Refreshing the Singing Pumpkin Display

I’m getting my original singing pumpkin display ready for BVNA’s Pumpkin Pavilion and Halloween. The original display was pure prototype electronics consisting a bunch of stuff from Adafruit: an UNO, a Wave Shield, a PWM/Servo driver, and servos. There was a footprint challenged custom PCB for a TDA7297 and some junk bin DC-DC convertors.

OldController

It didn’t look pretty, but it did the job for years. However, the new fully integrated prototype controller looks a lot snazzier.

NewController

There are still more design changes to come for this board, but it was really nice to see it perform as intended in my full display.

WISN 12 – Doors Open Milwaukee 2015

Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 9.30.54 AM

http://www.wisn.com/entertainment/doors-open-makerspace/35379102

Thank you again to Van McNeil and WISN 12 for their interest in Doors Open Milwaukee 2015!  Historic Milwaukee has done a phenomenal job promoting and organizing this event for the last five years.  If you haven’t had a chance to visit any of the 175+ buildings available this weekend, there’s still time Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM.  Be sure to check the full list of participants at the official Doors Open website:

http://www.doorsopenmilwaukee.org/

Ben will be “Looping the Lake” electrically!

Ben Nelson

Ben Nelson may be just a little bit obsessed with electric vehicles. Over the years he’s built an electric car and electric motorcycle, and he’s even got an electric riding lawnmower. He wanted to show the power of electric vehicles, so he decided to have his own “DIY Road Rally” and ride his Vetrix all the way around Lake Michigan.

Chargers

All way way around the lake!? That’s 1,000 miles with no gasoline. He’ll be charging up a lot, but he knows where, when, and how to charge up.

Charging

People often say that electric vehicles are only good for short trips around the city, but Ben aims to prove them wrong. He’s also planning a full-length documentary film about his adventure…

Charging

Ben will also be appearing at Maker Faire Milwaukee in a few weeks, and he’ll be sharing what he learned on his trip. If you want to keep up-to-date while he’s out there, check out his blog or follow the journey on Facebook.

Loop the Lake

Here’s a short video of Ben driving away from Milwaukee Makerspace, on his way around Lake Michigan. Good Luck, and see you soon, Ben!

Singing Pumpkin Commercial

SingingPumpkinCommercial

The Singing Pumpkin controller continues along. This new spin of the board corrects the previous flub-up of the reversed amplifier pin-out as well as adds USB and RS-485 to the mix. There are some minor errors on the board, but nothing that has prevented 90% of the board function from being validated. I need to check the recv direction on the USB, the Arduino-style reset pulse, and the RS-485 transceiver. With that I’ll be able to work on generalized firmware and PC software.