Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016-12-30 (F) 2 Cyborgs and a Microphone EPISODE 016


Editing for episode 016 was done because I was snowed in. I had errands to run but I couldn’t leave the house so I sat down and edited the episode. Tim and I strive to sound natural and when we get talking and forget about the microphones we don’t sound awful. This time we got into it and we wound up talking over one another. This could have been fixed during editing but it had a casual sound and I don’t think it detracted from the experience. I hope you enjoy.

I have an ear with the mechanical covering


Ad spot for 2 Cyborgs and a Microphone

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2.
Completed projects from year 3.



This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.


2016-12-10 (Sa)

Friday, December 30, 2016

2016-12-29 (Th) 2 Cyborgs and a Microphone


Tim and I recorded episode 016. All of our previous episodes have been rooted in facts as we knew them but this time we plunged right into fiction. We unabashedly geeked out over our favorite science fiction cyborgs.

What caught me off guard was when Tim and I started talking about the Borg from Star Trek. We didn’t exactly agree on everything.

I have an ear with the mechanical covering


Ad spot for 2 Cyborgs and a Microphone

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2.
Completed projects from year 3.



This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.


2016-11-17 (Th)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2016-12-28 (W) Tough Pi-ano

Yesterday was not terribly productive. A lot of options were explored but no progress was made. The American idiom is “spinning your wheels.” I spent the whole day spinning my wheels. Or so I thought. I also mentioned that the local store stocked Raspberry Pi Zeros. At the time not much thought went into that fact but in the shower it seemed perfectly clear. A Pi Zero in each octave could read the twelve keys and be the synthesizer. All the brains would be in the octaves yet it would still be a low-cost solution. Not only low-cost but it would be inexpensive and use hardware from a reputable name. Now you know the reason for the name Tough Pi-ano. “təf-pī-an-o.”

This solution is not without problems. Namely, I’ve never used a Pi Zero before. The GPIO are well-suited for the task of reading piano keys but I’m not sure what to do on the software side. Something will need to be done to give the information to a synthesizer. Assuming a good synthesizer can be found. Maybe simple sound files can be triggered instead of utilizing a synthesizer. Another problem is getting sound from a Pi Zero. They do not have headphone ports like their beefier cousins. One option there is a reconfiguration of two of the GPIO pins. Another, hopefully easier, option is an inexpensive USB sound card. One option for the sound card is on hand and can be tested immediately. It is a model which has been around for a long time and continues to sell on eBay for one US dollar. Suitable cables are another issue. Each octave will need a way to get power and a way to send line-level audio to a central amplifier. The central amplifier will be an ordinary set of amplified computer speakers.

Power will be a powered USB hub and each device, maybe even the speakers, will pull power from it. Using the hub as a distribution point means that more parts will be easy to replace. Each octave will have a port for a micro USB cable and a 3.5mm headphone socket. Cables will be ordinary and it won’t matter which one gets plugged into the sockets. In addition to easy-to-replace parts it should be possible to step someone through the process over the phone even if the ports aren’t labeled. Audio cables will be simple 3.5mm jacks at both ends of a green cable. Green was chosen since headphone ports are color-coded green. These cables are inexpensive and easy to find at many electronics stores.

Preliminary list of materials for one octave:
Preliminary list of materials for amplifier side of Tough Pi-ano

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2



This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.


2016-05-26 (Th)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016-12-27 (Tu) Tough Pi-ano

If the octaves were going to play nicely with each another the first step was going to be to find a combination that worked. Yesterday it became apparent that mixing controllers wasn’t viable because the Teensy controller booted the USB↔MIDI adapter every time. This problem had several potential solutions. None were guaranteed to work.

One possibility with a high likelihood of working was to replace the tablet with a more expensive Windows 10 tablet. Windows ten, with a multitude of synthesizers, would undoubtedly have a free version capable of playing from multiple MIDI sources.

The second possibility was using an Arduino Mega with enough discrete inputs to monitor every key. This would mean a lot of wire running from the central board to the keys. In order to remain modular the wires would have to disconnect with a connector that had at least 13 connections. To make matters worse the MEGA doesn’t make it simple to act like a MIDI device.

