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100 August 2007
I was able to download the file
from a RadioShack pro- 97 police
scanner. Using the Hyper Terminal
program that comes with Windows XP,
I saw a strange combination of card
symbols, smiley faces, music symbols,
and the alphabet. Can anyone shed
some light on what language this is and
what it all means?
I am wondering where I might find
reprogrammable microcontrollers in
common useage in everyday household life, that can be removed and
reused if one does not have access to
the parts store for a while.
#08072 Gene Heard
How would I go about building a
driveway sensor like the ones I’ve seen
encased in PVC pipe, with a transmitter
for remote operation? Also, maybe a
project using some of the old C-Band
actuators to power a gate.
I volunteer for a monkey sanctuary
in Gainesville, FL, and we are looking
for a monitoring system to make sure
there is always heat available to all
85 of the former lab, Hollywood, or
"pet" monkeys during the winter
months. The main source of heat is
about 70 ceramic chick heaters rated
from 250 to 750 watts each.
Would it be possible to design a
system that uses a thermal or current
sensor at each heater that could be
polled via the power line? If any station
went out of limits for more than 30
minutes, it should produce an alarm
at a central data acquisition
microprocessor or computer. The 120V
electricity to the heaters is delivered
through a maze of circuit breaker
boxes and GFCIs supplied from at least
three power meters. A ground wire is
provided on all wiring.
One of the design restrictions is to
make it 100% reliable in reporting an
outage or sensor failure. However, a
small percentage of false alarms would
be tolerable since the response would
be for an intern to go out and connect
a temporary heater. Finally, the system
would need to be relatively inexpensive
since the sanctuary is entirely supported by donations.
Lake Butler, FL
[#4074 - April 2007]
I've got an older computer (Plll at