Carolina Wren Construction

A great musical interlude on the patio announced an airlift of construction materials eventually producing this pile inside the top cover of the propane tank:

Carolina Wren - nest started atop propane tank
Carolina Wren – nest started atop propane tank

The male Carolina Wren switched from the Tweedle of Great Nestbuilding to the less musical Mighty Chirr of Disapproval, presumably because he noticed a mouse (or, perhaps, chipmunk) occupying the lower ring of the tank. Rodents and birds do not coexist well at all; I have no doubt a mouse would climb right up the tank for a supply of breakfast eggs.

I must blow the crud off the tank before the next fill.

Homebrew Mint Extract

I clearcut a stand of spearmint and turned it into three jars of what should become mint extract:

Homebrew mint extract - start 2021-06-17
Homebrew mint extract – start 2021-06-17

The left jar has 3 ounces of mint mostly covered with 80 proof vodka and the other two jars each have 5 ounces submerged in 180 proof grain alcohol.

Nine days later:

Homebrew mint extract - 2021-06-26
Homebrew mint extract – 2021-06-26

The vodka is now on the right and shows a weird layering caused by the leaves extending above the light yellow liquid; I’ve been inverting the jars every few days. The grain alcohol looks more like the previous iteration, with uniformly decolored leaves in dark green liquid.

A closer look:

Homebrew mint extract - vodka vs grain alcohol - 2021-06-26
Homebrew mint extract – vodka vs grain alcohol – 2021-06-26

What’s happening in the vodka jar does not look like a nominal outcome …

Discrete LM3909: Green and Blue vs. Dead Alkalines

These two discrete LM3909 circuits recently stopped blinking:

LM3909 AA alkaline - Green and Blue
LM3909 AA alkaline – Green and Blue

The green LED (on the left) took six months to wear its pair of not-dead-yet AA alkalines from 2.7 V down to nearly zero.

The blue LED in the radome took two months to go from 1.0 V (!) to nearly zero. It didn’t start very bright and went decidedly dim along the way, but the LM3909 circuitry still managed to jam a few microamps through the LED.

In both cases, one of the cells was reverse-charged by a few hundred millivolts, although neither leaked.

Both got another set of not-quite-dead AA cells and they’re back in action.

Snapping Turtle on the Move

A snapping turtle headed toward the beaver pond on the Dutchess County Rail Trail:

Snapping Turtle - DCRT - 2021-05-26
Snapping Turtle – DCRT – 2021-05-26

At this time of year and phase of the moon, she is most likely in search of a good spot for a nest and her clutch of eggs. Being an aquatic creature, she and her progeny surely benefit from Team Beaver’s engineering.

Today I Learned: snappers are the New York State Official Reptile.

Bafang Programming Adapter: More Cable Colors

In the process of installing a Bafang BBS02 mid-drive motor on a friend’s diamond-frame bike, I discovered, once again, how little anybody cares about the colors inside cables:

Bafang Display Extension Cable - internal colors
Bafang Display Extension Cable – internal colors

The cheerful rainbow on the right is the stub end of the Bafang display extension cable I built into the previous adapter.

The new cable on the left seemed like it might match the canonical colors:

Bafang BBS02 display cable pinout
Bafang BBS02 display cable pinout

It comes heartbreakingly close:

Bafang Display Cable - extension colors
Bafang Display Cable – extension colors

Brown and Orange connect as the naive user might expect, which does reduce the likelihood of incinerating the motor controller / USB adapter / laptop by connecting the 48 V battery directly to the logic-level electronics.

However, White wasn’t on the original menu, Green is now TXD, and Black has become, comfortingly, GND.

Verily, it is written: Hell hath no fury like that of an unjustified assumption.

This socket connector has a watertight shell making it extremely difficult to mate and unmate with the pin connector on the bike. Watertightness being unnecessary, a little razor-knife action seems in order:

Bafang Display Extension Cable - shroud trimming
Bafang Display Extension Cable – shroud trimming

Visually, they’re both green-ish, but sometimes the Pixel camera accentuates any differences.

House Flipping

Sometimes I get text messages:

House Hunting Chat
House Hunting Chat

BzzzzclickNO CARRIER

I’m reasonably sure “Caroline” is really a property flipper, so we’re not in “her” target market.

Should you be interested in moving into the Hudson Valley, we can probably make a mutually beneficial deal. Protip: use email.

If only Android allowed whitelisting SMS message sources.