Parker modifies car parts and assembles the Thermal Detonator and Stephen starts working with STM32 microcontrollers.
Stephen shows off his ribbon microphone created from scratch and Parker reveals the future of the PinHeck REV8 Platform.
Toaster controllers, Hexa Precision, I2S Audio DACs, and Bagels.
Parker is an Electrical Engineer with backgrounds in Embedded System Design and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. The following year he designed and produced an Atari 2600 video mod to allow the Atari to display a crisp, RF fuzz free picture on newer TVs. Over a thousand Atari video mods where produced by Parker from 2006 to 2011 and the mod is still made by other enthusiasts in the Atari community.
In 2006, Parker enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin as a Petroleum Engineer. After realizing electronics was his passion he switched majors in 2007 to Electrical and Computer Engineering. Following his previous background in making the Atari 2600 video mod, Parker decided to take more board layout classes and circuit design classes. Other areas of study include robotics, microcontroller theory and design, FPGA development with VHDL and Verilog, and image and signal processing with DSPs. In 2010, Parker won a Ti sponsored Launchpad programming and design contest that was held by the IEEE CS chapter at the University. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Spring of 2012.
In the Summer of 2012, Parker was hired on as an Electrical Engineer at Dynamic Perception to design and prototype new electronic products. Here, Parker learned about full product development cycles and honed his board layout skills. Seeing the difficulties in managing operations and FCC/CE compliance testing, Parker thought there had to be a better way for small electronic companies to get their product out in customer's hands.
Parker also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components.
Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!
Hello and welcome to the macro fab engineering podcast. We're your hosts Parker Dolan
and Steven Craig.
This is episode 87.
So Parker, what's been up?
So I've been working on the pin heck. As always, yes. Always. Yeah. It's a never ending quest to build the ultimate pinball platform, I guess. Yeah, the
pin ATAR. Well, no, that's
the next version. Oh, you're
not working on pin untarred this time?
No, no, I'll pin a torus after this revision, the pin heck,
okay, so one more revision, and then a full rebuild or rebuild redesign redesign
from scratch. Okay, so this is this is the pin hack rev eight end of the line. So we're actually calling it the end of the pin hack ecosystem. Oh, the E OTL. Yeah. So it has it this goes along with those Raspberry Pi, three compute module boards that we built. And I think a previous podcast, we have a picture of it, like grafted on, it's like a simulating the pin tech board. It's pretty cool. Greenwire madness, that's green wire madness. Because basically, everything from the pin hack has to be jumping over onto the compute module board. And what I've been working on is basically putting the compute modules, sodium socket, putting that on the pin, heck, removing all the parts, we're not using all that stuff. But on Monday, I was doing all this work. And I looked at the schematic and basically the pin hack schematic is like six years of hacks and modifications to the schematic and so it's all over the place. And like back then I didn't really organize my schematics either. Like I was just like, just plopping crap down and drawing lines. Big page. Yeah, it's one big page. And so and you don't know where anything is that because we bait I was like, Okay, I'm gonna do the pic 32. I'm gonna do this section dissection. And I just sprawled it out over the eagle schematic page. So I basically spent three hours on Monday after work organizing the schematic. So now it looks like a proper scrap. It's all on one sheet. Because I don't really like dual sheets. At least an eagle eye. I just don't like it. Just not your thing. Yeah, so I like it have I like to organize it by blocks. Like this is a pic 32 This is the watchdog timer. This is the control circuitry for the solenoids, like separate boxes and put them in boxes and label them. And then we also like to do is put in if it's like a schematic that's in progress, I'll put in like, what is to do in in that box. So like, you know, like the USB and like, I need to route the USB or I need to figure out a chip for the communication or something like that.
Yeah, no notes are a big, big deal. Yeah.
So I actually probably pretty good picture with the pretty good picture will be like if I had an A B like this is the pin HEC schematic before I organized it, and this is after there's a big difference. Then I can actually start, you know, copying and pasting the compute module stuff because compute module stuff is actually organ all organized, and looks really nice. And so when I started copying it over, I'm like, Oh, I have no idea what's going on in this page. I haven't looked at the Panek schematic in like, four years, no, three years. Beside and then after, that's just like, changing one thing, like the battery holder got changed to through hole parts and changing out the audio connector because no one the connector got into life. So right, but yeah, cool. And then today, which is Tuesday, we're actually recording this episode early. On the floor, they broke the last key for their HoCo station. So the key on the Hawker station is basically a thing you insert into the machine so you can change the settings and HAKO for those that don't know is a brand of soldering irons, right? Inexpensive. Moderately is that they're pretty expensive. Compared to like a mech Cal or whatever Well, or JBC
oh yeah JVC is a ridiculous yeah
JVC JVC and that cows are like the Ferrari and Lamborghini Yeah, but they're awesome because they're that well there's two fundamental differences in how they work like a Ferrari and Lamborghini how so? What during the the irons Yeah, I'm so Mezcal use the curry effect. And, and JVC is use resistive element. Oh, okay. I didn't know that. Yeah.
