Let’s Talk About Money!

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Mucking About With Things The Diary of Lupin Pooter
Lately, I’ve been spending chunks of my free time futzing with cheap microwave doppler radar sensors and soda-can antennas. Last night, it was all about hooking up teensy all-in-one MP3-players and itsy bitsy little OLED screens to Arduino boards. I’ll write more on that soon. Right now, let’s talk about money. Or, rather, the latest […]

My soldering skillz still leave much to be desired

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Mucking About With Things Personal Firsts The Diary of Lupin Pooter
A new (minor) personal first: connecting and driving a display, from Arduino. Thanks to Adafruit for the tutorial (Monochrome OLED Breakouts) and open-source libraries I’m using to drive this little 128×64 OLED display. Note: I am a repeat Adafruit customer but purchased these particular displays from a Taobao merchant for a fraction of the Adafruit […]

Wind Power Beast-mode and this week’s new word: sprue

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Mucking About With Things The Diary of Lupin Pooter
One recent weekday night, I sat down assembled the miniature Strandbeest shown above from a kit which I’d purchased a week or two earlier. Here’s a YouTube video about the same (or a very similar) kit. From what I can gather by browsing the official Strandbeest site and webstore, this beest appears to be an […]

Photos: WS2812 LED ring, soldering, desoldering

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Mucking About With Things The Diary of Lupin Pooter
Last week, I wanted to test-drive one of the 24-LED WS2812 5050 RGB LED rings I’d bought a ways back. Getting it working, controlled by an Arduino board running the Adafruit NeoPixel library, was easy peasy. Except for the soldering step. For reasons that weren’t apparent to me while I was wielding my soldering iron, […]

Yak Shaving: Resistors, 6500 of ’em, edition

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Mucking About With Things Spitting Images The Diary of Lupin Pooter
Above: what 6500 1/4-Watt, 1%-tolerance metal film resistors (50 each of 150 different resistance values, ranging from 1 Ω to 10 MΩ) look like if you buy them from Taobao. That cling-film/plastic-wrap-wound bundle was roughly the size of an adult’s forearm, from elbow to wrist. Total cost: $USD 10. For reference, Sparkfun’s Resistor Kit (COM-10969, […]

So this is what pareidolia feels like. Huh. Neato.

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Mucking About With Things Personal Firsts Spitting Images
Clicking through some of the photos I took of some of the micro-terrains of a sunflower, I found one that featured something that very closely resembled a creepy staring eye: Instead of being disappointed that there wasn’t a tiny human face beneath the mass of immature sunflower florets looking upwards toward the lens of my […]

Taking a second look at that sunflower

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Mucking About With Things Spitting Images
First, for the sake of comparison, here’s what the edge of one of the green bracts ringing the back of the sunflower’s head looked like through my 60x-100x-magnification clip-on microscope: Now here are two bract-edge photos taken with my 200x-500x USB scope (it’s a Measurement eScope DP-M07) at 500x magnification: I didn’t get around to […]

Exploring a sunflower with a cheap 60x-100x clip-on microscope

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Mucking About With Things Spitting Images
An inexpensive 60x-100x-magnification clip-on microscope like the one shown above can be a shed load of a lot of fun. Last Friday, I spent one of the shortest hours of my life (because TFWYHV) exploring a sunflower, one which I’d just lopped off its stalk, from a bunch that had brightened our home for the […]

Brrrt… Bleep Bloop: Forrest Mims’s 3909-based toy organ

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Mucking About With Things Spitting Images The Diary of Lupin Pooter
If you give the MP3 file embedded above a play, you’ll hear me noodling around with my slightly modified version of the “toy organ” DC circuit featured on page 105 of Forrest Mims Engineer’s Notebook [ISBN 9781878707031]. Using alligator clips, I attached each of the three different types of small 8Ω speaker (left to right: […]

Wanna hear about the time that I bought four LM3909Ns?

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Mucking About With Things Spitting Images The Diary of Lupin Pooter
… and they came wrapped in sock-foam-mesh fruit wrappers? Above: My four itty bitty LM3909Ns came sandwiched between two rectangular bits of pink (possibly anti-static) foam, wound inside a chrysalis of plastic wrap (UK: cling film) which was, in turn, lovingly cocooned within a mass of sock-foam-mesh fruit wrappers. And they’re older than you, assuming […]

Some Taobao merchants sell PTFE-coated wire and others sell spools

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Mucking About With Things Spitting Images The Diary of Lupin Pooter
Some Taobao merchants sell PTFE-coated wire and other sell little spools, but I couldn’t find any offering spools of PTFE-coated wire, so I got some of each and did the spooling myself. I neglected to include any known-size objects for scale but I the center-hole of one of those spools is just large enough to […]

How come nobody knows? Introducing NighIsTheEnd.rb, a helper script for making signs

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Mucking About With Things Personal Firsts The Diary of Lupin Pooter
First I acquired (read: bought cheap) some packs of velcro-backed felt letters. Then I got some large-ish scraps of thick black felt. On a completely unrelated project, I tried using a hot-glue glue gun for the first time in my life. It clogged. Boo hoo. I still needed a glue gun, so I ordered some […]