SmokinPi – Development Starting Again

We were putting up with a significant drought, during which I was lazy and just left my SmokinPi outside.  Unfortunately, the drought ended while the Pi was outside.  Everything continued to work, so I didn’t think too much about it.

On my birthday, I had 6 racks of St. Louis style ribs to smoke.  The morning of, I went outside to set up the smoker.  Unfortunately, the Pi wouldn’t boot.  I frantically searched for a spare and found one in a closet.  I was able to get it running in time to get the ribs going and had a successful smoke with lots of friends and neighbors coming.

About two weeks ago, the uSD card decided to quit working.  I ordered a new uSD card and found that my GitHub repository was over a year out of date.  I lost a lot of tweaks to the firmware from the last year or two, but nothing major.  I pulled down the firmware and updated it to work with the latest PIGPIO library.  I also found that corrosion is starting to set it on some of the non-waterproof connections.  I expected this to happen though, I didn’t take care to use waterproof connectors or even gold plated connectors.  I actually expected this a long time ago.  I’ve removed the corrosion temporarily by scraping it with a knife, but I’m sure that is only a very temporary solution.

In any case, it is time that I start trying to get things up and running again.  I’m currently in hour 16 of a pork butt and everything is going fine.  I’ve captured a crude schematic of the analog hat I made two years ago.  It needs a themocouple circuit added to it to use as a flame detector and ESD protection as well.  Maybe I’ll get this stuff added to it before two more years go by.

Smoker Hat R0.01 – Basic support for driving a servo and measuring the temperature of 10 channels.

Rebuilding the site… Again

Looks like the webhost I was using previously was owned by a drug addict.  He raided the company coffers and shut the site down without warning.  To the three people that have seen the site before that occurred and want some update on what I’ve been working on… Sorry.

Just now starting to rebuild the missing information, mostly stuff about the SmokinPi.

For a few days, I was going to host this site as well as my wife’s on a Raspberry Pi, but decided against it as I didn’t want to risk losing everything due to SD corruption.  I was able to get it set up using Apache, MySQL, and virtual hosting and it was ultimately a great learning experience.  I considered getting a BeagleBone Black as they are a bit faster than the Pi, maybe 30%, but settled on DigitalOcean as a web host.  For the cost of a BBB, I can host with DigitalOcean for almost a year, the servers are significantly faster, and you have root access to your virtual machine.  More importantly, they support virtual web hosting so I didn’t need to pay for a second account in order to have both my site and my wife’s online.

In order to protect myself from losing everything again, I have a cron job running weekly that backs up the wordpress sites to my home PC using lftp to mirror the site.  I don’t currently have anything running to backup the MySQL databases, though that should be relatively simple to do… once I get around to it.