Okay. The we had a JVC in here for a while. I like as a test unit, right? Yeah. That was two years ago. Yeah. Well, that was a while ago, but I remember it was crazy. You could you could log in Information, you could log what the user was, was doing such that like at the end of the day, I mean, this is for like big plants and stuff. If you wanted to see what temperatures they were using, like, all that information, it
actually could log, because when it would, when you put the iron down onto a lead, it would actually record how long you held it there just from knowing the temperature sink, because when you put the your tip on it, there's a temperature drop. And so it would know basically how much longer you put the tip down and it will log how long you are soldering for. So you can be you can basically go back and say if people are you know, compliance and whatever soldering technique you're using for reliability purposes. Yeah,
yeah. It was really cool. But it was it was multi $1,000 solder solder one soldering station. Yeah, one Yeah, one station, but I remember it went cold. And you'd pick it up and it got hot within three seconds. Yes. It was ridiculous.
And that cows are the same way though. They since the curry effect. It's sort of just resist defeat. It's a if I recall. It's basically like almost like microwaving the tip. You send out a frequency. Yeah, it's a high frequency.
Yeah. Yeah. So you 3d printed for a haka.
So they have the key to change temperature on the station's I guess it's to prevent people on the floor to from changing the numbers, right. So they can't cheat? Yes, make it super hot. Yeah, super hot it solders like the ground playing faster, where if you did that, it would actually damage the pad. And so our last key broke that we got with these stations and these stations we've bought used a couple of years ago from an auction. And so I was like, Huh, I wonder if we can 3d print one, because I basically looked at the key, and it's just a piece of plastic. Right? What's the shape on it? And I went on to Thingiverse and typed in Hakko key and of course, one popped up. I downloaded and printed it in 17 minutes, I think is what took and 100% infill because it how the key works is it just blocks a optocoupler in there. Hmm, yeah. Interesting. So it has to be at the right shape to fit into the slot. And then there's a groove that it has to fit in. And then if it just blocks up a coupler
that almost sounds expensive for haco to use something like that, you know, well,
why? Um, well or uses magnetic. You have a hall sensor. Yeah. hall sensor more like a latching. magnetic reed relay. Really? Yeah, that's what, at least on their lower end stuff that well or has. So if you just put a big enough magnet? Yeah, you can you can do it. Yeah, they come with like the like the web at W E s 5151. Stations, which is the low end stations that well, their cells, you actually get this little pencil that's got a magnet on the end. Really? Yeah. So you can like That's cute. You can toggle the lock on it. See, I printed that up and it worked. And I printed up a couple more. So now everyone's got keys. Well, and those keys are not cheap. Yeah, the keys are HoCo wants $15 Plus shipping form and I printed it in 17 minutes. With like, three cents of plastic. Yep. So yeah. Nice. It's kind of annoying. That's $15 for a piece of plastic.
It's the caterpillar model, right? You sell the you sell the the, the big part at a regular price. And then all the parts are super expensive. The hot tip is not a hot crustaceans not cheap either. No, it's not. So I guess it's not the cat model. Everything's expensive. Everything's expensive. Oh, that's great.
Actually, though, remember back when you broke your fr 300 desoldering Hawker station? Oh, gosh. Because the thing is the parts for that are not that expensive. No. And you can build them from scratch. Almost build an entire one from scratch. Yeah,
it's missing. It's missing the one part that I broke. Yeah. But yeah, no, you can buy almost every part for that on their website, which is cool. I need to do that one day. fix something awesome. Yeah, that's what my shop
What happened was we actually use it here for a while too. And then we just read it. We just set it and we ended up just buying one for the for here. Right? That's such an awesome machine.
Well, and and it got tiring switching out tips, because my tips are all leaded.
Yeah, yeah, we had to swap out for lead free ones. Right. Right. Yeah. So yeah. Steven, so that's what I've been doing. Yep. Well, you've been doing.
So I found a really cool GitHub that I found that actually months ago, GitHub. Hmm, yeah. github.com. You know, I, you know, let's not go on a tangent on GitHub. I have some. I don't know GitHub, kind of weird. But like GitHub, I know you do. And what's weird about it. Let's not go there right now. Because it could go for a really long time. Come on. Maybe one day we'll have to get home Special,
I don't, we don't have a lot of powers or RFO. So go for it.
