Tiki Jack-O-Lantern with Music!

•October 30, 2011 • 1 Comment

So, a few of us wanted to do something for the residence cafeteria’s Pumpkin Carving contest, and this is what we ended up with.

It’s a Tiki-face carved pumpkin with 2 LED circuits that detect music frequencies, one high and one low, so that low frequency beats flash the eyes (blue LED’s) and high frequency beats flash the mouth (red LED’s).

A year in a post, with a NEW project page!

•August 1, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Well, I haven’t updated this blog since 2009, and a lot has happened since then including:

Planning, designing and engineering my technical thesis project (which will eventually get it’s own project page), completing my Telecommunications Engineering Technology Diploma program at College of the North Atlantic, competing in the 2010 Skills Canada National Competition in Waterloo, Ontario, last May, working for a year at Hitech Communications Ltd as Communications Technician (working with radios, phone systems, networks, satellite systems, AVL’s, etc.), and starting school again at Lakehead University in Waterloo, Ontario to complete my Electrical Engineering bachelor degree in Communications Electronics.

Whew, that’s a mouthful, and it’s been that kind of hectic year that I always want to do things but don’t quite find the time. So now up here in Thunder Bay attending school, I’ve got lots of spare time (except for the summer classes, they’re brutal), so I hope to be adding project pages and updating more.

The newest project page is for my MkI v2.01 Arc Reactor replica that I made for my costume for the Sci-Fi on the Rock convention that happened this past April 15th to 17th, it was a blast! And I got to meet R2D2! (who I already knew, but it’s fun to hang out!)


Me as Tony Stark

Anyway, that’s all the time I can spare for now, gotta get back to studying for calculus and mechanics finals for the summer courses right now, more later!


True Interactivity, Digital to Analog

•November 29, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I just saw this TED video of an Indian man named Pranav Mistry, who is developing Sixth-Sense Technology. An amazing, true-interactivity between computers and the real world, making computer more intuitive and applicable everywhere and to everyone. He’s made the source software freely available and open-source so that people can put their own Sixth-Sense systems together and work out the interactivity into the real, so everyone can help solve the bugs and make this a technology that is usable for everyone.

Here’s the video

Imagine a world where…

Busy, Busy Days

•November 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So yeah, first post in a while, but success on another front! I added another project build page! Whoo!

It’s a 1:1 scale model Grammy Award trophy build for a friend of mine named Dee who’s really into music, and it was her birthday just recently, so what an excellent birthday present! Credit for the idea of the present goes to Laura and Andrea, so they both don’t kill me if I said I built it myself ;P.

Outside of that, the P.R.O.B. Dev Platform is going well so far. I’m currently working with an Arduino to input gyro and accelerometer signals along with PWM signals from an RC controller to calculate and output the right PWM signals to the motors for balancing. My final project will be using a PIC16F877, but I find that getting things to work sometimes can be a pain, and I can’t do anything fast with that development board, so I’m moving over to the Arduino temporarily to get me over the hump.

Outside of all that, life is good, and I’m working on studying for finals now which start on Dec. 10th. Geez, not much time left, so I better get back to it.



…Lashing a cord for a Bowstring…

•April 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Hmm, like usual, long time no post. But this time with a “real” reason, it’s called ‘school taking over my life’.

Myself and Laura are both really feeling the crunch right now with a week off for Easter and then exams right after in the last weeks of April, and it’s driving us both nuts. The semester has been good to me, with good and bad courses (there’s 7 of them! They’re out to get me!) but I’ve managed so far, and Laura always worries about her courseload but always manages to pull through in the end. So I’m not as worried as much as just overworked and stressed.

