Another Pi GRRL 2

After building Pi GRRL a few weeks back as a gift, I decided I very much needed one of my own.  I just completed it.

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I built it very similarly to the other one, using the Adafruit soft tactile buttons for the DPAD and ABXY keys.  I decided to used the firmer push-button switches for select/start.  I find this cuts down on accidental presses and feels great.

Want to build your own?  Get the kit from Adafruit and a case printed by NateTheApe on Etsy.

My home-made Adafruit-inspired clock

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My wife was recently away traveling and I decided that I wanted a project to keep me busy and out of trouble in her absence.   I determined that I would build her a custom clock while she was gone.   I began sketching out my design and found some great parts on Adafruit for my project.

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One of my best drone photos yet

I was reviewing some of my old drone photography the other day and found a really great shot but the lighting was just a bit off.  My friend Asher Haig was kind enough to tune-up this image for me.

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This is another shot taken at lovely Lake Lynn in Raleigh.  I am about 20 feet up over the water and out a ways over the lake.  This photo is from August 21, 2015 and was taken at dusk.

My NetApp Filer Clock

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My latest creation came out of a bit of nostalgia.  I used to work for NetApp, a major player in the data storage industry.  During my time there, I used a FAS3020, purchased on eBay, as a learning tool.  I’ve since gotten rid of the filer itself but could not bear to part with the bezel.  It was a souvenir of sorts.

I recently uncovered the bezel in my parts closet and realized that a common 16×2 LCD screen fit the bezel perfectly.  I have many an Arduino on-hand and I also had a DS1307 I2C-based real-time clock.  A short while later, I had it up and going!

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The parts used include:
– Arduino Uno microcontroller
– Generic DS1307 I2C Real-time clock (search eBay or Adafruit)
Adafruit RGB LCD shield kit

I am cleaning-up the code a bit and will then post it on Github.

Calling all Drone Enthusiasts — Stop crazy vigilantes from shooting down drones

There is a new petition on WhiteHouse.gov relating to drone’s being shot down all across america.  Worse yet, these people are seen as heroes when in-fact they are just reckless vandals.  This petition asks the DOJ and the FBI to prosecute such crimes as they should be for shooting down an air-craft which is a federal crime.

Please sign the petition here to protect our drones!

My new Adafruit-inspired Robot

I have long been a fan of Adafruit.   They offer some really amazing kits, complete with specs, schematics, examples and all kinds of wonderful code and instructions for the tinkering.   I’ve had many hours of fun building and tweaking projects consisting largely of their components.

I have built robots in the past but they had turned out to be more cumbersome than expected.  They were heavy and buggy.  A lot of this was due to designs that were overkill (a bit too ambitious).  Since that time I’ve wanted to build something a bit more lean, simple and fun to operate.

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I then stumbled across this $24.95 kit on Adafruit’s site and I couldn’t resist.

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