The quest for the right connector for a project! The right of passage for any hardware electrical engineer starts with a connector catalog.
This is the last installment of Stephen's 'Adventures in Injection Molding'. We are going to recap the entire two year sage and close the book on it.
The Jeep Prop Fan project rides again! Well some iteration of it at least. Lets design an open source PCM (Power Control Module) for automotive apps!
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!
Welcome to the macro fab engineering podcast where your hosts perkiomen and Steven Craig, this is episode 88. He forgot to say hello.
Oh, nice on this podcast. I'm Parker. Hello and welcome to the Mac vibe engineering podcast.
Oh, wow. We can say hello, I guess but it's kind of like expected. Oh, okay, good. I mean, they already did us the favor of downloading. It's
a silent Hello. Okay.
It's silent. Hello. The H E. LL O is silence. It's
awesome. Yeah. We've been doing this 88 times. Wow. Yeah. Crazy.
Yeah. So Steven, last week, you talked about this I spindle. Or how do you pronounce that?
i It's I spindle. Okay. It's in in I guess in German, they spent a spell it SPI N D E L. So I always called the spindle spindle.
There's no blotter or whatever
this should there should be one left over every letter just because
every valve valve or Val? Val? Yeah. That's a good one. All the vowels. Pick up the greatest vowels.
So yes, the i spindle, I made one. Yeah. This is sort of a different kind of podcast because we talked about a project last week, did the project and now we can actually like present it all within two podcasts? I don't think we've ever done that. No, actually one week. What? Yeah, one week? Yeah, Thursday, Thursday. But but it was a very, not very, it was a simple project. So I have the eye spindle here in my hands. And I'm actually going to pass it off to Parker. And you've seen you maybe have seen pictures of this, right? No, I
have not. Okay. I um, only thing I know about is the sled the 3d printed sled. Right. So I opened it up. It's in this like, what material was it PVC? PE T PE T
PET plastic. It's food. Food grade plastic. Yeah. as well. While you're looking at it. Let me just give a quick I. It this is a hydrometer, which is a device that measures the density of water or liquid. And it's meant to be used in bearberry. So this device floats in your beer. And as the beer ferments it will actually change the angle or the tilt at which it floats in the in the device. And it has some sensors on board that can determine this. The
construction is very Arduino II. Yeah, yeah. It'll stacking boards and stuff. Yeah. You'd be surprised if you were thinking that someone would have just made up single board that goes into the slot they
have. In fact, they've made they've made versions where this lead, you don't even have to 3d print. It's just a board. But those board files, I couldn't find them anywhere. I would have loved to have just made it all on a PCB. But that'd be this is this is a really cheap way of doing it. All the devices are available right on Amazon. So there's a couple modules that get all connected together is
a I see on here a USB two lithium battery charger. That's right. I guess that's what this blue board is because it's got an 18 650 cell on there. Yep. Lithium cell. Mm hmm. Yeah, flip it over. And there's Oh, there's our lovely ESP Wi Fi module. Yep. That's the old one. That was ESP 16. Yeah. It's not 32 Hertz. Use new one. Yeah, yeah. Then that is a accelerometer board. Yep. Are these all out of fruit boards? Blue?
I don't think so. They're all blue. Except for I have a surfboard that I built it
on. Yeah. Is that the perfect word that they recommend? No, they
just tell you the size. Ah, cuz it fits perfect in there. I trimmed it sits there. Yeah, it's custom. It's it's certainly custom. So and their wiring diagram is like a fritzing wiring diagram. And that's, you know, okay, cool. But all of the soldering that they suggest is basically just they give you 10 images that are like, do this, then this then this and they're okay, at best. So
I don't really like the lid of this thing. It's not super tight. Well, it's just, it feels flimsy.
Hmm. But really, the lid will come off. I'll charge it. And then it goes back on and stays on for months. Yes. Yeah. So I'm not too worried about that. Yeah. The it totally works. It is it is heavy. It's got some it's got some gravity in there. So yeah, it's it's got a little bit of beef to it. And
on. Its on the battery.
Yeah, probably actually. And I actually need to add weight to it. Because when you put it in distilled water, okay, it's supposed to read one, because I'm checking the density of water versus water. Yep. It's supposed to read one and one is supposed to be 25 degrees of angle and right now reads like 85 Because I need to add weights to the bottom of it to tilt it down. So you kind of calibrate it by adding weight into it. Yeah, that's like a normal hydrometers calibrated that way. Exactly. You look at the bottom of them. They got a bunch of lead pellets in them. Yeah. So I need to find, you know, lead shot would work. Awesome for that.
Yeah. Um, I don't think I have any though. I bet you can go to like Cabela's or something in by reload.
We live in Houston, Texas. There's a guy down the road. Probably five minutes from here. Yeah,
look for look for like reloading gear. Yep. See, I've actually put like lead free pellets in there. Just because near the beer. That is true. Yeah, that's what you probably saw it with leaded though. It's all shiny. It was Oh, yeah. Yeah, no, that's
for sure. Oh, yeah, that's the I do want I do want the, the, the weight in the bottom to be fixed. Yeah. So the thing is, it connects to whatever Wi Fi you want it to you've configured it to connect to your Wi Fi. And you can give it API keys such that it can go out and talk to the world data aggregators, effectively. And they give an example of using a thing called EB dots or UB dots, it's a it's just a data gathering webpage. And you can you know, have nice graphs and prints and things like that if you if you really want it, it's a it's a pay to play service pay for data kind of thing. So but this this, they there is a plugin that is made for craft beer pie, which is something we've talked about in the past. And I want to plug it into my craft beer pie. That'd be cool. I also want to be just be you know, at work and log into my beer at home, Eli you where
it's where it's me lamentation, pakka ideas, daddy, that's right.
So that was a fun project. I'll
be like, I'm coming over in two weeks. That's gonna be actually drinkable.
