Back from Adventures!

OK, I’m back now. Wow, what a trip! I traveled to three continents (counting this one) and got to meet lots of interesting people.

The store is back open again. Shop to your heart’s content!

New products are on their way. Your old favorites are here, as well. Additionally, I’ve upgraded the web site to be encrypted by default, so all transactions (even your browsing) should remain relatively confidential now.

It’s good to be back. The yard is showing some signs of neglect, but hopefully I’ll get that sorted out shortly.

Do drop me a line and let me know how you managed to get along without me for so long!

Off to Adventures!

I’m leaving the country for an unspecified amount of time in pursuit of challenging adventures. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to process any orders during the duration.

But don’t worry! You can still purchase my products from BG Micro, the Maker Shed, Sparkfun Electronics and Solarbotics in Canada. You can also still buy my books on Amazon.

More details as the adventure unfolds!

I Wrote Another Book

Building Your Own Electronics Lab

Building Your Own Electronics Lab

I wrote another book.  This time it’s about building your own electronics lab, titled Building Your Own Electronics Lab.  It gives the reader a gentle introduction to electricity and electronics and how to safely learn and play with them.  Basic tools and components are discussed and some simple starter projects are presented.  The main idea that I tried to put forward is that the electronics hobby is fun.  It’s also fun to share with others.

Both paperback and e-book versions are available from, or find it at your favorite bookseller using the ISBN 978-1430243861.

My New Phone Number is (330) 732-5307

Effective immediately, my new phone number is (330) 732-5307.  Give me a call sometime and let me know what’s going on.

Lux Spectralis 2 Now Available

I’ve updated the popular Lux Spectralis kit.  The circuit still does exactly the same thing (blinks multi-colored LEDs).  I simplified the whole thing and reduced the component count.  This will make it easier to assemble.  You can download your own copy of the assembly instructions.

The new Lux Spectrlais 2 kit uses three separate LEDs for the red, green and blue color channels.  This will make it much easier to modify for custom color combinations.  The new PCB is a little bit smaller than the previous version.  It uses electroless nickel immersion gold (ENIG) plating on all the electrical contacts, which has its own advantages, electrically, but I did it because it’s more beautiful and contrasts well with the black solder mask.

The kits still comes with a 3xAAA battery holder with a built-in power switch.  The lighting modes are identical to the previous version.  The price remains the same.

Lux Spectralis 2

I Wrote a Book

Over the summer, I wrote a book about Arduino internals, called Arduino Internals. It is being published today by Apress. It has a lot of detailed information about Arduinos as well as Atmel AVRs. There are several projects in the book that illustrate some of the topics. It’s a paperback book that runs to just over 350 pages. There’s also an “ebook” available in several popular formats.
You should be able to buy your very own copy today from Amazon with a nice little discount and free Super-Saver shipping. You can also go to your favorite book seller and buy a copy. Just use the ISBN number 978-1430238829. To buy the ebook, go to the book’s page on the Apress web site,
This was a very exciting project for me. It’s my first book. I hope you enjoy it.

Update:  The publication date has been bumped to November 16, 2011.  I don’t know why.

Closed for a Week

I’ll be gone from Saturday, 15 October 2011 to late Monday, 24 October 2011. There’s really no good way to get in touch with me in the interim.

Going to Maker Faire!

I’m going to Maker Faire this weekend, May 21st & 22nd! Most of the time, I’ll be in or around the Maker Shed, explaining how vitally important it is to have more blinky LEDs in your life. I’ll also be making a couple of short presentations. Saturday at 11am I’ll be talking about the Breadboard Arduino project. Sunday at 4:30pm I’ll demonstrate the Tiny Wanderer robot. If you can, please come out and say hi!

Blue is the New Black

I ran out of black jumper wire for the Breadboard Arduino kits. This was entirely a planning failure on my part. I started using blue wire. I hope you don’t mind too much.

In no particular order, here are my reasons (justifications?) for making the change. I didn’t want to hold orders until more black wire could be obtained. I didn’t want to continue buying Velleman hookup-wire sampler kits as this was not cost-effective. The blue wires are prettier, in my opinion. The red+blue motif matches the printed stripes on the power rails of the breadboards.

For those of you that are even more resistant to change than I am, let me reassure you: Blue Wires work the same as Black Wires. I promise.

Build a Wee Blinky Using Incandescent Bulbs

You can build the Wee Blinky kit using incandescent bulbs instead of the supplied LEDs.  Just omit D1, D2 (the LEDs) and R1 and R4 (the current-limiting resistors for the LEDs).  Connect one lead of an incandescent bulb to the bottom lead of where the LED was supposed to go, then the other lead to the bottom lead of where the resistor was supposed to go.  Repeat for the other side.

Here is a YouTube video using 12V incandescent bulbs:

It gives a very warm, retro look to the Wee Blinky!  Let me know what you think.