Projects

  • Halloween 2023: Silicandy Valley Bank

    Halloween 2023: Silicandy Valley Bank

    Quick Stats: After our DMV themed Halloween costume last year, our Halloween crew was searching for a new costume idea that would be equally frightening for both children and adults. In March 2023, we had our answer. What’s Silicandy Valley Bank? In the months before Halloween, we began planning our costume with a rather ambitiousContinue…

  • Fume Hood

    Fume Hood

    I recently started doing some electroless plating in my garage, and wanted a way to control the fumes from the degreaser and plating chemicals. A fume hood seemed like the right tool for the job, so I spent some time researching what other people had been building. I found some examples of cheap and fastContinue…

  • Drill Press Camera

    Drill Press Camera

    Background In the course of home-etching a bunch of PCBs, I’ve spent many hours hunched over my drill press squinting at tiny drill bits and trying to line them up with pads for vias and through holes. These pads can be quite small: the smallest rivets I use have a pad size / head diameterContinue…

  • Remote Load Switch

    Remote Load Switch

    My most recent design challenge was building a remote load switch for a hypothetical aerospace application. I formed and documented a design through schematic capture, simulation, and hardware layout, but stopped short of routing the PCB and sending things out on an initial prototype run. The simulations look good and most of the design isContinue…

  • Single Cell Battery Simulator

    Single Cell Battery Simulator

    I recently came upon design challenge for designing a single-cell battery simulator. I started having a lot of fun with the project–by the time it was done, I figured it was worth documenting as a good example of my hardware and software design workflow. As of the time of writing this post, I’m quite happyContinue…

  • Etching PCBs at Home for Fun and Profit

    Etching PCBs at Home for Fun and Profit

    As of the time of writing this post, I’ve been chasing the dream of etching circuit boards at home for at least four years. After flopping around between various techniques for years (including CNC milling with two separate machines and lots of mods), I think that I’ve finally settled on a techniqe that is lowContinue…

  • Halloween 2022: The DTV (Department of Treat Vending)

    Halloween 2022: The DTV (Department of Treat Vending)

    For Halloween 2022, we wanted to top our previous record attempt for “Most Complicated Way to Make Trick-Or-Treaters Suffer in a Haunted Maze of Endless Bureaucracy”, and settled on the perfect idea: the DMV. With some slight candy-adjacent-holiday themed rebranding, ten yards of cubicle fabric, over $1k in off-theshelf and government-surplus IT equipment, and aContinue…

  • Thoughts on Running a Farmers’ Market Stand

    Thoughts on Running a Farmers’ Market Stand

    I’ve always enjoyed cooking, especially Asian food (lots of influence from my mom’s side of the family in Wuhan) and slow-smoked barbecue (idk it’s tasty). One day in the summer of 2021, Caitlin (my Significant Other), Kenneth (my brother), and I stumbled into a strange cocktail of boredom and hubris and decided to start aContinue…

  • Halloween 2021: The TSA (Treat Security Administration)

    Halloween 2021: The TSA (Treat Security Administration)

    For Halloween of 2021, we decided to bring the horrors of modern air travel to unsuspecting trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood. Thus, the “Treat Security Administration” was born. The TSA The Treat Security Administration is tasked with inspecting all treat and costume items being brought or worn onto the premises of any nationally recognized TDF (TreatContinue…

  • Arduino Radar Speed Sign

    Arduino Radar Speed Sign

    Electronics Kit Now Available! Update 2023-09-05: I finally got around to redesigning the electronics for this kit, and got some PCBs made for an improved 7-segment display as well as a new control board based on a Pi Pico! I also rewrote the firmware in MicroPython to make it easier to play around with. TheContinue…

  • Idiot Bird

    Idiot Bird

    This bird is so dumb that it laid an egg on one (1) stick. We built it a tupperware out of wood, so watch it have kids now I guess.

  • Self Checkout Stand Halloween Costume

    Self Checkout Stand Halloween Costume

    Why did you make this cursed rectangle? It’s a pretty iconic vignette of 21st century living: you’re checking out of the grocery store, and the cashier lines are long. You glance down the row of checkout stands, and the unoccupied self-checkout kiosk beckons from across the store, willing you to try it out just oneContinue…

  • PIC Beeper

    PIC Beeper

    After learning about the PIC12F752 in a mechatronics class, I was tempted to use the cheap microcontroller to play music. The device has 1024 Bytes of program memory, but only 64 Bytes of flash, making storing a song in data memory very difficult. Instead, I hacked together a code generation program in Python that wouldContinue…

  • Birdcam

    Birdcam

    I decided to build a bird feeder with a live-streaming camera for my significant other’s birthday. It seems to work pretty well! The system is based on a Raspberry Pi Zero W running the Motion firmware, with an image mask and motion trigger set to activate when birds land on the feeder. Every night, aContinue…

  • 3D Printer Enclosure Fan Controller

    3D Printer Enclosure Fan Controller

    Overview After building my 3D printer enclosure, I ran into the issue of my printer enclosure getting too warm. Temperatures during extended prints were climbing above 130 degrees Fahrenheit, which was causing my printer electronics to overheat, leading to extrusion issues and missed steps. I remedied this by propping the door open with a rag,Continue…

  • LED Trumpet

    LED Trumpet

    Overview This is my second iteration of my LED trumpet.  The first iteration used an Arduino Nano, but I upgraded to a Teensy this time around for more processing power (gotta get all them FFT’s).  The system is powered by Lipo batteries (from my rc aircraft projects) feeding a Castle 10A SBEC that provides 5VContinue…

  • Fire Alarm Pull Light Switch Cover

    Fire Alarm Pull Light Switch Cover

    I got bored during finals and measured the fire alarm pull outside my dorm room.  Adding a slot to the back allowed me to fit it over my room’s existing light switches, and a dual-color print from PETG gave it a somewhat realistic look.  Shenanigans ensued. Thingiverse Link

  • Whacky Waving Flailing Inflatable Arm Tube Man!

    Whacky Waving Flailing Inflatable Arm Tube Man!

    Just finished building my Halloween costume for this year!  Two circular laundry hampers, 5 yards of green polyester, and a $10 sewing machine from Amazon make for a great time.  

  • Prusa i3 3D Printer Enclosure

    Prusa i3 3D Printer Enclosure

    This was a fun project from summer of 2017.  I built a Prusa i3 MK2S kit and decided it needed an enclosure, so I purchased some plywood and hacked one together.  There isn’t a square edge on it, but you can’t really tell from a distance!  I put together a lighting circuit and a printContinue…

  • Tri-Rotor Tilt-Wing VTOL

    Tri-Rotor Tilt-Wing VTOL

    This functional and extremely sketchy tilt-wing VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) prototype was constructed as a project for my Applied Science Research class in high school.  The aircraft flew on a KK2.1 flight control board reflashed with OpenAero-VTOL firmware, and transition mixes and PID parameters were programmed for various phases of flight.  The aircraft successfullyContinue…