So last week, we had a rant about GitHub. Yeah, a bit of a rant about GitHub. And I thought
of something we actually had people write in saying, Oh, my God, I'm so glad y'all have that. Right.
Somebody said, Finally, like he was waiting for us to have it because he knew we were gonna bitch about it sometime sometime. Sometime, I came up with an analogy that that in my mind is perfect for what GitHub is, okay? Get this. GitHub is like going to Kickstarter. And having zero videos. Like, you don't have the video up at the top of the Kickstarter, you literally have to go to the page. And then you got to read a whole bunch of bullshit. And you got to sift through a whole bunch of stuff to figure out what the Kickstarter is, instead of just having that video where it's like, here's your bullet points. Here's what this thing actually is. In my mind, that's a good analogy. Okay. The Kickstarter video like you go to you go to crowdsourcing in the video, it they have one minute, to basically tell you what everything is, people should have a one minute video on their get ups. Honestly, that would be really cool. That's never gonna happen. But that would be really cool. I mean, it would be nice to, you know, if GitHub had a format where it was like, Look, if you need to find your board files here. And here's all the information there is what's there. I know but it's it's kind of chugging. It's a little bit of driving to the mud.
Well, it's something that that Kickstarter, you get the drive through the mud to get that. I mean,
you know, it'd be it would be really interesting to see how many people buy a product purely off of the video. They don't read anything. They just here's the video. What's my pledge level by you know, I bet you it's really high.
Probably, yeah, so no one cares. No one cares about reading stuff. Or passive reading.
Yeah. TLDR life. So Barker
TLDR life is like, what? Because it'd be one sentence, right? So what's to the TLDR of life than I did?
I what I was going at is too long, didn't read whole life. Yeah, college college was kind of TLDR it was it was a lot of TLDR it was it was TLDR until like you had to buy the textbook. Like because the textbook had some assignment in it. You'd only get it from the
team if anything what college didn't me is is forget about the previous like 20 years of my life. What do you mean, I asked me something about high school like I know what high school I went to but I don't know anything else about it. Oh, really? Yeah. College like was that much of a Mind Eraser for you? Oh, yeah. Wow.
It's all that all that T sippin out in Austin right?
This is all the beer
worker is drinking beer out of a coffee mug right now.
I broke the bottle.
He tries to slap the ball cap off and breaks
happens I'm actually gonna pour my perfectly good beer that's in a perfectly good bottle back into this cup though. Huh? Cuz those keep it cold better than coffee mug. More thermal mass.
You got a koozie on the on the on
a coffee mug. koozie now
like a like a big expandable one that can go yeah you
called a coffee easy.
You know what have you insulated mug? What about a koozie? That was like heat shrink where you could heat it up and it would just conform to whatever
well they made that thing called the sleeve which was the the the heat shrink specially designed the fixture Apple cable
quotes around it like
they have the OOM lot too. Yeah, that's right. So yeah, you can make like a a self forming koozie would you have to have like a koozie though, is kind of like the word sleeve.
Is koozie like Kleenex is koozie was that a brand? Or is that a brand? Or is that the thing? I don't know. I don't know. I always get on this.
Is that a brand name like Kleenex and Xerox? It's legitimately
I koozie. We should we should know these things. These are these are important facts. These are the things that are that live out. Outside of the TLDR of life. Like these are the things you do read do you do not know.
There's probably like a 40 page Wikipedia article about koozies. So koozies a trademark like Xerox?
That's right. Yeah.
They word the
entire market on beverage coolers.
I bet you they're called like beverage insulators is probably what they're called at the place.
Yeah, that's so boring. Although the like koozies such a weird. Like, who came up with that? I will, you know, it was probably some drunk dude who put some Styrofoam around a beer koozies a koozie? Probably, yeah, that's
um, you know, it's interesting and other things like that, though. Like a cooler. You don't call coolers igloos
in Australia, the beverage insulators? Stubby holder, Stubby holder. Well, you know, but but at the same time, there's there is an igloo, there's a cooler but if someone buys a Yeti, they do not call it a cooler. They call it a Yeti. Yeah, because if you spend 500 bucks on a cooler, you're not calling it a cooler
gonna immediately become pretentious about what that thing is called.
So I actually had an idea the other day for a Kickstarter for some pretentious Kickstarter. What it is, is you buy stickers that look like USB ports. So you can add USB ports to things and just stick it to whatever and just be like, Look at this my beer. It's got a USB charger on it no
going off that that this product actually exists not not the USB ports, but they make stickers that make it look like wallets. And people stick them all over the place in airports. Really? Yeah. So you looks like you can plug your phone in and just the wall.
Okay, so let me tell you a quick story. This is how I came up with this idea. I was in the airport just the other day. And I sit down and I was like cool the armrest. It has a wall outlet in it. And it has two USB ports. My phone was dying. So I plug in. I'm not charging. I plug into the other USB, I'm not charging. I was like okay, maybe the USBs are unplugged. So I get out my wall charger ain't working. And lo and behold, this wasn't intended to happen. But the Vice President of Operations here at Mack Feb, walks in, he has a flight in the exact same gate as me he was going to a completely different location at a different time of the day. And he just hadn't same gate. So he sits down and goes, Oh, cool. There's USB and wall charger. So he tries all three. It
didn't stop them. Well, no, I was
kind of chuckling because it was just like, I want to watch him squirm. But so I did. That's when I was thinking about is like, I was I was I was kind of legitimately excited because there was a USB port there. So it's like, why not make stickers that just like you can be excited about you don't have to access it.
