Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Possible 'oops'...

Hmm.  We had carefully copied the FTP information from, the free hosting service we switched to.  Everything was working just swell...for a while.  As you may have noticed, the SPOCS web pages stopped updating several days ago.
It appears we had the wrong FTP host entered (but why was it working at first?  We may never know) in our .netrc file. What the heck is a netrc file?  It's a hidden file, in Linux, that automates FTP stuff.

In the meantime, we are working on another project: Star 2.0.

Several years ago, we built a Christmas star.  It was a wire-frame star, about 3 feet high.  It had several short strings of miniature lights on it.  They traced its parimeter, and three lines crossed in the middle.  All told, there were 15 strings.  We set up 15 relays, run by a Programmable Controller (PLC).  We created a number of great lighting effects.  We bolted the star to the antenna mast, high atop the fireplace chimney.  Folks liked it; some found it almost hypnotic.
Well, time and weather finally got to Star 1.0.  It was retired a couple of years ago.  Star 2.0 is controlled by an Arduino controller (see  The lights are 48, three-color LEDS.  We are using a MAX7219 LED controller to power the LEDS.  This will be a 24-inch, indoor star, for now.  We have the basic circuit, and are working on how to wire all those LEDS.  More to come on this.

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