IoT PrinterApp

I’ve been trying to maintain a rule that things thrown away at work do not come home with me, especially if they don’t have an immediate use. This week it failed me. We had bought an IoT printer kit from adafruit ages ago as an early part of a project idea, but it was never assembled or came to fruition. As a result it’s been sitting on the shelf for about 3 years untouched. Since we are cleaning out old stuff from the lab, it ended up being placed on the junk cart. Normally, I’d be happy to let something like this go, but it had lots of neat parts and bits in it. I even came up with a project idea in the next day! I’m going to try to make a shopping/generic list printer, powered by mono on the printer, and my pebble watch for input. I also […]

Read more

Sparkfun Dumpster Dive 2016 Unboxing

The day has finally arrived! Sparkfun had a dumpster dive last week, and I managed to get a 0.5lb box. I had the big box in my cart too, but it was out of stock before I could get to checkout. With some knolling: And now for the list of goodies: FTDI 5V cable 9V battery holder with barrel jack 56 and 200K resistors 10K pot with wires 4 matching pot knobs VGA connector Lilypad Arduino v1.1 (works so far) 5pk of lilypad green LEDs. 12pk of some 12A 60V P-Channel MOSFETs (NTD2955) 3V coin cell some kind of snapping connectors for fabric (Female half) A slightly mangled breadboard A base for a breadboard and some Dev board. some screws (hopefully M3 but might be #4-40) some Brass standoffs (hopefully M3 but might be #4-40) some small female headers (mostly 1×4) An enclosure with some milled holes (happens to be […]

Read more

LED grid Part 2 – First hardware tests

This is part 2 of the led grid project, a joint project of engunneer.com and ericagunn.com. In the last post, the boards had just arrived, and the rest of the parts were on order. A few days later, everything was here! Because resistors are so cheap when you get 100 or 500, it was worth getting a few extra values to allow for testing the IR receivers. Just before assembly, I realized why DirtyPCBs are so cheap, and why they do electrical tests on all boards: Yes, that’s blue sharpie on top of a hand repaired trace. About 30% of the boards had some kind of repair like this. I soldered one board up and started testing. Getting the color LEDs working wasn’t a big deal, but I had problems with the IR power supply (which is also duplicated for the shift registers). It just wasn’t regulating voltage and had […]

Read more

Game Clicker PCB design

My brother had an idea for a project, and asked me to design and produce a PCB and case. If you have a circuitmaker login, you can look at it here. The basic design is a combination of the following products all in to one PCB, with additional buttons and LEDs to do the job he wants: LiPo charging and power conversion: (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/11231) Arduino Micro compatible CPU (http://www.sparkfun.com/products/12640) 7-Segment displays (similar to http://www.sparkfun.com/products/11442) I did run the 7 segment displays off of a shift register instead of the ATMega328 sparkfun used, which helped keep my I/O to a minimum. For power, the unit will use a LiPo battery, but I haven’t yet picked the exact model that will fit in the case and also last all day. I still have a few power measurements to make. Layout on GerbLook Schematics: Game Clicker (pdf) Early renderings (there are a few updates […]

Read more

Led grid part 1 – Design Process

This is a copy of a guest post I wrote for my wife’s blog, about building an LED Grid for our collaborative design project The hardware for the LED grid project consists of two major elements: The LED lights, and the IR touch system. The first idea for the board had the main LEDs spaced out in a 10mm grid. I prototyped this on some surface mount prototyping board to see if I could fit everything needed into the space available. It was a bit of a tight fit, and the nature of how I made it makes it not very pretty. Because the LED cells were so close together, I had to alternate the IR touch transmitters and receivers in each column to keep them from interfering with each other. This was enough to prove out the concept and get initial values for the resistors for the touch system. […]

Read more

Z axis upgrade

3D printing as a hobby brings with it plenty of tinkering. I noticed an effect in my printed parts that looks like z wobble from my old cupcake, but the openbeam printer should be better constrained in the xy axes to prevent that. Basically there are 8mm guide shafts that keep everything aligned and a pair of z motors with misalignment couplings and a threaded rod and M8 nut to actually impart the force in the z direction with minimal x and you components. I had used some spare M8 threaded rods that I bought from makerbot when they were clearing out old cupcake parts. What I noticed was that the ridges on my parts changed size as a function of layer height. This meant that some layers were being squished more than others. The pattern was the exact same pitch as the threaded rod, which meant the z didn’t […]

Read more

DLNA Adventures

It’s 2014. There really ought to be a good way to handle mp3 files and be able to organize and listen to music in some kind of sensible manner. I was a college kid in the early 2000s, so I had a haphazard collection of mp3s ripped from CDs and shared around campus. I attempted to organize it at least a half dozen times since then, and it has become so scattered that it just became unmanageable over the years and the new computers, external drives, backing everything up to CD and DVD, etc. The current solution: It looks like a decade of procrastination has allowed other people to nearly solve the problems of managing a media library. The current solution looks to be DLNA, which strikes me as the OPC-UA equivalent to the media space. Without boring you with the details of arriving at this solution, here is my […]

Read more
1 2 3 4