Making lights blink with Pa

This weekend my dad came to visit.*

Apart from doing very nice things, like a cycle ride across a big red bridge, we had fun playing with electronics. It went something a bit like:

Me: Hey Dad, not seen you in a while, look at some of the stuff I’ve got (points at arduino, flora, and a few sensors).
Pa: Oh very nice, let me just go to my moderate sized carry on suitcase and find a HUGE bag full of color sensors, arduino shields, neopixels, oscilloscopes (etc.).
Me: Oh blooming heck, how did you fit all of that in your case, and omg lets play!
Pa: Well, you never know when you will need to tinker whilst you are traveling.

Anyway. Over the course of the weekend we did some tinkering and it was a lot of fun to do this with my dad. Normally I feel a bit hesitant about asking a guy about electronics things, because their response tends to be condescending or patronizing or “isn’t that cute”. But with my dad, of course, my questions were greeted with a sense of joy, pride, enthusiasm, and curiosity. Lots of: “let me try and remember”s “lets figure it out”s, “you stumped me there”s. Oh the joy to talk normally about these things, without all the stinky ego.

We ended up testing out the LOL board.
LOL (lots of LEDs) board making some funky helix motions.

And then we were curious about how it worked, so we made our own (very basic) multiplex and chraliplex versions. I’ll post some circuit illustrations about how these work soon -but it is a really great way to control lots of LEDs with few connections (multiplexing 9 LEDs = 6 wires, Charliplexing 6 LEds = 3 wires)



And dad taught me how. And all the way it was a wonderful exchange, and fun, and I learned so much through us both learning. Thanks for sharing dad.

*a weekend added on to a week conference in Portland -my family are not so extravagant that they make 5000+ mile weekend trips yeah!


I’ve been playing around with making speakers. Here are a few.

I started teaching at Lick Wilmerding High School a month ago. On one of the courses we are making an amp, and to learn how speakers work we made paper speakers. Students made some really great ones and it was a lot of fun!

*inspired by the wonderful Hannah Perner-Wilson

Gotta hand it to you

I am applying for some bits and bobs for next year (my current position ends in December -more about that soon). Anyway, I found this.

A print I made in MARCH 2013. I made it when I got back from an India trip as a thank you card for the people I stayed with.

My self-critic at that time had decided it wasn’t a very good print and buried it away in a draw somewhere. I have no idea where the original is now, but here is a digital copy. And here is an ode to the hand, and the wonderful things it makes.

BeccaRose Font!

OMG. I made a font. Yes it is my hand writing ON YOUR SCREEN! who would have thunk it? From paper to digital screen and (if you print it out) back to paper again. I did have loads of cool names for my font (not just my name) but, because the making process is a bit fiddly, by the time I got the font how I wanted it I had used up all the cool names! I used a program called Paint Font, and made numerous wonky efforts before I got to this one.

If you like it you can download it here. It works best at at least 22pt. I am making a paper cut font also, so watch this space.

Here are some of the less successful versions I made (notice how they are wonky or came out a bit close together or just wired)

I would strongly encourage you to try making your own font -it is a lot of fun to use and you can share it with your friends!

New Sketchbook

Yes oh yes it’s that time again. New sketchbook time. For my first marks in the book I made a drawing of he world we live on and a giant hand holding a light. I was listening to Eureka when I drawed it.

I also added added a handy 3V coin cell to the back of the sketchbook -that way if I want to try out a new circuit or mock up an idea I can do with style!

For this particular drawing I was testing out the shinning light that the giant hand is holding.