Fincher Technologies Proton Pack Install

Hey guys,

I thought you’d like to see an install Fincher Technologies did of of one of my Positron Kits in a mini Proton Pack (80% scale) with one of their e-cig foggers that can be automatically triggered by the Positron when venting!

And here’s some photos of the guts of the thing:

Even with a tip extension mechanism, they still managed to squeeze all the boards in, plus the vibration motor, thanks to the Positron’s extremely compact design!
They had to chop the corners off the powercell, but they still managed to squeeze it in!
The e-cig venting system seen at the bottom right in the image is comprised of an air pump, e-cig, and computer fan, and is controlled by a relay connected to expansion port 8 on the Positron!


In order to fit the strobe on the smaller acrylic tube of the 80% scale pack, the Finchers carefully shaved down the PCB. Don’t try this at home!

Work in progress!

Hey guys,

Sorry about the lack of updates recently! I’ve been super busy, shipping out hundreds of Taus, Firecrickets, and Neutrinos…


…along with dozens of Positron Kits:

20170107_113812-edited 20170106_105602-edited(Don’t worry, I erased the names and the addresses!)

And for those kits, I’ve been soldering and crimping cables for the hundreds of LEDs, switches, potentiometers, and vibration motors needed for the first batch of 50 kits that were manufactured…

20170211_141807I’ve also been preparing my next couple Kickstarter campaigns, though most of my time has been devoted to the above so I’m a month or two behind schedule there, but I hope to launch the next one this week!

Oh, and speaking of Kickstarters, I recently released the Eagle files and schematic for the Firecricket! Those can be found on its product page.

That’s all for now, but I’ve got some cool stuff to show you from a fan that I’ll be putting in it’s own post shortly!

Positron Kits Now Shipping!

Hey guys!

Just a quick update to let you know I received the bargraphs for the Positron kits a week or so ago and I can finally begin shipping the kits in bulk!


I’ve already put several kits in the mail, and as you can see above, this past week I assembled a bunch of new cyclotron, slo-blo, and LED cables! I also wired up a ton of toggle switches, and crimped connectors onto a batch of vibration motors!

That’s all for now!

Happy Holidays!

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, as Tau and Neutrinos danced in their heads...

Hey guys!

I just wanted to let you know that Macrofab estimates they’ll be finished making repairs to the bargraphs for the Positron today, and I should have them in hand by next week!

In the meantime, I continue to assemble more LEDs, switches, and vibration motors for the kits, and last week, thanks to a few working prototype bargraphs I had on hand, I was able to put the first six kits in the mail!

Also, with the Firecrickets and Tau for my latest Kickstarter campaigns having arrived a couple weeks ago I’ve been busy shipping dozens of boards each day out to my backers!


That’s all for now. Happy holidays!

Two steps forward, two steps back…

Hey guys,

Just another update on the Positron Proton Pack kits.

I resolved the issue with reading the MicroSD cards yesterday only to encounter a new, minor issue which may delay shipment by another couple weeks.

When testing the kit, I realized that the bargraph modules had been assembled incorrectly. The LED driver chip was flipped 180 degrees, so the pins are sitting on the wrong pads.

It’s easy enough to fix… the boards just need to have some rework done on them.  But I have to ship the boards back to Macrofab to have that done, and it may take them a week to do it.

Aside from that, everything seems fine with the kits now, so once I get those boards back I’ll be able to begin shipping them out!

Proton Pack Kit Update


Hey guys,

Just another quick update on the proton pack kits.

As you can see above all the boards have now arrived from the manufacturer!

However, I’ve run into a bit of a snag.

It seems that only a third of the MicroSD cards I have on hand actually work with the kits. With the rest, the green light on the kit indicating the bootloader can’t read the card flashes steadily.

I believe the issue isn’t with the hardware or the MicroSD cards themselves, but with the firmware, and how it accesses the cards. Either way, I’ll need to hold off on the shipments until I resolve the problem.

How long will that take? I don’t know exactly, but I expect it won’t be too long. I hope to begin shipping the kits by the end of the month.

Spooky Scary Soldering!

Hey guys,

Still working on getting the Positron kits shipped out!


The manufacturer was supposed to overnight me the boards Tuesday, but the tracking info was never updated and I’m not sure what their present status is, but as soon as I have them in hand they’ll begin going out.

In the meantime as you can see above, I’ve been soldering hundreds of switches, pots, and LEDs, as well as assembling power switch and charge harnesses, and crimping connectors onto vibration motors.

The vibration motors have been a particular pain in the ass because the thin wires are extremely easy to cut through when crimping them, but after screwing up half a dozen I think I’ve finally got it sorted.

Halloween Update: Proton Pack Kits + Tau

Hey guys,

With Halloween fast approaching, I thought I should post a update on the state of the proton pack kits.

The kits are currently being manufactured, and they should be in my hands by the 24th. I apologize for cutting things so close, but at the last minute I discovered a serious issue with the amplifier and I had no choice but to order one final prototype. I received that a couple weeks ago and after making sure everything was finally working as it should, I put the final order in.

In the meantime, I’ve also been dealing with a serious issue with the Taus I shipped last month for one of my Kickstarter campaigns. Half of them would not accept new sketches being uploaded from the Arduino IDE, and I could not reproduce the issue locally which made it that much harder to diagnose.  As this affected dozens of customers, and would affect my all my Firecricket backers as well if I did not figure out what was going on, I needed to spend a lot of time that I’d planned to devote to assembling switch harnesses and LED cables for the proton pack kits to solving that problem.

As a result, I’m a bit behind on the Proton Pack Kits and I’m not sure I can ship them all in time for Halloween. Thankfully, not every customer needs their kit immediately, and I should still be able to get them to all the customers that do.

So, if you need your kit for Halloween, send me an email and I’ll do my best to get it to you before then!


If you’re reading this and purchased a Tau before October 8th, your boards may be affected by the issue I outlined above. If you can’t upload new sketches to them because of a verification error, then the problem is the NVMCTRL_REGION_LOCKS fuse was incorrectly set by the manufacturer.

If you have an Atmel ICE debugger you can easily change this fuse yourself by doing the following:

  1. Open Atmel Studio.
  2. Connect the Atmel ICE.
  3. Go to Tools->Device Programming.
  4. The ICE should be listed in the Tool box.
  5. Select ATSAMD21E17A from the Device box. Hit Apply.
  6. Connect the ICE to the Tau’s SWD port.
  7. Click Read to read the device signature and voltage.
  8. Open the Fuse tab.
  9. Click the Read button below the fuses to read them from the chip.
  10. Scroll to the bottom of the list of fuses to find the NVMCTRL_REGION_LOCKS fuse.
  11. Set it to 0xFFFF.
  12. Click Program.

The fuse settings should now be correct.

If you do not have an Atmel ICE, you will need to return the board to me so I can correct the fuse settings for you. There is no way to correct the fuse settings through the USB interface.