Archive for the ‘ELECTRONICS’ Category

Featured Engineer –

So there I am, right next to Robotic Rat Pups…

Seriously though it’s an honor to be featured on EEweb, among greats like Bob Pease. I’m truly not worthy. But definately checkout the interview!

EEweb is a fantastic home-base for electrical engineering stuff across the board, and it’s been a great resource to keep up on all things EE.


Workbench of the Week

I took some time to cleanup my bench this weekend and figured it would be a good time to take a picture and submit it to the WOTW cause. Workbench of the Week is a feature of the Amp hour podcast that I have enjoyed quite a bit. My setup isn’t anything terribly fancy. It’s what I use to build BLDC Controllers, Batteries, Protection Electronics, Digital Projects and a little Ham Radio tinkering. Here is a laundry list of equipment:

  • Old School HP140T spectrum analyzer, works great
  • Transistor Devices electronic load , 100v ~500W
  • 13.8V linear power supply, 400w
  • ~28V switching PS ~1500W
  • Phillips 25mhz analog scope  (cheap hamfest find, need to pickup a Rigol soon…)
  • Several Cheapie DMMs – Does the trick
  • HP6034 power supply 300w (project)
  • Hakko Soldering Station
  • One-Hung-Lo soldering station….
  • Self-Contained Cell Tab Welder
  • Bunch of MSP430 prototyping toys tools sitting on the venerable CRT (12 yrs old :D)

Don’t Exceed The Power Rating of…Your Desk

It turn’s out the limit of  “simulated wood grain” as a heatsink, is well under 40W…

How to get a free LCD Monitor

Step 1: Find a monitor in the dumpster at work

Step 2: Plug it in

Step 3: Hmm… the backlight doesn’t work

Step3: Take it apart

Step 4: Measure the input to the high voltage transformer, while being careful not to vaporize yourself on the 750V line

Step 5: Crap… ridiculously noisey

Step 6: Look at capacitors on the bus, notice that they’re bulging and leaking

Step 6.5 : replace 450uF 25V Caps with 450uF 50V caps

step 6.7: turn back on

step 6.8645988884: works like new

Step 9: Replace your crappy, 12 year old CRT

The only thing that’s badd now is frog and toad

Dance Master 5000 – Halloween 2010

Over the past 15 years  I have had maybe a total of 4 Halloween costumes. Halloween is no doubt my favorite holiday and it was time for something new.

Halloween 2010: an excuse to build something electronic.

Lately I’ve really wanted an excuse to play around with the Arduino boards. I really love that whole movement. I’m pretty hardcore as far as electronic design goes, so I was a little apprehensive about sinking some cash into a development board aimed at ‘beginners and artists’. However, I found some “Shiftbrite” units (I2C shift register controlled, tricolor LEDs) from and since these would make a great costume,  and since there was some arduino sample code that would save me hours of register programming, I picked up an Arduino Uno and 6 shift Brites.

After soldering the headers onto the shiftbrites, I connected it up to the UNO board. I did however melt one of the LEDs in the process. Damn unregulated soldering Iron…:( After downloading the Arduino IDE, I loaded the sample code,  compiled, and loaded into the Arduino. Within an hour [while listening to podcasts] I was up and running.

They weren’t kidding about the Brite part…

Next, I got a huge box from work, cut it down and added some decorative paper (actually Kerra did all that) and mounted all the junk in the box.

I also added a switch for mode changing and a bunch more little green LEDs to take up the rest of the idle ports on the Arduino.

The final result:

Dance Master 5000

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