Member Since: January 21, 2015

Country: United States


hardware dude that knows a little about software/firmware

  • Hey Shawn,

    Good article. I almost commented after your first antenna effort, but didn't want to seem overly critical as the wiki you were following had some good general ideas. I would like to second #394180's comments below about the ARRL books though. Being a long-time ham, I have learned a lot about antennas from reading through the ARRL Handbook (which is republished every year, so stories and information varies).

    Biota's original instructable has a few minor issues that are addressed in fairly good depth in the instructable's comments. The higher yield comments concern using copper wire instead of paperclips, and using an regular dipole instead of the folded dipole as the driven element. Lot's of good discussion on his site, but these are two things that will yield a better antenna and more consistent construction results.

    The ARRL books take you through the math with some fairly simplified formulas, but there is also a lot of antenna lore and rules-of-thumb that you can get out of it that are a big help. In general though, putting ANY kind of reasonably matched external antenna is going to greatly improve your wifi connectivity. I have little experience building circularly polarized antennas, but I have read some interesting things about them in the ARRL Handbook and agree that that will probably have the best results in this case.

    Thanks for the continuing good thoughts.

  • Cool project! I like your improvised vacuum forming setup.

    We used to do this in wood shop (back in the day...) and there are a lot of instructables that show how if searching DIY vacuum forming. Most of them look pretty much like the setup we used (or you used) except to say it is much easier if you use an oven to heat up the plastic. We could form 1/4" thick plexiglass fairly easily.

    Hadn't thought of that for a project container.... great idea!

  • These ATtiny parts are incredibly handy, thanks for the excellent tutorial!

  • SparkFun got a nice little write-up for this board on the Hackaday site

    The consensus seems to be that we like Nate's new direction. Keep up the good work!

  • It would be interesting to see if a Taser-resistant garment could be made out of this stuff... The resistance might be too high. Curious.

  • Jimbo,

    I don't know if you're still monitoring this thread, but what are SparkFun's plans regarding Eagle in consideration of Autodesk's recent announcement that they are moving to a subscription only pricing model (except for the free version...)?

  • Great thread! Star Trek and Adventure were the first two games I remember playing on a computer ('70's), usually over a 300 baud modem (we actually had after hour access to a company computer where we used slightly faster serial connections on Lear Sieglers). I have seen and played Rude Trek, so can verify that it once existed!

  • Interesting topic, Nick!

    Back in the day (mid-70's), if you wanted to do anything "maker-like" in West Texas your choice was basically shop class. I was in wood shop middle school through high school, but metal shop was also an option. I tried about a half semester of electronics my junior year, but figured out pretty quick that I already knew more about electronics than the teacher did - so went back to wood shop.

    The guys like me with any interest in electronics could join the ham radio club (which we did), and find part time jobs at the stereo shoes after school (which we also did) - CB shops were also an option we participated in back then.

    As you mentioned, the shop teacher was always good for getting us a pass out of class to work on a project. I was one of the real oddballs, as I was taking all honors classes and high level math and science stuff - and then wood shop. I remember all the adults that I knew were always telling me that (with my interests, math, science, etc.) I needed to be an engineer. Unfortunately, nobody I knew could explain what an engineer did! Turns out they were correct, but I was well into first year electrical engineering before I started to figure out what an engineer does. I remember having a hard time not treating my core engineering classes as electives because I was having fun in them! This couldn't be the serious stuff if you were having fun!

    Even in college (early 80's), you still had to get creative to learn things we now associate with makers. I'm a big supporter of the schools having maker spaces to encourage the kids to explore where they want to go. Perhaps like you, I was able to wrangle my way into situations back in school where I could come up with ways to learn the kind of things I wanted to know. However, I remember having a lot of friends in college that were frustrated because they had never been able to figure out how to learn these things. The school sponsored maker spaces are a great way to help people learn the things they want.

    I've been happy to see the amount of effort SparkFun puts into education. Keep up the good work!

  • I just got one of the MicroViews without a boot loader from the 4/1/2016 Arduino Day sale - I had assumed they were all gone/reprogrammed by now (I knew there was an April Fool's joke in there somewhere!). The price was good enough that I didn't mind a few extra steps. I used the Arduino Uno as ISP method described above and had no issues at all. Even popping the top cover off (and back on) was fairly easy.

    Thanks for a good tutorial!

  • Yep, this seems to be the issue. When I went down the Customize Installation path and deselected "Update firmware image" (neither of which I had done before) I was able to get an install on my OS X 10.9 machine. It seems the XDK installer isn't compatible with having Xcode open under Yosemite (10.10), so after quitting Xcode it installed correctly on the 10.10 machine also.

    Thanks Shawn, I appreciate the help!

No public wish lists :(