November 25th, 2012

So I’ve been tapering off on my projects recently, and i wanted to quickly post to explain that this trend will continue for the forseeable future. More important things have come up. I’m still checking messages and answering questions, but my pace is slower now.

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My adventures in Silksceening – Part 1

September 21st, 2012

The Motivation

It’s nice to have a souvenir when I come back from vacation: a shot glass, a knick-knack, a T-shirt; a little reminder helps the trip last longer in my mind.

On my last vacation, I realized how much buying souvenirs grates on my diy sensibilites. I wanted a T-Shirt, but I didn’t want what they were selling. I wanted something simple. I wanted the design I had unconsciously completed in my head.

Something clicked. I decided that instead spending $20 on a $5 cookie-cutter T-shirt, I would make my own shirt as soon as I got home.
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“Beginner’s PID” Series Translated to Spanish

July 29th, 2012

HUGE thanks to Jonathan Moyano who has gone through the trouble of translating the Beginner’s PID series into Spanish! You can see his announcement here and here.

Here’s a direct link to his file. In case that goes down I’ve also set up a local mirror here.

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PID Library makes it into (another) successful kickstarter [PID Showcase]

July 4th, 2012

You may remember the espresso machine that was on kickstarter earlier this year. You know, where they asked for $20k and got $369k instead?

Well it looks like the PID Library has made it on to another wild Kickstarter ride. This time it’s with the Nomiku: an ingenious sous-vide solution. I’m a sucker for forehead-smack ideas, and this product is a great one. Rather than sell you an entire bulky unit, the Nomiku a small, easy to store, device that clips to a pot you already have.

The icing on the cake is that I know these guys. I met them at makerfaire last year and they’re great; very passionate about this stuff. Actually, it seemed like they were just passionate. about everything. I’m really glad that this is working out for them!

This is what I love about working on base-level components. I only have to do the work once, and then I get to see it crop up in tons of cool stuff. It makes me proud to know I helped those people along a little. I can only imagine how the Arduino team feels.

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10-Pin offset header for Arduino

June 15th, 2012

A few years ago, I started making offset headers for the Arduino. These headers allow you to make shields using standard-spaced perfboard, by correcting the shift of that one strangely-placed Arduino header.

With the introduction of the Leonardo, The Arduino team kept the shift of the header, but added two pins to it.

To keep up in this offset header arms race, I ordered some 10-pin headers and modified my fabrication process to accept the two extra pins. I expect these to find their way into the hands of fine retailers over the next couple of months.

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Ladder Golf Construction Tricks

April 22nd, 2012

Spring is here, and that means it’s time to prepare for summer parties. If you’re me, that means making a ladder golf set. It seems like every year I’m making another one, the previous-year’s set having been gifted or left somewhere.

Over the years I’ve picked up a few tricks, and this time around I finally remembered to document them.
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DIY Custom Heating Element

April 4th, 2012

A few years ago I made a BBQ smoke generator. I was fairly happy with the design, but felt that for the “next time” I would make a few changes.

One of my main issues was the size. I really wanted to make it smaller, but I didn’t want to pay for a small cartridge heater.

It occurred to me a couple of days ago that I might be able to modify a stock toaster-oven heating element to make a smaller heater. If I cut out a small section and drove it at a proportionally smaller voltage, I wondered, could I get a small heater with the same temperature as the big boy? It turns out that the answer is yes.
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March 2nd, 2012

It’s been a busy few months.  Between the osPID and my day job, it’s been pretty hectic.  Somehow, in the middle of it all, I decided to learn how to knit.
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Arduino PID Autotune Library

January 28th, 2012

At long last, I’ve released an Autotune Library to compliment the Arduino PID Library. When I released the current version of the PID Library, I did an insanely extensive series of posts to get people comfortable with what was going on inside.

While not nearly as in-depth, that’s the goal of this post. I’ll explain what the Autotune Library is trying to accomplish, and how it goes about its business.
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Collapsible Knitting Needle

January 22nd, 2012

I needed a break. I’ve been working hard on the osPID for several months, and I just needed to not look at code or control algorithms for a little bit. Nothing says “break” like an out-of-left-field project.

I only started knitting recently. Something that’s been bothering me about it is the length of the needles. They’re 14″ long, and I’ve been worried they’ll be bent while riding in my backpack.

It occurred to me that some sort of collapsible needle might be useful in this situation. Taking my inspiration from elastic tent poles, I got to work on my “not PID” project.
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