Friday, May 11, 2012

Parts Received and some Shop Work

I received parts from Mouser to complete the Propeller User Interface (UI). I was missing two I2C I/O Expanders and 3.3V Regulators (see previous post).

The Two New Parts
So far, I have been using the BusPirate to test the four devices on the I2C circuit, the LEDs and the Real Time Clock (RTC) works as expected.

The LCD and the Knobs which are on one of the I/O Expanders will require some new wiring on a new Propeller USB Protoboard that I plan to use. Software is about the only way to do real tests here.

The one part that I can not get to work is the I2C POT, which will control the Backlight and sound volumn, the POTs are not necessary to do the initial checkout. And, maybe I just have not found the magic that makes it work.

More testing needed.

A Day of Shop Work

Parts being Cut
While looking for my photos of the UI build progress, I found some photos that I had taken a few days ago. I helped my Son cut-out some parts using my PlasmaCAM. It was a long day, we cut about 96 square feet of parts out of 3/16 inch sheet steal. It is a fun process to watch.

When working correctly, the PlamaCAM creates a lot of dark smoke, which tends to collect on everything (nasty stuff). I was wondering what the smoke actually is? The only ingredients in the process are "Electrons, Air and Steel".  Although, at 10K degrees, almost anything could be being created.

Lots of Sparks and Smoke
(more smoke, less sparks,
makes for cleaner/better cuts)
I took some of the Smoke (black dust like stuff) that had settled on a surface, to my Lab where I could look at it under the Microscope at 30X. The smoke dust looks like very small, perfectly formed, black spheres (like ball barrings). They seem to be magnetic.

Later, I discovered they are very thin hollow spheres! Smashing a single sphere releases something that effect others in close proximity. Maybe they contain compressed gas, or maybe they release an electric charge, or collapsing magnetic field.

More investigation needed.


1 comment:

  1. I think that is Iron oxide - the same what the ferrite rods/toroids are made of