I think there was a art installation. I put art installation in like installation in quotes, where someone like embedded USB ports into like, oh, yeah, they put them in brick walls on them in basically thumb drives that you can like get data off of
people were uh, yeah, that was actually guys. They did a ton of them and people were using them as just like, drop sites where Yeah, the whole point of it was you could put anything in there. And then if you came in, logged into it, you could grab anything out of it. It was getting goofy though. Because people were they weren't using like USB, like extension cords to plug into it. So they were literally jamming their computer into the side. And a lot of them got broken because of that. Yeah. So So yeah, lots of tangents there. Oh, yeah.
We're Oh, yeah, the i spindle. Yeah, I spindle so it's built. You tested it. You just got to calibrate it. I got to calibrate it.
Basically, you put it in. You put it in a solution.
Me You know solution. It's just distilled water.
Well, you do that to calibrate it zero point, but then you put it in an actual known gravity, and you let it ferment through and you take readings all the way throughout, and you have to create a polynomial and put that back into it. Yeah. And what it will do is it will then transfer that polynomial and interrupt into into basically creating
a step by step calibration for it. Yeah,
yeah, you can, you can do it a little bit more simply, you can just create like a one known point, and then you have a two point calibration. You have zero and whatever, you create a multi point, well, I'm letting it ferment. So I can also have the interactions of what co2 happens in the in the water. Yep. So you get co2 alcohol, sugar and water altogether. Determining the tilt.
You know, what's actually going to is is x I've had some beer when you ferment like it's turbulence. Oh, yeah. Yeah, I wonder if that's gonna, like No Irish just like chuckles like, I've got I got I gotta show you this video. It's like, roaring. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah. Moving. And like, it looks. It's It's amazing. That's, that's the,
it looks it's crazy, too. Because there's, there's a bunch of bugs in there that are moving things around.
Yeah. And it's like, actually, like, it's not like slowly moving. Like you think like algae or something. It's just like, it's turning like a washing machine.
So that exact issue has been talked about with this. I spend thing, if you just average readings, enough readings, then it washes it gives you the right know that it can wash the so the yeast are way more than enough. They have enough juice effectively to make water turbulent. They don't have enough to have like, half a pound of something move, you know? Yeah, so it might it might like spin around slowly, like precess around the bowl, but it won't change its angle. Gotcha.
I can't wait to see how it works. I have four of them actually. So two
of them are going to my buddies and and two are staying with me. So I want to get both of them firing so I can log into either beer.
I'm not one of those buddies.
actually more like see if I asked even if I just like to build one your fucking self.
Well, yeah, I mean, I'm sending it to my buddy because he cannot build Yeah, exactly. Does not have
built the sled for him. Yeah, yeah. Actually, you should have ordered like 40 of those capsules. I really should have been would have been the capsule Baron of the United States.
That's that's not a bad idea. Yeah. This is I think someone has the patent on this technology, quote, the whole like tilting and measuring. So I just sold the capsule, so Oh, yeah. Yeah, just just so the one that's like really specific or
making a DIY
kit, you know, that's a gray zone. Can you sell a DIY kit for something that is patented?
I have no idea.
I don't think you can I think that's protected.
No idea. Oh, I got I got it. What's that? Cuz you work here at macro fab cell, put up on GitHub a package that you can just drop into macro fab, and click order. And then you get one of those?
That would be sick. Yeah, it would be sick.
Can you and then it automatically sets up like the project and stuff so that like, it's like, you know, and then all you have to do is so you have to you have to order the enclosure
separately and you'd have to 3d print a sled 3d
printed sled. And then but all the other stuff you can get actually we know
if it's all one board you wouldn't have to 3d print a sled.
Yeah, you won't have if you made it one board just slid it in all you have to do is calibrate it.
Uh yeah, I guess I could put I could put the Wi Fi module and put a charging circuit on there. Yep. Because the charging circuit that I have on this board, it has the the schematic for the whole thing so I could just rip that off and put it on a board hmm, you're onto something Yeah. Can you buy an 18 650 sell on Mouser
Let's see here. Oh, but they're but they're gonna they're gonna get all crazy about ground shipping with those right yeah, that's
fine though. Okay,
let's see here. Can you by just looking at it? Yeah, it looks like you can parallax actually cells 18 650 cells on Mouser
interesting. Oh, even better.
Can you tell it apart?
This is the actually sell because right now you have the 18 650 soldered wires? Yeah. Oh you good little tabs on you can know you can buy 18 650 battery plugin like the pack. That's a that's like a holder like a double A battery holder butts for 18 650s and they make them surface mountable on PCBs. Hmm, I think what company builds those Keystone Oh, keep He's done electronics I think makes them
Keystone is hardware for electrical engineers. Yes. They have everything
in their websites key co.com Is it let me let maybe that's not it.
Me take a look. sure that we're getting all fancy. We've got we've got internet now.
I don't have my laptop though. It's crazy.
We don't have well, you get your computer phone. Yes. Future phone. Yeah. Okay, well, I'll keep looking for this. Let's, let's talk about what you've been up to. Okay.
So we finished the Bluetooth thing for the jeep. Right? A while ago, a couple months ago. So the next electronics project I want to tackle on the Jeep is adding at is adding factory cruise control to it.
So they're their cruise control module.
