Monday, November 17, 2014

Current collection of dev boards

This is my collection of development boards. From top left they are; Genuine Arduino UNO, Clone MEGA, Parallax Basic Stamp homework board (serial), Sainduino UNO, Arduino Nano (clone), Genuine Arduino pro mini, Clone pro mini, Minimus AVR (KADE core), IMUDuino, MSP430 Value line, CY8CKIT-049 ($4 PSOC)
Dev boards!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

New equipment acquired! [LINKS INCLUDED]

Current haul
What maker does not like eBay? that magical place where you can buy virtually anything you need at dirt cheap prices to boot! The fact that the costs are so low is a boon for the basement makers with very low budgets or just any maker who is just dipping their toes into making but doesn't want to invest too much money in getting started. Over the past few weeks shipments have been coming in from china and the US containing lots and lots of new parts and boards. Overview is below
To start with there is the Neopixels and new MPU-6050s (toasted my old one). The MPUs can be found here for $2.34 and ship very quickly, silkscreen and LED are different though. The specific strip of Neopixels seems to have disappeared from the site for some reason though. Other than that these are exact clones of the Adafruit strips except at $4 instead of $10. Very bright and colorful!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Early November active stabilization system [Codename ARGuS] update!

Finally got back on the stabilization system development track! I finished the major school project and the replacement MPU-6050s arrived. The code recently got a MAJOR upgrade thanks to Bogdan Markovik who sent me the modified MPU6050 test code that has PWM drivers in addition to full roll, pitch and yaw control as well as fully configurable degrees of freedom for each axis. Bogdan has been assisting me with everything from code to new sensor possibilities and I hope to continue working with him as the project continues. I will be eventually moving away from the MPU-6050 as it can be kind of iffy with angles sometimes and calibration is rather annoying as I'd rather not risk the very costly high power rocket airframe to loss of structural integrity due to the sensor getting confused and shaking the rocket to bits. Thanksgiving break is coming up soon and that means my probable return to TechShop and further rapid development of the system! In addition to Bogdan helping out with the system, Sagar, the original coder of the very basic code that drove the first prototypes, is a frequenter of the same TechShop and will be working on refining his own system. Video of the new code in action is right after the break.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Name my rocket and stabilization system and win an Arduino Nano [CONTEST]

Just a heads up about a contest I am running currently. Name my rocket (currently codenamed TA-1 [Test article 1]) and the stabilization system (currently codenamed ARGuS [Arduino Rocket Guidance System]). Contest ends at 12:00 EST on November 27 2014, and winner will be selected on December 10 2014 and the prize of one(1) Arduino Nano (FT232RL or CH340G at the winners request). Entries are highly welcome and I hope to see several very unique names for the rocket and system soon! :D. One entry per person, twitter account not required as an email address will suffice. If winner does not respond within 48 hours a runner up will be chosen. Form is after the break

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Neopixel power line feedback phenomena

While working on a christmas gift for a friend I encountered an interesting phenomena involving signal leakage over the USB power line.  The USB to UART adaptor I was using caused the signal leakage to go into the USB hub of the keyboard and into the amplifier for my headphones which amplified the signal up to an audible level. It sounds rather ethereal in my opinion with the echo fading similarly to a Meteor echo radio reflection. The program that was running at the time was a generic randomization "twinkle"program which pulsed on a random pixel, color and fade time on the strip.