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Got Some Soldering To Do

Posted 2012.08.10 8.48 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Yesterday I received more purple PCB goodness from OSHPark / Laen. The ISEB6 Mark IIa circuit boards came in!

I must say, I am really looking forward to moving from the current “prototype” version (which yes I am wearing every single day) and the Mark II.

Partially I am eager to be able to take advantage of the new software — I’ve been working on the software upgrades for weeks, taking advantage of the 128kB flash and 16kB sram — but I’m also really looking forward to not having any more ongoing problems…

Yes problems. The current version is a ratsnest of hookup wire. Between two layers of leather. That flexes on my wrist.

Seems like every week one of them breaks. (Grumble grumble.)

Mostly it’s been the battery sensor wire – that one is vulnerable because it does wrap partway around my wrist, and is subject to flexing more than the others. Suddenly I’ll get battery alarms that VBat is at some crazy level like 1.27 volts or 5.82 or whatever. Impossible levels. (Grumble grumble.) Annoying but not fatal.

Sometimes though it’s another wire. This morning the D/C line to the OLED broke. When that happens the display goes crazy, then goes dark. (Grumble grumble.)

With the Mark II, these problems won’t occur any more. Ok there might be other, different problems, but broken wires won’t happen any more. No more %*)(^%& hookup wire!

Except…. quandry.

I designed the board around Adafruit’s original 128 x 64 OLED display. While waiting for the boards to be fabricated, Adafruit came out with an upgraded, larger 128 x 64 OLED display.

It’s a ‘drop in’ replacement in the sense that the driver chip is the same, everything is identical, no software changes are required, and you can use the same exact set of connection to make it go.

It’s not a ‘drop in’ replacement in the sense that a) it’s a different size, and b) the pins are totally completely utterly different.

And I really like it. It’s a perfect size.

So if I go with the display I now want, I’ll have to use hookup wire. If I go with the display I designed for, I’ll be sad because it’s ‘too small’.

Ok the third option is redesign my board but dangit! I don’t want to wait another month, I want to build now!

SFCave for Arduino

Posted 2012.08.06 11.48 in Computers/Internet/Technology, Hobbies

Back in the days of Palm Pilot, there was this great little game called SFCave. It was easy to learn, difficult (for me at least) to master, but it was a quick-n-easy thing to pick up and play when you had a minute or two to kill.

I’ve written an Arduino sketch inspired by SFCave, and all you need is an Arduino, a 128×64 OLED from Adafruit, and a single pushbutton.

You are ‘flying’ a ribbon through a cave. You can’t control your speed (it gradually increases) and the cave gradually gets narrower and narrower. Gravity is a factor – push the button to thrust upwards, release it to fall downwards. Try not to crash into the ceiling or floor.

There is no end, the only goal is to see how long you can last / how far you can go. The score is a frame counter, each time the screen advances the score goes up. Check out the action:

You can download the sketch here: