What's everyone working on?

This is the place for any magazine-related discussions that don't fit in any of the column discussion boards below.
Mike6158
Posts: 409
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Weimar, Texas
Contact:

What's everyone working on?

Post by Mike6158 » Fri Dec 10, 2004 7:23 pm

Nosey aint' I?<p>I was just finishing up some testing on a little robot controller circuit that I breadboarded up this afternoon (I hope the CB looks better than this when it's done) and I was wondering if anyone else was tinkering with anything.<p>I spent two hours on this damn thing trying to get the IR detectors set. I was using a digital oscilloscope to set a little 10k pot on a 555 oscillator circuit. Being kind of green at this I'm just guessing but I'm thinking that the 555 is used to "flash" a pair of IR leds. When the IR detectors see the flash they tell the PIC to do something with the servos that are attached to the PIC and the legs of the bot. Pretty slick.
I never did get the frequency to settle down. I don't know why... It's not like my breadboard looks like an RF jamming station or anything :D I hope it settles down when I get the boards built. It should do a lot better without all the "decorations"<p>Here's my breadboard :D No... the PIC isn't installed yet. That was going to be the next step. I think that I'll just build the board now. Some things aren't meant to be breadboarded I guess.<p>Image
"If the nucleus of a sodium atom were the size of a golf ball, the outermost electrons would lie 2 miles away. Atoms, like galaxies, are cathedrals of cavernous space. Matter is energy."

hp
Posts: 245
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 1:01 am
Location: Friendswood, TX
Contact:

Re: What's everyone working on?

Post by hp » Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:15 pm

My 'current' project is a networkable weather station that is totally pc independent. I love the idea of being able to network devices without the need of a pc.<p>Image<p>You can view the weather station at http://weather.homelinux.com/ (it's not linux powered)<p>Sorry for the bad resolution (my camera sucks at close ups).<p>Harrison

EngineHog
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Arkansas
Contact:

Re: What's everyone working on?

Post by EngineHog » Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:01 pm

I just finished with this project- making a display out of nixie tubes. Here's a link to a webpage I made for it.<p>Nixie Tube Glory<p>Now all that's left is to make a case for it. :D

User avatar
philba
Posts: 2050
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Seattle
Contact:

Re: What's everyone working on?

Post by philba » Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:15 pm

I've got too many projects. <p>One I've just finished up on is an LED candle simulation. I used an 8 pin PIC (12F629) to PWM an LED to simulate a flickering candle. To get a realistic flicker, I used a photo transistor to measure (and record) an actual candle flickering. The PIC simply plays it back. I made a number of variations for luminarias, pumpkins (for halloween) and window candles for christmas. I wanted to use the new 10F series but timing just wasn't right. The PCB is all surface mount except for the LED and the power connections. Its pretty cool what you can do with one dollars worth of microcontroller!<p>Another one I'm working on now is a light wand. It has a number of LEDs that can be flashed in a pre-programmed sequence as the user swings it around. its somewhat akin to something called (iirc) skywrighter from the 70s but much more sophisticated. It displays graphical patterns. I'm using an accelerometer to measure swing rate and direction to determine sequencing direction and speed. My 16 LED prototype is sort of working but I need to get a real accelerometer since my home brew one isn't working as well as I'd like. Unfortunately, that doubles the cost of the device. The whole thing is driven by an 18 pin PIC (16F648A). I've designed it allow an almost unlimited number of LEDs to be added. My goal is 128 LEDs. I'm also thinking about doing multiple colors and wireless communications (to sync up to music). My proto is a mix of TH and SMDs but I want to move to a SOIC PIC. I'm having a lot of fun with this one.<p>I'm also working on a greenhouse vent louver controller. The greenhouse has a vent louver that runs the length of the 80 ft roof and is opened/closed via a motor. My controller is based on PIC16F877A and uses a small LCD display plus a serial connection. It sense the temperature and opens the vent at a pre-set temp (which changes based on a number of factors including humidity, outside wind speed and time of year) and closes it at another pre-set temp. The controller works pretty well but the UI is getting a little too complex and I haven't gotten to the humidity sensor part. The PIC is way overkill for this. I could use a 28 pin one but I had a couple of 877As so I just used them. This is one tedious board to drill (>100 holes).<p>I designed all the PCBs with Eagle and used toner transfer to make the boards.

Enzo
Posts: 276
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Lansing, Michigan, USA
Contact:

Re: What's everyone working on?

