Tetris Under Three

I decided that my Pacman4Console days are behind me. Now it's all about HTML5. I decided to see how quickly I could make a Tetris clone that could be played on virtually any web-capable device. It took me 2 hours and change, and it's 293 lines of code (JS + HTML + CSS + comments). It's Tetris Under Three. Sorry, it doesn't keep score, the block rotation is a little funky, and it never progresses in speed, but that would add another 7 lines at least, and we can't have that.

CNC Miller Lite

After spending hundreds of dollars on prototype material, tools and hardware, I decided to document the final pieces I used for my CNC machine so that it will save everyone else the time, money, and hassle.

The results of the first board

Update: I got some thinner drill bits on eBay (0.2mm 15deg engraving bits) - something like five for $12 shipped. I was worried they might snap but they seem to be very sturdy. They do a much better job with the tracing than the "tracing bit" sold at Drill Bit City as shown in the comparison pictures below:

I just wanted to test out the bit in the second picture so the holes aren't drilled all the way through.

Noise Maker

This project started as a joke on my boss and I later found out that a website sells the item. (Well, I'm not about to pay for it.) All it does is plays a short burst of sound (~0.5 seconds) every 4-8 minutes (randomly delayed). Hide this puppy in the boss's office, maybe in a ceiling tile, and he'll go insane all day trying to find from where the sound is coming.

Hardware: Piezo-electric speaker (able to run on 5V), a PIC 16F88 (and programmer), 5V regulator, 9V battery, and some wire/solder.

Software: SourceBoost, Noise Maker Source Code,

LED Display

Now that I got my CNC machine working and the traces can be narrow, thanks to the smaller engraving bit, I decided to start work on my LED Display. I have been planning this for a long time so I've come up with many features:

An example message would be something like a realtor sign, displayed inside the window of a house for sale:


There are more concerns, but this will keep me occupied for now. Here is a list of parts that I plan on using:

Here are all the characters I plan to display and how they will look.

CNC Miller V2

I found that for big projects, the stages on my CNC Miller Lite are not large enough - especially for my LED Sign project. So I am building a new CNC Miller. The x/y stage travel distance will be ~2.5ft (figure the Y stage is half that because physics can be a big pain sometimes) which should be good for cutting wood stuff too. I haven't put much time into it so far, but here's the image I took after getting some of the pieces cut.


I decided to make the frame out of poly cutting boards because they're easy to get, easy to cut, and very sturdy. I ordered three unfinished 0.75x24x30 inch cutting boards (but I'll probably have to order one more) from FreckleFace.com for $200 shipped, traced out the pieces I would need (Apologies, I do not have the dimensions/pictures of the traced boards but you can use the Google Sketchup model to measure the pieces needed.) and cut them with a table saw.

There are two features I'm planning on implementing that will be VERY useful:

    1) An attached webcam zoomed/centered on the spindle drill bit - for easily aligning the spindle
    2) A nozzle mount for a *very* small wet/dry vac - I'll probably put it on the same relay as the spindle on/off so that anytime the spindle is spinning, the vacuum will be sucking up the debris

I plan to work on it quite a bit in a couple weeks so I'll have some pictures to post at that time.

Car Sign

Since the whole LED Display is put on hold until I make the CNC Miller V2, I decided to just buy an LED sign and make an interface for it. I found an LED Marquee Sign from Office Depot and found out the protocol it used to display the messages, then wrote a quick PIC program to let me display pre-programmed messages (up to 12 messages) with the press of a button. My goal is to mount it in my car so I can flash messages to people behind me like "YOU SUCK AT DRIVING!" Here's a video of the interface before I milled the board:


Software: SourceBoost, PIC Source Code, PIC Support Source Code, PIC Support Header File

I just milled the board so here's what it looks like, (I used pull-down instead of pull-up because there's no power constraints here, and it makes more sense in my head):

And of course I learned from looking at the final result that I should probably recalibrate/realign my CNC Miller Lite.

I haven't yet soldered on all the components so here's the board with the pieces in place.

My hope is to bring it all into the shop tomorrow and get it all put together and installed in my car, at which time I'll post pictures.