Yeah, maybe it's juvenile and petty, but upside-down USB ports really bother me. Why can't a manufacturer be bothered to get the ports the same way as everyone else in the world does? Is it really too much to ask?
I have a condition known as "solder joint anxiety." This means that every single time I make a solder joint on a PC board, I'm absolutely, positively certain that THIS will be the joint that fails at a later, extremely inconvenient time. Every single one. If there are any existing solder joints I've made that haven't failed yet, it's because they're just waiting for an even more inconvenient time than now.
Finally, after many many hours of theorizing, prototyping, and breadboarding, construction has finally begun. The depressing thing is that I am positive that anyone with any experience in this sort of thing would've come immediately to this or an even better solution in mere minutes. The experience of doing the design has been as enlightening as it has been frustrating. It's humbling to start over in a completely new field like this, if even only as a hobby. I'm knowledgable enough in software design now that I rarely come up against the sort of roadblocks I have in this project anymore. I just wish there was a fast-track to experience :)
It's called the Mini Logic Analyser and it's located here.
This is going to be my first real (as in, durable and persistant) electronics project. My first order from Digi-Key, my forst protoboard project (yay for protoboards in the same layout as breadboards!), my first switchmode power supply (well, kinda...), in fact, my first power supply of any kind since high school. Lots of firsts here.
The internets provide a million places to purchase electronic components for the part-time hobbyist like myself, but lots of them seem to cater to the wealthy full-time hobbyist. I'm keeping a list here for my own reference.
So, I bought a servo to play around with, since I was over by the hobby shop the other day. The cheapest one they had was a Hitec something-or-other with "Kryptonite" gears. It's a beauty (I guess... I'm not a servo connoisseur). I tried a couple of the drivers available on code.tinyclr.com and got the same results with both: the servo didn't travel anywhere near the 180 degrees it should have.
I purchased an MDLS-20464K (specifically, MDLS20464K-LV-LED04G-G) 20x4 character LCD module from RA-Elco today for $5 hoping that I'd be able to figure out how to interface with it. I figured it was cheap enough that it wouldn't be a big deal if I couldn't.
I've been looking for cheap stepper motors for a couple weeks now, and I've realized something: modern printers do not have stepper motors, and while scanners do seem to have them, modern scanners tend to have very small stepper motors. Digging through the local Deseret Industries for cheap scanners from which to extract stepper motors the other day, I had an epiphany: typewriters. Typewriters are ideal for a couple reasons:
I remember the first time I saw "fabrication" done. I was at the home of my cousin's friend, and he had been previously occupying himself producing tiny "climbing claws" from bent nails. I remember that this had a quite profound effect on me.