We finally got it finished!
This project uses the Bullduino to read a hard-drive motor as an encoder/random number generator. I am using a custom PCB I had designed for a digital signage project. The max485 chips are being used as comparators to convert the 3 pole sine wave signal of the motor to a digital quadrature signal. This signal is then processed to drive a 7″ tall led digit via shift register. The project also includes 24 RGB spi addressable LEDs and a DMX output. The DMX allows me to interface with more lighting and other effects such as strobe and fog machines. Along with the encoder there is also a single button that can be used to reset the game or enter a menu for setup. Ultimately options will include number range (coin flip up to 19) and what the winning number is to trigger special sounds and lights. Sound is provided as a square wave generated by a digital pin on the Bullduino. This gives it an old school video game sound and an arcade feel to the game. The enclosure is clear coated maple with a 1/8″ red Plexiglass front hand drilled on a small milling machine.
We have entered a contest and need your help! I first saw it here http://hackaday.com/2012/06/15/redbulls-new-creation-contest-comes-to-your-workshop/ and then followed here http://www.redbullusa.com/creation.
The bottom line: Show our skills by making something using the Bullduino and upload a video by July 3 and we could win a spot as 1 of 12 teams to get into the main event!
What I have in mind is a game:
Spinning wheel turns an encoder and that causes lights to flash and some sort of level of prize to be displayed on a 7″ tall led digit. 5 potential “prizes” Water, juice, milk, soda, and Redbull for the grand prize.
I have most if not all of the parts here and the tools to build this thing. Any one wanting to come out to my shop in Wittenberg to help out should let me know so we can set up a time.
It will need some programming using Arduino IDE, a second set of eyes/hands on this would be nice.
Some art work. I am thinking back light paper or metal cutouts behind some red plexyglass I already have. The Bullduino board looks pretty cool on its own so I plan on featuring it front and center with some lighting as the grand “prize”. I also have various RGB led strips as well as DMX LED parcans.
Last on the list for the build will be some sort of sound playback. I may or may not have an interface for this, maybe some old school video game sounds?
I will try to take video and still shots as it gets built. Once it is built it would be cool to have a group for the video submission to Redbull. With any luck we will have a very high end camera available for this.
We have been gaining members at the web site and emailing with as many as we can keep up with. This is great. Like all maker spaces ours is going to take some time to really get going. We are hoping to have a meeting some time soon at a coffee shop or similar place. Any ideas for when and where? We would love to do a projects update, what are you working on?
Those of you who are into gaming, role playing, video games, ect come and join Tom at Evercon 2012. This event is sponsored by DC Everest School district and supports the DC Everest gaming club. For more information check out their website.
Random Hacks of Kindness global hackathon will be taking place at Bucketworks on 706 S 5th St in Milwaukee (as well as in 34 other cities around the globe!). This event aims to bring together experts on real world social problems with hackers, designers, programmers, scientists and world-saving enthusiasts to build technology which solves these problems. The main focus will be on water and disaster management issues, but anything that helps make the world a better place is fair game! Lunch, team building and the problem presentations will begin on Saturday at 12:30pm at Bucketworks (Milwaukee's original hackerspace). Hacking will commence at 2pm on Saturday and finish at 2pm on Sunday, 24 hours later. You are free to come and go as you please, there is no requirement to hack for 24 hours straight, but the space will be available to you if you choose to use it. Meals will be provided through out! Prizes will be awarded to teams for best water solution, best disaster solution, best design and a sponsored challenge from WaterTech USA. For more information and to register, please visit this URL: http://www.rhok.org/event/milwaukee-wi-usa On Saturday morning, there will be a mobile workshop held at Open MiKE (in the Grand Ave Mall) from 9:30am to 12:00pm. If you're interested in mobile strategy, development and design, please register here: http://www.spreenklertalentlabs.org/made-at-mike/ To kick off the festivities for both events, there will be a pre-party at Open MiKE on Friday at 5:30pm, which will feature beer from Big Bay Brewing Company and a tasting from the Great Lakes Distillery. Hope to see you there!
Tom and I are still working on the collaboration space. This last month has been a busy one and we have been busy working on other projects ( i.e finishing up the remodeling our house) and then I ended up having some foot problems that left poor Tom doing everything. We did get to attend a breakfast for Wausau River District Members set up by Main Street Wausau. It was a gathering for Wausau River District business owners to get together to network and listen to presentations on Promotional tools for business, business resources for the local area and one of our local law enforcement agents came and presented on statistics for local crime rates. It was good meeting and hopefully we will be able to attend more in the future.
As the holidays approach we will be busy with various events for our other business and some other personal projects. We will still be working on the collaboration space business plan and planning some future fundraisers for the 2012 year.
