Cheap logic analyzer (ELSA100)

I recently purchased this logic analyzer.  It’s a clone of the Saleae logic analyzer.  Available for 50$ here with 10 mini grabbers.  It appears to perform exactly like the Saleae except its noticeably larger.  It even uses Saleae’s software.  It does ship from over seas, and might take a little while but it did arrive, and had free shipping.

The cable that ships with it doesn’t have wires broken out for the power supply pins, but it appears there are 2 extra pins, 3.3v and 5v power sources.  I’ll have to see about adding 2 more pins to the connector to utilize them.  The factory cable has 8 logic wires, and 2 grounds, but the connector has lots of extra spots for wires, extra grounds and those power supply pins.

Anyway, you can’t beat the price.  Oh it’s also supported by Sigrok, an open source logic analyzer that is multi platform.

IKEA weekend light fixture hack

In my sons nursery, we have the changing table against the wall.  The problem is the only light in the room is in the middle of the room from a ceiling fan.  So basically while your changing him you are blocking the light with your body.

So me and the wife went looking for a light to add to his changing table, we found one at IKEA that we like but it’s a ceiling mount light with 3 individual 35 watt flood bulbs, with cartoonish fish as the housings.  I’m not about to drill a hole in the ceiling and install a wall switch (as the instructions state it’s supposed to be installed), so we looked around for something else but nothing caught our eye.

I decided to just get this fixture, and hack it.

In the lighting section of IKEA they have some DIY lamp kit, I just needed a cord since I’m going to be plugging this in the wall, and they’re pretty cheap.  So I grabbed the neon green one since it looks cool.

First thing I did was open everything up to see what we are dealing with…

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LED Fireflies in a Jar (v1.0)

Me and my wife recently had our first child.  I’ve been trying to come up with some projects I can do for the kid.  Well, around this time of the year the fireflies go crazy around my house, so we came up with the idea to do led fireflies in a jar.  It should be something cool for him to stare at and is easy to build.

Schematics, C source code and hex file are available here on our wiki.  If you want to build one it should only take about an hour.

I’m planning on making a version 2 with some changes, stay tuned for that one.

Using the PICkit 2 : As a Programmer

PicKit2 Debug Express
PicKit2 Debug Express

Around the space, we have been using the PICkit 2 Debug Express quite a bit lately.  This has allowed us to get pretty cozy with the functions of this handy little programmer and I thought I would share some of these features with you.

I’m sure you’ve read the previous tutorial ‘Programming PIC Microcontrollers in C‘, if you haven’t, you should go familiarize yourself with it now.  Continuing on from there, after we have a successful build of a led blinking we can use the PICkit 2 to program our chip via the ICSP header.

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Upcoming Events

It’s come to my attention that everyone may not be aware of the upcoming events.  So I thought I’d post about them.   They are however posted on the calendar to the right for future reference!  We hope to see you at the these events!

Greater Baltimore Hamboree and Computerfest

http://www.gbhc.org
Timonium, MD
Maryland State Fairgrounds
2200 York Road

March 27, 2010 – Day 1 (6am-4pm)

March 28, 2010 – Day 2 (6am-2pm)

Robot Fest / Mini Maker Faire

http://robotfest.com/
National Electronics Museum
1745 West Nursery Road
Linthicum, MD 21090

April 24 (10am-3pm)