Thursday, July 22, 2010

Adventures in Prototyping a Board

So I'm working on a reconfigurable programming board for my microcontrollers.  Here is a quick shot of it.

So it's mostly a breadboard in some ways...LOL, but mainly I wanted the ability to have a ICSP connection and I was originally just going to directly connect it underneath to the right pins for the pic 16F913, but decided to just put a header on the other side of the ICSP header and then I can run wire and reconfigure it, as needed. This gives it a little more flexibility, and I don't have to disconnect and try to figure out which wires went where whenever I disconnect the ICSP header from the board.

The benefit to this is now I can program my Pic 16F684, and any other 28 or less pin PIC, I would like to add a power header to the board for additional hookup, but for now this will work I believe, and fortunately I will have the freedom to add to it as needed.

Parts required:
Perf Board from Radio Shack
Headers from Electronics Parts in Albuquerque
IC socket headers from Electronics Parts in Albuquerque
Solder (obviously....hmm wonder if we can come up with a solderless compound....ohhhh I like)

What if you put a lot of conductive material in a superglue form for example, you could "solder" by literally no heat....ok I'm talking crazy. Have a great day.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Setting up my Workspace

I have found that when I have to go to a new computer for work purposes, I have to re-setup a bunch of stuff. I also have scripts that I may have setup that point to drives by letter, maybe not always the best plan, but well I just get used to having things the same way. 

What ways do you achieve having the same desktop stuff setup when you move from computer to computer.

Here are a few of mine:

1. Setting up Shared Drives:

net use /PERSISTENT:yes U: \\drive1\folder
net use /PERSISTENT:yes V: \\drive2\folder
net use /PERSISTENT:yes Y: \\drive3\folder
net use /PERSISTENT:yes Z: \\drive4\folder
2. Registry updates to explorer menu.

3. I make shortcuts and save them on a shared folder on my computer, then just copy them to the desktop if needed.

I have more but they are very specific to where I work so they aren't too applicable to others here. Do you have any other ideas?

Of course these are specific to Windows XP in my case, but heck give me what you have for linux, apple, AND windows.

Caleb says.... Remote Desktop..... <- Good call I forgot about that all together, in my case that doesn't really work as well, but for many this is a great solution.

Clearcase: Create A Label with a script

I got tired of looking up how to create a label in the rational documents and rather then going through type explorer, I decided to write up a really quick script. Maybe others will find use in it. Either way if I lose it, it's here for the world to find. It just uses standard commands that are found in the rational cleartool manual.

print "What Vob?";
$vob = <>;
print "What Label?";
$label = <>;
print `cleartool mklbtype -nc $label@\\$vob`;
$asdf = <>;
Now I tried to make it so my context menu would be able to call it, but for some reason I can't make it call my perl script, if anyone has any ideas, please let me know and I'll update.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Past and Present 7/14/2010

Well it's been a while, and I better pop back in and say hi. This summer I've been taking Signals and Systems (ECE 314), and am doing an Independent study working on gridlabd with Pacific Northwest National Labs.

I learned a few very important lessons this summer.
2. Focus on one task until completion, jumping from project to project only results in many failed attempts.
3. Test out parts before making them unrecoverable. I made a setup, then used Household GOOP on it to try to seal it, and when I went to use it, it didn't work, and the Goop rendered it useless.

I got with a classmate and am looking into working with Cosmiac on my senior project.  I'm not 100% sure what every detail will entail, but looks like a fun challenge, however it sounds like there might be more java involved then I really would like. Of course I'll keep you updated.

Right now I'm trying to finish adding a usb power plug as well as an audio jack to my car, cleaned up finally, and I'm refusing to work on any other projects until it's done. Future plans include reading the CAN bus messages so when I press next on my steering wheel it will change songs on my iPod touch. I do plan on doing a writeup on how I put it all together.

I actually finally got a chance to replace my fluorescent light (for the second time), this time I didn't drop the light at walmart before testing it out, now it finally works. Now if only I can finish my other projects and get in here and get it done, I would really like to get an O-Scope, and Logic Analyzer so I can do more testing but anything is possible.