I upgraded to iOS 16 today

I haven’t found anything that significantly annoyed me yet.

When I’m playing music and there’s cover art, it’s now displayed on the Lock Screen, which is nice.

When the cover art is missing, the controls are now at the bottom of the screen. Each time I see them there I start to rotate my phone, thinking I’ve picked it up upside down.

I’m sure I’ll get used to the new layout. I find this problem funny, at least today.

GPS on SIM7600G-H 4G HAT (B) for Raspberry Pi

I bought this device from Amazon to use for a project with a Raspberry Pi Zero and a data sim from my Google Fi Account where I wanted network connectivity. The fact that it had GPS as well was a bonus.

I installed gpsd on raspian. (apt install gpsd gpsd-clients -y) It didn’t automatically recognize the GPS. I was able to get it working by modifying /etc/default/gpsd to have the line DEVICES=”/dev/ttyUSB1″ and then starting the GPS with the command echo AT+CGPS=1 >/dev/ttyUSB2

After that combination, running gpsmon or cgps returned results after the GPS had been able to achieve a fix.

vi /etc/default/gpsd
echo AT+CGPS=1
gpsmon
lsusb -t

I’ve still not got it automatically starting the GPS with the echo command and am working to figure the best place to have that command.

SIM7600G-H 4G HAT (B) for Raspberry Pi, LTE Cat-4 4G / 3G / 2G Support, GNSS Positioning, Global Band
SKU: 19485
Part Number: SIM7600G-H 4G HAT (B)
Brand: Waveshare

Retiring Google G Suite

I think it was in 2007 that I moved my email from a private server running smtp to Google Suite. I was got in with the free version at the time and have been able to keep using it without paying anything.

Google recently announced that they would be discontinuing the free plan for G Suite, and I had to decide whether to pay for an upgraded version or migrate to something else. I only have two users configured in my account for G Suite. Each G Suite account included 15GB of storage.

Several years ago when I was close to the 15GB limit. I decided to migrate to using my gmail.com account as my primary login and add storage to it instead of adding storage to my wimsworld.com account. I used an open source program called GMailBackup http://www.gmail-backup.com/download to backup all of my email including the labels from my G Suite account and import it to my GMail.com account. I then configured my wimsworld.com account to forward all the mail directly to my gmail.com account. That mostly worked well, though for some reason the G Suite account spam filter ran before forwarding mail to GMail.com. That meant I needed to periodically login to the G Suite account to check and make sure nothing important got stuffed in its spam folder.

G Suite Dashboard

Google initially declared that the free G Suite would be expiring in May, and have since extended the deadline to June, but I needed to get it dealt with before it became too time sensitive.

After looking at several alternatives, I came across the recent exit from beta for Google Domains. One of the features that Google Domains offers is email forwarding for the domain, which allowed me to forward the wimsworld.com email address to my gmail.com address directly. Since my gmail.com address was already configured to be able to send mail as my wimsworld.com address via the google smtp servers, the switch was almost transparent, and now all the spam catching is done in a single account.

I’d been hosting my DNS records for wimsworld.com on GoDaddy.com along with having periodic renewals of the domain name through them. Every year I’d go through the hassle of looking for discount codes and making sure I wasn’t upsold on more services that GoDaddy sells. Moving my domain to Google I was able to find an introductory code to reduce the price slightly while extending my domain by another year. The process cost me a total of $12 plus tax.

Google Domains

I’d downloaded my DNS records from GoDaddy before starting anything, to make sure I didn’t lose any data. Then I went to https://domains.google.com/ and initiated the transfer of the domain to google. I had browser windows open to both sites at the same time so I could accelerate the domain transfer by confirming what I was doing on both sites. The transfer moved the DNS records to google’s DNS servers and modified the SOA records, while keeping a few of my custom DNS records, including the MX records I had to deliver email to the G Suite mail servers.

Google Domains Email

Domains let me set up email forwarding, even though it won’t be active because of the existing MX records which knew that it was configured for G Suite. There was this big orange button to disable Google Workspace and enable forwarding. I was worried that it would actually disable to G Suite, so made sure I was logged in to the G Suite console and everything was prepared for cancellation before I hit the button. When I finally hit the button, it only modified the DNS records so to use the google domains email forwarding system and didn’t touch my G Suite status.