Tom and Trina
Date:Nov 6th 2011
Where: Biggby Coffee
Location: Rib MT
Why: Tom and I are working on planning for the Collaboration Center. Please join us! We would love to hear your ideas to help create a great makerspace.
Just to give a quick update..On Monday, Tom and I met with Main Street Wausau river district. They wanted to meet to discuss with us our idea and how they can be an assistance. Found out that Jim from Bucketworks had presented in the area and they have been wanting to set a maker space since. They can assist us by helping find space, helping with grants, and community events. We are very excited about working with them. So, our next step is to develop a business plan and speaking with others in the community. We will keep you posted.
In an earlier post, I announced a business event that was being held in Appleton on 10/22. This event was called the startup accelerator #7 which is a free networking and participatory education session. You come to meet and learn from others who are either starting up their own businesses, are a long-term business owner or work for company that assists with businesses. This event is done in a unconference style. To reiterate what an unconference is to those who did not read my past post. A unconference is basically a conference without an agenda. The group meets together and decides as a group on what topics you want to discuss and who will teach them. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere, people can come and go as they please and can be as involved as they want to be. My kind of conference!
On Saturday, Tom and I got up early and drove down to Appleton to attend the conference. The event was held at the Paper Valley Discovery Center off the Fox Valley River We got down the right area but got a little lost due to locations of signs and construction. The meeting was to start at nine and we didn’t arrive till ten. Luckily, we didn’t seem to miss much. We came into the paper valley and found it to be a museum and a great smelling coffee shop on the top-level and signs telling us that the event was being held down in the basement. We headed down to the basement and here it was a small maze of construction we had to get around to find the group. We finally found them and they were sitting in this beautiful brick room with pillars that looked onto the Fox Valley River. Everyone was sitting at tables and they were introducing themselves. We were met with smiles and hello and we were immediately comfortable with the group. After introductions, we discussed a little bit what was outlined for the day. We were having 4 sessions at 45 minutes each and half hour for lunch. They asked the group members for ideas for sessions and people who wanted to teach them. Some of the ideas for sessions were: Business Models, Start up/Failures, meditation, crowd funding, intellectual property and funding sources. Then we all decided on what time each would be taught and who would teach them. This was all put on with sticky notes on the wall and the times they would be taught.
Our first session there was an in dept discussion about old ways of business planning versus new ways. Many of the resources out there are a one size fits all and in today’s entrepreneurial climate this does not work anymore due to the advancement of technology. Discussion of how to combine this was discussed which then the question of funding was brought up and the direction of the session changed. participates wanted to know how to get funding. One member had gone to many places for funding and was keep getting turned down due to not being prepared. The biggest thing we learned was have all your research and your plan ready before talking to investors about funding your idea.
We then had lunch with thanks to our sponsors plenty of pizza was provided for us!
Our second session, Tom and I split up. I went to “what kind of entrepreneurial are you”. This was given by Drew Fleck. He talk to us about a concept that Steve Blank initialized in helping people learn what of business owner your are or want to be. The types of businesses people are 1. Lifestyle: someone whose job is their hobby and life hood 2. Small Business: they do this to make their money 3. Build to scale: Building a big business 4. Build to flip: building up a business to sale 5. Corporate skip off: building business inside a business 5. Social enterprise: such as a nonprofit or an organization that helps others. People can be just one or be several or switch back and forth. It was a very interesting discussion. Tom’s session was on intellectual property which is patents, trademarks and copyrights. They discussed a couple of participants product ideas and situations. One participant had an idea for a fishing lure. From his situation we learned that you automatically get a local common law trademark just by selling and advertising your product. You can register for a state trademark but according to the lawyer it is almost worthless. To get a registered federal trademark you must have substantial sales in multiple states. In our case, Tom spoke of an open source product that he is trying to bring to market. With the product being open source there are other licensing issues to be aware of when using other people’s codes. The lawyer does not normally deal with open source so we didn’t go that much further into it.
The third session the whole group participated in. This covered expanding your area outside of your community and maker-spaces. A participant shared about her experiences traveling to other countries and how she has networked with others not only expanded her business but she gets to experiences other cultures as well. Then Mike Putnam shared about his what a maker space is and how he and another group is developing one in the Appleton area called DHMN. We also discussed our ideas for our collaboration center and got opinions from the group.
Finally, our last session Tom and I split up again and I went to a session on meditation and Tom missed the last session because he was talking with the lawyer on changes of patent laws. They also exchanged war stories about testifying at trials. My session was about meditation which was taught by the two-bit guru. He showed us some breathing techniques to help us relax and focus our minds. He reminded us that either though we need to stay busy to keep up on our businesses we also need time to relax our bodies and refocus ourselves.
Afterwards, we got back together to discuss our thoughts on the conference and wrap up the day. I think everyone there had a good time, did some great networking and learned at least one thing new. We enjoyed the day very much, met some great new people and would like to set this up in the Wausau area as well.