Monday, July 31, 2017

We're back on line...

We're back on line ... with our full gbps bandwidth.  The way that the line was damaged means it can only be repaired by burying a new cable in a new conduit.  It's a long run, too – about 340' – so they're going to bring a contractor with a trenching machine out here to do it.  Normally they're a couple of weeks backlogged, but they're going to try to get them here before we get new sod put down (next week, we hope) in our back yard where the cable has to run.  Meanwhile they laid a temporary connection above ground, and with that we're back on the air.  That above-ground connection is incredibly vulnerable to damage from the sprinkler contractors, me walking around, and the dogs.  I suspect its life expectancy is on the order of a few days...

The sprinkler contractors were here all day connecting water to the inlet of my pump setup (the one I just finished building a few days ago).  We were able to pressurize about half the setup inside my cedar shed this afternoon, and to my delight there were no major leaks.  In fact, at first I thought it wasn't leaking a drop, not even from the three unions that I pressurized.  But with some careful inspection, I found three joints that had minor drips: the three all-steel threaded connections in the entire setup!  All of the PVC joints are perfectly watertight, as are the threaded PVC-to-brass connections, the clamped 1/4" tubing connections, and the PEX crimp connections.  Only the steel-on-steel threaded joints are leaking at all, and they've got a very slow drip (about two drops per minute).  After the system depressurizes, I'll take that joint apart, slather Teflon tape on it, and try again.  It's fortunately perhaps the easiest set of joints in the entire system to work on.  Yay!

Being able to pressurize part of the system also meant that I got two of my pressure gauges pressurized.  At the time I turned it on, we had 30 psi in our supply line (a 6" diameter line provided by the Paradise Pressurized Irrigation Corporation that I'm a shareholder in).  I was surprised by that – judging from how well the sprinklers are currently operating, I was expecting to see something more like 50 psi.

The past couple of days I've put about 10 hours into programming the supervisory computer.  So far it's all in my laptop, in a test harness that I put together.  Large parts of it are up and running right now.  It almost feels dangerous for me to start programming again – it is such a satisfying and enjoyable activity for me that I'm afraid I'll be tempted to neglect other important things going on around here.   I find myself resenting every little thing that drags me off of programming.  In that respect, it's like an addiction.  I'm also a bit surprised just how easily it's all coming back to me.  Not just the programming itself, but also all the skills I'd acquired using my programming tool set, most especially the IDE (I use IntelliJ IDEA by JetBrains).  My little supervisory computer makes extensive use of threading and concurrency, some of the more challenging aspects of programming, and I'm having no trouble at all slipping right back into my concurrent programming groove.  One particular thing I got reasonably good at was holding a mental version of the threading model I was building, and that can get pretty complex – and I can still do that, just as well as ever so far as I can tell.  I must still have at least some little gray cells still functioning!

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