It's, it's really, it's great. But a lot of people don't follow like a really fixed method. And and if you get someone who goes and creates a project on GitHub, and they don't know, like a good way of project management of project documentation, then you just get a mismatch of all kinds of crap. And it's up to you to sift through all of their crap to find that you either want to or don't want to make their product. Okay. And basically, they're
not using the Wikipedia feature and the readme feature of
GitHub. Yes, that's right. And a lot of people use GitHub as just a massive dump for all of their stuff. And they put it all in one repository, and says, splitting it up, instead of splitting it up and making it logical. It's, the thing is, when you're, when you're doing a project, like like, you know, that you really want to share on GitHub, break it up, what you have to think about who's going to be looking at it, and how they're going to be looking at it. And if you really want people to do your stuff, make it really clear. Because most people won't even give you five minutes. Yeah, you know, I. So that's just my, that's my rant. I could go a lot longer. But it's because I've seen some good hubs that are just freaking incredible. And some that are like, well, Max, everyone's right. The microphone is good. Yeah, I know, I'm being dead serious. I like what the first time I saw that I was like, I can actually read this, I can, I can dig down to what I needed. And whenever I was putting things in GitHub, like, Parker taught me how, you know, the macro fab method was and I was like, this is easy, and it makes sense. But some others are just like, Oh, my God, terrible. Well,
I really don't like Google I like about how I use GitHub is for like a project for, let's say, the pinic. Yeah. Is I always make sure we have the hardware and the software, there's a lot of people are you do you need to have him separate repos. But I think you need to have it in the same repository. So the hardware and the firmware, basically, because they're married together, is the firmware is only going to work with that revision of hardware. And then when you make a new revision, you have to make sure the software is also up to date to work with that revision of hardware. Yeah. And so when you do a release, which is what GitHub calls like, basically, I do a release with my hardware when I like, basically get boards made. And like that's a release and hardware terms. And then basically, when I do that the software that's currently there gets packaged up with it, and that there's a little package that you can download No, with that firmware is going to work on that board. And that board is going to work. Yeah. Unless there's Greenwire.
Yeah, yeah. Right. And so yeah, if you want version to go to the version two, hardware, firmware, document or page, hey, whatever, and all have to is right there, the your method can potentially create a lot of copies of things. Yes. So I can see why people wouldn't like that. But it makes it really
easy. Yeah, but some, some people also like to separate out like hardware is different from software, in terms of how you update it, and what kind of revision controls and stuff you use, which is understandable, because like, while that boards being manufactured, you can be doing firmware changes, of course,
so well, and GitHub feels very much like a software oriented thing it is. And because of that, the hardware side of most projects are extremely lacking. Yes. And at at the very best, you usually just get like, here's an eagle board file, or here's an eagle schematic file. And it's kind of like, the readme should basically say good luck. And then, and then you go to their firmware folders, and it's filled with crap. And you could tell that they're spending all their time right there. And understandably, a lot of projects require that. But it's like to have a complete project, you need to have your documentation, easily readable and spread out in a way that makes sense. And like this GitHub that I'm about to talk to you like this guy in his repo, he just has slash Doc's. And like, you go there, and practically everything is right there. So it's like, okay, so I almost have to like create my own hierarchy structure of like, okay, I need this one, I need this one. And he even has a part where it's like, these are all the different variants of 3d printable things for different enclosures, but sort of doesn't explain what enclosure they go to. So I have to download them. I have to measure them myself, and then compare against stuff. It's just poorly done. So I don't know that there's a lot of beef that goes on there. It's just like, Ah, it's like all the information is there. It just takes a little bit more time to say, Hey, this is for this and this is for this. And it's funny too, because Okay, well, I'll just let me talk about it real quick. So I found this thing called the eye spindle. Okay. I spi N D, E L. It's German. I'll say is that German? Yeah, it's it's German I spent though.
It is a, I guess a copy of a more commercially, quote version of a tilt hydrometer. Okay, and a hydrometer is a device that measures the density of a liquid. And this uses a unique method where it floats in the liquid. And based off of the density of the water, it actually will change its angle on how the tube floats in there. And so you put a gyro and inside of this tube and a Bluetooth or Wi Fi or whatever transmitter in there, and you can tell the density of water. This is meant for brewing. So when you when you put this device in your beer before it's fermented, you can tell it what the density of the water is. And as it ferments, the thing will tilt further and further. And you can track
does it have a temperature sensor too? It does have it so so it will automatically compensate for
it does all of that. And it's all in a sealed tube. You just basically charge it, drop it in and go to toe.