After configuring everything in domains, and seeing that it all appeared to work correctly with my gmail.com login, I still waited one more day before I cancelled my G Suite subscription.

Ready to cancel subscription
Reason I’m cancelling subscription
It took me several tries to get the correct admin email to complete cancelling my subscription
I no longer have a G Suite Legacy subscription!

The google domains email forwarding allows you to configure forwarding of specific email addresses to different accounts, and allows a significant number of rules to be set up. It also allows using wildcard forwarding to forward mail. On my wimsworld.com address, I’m using wildcard forwarding for all of the possible accounts to my gmail account. I’ve got other personal domains set up that needed email forwarding to multiple people, and have been able to set specific addresses be forwarded to specific recipients, and a wildcard to forward any other mail to me. I like the wildcard as a catch all for mail that I may have forgotten I was using.

Google Domains has a few other features that are interesting that may get a separate write up if I have time. Dynamic DNS Hosts and DNSSec are available without extra costs. I’m already using two different free dynamic DNS services but may investigate this as I believe it would work directly with my domain name instead of using a CNAME forwarding scheme.

Govee H5182 Dual Probe Bluetooth Meat Thermometer

Govee H5182

Because I can’t seem to stop playing with the Govee line of Bluetooth thermometers, when this model came on sale for less than $20 I added it to my Amazon cart.

I knew that the Bluetooth protocol would be different purely based on multiple sensors, but I wanted to play with it anyway. With less than a month since I’d previously figured out a device, I was able to figure this one out in less than an hour, though I still don’t know the battery strength indicator in either this or the H5183 I decoded last month. I’ve added the code to my monitoring program https://github.com/wcbonner/GoveeBTTempLogger/  but have not yet published the changes. The existing code is designed around a single temperature, humidity, and battery reading per device. Even the H5183 broke the model slightly because it has two temperatures, current and alarm, and no humidity. I’m rethinking my data storage to be able to be more expandable, while still being backwards compatible as far as the log files, and will publish the new code when I’ve got it working.

This unit has the advantage of a display over the H5183. It can be used without connecting to a phone at all. You can turn it on, set the alarms, and monitor what’s going on. The one thing I did not figure out how to do using the buttons was to change the display from °F to °C, which I wanted to do to simplify debugging. Using the app I was able to update the settings and view the details.

Details from Amazon:

  • Remote Monitoring: With this wireless grill meat thermometer, you can spend less time waiting and more time multitasking within a 230ft Bluetooth range, Pull out your phone and check the meat temperatures of your grill, smoker, and oven at any time
  • Meat Temperature Settings: Govee Home App offers USDA-recommended food temperatures with various doneness levels for foods such as beef, lamb, chicken, pork, turkey, and more, Grill more efficiently, whether you’re a beginner or a professional
  • Smart Alerts: Avoid the risk of overcooking your food, Once your preset temperature is out of range, your meat thermometer will beep and send an instant notification to your phone via the Govee Home App
  • Food Grade Probes: Our food grade 304 stainless steel thermometer probes have an accuracy of ±1.8°F/1°C to reliably monitor the doneness of your food (under 302℉) ,*Please remember not to touch the probes immediately after use
  • Easy to Place: This Bluetooth meat thermometer has a strong magnetic backing and a folding stand to easily set up on the grill, smoker and oven when barbecuing, There is also a large backlight screen to make it easier to read at night

There is also a single probe version of this thermometer. I expect it works similar to this unit, but the price savings made it less interesting to me since I already have the H5183 in my kitchen.

Govee H5181

Govee H5074 and VPD data

I was playing with a couple of brand new H5074 devices and realized that the iOS app now includes two new charts, Dew Point, and VPD.

VPD

The new devices report as hardware version 2.00.01 firmware version 1.00.01. My older devices all report hardware version 1.00.01 and firmware version 1.01.00.

The pressure and dew point are available in both the new and old H5074 devices, but not with any of the other units I’ve got connected. (H5177 or H5075)

I’ve not been able to find details on the data. I don’t know if it’s packed into the BLE advertising data, or only available in the connected download data.

Govee H5183 Bluetooth Wireless Meat Thermometer

GVH5183

I recently came across the Govee Meat Thermometer on sale at amazon and decided to give it a try and see if the communication protocol was similar to any of the other Govee thermometers I’ve bought, the H5177, H5075 or H5074.

