It is a bit blurry, but here's the plan for my lab so far. The workbench, desk, whiteboard, parts racks, shelves, and bookshelves are up.
Anyone looking for my multidimensional "Pascal's Triangle" shape apps, including Pascalloid Calculator 4.09 with tab-deliniated output of many polyhedra and derived shapes.
http://ntc.egrd.net -- it's back up and running.
Has the crazy layout.
_TomTags: Pascal's TriangleGeometryCombinatoricsmathematics
V = V_0 * e^ ( ( -g/C ) * t )
V = Voltage.
V_0 = Initial value of Transient.
e = Base of Natural Logarithms.
g = Conductance = ( 1/r ) = Coefficient of power consumption by the voltage, as leakage conductance by the voltage, corona, dielectric hysteresis.
C = Capacitance = Coefficient of energy storage by the voltage, in the dielectric field.
t = time.
I could possibly attend this one! Anyone interested in going or representing? I have been meaning to get to OMSI for ages. I can give you PDX surplus shopping recommendations or tours if time permits.
OMSI is hosting a Mini Maker Faire on Sept 15 & 16. I hope you'll submit an application to:
or forward this on to anyone you think may be interested. If you have any questions about the event or the process leading up to it, please don't hesitate to let me know. Hope to see you there,
Director of Museum Education
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
1945 SE Water Avenue
Portland Oregon 97214
I keep breadboarding an ESR meter when I need one, but never getting around to making it permanent. Not all bad capacitors bulge, and modern switching power supplies demand capacitors with ESR in the range of less than 0.10 ohms.
Commercial ESR meters are still ridiculously expensive at around $200, give or take. I think I was stalling building mine with the expectation they would be going down, well, that isn't happening.
So the plan is to build an Arduino or PIC based meter to read capacitor and battery ESR in circuit, and also use it to measure PCB trace resistance and switch resistance. You can often tell when a switch is getting questionable, when the contact resistance jumps all over when you are moving the switch enough to slide the contacts around but not enough to change states.
So... anyone else interested? I don't know if I should just build one for myself, or make it a workshop, or sell kits, or do it as a Kickstarter.
What do you think?
What I say here only comes from my own social experience Omega, and is mostly about a particularly revealing one I had yesterday with one of the members. As I type this text I am trying neither to make this monologue too lengthy nor to direct any of the attention towards myself specifically, but only to use my own emotional experience as an example . Yesterday, when I arrived at olymega to give money to one of the alpha-members, I was stopped by J. who explained to me that he beleived I was not very respectful of the space; there had been a few times where I left a paper cup of coffee, or a mess of wires somewhere, and my friends who I'd bring to the space, in the words of J., "Were high off their asses most of the time." (i admit they are pretty weird) and seemed to have "no genuine interest" in how computation or circuitry worked. It was as if, in the mind of J., I was bringing people up for the mere spectacle of glowly lights and monkeys sitting in front of computers. I was then asked to give some kind of lights back to J., which he beleived I had stolen off of a table where I had sat. What kind of person am I thought to be?? With this, my membership was refused and and my leaving thanked. Two other members were there but said nothing and gave no input into the situation. So, now I wonder many questions: What is the real purpose of Omega? Are we really trying to help each other? Why is it that one person, J., can judge one's friends, suspect contempt and theft out of their own paranoia, and thereby ban another from being a member? Why wasn't there some sort of dialouge with the other members about their feelings and thoughts on my behavior? I want to ask the members of olymega what they think about refusing membership from curious people, and what the grounds for doing so can be. Shouldn't there be some kind of consensual decision, maybe like the consensus needed to become a keyholding member?
From LinkedIn Microcontroller user group:
If you want to gain a 'quick-taste' of the joys of 8-bit PICs, are happy programming in BASIC and don't necessarily feel the need to hold a soldering-iron then you could try PIC-Simulator IDE (http://www.oshonsoft.com/pic.html) from Oschon Software.
This is a great utility for taking your first steps... You can choose your device, write your code, simulate your device and peripherals (like LCDs, 'UARTS, EEPROMs, stepper-motors etc) and step-through your application to see how registers are changing, interrupts are being handled and monitor how your RAM is being used etc. etc. - all from the comfort of your PC. When you want to try your code on real hardware you can flash it with the generated HEX file.
The software can be downloaded for free and used for a trial-period....
I've not tried it yet myself.
LCDs/VFDs are nice and cheap in surplus + they have a fairly standard protocol.
Even in 4 bit mode they take a bunch of pins to drive, though, so it is nice to have options.
Several new libraries for interfacing LCDs have popped up, and offer one or both of:
- faster than the standard LiquidCrystal library
- support for 2 and 3 wire modes using shift registers (mostly 74HC595)
With that preamble, you may find this Library relevant to your interests. The 2 wire modes seem to use a shift register + a diode, which seems cheap to free up another pin.
Flickery power is bad for your computer. My fancy OCZ power supply got blown up a few months ago by the power rapidly flickering on and off again. I won't go into the exact cause of the power problems other than telling you that it was some idiot flipping the breaker on and off. Regardless, what's cheaper than a UPS to protect your PSU against power flicker of whatever cause, and you can build it yourself? This simple circuit, make out of relays and junk parts:
It's just a simple latch/memory bit, you press the momentary switch and it comes on and stays on, but if the power fails it shuts off until the switch is pressed again. The "relay bank" is several relays in parallel or a large relay capable of switching the 110V circuit of your PSU. The LEDs are red & green and display the "OK" or "tripped" status.
Now to be fair I haven't actually built this yet, so technically it "doesn't work", you know the rule about beta testing, but it should - and hey it's more content for the blogs right? :)
Last night we had the network fail on us several times prior to class starting and then again after class started. I have got the network working again with a little bit different physical layout. I have installed the 24 port switch on top of the firewall. I will be placing one in the classroom as well so that we are able to have multiple connections without requiring running additional wires. I have replaced the two old APs with a new enterprise AP that has both 2.4ghz and 5.8ghz service and several other options that will be great for allowing more flexibility in the network usage. The SSID was changed to OlyMega with the same password that was used before. I am bringing in new hardware to build a firewall that stops dying on us. If you would like to be involved please let me know. I am going to be in the space tonight and working on the firewall tomorrow evening.
Below is the link to the feed page where the Olymega SummerSession Video Cast is going to be located.
I foolishly didn't take pictures... a gentleman at one of the nonparties Saturday night at Westercon had his robot drink dispenser, winner of some kind of national robot bartender award.
Fortunately, someone else has already posted a picture:
I'm working on something similar, but with a steampunk/mad scientist look. My current drink dispenser only dispenses one kind of drink.
He has an Arduino Mega256 controlling it, with a touchscreen interface. The ingredients are delivered by peristaltic pump. Eight glass bottles contain the ingredients, with a pump circulating water around them and through a cooler full of ice.
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I have been working on a PHP application for OlyMEGA. It will allow us to track our stuff, schedule various things and help us keep track of our memberships.
Here is a database schema diagram for your enjoyment.
Edit: Okay, I have no idea how to put this PDF file up here. So email me if you wanna see it. :-)
Getting Processing/Arduino environment running on the OLPC:
A neat, low cost ($5 quantity 100, he says) shield compatible arduino stick thing for the OLPC, the XOrduino:
It would be pretty awesome to make some variant of these: its like a Teensy with a USB plug.