2018-04-07 (Sa) Weekly Summary

There were technical difficulties with this show. They were all on my side. Firstly, the microphone I was using was meant for phone calls, not high-fidelity recording and it kept rubbing against my hoodie. Second, the microphone which was supposed to be doing the actual recording was connected to a computer which shut off partway through the show, so I was left with poor audio ripped from the YouTube broadcast. Less than ideal. Here is our unedited video recording of episode 47 and here is the show page for the edited podcast with episode 047.
Brian - Left _____ Tim - Right

Titles are not my forté, so one of the Hackday editors gets credit for this title which is fitting and appropriate for the article. I found it as a month-old tip, but it was gold. I don't know a lot about CNC mills, but I saw the value in this immediately.

It was time to start on a new technical project, so I picked one which was just dying to get out. I have been infatuated with my mechanical keyboard, and I keep fantasizing about the expensive improvements and upgrades, but I want my desire to benefit other people. All the designs and ideas I had in mind were similar so it made sense to break them into modules so people could customize them to their own needs without having to buy parts they didn't want.

Hand sketches of ModuKey plans

The whole project was going to be built around the Teensy-LC because it could use the accessible Arduino IDE and it was easy to add a socket where it could be replaced in case of a failure or damage.

Each module of the project would communicate with the I2C protocol to allow for a lot of inputs, up to 128 switches. The base module would only include a socket for the Teensy and a clever arrangement of header pins along the sides which would facilitate communication.

 Schematic of the controller board

In the layout of the first board and the controller board, the pins along the side show a different pattern on each side. Only four connections are necessary between each board, but sixty-four are present so that the boards can be placed adjacent, but they don't have to be exactly aligned. The boards can be offset up to 1.6" (40.96mm) in either direction, and there will always be enough connections next to one another that long jumpers won't be necessary. This will require a video explanation in the future.

Board layout for 1x4

While writing for Hackaday I see stuff I wouldn't otherwise come across, and I get to share that. This tip was an old video with Terry Gilliam from Monty Python's Flying Circus fame, and he was talking about how he did the animations for the show. They were distinctive, and it turns out, relatively simple. They might have even been partially responsible for the animation in South Park.

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