Building on the idea of a single controller there was also the possibility of using I/O expanders in each of the octaves. A 16 position bit shift register would allow a simple data line to run between a central Teensy and each octave. Since a single Teensy already worked well with the Android tablet this would be a good option. Experience in the past with bit shift registers did make this unappealing. Despite considerable effort I could never get an I/O expander to work.
Another possibility was using identical MIDI controllers. Mixing different types didn’t work well on the simple Android app but if they were identical it might eliminate the conflict. The first aspect was which style to double up on? Using more Teensy controllers would be expensive, but within reason. Using more USB↔MIDI adapters on cheap controllers was doable. But the USB↔MIDI had already proven flaky.

Another option that line of thinking, albeit an expensive option, was to use a 4-port MIDI↔USB adapter. The 4-port version probably had a better chance of working since the tablet would only see a single MIDI source and multiple sources was the first problem. But it was prohibitively expensive yet within reason. Another advantage was that MIDI DIN cables were durable, inexpensive and easy to buy. They would make a good connection between the octaves and adapter.

The first approach was to try to find other controllers which could emulate a USB MIDI device. Teensy controllers weren’t on hand. Arduino Micros were available though. Most of the day was spent trying to make a Micro talk MIDI to an Android. It didn’t work. More time could have been spent and it would have worked eventually but it seemed wise to accept the loss of the time-gamble and move on. There was no guarantee that multiple Micros would even work together.

One final time-gamble for the day was to go to a local computer store which had an assortment of maker supplies including Arduinos and I had seen a Teensy there before. A store associate helped look but none could be found. Despite scouring the section to look for the small board it could not be found. One happy note was that they had a full stock of Raspberry Pi Zeros which I had planned to use in my laser tag project.

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2



This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.


2016-05-25 (W)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016-12-26 (M) Tough Pi-ano

The name will make sense in a couple days.

And hopefully after that.

This project was designed with withstand severe punishment for a long time. After that abuse the parts must be easy to replace. Pianos, even toy pianos, were not built to withstand the beating a musical therapy instrument takes. This piano cannot have sharp corners or rough surfaces. It cannot have anything that can be pried apart with bare hands. It must be capable of being dropped, kicked, and punched without failing or doing harm.

It must also be affordable and that means the whole thing cannot be made from 3D printed grade-5 titanium. Bummer. Since parts will eventually fail making them cheap to replace is also important. Not only cheap, but it must be possible for non-technical people to replace them. Ideally replacement parts could be shipped to people who could replace broken parts in a matter of minutes with nothing more than a screwdriver. Which could even be included with the replacement package. Modularity in this project will be important.

Years before this blog I made a few electronic guitars, three actually, my brother has the second model while I have the first and third. I am NOT a musician so I approach music as an engineer. I have some semblance of user experience tailoring but that is hardly my forte. When given the challenge of making a piano that could be played with a baseball bat I turned the idea around for over a year. Finally the idea was ready to be built.

The solution seemed obvious one morning as I woke up. Waking up on the weekends is like that some time. Making the piano was a matter of breaking it down into the smallest usable portion then replicating it over and over. Most products are designed to be built as a whole then produced over and over. This was a little different. Parts of it will be built identically, modularly, so they can be designed once, built repeatedly, and replaced easily. Each octave, 12 keys, will be separate from the octave(s) next to it. So, if a key is broken, the octave can be replaced instead of the whole piano. And, if each octave can be programmed to be any other octave a single spare can replace any broken octave.

One of the toughest parts of creating a piano is generating sound. No one wants to hear a piano day in and day out if it sounds like mechanical crickets. Well, someone somewhere does, but most people just want a piano. In musical therapy there’s no reason not to just make a piano that only makes piano sounds. There’s no need for an minor alto harmonica. I don’t know if that’s really a thing. The sound board in a cheap electronic piano seemed like the logical choice but that would be expensive and they’re pretty large. At that point I would only be building a tough skin for an existing product. All I needed was the synthesizer module. Professional synthesizer modules are not cheap, even flimsy ones.

