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Above my pay grade

I have been doing so much stupid hardware hacking lately that I am starting to want to get back to writing. Too bad stupid hardware hacking is most of what I get paid to write about. But today was pretty maximally annoying.

It started out pretty well, finally hooking up the radio-controlled solenoid that lets people sit on their asses an press a keyfob instead of getting up to buss people in at the local co-working space. Then printing up the part that I plan to use for my light-switch servo thingy (after having coded up a single-use ATTiny85 servo controller last night and discovered that delayMicroseconds is off by a factor of 8). Then the guy who founded the space came by to play with the borked electronic lock, and we took apart the dead custom battery pack to find out that instead of something fancy it housed --

5 dead AAs.

If I had known this before the batteries died last month, I could have replaced them, saving the door from having to be jimmied. If I had known this even after the batteries died, I could have applied 7.5V to the external emergency power plug, ditto. Instead, I spent the rest of the morning taking apart much of the rest of the lock and determining that something is broken/jammed/whatever in the gear train where the little motor resides that retracts the bolt when you put in the right code. That's a part I couldn't promise to put back together again if I take it apart. So end of quest and probably major expense for nonprofit co-working space, all because of that one missing piece of information.

Then home, where it took way too long to reprogram the servo controller and solder it up. Then stupid stuff that is going to force me to code an SVG extractor because I don't run windows at home. Then disappointing snacks.

Tomorrow, one hopes, less of the same.

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