Embedded environment monitoring.

  electronics exocortex hardware humidity libreops microcontrollers projects python temperature

Disclaimer: This post has lots of links to the Adafruit website.  There are no referral links, I received no consideration, I just buy parts from there and do cool things with them.

A couple of weeks months ago I did a writeup of a prototype environment monitoring device for my office built out of a Raspberry Pi Zero W and some off the shelf components.  In the time since I've found time here and there to work on the embedded version, which doesn't use a full computer system but a microcontroller with just enough functionality to drive a couple of …

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Simple environment monitoring with spare parts.

  electronics exocortex hardware humidity python raspberrypi temperature libreops

It's going on summer in the Bay Area, which means that it's warming up a bit both outside and inside (because air conditioning is Not A Thing out here).  That, coupled with the not inconsiderable research infrastructure I have at home has left me wondering and worrying about just how hot my office gets during the day while I'm working.  Now, I could just put a simple little thermometer on my shelf (and I did) but my concerns are a bit bigger than that.  What happens if my office temperature reaches a critical point and servers start melting down on …

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3D printing of nanomaterials and implanted prosthetic limbs.

  3d_printing biomechanics prosthetics limbs implants nanomaterials electronics manufacture

Long-time readers of my site no doubt know of my fascination with the field of 3D printing and tracking the advances that are made almost weekly to this technology. From simple plastic tchotchkes to replacement parts to materials that few ever dreamed would be used, 3D fabbers are fast becoming an integral part of manufacturing at all levels of complexity. A few months ago researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory published the results for a revolutionary 3D printer called the Optomec Aerosol Jet 500, a fabber which uses a range of nanomaterials as its feedstock. To cut to the chase …

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Fabbing components, parallel processing with rats, and synthetic neurons.

  3d_printing components cyberbrains dni electronics neurons parallel_processing rats

Life being what it is these days, I haven't had much time to write any real posts here. If I'm not working I'm at home studying because I'm back on the "get letters after my name" trail, and if I'm not studying or in class I'm helping get family moved out and set up on the west coast. Or I'm at the gym because I'm fighting alongside my essential vanity by trying to lose weight; people tell me that I look good these days but there's a fine line between looking healthy and needing new clothes. So there you have …

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3D printing circuit boards, photography-resistent clothing, and wireless DNI.

  3d_printing clothing countermeasures direct_neural_interface electronics implants kickstarter photography privacy sousveillance transhumanism wireless

Now that I've had a couple of days to sleep and get most of my brain operational again, how about some stuff that other parts of me have stumbled across?

Building your own electronics is pretty difficult. The actual electrical engineering aside you still have to cut, etch, and drill your own printed circuit boards which is a lengthy and sometimes frustrating task. Doubly so when multi layer circuit boards are involved because they're so fiddly and easy to get wrong. There is one open source project that I know of called the Rabbit Pronto which is a RepRap print …

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3D printing circuitry.

  3d_printing circuitry electronics microfacture open_source

Arguably, even more important than bringing the price of 3D printers down to affordable levels is making them more practical. A commonly cited limitation of 3D printing right now is that they can only fab with one or two materials and can't really reproduce their own circuitry. They're both fair points, I can't argue with them. I can, however, point doubters in the direction of the Rabbit Pronto, a new print head for RepRap-derived 3D printers that is capable of fabbing functional electronic circuitry in addition to structural plastic. The Rabbit Pronto incorporates a 10cc syringe that can be …

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Mini-Maker Faire project: Jade's Lunchtop

  build computers electronics homestuck maker_faire project_byzantium prop raspberrypi silver_spring

Obligatory warning: If you are fandom-averse, you might want to skip right to the photographs.

Some months ago, a good friend of mine dragged me kicking and screaming into the Homestuck fandom by way of a novel length fanfic she and a friend are writing.

I won't tell you about Homestuck. That's not what this post is about. I will, however, tell you about the latest project to come off of my workbench, which was building as functional a replica of Jade's lunchtop computer as possible.

Cutting to the chase, after being infected with the Homestuck meme and searching for …

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Project Byzantium: Milestone three in progress.

  circuitry communications electronics ham_radio project_byzantium

A brief post to catch everyone up while I'm at work:

Project Byzantium has been hard at work building a PTT (push-to-talk) circuit to support the third milestone of the ISC grant. What we're trying to do, in a nutshell, is this:

We have a couple of Baofeng UV-?R radios that we're trying to interface with laptops running Byzantium Linux. This is a known technology - ham radio operators have been doing datacomm over amateur radio frequencies for a couple of decades but this is a first for the three of us. What is posing a problem for us is …

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From printing to milling - the Othermill.

  automill electronics kickstarter microfacture rapid_prototyping

Regular readers of my blog (when I post... I'll write about what's been going on soon, promise) know that I keep a sensor net focused on the field of microfacture - personal manufacturing and rapid prototyping. Most of the time I natter on about 3D printing, but depositing layers of material to make something isn't the end-all-be-all of small scale manufacture. The other end of the spectrum - milling, or carving feedstock - is just as useful, and for many applications it's a preferable technique for making things. The thing about automills is that they're not yet as common as 3D printers. People …

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Outbreak of the future: 3D printing takes off like a shot.

  3d_printing circuit_boards electronics feedstock industry manufacture mcor microgravity objet1000 personal_manufacture satellites spaceflight staples technology

Last week there was a cluster of outbreaks of the future (thanks, Warren Ellis, for the term) in the field of 3D printing that caught me by surprise, not by their appearance but how they appeared in rapid succession to one another.

The first is an industrial grade 3D printer called the Objet1000, which is marketed for the production of full-scale prototypes and industrial models. It has a fabrication platform 39 inches by 31 inches in size (a little bigger, actually, but I'm deliberately dropping decimals today), and can print with any of 120 different substances, of which 14 at …

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