Monday, January 31, 2011

That flavored cider...

After letting it sit for a while, hoping that it would age a little and perhaps the cinnamon taste would dwindle, I was met with the same crappy taste.

Officially marking the flavored cider as a failure!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mini update!

The winter blues have been hitting pretty hard. IE I get home and put sweats on and all motivation flies out the window :P. But there's been some progress.

First mini project, whiteboard! I was sitting at work, discussing who knows what with a co-worker, and he was frantically drawing diagrams, code samples, arrows all which ways, and who knows what else on the whiteboard when it hit me. What kind of hobbyist am I, without a dry erase board! So no way am I going to pay the money for a legit board, so I sought out alternatives. As always, Goodwill swoops in to the rescue!

I found a nice little picture frame...

Cut a piece of standard printer paper to match the backplate...


Ok, so not really impressive at all, but I'll take anything at this point.

And for my second lame project, I took a $0.50 sports illustrated camera I bought at WHO WOULDA GUESSED IT Goodwill.

A little muscle and a quick visit with the Dremel tool, and I had the lens removed and sanded down so that it would fit over a Nikon lens cap.

Slap it on the body and there we have it. Not so impressive, and sadly no pictures yet. I'm hoping to take some in the following week and get those posted ASAP!

ALSO! The NES synth is probably 75% breadboarded. Woohoo! I'm hoping to have it fully boarded by this weekend, and have microcontroller code written by next weekend. Fingers crossed!

Ohhhh almost forgot, I also kind of blew up a TV. Sorry, no pictures :(

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Time for something a little more ambitious...

So I've been knocking some relatively small projects as of recent, and I figured it was time to tackle something that will require a decent bit of effort. A few weeks ago I found a guy on Hackaday that had interfaced a microcontroller to the sound chip in an NES to create a hardware based synth, as opposed to the software/cartridge method many other people take. So I'm rolling up my sleeves and attempting to follow in his footsteps.

Before any action can happen, I had to gather up the necessary components. Thankfully all of the heavy hitter components, and by 'all' I mean the 2A03 sound chip. So I pulled out the trusty NES...

I made quick work of the top case...

And removed the board from the bottom half...

I then desoldered the chip from the board, which took a painstaking 30 minutes, and I didn't even do a good job! But in the end, I did extract the single most important component of this entire project, so hoorah! Below you can see the details of my shitty desoldering.

More to come...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Flavoring the cider...

After trying a delicious local brewed cider while back in Ohio for the holidays, I decided I would put the adventure pants on and try to flavor my own. The main ingredients listed were vanilla and cinnamon (clearly a holiday brew, yes im aware im late). Acquiring these was as simple as a trip to the local Marsh.

I poured about 1/8 of the cider into a pot and added about 2 Tbsp cinnamon and 1 1/2 Tbsp of vanilla (complete guesses). I simmered for roughly 10 min, added it back to the main batch, gave it a good shake, and tossed it back into the fridge. The next day I came to find something somewhat unsettling...floaties. And not just a few little things here and there, but it appeared as though I had added a large amount of brown pond algae to the batch. But it couldn't be anything of that sort, and clearly THAT much mold wouldn't grow overnight, and especially not in an alcoholic environment!

I've managed to separate out the cider from the unknown substance, and when I did, it looked very similar to cinnamon roll icing, and absolutely stunk of cinnamon. I'm guessing the cinnamon I added absorbed some cider and formed a gel like substance? Either way, it's been disposed of. I've got the cider chilling in the fridge, and will give it a try shortly. Hopefully no floaties appear this time!