Through all of this, there’s been alot of new ideas bouncing around in my head for future projects, but my biggest one currently is carving a modified longbow from a solid piece of hardwood. A daunting task, but I’ve already learned alot about carving technique, tillering and balancing the bow, which is very very (forgive my inner child for a moment) coolness. There’s a bunch more that are ‘in-the-works’ so to speak, like the completion of my A.I.M. flamethrower, the 15″ digital pictures frame, a bunch of BEAM Solar circuits I’m dying to play with, and even touching up my ArcReactor I made to be Tony Stark last halloween. The biggest one is my tech thesis for next school-year, a Self-Balancing Powered Scooter (an S.B.P.S.) that I’ve got to start on over the summer by myself before Fall Semester.

What’s been keeping me going lately though, is a few thoughts about the upcoming season, summer. That I can’t wait to be sitting in a camp chair down by the water up at the cabin on a warm, calm day and lashing a cord for a bowstring whilst Laura lies in the hammok reading her book in the shade.

That is one of my perfect mental pictures that keeps me going, I hope I get the chance to photograph it sometime…

With that said, that’s enough for now and with summer shortly coming, there should be more updates.

Till later.


Project thoughts & etcetera (all while at work :P)

•February 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Well, just sitting here at work on a saturday morning and really, really wanting to be gone out on the snow with the rest of my family. Yep, you heard right, they’re gone skidooing and left me to work, ugh…

But one thing that’s been crossing my mind all morning is about my research report project. I still need to figure out and learn exactly what signals and what kinds of signals the accelerometer and gyroscope require to operate (Enable?) and also what they output. Which brings me back to what I made notes on the other night, how does a Kalman Filter work, whch signals does it process/convert and how?

And beyond that, what signals does the microprocessor require to operate a set of speed controllers (only offset from eachother by a pot) and what (if any) signals does it need to send out to the gyro, accelerometer, and filter?

So, considering the complexity of all this (see above), this is probably a good time for me to see a mentor, since it’s required for me to do an interview anyway. I need to search myself what goes in and out of everything, in detail, and then go and ask how the hell it all works. Such as, what is a Kalman Filter, or an Angle Complementary Filter, or an Extended Kalman Filter? And how is that going to help the microprocessor function and control the ESC’s?

Well, beyond that maybe he can also help me plan the electronics layout for the SBPU (Self Balancing Propulsion Unit) which all needs to be started planning soon.

Which reminds me, that by the time next fall arrives, I need to have the base, motors, ESC’s and batteries set-up. And when all of that is finalized, test the power with weights and a remote-control system, to make sure it can preform like a real Segway (TM). Also, by that time I should have a proper name picked out for it, something similar to SBPU or such.

Well, after all of that brain-spewing about this project, I think I’ve got a slightly better handle on what I need to be doing, so hopefully tomorrow and Monday night I’ll get working on it and line up an interview sometime soon.

Note to self: the rough draft of first analysis due for Wednesday at 11am in meeting with Renee, start writing tomorrow night and researching signals for comparisons.

Well, that’s pretty much it for now, so I’ll be getting back to paying attention at work now, or looking out the window thinking about skidooing, lol.

Now to get through work, cook supper for me and Laura and then head out for Nicole’s birthday party. I hope nobody gets beat up tonight with the drama that’s been going on this week.

Anyway, enough for now, possibly I’ll update again soon.


PS: With everyone gone to the cabin tonight, me and Laura now get a night to ourselves! **insert evil laugh here**


Saturday, February 21, 2009 @ 1:55pm

Old tech lasts a long time…

•February 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

During my electromagnetics class toda, my prof showed us a video about transmission line wave propagation and how standing waves in a line are a bad thing. I know not many people actually understand what I just said, but to show the video he had to haul out an old reel-to-reel projector which played the video, a film for the US Navy made in 1945. A film on reel tape made 64 years ago with a group of captains and lieutenants sitting around and talking about AC voltages across two-pair transmission lines and whats going on inside the wire. It was the weirdest movie I have ever seen, but the reel-to-reel projector was so cool…

Bell & Howell Reel-Tape Video Projector

Bell & Howell Reel-Tape Video Projector

Anyway, that’s all from me for now, I’ve got some homework to get back to.




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