4,686 reputation
1327
bio website embedinc.com/olin
location Littleton, Massachusetts
age 58
visits member for 1 year, 10 months
seen 21 hours ago

Electrical engineering consultant specializing in microcontrollers and the circuitry around them. Master of engineering in EE from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1980.

We are certified Microchip design partners, and have been in the top catagory consistantly since around 2000. Various free downloads related to developing PIC firmware and other things are available at http://www.embedinc.com/pic/dload.htm.


Sep
12
awarded  Good Answer
Sep
8
comment How do I find north using a watch?
Another way to look at the halfway rule is that it compensates for the hour hand going around twice in a day, when the sun only goes around once in a day. Personally, I find it easier to think about the geometry than to try to remember rules of thumb.
Aug
27
comment What is this beetle? Found in heather in snowdonia
Ah, the rare Dimentium stupidus. It's legs contain a special chemical that makes you impotent and turns your mind to mush. They're harmless otherwise, just don't let one crawl on your bare skin.
Aug
26
comment Should I be worried about bears when sleeping in a hammock?
@Aravona: That's a electric fence!!? Wow, that's really overkill, and requires shlepping along a power source.
Aug
26
comment Should I be worried about bears when sleeping in a hammock?
Seems like ridiculous overkill. I also don't see how those three little white strings are going to slow down a bear that wants to get inside for some reason. The reason this may appear to work is that bears generally don't give a crap about you and your tent, whether surrounded by a few strings or not. This really looks like a gimmick to keep your money out of your wallet, not to keep bears out of your tent. It works because you believe it does.
Aug
18
comment What batteries would make sense to power 12v devices (e.g. blankets, lights) for camping?
Bring more insulation, instead of power to run a electric blanket. The extra insulation will last indefinitely, is more reliable, and should weigh less than a electric power source to power the blanket for any meaningful length of time.
Aug
3
comment How can I maximise my chances of seeing a wild wombat?
The first step is to get yourself to Australia.
Jul
24
comment In an abandoned quarry, is it possible to pry loose rocks from walls until stable?
Maybe it's because I'm no climber, but that doesn't look like a good idea with all those rocks on top just waiting to fall on your head.
Jul
21
comment Hiking possibilities near Silicon Valley
@Alex: I agree about the openess, but whether that's a problem or a feature is individual preference. There is probably poison oak and ticks, but I don't get the part about trails not for the fainthearted. I don't remember anything like having to use your hands, along the edge of a cliff, downhill and slippery, etc. I really don't know what you are referring to.
Jul
18
comment Hiking possibilities near Silicon Valley
@Mich: It has both, although most of the trails are thru open grassland or sparse trees. You make that sounds like a problem, but this was one thing I particularly enjoyed about the place. Here in New England we have plenty of shaded woods, but trails with open vistas are rare below treeline.
Jul
17
answered Hiking possibilities near Silicon Valley
Jul
15
awarded  Nice Answer
Jul
14
awarded  Nice Answer
Jul
13
comment Is it safe to be in a vehicle during lightning/thunderstorms?
@Extr: Pretty unlikely. The air space in the tank above the gas is too rich to ignite. The tank itself is usually metal or has metal around it, so lightning wouldn't go thru it anyway. If there is a small fuel leak by the engine, then lightning sparking all around could ignite the vapors. However, that's all less likely than you get hurt due to lightning by being outside the car.
Jul
11
answered Two day hike recommendations in New England area
Jul
11
answered Is it safe to be in a vehicle during lightning/thunderstorms?
Jul
10
comment Looking for secluded camping land in California, near the bay area
@gerrit: Yes. Since the OP mentioned this was in California, there is no doubt. Pretty much everywhere in the US, unqualified "bay area" is understood to mean the San Francisco Bay area in California. This is true even where I am in Massachusetts, 3000 miles accross the continent and much closer to the much larger Massachusetts Bay.
Jul
10
answered Looking for secluded camping land in California, near the bay area
Jul
7
comment How to stay clean on a multi-day hike?
I find it disgusting to be sweaty or dirty. Get over it, or don't go hiking.
Jul
6
comment What format should I use to report my location to emergency responders?
@Niek: Bring whichever device is most suitable for your outing. What format it displays location in wouldn't even be on my list. In the unlikely event that you need to communiate those coordinates to rescuers, they'll deal with whatever you have. Otherwise, you want the most convenient device for your purposes.