I hunted around and found that Android can run a synthesizer fast enough to act as a piano. There was even a free app! The app was downloaded and connected to my electronic guitars. The plan for the piano was to connect each octave with its own MIDI controller to a central Android tablet. The app would launch automatically so it would not have to be exposed to damag. Even though it had a screen it would not have to be visible. A small tablet was easier to set up than a Raspberry Pi and still cheaper.

Two guitars were connected but the app would only recognize one at a time. Each guitar had a totally different style of controller. One used an Arduino Duemilanove with a DIN MIDI port running to a USB converter. The other used a Teensy which supported MIDI over USB. When either was attached alone they operated flawlessly but the Teensy would always take over. This lead me to believe that if they were going to place nicely together they would have to be the same type.

Guitars connected to an Android tablet

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2



This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.


2016-05-24 (Tu)

Monday, December 26, 2016

2016-12-25 (Su) Color/Touch COMPLETED

A short script was written to explain the features of the Color/Touch. It was only 280 words and wasn’t expected to be more than a minute long. The script was read in the recording space so a clean audio track could be isolated. Multiple takes were necessary for most of the sentences but this was a familiar pattern because it was used extensively when recording an audio book.

The video was recorded with a cell phone in poor lighting but most of the light came from the Color/Touch anyway. Nothing was spoken during the recording but the audio track was playing through headphones so it could be synchronized. Sounds from pressing buttons and occasionally punching the panels was kept intact but background noise was cropped out. The video was done in a single cut but it took several tries.

Audio tracks and the video were stitched together then published to YouTube. By the end, the video was less than two minutes and sounded like an amateur KickStarter.com video. Of course, the Color/Touch isn’t for sale since the directions to build it are freely available through this blog. If anymore Color/Touch models are built, they will receive another set of revisions which should involve creating an easy-to-follow building guide. Currently, the project is a mash-up of techniques and revised programs so it would be difficult to even assemble pictures for an instruction guide. But it could be done.

Narrated Color/Touch Presentation


The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2.

Completed projects from year 3.


Disclaimer for http://24hourengineer.blogspot.com/

This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.

2016-12-20 (Tu)

Sunday, December 25, 2016

2016-12-24 (Sa) Color/Touch

Debugging took two days. Writing code the first time took weeks of after-work hours so two days to translate code from 16 LEDs to 76 LEDs was a small price. A couple times the thought of scrapping the code and writing it fresh occurred to me but that idea didn’t catch.

One of the modes of operation was deleted. This mode put a rainbow-colored ring around the outside and rotated the colors with any button press. Since the LEDs used to be spaced far apart this was fine but the new LED configuration has them much closer and a string of sequential colors becomes nearly white.

Another mode, which changed all the colors in a panel to a pseudo-random color was altered because the flurry of colors resulted in virtually white light. This mode was kept but the entire panel was reprogrammed to change to a single pseudo-random color anywhere on the color spectrum.

Reviewing old code is sometimes painful, as any programmers knows. This time, I was impressed by myself. There were things I wouldn’t do now or things I would do differently but this two-year old code was pretty good and I think the main thing I saw which made it easy to navigate (codigate?) was extensive commenting. An original intent of this project was to make it easy for less experienced people to copy for their own children. The sentiment may be wasted but the lesson in commenting was valuable and wouldn’t have been learned without a time gap.

A video was taken of the original demo mode which gently fades each LED from one color to another. This mode doesn't require input from the switches and it moves so slowly that it's difficult to notice changes at a glance.

Softly changing LEDs in demo mode

Powering the Color/Touch used to require a USB↔serial converter where the voltage was supplied. Then a nine volt connector was added but it relied on the Arduino's on-board voltage regulator which was not even powerful enough to power sixteen LEDs. The current version requires five volts and at least one amp. A micro-USB connector was added, temporarily, to power the device with a battery so it can be demonstrated anywhere

Micro-USB powered device


The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2.

Completed projects from year 3.


Disclaimer for http://24hourengineer.blogspot.com/

This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.

2016-12-17 (Sa)

Saturday, December 24, 2016

2016-12-23 (F) Weekly Summary

We took a rather "soft" topic this show, the biohacking community. It wasn't a specific aspect or project, like many other shows, instead, it was about what people could expect to see and experience in the community. Soft or vague topics are hard to talk about but I think we did a good job of describing what we've encountered on our biohacking journey as far as the online community.


