The first order of business is a reminder that SparkFun will be very short-staffed starting at 12 pm through the rest of the day today, July 21st. Most of the staff will be on our SparkFun summer excursion - this year, we are going to a Rockies game at Coors Field! Wonder if we can convince them to let us play with the JumboTron electronics? Perhaps...
A few of the engineers here at SparkFun, including our CEO Nate Seidle, have been volunteering their time at at a local kid's museum called World of Wonder (WOW). At first, they mostly fixed buttons, switches, and the like. They also gained a newfound respect for those individuals that build museum displays. Building electronics is challenging, but building projects to withstand having hundreds of kids "play" with them each day is even more so.
What you see in the picture above is called the Illumitune - basically an infrared harp that uses IR sensors, lights, and some other cool electronics to create a unique display of light, sound, and color. And it was broken. And they wanted Nate to fix it. Naturally, there were no schematics, firmware, or supporting information of any kind - this project would be a fun one!
So Nate set out to make it work. After some trial and error, he got Illumitune up-and-running. He documented his experiences in a tutorial - Lessons from Re-Building Illumitune. Check it out! What should he have done differently? What did he do that was great? We think there is a lot to be learned from this cool experience.