Engineering, MEP, Podcast

MEP EP#5: Tilting Tubes

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Parker Dillmann
Stephen Kraig


Podcast Notes

  • Parker ordered all the parts for the SAIM this week. The v-slot rails and brackets from OpenBuild,iES-1706 servos from Leadshine, and 3D printed parts from Shapeways.
  • MacroFab uses 3D printed parts to make custom spacers and tooling for assembly of PCB boards.
  • Parker will be adding acceleration to the motor controller code to make sure the SAIM does not jerk around too much. Maximum Smoothness as Stephen puts it.
  • Stephen has been working more on the FX Dev Board. The board has a couple different power rails. It has +15VDC, -15VDC, an adjustable +9VDC and a half rail that tracks the +9VDC rail. The half rail uses a voltage divider for the reference voltage and is powered by an opamp. See Figure 2.
  • The 16in/16out board that Stephen made has a 16bit A/D and a 16bit D/A on it. MAX5217BGUA+ and MAX11100EUB+. One uses I2C and the other uses 3 wire spi which Parker thinks is unfortunate. See Figure 2.
  • Stephen has some old mylar 60’s era caps that his mentor in junior high gave to him. They are 500pF caps.
  • The Super Simple Power Supply has not had a lot of work done on it this week. Parker has started working on the front control panel. Block diagram of the design is done. See Figure 3.
  • SSPS with IoT? Who would follow a twitter account of a power supply? Parker would.
  • Big Ben clock in London is tilting? Parker measures the picture the newspaper posted and it shows the tower tilting at 3 degrees instead of the 0.26 degrees the engineers say its tilted.
  • KORG and Noritake release the Nutube datasheet. Stephen is stoked to say the least. It is not vaporware as Parker thought.
  • Parker suggests they design an iPhone case that has one of these tubes in it for a headphone amp.
  • Raspberry Pi 3 was released this week. Built in WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a beefy 64-bit ARM A53. Runs at 1.2GHz. Parker says if a computer can’t run beefy web apps it is worthless. RPI2 was enough power.
  • Stephen likes DOOM PI
  • Students at MIT develop a kind of Sensor Tape. It has a ATmega328P, a couple sensors, and blinking LEDs. LEDs are important says, Parker. Arduino friendly and all those things. Parker is going to look into what it will take to make some.
  • Hernando Barragán wrote an article about the early history of Wiring and how it led to the Arduino environment. Parker really likes the hardware aspect of the article and what could have been for Parallax and Microchip if they had open source tool chains in the mid and early 00’s.

Figure 1
Figure 1: Stephen working on the FX Dev board earlier this week.

Figure 2
Figure 2: The I2C data packet from the 16in/16out board.

Figure 3
Figure 3: Block Diagram of the SSPS.

Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro theme!