ATTINY85 NeoPixel bicycle led light

I wanted better side visibility when riding my bike back from work at night.

I used two long servo cables to connect the  ATTIny85 board to the Neopixel LED strips, and some hot glue to hold things in place

Mounted it to my rear rack with a USB battery pack.


Added ATTiny ISP circuit on board for easy reprogramming using Evil Mad Science Labs Arduino ISP shield.



Cat feeder servo Motor upgrade

This weekend I upgraded our Cat feeder from the Parallax continuous rotation servo motor to the more powerful and faster PowerHD continuous rotation servo from Pololu bought during their black friday sale.

Also used the opportunity to wash and clean up the Zevro KCH-06138 dry-food dispenser.

The servo coupler, mount, hubs, gears, plastic link chain, misc. hardware was sourced from ServoCity and my local hardware store.

The arduino Diavolino and chronodot came from EMSL, the bluefruit from adafruit, and other stuff from seeedstudio, mouser etc.

Thing still left to try out:

  1. Reduce the serving size
  2. Better SW debouncing the rotary encoder
  3. Test and check with larger quantities of food

Frosty Flake controller for Cooler Master Storm QuickFire Rapid keyboard

After a sudden brain wave last week I had been googling to see if anyone of the mechanical keyboard models had easily modifiable firmware and realized that the very keyboard I was typing on had a removable daughter board… and there was already a ATmega32U2 (note U2 & not U4) replacement controller available for it called the Frosty Flake.

I ordered one of these and will be documenting my changes to the firmware here. Here are a few photos of it next to the original board (thinner and flimsier).

I also decided to remove the top plastic cover on my keyboard to give it a more naked look and taped up the controller to avoid shorting it. I plan to make a transparent acrylic laser cut cover for the Frosty Flake.


Lenovo ThinkServer TS140

-under construction-

I recently got an Intel Core i3-4130 variant of the TS140 for a great price ($230) and have set it up as my home Linux file server, which I intend to put to use to replace a Synology NAS that I am using currently.

This place holder post will get more details of the setup over the next few weeks.

Things I am planning to try:

1) Kubuntu

2) btrfs/ZFS mirror

3) timemachine

4) samba

5) UPS nut client server

6) Airprint

Serial interface for EiBotBoard (EBB)

I received the WaterColorBot last December (that I had ordered from EMSL through Kickstarter) and have been having fun using it in RoboPaint.

As I read more about the EBB board being used to drive the two stepper motors and the servo I was surprised to find out that serial over USB seemed to currently be the only way to connect to the PIC18 board.  So I decided to see if I could supplement the serial USB with a direct 3.3v UART interface. This would allow direct control of the EBB projects from other micro-controllers without having to store the motions in the EBB firmware.


I am currently reading through the firmware I downloaded from the EggBot google code repository, and have also been able to download the toolchain and flash the board with a modified firmware following instructions from here. This is also my first foray into PIC18 programming. I will update next when I some something more substantial than just an intention (unlike this time).

One of the first things I did here was to figure out how to connect to the EBB board over usb emulated serial. I had to read through the source code for robotpaint-rt to figure out the baud rate.

~ > -p /dev/ttyS2 -b 38400
--- Miniterm on /dev/ttyS2: 38400,8,N,1 ---
--- Quit: Ctrl+] | Menu: Ctrl+T | Help: Ctrl+T followed by Ctrl+H ---
--- local echo active ---
EBBv13_and_above EB Firmware Meow Version 2.2.3

Note that the version string above says “Meow” because I updated the firmware on the EBB board when I was testing the instruction I got from Brian Schmalz.

Link to EBB command reference, but it somehow does not mention the “V” version command.

I have figured out how to configure a second serial port on the board (see photos below) but have not updated the firmware to use it for commands yet.