Cracker box amp and Picaxe pictures

Cracker Box Amp gone wrong

Cracker Box Amp gone wrong

I was looking through some old file folders on my desktop. I finally arranged the icons by name and moved all of the things on my second desktop to the first. I found a folder that I haven’t looked at it in years.  January 2008 to be exact. I found the photo of my first Cracker Box Amp circuit. I am looking at the circuit, and I realize that I didn’t follow the schematic very well. I used this circuit to power speakers in a tool box. Not my best work. :) It’s actually some of my first work.

I also found some Picaxe kits that I put together. This is about a year after receiving my first Make Magazine. I wanted to get into microcontrollers, but I never really understood it. It was about this time that I found Picaxe. I bought these kits from HVWTECH.COM. They are part of SOLARBOTICS.COM. They are extremely nice and helpful folks.

PICAXE 08M start kit

PICAXE 08M start kit

The photo below is my first use of Altoids cans for a project. I still have this thing somewhere.

PICAXE 08M start kit in an Altoids can

PICAXE 08M start kit in an Altoids can

I know now where I have two nice speakers to build a few more cigar box amps with. The tool box circuit is stuffed in the attic of my barn/workshop. I’m going to pull them out next week and mount them in something. I love finding old stuff and re-purposing it, and I love recycling!!! :þ

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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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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