Friday, January 16, 2015

Reddit Secret Santa 2014

Jenn and I participated in the Reddit Secret Santa this past Christmas. We got matched and sent out our gifts. Jenn got her giftee a poster of the stadium that her giftee liked the team of, a copy of the Cosmos book, and then crocheted a team color stocking. I got mine some a couple signed comic books from an artist he liked and a copy of "A is for Armageddon".

We then waited for our gifts.

And waited.

And waited.

And got nothing.

I was put back into the pool and got re-matched instantly. Jenn's Secret Santa had marked that they shipped, but nothing ever showed up. She marked that she didn't get anything but wasn't re-matched this time.

Yesterday, I got the first of two boxes that my re-match sent.
Vas is Das?
Oh no, Johnny Five! You've been Empire Strikes Back C3PO'ed.
Opening up the box, I found... a... disassembled bluetooth speaker. Hrm, Jawbone Jambox  I managed to plug it in and got the most loudest hiss ever and the speaker angrily buzzed and was just horrible.

Put it onto my workbench
On the workbench
I don't have a bluetooth speaker and having one on my workbench would be nice. Having to fix my gift isn't really a problem, I was just hoping it was fixable. With as loud as that static was, this would be a great speaker to use while I work.

So, I did a little futzing around and came to the idea that the non-removable battery probably died (as a lot of people on Jawbone's website complain about). I disassembled it the rest of the way...

1.21 Gigawatts later
1.21 Gigawatts later
It looks like the battery was spitting out 3.3v. So, I desoldered the original batter and put on my own. I have a USB->Serial board that I have been using to load some ESP8266's with that puts out 3.3v from USB plug. So I hooked it up and it worked fine. Now, leaving it plugged in this way kind of defeats the purpose of being a portable speaker, so I started looking for a replacement and realized that it takes the same battery as...

Now you are Playing with Power!
Now you are Playing with Power!
The Nintendo DS.

I have a few of these batteries spare from repairing systems, so I soldered it on and let it charge.

The speaker works great. Now I just need to reassemble it.

And reassembled.
And now it has been reassembled and is playing music via bluetooth on battery power.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Hi from Batesville

I am waving at the passing Google car.
Earlier this year, Google caught me on film just outside of the Hill-Rom manufacturing plant. Hello out there in Internet-land.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lain's First Week of Summer 2014


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My patent application!

Oooh! A patent I helped on with Klaffenbach at Bausch and Lomb got submitted. I got to make a sweet GUI as well as the microcontroller for our prototype of this.

Ophthalmic multiple wavelength laser illuminator with a graphical user interface
The GUI interface for it
The link to the patent application:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tiny PC Person Status Update 2014-04-16

Here is a video demonstration of my current progress. It is starting to look really good. As some side items, I generated up a pcb on Fritzing that I am getting a few made to be able to then work on  a box to put it all in.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Arduino Day 2014

This last Saturday was Arduino day, where around the world there were seminars and projects being shown off. St. Louis didn't have any local events, so I watched a few of the online presentations and worked on my Little Computer Person project. I had a lot of similar code for the project written for a Windows app.

After a chunk of code rewriting, I was able to shoehorn in a minimal AI and pathfinding algorithm.  For the project, I am using a Teensy 3.1 and the ST7735 LCD. Most of the fighting I had to do was converting my code from a C++ 11 implementation to it. After 2 days, it all came together.

Now, my little guy will build up a queue of things to do and walk to the positions where those things will be, using the stairs correctly to get between floors.

Currently, with 2 sprites and all the AI processing, I get about 30 frames per second with no flickering.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Cosmos revival

Last night, Jenn and I took Lain to a special screening of the new Cosmos series at the McDonnell planetarium. We arrived later than I would have liked and were lucky to get in the overflow and take a spot for press members who didn't show up. Of the 100 press spots, only 10 were used. Thank Talos that science isn't newsworthy. Ann Druyan even commented something similar about that in the Q&A

The episode was very similar to the original's first episode where it explains the size of the cosmos both in size and time. It then goes in to tell the story of Giordano Bruno, who was persecuted by the Christian church for having the gall to believe that the Earth isn't the only thing their God made and that the cosmos is infinite.

During the Q&A, Ann Druyan commented that today's knowledge gatekeepers are adults and that they should let children imagine and dream and let them test their dreams for proofs.

I am excited for the rest of the series.