Friday, August 22, 2014

What the heck is PIPduino?

I realized after I finished the Jeep's steering servo controller that our Pro Mini was missing something.


I built this icky baseboard for it with a protoboard. What was missing? Can you tell?

Power and ground rails and a voltage regulator, that's what.

So I made this 'duino clone for Putting In Projects, aka PIPduino:

Introducing PIPduino

Is it sacrilege to say that I want an Arduino without shields?  Or that I want an I2C port with power rails and pull-up resistors? A combination ISP/SPI port so I can connect to SD cards easily? Digital and Analog pins with power rails?

I wanted an Arduino-compatible board that can be embedded in projects just by making cables and attaching power and sensors/drivers. Now I have one.

What do you think? Would you buy one of these? Should I make more?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Discovering Linux Mint 14 EOL

A little over a year ago, I converted to Linux Mint 14 for good, leaving Windows (mostly) behind.

Despite some initial bumps (and whining for which I remain deeply embarrassed), I've been quite happy with it and it is an excellent platform for my hobby electronics and robotics as well as for general use.

In the process of reworking my backup strategy, my attempted installation of rdiff-backup with apt complained about unsigned packages. Then bombed out...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Welcome, Hero Jr

After the AVC, my focus has shifted to four-wheeling my Jeep on Colorado mountain trails, making repairs, getting the fuel injection system tuned, and getting through emissions tests. I'm working on an automotive-ready 5V power supply that I'll be using with some upcoming projects including a Vehicle Speed Sensor Buffer.

I haven't forgotten about robotics, don't worry. In fact, a new robot has come to live at Bot Thoughts laboratories: this slightly dusty, cute, diminutive blue Hero Jr. very generously donated by a local robotics hobbyist, Michael Schievelbein. Thanks, Michael!

They were computer beige and red from the factory.
I think this will be a great demo robot for the Northern Colorado Maker Faire in Colorado or if I don't make that deadline then definitely Robots at the Hangar next April. Let's have a closer look...