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!

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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

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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!

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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!

PS:

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.

Strobes!

Hey guys, The color changing strobes for the Positron proton pack kit arrived today!

The rest of the boards for the kit will be arriving the second week of October and will ship the following! Sorry about cutting it so close to Halloween but a serious issue came up at the last minute which needed to be resolved.

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Introducing: The Firecricket!

The Firecricket is an Arduino compatible light, sound, and motion controller for your replica props which you can program yourself!

It features a 32bit 48MHz processor with 16K of ram, a 2.5W audio amplifier, a MicroSD slot for storing sound effects, images, and configuration files, and a MOSFET with flyback diode for driving high power inductive loads like vibration motors, or high power LEDs.

You can use it for cosplay, Halloween costumes and decorations, movie props, toys,  or even simple robots!

Available now on Kickstarter!

Positrons and Neutrinos and Taus, oh my!

It’s been a busy week!

Not only was the Kickstarter campaign for the Neutrino 2.0 successfully funded, but I also got the Tau bootloader working finally, and I put in orders for both with Macrofab!

The Neutrino 2.0 and Pixel are both on sale now, and the Tau is also currently available for pre-order!

I have also just put in the first PCB order for the Positron kit:  50 RGBW strobes!  I will be putting in the remaining orders over the next week or so.

The good news is, it’s not too late to pre-order for the first run!  A few kits from the first batch are still available, so you still have time to get in!  Once those are gone, I’ll be taking orders for run two, but the second run won’t be ready until after Halloween!

And don’t worry when placing your order if it is the first or second run, I will post a notice here and on the order page once the remaining boards from the first run are gone.

Pre-orders Extended!

Hey guys,

Just wanted to let you know that I’ve decided to extend the pre-order period for the Positron proton pack kit until the end of this month.

Once I put the order in for the kits (the first week of August) it will take 3-4 weeks for the kits to be manufactured, and I estimate it will take another week or two ship them all out, so you can expect delivery by mid-September.

Tools for the electrical engineering hobbyist + custom electronic circuit design services!