(Self-funded) Sabbatical

As you might, or might not have, heard, I left my last job in May. It wasn’t an easy choice., but after thinking about it for a very long time, I realized I wasn’t happy where I was and needed a break. When I had to explain my “employment status” to people, I decided that the term self-funded sabbatical was the most appropriate. Looking back almost 5 months later, It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.

Driving Analog Gauges with DAC

A few years ago, I bought a couple of these analog gauges(galvanometers) at the electronics flea market. Like many other things I buy, they ended up in a box stored away in the closet… Not too long ago, stumbled onto Alan Wolke’s (@AlanAtTek) video about panel meters

Mojo v3 (Xilinx Spartan 6) FPGA Development on OSX

What is this? These are instructions for getting the Xilinx tools up and running on OSX to work with the Embedded Micro Mojo v3 FPGA development board.

Portable Flux Capacitor

This year’s work holiday party was Back to the Future themed. I didn’t have any good costume ideas, so with a week to go, I decided to build a portable flux capacitor to bring instead.

Laser Turret Project v2 - Part 1 - Overview

After last years DEFCONBOTS competition, I decided to try something completely different. (Check out last year’s robot.) Having to move the entire turret/camera/laser around is incredibly inefficient. If the goal is to shoot things with lasers, the only thing moving should be the laser beam.

Laser Turret Project - Mechanical

The last turret update (with actual content) happened back in February. I continued working on it through August, taking it both to Maker Faire and DEFCON. I had planned on writing about it back then, but never really got around to it… This post covers the mechanical aspects of the project. I’ll write about the electrical/firmware/software some other time.

Switch to Jekyll

I just switched to using Jekyll instead of Wordpress for this site. I started hosting it on a VPS and don’t want to have to deal with all the apache/php/mysql security issues. Now I just use Jekyll to make a static site and run it on nginx (the nginx part was just for fun).

Maker Faire 2014

I’m still recovering from Maker Faire last weekend. Here’s a quick video about the laser shooting gallery we set up.


The laser turret was there as well, but playing against other people was much more entertaining. Time permitting, I’ll post details about the exhibit and how it works.

Laser Turret Progress

Over the past month, I’ve been working on a laser turret for the DefconBots autonomous robot competition this Summer. I entered the same competition back in 2006 and enjoyed the experience, so I figured I’d give it another try. Since I am fairly comfortable wiring firmware, I plan on focusing on the mechanical aspects of this project, as well as the image processing (both of which I know little about.) It should be a fun project and great learning experience. Here is some of the progress I’ve made since I started:

Using BusBlaster + openOCD on OSX Mavericks

I’ve been using the Dangerous Prototypes Bus Blaster along with openOCD to program/debug my LPC1769 microcontroller. It’s been a while since I did anything, so when I tried again last week and couldn’t get it to work, I was slightly confused. The only change (that I was aware of) was an OSX upgrade from Mountain Lion to Mavericks.

For more posts, check out the archive!