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Showing posts from 2012

A Twitter hack for the Typo...matic

<update> Tonight 9/21 I'll have the Typo...matic online searching for tweets with the following #tags: #ccckc #linux #arduino #selectric #typomatic There will also be a google hangout where you can watch it type away live! </update> I spent the evening at CCCKC tinkering with TTYtter and some bash scripting and coreutils that were new to me... The result is the world's worst implementation of a polling Twitter search that can feed new tweets to any other bash command. I'll be hooking this up to the Typo...matic at the next public event I lug it out to... I have a chunk of c code that talks to the Typo...matic's Arduino and it takes as arguments the serial port and a file of text to print. So the end result of the script below is a text file of recent tweets matching the #ccckc hash tag. Feel free to gank this script and do dumb things with it. I'm not proud of it from a technical standpoint but for a hack it'll do.

The Translator...Mini Sumo Bot

A few months before Maker Faire KC a friend started working on a Mini Sumo Bot and in passing I said I could probably get a bot ready for that...well those months slipped away and two weeks prior to the faire I had no bot (and had been constantly hounded by said friend). So I did a grand total of 30 minutes of research on the internets and ordered some parts (not recommended). I ordered everything from Canada (Fingertech and Solarbotics) so I had to wait almost another week to get started. Here's the parts list I ended up with: Chassis/Motors/Tires/Line Sensors: FingerTech "Cobra" Mini-Sumo Robot 4WD Kit Motor Controller: 2x Sparkfun's Motor Driver 1A Dual TB6612FNG Micro-controller: Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 5V Proximity Sensors: BittyBot 3-Way Object Sensor Battery: Venom 10C 2S 1250mAh 7.4V LiPO Line Sensors (Included w/ chassis kit): Phototransistor - QRD1114 More Stats below...  The first thing I did was construct the BittyBoty 3-Way Object Se

Typo...matic (Part 3)

My Selectric II project is finally 'done'. Here's a demo video. Please read the previous posts for more details and try to come visit the KC Maker Faire on June 23/24 if you can. Edit: Here's a great video explaining the Selectric typerwriter(s) mechanisms: This was my first attempt at serial via straight C code (gcc) in Linux. Needless to say my code is ugly, full of failed attempts to get POSIX serial communication working and bad coding practices. There's a great guide here by the way... I'll get it cleaned up and added (Arduino and C code) to this post as soon as I can but... The rest of this week and next week I'll be working on a sumobot for the competition at the faire. I'll post about it too...If you've got a mini sumo bot and you're in the area come and compete (mostly for bragging rights) we don't have enough entries yet!

Typo...matic (Part 2)

I've made quite a bit of progress on the Selectric II project . Since the last post I managed to get a fair amount of the mechanisms necessary to actuate the keys figured out (at least for a first attempt). I made the mechanical additions using a bunch of Erector Set pieces. For the time being I've used fishing line to tie the Erector Set levers to the solenoids. Initially I had it set up with fishing line going up over a bar above all the key press mechanisms (essentially pulling up on them) but this didn't work and wouldn't have survived the test of time (rubbing against a bar all the time...). This past week I made my first go at the toner-transfer & ferric chloride etching process to make a Solenoid Driver board. I also did quite a few things in Eagle for the first time. The circuit for the driver board is below, it's a simple power FET (IRL2703) circuit with some blinkin' lights thrown in for good measure. Eagle files below, I used default

Typo...matic (Part 1)

Started working on a Selectric II typewriter project. I used this typewriter last year to make business cards for the KC Maker Faire. This year I'm going to hook a bunch of solenoids up to it and throw in a micro-controller to allow me to control it's output with a PC via serial... So far I've just got the mechanisms for key presses figured out and the solenoids mounted. Next I've got to get the control circuit board worked out and assembled, along with switches to read the keys when they're pressed. Then it's programming the micro-controller and figuring out what to do with the end result...Zork's been done...maybe epic ASCII art on tractor-feed any case it'll be KC Maker Faire and it'll be awesome. I did get one solenoid hooked up in a bread-boarded circuit to make sure I had parts that would work...

Drinkin' Cap

I've got an epic St. Patty's Day planned for this Saturday and I thought: wouldn't an LED-ified hat be awesome? Then I thought: "I have to. It's a moral imperative." A couple days shopping around for a bowler hat and green LEDs and here's the result: The LEDs were mounted by using a new (sharp) x-acto knife blade to slice a single small slot in each LED position. I pinned a shamrock pattern to the hat first... The circuit was wire wrapped not soldered. Once all the LEDs were poked through the hat I used copious amounts of hot glue to make them permanent. A 10 kO pot is in line with a 9 volt battery to current limit (and provide a brightness control). A Velcro wire management strap was sacrificed and hot glued in the brow to hold the battery in place. The circuit: Original Image Source: The top of my head does touch the top of the hat but there's actually just enough room in the front tip for the battery. It fi