The weekly show-and-tell is tonight at 9:30pm ET. A special Xmas eve one too! We’ll see who shows up!
NEW INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO BE ON THE SHOW AND TELL. If you are on Google+ and want to join, post a message/comment on Limor’s post on Google+ and say you want to show off a project and she will add you the “Show and Tell” circle. Then just look for the hangout announcement on the very same page later for your invite. There’s an 8 to 10 (at the same time) people limit per hangout, so if it’s full try later or just pop by next week same time. Some weeks are packed!
At 9:30pm ET you will see a link to the hang out. Just keep your mics muted until we call on you and have your project ready.
What is “Ask an engineer”? From the electronics enthusiast to the professional community – “Ask an Engineer” has a little bit of everything for everyone. If you’re a beginner, or a seasoned engineer – stop in and see what we’re up to! We have demos of projects and products we’re working on, we answer your engineering and electronics questions and we have a trivia question + give away each week. Mosfet the cat stops by too. Previous chats can be viewed at http://www.adafruit.com/ask
And don’t forget, 30 minutes before the show we’re doing our weekly show-and-tell. If you are on Google+ and want to join, just add/follow the +Adafruit Industries page. At 9:30pm ET you will see a link to the hang out. Just keep your mics muted until we call on you and have your project ready.
For those who just want to watch, you’ll be able to watch it live on Ustream here and we usually have a recorded version posted later.
REMINDER: MONDAY IS A US HOLIDAY – ALL PACKAGES WILL SHIP ON TUESDAY 12/27/11. Adafruit is not closed for holidays. Aafruit will be taking orders 24/7 as usual, we’ll be shipping packages around the clock and taking care of support throughout the holidays. UPS and Postal services are closed, so any package may be “shipped” but will not leave our factory until Tuesday 12/27/11.
The Large Hadron Collider has many fans, and one of its biggest is Sasha Mehlhase, a physicist from the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen. Mehlhase has decided to help promote the LHC to students by taking the time to recreate a 1:50 scale model of it using Lego bricks. In total he spent 81 hours creating it, which was split between 48 hours of designing the model on his laptop, and a further 33 hours putting it together.
Put a couple of the iron-on patches from the shop on my nerd bag. This is the bag I usually take with me to MakerFaire and other geek-tastic events. They look really nice against the black fabric background.
I need to get more hackerspace pins.
Quick tips for iron-on patches:
Make sure the fabric you’re applying the patch to is clean.
Use a high enough heat setting to melt the adhesive and let it permeate into the fabric below. I used a high “cotton” setting.
Apply firm, even pressure over the whole area of the patch for long enough to let the adhesive set (as above) — I ironed each patch for about 3 minutes each.
Use a handkerchief or thin cloth between the iron and the patch, or you risk damaging the threads on the patch.
0b0000.0000: Build something open source. It’s amazing what is available. Back in the heyday of hobby electronics, it was easy to find projects in magazines such as “Popular Electronics.” You could get kits from Heathkit of RadioShack. But, for the most part, all of those things went away. With Open Source, you can build an almost unlimited variety of gadgets. What’s more, you can taylor your build to your experience level. If you want to do it all, just get the files, fab your boards, buy your parts and solder it up. If you’re less ambitious, buy a complete kit. If you’re even more ambitious, mod the design and post it up for the community.
I’m offering a small run of mate cosies: “warm hands, cold mate” for this winter season. Each mate cosy is produced on my hacked kh930 knitting machine, by hand by me (the machine isn’t motorized yet) and then finished by hand by me. They are available in this limited run (probably around 40 pieces total) for a price of 60 euros for either black/white or black/red. If you would like a special order QR code on the front of your black/white cosy, that will cost 80 euros. The QR codes don’t really work very consistently since little knit v’s are not easily recognized as square pixels. They sort of work in the dark. You could improve this by writing a QR code reader filter that “sees” v’s as pixels. If you are the first to code such a filter, or if you are the first to code up any other means for creating readable QR codes for knitting, and you open source the code, I will give a cosy to you for free.
It’s time to starting making some of these bits (pardon the pun) solid, both so I can work on new interesting abilities for Veronica, and so I can have some damn breadboards back.
I spent a lot of time thinking about this, and planning out various strategies. I’ve settled on what’s called a Backplane Design. Essentially, every component of the machine is treated as a module that is plugged into a large master bus. Wikipedia has a nice treatment of this topic. Ideally, everything is completely general, so you could have multiple CPUs, multiple memory systems, or any other weird combination of components. In reality, that’s a lofty goal, and mine won’t be so fancy. This is in contrast to a motherboard design, where most major systems are on one large board, and you have a couple of connectors or slots for expansion in specific ways.
So, of course, all of you reading this have thought to yourself at one time or another “I would absolutely love to grow some crystals on el-wire and then encase it in silicone and acrylic.” No? Oh, well maybe it was just me then. Regardless of whether you have had that thought before or not, I’ll show you how I did it. Compared to many things you could spend weeks doing, it is quite a simple matter. It is, however, dirty, messy, prone to failure–don’t be surprised if you end up growing the crystals on the structure several times over until you settle for one that isn’t what you wanted but “oh hell, it’ll do”.
It’s taken far longer than I wanted, but I am finally looking at a finished prototype for theAudrey Braille Display. Made of 3mm Acrylic laser-cut pieces (via the Victoria Makerspace laser cutter), it uses two stepper motors, connects to an Arduino (and LadyAda Motor Driver board), and displays 5 characters.