Yeah, so how long? How long is the battery last three months,
three months for this version. So in this version, so that the original till one is Bluetooth. So it actually lasts a whole lot longer, because Bluetooth takes a lot less energy. But Bluetooth is great. However, I don't want to have to walk over to where my thing is fermenting and connect to it to find out things or get like a Bluetooth thing for my Raspberry Pi. So the I spindle does basically the exact same thing, but it uses a
Wi Fi module. So I can come in ESP whatever it is
a Wii Mote D one mini, which has that chip on. Okay. So it's just a development board for the ESP. Ah, gotcha, gotcha, gotcha. So it uses that and I like I love that that system in there. So you basically just connect to it. And you can start gathering data whenever I can be at work and check my beer fermenting and the temperature at home.
At work, huh? You check it at work? Well, yeah, I
can at work, I can check it as it's fermenting. Oh, gotcha. And and on top of that, what's what's nice is we were talking actually last week, a little bit about or a lot a bit about fermenting. And we were saying you can change the temperature to affect certain things. Well, that temperature needs to change at a certain point when the density is at whatever. And that's hard to find unless you take samples and then you're wasting beer. And so with this, I can tell exactly when it reaches the time to change temperature. Hell, I could even have this automatically change my fridge temperature. Regardless, I found this GitHub, and I wanted to build some of these things. And I can build four of these for the price of one of the tilt hydrometers. Yeah. So I decided to build
a couple of them. And it uses the 18 650. So I actually you gave me the STL to print. It takes about three hours to print on my printer. Yeah.
So I got this thing. They call it a sled. Yeah. And it's more of just like a board holder and battery and a battery holder.
So I was wondering, because when you put the battery in this thing, I was like you just like chunk it in there and you're like it goes into enclosure. Yep. And so he wanted i This is what I think it goes into. Okay, okay, yeah, cuz it's DIY. It's gotta be simple. Yep. goes into a condom.
You know, you could? Probably no, I don't think you could do that. Because it kind of probably wouldn't float. I mean, it would float, but it wouldn't float the right angle.
Ah, because I think he's just like, you're so long. Tie it off and then bam. It's waterproof. It cheap. Yeah,
you'd get all kinds of weird fluid lube and stuff in there beer and I don't. Oh, god. No. No, it does not go in a condom. You know. Okay, so here's the thing. That's funny. All the parts.
You're so serious about that. Yeah.
All the all the parts for this project are super easy to source. Everything can be done off of Amazon, all the electronics, the 3d printed Part. Everyone has access now to a 3d printer basically. So that's not that hard to get. The enclosure is ridiculously hard to get ahold of. And I'm actually a little bit annoyed at what enclosure they chose. So get this. It goes in what's called a PE T preform, which is a polyethylene, Terra for failing, which is plastic. Yep. It's a thermal plastic. That is the preform the pre version of a two liter bottle. Oh, a two liter bottle is expanded and blown up. Yeah, it kind of looks like a condom. It's like a big plastic tube with the screw on top.
That'd be hard condom.
So this this one goes into fine tuning. Yeah derailing fast.
I mean, whatever.
You're the one What is it it goes into? Work? Sorta. It's weird. So regardless, it goes into this five liter preform. And the only place on Earth that I can buy this is from a person in Lithuania from on eBay. Like, you can't go to Amazon and buy this go down and buy the
you can buy the the 20 ounce ones.
Right but this this is much bigger. Yeah. Because you can
buy the 20 ounce ones because that's actually what the white labs which makes yeast right? They come in a non expanded 20 ounce. That's right. Or I can you buy 20 ounce is 16. Now, that's like wanting you to buy 20 ounce bottles. So yeah, they sold those, but those are smaller. Yeah.
Yeah, this is the this is the extra extra large is what they call it. It's for five liters, basically a small car boy. Oh, interesting. So it's that size. And it's like Who the hell's gonna have? How's that fit into the neck of the car? Boy, I It's that big that we printed the one that is for the place that I bought it from? Gotcha. So people have done this plenty of times before. So this is the exact fit one. So it's kind of ridiculous. And the thing is, those enclosures, or I shouldn't even call them enclosures. Tubes are really popular in Gill, Gill, geocaching, they use them as like the logbook holders. Yeah. You know, you could put them somewhere. I wonder
if they use PE t because that's what normal cowboys matter. But you can use high density plastic just fine.
