Thursday, September 27, 2012

The beginning of an adventure

My list of projects and goals.
This list is in no particular order, however, it might be worth mentioning that if something comes to me first and easily, it is probably of higher importance to be completed. Just a thought.

Upgrading my HAM license. I am currently only tech level, and I might as well go for extra and get it all done at once.

New electronic trigger design for my paintball gun. The current trigger board is capped at 7 balls per second, and I know I can at least shoot up to 14, probably faster. The current thought is to use my MSP430 micro-controller for the brains behind it all.

This goal kind of goes hand in hand with the above one. I would like to work more with programming micro controllers and programming in general. I have some experience with both , it was course requirements at WVU, but  I feel my skill level in that department is kind of lacking.

3D projector setup. I currently own two Mitsubishi XD206U DLP 1024 x 768 resolution projectors. I have almost all of the material and software to do a basic red/blue 3D setup, but I would like to extend it to using the circularly polarized " real 3D" glasses. Not the most difficult thing to do, but having a properly reflective screen would be more of a "permanent" screen installment. This may have to wait until my living space is not only a rental.

White laser build. I have all of the hardware for this project as well, I just need to put in the time to design the enclosure for the optics and the controlling circuits. I would like to use another MSP430 in the design of this project. The lasers that I have are string enough to cause serious eye damage if handled by someone that does not understand the danger, so a digital lock "combination" to turn on the device is a must. Also, I want all of the color shifting and changing to be controlled by the micro-controller. I would like complete control over laser output power, allowing me to both operate it safely and digitally control the output color. I believe the MSP430 is capable of PWM to this extent.

I will probably never finish the work on my portable theater setup. There will always be a better sound bar/ screen/ projector/ video source. Currently, however, I would just like to get my mini android computer working with bluetooth audio out to my Logitech bluetooth boombox. The version of Linux I am running on the mini computer is giving me alot of problems, but is the only build I have found that gives decent color representation when converted from the digital HDMI to analog VGA connection. There are many many things to consider.  I would also like to make the screen frame as compact as possible. The first thought it sto find some cheap camera tripods that will act as the base for the screen. The bulkiest aprt right now are the 3 inch PVC pipes that I am using as a base, I can barely get all of them in my car. It makes transporting the setup more of a pain than fun.

Now that it is starting to get colder out, I am going to try to make a solar furnace. It consists of several aluminum soda cans caulked together in a square snake fashion. They are painted black and then air is forced through them using a solar powered fan. Again, I have most of the materials for this project. As I understand it does not take a too overly large setup to warm an average sized garage a few degrees. Even just slightly warmer air would be a success in my book. Its free heat, and I think that's cool.

To go along with the solar hot air, I would like to have a small solar panel/wind turbine setup that I could use to charge a few batteries. Right now I wont be able to build anything that could supplement a home's energy requirement, but if I could charge my laptop battery, or be able to use it to run emergency lights, it would be worth it. Building a wind turbine is kind of more of my interest right now since micro electronics fabrication for the solar cells is a little out of the budget...currently ;-).

I know I have more ideas, but its late and I cant think of them right now. So, hopefully within a week or two, new posts and pictures should start to appear. Do or do not...there is no try.