I’m an engineer with a passion for technology. To stay in touch with evolving trends I continue to design projects that explore the latest technologies. In the past I have worked on projects in isolation, none of my work was shared but a friend suggested I try Word press to document and share my experience. I have certainly benefited from some of the material published on the Web and giving back is a great way to build a social network.
My process consists of getting an idea for some project , sketching up a schematic in Eagle, build the PCB using toaster oven reflow and finally coding the project in ‘C’. I stick with embedded development rather than writing host applications. This gives me total control of the design and I get a much better understanding of the underlying technology which I am interested in.
Recent projects include the Chameleon AVR/FPGA development board that I described in Circuit Cellar magazine. As part of that project I built a simple USB stack called Gecko that allows me to rapidly develop new AVR based designs. I am currently putting together a Wifi internet radio. Last fall I started another ambitious project to build a quadracopter from scratch. My goal with the quadracopter is a complete end to end design which provides a very high level of integration.
The quadracopter project encompasses a variety of sub-systems that I will be describing over the next few months. To provide a context for the scope of the project I have drawn a picture of the various parts of the project. I move between the branches of the project to expand my understanding of each of the sub-parts. All of the sub parts either directly or indirectly support the overall goal of designing a quadracopter from scratch.
The final detail worth mentioning is that I am a strong supporter of open source design. I use open source tools like GCC, POV Ray,UrJTAG and OpenSCAD. I also believe that the designs I make must be reproducible and accessible to others. That means I use SMT parts that are readily available from Digikey. I stay away from BGAs for now. If I figure out how to mount them reliably at home then I will add them to my repertoire.