Tim has the metal collar

Work on the Clockwork Theremin has taken a back seat to the Color/Touch. The Color/Touch took a back seat to other projects over a year ago. We haven't seen the last of the Clockwork Theremin. Unless you stop reading this blog, please don't do that, I like having you here.

Before switching gears, pun intended, a reed switch was installed behind the final gear. Originally, this was going to be cut from wood. But as the design formed in my head I realized it would be more logical to 3D print it. If someone wanted to reproduce it in wood, it would certainly be possible. Even simple.

Model of reed switch holder

Installing the reed switch holder was a simple process. Two holes were drilled into the gear board and countersunk bolts were installed to hold everything together. Since the device was small and plastic, instead of wood, it was easily strong enough to hold the gear in position for the picture shown below. A wood piece that size might break along the grain.

Reed switch holder installed

Electronic hardware was mounted into the control enclosure. These parts won't be visible during operation but they were labeled for demonstration purposes since this could be a presentation for children learning to code. For this reason, a full-sized Arduino UNO was chosen instead of a smaller and cheaper knockoff.

Boards installed on control enclosure side

Schematics were redrawn to account for all the changes since the first set was drafted. More detail was added to show individual wires instead of simply implying a connection with a single line.

Colored schematics

Some of the hardware intended for the control enclosure would be difficult to mount directly to the sides. The headphone socket was intended to be mounted into a thin-walled chassis and the switch, shown below, required a square hole. Cutting square holes is possible but prone to error and guaranteed to be time consuming. 3D models were created which would allow plates to be printed to adapt circular and rectangular holes.

Switch and printed adapter

Codebender.cc, a personal favorite of mine, stopped operation. Code for the Clockwork Theremin was migrated to create.arduino.cc and at the same time it was changed to work with and Arduino UNO instead of an Arduino Pro Mini.

Work on the Clockwork Theremin stopped there for now. A project which had been put on hold years ago, Color/Touch, was brought out of the closet, dusted off and restarted. Color/Touch was killed by scope creep and overwhelming complications in the electronics. At one point, a circuit board was designed and that was overkill for the project. Serious, SERIOUS overkill. One morning, inspiration struck and all the complications associated with creating and ordering a circuit board vanished when the idea of simply ordering LED light strips came to me. They can be ordered with individually addressable LEDs, for a premium price but that meant there was no need for a custom circuit board.

LED strips and control board

Attaching everything to the wall was another complication since the insides had to be accessible during installation. This was solved by adding a base plate that could be attached by bolts through the lid. It destroyed the smooth cosmetic look on the surface but it was a good step. Switch wires connected to the controller on the baseboard by a six conductor ribbon cable and header pins. These were originally ordered for connecting the custom circuit boards together.

Switches installed in lid


A control board was soldered with all the necessary connections for making the controller talk to the lights and switches. This was nothing more than a piece of protoboard with wires soldered to the underside.  Creating a small custom circuit board for this part of the project would be important if a large number of Color/Touch needed to be produced.

Underside of control board

Code needed significant rework. The previous iteration had 16 LEDs while this one has 76. Some of the modes weren't meant to work with such a high density of LEDs. Code changes took two days and it was tempting to start from scratch.

Changes in light colors




 

Disclaimer for http://24hourengineer.blogspot.com/

This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by  Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.

Friday, December 23, 2016

2016-12-22 (Th) Color/Touch

Everything was finally connected. The code was uploaded to the controller but it took extra time because libraries had to be installed. They had been lost since the last upload due to a different computer. Installing libraries has gotten easier since then. Specifically the bounce2 library and Adafruit’s NeoPixel library. At first, the LED strip turned red to a point. It seemed like a good start.

Partially lit light strips

Investigating the light strip revealed that it was not fully lighting due to a piece of solder slag stuck between a data pin and Vcc. Once this was removed the light strip fully lit. Some button pressing even managed to elicit some color changing function, not sure which one.

 Fully lit and changing colors

Previously, animation was limited to sixteen lights but now it is seventy-six lights. It wasn’t obvious with a few lights but there is a definite delay between color changes. This value was programmed to 150ms in the code so it may have to be cut by 80% since there are nearly five times as many lights.

