Archive for December, 2006

Christmas

10 December, 2006

Here’s for the first post, I’m rather active in electronics, lately I bought an Arduino (http://www.arduino.cc) and an Infra-Red range finder from http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/categories.php

The IR range finder is for the mini-bots I’m planning on making, these are small, about 4″ cubed, cheap, less than £20, robots. The idea is to make a swarm of them, so maybe 5 at most. I’ve already designed the PCB which allows the use of either IR or Sonar range finder, they have LDRs for light level sensing, and movement is controlled by two Servos converted for continuous rotation. It is controlled by a 08M PIC really basic, but VERY cheap, £1.79, the PCB will cost more say £2.00 and the Servos will cost the most £5 each.

Arduino is an open source micro-controller based on AMTEL chips, my board has a ATMEGA8 28-pin chip, gives me 3 PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) outputs which are simply analogue outputs, 6 analogue inputs, and 11 digital inputs/outputs, the PWMs can also be configured as digital outputs. I figured, as PICAXE is a bit Secondary School, even Primary school, I should probably find something more complex, but more flexible, and this is what I’ve decided upon. Reading on the site, you see it has a provision made for things called Shields, basically another PCB that is designed to slot into the top of the Arduino board, and provide extra functionality, such as blue tooth and accelerometers, can you say DIY PC Wii-mote ?

Right, that’s the electronics over with. Now onto the rest, Last night was the 9th of December, and on the 9th of December, Placebo (http://www.placeboworld.co.uk/) played a gig at Wembley Arena, North London. And because I love them, I went along. It was ABSOLUTELY FUCKING AMAZING!!!!!! They had 11 large projection screens, numerous lights and LOTS of speakers, the lights and the projections were really good, very Placebo-like. The music, well, I’ve listened to placebo religiously for about 3 or so years now, and I can truly say, they’re much better Live. As for the Arena, It’s quite odd, the set up, I can’t really describe it, because I was kinda sitting at 90 degrees to the band and so forth. Why didn’t I get a standing tickets you ask ? I was meant to go with friends, and they went and lost their tickets, so I figured, ah fuck em, I’ll go alone, so I did. I think I’ll stick to standing tickets, I spent most of the time standing anyway!