Category Archives: Unfinished

Projects I may or may not ever finish!

Torch Grid

A centrally-controlled grid of wind-sensitive tea candles.

Background

I wanted to make a light-art piece for my barren walls at home to impress unsuspecting female co-workers who happened to stop by.

What it does

It generally looks like a grid of typical electronic tea candles, until you induce a wind current by blowing across the grid. The wind makes the candles wig out in a semi-natural manner.

What it’s made of

Theory of operation

I pulled the main workings from a brilliant Cornell ECE project created by Philip Ching. I added a 16-bit PWM matrix driver to the equation so the main loop can be reasonably responsive, and wiring becomes far easier. PIC32s with a crypto engine contain a very cool hardware (True and Pseudo) Random Number Generator, “TRNG” and “PRNG” respectively which we use to do flickery for all torches in the grid.

Suggested reading: 

Conclusion

Fireplace

A heating system to keep me toasty in my slumber.

Background

I live in San Francisco. Naturally, the 4000W in-wall heater in my bedroom is placed such that I can’t use it. Also I have what used to be a fireplace in there.

So I stuffed an in-wall heater into the fireplace hole.

What it’s made of

What would be nice to have

What it does

I set the thermostat to a temperature and the heater maintains it during the frigid San Francisco summer.

Conclusion

Princess Phone

Background

My cousin inherited a vintage Danish telephone (meets USA signal spec apparently) from our grandmother but lamented that she had no land-line to actually use it. Still, it would make a wicked cool addition to her nightstand.

So I was all like “I can Bluetooth that ish” then she be like

2

What it does

Makes and receives phone calls via Bluetooth and a paired mobile phone. Basically a big, heavy Bluetooth headset.

What it’s made of

Theory of operation

TL;DR: Works like a typical telephone.

Plug it in and pair it with your mobile phone using the standard method – press and hold the pairing button.

When a call is received, the phone rings. When you pick up the receiver the call is connected, when you put it down the call is ended. You speak and listen through the original handset. Furthermore, the MCU samples the rotary dial so you can initiate calls from the phone.

The MCU provides:

  • Regionally-appropriate dialtone when you pick up the handset
  • Regionally-appropriate busy tone

Trials and Tribulations

  1. How do I bypass the microphone gain stage to use the RN-52 with a pre-biased (1/2 of 3.3v), line-level audio input signal? This is referenced in the usage guide and datasheet but there is no command documented to use this. Does my application require a CODEC? I sure hope not.>>> The microphone gain can be changed from -3dB to 42dB in linear steps. If the gain is set to less than 24dB using the ‘SM’ command the line in mode is automatically entered.
  1. Is the audio output intrinsically a line-level signal?>>> The audio output is a speaker level signal and not line level signal.
  1. Which input channel (left or right) is used when in HFP mode? I’m making a device to turn a standard telephone into a bluetooth handset by way of a SLIC.>>> MIC_L+/- is used for HFP mode.
  2. Is this a typo? Do they mean the “microphone gain level” can be set from 00 to 1F?>>>>Yes that is correct. It is a typo. Should be ‘microphone gain level’. I will save this as an update to be captured for document revision.
  3. If the -3 to +42dB gain (45dB range) is entered from 0x00 to 0x1F, that means each increment equals a +1.4dB change. This means the default setting of 0x09 = +9.6dB gain. Is this correct? >>>>Yes it is a linear increment and should be an increment of 1.4dB per step. Did SM command work for your design line level input needs?

Conclusion

Resources