Yeah. Actually, no. Before that was the turn signals. We finished the turn signals made that simple though. That's just like hacking wiring and, you know, wiring in new stuff and diode and stuff. That was easy stuff. But this is actually adding in the factory stuff, which my jeep doesn't have. And so last night, I actually started tearing through the wiring harness on the Jeep at like nine o'clock at night with a flashlight, because that's totally smart thing to do right now, especially the view render it useless. Yeah, rendered useless. I can't go to work. And so I started digging in, like figuring out what my jeep had in terms of wiring because my Jeeps a, a change over here. So at 98, it's a 99. So 98, they had one thing in 2000, they had another thing in 99. It was like whatever they threw in the jeep, basically, what's the difference? So my jeep has a 2000 year 2000 running gear, so it has 2000, axles, brakes, transmission stuff, and the cab electronics are 2000. But everything in the engine is 98. And everything that's electronic under the dashes 98. Okay, so it's all over the place. Yeah. So it's a mess. Yeah, it's a mess. So basically, like when I need a part. So I need a part, I basically take the part to the, to the store and like, I need a 98 and a 2000 G part. And so they bring both I can pair and I need this one. Siemens phone's going crazy. So I started tearing through the like the wiring, right? And what opened up the airbag, because that's where the buttons for the cruise control are I started from the where you interface the buttons, right? So I tore open because I don't have buttons on the steering wheel. So open it up and I had the right clockspring. So my clock springs got the extra wires for the extra buttons. So I set the put buttons in. Okay, good, right easy. And then went on the other side of the clock spring which is on the on the steering column. And it had the harness there, I'm like, awesome. That's another piece of wire. And then I'm like, okay, so that goes to what's called the cross body connector, which is basically goes from the dash side through the firewall into the engine compartment called cross body. And so in the wire went all the way to the crossbody connector, and like perfect, it does not go from that point to the firewall to the PCM. So that harness doesn't have it the wiring, but everything else, like even my like when you're when you're on cruise control and you hit the brake pedal, it turns off, I accept that all that wire is there, all that stuff is there, it just doesn't go to the the computer. So is that all you have to add, I had to add the four wires to the computer cuz it has two wires for the brake and two wires for the buttons. And then the I had to have to add the vacuum solenoid to control basically. So it's um it's like an old car a lot of old cars like this where you basically have a steel cable that goes from your throttle to the throttle body. New cars are all drive by wire, there's no direct connection besides electronics. So this is a direct cable connection. And so to control that is basically another cable that's on a air bladder system that depending on the vacuum of the of the system either expands and contracts and pulls the throttle body more or less and opens it up. That's kind of key with some with some help from the computer. New cars are just like all drive by wire,
you know control it's it's more complex, but a whole lot easier.
It's a whole lot easier on the software on the control side.
Right once you have the system in place, it's just a matter of telling it some Yeah,
firmware updates right your car says really Weird. Well, your car has firmware in it, barely.
It's got a limit and never had updates. Well, that's for sure.
Anyway, so you have to have the so much I had to put that in, and the cable that pulls the throttle body down. But that stuff is like, I knew I had to get that because my engine doesn't have that stuff on it. And so, I was basically going online trying to figure out how I was going to put I had to put new pins in the connector that goes on to the the PCM, which is the motor controller, or it's actually the entire Jeep's computers, that one little box. So we had to put new pins in the connector, because they're not there. And then run the wires and like crazy stuff. And so I was looking online for like a connector repair kit, because they would have the pins and all that stuff. But they wanted like 40 bucks per connector, and I had to modify like four connectors. And so I was like, that's pretty rough. And so I started looking on eBay for you know, add on kits, you know, cruise control kits, trying to find, because there's a lot of aftermarket stuff, I didn't want to do aftermarket. And I finally came up with an idea of, I'm just gonna buy the crossbar T harness, a used one, and just repurpose some of the pins, because I don't need the whole harness. I just need like four wires and all the pins and all that stuff. Just repurpose that and take my harness out in the abdomen, and then put it back in it how much is a used harness? Like this? $6,200 Okay, yeah, and then I need the the pneumatic stuff, which is like 100 bucks. So for under $200 I should be able to get going. It could have been a lot more than that. So this is a company called Jeeps R Us that sells like an aftermarket factory kits. So it uses all the factory parts and then they they have an add on harness that you can add in. They want $400 For that harness alone. Oh, and like $400 No $800 for all the other stuff. Wow, they are proud of their kit. Oh yeah. So I'm gonna try to do for under 200 That's my goal will be a fifth of their cost. Jeez, little more work because you have to like, you know, plan out where you're gonna run the cables and stuff because there's this design delay next to the harness. And I'm going to take my harness out and you know, remove all the old crappy loom on it and put new new stuff on it. It'll look factory when it's all done.
It's not going to be all wrapped in you know, layers and layers of electrical tape. No, not
anymore. I'll put it in brand new loom and put new wiring harness tape on it and electrical tape in Houston turns into like SAP. Yeah. Turns into SAP. It's the grossest thing even like the nice three M Super 88 stuff. Yeah. Which like everyone swears by online is absolutely garbage in Houston. It's something with the humidity, heat
and humidity just turns into just go absolute. Yeah, it's gummy. And then the the actual fiber part just falls off and you just have goopy wires. Yeah, there's
a brand called Tisca. I think it's Tesco. And they make wire. Like they probably make other things but they think is a German brand. And they're their engine harness. They make tape that's for engine harnesses. And basically BMW and and Mercedes use them, which is funny because BMW has like the worst electronics ever. They have really good tape on it. If you ever work on a on a BMW and like lift the carpet up, like the harness is just tossed underneath the carpet. It's not like held down or zip tie down or anything. They just go. Throw it down, put the carpet over and that's it.
Hey, there it is. Yeah, I had a buddy whose son owned a BMW, and his starter started going out. So he took it to the dealer, and they were like, We need to replace the starter. He's like, Well, okay, what needs to happen, and the guy pulls out the service manual. And the very first thing says Drop engine.
Oh, I just replaced the starter on my jeep. It took me 10 minutes. Yeah, and most of that was getting a beer out of the fridge. Yeah, here's two bolts. I had to disconnect the battery. two bolts pulled it out. Put the new one in. Reattach battery integrate it up and then got to be
the hardest part is probably what mashing it up with the no that wasn't even Whoa, is actually
the thing is the ring on. The bell housings are like it's like a really close fit with the fitting on the starter. So you said that basically push it in, and then line up the two holes and put the bolts in.
That's it. That's how that's how repairs should be.
