Blog

Post-Photo Booth

Within a week of packing the Halloween Photo Booth up for the year, two ideas were realized in circuit form. The first is what I am calling LightShow16, a 16-channel hardware PWM LED driver board. The second is PiUPS, a UPS for Raspberry Pi.

First DSKY Video

I did a video about my DSKY progress so far, and posted it on YouTube. I've got to work on my production values, for sure. I shot the video with a Samsung handheld digital video camera, but it's only a 720P cheapie that I had bought a couple of years ago on sale at the blue-and-yellow retailer for my kids to play with.

More Parts

I just ordered the flat pack for the Scavenger drives from Big Blue Saw. This seems an easy approach to getting strong, fast feet: the drives use the same E3-150 motors as the more expensive Warp Drives, and omni-wheels can also be used to improve turning and spinning. A set of warp drives costs $1080 currently, but all in with parts, the Scavengers should come in around $450, and that difference buys a lot of other parts.

Week of June 11 - Distractions

A lot got done this week, but not on the DSKY or R2D2 that has much to show. I got a wild hair to implement a new Vera plugin, called Reactor, to address an ongoing gap in Vera's logic for triggering events. The core of that was pretty simple, but the UI has some persnickety details that took quite a bit of time to comb out. You have to love jQuery, though.

A big week for small steps

This past week has been a series of steps and missteps, as with any project, but the net is firmly forward. On the design side, I spent quite a bit of time this week getting to understand parameterization in Fusion 360, and started applying it to the model. I also did a lot of optimization of recurring elements in the design. So, future tweaks as I get new and better information on dimensions and details will be easier to apply.

Uh oh...

I had done enough reading on the Astromech.net web site to know that I was undertaking a big project, and one that might never "end," but I'm beginning to think there's a more sinister aspect of this project I hadn't fully considered.

Iterative Design in the Dark

The DSKY project is a serious labor of love, I'm finding. There are really precious few resources available on the 'net with any usable dimensions, and there are lots of conflicts among that which is available. The most consistent and reliable dimensions seem to be at the displays, so I'll be using these as my reference point and working out from there.

I've spent hours in Fusion 360 this week, and hours printing prototypes. It's really fun, actually, and I'm having tons of "ah hah" moments of every kind.

DSKY Kick-off

I've been interested in building a DSKY for a while. The DSKY is the display-keyboard interface for the Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) built by MIT for NASA in the 60's. For whatever crazy, geeked-out reason, I think it will make a great conversation piece for my bar, and if I do a good enough job, maybe some people will be interested in kits so I can make a little money to offset the growing cost of the R2-D2 project.