I've worked on hundreds of projects over the years but here is a sample (in rough chronological order):
- Multi-channel Light Dimmer board for the Marion High School stage (with Tony Weber)
- String Synthesizer using analog bucket-brigade devices (based on a Practical Electronics design)
- TVT3 Television Typewriter (early terminal)
- A couple of analog and several Arduino digital Spectrum Analyzers - see Spectrum Analyzers page
- Six or seven sets of speakers of various sizes and shapes - see Speakers page
- Several sound-responsive LED headbands, a very ugly Christmas sweater with Arduino driven LEDs and a bright LED Christmas hat - see Wearables
- IoT Hack Days from 2014 '15 '17 '18 '19
Adafruit Circuit Playground Express
A new favorite! The Adafruit Circuit Playground Express has tons of I/O, sensors, lights and can be programmed multiple ways. I'm learning Python and this embedded system is a perfect training tool.
Some helpful links:
ESD Testing Method
I'm not sure how unique this is, but I discovered a technique of non-destructively determining the most immunity sensitive areas of a PCB assembly. By using an ESD gun to 'zap' a small copper patch held close to the board, it's possible to map ESD sensitivity to the RF emissions from the patch and correlate those to specific signals on the layout.
IoT Hack Day 2014
The next year, I was able to sign up as a participant! Our team built a portable Jukebox that attaches to your computer bag.
The speaker enclosures were built from 2" PVC pipe in two mirrored sections to fit the backpack. 320+ Neopixel LEDs were attached with clear tape or hot glue and wired into one long string.
A Particle Photon was programmed to get tweets sent to @jukeboxbackpack and transmit the specific tweeted number to an Arduino Nano. The Nano would then drive an MP3 player shield to play the song corresponding to that number (held on an SD card). A separate Arduino Micro Pro ran the LED show, with a microphone attached to a small hole in the side of the speaker enclosure.
A 11.7V 2600mAh Lithium ion battery was connected to two DC-DC 5V converters, one for each side of the LED light strips and the 12V audio Amp was connected directly to the battery. A separate 7.2V Lion battery was used for the Photon and Nano. The music from the MP3 player output jack was connected to the amp via a normal audio cable.
Still looking for a video.
IoT Hackday 2017
Cube-It - Impaired Attention Measuring Device
Check out the Devpost link here.
The goal is to create a device that can help measure how long someone takes to perform simple requests, along with how much 'fidgeting' they perform while doing it. A system would comprise a computer with headphones for the person being tested, and a bluetooth connection to the cube. The computer would give an audio message like "Press the blue button" and issue a command to the cube to light one of the sides blue. Because the orientation of the cube is known, the side to be lit could be the one facing away from the subject. The computer could then monitor how many turns it takes and how long it takes for the person to find and press the blue side.
Increasingly more complex sequences could be generated, like "press the blue side followed by the red side", given indications of whether the person is paying attention.
The prototype contains an Adafruit Bluetooth Feather, 9-DOF sensor, battery and a matrix of switches and LEDs on each face of the cube. I don't have many pictures of the day - I was too busy hacking!
The mechanical design is on OnShape - just search for Cube-it.
First test of side panel.
IoT Hackday 2018
A remote controlled cat laser (or water squirter) for playing with your cats when you're not home.
Uses a Raspberry Pi to detect objects through image analysis and recognition, points the squirter at the identified object through a 2-axis servo system and if the system identifies the object as a cat, activates a windshield fluid pump to squirt them. Good for training cats not to jump on the counter!!.
Other uses could be a cat-activated laser pointer play system, guard the cookie jar from sneaky children or adults watching their weight or even a make-your-own burglar alarm camera tracking system
Sample video here.
IoT Hackday 2019
We picked a different direction for the 2019 IoT Hackday - something fun that combines technologies into something that kids would like. A Modern See n' Say (copyright name ???)
The core systems are a Raspberry Pi and a Teensy. The Pi is used for Internet connectivity, storage and playing of sound files, storage of image files and general management. The Teensy runs the LCDs, continuous rotation servo and pointer position feedback. The original pointer is mounted to the servo, which can spin in either direction. The servo also has a position output that tells the absolute position of the pointer. All twelve displays are full RGB TFT with backlight.
The idea would be to create a game pack that could be downloaded into the system, converting the same twelve (12) positions into different objective. A FarmPack for teaching animals, a NumberPack for numbers, an alphabet pack, a foreign language pack, etc. Because of Wifi connectivity through the Pi, parents could get feedback on how their children are doing, areas that need more practice and suggestions for additional challenges.
We gutted an original See n Say (c) for the enclosure (after recording all the animal sounds!) and during the Hackday, got the system up and running. And we won Best Maker/Artistist project!
Sample video here.
During Covid 2020, I decided to pick up a new hobby. Pour Painting! Super simple to get started and the results make great gifts!
Robot arm (2021), Homemade Bluetooth headphones (2012), Tamiya Minis collection, iPad Stand, Nokia Phone exploded view and Homemade recumbent trike.