Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Every Day Is A Good Day When You Build Fire Art

To paraphrase Bob Ross.  Only semi-joking.  I started a new job at Kairos Aerospace, and I'm liking it a lot.  I have an hour here or there in the evenings, and I sit down and work on a little bit of the Ico.  And, if I do even that tiny bit of art, then I've done some art.

Today's contribution to art: demonstrating that I can hack out a very reductive REST server on an Arduino using an ENC28j60 ($7 from Amazon).  I wrote a dead simple REST server that just collects the URL from a PUT request.  So, I can, for instance, PUT to /foobar to send the command "foobar".

So, yes, I'm sitting here after work programming.  Is it art?  Not in and of itself.  But am I working on art?  Who knows.  It feels good.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Automated electronic ignition

Successful test of automated electronic ignition:
This is the "demo" reel: it's just programmed to go back and forth, with the gas valve turning on and off as needed.

The gas tank shouldn't have been that close to the flame.  Don't do that.

Electronics are still in prototype, as in, bunches of wires hanging off breadboard.  Next step is to figure out how I'm going to have each individual unit communicate with the master.  Right now, my plan for that is to use an Ethernet-to-SPI bridge such as this one:

The idea here is that wireless is both overkill, and not super reliable at Burning Man, where they blast microwave trans-playa for DPW and Ranger comms, as I found out when I built the "Black Rock City Craigslist" project.  RS232 isn't designed for more than a few feet, and it's point-to-point, and not multipoint.  If you want long-distance (more than 25 feet), reliable, and cheap, ethernet is a great option.  Almost all of the hardware is commodity, off-the-shelf.

Also, I need a website, because I need to start putting together a build team, fundraising, etc etc.  Going to get to work on that soon as well.  Want to start looking for studio space, possibly at Box Shop, which is near my house.