Light changes


The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?


Completed projects from year 1.

Completed projects from year 2.

Completed projects from year 3.


Disclaimer for http://24hourengineer.blogspot.com/

This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.

2016-12-14 (W)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

2016-12-21 (W) Color/Touch

Changes to the hardware meant changes to the software. Since the number of LEDs was more than quadrupled, the code needed some alterations. When it was written, the number of LEDs was nearly set in stone so some of the numbers were hard coded into many places. Places where the code explicitly referred to sixteen total LEDs or four LEDs per panel were changed. Four panels is likely going to be the most ever built into a single Color/Touch.

In the old code the LEDs went sequentially through the panels. In other words, all the LEDs were wired in a sequence so the addresses of each panel were in a row. This changed with the new hardware. A large matrix was written which calls out the address of each light associated with each panel. It could have been written as a mathematical function but it would have been awful. Using an even number of LEDs in each strip would have helped clean that up too. Perhaps in V3.0.

Matrix for figuring out the LED addresses




An issue with the switches resulted in unwanted behavior. There was a short between the reed switch, which controlled the mode, and one of the panel switches. When one switch was activated it simultaneously activated the other. The problem was that pressing a quadrant would change the mode instead of changing LED colors. A short sketch was written which simply reported when a button was pressed. A continuity meter determined that the short was on the control board and jagged wire insulation could be seen near the 2x3 header pins. The faulty wire was replaced and the short went away. Debugging can continue.

Problematic wire

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?


Completed projects from year 1.

Completed projects from year 2.

Completed projects from year 3.


Disclaimer for http://24hourengineer.blogspot.com/

This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.

2016-12-14 (W)

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

2016-12-20 (Tu) Color/Touch

Instead of soldering the data pin from the Arduino to the LED strips, a screw terminal was soldered to the control board and the data wire was soldered to the strip. This modularity allowed the control board to be removed, or serviced, without the need for a soldering iron. While it shouldn’t be necessary to move the board it should make it easier to troubleshoot the first build.

Screw terminal and data wire

Connections on the underside of the circuit board were soldered. None of the connections specific to the board, like switch connnections, LED data, common grounds and Vcc were visible. Only the components were visible from the top. This was a matter of style on my part since the control board won’t be visible during operation.

Circuit board underside


The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?


Completed projects from year 1.

Completed projects from year 2.

Completed projects from year 3.


Disclaimer for http://24hourengineer.blogspot.com/

This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.

2016-12-11 (Su)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2016-12-19 (M) Color/Touch

1/4" (6.3mm) quick-disconnect ends were crimped onto wires and installed on the switches. Wires were left long so they could be trimmed when the exact distance was known.

Wired switches

A reed switch had a couple wires soldered to the ends and heat-shrink tubing held everything together. No good method, aside from glue, was decided for adhering the switch in the middle of the device.

 Reed switch with wires

All switch wires were run to a circuit board which was arranged next to where the controller will be mounted. The circuit board held a 2x3 header socket identical to the one used for the controller circuit board. A jumper cable will go between the two when the device is closed up. The six connections were perfect for the cable, GND, reed, switch1, switch2, switch3, and switch4.

Switches wired to circuit board

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?


Completed projects from year 1.

Completed projects from year 2.

Completed projects from year 3.


Disclaimer for http://24hourengineer.blogspot.com/

This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.

2016-12-10 (Sa)

Monday, December 19, 2016

2016-12-18 (Su) Color/Touch

Roughly two years ago work on the Color/Touch stopped. Scope-creep ultimately put this project into a tailspin. Adding sound was a headache which should have been a simple addition but doubled the programming work and quadrupled the electronics. It has been removed for this version. LED mounting was a hassle. LEDs were being held to the back board with hot glue and stiff wire. The stiff wire didn’t hold things in place, it pried them off the board.

Removing sound was the first step to restarting the project. The next jolt was the idea of replacing the glued-on LEDs with LED strips. Individually addressable LED strips were not cheap, even when ordered from China without express shipping. Regardless, a five meter strip was ordered months ago when the idea struck.

Restarting hasn’t been a fast process.

