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2014
Early in my consultancy, I was eager to please. First clients aren't easy to find! But this particular client was working on a new microcontroller implementation of an existing product. It started as a simple way to control the system, but as opportunities for project improvements came up everything became something that should be added. Some of the extra features were: The ability to log system diagnostic data The ability to log user input data The ability to support USB communication to get ...
This is James (Laen) Neal, owner and operator of OSH Park, home of the purple boards. OSH Park makes prototype quantity printed circuit boards, targeted for inventors and makers and at-home engineers who don't want to etch themselves but want to have a commercial quality board for about the same price. (Full disclosure: my first order from OSH Park, or the PDX PCB batch order as it was called then, was in January of 2012. Laen keeps all of his emails and we went back in time to find my order n ...
I was recently working on a project where the goal was to control a rocket's altitude and recovery system. The basic goal was to have an altimeter to know at what altitude the rocket was at in order to deploy the drag chute and then at an acceptable speed deploy the main chute. For a first time attempt at designing a system to work for this application this goal would have been a good first step however, the team leader decided to go big or go home.     With just five months till lau ...
When I was a co-op student a number of years ago I was tasked with automating device testing for a specific company. The testing that was in need of automation was taking up valuable hours each day. One unit could easily take 2 hours a day for its first week and then twice weekly after that slowly decreasing to once per week. The manager in charge of this project had decided that using a software suite that was designed for such tasks, such as NI’s Labview was too expensive and that we cou ...