Yeah, especially on parts like that, that a starter only lasts like 5000 or so starts. They don't actually last that long. When you like a can if you had a connector that only lasted about 5000 times it'd be pretty crappy connector. Yeah. But for a starter you know how you're sitting in your car maybe two times a day, three times a day, you know, going to work coming home. Yes, 600 times a year.
Three, three times a day means that you don't end up at your home.
Right? No, two times a day. You're home. Yeah, but
three times if it's an odd No, okay. Yeah.
Yeah, I guess. Depends if you pass out the bar or not. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. Don't drink and drive kids. Lunch. Oh, that's true. Yeah, yeah. Oh, you're right. Yeah. Yeah. Go into lunch.
Oh, yeah. And if it's fast food, then then it can be an odd number of hours. Yeah.
Especially since we're in Houston. Oh, yeah. You don't want to get out of the car too hot. Anyways, um, so yeah, I'm going to document all that process of basically, it's not really engineering because it's like, you know, it's just adding wires or wiring harness, but it might have some technical issues. Its screw turning. Yeah, I think the biggest it's gonna take longer to take the harness out my current harness to pull it out without destroying it, than anything else.
What does that go up? Yeah, it's probably a pain in the ass, right?
Um, yeah, I might actually this because it's it starts up where your left knee would be on the right side of the vehicle. For those that are international that drive on the wrong side of the road. In America, we drive on the left side of the car. And so your left knee would be at is where the door would be. So right down there is where the crossbody harnesses on the Jeep. And so you have to disconnect all that stuff. And then basically punch the grommet out, and then start on feeding it and we're going all through all the stuff. Good thing about the Jeep though it's all there. It's not like hidden by pieces of plastic. It's all out Neopet that's all out in the open, which is why you have to use really nice wire loom and Chrysler didn't. I just was you could see it. Yes, you can see the wiring now. Yeah. So the wiring loom stuff I use is like nylon instead the cheaper PVC, because PVC will after a lot of heat cycles gets really brittle, and nylon doesn't. So I spent like the extra 10 cents per foot. On nylon we got next we're gonna luxury Joe, one percenter jeep. And then the pin hack and lie addition, rev eight. Almost there, I started doing all the net listing now. And then, because I think last time we talked about I was reorganizing the schematic that was all done. And then basically redoing a netlist because I basically merged that Raspberry Pi three compute module board with the pin heck, and then I had a whole bunch of netlist conflicts, of course, yeah, like working through those and make sure that shouldn't that's tedious work, right, yeah, that like this one shouldn't connect to this one. And this one should this powers Correct? stuff, because I'm treating that section of the board is like a separate part of the board. Because I want its own, I want it to have its own power source on the board. So we'll have its own regulator and that kind of stuff. They'll all share the same ground that make this system stability, nice. But because there's a big, there's a kind of an issue with the current pin hack when like if you move all the servers at once, so you had like 10 servers plugged into it and moving all at once the power draws enough to like, dip the five volt line a bit. So that wouldn't be the Raspberry Pi or raise the ground or raise the ground, whichever happens. I don't know. Yeah. Summon, you know, put a huge inductive load on the five volt line that powers the 3.3 volt line.
Yeah, PCB traces do not have zero resistance. No,
especially. Well, that's the thing is that that quote unquote, trace is a plane. It should have it's like very low versus like 14 inches long by five or six inches wide. Yeah. Big big trace.
That's a fatty trace.
Yeah. But it's not it's only like I think the internal traces are half ounce copper. I think that's right. That's right. Yeah. Because you You did all the stack up information. That's right. Yeah. Half ounce copper.
By default, by default, you can get bigger.
Yeah. But we don't connect because what sheet
you got you got so much copper. Yeah, in there. Half Half ounce is more than enough. But but when all the fun when all the solenoids fire. I mean, well, solenoids aren't the problem. It's the servos Oh, servo is my bed service.
Now that might be something I should look at is put the servos on their own dedicated five volt line. So it won't interfere with the five volt semiconductors that are running semiconductors, I guess so whatever. That's technically correct.
It's a catch all term nowadays. Yeah. Yeah, same with micro processors,
micro processors. his net his brain is a neural net processor, a learning computer.
living tissue over endoskeleton Yeah.
Your Honor voice is way better than mine under the RFO. Okay. RFO so we got to this week. Google clips is a new 250 40 259 $249 smart camera that you can wear boots on TechCrunch and then the art of Blinky business cards. Which Brian make every
mega boy. So yeah, something like that. Yeah, we'll go with that
on Hackaday. Yeah, he's probably listening right now and be like, Ah, he's probably not listening. Yeah, like you probably right. He's probably not listening.
Or would not
imagine he's like, like, he has some kind of ESP that like listening right now. That when his name gets mispronounced he's just like, ah, like, an absolute his brain. Yeah. That'd be like the world's worst superpower.
I heard one the other day where the one of the world's worst superpower was the ability to sense trash? You know, knew where trash was at all times. Yeah, that'd be. Yeah.
Especially if you live in the city. Oh. Yeah. Anyways, okay. The Google clip, which is they had Google had this big, you know, the, I think it was the Google IO, whatever it is their big conference, like the Apple thing to do every year, where they released like, all their new crap they're doing and you know, and people go absolutely insane. Yeah, and saying to spend 1000s of dollars on new new gadgets. So this new $249 phone or not phone but smart camera. Smart Camera. Sure. It's the idea is instead of recording your moments with a regular camcorder, or your phone, this quote unquote, passive use camera, like basically records all the time, or most of the time. And what it does is it looks at what's in the frame and determines if that's worth recording. What Yeah,
what Yeah, it's weird. That's weird. That's not good.
Um, it's got a three hour battery life, which is not bad. Now, how much longer do you want to stand with your like, kids at a birthday party?
