Archive for the ‘soldering’ Category

My Griswold light show!

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As promised, here are some pics and a small video of my light show.

The controller for the lightshow is from solsticewerks.com.  It is a 16 channel controller, but I blew out a couple of channels so they stay lit all the time.  Here is a pic.

 

The light controller is in the center and it feeds all the light plugs.  The sockets are just screwed onto a 2X8 board and is set into a rubbermaid tub.  This worked pretty well in the rain.  I cut slits in the side of the tub to run the wires.  No water got into the tub whatsoever.

I also built a FM transmitter to play the song to car radios.  I made a sign.

 

The transmitter I used was a ramsey FM 10C http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/cgi-bin/commerce.exe?preadd=action&key=FM10C

It is a nice kit.  I would recommend it for this application.

 

 The software I used is Vixen.  http://www.vixenlights.com/

Now I need to get more songs to play.

Build Your Own Sumobot 2-Day Workshop

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Saturday, October 22, 2011 and  Sunday, October 23, 2011

2:00 PM - 6:00 PM (ET)

Don’t have a sumobot for this years competition and Halloween party? Want to be one of the cool kids? Do not be afraid the friendly folks at LVL1 are here to help.

Learn the basics of building a Sumobot! It’s a small autonomous 10cmX10cm robot that doesn’t like sharing the ring. More information about Sumobot competitions can be found here.


This workshop takes place over 2 afternoons; Saturday and Sunday. 2pm -6pm The workshop will cover soldering, construction, and programming of your own sumobot.
A laptop is required for both days for assembly and programming.

All parts, tools and equipment needed to build it will be provided. If you already have a FTDI cable for programming the microcontroller, you can save $15 with that ticket option. If you do not have this cable, purchase the full ticket including FTDI cable. A FTDI cable is common with Arduino variants and is very reusable.

http://wiki.lvl1.org/Sumobotsclass

10 total seats are available. Sign ups are open  http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2288210098

 

-Fire Tim

 

 

 

How to Build the World’s Lightest Quadrifilar Helix Antenna

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Another day, another repost from another project I’m working on. This time, from White Star Balloons, the world’s lightest quad helix antenna.

After the scrub on the launch pad for flight attempt A, we went back to the books, to try and figure out what we could do to improve our odds the next time around. One of our biggest setbacks was the inability make an antenna suitable for our use: We needed an antenna tuned for 149 MHz, not needing a ground plane, weighing as little as possible.

After 4 tries, and some expensive test equipment, the end result was a Quadrifilar Helix antenna weighing only 80 grams!

Our ground test antenna was a 5/8ths wave whip antenna, which works well, but unfortunately needs a ground plane. Tests with both a quarter-wave dipole and a J-pole antenna were lackluster. Documentation from our satellite service provider implied that a quadrifilar helix antenna would provide the best coverage at all. While these antennas are pretty, their design and construction was voodoo magic at first.

Thanks to some design documentation here: http://jcoppens.com/ant/qfh/index.en.php and some help from the balloon community, we had some baselines for creating such an antenna. We still went through *quite* a few revisions.  We went through 3 revisions that didn’t work, and one which works pretty darn well!

Here are the antennas which didn’t work:

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MintiBoost workshops 12/6 and 12/18

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Just in time for the holidays! Build a small & simple, but very powerful USB charger for your iPod, iPhone, mp3 player, camera, cell phone, and just about any other gadget you can plug into a USB port to charge! Perfect holiday gift! Only $35 – cheap!

Sign up for the class here: http://wiki.lvl1.org/MintiBoost

LVL1 Hackerspace
814 E. Broadway
Louisville, KY