Blinky POV SMT

wpsuperadmin Kits, Other Projects 3 Comments

A short time after posting about the Blinky GRID SMT build I received an email from They had seen my build post and really liked it, especially the videos and pictures! I had mentioned that I was looking at getting their Blinky POV SMT kit so to say thanks they offered to send me one. I was super excited! Here’s my build. The Blinky POV SMT is similar to the Blinky GRID but it only has one row of LEDs. By waving the   Blinky in the air you can see the design/text due to the effect of persistence of vision. This happens because your retina sees the image slightly longer than it is being displayed. Read more about persistence of vision. Last Thursday I came home and …

The Pi has Arrived

wpsuperadmin Other Projects, raspberry pi, unboxing 2 Comments

Just received a UPS email that my Raspberry Pi has been delivered! Unfortunately I am stuck at work at my desk. I can’t wait to get home and taste my Pi. I will be sure to post my unboxing excitement and where it takes me. I have no idea what I am going to do with it as this point, but it should be fun. Comment below if you have ordered one and if you have received it. Update: The Pi is awesome! I was able to get it up an running and ready to start playing. I will post about it in the next day or two.

Blink Grid SMT

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While browsing the Maker Shed at the Maker Faire, I came across the Blink Grid SMT and I instantly thought this is what I have been looking for. For awhile now I have looked for a kit to practice surface mount soldering. Until now I’ve tried to win a FreePCB coupon from but haven’t won yet. Good thing someone misplaced it at the Maker Shed since I didn’t see the bin with SMT kits. Here are a few pictures of the build process from yesterday and a video of my first time doing drag soldering. The tip I used for drag soldering I won from Thanks, Ian! The kit is designed by Wayne and Layne. For more information visit …

Side Project – VMWare ESXi

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Some time late last year, I decided that most off-the-shelf routers are terrible and I needed to find a better solution. After looking high and low on the interwebs I settled on pfSense, a FreeBSD based firewall. The only thing I needed was another network port, so after some research I bought a dual port Intel NIC on eBay. That didn’t work out so well. I was running VMWare ESXi 4.0 which wouldn’t cooperate; giving me PSOD’s. Thinking that ESXi 4.1 would solve the problem, I then took the risk of upgrading. The reason I say risk is because to this day I haven’t figured out how I got ESXi to work on the MCP73 nForce chipset. I had to …

Week of 08/07/2011 – Motor Problems and Other Projects

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Another week has gone by without making much progress on the SBot project. My primary problem has been getting it to turn reliably. There is seemingly insufficient torque to turn with the weight even with 4 DC motors, but they are wired in parallel in sets of 2. Using the bathroom scale, my robot weighed in at a reasonable 3.8 pounds. There are ways I can turn over a distance but not within a small space which is needed for docking. After some research and posting online, it doesn’t seem that my problem is power related even though the LCD does dim when the motors start moving. Disconnecting the LCD doesn’t seem to make a difference, so I really need stronger motors. Last week after having coming …