I don't know. Park or how long do
you have kids? I don't have a kid. So if you have kids, and you had all their, you know, brats over, wow, hanging out that kid. How long could you say my three hours? Probably?
You know, that's a reasonable that is a reasonable number. Yeah. Before you need to take a nap and have a beer.
Yeah, exactly. You probably about three hours worth of energy. Yeah, yeah, that's a yeah, that's, um, but my favorite was it grabs. This is their their term? Motion photos. Oh, yes. Oh, back in 19
times I've. Yeah. I've never heard of one of these things. These motion
photos. Yeah. The pictures. Move it. Yeah. Need a top hat and a monocle and mirror after the movies, man. Yeah, exactly. Well, that's a 1920s gangster going to the movies.
Yeah, they the guy. Yeah. Great. And the movie, like, the bad guy puts the girl on the railroad tracks and you'll never get hurt. Charles the moustache?
Yeah, that's right.
Yeah. Well, Google, thanks for creating these pictures
anymore. So this is how it determines Oh, okay. This is their quote for
we wait, can I guess real quick, a context the NSA and says no, no.
He does all this decision making without contacting the cloud.
Ball shed. So I'm
saying, but this is it automatically suggests the best moments. For you. Yes. For you. And how it does that is from what I can gather is it looks for people it recognizes in the frame, and if it's in a good focus, and people are in are in good spots, like, you know, the two thirds rule for taking photos. Oh, yeah, that all lines up, it will record that moment for you automatically.
Hmm. So that's a little wonky for me just just a bit to wait. And then
it got think about this is like a security camera. But instead of pointing away from your house, it's pointing inside your house, you know, would be awesome.
If it was really like, say it had a speaker on it to talk to you. And it was really snarky and sarcastic. It would be like, Nah, that's that's really not going to look good. Now move over there. You know what, you know? Nevermind. I'm just gonna take the picture here.
You know like Parker Parker, you get a haircut. Yeah, Barbara.
This this is gonna be bad no matter what we do. Let me just take a picture. Yeah. Oh, you blink, whatever, we'll just go with it. No, yeah, that's how my version would be.
It's it's interesting. If you can actually do a lot of this stuff without going up to the cloud, that's actually pretty impressive.
I don't I don't think I need something, deciding when it needs to record me.
No, no, it's no, it's not deciding that I was suggesting No, no, it's deciding what your best moments are in life.
I don't have good moments.
I don't know. Gonna take a picture of me like me picking my nose. It's like, that's my best moment.
That is interesting, though. Like what? What kind of algorithm would you run to decide that I would have to be things like what you were saying
it's in focus that pick it knows who's in frame. There's a video that TechCrunch has that Google posted. That's kinda explains it, but it's like one of those like, stock photo families kind of thing. But you know,
digital cameras have been doing that for a while, you know,
oh, recognizing the image of photo there and focus on on focus
on face ensuring the proper focal length ensuring the things are in focus in certain areas. And then also it will do like automatic eye corrections, and then it'll go hey, did this person blink? You know, it'll, it doesn't like digital cameras been doing that for a while. Although this thing is what an inch and a half by an inch and a half? Well, it's
about same size of GoPro spot sometimes GoPro he just turned his mind
on my computer looks like an engine fit. Yeah, it's GoPro he
Yeah, so it just without a screen and all that other stuff. A Cooper's have screens on him. Oh, yes, some guys do. Okay.
So the DCU is this just kind of like a one time buy thing? Or do you have to subscribe? It's
a one time. Yeah. Okay. I mean, okay, well, that's thing is if it doesn't talk to the cloud, and actually doesn't put any load on Google,
what does it communicate over? You?
I think it's Bluetooth, and then it talks to your phone. And that's where you can pick the best moments of your life. What's interesting about this, though, is, um, a couple years ago, I found this is where my grandfather passed, and we were going through all that stuff, right? And, you know, got to 16 gigabytes of storage. Yeah. Okay, thanks for interrupting the story.
I'm looking at the computer. Oh my Oh,
my grandfather passed we're going through all this crap. And we found all the really old home movies right, that's on eight millimeter. So Simon Simon super he says old school eight millimeter and a projector and all that stuff and actually brought the projector to work. I think this might have been before Steven was working here anyways, I got working network I just had a new Bolden solder some new wires in get working. And we were playing them with my grandmother for Thanksgiving a couple of years ago. And a lot of the stuff was like out of focus and stuff but she didn't care and she actually mentioned like, you know, you'll be going through that she actually made the comparison to digital film is a lot of times nowadays is you'll go through your images, like right after you take them in delete the ones that are not in focus. But then she said sometimes the ones that are not in focus, capture the moment you want to capture. And so that's what this thing's making that decision based off if stuffs in focus or not, you might not be able to capture the moment you wanted to capture because like they that video that they have that Google released, like they have in the camera and they're like moving it around to like the optimal location and stuff. It's like, well what if the camera decides that's a crappy location? And you don't get the capture your your kid unboxing that Nintendo 64
It's screaming that
you know, like probably half our listeners have never seen that video. The two young Yeah, or never know where to enter Nintendo 64
I was just about to say there's probably some of our listeners and they're like, wait, what's the old system? Yes, it was before I was born. Maybe that is possible.
It's okay, we still like you guys. Okay, so what do you think of the RFO right rapid fire right right. Okay,
right. Yeah, very rapid, very rapid. Let me fire off my opinion. What do you think a like thumbs in the middle is what I'm going to go with because like, it doesn't do anything for me. But for somebody who is interested in just like ripping tons of like, incredibly like Stock Photos. Have like their friends eating at, you know, brunch somewhere, it probably does good for them. So thumbs in the middle?
