Design, Build, Test, Iterate

Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

Z4 startup RPM drop — bad ICV?

For the past few months, my engine has been occasionally nearly (but never actually) stalling immediately after ignition. When it happens, it never occurs more than once. The engine idles at around 600 RPM after the warm-up period, and throttle response seems normal. I thought this might be caused by a clogged idle control valve […]

Z4 AUX cable install

Listening to the top 50 hits on the radio is fine until they become the top 50 songs you never want to hear again.

Z4 front strut replacement and oil change

These fixes were my last before I left LA. The two-piece strut brace probably wasn’t critical to the car’s structural integrity, but it definitely bothered me, as did the dark engine oil.

Project: Z4

While in California for my SpaceX internship, I bought a 2003 BMW Z4 3.0i, codename E85. So far, it’s been a wonderful box of broken things to fix. Many have been simple problem diagnosis and repair, but I’ve had fun with a few of them. This is the first of many, since the backlog of […]

DIY half-wave dipole antennas for 900 MHz XBees

The 900 MHz XBees I bought back in May 2012 came without antennas (not a mistake — the ones with whip antennas were out of stock, and I couldn’t wait). It turned out that making effective dipole antennas out of 50 ohm coax cable is fairly easy in practice: I followed this tutorial to make […]

More flight videos

Ever since I achieved stable flight, I have gone outside for flight testing almost every day for the past week. Check out some videos after the break.

Tricopter controlled flight!

Or, the best one-line bug fix ever. For two months, I had been thinking I was running my flight controller at 166 Hz while actually running it at a measly 31 Hz. I don’t want to go into detail about how that happened, but I have fixed the problem, and now it works. I am […]

L298N dual full-bridge motor driver

Two years ago, I designed my own motor driver breakout board using two L298N motor driver ICs and had them manufactured through BatchPCB. Here it is, finally finished. The KiCAD files are on my github repo here.

LSM303DLM Breakout

Sensors are cool, but the really cool ones come in tiny packages that require breakout boards to be easily usable. I often buy (populated) breakout boards from one of the many hobby electronics vendors out there, but they are often in the $20 to $60 range (like this LSM303 breakout board), which is rather prohibitive. […]

Epic replacement of a broken ATX power supply

tl;dr: I successfully swapped out a broken 24-pin ATX power supply with a 20-pin power supply and managed to not only avoid killing myself but learned some useful things about ATX power supplies in the process.