Post by Enzo » Sat Dec 11, 2004 4:00 am

I just finished un-modifying a Fender Bassman amplifier back to stock, and I also finished modifying an old Sears SIlvertone amplifier to be more like a Fender tonally. And now I am sitting here waaaaaaaaaay to early on a Saturday morning waiting for a customer to show up with her mic mixer/telephone interface unit with bad jacks. She is a reporter and uses this to file reports from the field back to radio stations.<p>Next up, a trio of hard disk audio recorders needing such things as a new hard drive, new sm fuses, and tracking down intermittent errir messages. The burnt up 300 watt tube amp will have to wait a bit.

gerty
Posts: 290
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Tennessee
Contact:

Re: What's everyone working on?

Post by gerty » Sat Dec 11, 2004 6:20 am

A couple of friends from one of the local shooting ranges wanted me to "invent something to let us know if we hit the target at 300 yds"..
They had cut out a 2 foot square piece of 3/4 steel plate, had it hanging off chains. My job was to build some sort of circuit utilizing an impact sensor to turn on some lights, indicating a hit.
Jameco had the sensors, used a 555 one shot to turn on 12v light for 10 seconds (adjustable).
put it all in a GI ammo can to make it easy to carry..Were they happy? No, the light isn't bright enough (i used what they brought me).Now they have a couple of dispoable cameras and I'm to wire a flash whenever a light comes on. I have the cameras hacked for remote trigger and power just need to finish up regulator circuit 1.5v @3.3a.. And yes I told them about moving the lights closer to them so they could see them better,sometimes I think they throw this stuff at me just to see what happens :D

User avatar
frhrwa
Posts: 897
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2002 1:01 am
Location: Eastern Washington (state) and N. Las Vegas (winter)
Contact:

Re: What's everyone working on?

Post by frhrwa » Sat Dec 11, 2004 7:12 am

Gerty.. tell them they are called "binoculars".. thats what my dad and I used for the past 50 some odd years..
JESUS”…… don’t leave EARTH without HIM!

ad5mb
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2002 1:01 am
Contact:

Re: What's everyone working on?

Post by ad5mb » Sat Dec 11, 2004 8:04 am

I'm making an intelligent video switcher. Burglar alarm passive IR sensors signal an OOPIC which selects the camera pointed at the zone monitored by that sensor. So it follows an intruder around the property.<p>Gerty - we do something like this where I work. We glue aluminum foil on both sides of a thin sheet of insulating stock. When metal particles penetrate the TOA ( time of arrival ) board they short the foils together, and we know when the frag arrived. You could get fancy, set up multiple foils - one for the critters heart, brain, lungs, et cetera.<p>It's a one shot thing - the foil typically shorts and stays shorted when the first frag ( or bullet ) arrives, so it can't reliably record multiple strikes.<p>[ December 11, 2004: Message edited by: ad5mb ]</p>

gerty
Posts: 290
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Tennessee
Contact:

Re: What's everyone working on?

Post by gerty » Sat Dec 11, 2004 12:35 pm

These targets are something they already had, and yeah, I tried to tell them about binoculars and spotting scopes. They wanted something that all the spectators could see.They also like to brag about the high tech stuff they have.Now they're talking about motorizing the pepper poppers (targets that fall over when shot). I really can't complain, I like the challenge. :D

User avatar
jwax
Posts: 2133
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 1:01 am
Location: NY
Contact:

Re: What's everyone working on?

Post by jwax » Sat Dec 11, 2004 7:55 pm

gerty- How about a microphone and amp to trigger a flashlamp downrange? Even add a digital voice chip to yell back- "That's a HIT!" :)

gerty
Posts: 290
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Tennessee
Contact:

Re: What's everyone working on?

Post by gerty » Sat Dec 11, 2004 11:50 pm

jwax..You may have just planted a seed....


User avatar
jwax
Posts: 2133
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 1:01 am
Location: NY
Contact:

Re: What's everyone working on?

Post by jwax » Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:52 am

Another idear, gerty!
If pazaaz is what they want, a decade counter firing off pop bottle rockets (1-10) by electric ignition will add some!
Also, there are what's called "reactive targets"- they typically explode when hit by the round. Veery dramatic! However- you said 2 ft. square? At 300 yds? Reactive targets are about 3 inches!
(1/2 pint milk cartons) Now that's some shootin'!
:D

gerty
Posts: 290
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Tennessee
Contact:

Re: What's everyone working on?

Post by gerty » Sun Dec 12, 2004 1:22 pm

We're talking iron sights..at 300yds a 1/2 pint carton might as well be invisible..

Mike6158
Posts: 409
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Weimar, Texas
Contact:

Re: What's everyone working on?

Post by Mike6158 » Sun Dec 12, 2004 3:34 pm

Iron sights? I wasn't too impressed before but now you've got my attention... 300 yards with open sights is pretty good shootin...
"If the nucleus of a sodium atom were the size of a golf ball, the outermost electrons would lie 2 miles away. Atoms, like galaxies, are cathedrals of cavernous space. Matter is energy."

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], haklesup and 3 guests