A digital clock of mine gets an upgrade

Check out the new power plug!!!

Check out the new power plug!!!

Have you seen this post from July 1, 2008? How to make a digital clock: Picaxe

Well, the clock hasn’t work for a few months. When I plug it in and then unplug it,  it shows a few random letters. Then it stops doing anything. Well, I figured that the display driver was broke since I noted it acted quirky in the first article  almost two years ago. I was wrong.

It seems that we should always start at the wall and begin troubleshooting from there. Always. This is probably rule number 1. Well, it all boiled down to this: the original wall-wart shorted out and burned up. This leads us to the title.

Check out the new power plug. The original wall wart was a 6 volt output. I am now using a 9 volt output since the 7805 IC would prefer a little more voltage. I also did a current consumption test, and this circuit uses less tham 30mA. Now it can be unplugged and transported much easier.

Check out the new power plug!!!

Check out the new power plug!!!

POV: Persistence of Vision with a Picaxe 18X

POV ImageThis is a project that I finished around March 2008 which was well before the birth of http://Tech-tut.com. I read the first issue of Make magazine and saw a POV by a guy named Bunnie Huang (Make volume 1 Page 34-37, 186-189). This thing is really cool looking, but is way above a beginner’s head. Actually, this was when I started with the Picaxe. This was my first big project. Since then, most of this project has been lost, but I happened to find the program and the file containing the letters and numbers so I could copy and paste whatever words I wanted. I am including all this here. I’ll use my multimeter to make a new schematic. Nothing beats a little reverse engineering. Also, I may design a POV in C so that we can cater to the beginners and the advanced, but only time will tell. As for now, please enjoy the Tech-Tut POV.
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Electro-Mechanical Can Crusher Using 6″ C-clamp (Concept Only)

8/12/2009 – This project was not a working project. The threads from the clamp froze once enough pressure was applied to the can. Using this with a drill that was not disassembled worked great because extra force with the hand could be used, but just mounting a motor on tracks lost its power. We have given up on this project, but it was still a great idea.

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A school project involves making a robot that crushes cans. I’ve been thinking over this idea trying to think of ways to accomplish this task without a lot of engineering and time. I finally stood in the machine shop at work and found a c-clamp that was large enough to fit an aluminum can into.
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Microcontrollers: Stamp, Picaxe, Microchip, Atmel? Assembly, Basic, C? Which way to go?

I have started getting into some different types of programming for microcontrollers lately. I have wanted to learn C for Microchip’s line of microcontrollers, and now that I have begun I have found it to be relatively expensive. There are pros and cons for every platform, so I am going to blog on my experience so far.
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