Bil Herd - Back Into the Storm
Bil Herd led the hardware design for the Commodore C128 and Plus4 Series of computers in the 1980’s and currently co-hosts a weekly webcast.
The Simplest SMT Component… In The World
Stephen’s CNC steps closer to being completed! Parker receives a newsletter that has the simplest SMT component in the world.
Taking Pictures with Magnetic Flux
Two major topics this week! Major Box Truck updates and a flashback when Parker was introduced to digital photography through the Sony MVC-FD5.
MacroFab Engineering Podcast
eBooks & Guides
MacroFab Platform Help
July 1, 2016, Episode #22
- Scott Shawcroft of Chickadee Tech (see Figure 1) is our guest on this weeks podcast. He is working on a modular flight control system called Polystack. It has 13 different boards that can be stacked together. Similar to shields for the Arduino platform. See Figure 2A and 2B.
- Scott is down here in Houston visiting MacroFab to see his production-run being built, while working on his test fixture with us (See Figure 2).
- Scott is a member of the Seattle Multi Rotors community.
- The software stack is based of off Beta Flight which is a fork of Clean Flight which is a fork of BaseFlight. The very first flight controllers were based of the Wii Nunchuck. Scott uses custom pin mappings and uses a larger ST MCU which required another fork.
- Scott got into Quadcoptors after watching the video Crash Session!!! His first quad was from Flite Test.
- The Tiny Whoop is a small FPV quad that is easy to build.
- Chickadee Tech is Scott’s first step into the hardware world. His first build was a lap timer using the radio strength signal. Scott self-taught himself KiCad.
- AutoDesk purchased CadSoft from Farnell. Autodesk EAGLE – The perfect tool to designing stuff for PIC16MEGA32u4.
- The FR4 Machine Shield we mentioned in a previous podcast has a Kickstarter now. It’s an Arduino “shield” CNC machine. It comes on a 18” x 22” PCB panel. Motor controllers are called “Swap Drives”. Driver chips are on PCB cards that go into edge connectors.
- The FAA released new rules for operating rules for unmanned aircraft (Quads).
About the Hosts
Parker is an Electrical Engineer with backgrounds in Embedded System Design and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. The following year he designed and produced an Atari 2600 video mod to allow the Atari to display a crisp, RF fuzz free picture on newer TVs. Over a thousand Atari video mods where produced by Parker from 2006 to 2011 and the mod is still made by other enthusiasts in the Atari community.
In 2006, Parker enrolled at The University of Texas at Austin as a Petroleum Engineer. After realizing electronics was his passion he switched majors in 2007 to Electrical and Computer Engineering. Following his previous background in making the Atari 2600 video mod, Parker decided to take more board layout classes and circuit design classes. Other areas of study include robotics, microcontroller theory and design, FPGA development with VHDL and Verilog, and image and signal processing with DSPs. In 2010, Parker won a Ti sponsored Launchpad programming and design contest that was held by the IEEE CS chapter at the University. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Spring of 2012.
In the Summer of 2012, Parker was hired on as an Electrical Engineer at Dynamic Perception to design and prototype new electronic products. Here, Parker learned about full product development cycles and honed his board layout skills. Seeing the difficulties in managing operations and FCC/CE compliance testing, Parker thought there had to be a better way for small electronic companies to get their product out in customer's hands.
Parker also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components.
Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!