Friday 26 November 2010

Freetronics Friday

The highlight of this week, was looking to be the second cup of green tea I was made yesterday.

I'm looking forward to 1st January rather than Christmas, and even beyond to mid-January for the swift completion of the project I'm involved in (double-edged sword there), not to mention for Ms R to get her gorgeous butt back home.

Christmas promises to present itself in the form of a big box of electronic goodies, which is got to be a good thing in anybody's a handful of people's book.

As you may also guess if you've read any of my model-orientated rants, what I would also relish for Christmas, is for a couple of models to experience facial herpes (always sounds better than 'coldsaws' in my opinion), after being stood up by them, and loosing valuable time in my studio, before it closed until the new year for relocation.

Anyway, I'm digressing. Back to my crappy and less than eventful week.

What should appear in the post? All the way from sunny Australia? A pretty little PCB with a bag of header pins. A prototype shield for the Arduino, the board came courtesy of Jonathan Oxer of Freetronics, and is very much appreciated! I'm already having difficulty deciding what to do with it - I'm loathed to waste it on anything less than an "EG" (Evil Genius) project...

It's certainly made my day! Now, back to work.

Thursday 25 November 2010


Vintage and robotic? Two birds, one stone.

First project on MBM (we're into acronym territory already), will be the conversion of a beautiful vintage Tandy Armatron, with an Arduino Uno and perhaps a few new servos.

My intention is to leave as much of the robot intact, and to focus mostly on rewiring the control-side and striping it down to clean it. I'll be posting a video going into more detail, but suffice to say, it's fantastically engineered and manufactured, so would be a great shame to carve up.

Our second project, close on the heels of the Armatron, will be environmental... In brief, we'll be building an automated heat transfer system for our data centre, that'll help us run without active air cooling through winter, by making use of the cold weather and some active/passive air handling. That'll be PLC based; perhaps with an Arduino if we're confident with it's redundancy, or with a Siemens Logo PLC.

Video and pictures of the Armatron coming soon.

Saturday 20 November 2010

This technology is fantastical and yet already out of date.

As an opening blog, and demonstration of my sheer technical prowess, I'm writing this from a tablet device.

Okay, so a little more 2010 and a little less 2001 (the book, rather than the year), but astounding nonetheless. It wasn't even ten years ago, there were folks building prop Star Trek handheld devices, only to now be able to buy devices more advanced than the imagined device (albeit minus the arrays of medical and particle sensors) over the counter from a socially challenged teenager in a supermarket.

Anyway, back to the objective of the blog; my intention is to discuss and document things I make, break and hopefully innovate. In parallel to my creative blog, Shot by McCoy, this blog is about design, ideas and technology.

So, expect Tony Stark inspired robotics, electronic hackery and engineering triumphs.