I admit it: I'm a total geek. I love electronics, programming, 3D art, vintage Apple hardware, and whisky. I'm always juggling half a dozen projects. I also enjoy documenting it all: my successes, my failures, my experiences... and everything geeky along the way.

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Kevin Rye

Geek Extraordinaire. Yeh, I said it.

Arduino as ISP Shield

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Many a time have I had to set up my Arduino UNO as an ISP in order to burn the bootloader to either another Arduino or an SMD project. It’s a pain every time having to look up the pinouts and construct a cable each time. Having a shield is so much easier than messing around with jumper wires and DIY homebrew cables.

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More Nixie Tube Experiments

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Moving right along with the nixie tube experiments... I decided to add a 74595 shift register into the mix and attempt to shift out some data to two of my nixie breakout boards through a 74141 nixie driver.
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Driving a Nixie with a 74141 BCD Decoder

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In order to drive a nixie, you can use a 74141 BCD decoder. Sure, you can use transistors, but you’ll need a bunch of them. You can drive all 10 nixie segments off one 74141 chip. All you have to do is feed it a number in binary and the chip lights up the corresponding cathode on the nixie; the same way you’d drive a 7-segment display with a 74247. Read More...

IN-12 Nixie Breakout Board, Part 2

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Rev 1 of my IN-12 Nixie Breakout Board was an abomination. Upon realizing that the nixie footprint that I used for the PCB was completely wrong, I immediately re-spun the board. I got it right this time. All ten digits light up when the corresponding pin is grounded on the 10-pin header. Read More...

GPS Clock Assembly, Part I

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I was amazed at how fast my GPS PCBs arrived in the mail. Usually OSH Park takes a good 2 weeks to turn around a board. However, this time they arrived in 5 days. The boards look great...and they arrived just in time for the weekend! Read More...

Flashing a Nixie with an Arduino

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I’m in the very early stages of prototyping a nixie clock. I picked up some MJE340 power transistors to switch on some IN-3s. I can then use a digital pin on my Arduino to turn on the IN-3s through the transistor. I’ll then have myself a blinking colon for my nixie tube clock. Read More...

IN-12 Nixie Breakout Board, Part 1

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After a long month of waiting for PCBs, nixie pins, nixie sockets, and resistors....I was finally able to assemble my IN-12 Nixie Breakout Boards. Too bad the pinouts are backwards and half the digits don’t work. See, this is why we prototype! Read More...

GPS Clock Prototyping, Part V

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Wow, has it been a long time since I worked on the GPS clock. A whole 8 months! The prototyping and PCB design was completed a long time ago. I just didn’t want to order the PCBs until the code was complete. The PCBs cost $60 bucks from OSH Park. That’s a lot of money to spend on PCBs that might not work, so I really wanted to make sure everything was solid. I just keep getting distracted with other projects. It’s time to just bite the bullet and finish it. Read More...

Bench-Top Power Supply, Part 2

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Finally! After waiting 3 weeks for my ATX Breakout Board to arrive, I got to work on my DIY bench-top power supply. I really like the way it came out. It’s going to come in especially handy with all the upcoming nixie projects I have in mind. I’m going to get a lot of use out of it. Read More...

The 2014 Scottish Games

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My wife kicked off with the kids to her friend’s house for the weekend. While I’d love some peace and quiet to work on PCBs, 3D renders, and code, I figured I’d bugger off and do something too. While I treasure my “me time”, this is also the weekend that the Capitol District Scottish Games are held. Any excuse to wear my kilt. Gotta represent! Read More...