TJ's member page
This is my page where I describe cool stuff I'm doing. If you see me at the lab not working on these, just smack me on the head and remind me of the cool stuff I'm just letting sit around, neglected.
Scratch that, we get evicted in September, ownership change of the building and (in my opionion completely absurd) plans to turn wainwright into apartment buildings (Seriously, 10's of millions to brute force that thing to act like apartments). Know of a place we can crash our robot arm and supercomputer?
Scratch that, we actually got evicted in october, in violation of the lease agreement we had to sign with buddy gadams.
 TJ's cool awesome project list
|RavePOV||Using a microcontroller and a pwm driver, make a platform for rave lights that can be mounted in a variety of ways, including glowsitck, poi, wrist mount, and knuckduster mounted leds. intended to be an RGB Persistence of Vision display, many other effects are possible with this.||in progress|
|Open Sign||Using a networked microcontroller, this will be a button to indicate that the lab is open via a custom led sign and possibly a widget on the front page of the lab||planning|
|LED sign||Took a mid-eighties green led scroller and slapped an arduino inside, in the hopes of streaming video to it. This is a rediculously complex hack however, as the arduino is taking over all of the display driving tasks as well as managing serial input, a function the arduino just isn't able to handle if it was coded using Wiring. AVR GNU toolchain FTW.||finished|
|InvisiFrogger||Took the old school game Frogger and cracked it to include custom text, among other things. Ethan found a cool tool to help edit the sprite roms, removing the frogs. Got showcased at Magfest 2011.||finished|
|Xbox 360 DVD swap||Swapped out a defective DVD drive in an xbox 360, and since its not signed with the system, the drive will not play games. swapping the firmware to solve this.||indefinite hold|
|Foosball scoreboard||Implementing a scoreboard to the foosball table using 7-seg displays and an avr chip. simple, so im challenging myself to write the whole code in assembly.||indefinite hold|
|Collect garbage||I have a strange, irrational fascination with old computers, and will happily accept donations of old servers, workstations, or other computers for me to hoard and play around with, and perhaps put to some kind of esoteric use.||always welcome|
|ARM presentation||I was supposed to gather together an ARM presentation to show the lab the true amazingness of the ARM architecture and why it should replace every processor ever. It will be done at an Hrgeeks II meeting sometime||indefinte hold|
|AVR lessons||Because of my profound experience with the AVR architecture, I was motivated to creating a set of lessons to help people get familiar with the Arduino and other AVR platforms. It may end with a tutorial on the GNU toolchain for AVR, and simple tips that will prevent you from banging your head against walls the way ive done for months||indefinite hold|
Im going to list a few useful links I come across here, I may end up maintaining this religiously, or I may set it and forget it. The world is a chaotic place!
FPGA designers curriculum Free Altera training
 Vendors and Manufacturers List
My poor head cant remember all the great electronics vendors and manufacturers out there, and ladyada's list is incomplete. I will spam a list here
- Goldmine Electronics
- Great for when you are too lazy to salvage but want a shit ton (metric) of cheap components. great loot from time to time. Feels like christmas when a shipment comes in from them.
- MCM electronics
- cheap electronics and tools.
- Digikey, mouser, arrow, jameco, Allied
- The big vendors that ship bulk orders of specified electronics. standard vendors with massive stock
- These guys have smd breakout boards
- they mainly make compilers and development boards, but also sell a good amount of hardware agnostic breakout boards for communications, power, storage, etc
- these guys get their stock from surplus, salvage, or EOL components, sometimes get some interesting, esoteric stock.
- Adafruit, sparkfun, seeedstudio
- Hobbyist electronics shops, catering to the arduino crowd. cool stuff from time to time, but has the capacity to overprice stuff.
- Traitor of the hobbyist electronics world, often sells components at 10x markup and carries small stock and little documentation. only useful for lazy or emergency purchases of only the most common components and tools.
- Texas Instruments
- Always makes cool chips, MSP430 extremely low power microcontroller, TI's wireless, some good analog, wireless, and audio chips. acquired National Semiconductor recently. vowed to support all old technology ICs.
- Analog Devices
- ST microelectronics
- best known for AVR, decent low power, general purpose microcontrollers found in the ubiquitous Arduino. Also makes memories and capacitive touch screens. Main competitor against microchip. AVR is one of the best supported embedded architectures by GCC, and one of the few microcontrollers that is reasonable to develop for without the use of an IDE. also has massive community support, including all arduino sites and avrfreaks.org.
- best known for ubiquitous PIC microcontrollers, also sells memories.
attempting to push PIC32 microcontroller, but seems to be staggering in support.
- shot off from philips, best known for LPC ARM microcontrollers, very common, successful line of arm chips.
- FPGA, CPLD, and asic vendor. powerful software suite and offers a lot of training for digital design and use of FPGAs. Used to be dominant FPGA vendor, now has about 34% market share, under Xilinx's 51%.