SparkFun Forums 

Where electronics enthusiasts find answers.

By bobzooki
Howdy Folks,

Brand new here but not new to having fun with electronics. Started learning Electronics at the age of 11 or so, back in 68 or 69. Played with Intel 4004 and 4040 processors when those were new... Spent 4.5 years as a US Air Force avionics tech, working on F-111 Attack Radar, Terrain Following Radar, Inertial Nav, Optical Sighting systems, etc. Got out in 79, and went to work for Martin Marietta Aerospace, working on the Faint object Spectrograph (part of the Hubble Space Telescope). Moved on, to a little CAD/CAM company in Denver, where we designed and built what at the time was an awesome 3K by 4k color graphics system, using AMD bit-slice processors, and PC boards the size of a pizza. Then it hit me that for as cool as all that was, it would be an off-the-shelf commodity in another 10 years. In 84 I threw in the towel, and became a programmer. 26 years of FORTRAN fun, then moved into c#, and kept on moving forward. Still weaving code...

A few years back, my son's girlfriend was enrolled at a local tech school, learning electronics, and asked for some help with her project. She was building a Picaxe based project. I hadn't looked at any of this in years, but was immediately sucked in. I've used the Picaxe for several things, but recently found that I'm running out of variables in the Picaxe architecture. Goofy freaking BASIC. So I'm guessing that soon, I will be moving to the Arduino variants (the code looks more like c# or Java).

In my near future will possibly be a two-pronged approach to object avoidance while piloting my boat at night: A Lidar-lite based solution above water, and an optical system below water, using 420 nm LEd's (kind of "violet" or "purple") which has the greatest transmission through water.

Might have to grab a pcDuino Arcadia for small Linux development - I like the i.Mx6 Freescale chip - I have a SolidRun Cubox-i for my home theater controller. I'm about to do some major 3-d visualization work, using the Point Cloud Library for another project I'm working on.