Yeah, it's it's the whole sanitary and sealing thing. Yeah, is because it's going to be in contact with
the wall. I mean, you can brew and regular, you know, buckets. Yeah. And that's a recycle number two, which is high density, plastic, blah, blah, blah. It's not PE t. Well, and I will mean differences. It's the only difference between those two really is the for brewing purposes is permittivity to oxygen, right? So PE T has a lot. I guess the it's wrong to say this grain structure. I guess the plastic is tighter. It's not grain structure. That's metal. But that what the fiber or how it's yeah, the molecular level, something like that is tighter. And so it allows less oxygen through whereas the regular high density plastic like if you go to like Home Depot and buy a home depot bucket, that's you can buy food safe ones. They those will work. You just can't keep beer in it for like months. Oh, cuz it'll leach in the auction. But most time you you're brewing for, you know, two or four weeks. At the most Yeah. So it's something that buckets and that's actually the thing is I've been using this plastic cardboard set or PE T and I've just gotten to the point where because they actually were out. If people don't know that. Yeah, they start to crack eventually. Yeah, I've actually asked me to Yeah, and I'm been just going back to buckets. It's just so much cheaper and easier to clean glass. Glass is great. So you drop it. Well, I did that one. So I had one fall at the counter. So full of beer. No, I've just cleaned it and it just rolled off. Oh, that sucks. Yeah, really. So I just went I didn't know got the PE T buckets or bottles. And then I'm going to buckets because there's so much faster. So much easier to clean.
And you know, the thing is, I really wish I could have gone with something else. But all of the calculations for the actual tilting is based off the weight of this tube and the shape of this tube. So it's kind of like you are forced to use a tube, I would have gladly use something else was like, Oh my gosh, so I had to order some crap from Lithuania. Which, you know, it's funny, I spent $13 buying four of these tubes and then $11 shipping them. So it's not it's not that bad or anything but it's still just like, Oh, I wish I could just get some off Amazon Prime. Well, and Amazon has these things. They just don't have the extra large ones. Ah, oh, it sucks. But yeah, so that's what I've been doing. GitHub ranting and I spend the link
Yeah, good thing you did that get him rant though. People probably find that interesting. I'm sure we could do a lot more. Oh yeah, we're known for that. Alright, so we got on the pic of the week. We got two of them two of them this week. One is 100 Watt water cooled LED flashlight or light I guess. And the other one is the overkill solar battery USB charger at pick both of these because these are kind of projects I've been wanting to try to tackle on the map. And these have basically we can start out with these projects and like expand on them and make them
awesome so are we going to make a solar better USB charger that powers 100 Watt water cooler led No.
So on the first one, the water cooled LED light. I can't remember the guy's YouTube channel. We'll have the link though, is basically he took 100 watt LED module and slot A CPU water cooling unit on the back of a glycol Yeah, that goes inside your computer. Yeah. And then designed a power supply and all that good stuff and then made a decent looking box. And yeah, it works pretty well
so he can run 100 Watt continuous continuous. Oh, that's ridiculous.
It goes through it's got a water cooled loop and it dumps into 120 millimeter radiator fan. That's crazy. Yeah. And excuse me is he's got a little bendy arm on it so you can move the so the base units like a brick, it looks like a computer power supply. And then it's got a gooseneck so you can move the LED around. Really? Yeah. Wow,
what gauge wire is the is it using the pump? 100 Watts through there.
I mean, it looks like 1618 gauge. Really?
What do you know? Do you know what the voltage of the bed was? Mad? interesting to look at that? Because I bet you it's just a ton of current right? It's gonna be low voltage in boatloads of current.
I think this modules actually take like 18 Something volts. Okay, so they stack up a bunch of Yeah, inside the modules. Okay. I gotcha. Yeah. And so what I wanted to do is, is do a similar thing, but make it more ruggedized because his is kind of very aesthetically pleasing. Okay, so it's designed to look nice.
So we're gonna design it to not look
nice. Well, no, it can look nice, but it needs to be able, like one of the ideas someone gave me on a slack channel was to make it like a thing you can like slot on to the front of the Jeep. And so if when you go off roading, you can just clip it in and then hook it into the power of the Jeep. And then you have like, the power the sun's in front of your Jeep so you can see everything
gotta watch out because the game wardens can catch you for that right for spotlighting.
Well, that's not for not for hunting. I want for like when you're driving on the beach at night and stuff.
Oh, I got you illuminate the entire beach. Yes. Yeah,
like four of them.
How many? How many watts of sunlight hit the Earth continuous from no idea. It's probably a lot. Yes. More than 100 watts.
It's more than 100 watts. Um, he says is 1000 wires. We looked at it. Yeah, he says is the 1000 watt equivalent, which makes sense. What Hey, so the LED module burns 100 Watts, but it's how much it takes. Whereas led when you go to Home Depot or Lowe's or whatever and buy an LED bulb, they tell you the equivalent filament Oh, like a 60 watt LED LED light bulbs only burns like 11 I thought
you were seeing like the the LED burned 100 But it put out 1000 No, no, no, we need to look further. They
see 1000 watt equivalent. Okay, so it's not like 100 watt light bulb. It's like 1000 watt light bulb.