The Bluetooth communication protocol is different from any of the other devices I’ve got, but after a day of staring at raw data I was able to figure out some of the details and add support to my monitoring program https://github.com/wcbonner/GoveeBTTempLogger/ . The Bluetooth announcements from the device include both the current temperature and the set alarm temperature. I’ve not yet figured out the battery strength data. The phone app displays the battery, so I know it should be available.

There’s an orange button on one side to turn the unit on. Hold for three seconds. It will beep indicating it’s on. The LED will start flashing green, and the device will periodically send Bluetooth announcements including the temperature and alarm temperature. If you connect to the device with the phone app, the LED will switch to flashing blue, indicating that it’s in a connected state. While the device is in a connected state, it doesn’t not send out announcements. To return it to standard mode, simply exit back to the top level of the app. The app will still alarm when the probe gets to set temperature. Holding the button for three seconds when it’s on will turn it off, with beeps to confirm the change.

A nice feature of this device is that it has a magnet built in, enough to hold the device to the front of a metal oven.

Details from the Amazon listing:

  • Useful Smart Alerts: If temperatures fall out of your preset range, an alarm will sound, and you will get a phone alerts notification via the Govee Home app. The probe measuring range is 0° to 300°C /32° to 572°F. Note: press and hold the orange button for 3 seconds to power on.
  • Convenient Remote Monitoring: Tired of waiting near a hot grill, With a 230ft/70m smart Bluetooth wireless control range(no obstructions), you are free to relax and check your temperatures on your smartphone at a glance. Remember to remove the protective tip before use.
  • Performance Review: Detailed temperature data and easy-to-read charts are generated within 2 hours. (Charts can’t be stored/downloaded) Perfect for a quick review or an in-depth analysis of temperature performance. Improve your cooking and temperature with calibration at ±5°C.
  • Temperature Made Easy: 28 temperature recommendations for 14 types of foods take the hassle out of cooking. Ideal for both beginner cooks and pro chefs.
  • Practical Features: Temperature switching between Fahrenheit and Celcius. (The default unit is Fahrenheit) Mute alarm function and countdown timer on the Govee Home app. The magnetic back can easily be attached to the refrigerator, oven or grill, or any other metal surface. Note: Please keep the meat thermometer unit safe from heat sources and very hot surfaces to protect its internal batteries and exterior shell.
  • Part Number: B5183011

Raspberry Pi GPSD with Pepwave MAX Transit

I’ve been wanting to do some GPS data programming with the Raspberry Pi that’s on my boat. The Pi is connected to the NMEA 2000 network, and so should be able to retrieve GPS coordinates from either my chartplotter or my AIS unit when they are powered on, but it should also be able to get the GPS data from my Max Transit cellular gateway device.

It turns out that configuring gpsd to retrieve the data from the max transit was fairly easy. I edited the file /etc/default/gpsd to include the internal address and port of my router and restarted gpsd and now the Pi has the correct location.

/etc/default/gpsd

The devices section was initially empty. I added tcp://192.168.50.1:60660 between the pair of double quotes. After that, I was able to run gpsmon with no parameters and it connects to the local machine and reports the gps statistics.

gpsmon

I’d verified that I can read the device directly over the network with the command gpsmon 192.168.50.1:60660 but I wanted to be able to write my programs without needing to know where the gps was located.

gpsmon

B&G Zeus™ 3S 9 Tracks Truncated

I’ve been extremely happy with my new chartplotter when I’m actively using it. I’ve been frustrated by some of the features.

I wish it would automatically start recording a new track every time it was turned on. It seems that this should be an option in the settings, but I’ve not been able to find such an option.

The bigger issue is that it seems to reduce the size of stored tracks. This may be related to whatever it’s doing to synchronize with the online map, but the behavior is extremely annoying as it means I don’t have the true logged data of where I visited on my two week trip to the San Juan Islands over July 4th.

Tracks on return from trip

The image above shows the track that had been running from my leaving of Odlin County Park on Lopez Island on July 5th, going north to Orcas Island, then sailing south to Mackaye Bay on Lopez Island on July 6th, and finally motoring south to Shilshole on July 7th, arriving a little past 3pm.

Tracks after the boat has not moved for two weeks.