Enough background.
----------

Power to each of the LED strips will be run to the center of each strip. This will ensure the shortest amount of wire between LEDs and the source on average. If the strips were hooked end-to-end or kept as a single strip the LEDs toward the end could suffer from low power.

Power wires and control board

A control board was started which would hold the controller and all the components with which it communicates. The necessary components were soldered to the board but none of them were connected. Screw terminals for all the LED power wires were added. A 2x6 header was attached for connection to the frame-mounted switches. Two rows of header sockets were connected to receive the controller, an Arduino Pro Mini.

Underside of control board

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?


Completed projects from year 1.

Completed projects from year 2.

Completed projects from year 3.


Disclaimer for http://24hourengineer.blogspot.com/

This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.

2016-11-27 (Su)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

2016-12-17 (Sa) Clockwork Theremin

Schematics were redrawn. A first draft was sketched months ago but a few things, like the power supply, have changed. Many of the features haven’t changed but the first schematics were nothing more than a block diagram which simply showed a connection between devices, no specific pin names were included.

One of the next steps will be to wire the devices inside the control enclosure and clear schematics will be integral to that. Some things do not need elaborate breakdowns of the wires, like a USB cable but connections with individual wires, like between the Arduino and the motor drivers, do need detailed schematics.

Two pages of colored schematics

Downloads:
Parts list:

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?


Completed projects from year 1.

Completed projects from year 2.

Completed projects from year 3.


Disclaimer for http://24hourengineer.blogspot.com/

This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.

2016-12-14 (W)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

2016-12-16 (F) 2 Cyborgs and a Microphone EPISODE 015


Episode fifteen was published. Yesterday I was worried that there wouldn't be anything to talk about and it would be a short episode. Instead, there was enough to fill a full episode. There was a recording problem and you may enjoy the episode more if you listen first then read the problem I had editing.

Okay.

For some reason, my audio came through on Tim's stream. Even worse, it wasn't the nice clean audio from my microphone, it was the low-quality audio from a phone headset. Tim and I usually connect with a phone call or Google Hangouts voice call and record our audio separately. Then, in editing, I splice the two together and get rid of any noise. In a couple instances, it's possible to hear my tinny, second-hand audio from Tim's feed but 98% of that was cut out.

This was our last episode of the calendar year! If you're celebrating a holiday, we at 2xCb+Mic wish you the best. If you're not celebrating, we hope you had a great year and 2017 is also great. If you don't recognize this as the last month of the year AND you don't celebrate any holidays I hope you enjoyed the episode.

I have an ear with the mechanical covering


Ad spot for 2 Cyborgs and a Microphone

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2.
Completed projects from year 3.



This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.


2016-11-16 (W)

Friday, December 16, 2016

2016-12-15 (Th) 2 Cyborgs and a Microphone


Episode fifteen was about the biohacking community. This was a subject I feared we would run out of things to talk about after a couple minutes. But we both had good opinions to share. It may turn into a short episode but the content seemed solid.

Tim was worried because he was not an active user on the biohack.me forum while I monitor it daily and post occasionally. Biohack.me is the most active and prolific gathering of biohackers that I'm aware of. Fortunately, we had lots to talk about.

Tim has a regular looking ear, I look nuts


Ad spot for 2 Cyborgs and a Microphone

The rest of the posts for this project have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1.
Completed projects from year 2.
Completed projects from year 3.



This disclaimer must be intact and whole. This disclaimer must be included if a project is distributed.

All information in this blog, or linked by this blog, are not to be taken as advice or solicitation. Anyone attempting to replicate, in whole or in part, is responsible for the outcome and procedure. Any loss of functionality, money, property or similar, is the responsibility of those involved in the replication.

All digital communication regarding the email address 24hourengineer@gmail.com becomes the intellectual property of Brian McEvoy. Any information contained within these messages may be distributed or retained at the discretion of Brian McEvoy. Any email sent to this address, or any email account owned by Brian McEvoy, cannot be used to claim property or assets.

Comments to the blog may be utilized or erased at the discretion of the owner. No one posting may claim property or assets based on their post.

This blog, including pictures and text, is copyright to Brian McEvoy.


2016-11-03 (Th)