Wow. Yeah, that's pretty awesome. My wife put 100 watt bulbs in our living room and I absolutely hate them. Like three of them. No room in our little room. So you turn it on, and it's just like, Oh my God. Like, come on. We need like 40 Watts total. Yeah. 300 Watts when you turn
she she comes back from being on vacation. You've replaced it with like a 15 watt and you're like a troll now. And she turns the light on you go
turn the light off. Something like that.
Iris just made a face at us. She Yeah,
yeah. Oh, okay. We, let's see here. Okay, the solar flux intercepted by the Earth is 1.37 kilowatts per meters squared. So a lot more than 100 Yeah. That actually that number sounds kind of weird. Because that number seems like a whole lot more than I would expect.
Well, that's is
Well, it's it's, it's an energy density is talking about right. So yeah, not just like, how much power it putting out? Sure. Yeah.
A lot. That's a lot. It is. The sun is the sun. Okay. Overkill, solar battery USB underscore charger.
Yeah, so this is a really cool project. Because he did a lot of like, pre engineering work like this is like if if you did this for like your senior design project, it's like you go and get a triple a triple
A's and all the other classes that Yeah,
you gotta you gotta do you think his GitHub is really nice.
I have no idea. I just looked at his website and it's really nice. Um, but yeah, if this was a senior design project, and V epic. He has, he has all his pre planning, his theory of operation stuff. And then he does an LT SPICE simulation of everything, the whole thing, including the solar panels, the dc dc converters, all that stuff and then he has performance Have reality versus the simulation as well like comparing it. And the fact that his real life stuff is actually outperforming the simulation stuff, because the basic LT spice doesn't didn't do a really good job for his DC DC converter. Like the most efficient, it's more efficient in real life than it is in the model, which is, I guess a good thing.
It's usually what you hope for. Yeah. I mean, you typically don't want your DC DC converter being less efficient. But I did do a project once where I had to have a DC DC converter do some really wacko stuff. And in some situations, I was more than happy with it being like 30% efficient, because I was like, it's actually working. That's all I need in this in this case.
So that and he made a really nice 3d printed box, everything's really well laid out.
I mean, he just engineered the whole thing, like, it's a real engineering job.
Just how the project's laid out is it's like a, you're complaining about that GitHub thing. This is I'm impressed at how well this project was laid out the opposite of how I feel with Yeah. And what I want to expand with this was we're going to talk about hurricane Harvey again. It's his I have this really awesome USB power brick. Basically, it has a bunch of lithium batteries in it. Battery booster sweat other people call them to, and it's great like it, it could run my Google Pixel phone for three days straight, and 100%. And I'm like, basically, the only thing I can do at home is sweat and watch YouTube videos. So you just hammer and so I'm just like watching I get home and like, get a cold drink. And then watch YouTube videos. That's, that's all you can do and no power for a whole week. So I'd like to make a better power brick like he did. I don't need the solar part, all and the only thing that was bad, I guess I should explain why I want to build something like this is the power brick I have is great at powering up devices, but it's terrible at charging less, because I'd come to work, plug it into the wall. And by the end of the day, after eight hours, it's still not in fully charged. It's like maybe gone up 10%. So it takes forever for that power brick to charge. And so I want to do is have a power brick that charges in like an hour. Okay, so I want to be able to plug it in the wall. And just like, you know, use it, you plug in the wall and lights go. And it charges up. And I want to do instead of flat packs, I want to do 18 650s. And so if you need an 18 650 cell, you can just pop it open, pull one out, and basically have everything in parallel. And then have load balancing all that good stuff built in. And then you know have a monster lithium basically upon those RC style lithium battery chargers that's in the unit. And so you basically plug in the wall, and it's like as it charges up.
It actually makes that noise put a speaker in it yourself.
The flow of electrons causes the vibrate itself. To be something out of like Back to the Future. Yeah,
just about Yeah, back to the future. You have to have a variac on it. Oh, and
like spool it up. Oh, yeah. Or it sucks. Cuz Yeah. That'd be stupid. Alright, cool. So that's what I would I would expand on that. Okay. So the RFO is kind of an interesting one. It's a question kind of like a couple weeks ago, where we had the question that Chris church asked us, which is, you know, who would win in a fight? A guy who's more efficient a, a astronaut, or a engineer with an astronaut home Anon, or a caffeinated squirrel,
which was just a secret way of saying, who's more efficient? Chris charitra. Park?
Yeah, exactly. So this one is from zap from the Slack channel. So we have a Slack channel, go and join it. Link below in the comment section in that comment section. And his question is, would you rather have your evil engineering layer 1000 feet underwater, or in an active volcano? And he said, assume that you already solved this, the environmental problems. Okay. Okay. I actually want to like, kind of explore on that and like, what kind of engineering challenges don't both places have? Okay, as well, because I'd like to back it up a little bit. And not just assume that but yeah, so we're How would you what if you could pick which one? Which one would you pick?
