Rob Ward

Experience: A retired secondary school of thirty three years with interests in-

  • Electronics: Arduino and Picaxe
  • Design: Local Community Website and 24/7 weather station
  • Programming: C++ and Python
  • Music: Flute grade 3 AMEB and the Nowa Nowa Mens Choir
  • Outdoors: Fishing in our lake and environmental issues
  • Family: married, three children and 4 grandchildren
  • World: Global warming and reducing my carbon footprint

Major projects: I have two on the go at the moment. I have designed a midi player (Arduino Mega 2560 plus Fluxamasynth shield) that plays a file format I designed myself and conforming to .json rules. It is quite different from a normal midi file, where each track is presented in its entirety one after another. My original format schedules one complete bar at a time, regardless of the number of instruments/tracks. This allows for precise starting and ending bars to be defined within the tunes, along with a precise, accented metronome. It was conceived as an aid to learning music, in particular to help my flute studies. The Arduino has an OLED LCD interface with joystick, SD slot, and memory expansion (8x64kB). I have also designed a Python 3 program with a GUI interface to facilitate the entry of the new format, and to quickly create the files I need to practice against. It is highly unlikely that the particular Baroque music I am after would have been available in a standard midi file, and anyway, parsing standard midi format files from any particular bar to another bar accurately, proved too hard for me.

My other major project is designing an Arduino based weather station that intercepts 433MHz signals from Oregon Scientific Weather Station sensors V3.0. These include rainfall, wind speed, wind direction, and temperature. The Arduino Uno has a shield with a 433Mhz receiver, air pressure and humidity sensors on it. This allows me to monitor the weather on top of my house and put it 24/7 onto my community web site. The .csv style data goes into a web server running my own Python program to store, analyse and graph the local weather conditions. Wind (speed and direction), temperature, humidity and air pressure are graphed over 12 hours, whereas rainfall is graphed over 15 days. The Arduino code is available on Github.

Lastly I have been migrating from MS-XP to Xubuntu and have published a website (XP2XU) to help people who may have similar skills and experience to me to do the same.

Rob Ward (last edited 2014-06-30 00:12:47 by rl-ward)