Sunday, September 30, 2012

Maker Faire 2012

Maker Faire 2012 New York was just as much fun this year, as it was the last two. You can check out a few of the pictures I snapped while there here.
Well to start, there is, as always, a great number of 3D printers this year. MakerBot has produced a new model with a much higher level of detail. There are new companies with their own printers, trying to reduce the cost of producing the device. There was even a printer large enough to print a person inside of.
Arduino continues to have a large presence. There are more and more companies either trying to create shields, add-ons that capitalize on the device's popularity, or create an Arduino clone based off another processor. Parallax is one such company, trying to add shields to their current lineup of products. A PIC based Arduino system is being worked on by another company, which looks promising; anything that can make PIC more bearable, is a good thing. The Arduino Due, the ARM-based Arduino, is going to be released in a few weeks.
There seems to be more items to aimed towards the younger maker audience this year. Activities, trying to get kids involved, painting, alternative energies, even Disney's Phineas and Ferb were there to greet the kids.
All in all, a great way to spend the weekend. I will be posting the details for the DIY oscilloscope tomorrow, so stay tuned for that.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

September Update

It's been almost 2 months since my last post, and a lot has happened since then. I'm currently enjoying my 3rd week of classes at Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey. I've also gotten back into the rythym of producing videos again, after a wait of almost as long as this post. Also, with Maker Faire New York, this weekend, so I am quite excited
To business. In regards to the project I started with my last entry, I went through a lot of the leg work, got the functions working, even made a tiny game. I ran into a bit of an issue thought. The program space on the Atmega328, has a limited number of write cycles that it will tolerate. Every time my little device had to switch from game to menu, it burned another cycle. Thus, I return to my original point in this argument: it's probably better to use a microprocessor and RAM, rather than a microcontroller.
Remember that oscilloscope board I said I was going to distribute but never did? Well, you probably do now. I will be releasing the files to etch your own, along with the parts sheet by next Monday, I promise.
I'm going to be doing some coverage of Maker Faire this weekend. I've set up an Imgur, for some photos, and will probably have a YouTube video or two as well.