Gadgeteer vs Arduino vs Phidgets

Hackaday.com recently ran an article called “Arduino vs. Phidgets – Dev Time Trials” which brought to attention a blog post by Ken (?) called “Hardware Protoyping Speed Test: Phidgets vs Arduino” which I thought was a rather fair set of tests for comparing development speed and costs for three simple projects. My objective is to run these same tests using the Gadgeteer rapid prototyping system and report my results. Of course, like any article of this sort there are always going to be some lively comments from the readers regarding the validity and bias of tests.  I fully expect that this article will generate plenty of its own.

Continue reading “Gadgeteer vs Arduino vs Phidgets”

Princess Wands

A few days ago, my daughter who is having her 5th birthday party this weekend comes up with her sweet little eyes and asks “Daddy, what special thing are we doing at my party like we did at [her brother’s].”  Of course, she was referring to the Birthday Badges that I designed and they assembled.  With less than a week until the party there certainly wasn’t time to design a PCB, have it fabbed and delivered in time without paying outrageously high costs.

So, it was time to scramble and see what I could come up with using parts that I had on hand and could get at local stores.  Her party has a Cinderella theme.  I had a stock of blinking RGB LEDs left over from the Red Bull Fish Detector project that are a lot of fun and require only a resistor and battery to make work.  So, that sounded like a good basis for the project.  When I think of the Cinderella story, the fairy godmother and her magic come to mind.  So, the idea of a magical princess wand was born.

Continue reading “Princess Wands”

Quick Tip – Soldering Resistors to LEDs

In a project this week, I had a need to solder a resistor directly to an LED.  Due to the human limit of only having two arms, this turns out to be a little more difficult than it should be.  Normally, I’d use my “extra hands” tool for this type of task but I had a lot of them to make and I needed a more efficient process.  Here’s what I came up with…

Continue reading “Quick Tip – Soldering Resistors to LEDs”