my recent reads..

LEAP#225 FQ777-954 Teardown

The FQ777-954 and it’s derivatives has been a pretty hot item in the nano quadcopter category. But good technical information is hard to come by beyond the usual product feature specs. I’m intrigued by the possibilities for building around it, so my first step is to tear one down and collect as much information about the product as I can. hero_image As always, all notes, schematics and code are in the Little Electronics & Arduino Projects repo on GitHub

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LEAP#224 LED Strobe Kit

Stocking stuffers like this 555/4017 LED strobe kit almost always present interesting challenges/learning opportunities. Julian Ilett had fun re-wiring the same kit. For myself, I found out the PCB appeared to have the supplied transistors connected upside down, and some adjustments to the resistor values yielded a better effect. hero_image As always, all notes, schematics and code are in the Little Electronics & Arduino Projects repo on GitHub

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LEAP#223 Fritzing The Boldport Cuttle

Fritzing may be considered the comic sans of EDA tools, but it is often the tinkerer’s first experience of designing and documenting breadboard experiments. Even for the experienced, Fritzing can often be the quickest and easiest route to a simple schematic or design. If you’ve joined the Boldport Club and have a Cuttle microcontroller (project #6), I have a New Year’s gift for you! cuttle_blinky_example_bb

As part of working through the many projects I now have in the LittleArduinoProjects collection, I’ve ended up creating a few custom Fritzing parts. Although Fritzing appears stuck in a perpetual 0.9 beta rut, and the parts designer is a bit of a mystery, it turns out there is enough help and documentation around to make building custom parts a reasonably straight-forward task.

All the parts I’ve created are available in the LEAP#223 Fritzing Parts collection.

Most recently, I made a part for the Boldport Cuttle - which I still maintain is the most beautiful Arduino-compatible board of all time!

The Cuttle is a great project available to Boldport Club members, and if you want to use it for breadboard prototyping then a Fritzing part might help, yes? Since Saar has open sourced the design files, building a part was quite easy. If you just want the part, check it out.

What does a Cuttle really look like? Here’s my build:


Don’t have a cuttle? Just join the Boldport Club and kits are still available for backorder.

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Blogging with Jekyll

I’ve had two blogs kicking around on since around 2004 - tardate and pratalife. I decided to try porting and combining them on GitHub Pages using Jekyll.

This is the result, hosted on GitHub in this repository. If you notice styling glitches on older posts, it is likely due to an imperfect migration that I haven’t cleaned up yet.

I started out using the built-in minima theme, but subsequently switched to largely borrow most of the template as it offers a very good mix of pre-configured features useful for a blog (responsive design, social integration).

My notes on Jekyll investigation and a series of tests are on LittleCodingKata.

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