MSO Demo Board

MSO Demo Board

Last Update:  09/24/2013

Status:  Done

Github:  https://github.com/baldengineer/Mixed-Signal-Oscilloscope-Demo-Board

Abstract

As a member of the TechShop in Austin, TX I teach a class on Electronics Measurements.  The class includes a variety of test equipment like power supplies, DMMs, and Rigol oscilloscopes.  One of the oscilloscopes is a Rigol DS1052D which is a “Mixed Signal Oscilloscope.”  In addition to the two 100MHz analog channels, the scope also include 16 digital channel channels.  It is a logic analyzer and oscilloscope in one!

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Prototyping quadrotor arm mounts with MakerBot Replicator 2

While practicing the Quadrotor‘s motor mounts on a Shopbot gave me experience in how to register two sides for milling, I didn’t want to invest the time required for the arm mounts.  So I decided to make use of the MakerBot Replicator 2 to print physical samples in PLA.  Time per piece went from about an hour to about 15 minutes.

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Building a custom Quadcopter from scratch

A couple of years ago I started looking at what it would take to make a quadcopter.  At the time, I only had the limited tools at the Austin hackerspace available to me (which I don’t think even has a space anymore).  So I shelved the idea since I didn’t see a time effective way to make any of the components.  Fast forward to a few months ago when I joined the TechShop in Austin.  Now I have no excuses to not make a custom Quadrotor.

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Custom Made Quadrotor – Overview

Custom quadrotor 3d modeled

Status:  Active, In Progress (Updated: 4/18/2013)

Abstract

Pictures:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmiyc/sets/72157633185131473/with/8653034709/

This Quadrotor project is a collaborative effort between Mike Kurdziel and I. The unique twist on this collaboration is that he is located in Menlo Park, CA and I am in Austin, TX. We’re collaborating remotely while doing most of work on the TechShop locations in each of our towns.

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Revision 2 of the open source reflow solder oven is done!

One of the projects I really wanted to get back to when I joined the Austin TechShop was my Reflow Oven based on a Toaster Oven.  The first prototype I made was a mess of AC wiring boxes with an Arduino sitting on the side.  While the oven did work, it was far from pretty.  Making use of the laser cutter, large workspaces, and friendly members at TS Austin, I was finally able to put together my 2nd prototype.

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LED Matrix Arduino Shield

Abstract

After getting a couple of flashing lights working on a microprocessor, the next fun project is generally building some kind of Matrix.  At first I built a 5×5 LED matrix which was relatively simple to solder together.  When trying to make one much larger, the task because significantly more complex.  That’s when I decided to build a LED Matrix Shield for the Arduino which did not use Charliplexing, like the LoL shield.  I wanted something that was simpler to understand and (ultimately) code for.  Unfortunately, 5mm LEDs means 8 columns x 6 rows, instead of the traditional 8×8.

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BinBoo: Building the front panel LEDs

Short build-lapse video of building up the front panel “matrix” used in BinBoo.  This isn’t a true LED matrix.  Instead it combining all of the LEDs into a common Anode, since the Cathodes are all controlled by individual outputs of the TLC5940.

I decided to wire up 16 LEDs, even though a binary clock only needs 11 or 12.  This gives some flexibility to other uses for the box, like a random sci-fi computer pattern.

Project Page:  BinBoo = Binary clock + Bamboo

(Accurate) RTC Shield Rev2

Accurate RTC Shield with Kapton Stencil

Accurate RTC Shield with Kapton Stencil

For the past couple of weeks I have been working with the DS3231 Maxim. This chip is a I2C based RTC with an integrated temperature compensated oscillator and crystal.This means despite changing temperature conditions, it will maintain a very accurate track of time. If you’re interested in the first rev of the PCB, let me know. I have a few available. They are functional, however, the prototyping area came bad.I have a set of new ones with a proper prototyping area, reset button, and power LED in process.

Check out more on the  Accurate RTC Shield Project Page

Soldermask as an air freshener

Melted Soldermask from a PCB

While testing my Toaster Oven’s maximum temperature I learned a valuable lesson. Soldermask has a pretty limited lifetime when it is exposed to temperatures above 250C. Looks like I need to spend some time building a temperature profile and not just brute forcing.

Build description here:  Open Vapors Reflow Oven Controller Project Page