Blogs Posts

Hmmm as usual the blog hasn’t seem much activity.

Unfortunately its the opposite of what’s actually happening and is more a symptom of me having fun with projects.

Ive been doing a ton of fun projects, Ive just been super lazy when it comes to blogging about these<sigh>….with work taking a large chunk of my time, project time has been too short and I usually flip from one project to another :D…I’m sure you know how it gets.

I’m also finding is that I usually do lengthy posts on formus or post directly to sites like Thingiverse and so doesnt end here where it should be….up on the blog 🙁

So I’m make a note to self to change this!

Please keep an eye out for some past projects in the coming days/week that I’ll repost up on my blog.

Also the Blog is on bad need a a bit of house keeping, so I think I’ll be looking at this including my taxonomy.

In the meantime feel free to browse my thingiverse designs: http://www.thingiverse.com/seaton/designs

RaspberryPi Event – SWMakers Bunbury

We have an up and coming Raspberry Pi event for the the South West Makers, it’s going to be a fairly casual get-together, but will be RPi orientated for those wanting to get their feet wet on the RPi, and also a chance to show off and chat about other projects you have on the go.

Continue reading “RaspberryPi Event – SWMakers Bunbury”

Update;Yes I’m still here!

I’m still alive…… Its been awhile between blog entries, unfortunately this is the busiest time of the year for me at work, the few months after the Australian financial year, projects are kicking off due to funding etc. There is however light at the end of the tunnel and I’m hoping to get back to geeking very soon 😀
Continue reading “Update;Yes I’m still here!”

Blog new name

As “Everything Robotics” just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore (I can just here the comments as people stumble across the site “hmm not much robotics happening here”). 

The blog now has a new name “Strobotics” (Stro-botics) which seems to reflect the content a little better don’t you think?

A new domain strobotics.com.au is now active, but the site is still pointing to the old domain for the time being.  I will eventually move everything over to the new domain,  I will however keep all domains pointing to this site indefinitely.

Follow me on Twitter / Strobit Update

I know I’m a bit slack in updates on the blog.  If you haven’t noticed I now have a twitter account  http://www.twitter.com/madeinoz so you can follow what I’m doing when it’s not getting updated here.

However since the blog is way over due for an update here is what’s been happening in a nutshell.

Strobit Trigger:

I have finally gotten off my butt and done a redesign (hah and you thought the project had died a slow death, it may have stalled slowed, but certainly not dead!)

Features worthy of note in the new design (in no particular order):

  • 3V design, will run from x2 AA Alkaline or single CR123A 3V battery.
  • Fairly compact board, 30mm x 70mm. (without battery)  slightly lalonger on 2.4ghz design due to antenna.
  • Onboard on/off switch to save batteries when not in use.
  • FTDI 3.3v breakout cable port for connecting to either RS232 or USB using the FTDI cable.
  • Onboard ISCP port for programming.
  • Personality daughter boards.  Will allow users to create their own hardware modules, i.e. sound trigger, light trigger, LCD UI, or whatever they like etc
  • Atmega168V processor, low cost, low voltage design = longer battery life.
  • Can run Arduino bootloader, so developers have access to Arduino development libraries.
  • I’ve designed 2 different boards.  One using the RFM12B module at either 433Mhz or 915Mhz.  The second board I’m going to try a 2.4GHZ design using Microchips FCC certified MRF24J40MA 802.15.4 module, this is purely experimental so I don’t have any testing done yet, but I have some of these modules and would like to try them out, also being FCC certified will be an added benefit.  (not to mention I’ll be using these for a mesh sensor network project I have planned around the house)
  • RFM12B board design has external SMA antenna.
  • Base PCB board designs are done and I’m fairly happy with them so far, I’m just finishing a basic personality modules which I can used for testing and maybe another one so I can make up the  max designs I can have on a single panelized board (may as well get the most designs I can get fabricated when I send it off to GoldPheonix).  I’ve done some initial Eagle3D runs to get an idea of the boards and so I can post them on the blog, but I really need to learn how to create components in Eagle3D as it leaves unknown components blank, i.e. the RF modules and therefore looks incomplete.  (anyone that can help me here please contact me)

Still To Do:

  • Panelize boards
  • Send to GoldPheonix for PCB fabrication.
  • Assemble and test.

I’ve also been playing with learning Alibre, a fantastic 3D design package (they have a free version) so I can get some ideas for building enclosures design for these boards.

RFM12B PCB

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MRF24J40MA PCB

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Repartition Blues

Unfortunately development has ground to a halt for me. 

Whilst repartitioning my laptop to give my system drive some more space (I REALLY dislike the default DELL partitioning of 20GB for c: and the rest for d:), I lost my development drive (and the rest of my data drive as well) with all my recent work on it, like the latest pcb I finished yesterday.  Luckily I have most of it backed up, however murphys law now comes into play and some of it was not. 

To cut a long store short I’ve had to resort to lowlevel recovery of my files, which at this point looks like I’ll recover 100% of my data…phew, but its slow work doing sector level file recovery of a 140GB worth of data!

On a brighter side, just received a shipping notice from batchpcb that my first lot of header boards for the RFM12 has been shipped, I’m hoping that they arrives before Christmas so I can play with them over the break.  My 2×6 2mm headers also arrived earlier this week.

Life….

Well it’s certianly been a long since my last post, sorry!  Between getting married and christmas (all on the same day lol), and the kids going back to school, my geeking (as my wife likes to call it) has been taking a back seat lately i.e. not a whole lot happening.  However I have managed to squeeze in bit of learning.  The first getting myself familiarilised with PIC micros, the picaxe although brilliant for small jobs, I have found to be limited, i.e. no timers etc.  so I have been playing around with their big brothers.  The fist learning project was a serial LCD using the 16F84,  I’m using the brilliant Sourceboost BoostC Compiler ( http://www.sourceboost.com/ ) 

Also came across a brilliant DSP guide in an easy to understand language and not heaps  if heavy maths , and its FREE for the online book http://www.dspguide.com/, this really made the light go on, ding! with the Ahh I get it in the smoke and mirrors world of DSP.    I’m definately looking at purchasing a hard cover version.