Member Since: June 29, 2011

Country: United States



Boston Area IEEE Robotics & Automation Society http://www.robotics-boston.org/

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Objective C C++ Python Pascal C ARM Assembly THUMB Assembly PowerPC Assembly 68k Assembly




Robotics, Video Games, Anime, Board Games, Electric Vehicles, Go-Karts, Sailing, and Mythology

  • News - April Caption Contest | about 5 days ago

    Losing his bet that he could eliminate the need for a Mindwave by using meditation to link his mind to a trained carrier pigeon.

  • News - Enginursday: I'm Living I… | about a month ago

    On a related note, maybe SparkFun should have a circuit simulation forum, and somewhere on GitHub to host Spice Models (or, at least, links TO Spice Models)? The pesky questions I’ve been asking about models for this and that in the Sparkfun forum are probably in a not-quite-right place, and would likely be better served in a forum specific to that topic.

  • News - Enginursday: I'm Living I… | about a month ago

    The only thing not so great about Spice is when a component you need doesn’t have a model, or worse, has one, but ENCRYPTS it. That lp2985-33dbvr 3.3V regulator on the Arduino UNO and the Leonardo? It’s Spice model is encrypted by Texas Instruments, to only work with certain varieties of Spice simulator, of which LTSpice is not one. The MIC5205 doesn’t appear to have a simulation either. Being able to simulate the response of your regulator to your various ICs can be very important in debugging wonky behavior on your power rails.

    While one could argue that Arduino’s priority on being learnable and hackable hardware, or Open Source Hardware’s priority on being open, should extend to simulation models, I think it would be a mistake to choose a component by whether or not it has a widely available simulation. It would solve the problems of more people to just use a better quality part, and request they release a Spice model after the fact. Fortunately, Texas Instruments has a process for this (one of at least a few examples: http://e2e.ti.com/support/development_tools/webench_design_center/f/234/t/300299.aspx), so if we politely make a point, we might be able to get the model for that pesky lp2985-33dbvr regulator.

    Perhaps a certain SparkFun staffer would prefer to make the case for such a request by posting in the TI forum below? :) http://e2e.ti.com/support/development_tools/webench_design_center/f/234.aspx

  • News - Enginursday: Exploring th… | about 3 months ago

    Yeah, that’s what Arduino needs… Intel’s tired-ass ISA.

  • News - July Caption Contest | about 10 months ago

    A Sparkfun employee demonstrates to students the technique John Hancock used when signing the Declaration of Independence.

  • News - Engineering Roundtable - … | about 10 months ago

    Re-posted because you may have missed it the first time… please don’t hold it against me… ^_^;

    Nick, a couple of things…

    First, buying old pinball parts may be a good choice when you have an old machine you are trying to restore, but if you are trying to build a brand new machine, and AREN’T going for a particular look, there are consequences you should consider:

    Buying old pinball machine parts prevents restoration of an older machine. Let’s not advocate damaging history. :)

    Parts from an old pinball machine are likely rather worn.

    There are lots of places to buy brand new (that means RELIABLE) pinball parts from. Don’t resort to e-Bay!

    Second, you should make sure to do your physics homework on this one. You have to figure out the most efficient path for a pinball to take going up and down a playfield so that the ball isn’t losing too much (or too little) speed as it goes around your orbits and ramps.

    Third, some ideas for your play field and play modes:

    Use the Sparkfun Soldering Kits as “toys”. It just makes sense, and works well with a “Maker Faire” play mode. A stopwatch toy is obvious for an “AVC” play mode. An active webcam toy would be cool too, letting people scope out the action remotely from a playfield view!. XD It also works out well with a “New Product Friday” play mode. A blinky miniature Sparkfun Server toy would go well with the Free Day play modes and the “Friday New Product Post” play mode.

    Free Day 1: Hit drop targets spelling “Refresh” to activate. Within the time limit, hit the “Refresh Key” target repeatedly until the “Free Day” indicator/light/display message comes up, then fire the ball up the “Free Day” ramp to score.

    Free Day 2: Hit drop targets spelling “Captcha” to activate. Fire the ball into the pop bumpers to fill out a Captcha, and fire the ball up the “Free Day” ramp when it is correctly completed to score; repeat as possible within the time limit. One of the bumpers, or a nearby target, may inject a “spelling error” into the Captcha submission, requiring you to fire the ball up the “Free Day” ramp to clear it and start from scratch before trying again.

    Inventory Day: Jackpot starts at a high number and slowly ticks down; the faster you hit EVERY playfield element at least once, the larger the jackpot you receive. Kickbacks and extra balls should be activated to compensate for having to “take inventory” of the Outlanes.

    AVC Day: Fire the ball around the orbit 4 times, and fire the ball around the ramp 4 times (I presume in the same direction as the AVC itself, clockwise or counterclockwise). Each time you start an orbit or a ramp, a rollover starts a stopwatch; if you successfully complete the orbit, a rollover stops the stopwatch; the time is subtracted from the jackpot, so faster times will score more; if the ball falls prey to hazards, and does not complete the “course” (orbit or ramp), and the ball returns to the flippers, a rollover (or some other playfield switches) apply a “Did Not Finish” score penalty to the jackpot. Points are awarded after 4 attempts of the orbit and 4 attempts of the ramp are made.

    Maker Faire: Hit the playfield element for each toy to “solder” the kit. Then, test the kit to make sure you soldered the kit correctly; for instance, with the Simon kit, you have to hit the target corresponding to each Simon button. If you hit the targets in the Simon sequence displayed when you “soldered” the kit, you get a bonus for winning at Simon. After “soldering” the Big Time watch, fire through a spinner to set the correct time. A bonus if multiples of each kit are completed, and if all kits are completed at least once.

    Friday New Product Post (Multiball): After locking down “new products” (various toys scattered around the board), hit the target at the webcam to activate the New Product Post. Then, fire the pinballs through the ramp or orbit past the camera to “film the new products”, to increase the jackpot.

    Good luck with the pinball project! I look forward to hearing more about it!

  • News - So You Want to Learn FPGA… | about 10 months ago

    The biggest problem with FPGAs is that NONE of the development software is Mac compatible. Even MPLAB X is Mac compatible these days, and yet, no FPGA manufacturer has seen fit to release a Mac compatible FPGA IDE.

  • News - Your June Caption Contest | about 11 months ago

    Trying to go vegan isn’t working out… this Lilypad sure does scratch the roof of your mouth!

  • News - The AVC Is Less Than Two … | about 11 months ago

    But but but… I worked SO HARD on my dog powered Autonomous Vehicle!!! XD

    No, not really. :)

  • News - 3D Models of SparkFun Par… | last year

    Seconded on the tolerances; please include tolerances in the completed drawings; even “hand sanded” should have specified tolerances.

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