Archive for month: May, 2013

On Theo Jansen’s walking mechanism…

May 23, 2013 | 3D printing, Math, Toys and Gadgets | By: Mark VandeWettering

If you haven’t heard of Theo Jansen and his incredible walking machines, I can’t do them justice with words. Check this out: His work is accessible from I find his creations amazingly cool. And others do as well, even hamsters (although cats seem less impressed): But while I’ve found these things fascinating, I didn’t […]

The JAM 187khz LowFer Beacon..

May 23, 2013 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

In my previous post about the virtues of microcontrollers in homebrew radio, I had a comment from Lee, who mentioned that he operated a LowFer beacon on 187khz. I’ve been passively interested in LF operation under Part 15 rules for a long time, but haven’t really gotten involved with it much. Lee operates from La […]

On microcontrollers in amateur radio, or “QRP computing”…

May 22, 2013 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

As anyone who has followed my blog for any period of time knows, my interests straddle a lot of different disciplines and hobbies, and often find interesting bits of overlap where I find I can do cool stuff. Two of my favorite hobbies are tinkering with microcontrollers and with the low powered end of amateur […]

My First Thingiverse Item: A motor mount for the Axon…

May 10, 2013 | 3D printing, Radio Controlled Airplanes | By: Mark VandeWettering

Last year, Mark H (who blogs at Eastbay RC got me into the world of building RC airplanes. While my early attempts were limited in their overall successfulness (I demonstrated that I was awfully good at snapping props) I have been keeping up in my interest, and slowly acquiring more tools and hardware. Recently, I’ve […]

Why you should really upgrade to a General…

May 8, 2013 | Amateur Radio | By: Mark VandeWettering

Or not. I find a lot of editorializing about amateur radio to be, well, curiously off the mark. For instance try checking out Dan, KB6NU’s well meaning article about why you should upgrade to a General. I mean, that’s what the title is: Why you should upgrade to a General. The reason I find this […]

The legendary Ray Harryhausen dies at 92…

May 7, 2013 | My Photos, News | By: Mark VandeWettering

It is with a sense of deep sadness that I heard of the passing of Ray Harryhausen this morning. If I were to pick two things which influenced me as a kid growing up in the 1960s, it would have been the Apollo Space Program and the films of Ray Harryhausen, although at no time […]

A day at the Official Propeller Conference

May 5, 2013 | electronics, Microcontrollers | By: Mark VandeWettering

Even casual readers of this blog know that I’ve enjoyed playing around with the Arduino and the Atmel AVR chips. I really like them, and have used them for a variety of personal projects, as well as using them for a variety of educational projects for a local high school where I mentor students. But […]