Wedding LED Unity Display

I’m getting married in less than a week from now. My fiance and I didn’t want to use a traditional unity candle for our ceremony, so I came up with something a little different. I used some RGB LED strips to create my own LED unity display.


The LEDs are controlled by a relay and two arcade buttons wired in series. When both arcade buttons are pushed the LEDs in the two smaller frames are are turned off and the LEDs in the large frame are turned on.


Completing this project required using the laser cutter, the CNC router, making my own PCB, and even a little bit of wood working to put the frames together.





XBee Breakout Board

I recently purchased a couple of XBee modules from Sparkfun for a new project I’m working on.  I’ll be using them to send a wireless signal from an ice fishing tip up when a fish is on the line. I was frustrated after I received my XBee modules because I realized they do not fit into a standard breadboard!

After I got over the initial frustration I started designing a breakout board that would allow me to use the XBee modules with a breadboard. I used Dip Trace to design my first two sided board.


After I got everything laid out in Dip Trace I etched the board using the equipment at the makerspace. I used our standard process for etching the board.

  1. Print the board design on press and peel blue using a laser printer.
  2. Transfer the circuit design from the press and peel to the copper clad fiberglass board using a heated press.
  3. Etch the board in ferric chloride.
  4. Drill all of the pads with a #65 drill bit using a Dremel.


Here is the finished breakout board.

2012 Power Racing Series

Jim Burke from Pumping Station: One has created a kickstarter project for the 2012 Power Racing Series. The goal is to raise $20,000 by October 20th. The donations will go towards funding a new timing/scoring system, more races, safety equipment for drivers, and a few other things. We have participated in this event the past two years, and we had a great time both years. We are looking forward to next years races.

Please donate to this awesome kickstarter project at

Event description from PPPRS website

“The Power Racing Series (PPPRS) is an event where Hacker/Whateverspaces turn those toys cars that everyone wanted into highly competitive sort-of racing machines. Teams are allowed quite a few liberties (motors, batteries) but we also made a few restrictions so you masochistic engineers can pleasurably cry yourselves to sleep at night. You have $500 to do this with (aside from safety equipment, cause we don’t want to mop you up either). You also compete in three events, and you’ll have to do more than just drive fast (re: be entertaining) to win points. After all, it’s not like we want an actual race to break out. Oh and it is rather unsafe, so you’ll sign a waiver. You built it, so we knew you’d understand.”

 Photo by Opacity.

See the Power Racing Series website for complete details about the 2012 season and kickstarter project.