Monthly Archives: March 2006

AVR Project – LEDs and PWM

I've been super-busy at work lately, and haven't had much time for personal projects. But I have managed to spend a tiny bit of time here and there working with that AVR development board. I've got it controlling 8 super-bright LEDs (4 green, 4 red). The code I've written uses PWM (pulse width modulation) to control the intensity of the LEDs. I'm going to use this method to try some interesting projects using color-blending from red, green, and blue LEDs. I'm pretty much stuck right now though - I am waiting for an order from Mouser to get here. By the way, for you other folks using AVRs - where are you getting them from, and which AVR are you using? I'm having trouble finding anywhere that I can still get the 2313 that is on this development board. Do they make them anymore?

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And Then There Were Two!

We were going to wait to spill the beans, but I think almost everyone knows anyway. Lori couldn't keep a secret. :) So just to make it official - Lori is pregnant! She's about seven weeks along. She is starting to swell a little quicker this time. It's hard to tell in the picture, but her belly is already starting to round out. Although she has been eating a lot of cookies lately...hmm...

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Lori and I tried to catch up on a bunch of yardwork this morning, and Sean got his first chance to play in leaves. I think he really enjoyed the new texture - he kept running his hands through the pile and smiling. He's been doing great with his standing and walking - he hardly ever crawls anymore, unless he gets cranky, tired, and clumsy. He's also becoming adept at crouching to play with things on the floor instead of sitting down.

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Sean’s Favorite Place to Be…

The kitchen.

Notice the yoga position he's been working on - 'downward dog'. He does that constantly, all over the house. Sometimes I stand over him and do the same thing, so we can see each other through our legs. It cracks him up every time.

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Scenes from Space #25

Scientists may have found evidence for another liquid ocean in our solar system. They have long suspected that Jupiter's moon Europa harbors a liquid ocean beneath its icy crust, and recent data from the Cassini spacecraft has given tantalizing hints that a similar ocean might lie beneath the surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus.

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Atmel AVR Microcontroller

I just got an Atmel AVR microcontroller development board in the mail, and have started playing around with it. Hobbyists use these for all kinds of things - from robotics, to data acquisition devices, to lighting modules, etc. Just Google "AVR projects", and you will see what I mean. I've been interested in learning about using microcontrollers for quite a while (ever since Dirk starting building a robot with them in 2001), but for some reason I just haven't buckled down and -tried- them yet. Last night I managed to write code and wire up a circuit to light a single LED. This would be the equivalent of a "Hello World" program in another programming language. It's a humble beginning, but I've already got ideas for lots of cool projects I can build with this thing!

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Scenes from Space #24

Is the Antartic ice sheet melting? Climatologists think global warming may be melting the ice that encases our southernmost continent. The orbiting GRACE satellite has taken extremely sensitive measurements of the Earth's gravity, and the data suggests that Antartica may have lost a significant amount of ice between 2002 and 2005. While they calculate that this ice would only have raised the world's oceans by a fraction of an inch, that it a LOT more water than it sounds like - almost 40 trillion gallons. In the image below is a picture of one of the icebergs along the Antartic coast.

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Fun in the Sun

This past Sunday, we went to the playground with Grammy. Sean spent all of his time in the sandbox, exploring.

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