It has been a while since I updated my website. Part of this was due to getting busy and part of it for not having much to report. The busy part involved having the house torn apart for some long overdue remodeling and partly due to a project at work that sapped all my brain power. But the house is getting back together and my shop (once a storage area) is mostly back in place (other than a temporary kitchen sink in the middle of it!).
In the meantime, I have not been completely idle. I have made a few more presentations for the Nashua Robot Builders group, and completed a few small projects. The most satisfying was a clock I just made for a friend who is retiring. In fact he was my manager for a while and the one responsible for hiring me some 23 years ago. In recent years we have been co workers on many projects. The gift I am giving him is a take-off of the proverbial gold watch. I had a piece of gold mirror acrylic laser cut and engraved by Ponoko.com. On this I mounter two old fashion analog meters like you had in old volt meters. I replaced the scales on these with one scaled 0 to 12 for hours and one 0 to 60 for minutes. A small Arduino drives the meters using PWM outputs. Because the meters are analog and have a long time constant, the PWM signal does not cause the needles to twitch in the least. A couple of buttons for setting the time rounds out the clock.
I have also been working on a small IR beacon that would clip straight to the top of a 9V battery. A three position DIP switch would allow the user to select one of 8 different frequencies. This would allow a robot to be able to differentiate the beacons with some simple code. Each code would modulate a base frequency of 48kHz using multiples of around 500 microseconds. The multiples would be prime numbers making it easy to tell the beacons apart by looking for time increment. Same system used on Hellfire missiles.
The last thing I have been working on is the reboot of my power monitoring system. As part of the house remodel, we were forced to get a new main power distribution panel. I got the largest one that would fit the space so it will give me plenty of room to install current sensors (CTs) on each branch circuit. Hope to get that going in the next few months.