To the Bruce

Ok, bruce. I had sometime to think about this as the SOB project is on hold since I need to get some more parts. And so, while I was sitting there, unwinding my mind, I decided to note everything on this project.....

Yes, we have 5mm under there! 5mm minus 1.6 and its
just enough. But not so fast, sonny! See below!

But the legs, man. The legs! Maybe have to
drill the holes because the main display is
hitting his shins. He ain't got nowhere to
go, man and we can't kill his heels.

All is good here, 6 squares on the left and 5
on the right, but man, the SMT in the three
clocks in the middle is the pain in the ass.

You think this would work, hmm? Have them
buggers drill a 5mm in the middle la.

And also have them buggers drill one at the bottom
too. Else, ain't no way to see the lights, man.

I spoke to another about the fig and he might proto the clear across the sea. But a skilled artist is still not here yet. So, proto first, sticky up him ala firefly.

Bored on a Sunday Evening

And so, after telling them to shut the TV off, they got bored almost immediately. With no VCD to dance to, they decided to do something else. That is when Kaelynn remembered the pop-pops Mommy kept on top of the fridge, wanting to throw it away. This was one of Kaelynn's favourite things.

Pop-pops are small little fireworks which explodes on impact. Originally, they were wrapped in tissue-paper thus giving a tear-drop shape. Now, the modern ones were shaped like a tube, the size of those electrical fuses. And they're more 'sensitive' to impact too.

Once I helped her get the box of
pop-pops, the girls rushed out of
the door, ready to play.

Kristine ran back into the house, covering her ears
once she realised what the pop-pops were. Yep,
she is still afraid of fireworks and explosions. So,
this means more pop-pops for Kaelynn to throw...

Imagine if you dropped a carton of pop-pops on
the floor. One carton holds about, I think, 48 or
so. But it would cost me RM18.00 to find out.

And so, Kaelynn enjoyed herself for the rest of
the evening. Maybe i should give her the rocket
with exploding caps, one of my favourites but I
was more concerned about the gunpowder
going into her through her fingers.......

Almost there and giving up.....

Yeah, although its Saturday and what perceived to be a quiet day, it was not. I ma stuck in this project and there was no one I could talk to for ideas. It also did not help that THAT SOMEONE for some unknown reasons, caused my Notebook to go crashing. And it also did not help that the same SOMEONE called when I was soldering, causing a short in the board and killing one IC when I shouted and cursed at him.

This was not an easy project as I thought it would. I mean, how difficult was it to countdown from '999' to '000' and stop there until it is being reset? The answer, my friends, is easy and not so easy, depending on how and which solution you're aiming at.

The easy way
This was the route I took since the initial description was to have it countdown from 999 to zero. All I have to do is to get some off the shelf electronic kits and its done. And it fits my timetable perfectly. No problems, right?


You see, the problem starts when it was needed to count down from '999' as the circuit starts with '000'. Once I got a copy of the IC's datasheet, I realised why. And so, to get it start from '999' I would now have to hotwire the original circuit to load in the value '999' instead.

And then, as luck would have it, there is no clock signal to the kit which I must buy separately. And it must make the circuit count down very fast. So, I have to modify the kit to do that.

The third problem is that it must stop counting at '000' until a 'Reset' button is pushed where it would go to '999'. Which again, the datasheet proves the IC does not do that. So, this means I would have to obtain more ICs as I would need a few logic gates to do this.

Let's see, our original 7 IC circuit is now being
expanded to a few more ICs. And when it does
work, boy, its going to kill the batteries.

This is the circuit I am testing out on the white
prototype breadboard. It involves three ICs, a
transistor and a switch-over relay. My only fear
is that the circuit would be too fast to for this
sub-circuit to 'catch' the signals.

The not so easy way.
This is the alternative soluton to the same design but the end result is the same and/or even better. The catch? You have to learn the microprocessor's programming language. Compared to the 'old school' solution above which not only uses more than ten ICs, this one uses only one. Because of that, it saves power too. This is actually my backup plan and after weeks of trying to figure things out, it just came to me this afternoon. So, I'll just have to get the IC next week and do the testing, see if this idea works.

This one little IC can take on all 10 uncles and
without breaking a sweat. The only one sweating
is me, trying to figure how to tell it to work.......

Bored on a Sunday Afternoon

Minutes after lunch, the girls are bored. They have already been entertained by their Grandparents who came back from Singapore. I think they're waiting to disturb their Uncle who just came back from Australia this morning but he closed the door and slept for hours. So, with nothing else to do, they were left with their own devices.......

Kristine had to finish her drink while Kaelynn
was watching some videos on my Nokia 5800.

Then Kristine found out what I did to
Nerf Scout and wanted to have a
go, saying
that this is a very powerful
gun or some
thing to that effect.

And so, after a few shots, she was disappointed
that the gun was still the 'same'.

Meanwhile, Kaelynn was laughing at the
'Deespicable Me' trailer where they were
on 'The Biggest Loser', with one of the
minions showing its bum-bum.