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PREFACE With the owl, I wanted a system that doesn't have to wait until a door is kicked in or a window is broken to trigger an alarm that would be audible to the intruder as well as hit our cell phones.  I also didn't want a laser beam that they can maneuver around.  The goal was to make a sensor system that will provide an orb of protection around my back porch impossible to infiltrate without triggering the alarm.  To do this, it required some reverse engineering of an automobi ...
This year my son and I joined a lot of competitions at e14.  Some we placed in the competition, some we got a goose-egg.   With Christmas around the corner, I took a trip down memory lane through my main two Maker part suppliers:  Newark and Amazon.  I viewed my order history for 2019.   Unfortunately, we couldn't source everything for our builds from Newark. Even the element14 contest page pointed us to Amazon in one of them.   Most of my Amazon purchases were ...
The underlying objective of this project is to build us a personal library of circuit blocks for high power motors and actuators and a suite of microcontroller web socket (IoT) code that will serve us for every future build to come.  A build video will air on Element14 Presents in 2019.Visit us at the YouTube Channel Raising Awesome for deep dive videos that support the build.      4D Game Engine Project Introduction My boy, Connor, burned all his lawnmowing money this summ ...
Just thought I'd share an interview Connor and I had with Matrix Labs where I referenced the community and talked about our experience on the Ben Heck Show.     ...
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In a couple of months, we will begin making accessibility related projects for those who are physically challenged.  The projects will be designed to make a "smart" home aid a person through their day.   One challenge will be getting things like a clothes basket from point A to point B including going up stairs.  Looking around, it appears Boston Dynamics is on to something.  So, we are going to experiment with a stair climbing "dog" like robot.   In the video below, we ...
This is the next deep dive video for an up-and-coming Project14 build.  This follows my last blog post where we designed a circuit for a programmer board for the ESP8266.  This programmer coupled to the Arduino IDE makes programming the ESP8266 a breeze.   In this video, we quickly solder the board up not worrying too much about cosmetics.  You'll see me pull out of common mishaps and handle things like long exposed leads that were hard to get the heat in.  It isn't pre ...
For our next Project14 project, we need to make a circuit board that can speed up programming of an ESP8266.    To design the board, we used the Open-Source software KiCad.  This gave us an opportunity to do a deep dive tutorial on how to use the software.   Warning, this is long and nerdy, but it gives you everything you need to know to make your own PCB files for fabrication.  We hope to inspire kids and parents to learn KiCad to make their own fabricated board of a ...
    Over the holidays, we had a unique opportunity.  Dave Jones of EEVBlog was going on a walkabout and offered to show guest videos.  He selected 12 videos to release one at a time each day he was gone.  We were lucky enough to have our video selected.   For our video, we did a retro 8-Bit build.  At the same time, we elected to do a parody of Dave set back in 1978.  It was a lot of fun.  The build was originally inspired by Ben Hecks Super Solder ...
sjmill01

Introduction

Posted by sjmill01 Sep 23, 2017
I'm Sean Miller.  I am a Reliability Engineer during the day.  In my spare time, I develop projects to learn life skills with my son.  I often learn just as much as he does.   Our biggest accomplishment to date has been making a life size R2D2 that is semi-autonomous.  It took about 4 years to build.  The research involved taught me to be a better engineer than my actual degree did.   This blog will mostly be where I update my mishaps behind the scenes for ou ...