Friday, June 17, 2011

Kalamazoo: Flywheel and steering

First Kalamazoo update of 2011! This covers the recent upgrades to the flywheel and steering mechanism.

Also, after some last minute failures, the Kalamazoo will not be appearing in the Fremont Solstice Parade, which is disappointing. But a lot of good progress has been made, so I'm confident I'll have it working properly in time for Burning Man this year.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

EL Wire Interface Kit

As I've vaguely mentioned in a couple of posts, I've been working on productizing the the EL wire interface cards I used in the Lightsuit. This involved getting a custom circuit board printed, which was a first for me. Designing some simple packaging and documentation was also fun. It isn't anything fancy, but it is entirely functional.

The kit was finished just in time for the Kitsap Mini Maker Faire last week. That makes it's past time to make the official announcement online: the Attoparsec Eight Channel EL Wire Interface Kit is now available!

What can this kit do for you? Control up to 8 strands of EL wire from a microcontroller. Why would you want to do that? Because it's awesome -- and can be lot more interesting than just having it blink.

Setting up that little demo took a couple of hours. For an example of what can be done with a little bit more effort...

The kit is selling for $20 in person, $22.50 online with shipping included. Plenty of time left before That Event In The Desert to do something really cool. Just saying.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Kitsap Mini Maker Faire -- The Day After

I spent yesterday at the Kitsap Mini Maker Faire showing off Attoparsec projects and generally having a delightful time. It was small -- but very well attended. We took the Lightsuit, the new EL wire interface kits, the etched brass fan, the Fireprop, and the full-scale hip joint from the hexapod project. I also took the RC hexapod model, thinking it would be a hit with kids. I was very, very right! I felt bad showing off something I just made from a kit, but my excuse was that it made a nice explanation for the large hip joint prototype.

I was talking pretty much the entire 6 hours of the Faire. It was exhausting, but also a lot of fun. We also sold 3 kits! (Which I still haven't posted about properly, I know.) Our display was pretty random, so I'm glad people seemed to really get into it all the same. I think I have a better idea what makes a good booth presentation now, which will be useful when we go down to the big SF Maker Faire in force next year. But if there is a second year for the Kitsap Mini Maker Faire, I'll definitely go again.