Well, things are currently bouncing along in Max's World (where the colors are brighter, the butterflies are bigger, the birds sing sweeter, and the beer is plentiful and cold). For example, do you recall this video showing the prototype for the spectrum analyzer board for my Bodacious Acoustic Diagnostic Astoundingly Superior Spectromatic (BADASS) Display?
Well, a couple of weeks ago, my chum Duane Benson took my original circuit and created a jolly tasty Arduino shield for me as shown below (Duane is going to offer these boards on his SteelPuppet.com website).
The weekend before last, I populated this little beauty and verified that it worked as planned; then, this weekend that's just past, I installed the little scamp into my BADASS Display. As you can see in this video, it all functions amazingly well.
Actually, I'm really rather proud of this, because I use the same display function to create all of the effects shown in the video, and this function contains only 10 lines of code. Now that we’ve got the base level working, there are all sorts of visual effects I want to play with, but we can return to those in a future column.
Meanwhile, our Capriciously Cunning Chronograph Competition is starting to pick up steam. In addition to Duane, Ivan, and myself, Embedded.com and EETimes.com community member Elizabeth Simon says she is going to make one. Also, I heard from my chum Steve Manley in the UK that he's ordered the parts to build his own incarnation of this tasty timepiece.
As an aside, someone suggested that I use the same sound card for the BADASS Display to give my clock a music display capability. Duane did send me a spare card, so this may well be a possibility.
Actually, Ivan has been making a lot of progress while I've been distracted by my BADASS display. He's set up some sort of scheduling mechanism that allows him to request actions to take place at certain times without having to use delays. This is making me wonder whether I should implement a really simple real-time operating system (RTOS) in my chronograph.
The only downside to this cunning plan is that I don’t have a clue what I'm doing. Fortunately, one of the sessions I'm hosting at ESC Boston next week (May 6 and 7) is the RTOS Smackdown, so I'm hoping to pick up some useful RTOS-related tips and tricks there.
But wait, there's more, because progress is also being made on my Inamorata Prognostication Engine project. The last time we talked about this little rascal, I'd just created a prototyping jig and populated the control panels with my antique meters and knobs and switches as shown below.
Well, just this morning, I heard from my master carpenter chum, who we'll call Bob (because that's his name), that he'd finished the cabinet for the Ultra-Macho Prognostication Engine, which sits on top of the main Inamorata Prognostication Engine.
I raced down to pick this up and bring it back to my office this lunchtime. You can see how it looks in the images below. The main cabinet is from an antique radio circa 1929. Bob's addition — including the four hand-carved rosettes — is the box sitting on top. I have to say that this has come out way better than I ever expected; it really looks as though these two cabinets were created together.
Last, but not least, Bruce, who sits in the office next to mine, just sent me this link to website that boasts a rather amazing mechanism as shown below.
The website takes a little while to load, but it's worth the wait; once the site has loaded, scroll down a little way until you reach the video. Ooh! I would so like one of these little beauties here in my office, but I've promised myself that I'm not going to start any more projects until I've finished the ones I'm currently working on. How about you? Are you working on anything interesting that you'd care to share with the rest of us?