Lifelong Learning Knowledge should be uncompromisingly sought after and freely given away.

3Feb/100

A change of scenery…

Fork in the roadIt's been some time since my last blog posting. It's been a crazy time lately in my personal and work life. After nearly 10 years working for the same company I put in my notice of resignation yesterday. I decided it was time to move out of corporate America and into a small private company. While no job is perfect I honestly feel this is a better fit for myself and my family. I'm excited about the new road ahead and can't wait to resharpen my technical skills full-time. While excited, I'm a bit nervous...to be expected, I suppose.

16Dec/090

My new E-flite mCX Helicopter

E-flite mCX HelicopterSo I got my early birthday gift from my parents! You guessed it, they got me a new E-flite mCX helicopter! My father and I have always been big fans of anything R/C and these new breed of micro helicopters are no exception. We have been flying the Blade CX and CP versions and after he purchased one of these he knew I would love one too! These should not be confused with the cheap-o toys you see at China-Mart or the like, these are highly sophisticated R/C helicopters, including gyros and proportional linear servo control.
I can't say how cool these things are, they are tiny, weigh 1oz and are really sturdy. I've banged my up quite a bit and it still hovers effortlessly. Each battery charges in about 20 minutes and flies for about 6 minutes, after I picked up a few more of the 110mAH batteries and I can fly for as long as my attention span. These are fantastic for the beginner or pro alike!
And as you can imagine, I've already designed a few PCB boards to enhance the charger and allow me to charge 8 batteries at once. I'll be replacing the existing red LED with a low current 0603 blue 5MA LED. Should help with battery life and cooler look if you ask me!

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6Dec/090

Adafruit’s Ask an Engineer…

 AdaFruit.com Ask An Engineer

  Image curtesy of Adafruit.com

I stopped in last night to the live streamming "Ask an Engineer" over at the Adafruit.com website. I was quite surprised with the good questions and insight into the industry. Found out that I can't find an ATMEGA328 to save my life because the plant in France is being shut down and the workers decided to get strike indefinitely when they found out. Dang those frenchies! Anyhow, the discussion was very intresting and it was quite neat to see the very automated shipping process they have built from open-source and homegrown systems. They gave everyone who was on the chat a 10% off coupon, so I decided it was time to pick up a MintyBoost kit for myself. Have been reading alot about boost converters alot lately and figured the kit would be a nice introduction into making my own. I have some ideas on using a home-grown boost converter and a VFD driver to make my very own VFD displays/clocks/etc.

Head on over next Saturday night at 10pm EST and check out the discussion!

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1Nov/090

Share the wealth of knowledge…

For some time now, I've been educating myself on the basics of electrical engineering in a somewhat unorthodox manor, the internet! I've always been fascinated by the application of theory and creating tangible results from the wildest of concepts, so it was an obvious path to end up working with electronics.

Today it occurred to me that I have learned so much from the internet community of folks freely sharing their knowledge, that I needed to talk about the Creative Commons License. Knowledge should be free and it should be shared with anyone willing to take it! This is why I’m releasing all of my future work under the “Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License”. Quite a mouthful huh? Well, if you don’t already know what this license is, you need to read THIS. I strongly encourage everyone to follow in these footsteps and openly give away your knowledge! You can’t take it with you after all…

Creative Commons License
This work by Jay Collett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available here.

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4Oct/090

So I begin my week of furlough…

Bleh, my company decided to shave some cash and put many of it's workers on furlough. One week, isn't too bad and I'm quite glad to have a true vacation without any email or phone calls. I guess by law they can't allow employees to work at all, so it's gonna be a real vacation! I'm expecting to get quite a few things done this week, perhaps I'll finally get the ventaliation installed in the bathroom. I'm definitely gonna go shooting at least once this week, practice makes perfect! Anyhow, expect lots of updates this week!

20Sep/090

IKEA is freaking awesome!

IKEA Store

My wife had been asking for some time for us to head up to the IKEA store in West Chester Ohio but I had been stalling. I had never been to an IKEA store and the things I had seen online didn't really impress me that much. Seeing as how we were in the midst of redoing the bedroom, I figured we'd make the trip and invited my parents along. All I can say is take the time if you haven't even been to one and visit your local IKEA store. This store was massive, had a 350 seat restaurant inside and had some of the most amazing things I've seen. I couldn't believe the prices either, they had really great quality things for really great prices! Natalie and I picked up some curtains and other sweet sliding shade thingies...I'll post pictures once we get them installed, that's another DIY project...Oh, they had none of the White Lampan lights I really wanted, going to hack them with an AVR and some RGB leds to make a sweet multi-color light which is kid friendly...

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