I think is $100 too expensive? So I'm voting down no good. So I think it's gonna be, it's gonna be one of those things where Google has a really cool idea. And then blows like they're gonna knock in a year. They're not gonna care about this thing anymore. Google forget about it. That sounds like Google with a lot of the stuff that they do. I'm actually surprised Google still has Gmail. It's like the long like, besides the search engine, that's there's like second longest like thing they have. Yeah. Like, do you remember the Google Wave?
it was like a chat. It was like a chat. Um, thing that did it. I think it only lasted like a year or less. But it was like chat, where it's like Hangouts, Google Hangouts, which they want to get rid of, by the way, now, they want to change to something else. But anyways, it's like Google Hangouts. But instead of reading, scroll back, so like seeing what your friends were talking about, you can hit play since the last time I was there. And then the conversation rolls out how it did timewise.
And so it's like a bunch of timestamps on all the Yeah,
so it'd be like, you know, someone said, Hey, and then like, you know, 30 seconds later, someone commented, or said something else. It ruled that way. And so it's like, you're in the conversation,
but, but you could also just scroll back, right? Yes. Okay.
But the Google Wave was it played it back, as it was said, was kind of interesting concept.
So you could capture the moment.
Yes. That was that was that was revision zero of the the Google clip.
Yeah, it was it was. Oh, it was IRC with timestamps?
Well, obviously has Samson's but it was like it could roll, it could play back at the timestamp speed. Right. Yeah. Cool. Yeah. So they get rid of that. There's like the Google Reader, which was like highly popular API protocol for for aggregating, like new sources and stuff for a lot of different applications. And then Google's like, Yeah, we don't want to do that anymore. And just accept it. Actually, I think you have a friend that's still really bitter about that. And I was like, 10 years ago. Like, whenever Google comes out with something new, he's just like, Well, Google Reader, blah, blah, blah.
What about what about? What is a Google Plus? or piece of junk? You know, we, we were having the podcast with the Annika Brian the other week. And she said she had like 100,000 followers on Google plus,
that's like every single user. Yeah.
I was like, Google Plus. I haven't heard that in forever. Yeah. Wow. Are they still hanging
on to that? Have they? Yep, that's all there. Is they finally the because for a while, if you made a new account with Google, you had to get a Google Plus account. Yep. They finally didn't do they stop that? Yeah. Yeah. I guess, I guess you're the one the ones that had to make a Google account. I
did. I did. And I remember, I was like, Okay, I'll give it a shot for a moment. And it was just, it was to Google. It was way to Google for me to be like, I just don't want to adopt all of your little things that I have to bring on in order to make this work for me. I didn't like that.
I unfortunately, my Gmail account way before all that stuff. And so like, I actually had to make a, like, a separate YouTube account. And then when they when YouTube got bought out by Google, I had to like merge my accounts. It was really weird.
What was your first email account? a
Gmail account? Yeah.
Jim. Okay. Yep. Mine to wait, did I have a Hotmail account?
I had no I hadn't Earthlink account. Oh, yeah. Which is a local ISP provider here in Houston long time ago. So I had an earthling account, I piggybacked
off of my my folks email back in the early days and we had a consolidated which was also local. Yeah, IP thing.
And then then I had a Gmail when when Gmail was just starting it was like by invite only
Yeah, thing. Yeah. Yeah, I got an invite from a friend to do GMO back then. Panzer blitzkrieg was it was funny because I had that email address for a long time until I started applying for jobs and I was like, it's not very professional to apply to a job with an email address, like Panzer blitzkrieg, especially
nowadays. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that was a that was a neighborhood football nickname.
I was the I was the bigger kid got fatter or just I was bigger than everyone else.
So no one could stop your your rush right across,
right so I would blitz every play.
Now this podcast is banned in Germany.
Yep. So the art of blinkie business class
so we go on to topic two on here. Um, I picked this podcast, this one because I want more of a discussion of, of business cards that are Blinky and electronic key. So this is a really cool article that that Brian did on Hackaday. Covering, like, his history with electronic, you know, business cards and stuff he seen pretty good article. And that was going through the comment section looking at what other people have built. It's kind of sad that I actually had a business card electronics business card that I made back in. Oh, man, 2013 that Hackaday covered and was it in the article?
That's a pretty deep dive though.
Ya know, five years. Yeah. Four years? Yeah. I
don't know. He whoever writes the article, that article particularly, you know, has to have knowledgeable.
Actually look this up. Look up. Hackaday Superboost. Business Card. Yes.
Was it a boost converter on a card? Yes. Way. Would it step up five to something. No,
it was step up. Lithium battery to five volt. Okay. Yeah. 3.7 volts. The five volt? Find it? Is it? 2013? Yeah, somewhere around there. What was it called? Super boost. Super boost. Yeah. It was it was a white business card that was point eight millimeters thick. Yeah, there is no, that's not it. That's seen seed business card. Oh, it's called suit look like. It is white though. It's and had a QR code on it. And so what it was is the card, the QR code had a link to the bill of materials. And then it had dotted lines. And so you could cut the Superboost out. So you'd solder it up, and then cut it with scissors to cut the board out of it. Nice. And take that and use it awesome. I gave tons of those white and I actually had some people email me like couple years ago saying like you have any more of those business cards? I'm like, No, did you make them like x solder a month? No, no. I just gave the boards without components. And that's why I had built materials and actually had a link to a Mouser project. Just click Order and buy all the crap. Gotcha. Gotcha. Okay. Yeah. But yeah, the Longhorn engineer Superboost cool. And it was a Hackaday article and it's kind of depressing that it would didn't make it but Oh, well. Anyways, um, some more interesting, I guess. more modern, more modern business cards popped up on there. This is one that that uses a near NFC, Near Field Communication chips to do energy harvesting for 2.4 gigahertz and then it blinks LEDs and stuff. So it just sucks a bunch of power holds it and then just blast it Yeah, LEDs. That's that's pretty cool. The guy uses a NXP NT three h 1107.
