Friday, March 29, 2013

Sharp IR Ranger Noise

Time to look at supply and signal noise on the Sharp IR I2C adapters I'm working on.

You often read how noisy these sensors are. Now you can see it for yourself.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How do you organize your cables?

I don't and am soliciting your wise advice. Here's my mess of cables.

How do you organize yours? What containers, retainers, thingamajigs do you use to maintain order?

Friday, March 15, 2013

MRP App for Makers

When done, MakerMRP will help me track parts inventory, BOMs, product inventory and sales for all boards I've been building and selling on Tindie.

After using LibreOffice Calc to try to keep track of nine products each with a dozen parts, I committed myself to spending 20+ hours writing a LAMP/AJAX/jQuery application from scratch while learning more about each on the fly.

Writing the app isn't about saving time. It's not motivated by laziness.

The mother of invention is an extreme, gut-wrenching, violent hatred of mind-numbing, boring, busy-work and the willingness to do nearly anything to avoid it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

AVC 2013: Rules, Walkthrough

Sparkfun posted the rules and course walkthrough for the 2013 Sparkfun AVC.

For us ground vehicle folks the rules are rather different and it really changes up the strategy.

If you finish the course you get 300 points from which your time in seconds is subtracted. You get 25 points for every corner you pass.

Two bonuses are possible, the hoop from last year earning 50 points and a jump ramp for another 50 points.

Finally, every run counts towards your final score.

Speed is no longer king. Consistency, accuracy, and precision are.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Propeller VGA Breakout Kit

My Propeller VGA kit is $4.75 with 2 days left to order on Tindie. Generate VGA signals with your Propeller with software from the OBEX.
Propeller VGA breakout kit (prototype)

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Furby Disassembly: Part 1

"Cookie Muffin, Too"

Faced with a malfunctioning $8 Goodwill Furby, I set about non-destructive disassembly of my daughter's new sick pet, inspired by the dramatic skinning of a Furby by Becky at Adafruit.

I was also inspired by Doc McStuffins.

And yes, I was secretly happy the Furby wasn't working; I confess wondering what was inside the moment after I saw the price tag.

Don't worry. No Furbys were harmed in the making of this blog post.

The Furby was making odd chattering noises, strange light fluctuations in the eyes, and shutting off unexpectedly. For awhile the eyes and beak weren't moving in time with speech. New batteries helped a little but this was a sick little fella.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Graphic LCDs for Data Bus

Graphic LCDs are excellent debugging tools. Digole offers an I2C adapter with Arduino library that I've ported to mbed.

128x64 Graphic LCD on Data Bus displays GPS, battery, etc.