Sheesh… Sorry I haven’t called! It’s been a while!

so in the last lil’ bit I have not been blogging at all. Happily that has been because I’ve been swamped with projects, vacation, and work. Now I’ve got a big old backlog of updates on everything. Here we go!

Grow your own shiitake mushroom log

Shitake mushrom box
My beautiful girlfriend gave me a kit two years ago that I finally got around to working on. The ‘kit’ is a log impregnated with mushroom spores. The directions say to soak it under water for 24 hours, “Thump both ends on the floor”, and then to let it sit in a shallow pan of water till the buds start poppin!
Shitake mushrom log
I did all of those steps and it kind of looks like I have a moldy log to show for it. Now I’m no mycelologist (best guess at that one!) but I guess mold and mushrooms could be distant relatives. The directions say that buds should appear within 2-5 days. Well, i guess that stretches the definition of buds, but I’ll roll with it.
Shitake mushrom log closeup

Arduino projects
I’m still struggling with the arduino, but having a good time with it. I’ve made a few stepping motor setups with the uln2003 chip. Here is a pic of a potentiometer controlled dual servo arrangement.
servo arduino setup

I have also been fighting with various lcd screens to display ANYTHING from the arduino. I have a bunch of hd44780 screens I have tried to acess in 4 and 8 bit modes, and I have a crystalfontz serial lcd. No luck on any front, sadly.
 Parallel Lcds

I found and set up a ps2 mouse input as it showed
This could definitely end up being a very good thing to have in the back pocket. It also got me interested in using optical encoders with regular dc motors. It seems like a much cheaper/different way of doing things than using stepping motors.

I also bought a bunch of really bright 250,000mcd leds from china via ebay. I’m thinking of making either a motorcycle brake light, or bicycle tail and headlights.

A while back I got a usb keyboard encoder and have been meaning to set up a proper mame cabinet. Here’s the top and bottom of the control board thusfar. The wiring could use a lot of help. I think that I didn’t have a soldering iron available when I put it together.

So hopefully that has sated some of my rabid fans out there. I’ll keep it more up to date from now on. I promise!