Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Represent’

Remoc, cursed bringer of joy

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

This benighted ogre is a wonder put into this world for the express purpose of making sick children smile. He lives in the lobby of the Comer Childrens’ Hospital in Chicago, and was a really nice present that my old toy company donated. I more or less did the work for free in a really short time, and it was good experience.

Problem is there was a lot I didn’t know in 2005 (though it did not stop me from TRYING to design some complicated sensors) and in the time since then I’ve spent about a million hours putting band aids on less-than-ideal systems.

This is a picture of his brain extracted, waiting to go somewhere. I knew I had to fix it, I wasn’t sure when that would be.

WTPA — For the Ladies

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

Right around this time in the summer of ’09 my buddy Nick (who stuffs the WTPA kits, and who plays in a kickass band called Lazercrystal built a WTPA for his girl Lulu, Chicago bartender par exellence and all around lovely lady. I had been on an enclosure kick and decided that this was the time to get jiggy with QCAD for linux and actually make a reproducible laser cut enclosure. I still had to tap threaded holes in the edge panels, but everything fit the first time, believe it or not.

These are the results of that experiment and Lulu’s is still about the prettiest WTPA there is out there.
The buttons are a plunger extension made of acorn nuts, flathead screws, and spacers. They look good and work well but personally I find they feel a little hinkey.


WTPA v0.95 Boards Arrive

Friday, October 17th, 2008

There is some spiritual sense of wholeness, some cosmic teleology that makes me feel thoughtful about posting pictures of a circuit called “Where’s The Party At” when it’s Friday night.

Like if somehow all the drunk, attractive people on Milwaukee Avenue could see the current in these traces they wouldn’t go to a 4am bar, because they would already have been there. Or something. I can’t decide whether this parable is supposed to be more like the two young fish meeting the old fish in the river, or the young bull and the old bull seeing all the cows from the top of the mountain. Some kind of middling-stinky animals appreciating time-and-reality type business is what I suppose I’m going for here.

*Ahem* So:

The next revision of PCBs are in! You’re looking at the Version 0.95 WTPA “barebones” boards. One thing I really like about Advanced Circuits is those sharp (and handy) fluorescent notepads they give you when you order a board. It tickles my hope for nerd-success: I used to really have to hoard them — not so long ago it took Very Serious Consideration before ripping off one of those bright, rare leaves to write “Call Mom” or something. Now I can pretty much paper my walls with them. Feels good. Before you know it I’ll have a cummerbund!

I can already see it’s going to be one of those nights, so down to business: These boards are necessary because they’re the last rev before I order the hundreds of PCBs and many thou of parts I’ll need for the real production release. Hopefully these guys are pretty close to perfect. Parts are already on their way from Digikey and Mouser and should be here next week. I’ve got an OS to re-write in the meantime — I’ve been learning a lot about the GNU Linker for some other projects and as a result my MCU code is getting a lot more pretty looking, and a little more clear (to me anyway) w/r/t how GCC’s optimizer thinks about it. Practically speaking I doubt I’ll have the OS re-written in the next couple weeks: I’ve been nuts making a Playstation version of Beat The Champ (also #8 here) which needs to be done in short order and, and just got a fancy interior design related project which of course ought to be done like yesterday, too. Of course the X-Prize Lunar Lander Challenge is next weekend and I plan to get good and drunk and watch my friends at TrueZer0 put a whoopin’ on the guy that wrote Doom.
Finally, my crappy electronic music project is playing (using WTPA even) next Friday at the Hideout with my old buddies in Parts and Labor.