What’s going on?

Things have been fairly quiet in my “workshop”. There’s some things slowly going, but mostly I’m just sitting around waiting. Here’s what’s going on.


banner

My favorite website project has come online again! Check out Canada’s Wonderland Facts!

The website was last online in 2012. Since then, PHP and MySQL has changed so I spent a full day updating the code. Now, I’m just sort of catching up by updating and adding more content. There are still some functionality changes that I want to make eventually. I’ll probably get more motivation to do it as we move into the Wonderland season, which just began yesterday. I’m considering getting a domain name but I don’t want to buy one if I’m just going to give up on the website like I’ve done in the past. We’ll see how things roll.


IMG_0003

I’ve got new PCBs being manufactured right now! I’ve gone back to basics with the ATmega328p Breakout Board with nothing but the breakout pins and only using through-hole components. I think these changes will make most makers more interested in it because it’ll be easier to assemble since the original had surface-mount components, and more components in total compared to this upcoming one.

I also put in another design to get manufactured that’s mostly for my own use. There’s some breakouts for 0805 and SOT-223 surface-mount components. I also finished a new voltage regulator design that uses the NCP1117 low-dropout regulator. I had ordered a small set of components for that board in my last Digikey order. I also have some AMS1117 regulators in hand, which is the reason for those 0805 and SOT-223 breakouts. I’m not quite sure if I will put those regulator boards up for sale but I like to use them in my own projects with 9v batteries.


None of my eBay orders have arrived just yet. To recap, some of the items coming in are for an update to the Light Show Project. I’m especially excited to try using WS2812 RGB LEDs for the first time. I can’t wait!


So that’s it for now. Thanks a lot for visiting! Good luck in all of your experiments and projects!

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Creating a VB Interface for Arduino Tutorial Website Update!

4When I put up the “Interfacing Arduino with Visual Basic Tutorial” website, there was a lot of pressure from people to put up information on this topic so I didn’t put a lot of effort into the website itself. After some thought, I decided to give the website a makeover that would make it both nicer looking and easier to learn from. You can check it out at mwhprojects.com/arduinovb. Let’s take a look at what’s new.

New Name. New Colors. New Layout.

2A lot of small changes have added up to a great redesign. The tutorial name has changed to “Creating a VB Interface for Arduino”. The new website feels a lot warmer with a blue and white color scheme, with a little gray too. I’m using Google Code Prettify to display the snippets of code on the website, instead of the screenshots of the IDE from before. The tutorial is now split up into pages so that there are less large walls of overwhelming text.

The Menu

1The menu gracefully slides out to display an index of all of the pages on the website. As you’ll see, it’s a lot easier to find certain concepts used in the program. The idea is that, if you’re not willing to go through the entire tutorial, you can easily find a certain concept that you’re looking for to implement in your project.

Quizzes

3I’m really excited to add a couple special features to the website. Some of the tutorial pages have quizzes at the end of them that ask questions that can be answered from what was talked about in the code descriptions. I hope you have fun with it.

Options/Bookmark

The other special feature is Bookmark. Basically, if you plan on going through the entire tutorial but can’t do it in one sitting, with the Bookmark feature enabled, all you have to do is bookmark the homepage of the website instead of bookmarking the page you’re on. When you revisit the homepage next time, you’ll get a little notification letting you know where you left off.

I was thinking of other options to add to the website, but I think this one feature is enough for a site like this.

Feedback

Please let me know what you think! Leave a comment or send me a message!

Thanks for visiting!

Light Show Website Update!

I’m happy to announce an update of the Arduino Light Show Project’s website! The update is mostly aesthetic changes, with a few added animations here and there.

As for the next show, progress has been slow but I hope to ramp it up a little bit. I’ve been sitting on half of an update so I should have an update posted by the end of the week.

Thanks for visiting the blog and I hope you like the ALSP website update!

Website Tour: More Than Starlight

More Than Starlight was a website that featured fountain and light shows in theme parks, city parks, and other venues. It originally began as a blog with me going on and on about how pretty everything is. I thought that adding a database would spice things up as it would be a unique one.1The database did not get very populated since it was managed by just me and had the same low traffic woes as my other sites. I didn’t think it turned out that bad, though.2Each show had its own page with a feature to rate each show. It’s another feature I’d definitely like to put into some other project as it seemed to work well. It’s just that no one actually used it.3So that’s another site to come and go pretty quickly. The last site I have left to share built off of this project and came out great, but it had an even shorter life.

Website Tour: Canada’s Wonderland Facts

Canada’s Wonderland Facts was my most recent website. The purpose of the site was to create a resource full of information about the park. No rumors. No forums. Just facts. I wanted some interaction so I had plans for things like quizzes and a rating system. This was another case of being too ambitious and giving up when it became too much. It was online for only about a month but it’s probably the project I’d go back to if I were to get back into building websites.

1As you’ve seen in my past posts in the website tour, it’s usually a hit or miss when it comes to the visual appearance of my sites. With the combination of the CSS tricks I learned in recent years and experimenting with jQuery effects, I thought I came out with a really clean look. I was happy that it didn’t take a redesign to do that like in my past sites.

Just like with More Than Starlight, the database didn’t have enough content on it. Other parts of the site was alright. The timeline is complete up to 2012. The random facts database isn’t too bad either. I occasionally go back in, by running the site locally, and add new facts and things to the timeline. I really would love to revisit this site one day or at least throw it back online for fun, but I’d really need to get the plan for the site in order before I do. If and when that day comes, at least it wouldn’t be too outdated.

So those are my websites. To see the entire tour, click the Web Design category on the sidebar. Thanks for reading!

Website Tour: My Theme Park

My Theme Park was the most ambitious project I ever took on. I believe it was a month into it where I felt like it was just too much for one amateur to take on. My Theme Park was supposed to be a detailed theme park manager where you could buy and sell rides, control staff and set wages, and handle emergencies such as weather storms or accidents.
1This was actually the last thing I worked on before giving up on the project. Whenever I make sites and complete the first release, I immediately find something I want to add that would have me adding a column to a table. That’s why I wanted to make the registration as detailed as possible without making it too long. My plan was to have basic setup, and then nagging notifications to get you to fill in necessary things to get started once you first log in.

2I took the registration and log in system from previous projects, but I also added a confirmation email that sends at the end of the registration which was something that was new to me. That’s still my first and only time doing such a thing (sending emails with PHP). And just so you know, the “use the golf cart” thing was just a link to let you skip redirection wait.

3This was the main page of the portal once you logged in. An example of the detail I wanted was that weather would have been affected by the location you chose your park to be in when you registered.
4The Park Analyzer was your park profile and operations panel. Another example of details is that the more hours you had your park open, the more earnings and expenses you’d get and higher ride maintenance costs.

5The administrator panel was also taken from previous projects but this one would have a lot more things to manage. This is an example of adding rides to the catalog where park managers would be able to pick up new rides.

The biggest challenge was setting up the PHP script that would run daily that would automatically tally up numbers throughout your panel (such as expenses, revenue, total ride operating times, etc). It became a lot to handle and I couldn’t get it working reliably. That was the point where I gave this project up, though I don’t regret working on it at all. It was a big project and I got to experiment with many new features that I’d love to add to future sites. You’ll see some of the things on the last two sites I have left to showcase. Stay tuned!