I would probably pick 1000 feet underwater? Yeah, I would certainly do that. Because I hate the heat. I hate. Like every possible way. I live in one of the hottest places on Earth. It sucks. But I hate it so much that even if like all the harsh environments are there like I'd still have to be around it at some Yeah. Like this sucks. So like cold, dark and dank is awesome. Underneath doesn't mean I need the water sounds a whole hell of
the lab. See lab Steven addition. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. So I would do it depends. It would depend, but I don't think they have. I'm just geological events 1000 feet under you have to go deeper.
What in a volcano?
No, no in under the water. Okay. Geological events happen deeper. I don't think there's any shallow 1000 feets not shallow, but that there's none that that shallow. I have no, I know he made me. So I was thinking in the volcano because you basically have limitless energy. But until the, you know, Earth stops rotating, basically. But you basically have infinite energy there as geological source. So you can do you can have those badass air conditioner and keep yourself cool. And then you have plenty of power left over to do whatever you want.
Sure, sure. I just tap into the water. But it's cold. Yeah, but you could the motion.
The motion of the ocean motion?
You got your title in? Yeah. Oh, I can idea for that. What if? Because I don't know how strong the currents are. But if you had a a buoy, and then a rigid cable that was attached the flywheel and so as it's going up and down in the in the from the rolling waves, it's turning. You know, turning the motor down. Don't blow work. Yeah. I wonder how much more efficient that would be? Maybe not. I have no idea. I would also think it would be at the comeback. barnacles and crap too. Yeah, that's
harsh environment stuff. And you've already you've already overcome that is what he says here. See, the thing is also like getting getting water seems a whole hell of a lot easier if you're under the volcano.
Yeah, you have to you have to watch out for like mega mega shark though. Megillah done. Yeah, mega Don verse a giant octopus or giant squid.
That was uh, yeah, we have that movie but we don't have more Firefly Yeah. That again. I'm gonna keep saying that. Yeah, I will keep what
a shark Neo shows up man.
Which one shark ninja one two or three? Are the core firefight
Yeah, that's a that's a that's a great idea. And okay, so what would be in a Parker engineering lair? Um, you'd have to drive your Jeep into a volcano. That's badass.
You get to go on an adventure every single time you go to your lair.
Now that's true. Yeah, yeah. Okay, so what would be in a in a park abdomen layer?
So you know all the typical electronic equipment all that stuff? I probably would have my own assembly line. So I'd have minions you know running the assembly line that'd be awesome CNC shop, all that good stuff. And then of course, you have to have the doomsday weapon. Okay, because you have guts. That's the only way you can be feared. As a as a
true engineer. True evil engineer. Oh, okay. As you know, this was an evil it hasn't been evil. Enjoy. Don't say it. Okay. Yeah, no, that said, You're evil engineering. Yeah. Okay.
Yes. Have the doomsday weapon.
Okay, I may, I may have missed that earlier because evil engineering
that's the thing is, what you could do is send like a crazy electrical pulse down to the magma. And then like, go, that's your doomsday weapon. Hmm. That prevents people from like messing with you.
Or you you have some kind of magnetic containment weapon where you just launch lava anywhere.
That'd be asked a railgun that shoots lava. That's right. I actually I bet you though if you just took if you have figured out how to launch a rock out of a out of a railgun it would turn to lava because from the friction
if you could, I suppose. Yeah, I'm pretty sure
if you like the because that was recently the Navy had that video where they're shooting stuff with our new Railgun Yeah, like eight years ago? No, no, there's a new video and they're like this is actually like the practical version of it now
because they needed like a power bank the size of a city
Yeah, now it's like the size of like, three super carriers but it's the first one that they got the connection shoot multiple rounds without basically failing.
Yeah, cuz they've destroyed themselves effectively.
Because what it held the railguns work is to basically to metal rods that stick out of it. And then you put a piece of metal that shorts, a bazillion amps and a bazillion volts and that accelerates out.
thing that's crazy about them to you They're actually they're independent. For the most part, they're independent on of the velocity of the projectile going into the gun. So if you shoot the projectile into the railgun, it picks up from that velocity, whatever it is. So, you know, you shoot a bullet into it, whatever that speed is. It goes from there. So
you keep stacking railguns Yeah, it's real guns all the way down. That's right. Yeah.
And in one of the old Railgun videos, the projectiles going fast enough, it ignites the air.
