by on Thing A Day 2008

(Archive of: http://www.thing-a-day2.com/2008/02/19/day-19-thing-19-bead-work-led-array/)

I think this takes the jewelry wire influence a bit far. I used a  set of glass beads to space an insulate the array wires.

In the end it was almost too pretty to embedd in the plastic.

These are getting amazingly tedious and I am dissapointed in the resin that I am using for this batch however I am going to do one more of these and wire up the array.

In the mean time I just keep singing the “Light Bright” jingel from my childhood.

by on Thing A Day 2008

(Archive of: http://www.thing-a-day2.com/2008/02/18/day-18-thing-18-cd-hole-based-circuit-board/)

I havent made a circuit board in ages. I was thinking that if I made circular pads for the leds they might make a decent reflections for the display. I made the etch mask for this out of the holes for press on cd lables and 1/8″ engineering tape.

In the middle of this I realized that I need to get some more tinning solution.


I plan to cast this in less expensive fiberglass resin once I have finished the 4 panels.

by on Thing A Day 2008

(Archive of: http://www.thing-a-day2.com/2008/02/17/day-17-thing-17-soldering-iron-timer-redux/)

Today I really made Space and time (The appartment was getting a bit difficult to get around in).

So this is a make up entry.

After oxydizing the first tip on my new weller I decided it was time to build a new soldering iron timer (and one for my glue gun as well). This is a bench junk project. It is mostly from scores at Wackey Willies (RIP 2007). I had a 4 channel Solid State Relay board with 3 channels populated and a small pile of outlets (I have plans for most of them :). The transformer for the digital power supply is from an old clock radio. At present the buttons turn on the Soldering Iron and Hot Glue Gun and it stays on for about 10 minutes (The arduino doesnt support the RTC crystal that all of the x8 family has attached to Timer 2).

The big button on the right turns everything off. There is a front pannel which I will program to give some status (the leds on the board are two burried to really use for on off status at a glance). Also there is a set of buttons on the panel (currently unwired) to allow for timing adjustment and other future planned functions.

I would also plan use this to adjust the temperature on the iron.

by on Thing A Day 2008

(Archive of: http://www.thing-a-day2.com/2008/02/16/day-16-thing-16-headbucket-headlights-more-things-that-go-blink-in-the-night/)
I went to the hardware store to replace the tip on my new Weller soldering iron after discovering that Radio Shack did not have a suitable one. At radio shack I picked up two 1100 mcd leds. On the way back I went to the art supply store to see if they had copper small enough to work with the led arrays. They told me about a bead supply store downtown so I went I bought some silver coated copper wire and made anouther led pannel. (it looks like I have enough resin to make 4).

Then I went to putting the leds on the front of my helmet. If they arent too police blue, I am finally legal.


by on Thing A Day 2008

(Archive of: http://www.thing-a-day2.com/2008/02/15/day-15-thing-15-8×8-led-array-panel-another-thing-that-goes-blink-in-the-night/)

Yesterday I went to Tap Plastics and bought some resin after working on the programmer (yesterday’s thing).

At dinner last night (which saved me from pulling my hair out for the entire evening trying to get virtual pc to flash the xbee modules from my mac) I was complaining that I have had a problem engaging the current zeitgeist and writing new (poly punk) music. It was suggested that perhaps it was because I was too focused on things that go blink in the night.

So today built an 8×8 panel using cat 5 wire with the insulation trimmed back. After experimenting with the resin I was able to cast this using the mold that I made wednesday.

I am relatively happy though it is a little time intensive.

by on Thing A Day 2008

(Archive of : http://www.thing-a-day2.com/2008/02/14/day-14-thing-14-remote-arduino-programmer-failed/)

I have been so happy with the programmer that I have been using that I wanted to add this capability to the xbee rf modules that I built a few months ago. I wired dio0 to both send and recieve boards and put the cap on the output side and wired up a reset.

Then I figured out that the data passing would require updating the flash on both boards and that that required a windows based PC. (LARGE PILE OF EXPLICITIVES REMOVED HERE) I moved the passthrough to the rts/cts pairs which the old firmware is supposed to support met NOOOOO!

If I built it but it doesn’t work yet did I make a thing?

UPDATE: 25feb08 I found an old ob900 (I have like 15 old omnibooks in various states of running) that was running W2k and upgraded the firmware on both radios. I will test them out after I have had some sleep.

by on Thing A Day 2008

(Archive of: http://www.thing-a-day2.com/2008/02/13/day-13-thing-13-mold/)

Today I made a MESS.

Really, I made a rubber mold for casting resin .

I was given a section of a large display recently that was made up of 6 5×7 led modules. The modules were embedded in epoxy with the lenses built into the front. As most of the led drivers I have are 8×8 (and over $10 apiece) , building displays with the modules wastes a third of the driver. I thought I would try to build 8×8 arrays using the leds I got last week. I took one of the 5×7 arrays and pressed it into some DAS air dry clay and made an 8×8 pattern.

Then I attempted to make a positive using an expensive clear plastic material that I have never had much success with. After two attempts to get a decent positive I decided to try a wax positive using a large candle that was left in my apartment by the previous tenants. This was successful and so I went to make the mold.

The a part of the mold compound was so thick that it was almost impossible to work with. For a long time I wasn’t sure that it would set. But in the end I would up with a fairly decent mold. Tomorrow I will get some casting resin from tap plastics..

by on Thing A Day 2008

(Archive of: http://www.thing-a-day2.com/2008/02/12/day12-thing12-helmet-taillights/)

One of our local dorkbots put an arduino in a bucket the other day and I got inspired to put one in my head bucket.

I lined the two largest holes in the back of the helmet with foil tape (for ducts) and then built two boards with leds and mounted in the area with my head. I glued a 4 pack of rechargable AA batteries on the top and plan to mount the 5000 mcd led in the front in the next day or so. While I am testing it the arduino run time board is taped to the outside but I plan to mount a really bare bones arduino under the battery when It is done.

by on Thing A Day 2008

(Archive of: http://www.thing-a-day2.com/2008/02/11/day-11-thing-11-led-arrays/)

Today I got 2000 little leds in the mail.

They are really bright. So of course I had to play around with them. I made 2 8×8 arrays one is made of magnet wire with no supporting background. I will figure out if I am going to mount this on somehting later. In the mean time I built one on a perf board. Both took for EVER to make. The one on the perfboard is wired to a maxim 7219 led driver to be driven by an arduino.

by on Thing A Day 2008

(Archive of: http://www.thing-a-day2.com/2008/02/10/day-10-thing-10-wheel-watchers-for-hacked-tamaya-mouses/)

My son aidan and I have been working on a pair of arduino based robots. Today I had him look at the boards from the check reader pile and reverse engineer the emitter detector pairs that tell the reader when the check is present. After poking around at the circuit board he came up with this diagram. Which we distilled into this circuit.

I was making a set of paper encoders to attach to the wheels but aidan thought it would be better just to use the holes in the gears After a trip to the hardware store for some epoxy putty to sheild the phototranister, I put two pair in each of the Tamaya Wall Following Mouse based robots and bench tested them with an arduino.