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powool

Member Since: January 3, 2006

Country: United States

Profile

Role

Genetics research programmer

Spoken Languages

English

Programming Languages

Many (lately mostly C++ and python)

Universities

University of Michigan

Expertise

Designed and deployment of hardware and software for use in high throughput or high volume analytics.

Interests

Micro controllers, vintage electronics (50’s/60’s tube gear), military vehicles and aircraft, restoring muscle cars.

  • Ford wiper motors are also known for seizing from corrosion. You can drill an access hole in it, and blast in a lot of wd-40, pblaster, or whatever your favorite spray stuff is…

    The switch sounds like it is toast - easier to get a new one. The 9A it was drawing is consistent with a stalled motor.

  • To find the balloon, get someone to take you for a flight in a Cessna 152 or similar over the area - you should be able to spot it from the air quite readily, then you coordinate with ground based recovery. I had to find a large model airplane that way once (saw it instantly from 750 ft agl).

  • It’s fine to resell them for practice soldering, but kindly drill or dremel them so they can’t be mistaken for legitimate parts.

  • My comments are about V2.0 of this board, built early 2010.
    First off, the price was excellent - I see it immediately got raised, which is shame, but it is still a high value.
    The kit is easy to assemble, but probably not for a novice, as mentioned elsewhere the polarized capacitors are intended to mounted with the ground closest to the switch. The resistors are easiest to place if you just use a meter to check them first. The pushbutton and power switch required some bending to get them installed.
    I bought a pair of these boards- one to use as a cap meter, the other to hack.
    The header J8 is a 6 pin programming header and matches the pin cable on my USBtinyISP programmer. However, the spacing of the pins is not .1, but something smaller, so I had to use two individual 1x3 headers, bending the pins inwards slightly to get them to fit. The result works fine for my purposes.
    I put a 28 pin socket in for the processor, and installed a fresh ATMega 168 (pin for pin compatible with the ATMega 48). I had no problem programming it (and powering it) with the provided programming header.
    An excellent little board for hacking and experimenting with, plus it includes some nice LEDs! I like it a lot!

  • It was a geek lottery, and I lost - what else is new?
    We should all be grateful that we have Sparkfun to spark at!
    I’ll be back shopping tomorrow, same as always… :)

  • The kit I got has very slight misalignments in the button bezel holes in the circuit board, so that the bezel distorts slightly when being screwed together. As a result, the buttons don’t lay flat and key well. I bought a reamer this weekend, so I’ll use that to enlarge the holes, which should fix this problem.
    For a possible re-design, I think I’d put just a tiny bit more room in the components around the bezel so that it has fewer interference points.
    Otherwise, this is an enjoyable kit to put together.

  • WWVB is almost next door: http://tf.nist.gov/stations/wwvb.htm
    If they used an AM radio driving audio into a sound card, ntpd can sync probably within a millisecond of the correct time. But there’s probably a ton of time geeks in the area with stratum-1 ntp servers, too.

No public wish lists :(