SMD Soldering – You can do it!

Here is a video on SMD (Surface Mount Device) soldering. In this video I show how to solder some SMD components on to a little board with an ATtiny85V, switch, LED, and resistor. The short version of this video just shows the resistor and LED (size 603) being soldered, the long version of this video shows everything being soldered. It’s really neat to open up the world of SMD. You can make really tiny (and cheap!) widgets! Continue reading

Yamaha AG Stomp Mod

I wanted to do a quick post on a mod I did to a Yamaha AG Stomp. An AG Stomp is a acoustic guitar effects pedal that was made in 1994, but no longer available.

The need was this: to gain more real estate space under a keyboard that was full of pedals, controllers, and switches. So the need to switch banks without taking up the whole size of the pedal was the goal. The answer was to build a small (3.64″L x 1.52″W x 1.22″D) pedal that had a single switch, had an easy way to tell witch bank you were on, have a signal indicator, and be road tough. The end result made the customer very happy, and he requested that I share, so here it is. 🙂

You can check out Austin Biel at, an awesome musician (including the best keyboard player I have heard), and an outstanding friend.

RGBW LED Controller

Control your blinky!

Hi everyone, I am happy to announce that I have completed my RGBW LED controller kit and it is now for sale! This kit is a LED controller that features an embedded ATmega328 with an Arduino bootloader for easy programming, 4 channel LED control with dimming, 5 or 12 volt output, IR receiver, XBee header, RS-232 or TTL serial I/O, 2 push buttons, 12 pin extensions for all unused pins (6 analog and 6 digital), and power and channel LED indicators. You can control 5 or 12 volt LED’s via serial with adjustments to the level of any channel with ramping to the desired level, rate of ramping, color cycle start and stop, rate of color cycle, length of stay on each color during cycle. Fans and motors can also be driven with ease. You can buy one for only $35 with the Paypal link below! Be sure and also visit the complete assembly tutorial! Power supplies, RGB and white LED stripsFTDI Friend or FTDI Cable and XBee’s and XBee adapters are available at Adafruit!

Version 2.2 is shipping! Please go to the assembly page for details.

Automation Intro

I wanted to give a tour/crash course on automation systems, so I put together a video showing some of what an automation system can do. I ran through everything kind of fast, so I will do more videos getting into more details on specific functions of sub systems, like lighting, audio, security, etc. This video also shows my RGBW Controller working in my house. 🙂

The system I have is an HAI Omni Pro II. I have been installing automation systems since 2005, and they have proven to be an awesome choice.

For a future project, I would like to replace the Omni with a BeagleBone. 🙂

Give some knowledge away!

Teaching my son.

I bought my son a electronics snap kit about 2 years ago, and quickly completed some projects that were in the included book. This was fun for us, a good start, but there was more. I began teaching him about series and parallel circuits, passive components, and different types of sensors. I then said, “Without looking at the book, build a flashlight. OK, good, now build a fan with a switchable light. OK, now build a…”           Continue reading