Dorkbot Open Lab -- February 26th

Where: ADX, 417 SE 11th, Portland
When: Sunday, February 26 -- 1-5pm

It's open lab time again!

What is that, you ask? We provide the space (and some power outlets), and you bring the tools and whatever projects your working on. This is also a great opportunity to ask your fellow dorks for help with a project.

Also good to bring: power strips and extension cords if you have any to spare.

AltSoftSerial Arduino Library

I recently published a new AltSoftSerial Arduino Library. It's meant as an alternative for Arduino's normal SoftwareSerial library, for more demanding applications that need simultaneous data transfer.

Building a Teardrop Trailer

I plan to go camping a lot in the summer and to make the camping more enjoyable I decided to build a Teardrop Trailer. I created a website where I'll log the progress with as many pictures as I can, tools I use and materials. If anyone is interested here it is:

DorkbotPDX BusPirate Board Design

For the many of you who are wanting a BusPirate, here are the design files. The Schematic, the Board and the Gerbers as a zip. Please review and comment - we don't want any errors in this!

Special thanks to Monty for the DorkbotPDX logo. Who knew what artistic talent he has? ;>)}}

Also thanks to Monty, Scott D. and Greg P. for comments and suggestions while I was editing the board and Gerbering.

Most of all, thanks to Greg for organizing this whole adventure and to Jared for setting us off on it to begin with.

announcing the return of the group order

I am pleased to announce that I am re-starting doing the group parts ordering service.

deets are at:

Favorite Visualization

I have a favorite visualization that I apply to conversations. Each participant is represented by a string. Each character of the string is one hour. Activity in that hour creates a blip. Inactivity leaves dots (or comma at midnight). Here are five days of Dorkbot project blabber visualized. I share my methods in the remainder of this post.

I prepared this chart in two steps: first get the data in a file and then plot it. Let's work backwards. Here is the plot routine:

DorkbotPDX Bus Pirate Group Order!


Dangerous Prototype's Bus Pirate, several members of our humble band have decided to put together a group order for components to build out own Bus Pirates.

Blinky RGB Lights - ShiftPWM Library

Using Elco Jacob's ShiftPWM Arduino Library. Probably the cheapest possible way to drive lots of RGB LEDs!

(EDIT: added PCB files)

EDIT again: documentation is now available here.

Diagnosis in a Complex World

After two years of service my outdoor air temperature sensor blinked out last week. Moisture was the culprit as shown here:


Various readouts in my SensorServer system lead me straight to the problem through a half-dozen layers of software. How cool is that?

Honestly, I'm more interested in how we know and trust complex measurements than knowing the temperature outside.

My SensorServer software worked so well that I prepared a Keynote presentation explaining each diagnostic step along the way.

Flight Sim Controls on Teensy

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