Saturday, July 28, 2018

Bonus Winter Pictures from 2016-2017!

It's currently hovering around 100F out (or, at least, was 100F this afternoon at the fair), so what better time to talk about two winters ago then now?  It was a record setting winter of snow, and, to make things fun, our first winter in Idaho (well, my first - my wife has dealt with many out here, but not recently).

And everything got stuck.  And spent a long while stuck.  Even the tractor.  Especially the tractor.

So, sit back, relax, and beat the heat wave with some stories about lots and lots of snow (at least, for an area not well equipped to deal with snow).

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Property Progress #2

This week: A random grab bag of stuff I've been doing around the property this summer - stuff I've dragged, lifting tines I've bent, sheds I've improved, and sunflowers that have shown up!

This is the second in an ongoing set of posts about things I'm doing around my few acres of basalt hillside.  Don't expect any sort of regular publishing schedule on these, as they happen when they happen (and when I have enough grab bag stuff to write one).

But, first - my shipping container is now legal!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

MingHe DPS6015A: Serial Communication Protocol for TTL/RS232/RS485

Last week, I reviewed a very nice MingHe DPS6015A buck converter - and I liked it.  A lot!  But I didn't have time to cover the serial communication, other than to tease that I was going to cover it.  And, this week delivers!

Documented, for the first time in English (that I know of), the full serial communication protocol for the MingHe DPS6015A (and related) buck converters!  Plus, a bonus Arduino library to handle them in operation.

Why might you want this?  There are many, many situations in which a programmable buck converter is a helpful thing to have - and, normally, they're very expensive.  This one is about $70 on eBay, is reasonably accurate (especially in voltage), and supports a multitude of serial interfaces.

Keep reading for all the juicy protocol details!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

MingHe DPS6015A 80V to 60V/15A/900W Buck Converter Review - With Serial!

Another week, another gizmo to analyze.  This week, I've got a DPS6015A buck converter on my bench - and it is good!  This is a much fancier unit than I normally deal with here - it's about $70 on eBay.  But, it will convert from an input voltage of 15V-80V to an output of up to 60V/15A/900W.

I make extensive use of these in my office.  I have one for running my lighting (and eventually my low voltage DC bus), and I have another one that I use as a bench power supply for precision work (my analog bench supply isn't amazingly precise).  Since these handle up to 80V, they can work directly from my battery pack - my pack will be up over 60V in the winter when cold, which means most cheap buck converters aren't rated for this (and I don't believe in exceeding the max rating on power electronics).  So this is a great unit for my office - and a great unit in general.

On top of that, it's got serial ports!  This unit has a TTL serial port, a RS232 serial port, and a RS485 serial port!  You can entirely control the unit over serial, which is exciting - and, until next week, entirely undocumented (at least in English).

So, how do you use this thing, and how accurate is it?  Keep reading!