has reached the end-of-life and is now read-only. Please see the EOL announcement for details

anyone know how to view the local timeline of a mastodon instance before signing up, like to get a feel for the place w/o having already made an account?

@Pheebe Originally i had considered a single proper level sensor like this vs the dumb binary detection scheme I went with, was worried about cost, pit space & reliability, but you bringing up corrosion, over a decade that really could factor in alot. Plus with a proper sensor I can do things like monitor rate of level change vs pump current, and flag if any issues start to occur, like mild clogging or pump wear etc!

So my instance is closing down. I need to find a new place to call home on mastodon. Anyone have some suggestions of places you'd think I'd fit in well at?

The annex is back on top of the pit, and the pump / wiring is done (For the foreseeable future) some time later Iโ€™ll implement my computer control & monitoring plan, but for now its a fairly โ€˜dumbโ€™ setup, the iota DLS-15 charger is just connected to the battery, bolted to a rafter, as is the โ€œbrainsโ€ which is simply a timer board from amazon, the float triggers the timer, which opens and holds the relay open for 15 seconds. Eventually Iโ€™ll setup the intended design (The real brains will track main pump cycle times, battery voltage & load test it, test the pump, as well as multiple pit and area sensors.) but for now this is it, good enough to move forward.

physically replacing the 120V pump with another was fairly straight forward, but it took me a bit between research and then just logistics of fitting it all in there, to install a backup unit with the main pump. Pump pits tend to fill with mud / sediment over time, mine had about 1โ€œ of good in the bottom when I emptied it, after 18 years. The main pump is off the bottom enough to function with a small amount of goo like that, but the 12V backup one is direct bottom suction (down to 1/8 inch draw) which is great for a utility pump, but not so great in this application. I am kinda proud of myself on this, desperate to not make yet -another- run to a store or amazon purchase I managed to remove the base / strainer off the dead sump pump, invert it, trim off some to make it flat, and blamo! instant sump pump stand! :)

The sump pump situation was the bane of my existence for quite a while. Despite that, a friend turned me on to this amazing (well maybe not so amazing but super useful) tool, imagine a giant garden shears for pipe! Well I am sure they have been around for a long time, but it was new to me, and prior to his advice I was really dreading how I would manage to cut the stand pipe in the pit, w/o damaging the pipe or me. Most people might be able to use an oscillating tool, and would, but since I canโ€™t withstand the vibration I was pretty happy to learn about a pipe pruner!

Iโ€™ve had to just make a choice, and go with the RPI, apparently my use case isnโ€™t in the wheel house of anyone I know, since I got no real usable strategy comparison. With the delays I am going to have to come up with a placeholder solution till I have the time to dig into the details of how to make all the detectors and what not work with the RPI, but the basic concept is this:

I know more about the RPI, but its a full linux system, so there is admin stuff to do there (updates, backups) but I know very little about Arduino, is it a full OS, does it need admin attention or can it be just a data converter /collector for the PI, meaning I have no extra sysadmin duties? Also power consumption PI3 vs arduino? I also have no idea which draws more power, a PI3 or the appropriate Arduino for the project.

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Iโ€™m a bit out of my depth on this one, and would like some input. I need to monitor basement water issues (ideally pump activity {current sensor}, pit water level, and 2 moisture sensors for pit overflow & stairway leak. my experience with sensors and embedded systems is limited to setting up a Raspbery PI nextcloud server, using GPIO pins & a simple python script to activate the case fan at a certain system load level. The goals of the project are reliability, energy efficiency, low & easy maintenance. Also this must be a WIRED solution, no wi-fi, bluetooth etc. The thoughts are: 1) buy a second RPI, locate it near the pump pit, all sensors connect to it, all processing and web interface run off it. 2) Buy a Arduino, mount at the pit and collect sensor data, some sort of data / network connection between it and my RPI server, which would do all the processing (web interface, pump activity logging & event alert emails)

So, my sump pump died. Lucky I found it, went to the shop annex and heard a faint hum, noticed water damage on a shelf (from condensation). Replacing a sump pump is a fairly simple job..... Unless you have 1/2 of your parts storage sitting on top of it :/ I'm tired, sore, and still have not replaced the pump (but I got everything off it, and pulled the old one out)

silly poll 


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silly poll 

I have to buy a new jack. I know it's silly, but being indecisive on the color.
Which should I buy:

mower deck upgrade (long post) 

Desperately needed emergency mower upgrade is now complete, the original frame (pic 1) was designed peace-meal, main objective was deck-motor alignment, wheels and tractor mount were patched in later. After I got injured it went from being an experimental mower to being experimental in the same sense as the space shuttle. After over a year of production use, its weaknesses as a prototype design showed (pic2) the frame extensions mount point was a critical weakness, as you can see it bending there. The upgrade (pic3) not only involved a new one piece frame, but also the 8" solid rubber wheels were replaced with 8" pneumatic wheels nearly twice as wide, less ground pressure, easier rolling and less dig-in.

I need to make my new sit/stand desk, which means I need to redo my bedroom, which means I need to get my grandparents furniture out of the basement, which means I need to clear out the computer shop, which means I need to make the mine cart system AAAAGGGGGGGGG! so many dependencies!

thinking maybe I should re-do my profile, maybe put some hashtags in it?

I've not really done updates on my most recent project, but It's done, here's a shot of test fitting things before final assembly, and a shot of it in place in use. Despite being made of badly warped and out of true wood, it turned out -ok- and works acceptably well.

That's it for me, night' Feddi. ๐ŸŒ›

Turns out if you try to use old out of square plywood to make your project w/o squaring it up first, your project turns out *$*& ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™€๏ธ

Spent the bulk of the rest of the day hanging out with my wife while she went through her paperwork from 2021. We had some potatoes in the pantry that were about to become garbage, they had started to sprout a while ago, were getting soft-ish, so we planted them :) plus since I wasn't really physically doing anything most of the day, I did my nails for the first time in like 6 months while I was there for paperwork moral support :)

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the mastodon instance at is retired

see the end-of-life plan for details: