Friday, March 04, 2005

Yeah! Welcome to my hardware hacking.

Ok, so call it an attempt to avoid boredom, or just laziness in not setting up my own website for hosting this blog. I am starting this to document for anyone else that cares, my attempt to build fun and interesting things in this world of ours.

To start I have been reading a number of sites and blogs with regard to building and hacking interesting hardware. Hack A Day has offered a large number of fascinating projects and really has motivated me to try to actually build some of these great projects. One small problem though. I have lots of time, but very little actual electronics knowledge. So the dilemma begins, knowledge before experience or gain knowledge through experience? In other words to go back to school or school myself? Well I have decided both. I live close to Seattle Pacific University, and only work 3 days a week (3 X 12) so I have the weekdays to myself. To rapidly gain some electronics experience I purchased one of the Parallax Inc Basic Stamp® and project book kits, and a bread board for prototyping.

Thus far I am well into the Homework Board kit, and have found the course unfortunately aimed a little low. Though the intended audience is High School, I think they missed and hit Middle School. The book is well written, and the designs are made to push the students to questions that almost always are on the next page from when I started thinking about them; I have found that I want to move faster than the book is progressing.

I have found Minty mp3 which appears to meet my need for a challenge (more likely exceeds it), and have started to procure parts. I am following Ladyada's examples of how to sample from the large manufactures, and discovering the challenges of ordering from the different low volume electronics components providers across the WWW. To dated I have sampled the PIC18LF452 and am looking for low cost decoder, and DAC. I have already purchased a 2.2 gig Magic Store CF card and am still on the fence about the DC/DC converter and FM transmitter. The DC/DC converter really doesn't sell me because I was planning on using a cell phone battery, and the FM transmitter I am reluctant on only because I was hopping for a simple design with only an next, back and volume.

I will try to populate this blog with the progress of my creative process and hopefully others will find it helpful.

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