Updated Office Chairiot Mark II Systems Schematic

Updated Office Chairiot Mark II Systems Schematic

I just can't get motivated to diagram the circuits in the Office Chairiot Mark II. I've drawn a number of rough functional block diagrams of the systems and I've even drawn the printed circuit boards in Adobe Illustrator (because that's how I make my PCBs). But, I just haven't gotten up the energy to recreate the schematics for them so that I could eventually make more boards of higher quality through a PCB fab house.

Then, this past Saturday, while working on optimizing the LCD menu string storage code for the control panel  (more on that coming in a blog post soon), I glanced over at a circuit diagram I'd taped to the cabinet above my electronics workbench a couple of years ago. That moment is when I realized the genius comic artist over at xkcd.com had already done it for me...

Quick Little 3.3V and 5V Benchtop Switching Power Supplies

Quick Little 3.3V and 5V Benchtop Switching Power Supplies

Get you some small, powerful and efficient AC-DC switching "power bricks" for easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy 3.3 volts and 5 volts DC power on your breadboard projects. These little guys provide up to 2.4A of current, 12W of power. Plug an AC power cord into one end and get clean breadboard-friendly DC power out the other end. Check out the MPM-12EPB line of cute little switching regulators from MicroPower Direct.

Bourbon Bottle Chandelier - Bluetooth, Dimmable, Hand-crafted

Bourbon Bottle Chandelier - Bluetooth, Dimmable, Hand-crafted

A few of my fellow meltmedians and good friends have a private little bourbon paradise speakeasy we've established near the office. We call it, "Halcyon." If you visit, you can even get a shirt. It's a quaint little place with fine furnishings, a stock of bourbon that approaches my own and a dozen or more flickering LED candles. Therein lies the problem: Light.

I decided to build a gift to Halcyon and its members. We needed a little more light in there at times (specifically, while preparing drinks before the very important conversations started). The candles were nice, but quite dim. We'd need a hundred to make it a well-lighted place. ;) My gift? A dimmable, Bluetooth-controlled, battery-operated, custom-built bourbon bottle chandelier.

December 2014 Office Chairiot Mark II Update: Electronics A Plenty!

December 2014 Office Chairiot Mark II Update: Electronics A Plenty!

The control panel for the Office Chairiot Mark II is coming together quickly. It's pretty much the most complicated piece of the the entire project AND probably the most complicated electronics project I've built to date.

Read all about the latest updates to the circuit board designs and the power routing and all that in this article. You can also find out similar (nearly identical) information on the official Office Chairiot Mark II website.

DIY Cornhole Game Set

DIY Cornhole Game Set

For a luau-themed software launch party at meltmedia, we wanted to be able to play Cornhole. I don't know that Cornhole is a regular game played at traditional luaus, but at meltmedia luaus it is. As I am the Chief Tinkerer (see proof on Instagram) at meltmedia, I volunteered to build the game parts for the festivities. If you're not familiar with Cornhole, it's a very simple game: Toss little corn-feed-filled cloth bags at a 6" hole in 24" x 48" board that's about 30' away from you. For all the official rules, go to (I'm not kidding, here) the Official Cornhole Rules page at the American Cornhole Association website. It's hard not to giggle.

If you have even the most basic of woodworking skills and tools, you can do this.

Foam Core Backdrop Support Frame

Foam Core Backdrop Support Frame

At the meltmedia office we're making a video podcast once a week. Our design team made a cool backdrop for the little studio area we use. It's a big-ass inkjet direct-print on a full 8' by 4' sheet of foam core. As you can guess, it was a bit floppy and needed some kind of support behind it.  It also needed to be lightweight because we wanted to be able to hang it on the whiteboard behind us so we could easily remove it and replace it when we needed the whiteboard. I looked around the garage and all I had that was long enough was an 8' 2x4. So, the entire frame is made from that single pine 2x4. I ripped three 1" strips from it. to get the top, bottom and sides. The sides are just a long piece cut in half.

 

Office Chairiot Mark II - Progress Update

Office Chairiot Mark II - Progress Update

It's been a little while since I posted an update on the latest version of the Office Chairiot motorized office chair (the, "Mark II"). I usually add little pieces of updates to the project site for it on Local Motors' personal project website, since I plan on utilizing their facilities to push it to 11.

June 18, 2014 is the National Day of Making

June 18, 2014 is the National Day of Making

I found out late about this year's National Day of Making, but I still managed to find somewhere to go and something to make: Local Motors down the road from me is doing an Arduino Build Night, Wednesday, June 18 from 6 PM to 9 PM in their Chandler, AZ lab. Here are links to the Facebook invite and the blog article:

Blog Article: Local Motors Arduino Build Night for National Day of Making 2014

On Facebook: RSVP for Local Motors National Day of Making Arduino Build Night

embedXcode: A Better Way to Develop for Arduino on the Mac using Xcode

embedXcode: A Better Way to Develop for Arduino on the Mac using Xcode

If you are writing code for your Arduino on a Mac and you've previously written code using Apple's FREE Xcode IDE, you know that the standard Arduino development environment is lacking in functionality, especially those which professional software developers have had in their IDEs for years. My personal favorite is Apple's Xcode IDE, which is the primary IDE used in developing applications for the OS X on the Mac and for iOS applications on Apple's mobile platforms (which are technically ALSO running Apple's OS X operating system). Find out how easy it is to use a professional-grade IDE to do your Arduino code using embedXcode from Rei Vilo Hobbies.

The 2014 Southwest Maker Fest in Mesa, AZ

The 2014 Southwest Maker Fest in Mesa, AZ

Saturday (March 22, 2014) I attended the 1st Annual Southwest Maker Fest in Mesa, AZ. It was very cool for a 1st annual version of a fest, I must say. I've officially been calling myself a, "maker" for about 5 years now and I had never been to a maker-anything to speak of. This was a lot of fun.

The very first thing I saw as I walked from the parking lot was one of the amazing Rally Fighters from Local Motors.