Weekly Update: July 1, 2017

Late? It’s like a habit or something.

This week’s lateness is due to some problems at my day job, along with spending most of the day poking at the latest prototype.

Good news! It works… mostly. There are a number of issues with the board, some dumb, some not, but it serves its primary function.

The bad parts about the board:

  • The ESP-12E Module’s Ground pin ended up not being connected to the rest of the PCB’s ground plane.
  • Connecting GPIO 0 to a transistor to control the backlights ended up in failing to boot.
  • The resistor setup for the buttons ended up being too varied to be usable how I wanted it to.
  • The footprint for the boost regulator had pads that were too small and couldn’t be soldered by hand

However, those were either jury-rigged to work with the prototype, worked around, and all have been fixed on the next prototype:

  • Re-routing traces re-connected the ESP-12E Module’s ground pin to the rest of the ground plane.
  • The backlight will be controlled by the ATTiny84
  • The Resistor setup for the buttons is scrapped, and they’ll be detected and controlled via the ATTiny84
  • Footprints have been adjusted as necessary.

I spent most of my programming time working on the code for the ATTiny84, and I’m willing to call it functionally complete. I may go back and tweak or change some things, but it works as it sits. I’ll probably upload it to GitHub later in the week. It’s both a program for the ATTiny84 AND an Arduino library to communicate with it easily. I’m pretty happy with the latter – It was a lot easier than I expected, too!

And in non-DigiBadge news, Matchfire will be changing its name.

Why?

Well, I’ll toss a link at you: http://www.matchfire.com

These guys are a marketing firm, but they look a little too similar to this Matchfire. In the name of not causing confusion or friction down the road, I’ve decided to re-name my company. To what, I’m not sure, but it’ll be changed. If you have any suggestions, you can send them on Discord, on Twitter, or on Facebook.

Alabaster on the V2 Case

Hey guys, been a good while since I posted, and there’s a kinda good reason (not so much) for that. I’ve been having rampant computer problems that have almost barred me entirely from using my Desktop computer (the one I do all my work on). Turns out, the memory leak I was trying to hunt down and kill was in more than just the three programs I had removed from my desktop about a month ago, but in Windows itself.

Long story short, the problem is fixed now. And I need to catch up. Badly… I’ve been putting of saying anything until I had the problem sorted out, and now that that time is now, here we go!

SO! I will be scrapping the half-finished design I had been working on in order to favor a new one. That being said, now that I’m not scraping along at 98% memory usage all day, I have the ability to both work faster, and show my work to you guys. As some of you may have already seen, I made a post on Twitter asking for votes on the type of media you would like to see (either a livestream, or a timelapse). HERE is a link to the tweet, so you may go vote. Now, keep in mind, if I do a livestream, I will also be posting that on the YouTube, if a bit later than I would post the timelapse.

 

Anyhow, yeah. Like Andon said at the end of his last post, I will be working to make it so that the V2 case is compatable with the V2+, V2.5, V3, whatever we call it. That way, you guys don’t have to wait months again for me to get my act together. I promised people at BronyCon that I would have the case design done by mid to late July, and I failed to deliver. And for that I am sorry.

My new “release date” is early to early-mid August.

 

As usual, if you have any questions, I can be reached on Twitter @MysterAla or through my email alabaster@matchfire.net

Current Events! & Maybe New Store Stuff One Day?

So, the last post (The one right below this one) ended with some talk of him coming to some events with me. This weekend, Andon shall stay with me on campus, and take a tour of New Jersey and New York.

We’re planning on doing just two one things, but I’ll be looking for things for us to do Monday afternoon after our second event ends.

SO! Event #1 is on Sunday the 10th. For the past few years, probably three or four, I’ve been attending an event in New York at the Jacob Javits center called “Inside 3D Printing Expo and Conference”. Needless to say, I love it. It’s free to attend, and has a show floor containing the latest and greatest from the worlds #1 3D Printing companies. They also have workshops and keynote sessions if you really want to see some of the good stuff. The Expo goes on for three days, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.

Event #2 has a bit of a story behind it. Last… Oh man, it’s gotta be last October or November, I spent a day in Harlem, NY, assisting one of my professors lead a workshop on 3D Printing in art at the Leeroy Neiman Arts Center. A bunch of really awesome artists came, and learned how to involve 3D Design and Printing in their works. I had a total blast, and apparently I made a good impression with the organizers of that event, because a month or two later, I get an email from someone who heard my name, and they wanted to know if I was willing to return to my home county and lead a hands-on workshop for educators in the area. To be honest, I was speechless when I got the email, and I kinda freaked out a bit. A lot. I freaked out a lot. Spent the next hour in a panic over just how badly I could mess the opportunity up. BUT! I’m going! It’s going to be amazing! I’m going to show my previous teachers a thing or two about 3D Printers.  The event is on Monday, the 11th, in the morning.

^Just got the email that this thing is going to be moved to November. Me and Andon will be attending the Expo Sunday and Monday.

 

Beyond that, Andon mentioned that there was some stuff going on that he wanted more details on before talking about them. I’m not sure how many things he has going on behind the curtains I can’t see through, but there are some things I can show off!

Possible Sticker design we might sell in the store, or other stuff. I got 20, just to put them on stuff because I can.

Possible Sticker design we might sell in the store, or other stuff. I got 20, just to put them on stuff because I can.

Three separate designs, one for me, one for Jason, and one for the company. Unless I decide to write funny names and job titles on those.

Three separate designs, one for me, one for Jason, and one for the company. Unless I decide to write funny names and job titles on those.

Got one for me, and one for Jason. They're super soft, and I love mine!

Got one for me, and one for Jason. They’re super soft, and I love mine!

Picture of me in my room, wearing one of the many possible T-Shirt designs I've been poking at, trying to figure out what looks the best, for us to sell in our store.

Me in my prison cell, wearing one of the many possible T-Shirt designs I’ve been poking at, trying to figure out what looks the best, for us to sell in our store.