Member #134773

Member Since: May 19, 2010

Country: United States


I started playing with electronics in the mid-1960s, and with computers shortly after Neil Armstrong took "one small step". I got a degree in CS in 1980, and started working then as an engineer.

  • Quick update: Was in the aforementioned AZ Walmart on Wednesday, and decided to "splurge" and buy 6 more crayon boxes. Was pleasantly surprised when I checked out and they'd been reduced to $0.50 each! Today I decided to stop by another Walmart, and though I didn't find any more clear crayon boxes, they did have the "Stackable" style "Slim Supply Box" (i.e., a pencil box) marked down to $1.00 (from $1.88). They'll easily fit a full-sized solderless breadboard, though with not a lot of vertical clearance (so you might have to mash down some of the jumper wires). I went through maybe 1/3 of there stock, and got a half dozen clear ones.

  • Walmart is selling plastic "crayon boxes" for $1 a pop (at least in the stores I've checked in AZ and CT). They are a great size for small projects, such as one on a "half size" breadboards (though there's not a lot of vertical clearance), or an Arduino Uno. A Raspberry Pi Model B will also fit, though you'll have to do a LOT of "surgery" to get to all of the connectors.

    BTW, in the two stores I checked, the temporary "school supplies" section had great piles of them tinted in various colors. In the AZ store, I had time to go back into the permanent "office supplies" section, and found a few completely clear ones.

  • Drat... they're all gone! Sure hope this one makes it to a "regular" product!

  • And, if you don't want it riding around in the car, you could substitute a "human presence sensor" (e.g., motion sensor or range sensor) for the accellerometer and have some fun with it on Oct.31... ;-)

  • Great video! I especially liked the "twin" talking about the driver -- that was cute!

    I envy the kids today that have these sort of "learning toys" available. They're so much better than what I had back in the mid-60s. (BTW, I grew up as a "crippled child", unable to walk until about age 15. I'm now retired from a successful career in electronics and computers.)

  • Yay! Another option with a built in real time clock! (And some serious computing power to boot!) The folks designing the Teensy are mindful of the usefulness of a real RTC!

  • Yay! Almost feels like an instance of "ask and ye shall receive!" ;-)

  • It's an excellent tutorial for the beginner, though I have one minor quibble:

    There are several different technologies that have evolved over the past 30 years in electronics to define the various voltage levels.

    TTL first started appearing in the 1960s, and there were others earlier than TTL. If you include the rare vacuum tube logic, you can easily double the "30 years".

  • Although TTL and CMOS are by far the most common "level definitions", readers should be aware that there are.many others, although most of them are rare. There are even ones that use current rather than voltage to convey logic levels, but the typical hobbyist is very unlikely to encounter these.

  • I think this is a really neat idea!

    However, there's always room for improvement, so here are a couple of suggestions that come to mind if you decide to do a "production version":

    • Put a clearly marked set of holes for an "off-board switch" (e.g., a Big Red Dome)

    • Have a version with an RGB LED (maybe a NeoPixel?)

No public wish lists :(