Cyrozap's Tech Projects

Computers. Circuits. Code.

Birthday Gear

As you may or may not know, my birthday was on the 16th (I feel like everyone is blogging about their August birthdays and what they got now—MakerBlock, Spacexula). Because few in my family actually understand what I do, they all just give me money. So, with those birthday funds, I bought myself a Sapphire 100282-TXSR, a Vapor-X ATI Radeon HD 5850 Toxic Edition graphics card that performs as good as, if not better than, an HD 5870. This is the first $340 step I've taken in my $1200 quest to upgrade my computer.

I also bought an RS232 serial 20x2 character VFD that can be used with a computer just by wiring it up with a serial port and can be used with TTL level logic by using a few extra components. $30 on ebay. I plan on either using this with my webserver to show load or with my MakerBot to... Do... Something?

Last, but not least, I bought a wireless-N usb stick for $17 on ebay. Why did I do this? Well, when I installed the broadcom Crystal HD card in my netbook, I had to remove the WiFi card. I like having wifi in my netbook, so while it was open, I found USB D+ and D- on the second mini pci-e port (that lacks a connector) and +5V from the VGA port and GND from other USB ports and I soldered wires to them. Now, all I have to do is solder those wires to the USB WiFi adapter (after I remove its case) and I'll once again have internal wireless-N. Of course, I'll have to put the adapter in a place where the antenna will have good reception...

As a side note, MakerBot must really love MakerBlock to have given him those extras as a birthday present! I wish MakerBot loved me, too... I have a Batch 5 MakerBot, MakerBlock's is Batch 9—shouldn't I get something special for being an early adopter? ;D

Nah, I don't really care; I just want my MakerBot to work as good as some other peoples' MakerBots!

Parallax serial RFID reader for sale (again)(again)!

It didn't sell the first or second time I listed it, so I'm now selling it starting at $9.99 + $4.90 shipping to the continental U.S. only. It's a good deal as it originally was over $40.

I bought two of them cheap and I'm selling one here. It's a 125 kHz reader that comes with 2 tags. It outputs the tag ID on a 5V TTL serial line at 2400 baud. It's perfect for projects that require contact-less identification, like an RFID-unlocked door.

Parallax serial RFID reader for sale (again)!

It didn't sell the first time I listed it, so I'm now selling it starting at $20 + $4.90 shipping to the continental U.S. only. It's a good deal as it originally was over $40.

I bought two of them cheap and I'm selling oneĀ here. It's a 125 kHz reader that comes with 2 tags. It outputs the tag ID on a 5V TTL serial line at 2400 baud. It's perfect for projects that require contact-less identification, like an RFID-unlocked door.

Parallax serial RFID reader for sale!

I bought two of them cheap and I'm selling oneĀ here. It's a 125 kHz reader that comes with 2 tags. It outputs the tag ID on a 5V TTL serial line at 2400 baud. It's perfect for projects that require contact-less identification, like an RFID-unlocked door.

Swapping FTDI USB to Serial Cable for Hardware Serial Works Nicely

Well, I was getting tired of having to load my prints onto an SD card by formatting, loading the file, and inserting into the MakerBot because when a print fails, I have to repeat the process. So, I finally decided to swap the FTDI USB to Serial cable for hardware serial cable. Now, I can print from the computer directly without worrying about slowdowns. It's faster because instead of relying on a driver to convert the data and push it over the USB where it is then converted into serial, it just uses the hardware serial controller, which uses a whole lot less processing power than USB does.

Here's a video showing my MakerBot workstation:

I also have it on YouTube, but YouTube makes my videos all jittery when it transcodes them. I only really use YouTube when I need to use the annotations.