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Irons in the Fire

Permalink 11/02/09 02:44, by Ryan, Categories: School, Geekery, Photographs , Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It's been awhile since I've updated this here blog. Fortunately, I have a plethora of wonderful excuses:

Working on school projects: For ELT201, I get to build a power amplifier (and pre-amplifier!). This is coming along nicely. Above left, you can see the power amp board. I assembled this at home in a marathon soldering session, and it shows. When in doubt, make it small. On the right is the pre-amp board, which is almost entirely surface-mount. This is being assembled in the lab, using a magnifying glass and a good soldering station.

In ELT202, I'm working with two other students on a capstone project. My major hardware piece is the "middle" board: it accepts input from two other boards, and sends output to a bank of LEDs. There's also a 555-based clock there to flash menacingly if required. We still have to test everything together, merge all of our working schematics into a consolidated computer simulation, and work on a presentation.

Working on spare-time projects: Way way way back in the day, I bought a Trimble SVee6-CM3 OEM GPS board. This is a rather dated unit: it takes a long time to acquire, it eats a lot of power, and it's somewhat large. However, I had it lying around and suddenly knew enough about electronics to do something with it. So I did. The first iteration was a breadboard special (pictured above) in support of a one-day special event. It worked pretty poorly, all things being equal. The next iteration -- just starting to undergo construction as we speak -- should be a wee bit better. There's no Tupperware involved yet, and I'm going to use a proper heat sink on the voltage regulator.

Writing: I have to write stuff too. I'm taking Advanced Composition, the "more strenuous" version of the ubiquitous college composition course. I am finding it remarkably challenging, and that's not a bad thing. Improving my reading, writing, and analysis skills can only be good. Alas, it sucks most of my available writing time.

Also worth noting: I've moved the Real-Time Photo postings over to my photo gallery, in the interest of keeping this blog a little more focused on textual text. The New and Updated Photographs RSS feed will keep you up-to-date with that stuff.

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