Category Archives: Happenings

Upcoming events and meetings. A feed of notices in lieu of (but hopefully some day augmenting) a calendar.

October 9, 2017 Meeting Recap

  •  Announcements
    • On October 20th Nordic Semiconductor is conducting an all-day seminar with members of their R&D organization on Friday, October 20th. They’ll cover the nRF52 chip series, Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth Mesh, and “802.15.4 and Thread: Mesh technologies for IoT applications”. They say somewhere that attendees will receive an nRF52 dev board. Registration here.
    • Monday, November 1st at Duke University the IEEE/Robotics (aka TAR) meeting will offer a presentation about Duke’s humanoid robot project. (This is not the same as the IEEE project being done at the Forge Initiative )  Again: this meeting is not at NC State for November. Pizza and beverages at 6:20 pm, the program starts at 7 pm. Location, parking, and other details and painless “register now”  button to gauge the pizza order are here. Program:
      • Humans and Autonomy Lab – Humans’ Interaction with Autonomous Systems, by Dr. Michael Clamann
      • Explainable AI, by Dr. Alexander Stimpson
      • Experiment on Humans’ Trust in Risk-Aware Autonomy, by Dr. Lixiao Huang
    • November 8th at the McKimmon Center at NC State will be PCB Carolina, “North Carolina’s Premier Electronics Trade Show”.  They offer outstanding food, a range of technical presentations and many vendor and organization booths to do with PCB design and production, and electronic assembly as well as related vendor’s wares. Details here.
  • Problem of the Month
    • Paul presented his “sorting a mixture of colored marbles” mechanical+electronics problem and gathered ideas submitted by the attendees
    • Details of problem-solving sessions are available here.
  • LTSpice talk. The materials are on Carl’s GitHub repository here  and he’ll update it as the project matures.
  • Show-and-tell
    • Glenn Smith showed a charging base he build for his Ham Radio.  There was a 3D printed (ABS plastic) base with a LiPo charger board inside.  It plugs into his car dash (not via cigarette lighter port, but a more robust connection).
    • Paul MacDougal showed his mushroom growing box.  A plastic tub with a 12V fan, a CO2 sensor, and a DHT22 temperature/humidity sensor.  An Arduino monitors the CO2 and turns on the fan at 800 ppm CO2 and turns off the fan at 750 ppm CO2.
    • Paul MacDougal showed his pushup counter based on the horizontal ultrasound sensor technique suggested in the September meeting.  It worked well “in the lab”, which has hardwood floors, but not so well on carpet.  He will continue to develop this project.
  • General discussion and final questions

Archive of past meeting slides, videos, code and design files

September 11 Meeting Recap

  • Announcements
    • Sparkcon starts this weekend with “Geek Expo of Maker and Digital Arts” back at the Redhat Annex on Saturday from 11am to 5pm. And this just in. Adam and Dan will be there with this stuff:

      Maniacal Labs @ Sparkcon this Saturday: they’re back!
    • Raleigh Mini MakerFaire is September 23rd. Splatspace will have a learn to solder booth and other things to share. TriEmbed is passing this year but multiple folks will be attending with handouts.
  • Problem of the Month
    • Paul presented his “counting pushups” problem and gathered ideas submitted by the attendees
    • Details of past problem solving sessions are available via the “Problem of the Month” main menu above.  Or here.
  • Home Automation Presentation
    • What can we say? Ben stunned much of his audience, especially during the Q&A.
  • Show-and-tell
    • Paul gave an update about his power over ethernet development project and his ongoing wrestling match with 802.3AF.
    • Alex presented his “leg movement logging via accelerometer using European Data Format” project using a Teensy USB and open source tools and custom Python code. He gave everyone a great accounting of a typical development project based off open source starting points and got the final results he was after. The GitHub repository for his project is here.
    • (No notes were taken: if you contributed something please drop a line on the email list so this can be back-filled!)
  • General discussion and final questions

Archive of past meeting slides, videos, code and design files

SMD Soldering Demo @ Triangle DIYBio Popup


Today until 2pm is the second day of an open house of the area Triangle DIY Biology organization near Scrap Exchange in Durham. I was button-holed to “do something” at this event and decided the easiest thing to demonstrate would be how to hand solder fine pitch SMDs. TriEmbed info sheets are on hand and we’re also plugging SplatSpace. I’m using a little space at the popup to coordinate curation of Fred Ebeling’s Collection of electronic parts at SplatSpace.

December 12th Meeting: Better than Blinky

blinkinglightsfromgoogleimagesPaul MacDougal will talk about alternatives to the classic Arduino beginning program and shares this summary:
“Blink is a great first example for Arduino programming, but a really bad example of embedded programming. With 99.9% of its time spent in delay(), nothing else can happen. This talk will show how to rewrite blink in several different ways to allow it to play nicely with other functions.”

Join Paul and others at NCSU for the regular meeting. More details on the “at NCSU” meeting page.

Arduino Project Demos and Idea Session @ Splatspace Saturday

Terry King and Mary Alice Osborne of Yourduino in Huntsville Alabama a few days ago, standing near a Saturn V F-1 engine nozzle.

Terry and Mary Alice will be at Splat Space (Durham Makerspace) Saturday morning, November 21st from 10am to noon to demonstrate Arduino projects and help attendees explore ideas. Kids are welcome (middle schoolers and older will get the most out of it) but there will be plenty of interest to attendees of all ages.

Soft drinks will be available at the ‘space. Some Yourduino inventory will be available for purchase (but this is not a sales pitch event).

There is a Meetup Page that has location and other details. The best way into Splat Space is via the gate on Corporation Street between Mangum and Roxboro.

More details about Yourduino on their info page.

May 11th Meeting 7PM @ NCSU

This meeting will have a handful of short presentations,  the usual show and tell, face to face networking and hands-on project help. Maps and additional details here. Planned:

  • Switch de-bouncing (Paul MacDougal)
  • Gathering ideas for an “Embedded Software Engineering 101” course (Christopher Svec)
  • Trivially solving arbitrary resistor networks with multiple voltage sources using Thévenin’s Theorem (Pete Soper)
  • <your very short presentation goes here>

(Pete and Christopher might possibly be on the road or late getting back into town, so their talks are tentative)

Upcoming monthly TriEmbed meetings at NCSU

  •  The May 11th meeting is open to some short presentations, ideally relevant to the recent “learning curve” list discussion. So far there already planned is a short switch-debouncing tutorial by Paul MacDougal and (if his flight isn’t delayed) a very short how-to by Pete Soper for using Thévenin’s Theorem to  solve nasty resistor network/mixed voltage source problems like the one in the XKCD Circuit. Also, if he’s not on the road with his job Christopher Svec  will give a short talk and open the floor for ideas for the “Embedded Engineering 101” course he’s mentioned on the email list.
  •  The meeting room assignment request is in for June/July/August, and it was early enough that we might hopefully keep the same room. With luck we’ll get the assignments in time to announce them at the May meeting.
  • June 8th will be focused on Craig Cook’s experience with an edX embedded systems course offered by U of Texas/Austin.
  • July 13th will feature Adam Haile and Dan Ternes of Maniacal Labs providing an update about their AllPixel project along with whatever else they’d like to discuss (perhaps some discussion with their co-conspirators about lighting up windows in downtown Raleigh?)

If you’re interested in giving a (short) talk in May or a talk at another TriEmbed meeting the best starting point is the TriEmbed email list (or, if it would be more comfortable, a message to Paul MacDougal and Pete Soper). You would ideally include a short synopsis and bio and conservative estimate of the amount of time you need.