Yeah, as I was thinking, if you could figure out how to shoot a rock, then it would turn into lava as it comes out. Yeah, yeah. So that would be a lot easier on the on the gun probably. And transporting storing things. Like just having the store lava the uses ammunition. I guess you can just suck it out of the
way. You know, now it's now it's kind of feeling like, like a bad Bond movie. Yes. Where you have to have. Okay, you said you'd have a CNC? Yeah, your CNC has to have like a really badass laser on it. Oh, but it has to travel really, really slow. So you can put bond on it. But like it's moving at like a 10th of an inch a second. Yeah, like that. So he has time to get away?
No, you have to have, it has to have time for you to explain your entire master plan. Why bond is stupid? And how you're going to get away with it. And then then you leave. Yeah. And then like 10 minutes later, Bond gets away, and then gets you.
Wait. You know how it would go? Where's my check for the next Bond plot? Right? If it's evil doctor, that's the way it goes. But if it's an evil engineer, you would have him strapped to the table. Oh, you just turned on? No, no, no, no, what would happen is is he would be on the table and you'd be like, hang on, I got to program this. And you're like, you're like figuring it all out. It's like, it like goes the wrong direction cuts a wrong leg off and you're like shit, I didn't mean to do that. Let me Re Zero it and by the end of it when you want to run the actual program. He's all chopped up into a ton of different pieces. I didn't want that's how it would happen in engineering. Before you even monologue.
Yeah, right. Sorry, the program's off. So why what so you said in evil there has to be in a volcano. Yeah. Okay. How can we make a lab that's underwater? That's evil.
Laser sharks. I mean, that's already
laser sharks. That's already been done. Yeah, for sure. But you're doomsday weapon could be you can boil the entire sea.
That's yeah, you could you could just heat up the water
everywhere. Like someone just pours a cup of water and you turn the machine on and
you convince the core of the Earth to vibrate at a microwave frequency. And a boil is the whole word
I think would boil everything clean people
are mostly water yeah. Yeah, no, that's a good one boy boiling Yeah, boil the sea or or just have all the fish evolved very quickly. And like grow legs and then just go kill everyone. Something
I'm imagining like on that one, like the show was a What's the Alaskan show where they go crab fishing. It's one of those reality TV shows and they go fishing basically, probably Alaskan crab fishing or something like that. But anyways, they're doing that and like you turn the device on and like all the crabs like pull out shanks. That's our fishermen.
They didn't read they'd
put that on TV. Oh, yeah. But it's like it happens on like a documentary cop show. And yeah, yeah. But the movie more like aka Well, evil Aqua Man. Yeah, if you want to be an evil engineer, it
wouldn't it wouldn't work out to have all fish. You'd have to pick one like crabs, like crabs would be your thing. You send like all the crabs, like if for no reason. And of course you would have to like walk sideways or something like that. You'd have a bum leg that always made you walk sideways to your crab man now it's like a weird crab dude. So but with all of that is yeah, that's not so much engineering. Unless like your whole Oh, no, it's got to be like, remember the old old Batman movie where the the big boat is a penguin and the little
thing about the 60s Batman 60s Batman
movie. Yeah, absolutely terrible. But Robin,
the shark repellent. Best thing about that scene and what the posts have seen is like, they're Robinson that bat copter, right?
Oh, they have multiple
And the fact that Batman has like a three ton animal hanging on his leg. Just like flailing Yeah. Yeah. Oh my gosh, so good.
So this This is another tangent the same movie though. The only bad thing about that movie is when Batman's when Wayne is Wayne.
Oh, yeah, when he's the original
Bruce right? Yeah. When he's, I mean, it's all terrible. Yeah. Adam Wazzu passed away earlier this year. When he's playing Wayne, those are like the worst parts of that movie. But when he's Batman, it's absolute gold. It was just like half the movie this
movie. That's the movie where he has the bomb over his head. Yeah, when he's running around. Yeah, and get rid of it.
And then um, yeah, cuz he like he's running around with this giant, like, basically comic style bomb which is like, you know, big round bomb black bomb with like a fuse that's lit just like Sunday's you can't get rid of a bomb
It's so terrible. It's
awesome. Yeah. Okay, that's enough tagines insurance I think we're really good at that. Yeah. Um, so that was the Mac fab engineering podcast. We are your hosts Parker Dolman and Steven Craig. Later everyone take it easy Thank you. Yes, you are listener for downloading our show. If you have a cool idea, project or topic that you would want Steven and I to discuss, tweet us at Mac fab or email us at podcast at Mac fab.com. If you're not subscribed to the podcast yet, especially on iTunes, click that subscribe button. That way you get the latest map episode right when it releases and please review us on iTunes. It helps the show stay visible and helps new listeners find us later everyone.
Parker modifies car parts and assembles the Thermal Detonator and Stephen starts working with STM32 microcontrollers.
Stephen shows off his ribbon microphone created from scratch and Parker reveals the future of the PinHeck REV8 Platform.