Archive for “June, 2013”

SensorCape Hardware Design Completed

I am happy to announce that the hardware design for the SensorCape Rev 0.2 has been completed. This is my first PCB to take to production so I am excited to see if it works. After I put the finishing touches on the silkscreen design I will be sending it to OSH Park for fabrication and will begin testing as soon as I can get it assembled. Next steps for this project are to begin writing the software library and to begin promoting the SensorCape. To keep up to date with the SensorCape project, visit the project page where I will soon be adding design details.

Update 1 (7/3/2013):

I just sent the design to OSH park for fabrication, it is expected to return to me by July 20th.

Update 2 (7/9/2013):

I just placed orders with Mouser and Digi-Key for enough parts to assemble about 2.5 SensorCapes. Total cost came out to be a little bit over $100.

Understanding and Using I2C

Note: This post originated from Robot Electronics, I have reposted it here with several edits for clarity and as a personal reference. As I continue to refine this document and it no longer closely resembles the original I will remove this note and replace it with a reference link at the bottom of this post. If anyone at Robot Electronics takes issue with this then please contact me and I will be happy to remove the article.


I2C is clearly very confusing for the newcomer. I know that I personally avoided I2C devices for my first few projects but now that I have learned the ins-and-outs of I2C I thought I would share these lessons with everyone. This page attempts to de-mystify the I2C bus, lets hope I can do that!
Continue Reading…

Recent Site Upgrades

After finishing with the main website changes of moving to WordPress and updating my custom theme. I have added some extra functionality to my site. Firstly, I have added a very powerful commenting system power by Google+ and Disqus, check it out. Second, I added a print style to the site so that any article you decide to print will be perfectly formatted with no unnecessary info. Third, I have decided to add a forum. I would like to eventually have three or four separate active forums hosted here but I have for now decided to stay focused on developing a good place for discussing electronics and current design problems. There isn’t anything going on now in the forum, but hopefully in a few years we can have an active community of designers and electronics hobbyists.

SensorCape Reference Manual

This is the official SensorCape reference manual and it is still a work in progress. The purpose of this manual is to allow the technically proficient user to easily understand the inner workings of the SensorCape ecosystem while still allowing the average user to learn what they need to use the SensorCape as they wish.

The SensorCape reference manual allows easy navigation to the desired part or system of the SensorCape by starting with a short overview of the SensorCape, what capabilities it adds and which components provide this capability. To learn in-depth details about a component reference I have provided the manufacturer’s product datasheet for each component. In order to provide a centralized source, the this document discusses the most relevant information for each component in the sections following the overview. Continue Reading…

SensorCape Introduction – A New BeagleBone Black Cape

I would like to introduce a new add-on cape for the BeagleBone Black, though it should work just as well with the original BeagleBone. The idea for the SensorCape came out of the Texas Instruments Intern Design Competition (2013). I wanted to design an add-on that was as versatile and capable as the BeagleBone itself. Accomplishing this meant adding general functionality that was not included with the BeagleBone, but that would be useful in a wide variety of contexts. The simplest way to add functionality is to increase the possibilities for interacting with the BeagleBone. For me, this meant adding various sensors to enable the BeagleBone to know more about the world around it.

Continue Reading…

Starting Flight Training

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I’m so excited, my flight training materials just arrived in the mail so I can finally start learning the ground training lessons before I start flight training in August with Skyventure Aviation in Fayetteville, AR.

It has been a long time dream of mine to get my pilot license and this marks the first step towards being a certified private pilot. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me!