Or not Oh, XO and the the outside of the card has a big antenna. Yeah. And then
that's actually a EEPROM chip, but it has a built in microcontroller and has a built in energy harvesting circuit. And so he used the microcontroller to basically just spam
LEDs. That's funny that you presented as in the memory has a microcontroller in it, not the other way around. Well, it's
it's from NXP that's a EEPROM. Yeah. NFC powered EEPROM. But it but it has a whole computing system system built in. Yeah, that's cool. Sounds really cool. So so the reason why I picked this one was if you had to design a electronics business card, hmm. How would you go about it? So it's got to be you got to have some consideration for price. If you're not Steve was have you ever seen see was his business card. This may be his old one. So I actually met was at a Maker Faire in San Mateo. He didn't give me one of the business cards so which is kind of I guess he doesn't give him out that much because they looked very expensive. They were basically laser net stainless steel.
I'm looking at him right now on on the gulags. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. Yeah, that is that is a stainless steel card with what is it? I don't know. It looks like a an array of numbers.
Yeah, something like hey, yeah, I
mean, it means something, but I'm not getting it right now. Yeah. What so anyway, it looks
expensive. So you're not Steve was? So you can't spend like $10 a business card. Okay. So, if your budget was Under $1 per card, I guess technically you build like many millions of those cards and this stainless ones probably under a buck, probably, but I doubt that's what but you know, a buck? Yeah, he probably went to like, he actually probably bought like a laser shop. I need to build 50 business
cards. He could afford that. Let's put it that way. Yeah. Um,
how would you design your electronics business card? Um, cuz I went to like this super cheap route, and just built PCBs. I didn't even put anything on them. But so
Okay, so So you're saying how to design the business card, but it doesn't necessarily have to be a BCB?
Sure, sure. I would say it's more it's like, you're an electrical engineer. So how would you do a business card? to kind of showcase your abilities? I
guess? Wow. That's, uh, let me let me think about that for a second. That's that's a, that's a good one. So I would I would just following a thought process here. I don't have like a particular idea. Yeah, but but I would want to show a couple of things. And this has come up in interviews in the past. So one, one thing I would like to show is that there's some control of electronics. So you have power of some sort, and you do something with that power. Yep. What that shows is that you have basic electronic knowledge. But you also have a circuit that is functioning on a board, which means you've probably prototyped it, and you've probably it probably didn't work, and then you got it working. That's good.
You don't want to give a business card that has green wires on
it, no, hell. Now, at the same time, if you show something that is properly soldered on a board, that you know how to do that, that's thumbs up. But here's a, here's a big key, put something mechanical on the board. It doesn't have to like I'm not saying something that turns or spins or something. It can be the CNC out or something of that sort for cheap. That shows that, you know, a little bit of mechanical side of something also. And that's, that's a big deal. I had an interview a while back where one of the guys who was interviewing me was talking to me about hey, you know, he was like, okay, you've got the electrical side. I told him about some of the projects I've worked on on the side. And he's like, Well, it sounds like you've done a lot of mechanical stuff, too. And it's like, you got to know it all. You know, you've got to have like, Oh, you got to be well rounded in this stuff. If you had a business card that demonstrated that, that what you
sell and then have the spinner thing but fidget spinner business card.
That would also show that you have a comical side. Well, you
knew well, actually nowadays, fidget spinners are not the thing anymore. Oh, what? What happened to them? They're just not. They're just they're just dead. It's like the Hulu ban. Or yo Yos or Pokemon or the skip it or skip it. Skip it skip it is really dating me. Yeah, that's that's your you have skip it, didn't you? I did not.
I did not. But I had like every one of my friends did you envied it? I did. NVS skip it? Yeah. Oh, Iris. Did you ever skip it? You did not have to skip
it. I didn't have to skip I Pogo ball. I didn't have a single friend ahead. Skip it.
Well, you're cooler than me.
I didn't have to skip it. I think we shouldn't build electronics. Skip it. Um, why? So you should have one now? Oh, no. Bring it back. We're bringing skip it back.
Let's put it this way. Nobody wants to see me skip. Yeah, they the Google clips thing would be like shutting down not taking images
out of battery. You fully charge our battery?
Shut up. Yeah.
So was that
a good answer? Yeah. Yeah. And then and then put a little bit of put a little bit of artistic touch on it also. Yeah. So it shows that you have a little bit of eye for design. So and what that means with with an engineers don't do everything in 40. fives, do like curves and things. What, that's what it means we're an analog. Well, I'm not talking about traces. I'm talking more maybe more silkscreen? Like, don't make it like block letters make it like, you know, something nicer. Phooey. Sure. Yeah. When an engineer looks at fonts, they have like, block, and then everything else is just called Fufu.
Yeah, well, I mean, look at Google one.
I changed the font
of our podcast notes to two was it Roboto is the Google Font that's like, it's it's, um, it's a what was called fixed width. Fonts. Because I think fixed width font is very easy to read.
It looks like old Hackaday Oh, yeah. Old neon green Hackaday.
Yes. With the black and white photos that look like they're taped up on a bulletin board. Yes, I remember those days. Yeah.
Oh, that's what it is. Roboto moto?
Yeah, yeah, I just like it because it's I like fixed width. I think it's very easy to read and it's easy to read small font that
sticks with computes really well in your mind.
I had no idea what you're talking about Steven. We shall in the podcast right now. Beep boop. That was the macro fab engineering podcast and we were to spark it Ellen. And I guess Steven Craig later everyone HA HA HA HA insert outro
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The quest for the right connector for a project! The right of passage for any hardware electrical engineer starts with a connector catalog.
The Jeep Prop Fan project rides again! Well some iteration of it at least. Lets design an open source PCM (Power Control Module) for automotive apps!
This is the last installment of Stephen's 'Adventures in Injection Molding'. We are going to recap the entire two year sage and close the book on it.