The second image was taken on July 22nd. You can see that the number of points for the Leave ODLIN track has reduced from 16063 to 178. Even stranger is that the Spencer Spit log has increased from 124 points to 134, and Deer Harbor has increased from 56 to 61.

Synchronize Settings

I had the plotter set to automatically synchronize settings with the mobile app and the web site, but have disabled it as of today to see if future logs will not be truncated. The auto synchronization was a very nice thing initially because I was able to create a series of places at my desktop using the full keyboard and mouse, and then the next time I turned on my chart plotter they appeared on the plotter with my intervention.

Waypoints

I realized that the waypoints I’d created all had the default icon. I went in and changed the icon on the chart plotter for each if the locations and something also truncated the names. I don’t know if it was the synchronization with the online service, or the chartplotter itself, but losing data is never a good thing.

Another feature that would be extremely nice would be if the time at the top of the screen included the date and UTC offset or timezone.

B&G Zeus 3s Memory Cards

I recently installed a Zeus™ 3S 9 chartplotter on my sailboat, and am generally happy with it. I’ve been running into a few problems and am still trying to figure out what’s going on. This is probably only the first post that I’ll write about issues I’m having.

The manual says it can read memory cards larger than 32GB if they are formatted NTFS. I found the smallest flash card in my regular collection of cards was a 32GB card. I put it into the chart plotter because I wanted to copy the screen captures to my computer, but it was not recognized.

Today I found a 16GB card that had been used in a raspberry pi project and reformatted it in windows 10, then took both it and the larger card to the boat.

I did a couple of tests and the 16GB card was readable from either slot, while the 32GB card doesn’t show up.

You can see that I put the 32 GB card in the top slot and the 16 GB card in the bottom.

Micro SD Cards Fully Inserted

The second picture shows the memory cards fully inserted. At that point I was able to see the 16GB card in the chartplotter, but the 32GB card does not appear.

Chart Plotter Screenshot

After I returned home I looked at the filesystem properties on each of the cards.

The larger of the two cards had defaulted to the exFAT format, while the smaller was FAT32. I was able to reformat the larger drive as FAT32 and may test if it can be read by the chartplotter in the future. I don’t like buying small memory cards. I have found the fast (Ultra High Speed Class 3 = 30 MBit/second) 128GB cards are the right ones to buy for my drone and camera usage.

As I read through this post you can see that the 16GB card is listed as UHS-3 while the 32GB card is UHS-1. I don’t think that should make a difference in this usage.

Canon CanoScan LiDE 400

I’ve had a Canon CanoScan LiDE 210 for at least 7 years. One of the deciding factors when I bought it was that it used a single USB cable, with no need for a second power cable.

The 210 used a mini-usb cable, which was sometimes difficult to make sure it was inserted in the correct direction. I occasionally had problems with the software driving losing communication during a scan. I switched lengths of cable at various times, with shorter cables seeming to be more consistent, but never truly conclusive.

Recently the scanner stopped moving the scan bar back to the starting location before each scan. First it would leave the scan bar at the finish location, and move to the beginning position when I would start the next scan, but then that functionality stopped and it would only return to the start position when it was first plugged into the USB port. If I tried to scan a second page without unplugging the USB cable, the movement motor would make a nasty grinding sound as it tried to move the scanner further down the page, and would result in a messy black page in the scan results. It was especially frustrating if I was trying to create a multi page PDF.

I read several online reviews, and decided to get another Canon scanner. The reviews recommended saving $20 and getting the less expensive scanner, but from my reading, only the more expensive scanner used the USB C plug, which has the advantage that it can be plugged in either direction.

I found it fascinating how similar the new packaging is to the old packaging. The old box was designed with a carrying handle, while the new box is not. I expect that’s largely due to the predominance of mail order over retail purchase. The dimensions of the new scanner and the box are pretty much the same. The boxes can be stacked 13 high. The temperature range on the old one could go 5° to 35°C while the new one goes from 0° to 40°C. Each scanner lists a maximum 4800 dpi. The 210 reported 10 seconds per page. The 400 reports 8 seconds per page.

The new software is slightly nicer working with the most recent version of windows 10, but still nothing to be too excited about. My biggest issue is that the settings for the Auto button on the scanner will not allow me to specify it will always save a JPG file. I could do that with the old scanner software. Now, to make sure I always get the format I want I much launch the software and initiate the scanning from the PC.