Tag: electronics

  1. Flipping switches here and there.

    22 January 2024

    I guess I'm as back on my game as I'm likely to be for the forseeable future. I finished the run of paxlovid a couple of weeks back and things only recently stopped tasting like soap. I still get tired pretty quickly. It's not unusual for me to fall asleep around 2300 hours local time, give or take, but I wake up feeling fairly decent. My lungs are still pretty irritated, which has necessitated adding a hit of advair from an inhaler twice daily. Said advair was prescribed because I was using my rescue inhaler to get asthma attacks under …

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  2. Building a weather station.

    28 April 2023

    Note: There are some affiliate links in this post. You don't have to buy stuff with them if you don't want to.

    One of the things I always wanted to build was a weather station. For some odd reason they always struck me as being intrinisically neat; sensors that could tell you about what was going on outside when you couldn't be outside yourself. Many years later when I got into amateur radio, I discovered that weather stations were a thing that people would build and put on the APRS network to broadcast local weather conditions. Thing was, I never …

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  3. Tools on the bench.

    27 January 2023

    Fairly serious hardware hackers and makers like to post lists of all the gear they use for whatever it is they do (mostly the big-name Youtubers and bloggers who do a lot of retrotech work and reverse engineering). That's all well and good, but I'm just a schmuck from Pittsburgh who likes to mess around with stuff. While cleaning up my office over the holidays I decided that maybe I should put one of those lists together because maybe it would help someone later. So, here is just about every tool that I have sitting on, under, around, or within …

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  4. Making an oscilloscope kit suck less.

    24 March 2021

    A couple of jobs ago I worked in an electronics lab that had all the toys - from tool cabinets as tall as I am to anti-static gear all over the place (and ruthlessly enforced rules for making use of it) to signal analyzers and oscilloscopes. Unfortunately, my job (and the project) were such that I couldn't just go messing around in there to teach myself to use the diagnostic instruments. If the 'scopes weren't in use at the time then they'd been set up specifically for the hardware we were working on. This means that messing around with the settings …

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  5. Embedded environment monitoring.

    02 November 2020

    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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  6. Simple environment monitoring with spare parts.

    15 July 2020

    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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  7. 3D printing of nanomaterials and implanted prosthetic limbs.

    13 April 2016

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

    27 July 2015

    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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  9. 3D printing circuit boards, photography-resistent clothing, and wireless DNI.

    13 February 2015

    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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  10. 3D printing circuitry.

    15 May 2014

    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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