First Post-Apocalypse Entry

Well, the Christmas break is over and it’s time to get caught up.

The apocalypse came and went, and frankly it was rather boring. If we ever have an apocalypse for reals, I hope it’s more interesting than 12/21/2012 was.

Of course, the only reason it was so boring is that it was really a non-event from the beginning. Somewhat funny to me is that I posted my made-up tongue-in-cheek timeline in an earlier blog entry and danged if one of those items didn’t actually come true! They actually posted somewhere about finding a new glyph. Dang, I’m good!

Well, over the break I did get in some writing. It took the WIP to a point where the end is in sight for our heroes. After getting that far, a few days later something that had apparently been percolating in my subconscious floated to the top. One action scene that I had written ended kind of lamely, I thought. Not lame as in it could be worded better but lame as in it started to seem to me it had a cop-out ending for that bit of action. So, I did a quick and dirty re-write with a completely different action sequence that is nothing like the original to replace it. I still have to flesh it out, but that’s more adding details and furthering the action than having to come up with a new action sequence. We’ll see which of these actually remains in the story.

I also finished a Theremin-like device for my granddaughter. This, too, I’ve mentioned in another post. I did a complete re-design to the amplifier stage to utilize the LM386N chip I had instead of the TDA7052 chip in the original Light Harp project from the book, 30 Arduino Projects for the Evil Genius. This time when we powered it up, my granddaughter got a big grin on her face. Eventually we called my wife in and she, too, had a lot of fun playing with it. Now I just have to solder it up and install it into a box. The box will have a LED to show the device is on, and a USB cable out of the box for power, utilizing one of the many phone charger wall warts with a USB slot. That will also allow for easily making changes to the Arduino sketch later if desired. The two photoresistors that control the volume (slightly) and the pitch (pretty well, apparently) will be mounted flush on the top of the box too, of course. I’ll be using an over-sized plastic BUD box to separate the photoresistors as much as possible than for any other reason. That should give better individual control by each hand. For giggles, here’s a picture of the proto-device before soldering it to the piece of PCB. I’ll include a picture of the completed box later if I remember.

Shows a workbench with an arduino, proto-board, jumper wires, and so forth.

The Theremin/Light Harp prototype.

The black L-shape in the picture is the speaker. It’s a plastic housing plus speaker salvaged from a laptop that broke and was scavenged for parts. It has the advantage of allowing an easy way to mount the speaker to the box with two screws.

The string of Christmas lights, the other Arduino (left edge) and the Spectrum Shield (red board) in the background are for a light show project for my nephew’s band. We managed to round up one of the famous GE G-35 LED Christmas Lights. In researching this, I came across some neat ideas for Arduino controlled LED displays for my son’s home-made bar in his house. Both of these will be controlled by music input via a mic with the ability to run some random or specific patterns instead if desired.

Hey, I’ve already got two more Arduino projects in the wings along with my writing, amateur radio, and photography.

And it’s not even the middle of the first month of 2013 yet.


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