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2020 A New Year!

So the decade is over, and my undergraduate degree is over. I’m on track for my master’s degree. A few plans in place for the coming year…

Project UM… (Upgrade Me). My version of a new year’s resolution. Every day make some form of an upgrade to my personal or professional life. Improving my organization, working towards those long term projects that I’ve been wanting to do for years but putting off. Even stocking my desk at the lab with healthier and cheaper snacks to keep me from going over the Machall for lunch. Very small, a step in the right direction, aiming for improvement, not perfection.

Improving my programming and building some libraries. There are a lot of standard tasks that need to get done, working in C or C++ on embedded systems I want to have a library I can turn to in order to perform these tasks. Everyone writes them, it’s time that I write my own. That and learning new languages, LISP and Pascall are on my need to learn list. getting proficient enough that I can create scripts for engineering tools is on the need to do this year.

Finishing more projects! I’m part of a 12 Month, 12 Design Challenge. Getting something completed and out the door each month. Coming up with new projects, and hopefully, one of them will be an idea that sticks and can be developed. For the coming year, I have the following projects planned, hopefully, they all work, but at least I’ll massively increase my design skills in the process.

  • January: Nixie tube clock. I’ve always liked the looks of these clocks since I first saw them and they go for $50 – $1500 depending on the quality of the device. I hope to be able to sell these while keeping one for myself.
  • February: Peripheral Module Interface (PMOD): you see these on a lot of FPGA development boards, and they’re a useful tool for testing out different sets of hardware without spinning full designs. But there is still plenty of devices you can’t get PMODs for. I need a 40 pin TFT PMOD so that’s what I’ll make.
  • March:
  • April: micro led bubble display. Can we produce something in a similar vein to the old bubble displays? They’re not made anymore and the supplies are so low that the cost per 5 digit display is up at $15 per chip.
  • May:
  • June:
  • July: A tillable 3mm led screen. Plug a board in on one side and it becomes controllable from any of the microcontrollers on the board. With a more powerful computer acting as the overall brain to the system, it becomes child’s play to create a giant screen for any large scale enclosure.
  • August:
  • September: House strip lights. 150m of individually addressable strip lighting would make our home look even more amazing. Ordering the individual strips, mounting and installing them. Creating a controller and programming it for all the holiday seasons.
  • October: Giant Bethlehem star. A big star with lots of LEDs and a controller so remotely turn it on and off.
  • November: Capacitive Welding. Supercapacitors can store a ridiculous about of energy. I have the requisite skills to create charging and discharging circuitry that will operate safely. With sufficient testing and development that will create a useful piece of equipment, plus it’ll melt anything a set it on so that’s also a plus.
  • December:

Obviously going to have to come up with a lot of projects on the fly through the year, but that’s what I’ll do. I have no doubt that as I go through more ideas will occur to me than I could ever possibly build. But that’s the fun of it.

The decade has begun, let’s see how much we can get done.

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