new home, so I took this as the perfect opportunity to do so.

I managed to capture five images over the three days. The carrier was quite strong, but the modulated signal level was very low until the last day. And then I was able to capture a proper image:

One of these days I will have to invest in a proper rotator. Got a little wet running out into the rain to track the station. Antenna is an Arrow II Satellite Antenna:

Here are the other images I captured (all images captured using Black Cat Systems SSTV iOS App and a YAESU FT-7800):

How to go from Developer to CTO

An (overly) ambitious title for the post notwithstanding, Simon Dowling offers a fair number of actionable insights on this quick read on the Venturi Group blog, including this:

As a CTO you are not there just to further your own agenda, not to just ‘look good’, but to drive the company forward as a whole. You are the single person others look to for decisions on short-term, tactical matters as well as plans for long-term, strategic goals.
 
Nobody is perfect. And trying to be perfect is not your job. Your job is to make informed decisions using the information at hand. Or in cases where there isn’t enough information, to set about collecting more so that a decision can be made….

….the easiest way to train this skill is to be forced to make these kinds of decisions in front of others.