October 29, 2011
Very little programming experience, I think a group will help me focus. I've got some hardware design experience, and a lot of troubleshooting experience. I'd planned on working on my programming skills right after I graduated from Bates (EET program) but spent nearly all my time job searching or working on my job search skills. So I've got a couple dozen PIC uCs waiting for projects. But I'll happily change to Arduino. We just moved to Lacey from Tacoma and are still getting moved. So half my lab is here, half still in Tacoma. When we're done moving I'll have a workshop with wood and metal lathes, a small combo mill/lathe, metal cutting bandsaw, and the usual power tools, plus a separate electronics lab away from all the shavings. I'm working on a couple of CNC machines, a small one from a kit and a slightly larger one from scratch. I've been learning to use Sketchup. I've started learning dipTrace PCB, although I'm considering Eagle CAD.
I'm working on: An easier way to conceptualize and wire Charlieplexed LEDs. I may need to figure out how to write my own Arduino library for it. A smart charger for lead-acid cells that will charge up to six cells at a time independently. An ESR/low ohms meter in a marker body. Click on my profile picture to see a sketch of it. An all-in-one test equipment package with LCR, coil ring tester, frequency counter, dual trace 'scope, and anything else I can fit. LVDT shield for Arduino. I have built an Ultimaker 3D fused deposition printer and am building a CNC mill.
What -wouldn't- I build? I'd be working on a working Tricorder. Not something sad like the commercially produced Tricorder Mark One, something that is actually useful. I think my first model would be an all-in-one test equipment for electronics troubleshooting. I have about a dozen toy Tricorders, a cell phone display will fit it.
My favorite programming language has been solder, I'm looking to change that. 20+years as an ET, went back to school to finally get a degree. We did one project with a PIC, I designed the hardware and helped with programming. Looking to learn more.
Lots of smart people sharing ideas.