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6Mar/140

First Release of Rescue Calculator

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/rescuecalculator/id829130203?ls=1&mt=8

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3Mar/140

First Release of Rescue Score.

Rescue Score is used to monitor and record forces during rescue and other patient movement during training.  Replacement for the cup of water method during vehicle extrication.
RescueScore - Download from the AppStore

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10Sep/130

First successful Combostar w/STM32 Codec 2 test.

It has taken almost 2 years but I finally did a local test on 30 Meters of the modified combo-star radio with a STM32F4 based digital codec board running the last port I could find of Codec2. There is still a lot of work to be done packaging, winding the rest of the filters, and completion of the high power sections. Must of the time was spent on independent projects and assembly of the combo-star was quite a undertaking.  Although a hacked combo-star which I'm sure most of them are in the end given the home brew nature, I've got something now I can work with that is all integrated.  Eventually I'll even have it in a ready to go box.

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8Jul/130

ComboStar Build

I've started work on my ComboStar HF DSP based radio. Overall with a few hard to find parts, it's a great project to build. Assembly has been easy with a large selection of alternate parts on on the board. The BOM and schematic kept confusion thus far to a minimum. Big thanks to W4ZCB and SP5TAA for sending critical parts (Crystals and EEPROM). Mouser does sell a 16.67mhz but not in the package provided on the board. Thus far I have the DSP booting and awaiting more parts to complete the build. I completing my build with 805 size parts and hot air aides in getting everything straight. There are a few 603 exceptions such as LED's and in a few places I used 603's with parts I had laying around.

I've done about 98% of the board using mouser for parts sourcing. RFParts has the filter. Several members of homebrewradio provided critical crystals and EEPROM. Kitsandparts has magnetics and wire. The only items that were hard to come by seems to be the mini-circuits parts. I found a close match that pulse manufactures that I will try in place of the MCL 4:1 part (This likely won't work and W4ZCB was kind enough to send me an alternate). I was able to locate the amp on Ebay in small quantities. I've been assembling as parts arrive and testing voltage prior to setting any major components. So far so good and only a few mistakes that were easy fixes with hot air assistance.


DSP Testing the ComboStar.  This is the first step in testing and be sure to check voltages prior to placing anything expensive.  Also on the DSP be very careful as the pins are fragile.  The technique I used was flux first, then tack a pad placing the part where you want it. You have to use very light pressure with iron to prevent bending pins.  Ensure you have no burrs on the tip prior.  If you evenly apply solder as you go down each row of pins you won't have to wick any excess.  I've found that a continuous motion leading a bead of solder over the work does well with no or little cleanup.

More progress and DSP section is loading with Blinking LED.  Just as a note for troubleshooting - No LED check LED orientation (You should have check voltages prior to DSP soldering).  Solid LED - Check pF on crystal. Likely not enough capacitance = lazy clock.  I used 22pF.  Also for clarification to power DSP attach to DSP section and install jumper.


The OCXO section was tested and a nice clean output is seen. Any OCXO could be used in theory. The DDS input reference is 400mhz max and the IC has a 4x-20x multiplier. The schematics are for a 3.3v OCXO but this could easily be modified to work with several units. Assembly was straightforward but a heat-sink had to be made to fit in the board space. I drilled and tapped a hole to allow the heat-sink to sit off the board to stay clear of the components for the regulator underneath. A heat-sink is required as this part gets very hot. With the heat-sink shown the temps get warm to the touch but dissipation is well within the 317's spec.

 

Various Photos during the build.

IMG_0807

19Mar/130

KICAD on Mac OSX – The easy way.

If you have trouble getting KICAD to build and haven't checked out homebrew you might want to check it out. I try to keep a current tap for KICAD.

To install first install homebrew if you haven't already:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go)"

Then tap the KICAD homebrew script to build.

brew tap shaneburrell/homebrew-kicad
brew install kicad

To update/upgrade to the latest KICAD as often as you like.

brew update
brew upgrade
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14Mar/130

KICAD Mac OSX Build – BZR 4002

KICAD Board

I found it difficult to find a current build of KICAD for OSX.  Below is a build that works with current OSX.  Just unzip into Applications and start KICAD.  If there is interest I may do more frequent builds.

 

KICAD-BZR-4002

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30Nov/125

IOS Iphone Ipad Tickets CAD integration.

Here a few screenshots of an IOS application I've been working on to allow IOS devices to communicate with external CAD systems.  This particular integration is with TicketsCAD.

This is the screen with no calls dispatched in CAD. It will allow creating a new call or sending location information to CAD system.

This screen is show when a call is dispatched. It allows me to set my status as responding to the call as well as GPS Tracking.

After units begin responding or arriving on scene that is shown in the call history. It enables you to see who is responding and who is on-scene.

25Sep/120

RZR Harness Keeper Clamps.

After installing my 5 point harnesses it became apparent that the belts were not going to stay put on the rollcage without some assistance.  I designed and build these keeper clamps to fit the RZR S rollbar and hold my harness straps in the correct location.  After several revisions this is what I have come up with. Its the perfect size.  It looks factory and barely noticeable once on the rzr.

 

 

You can barely see the keepers installed and they look factory.

5Sep/120

Wayehutta OHV Park

The Wayehutta OHV Park is a ATV riding area located in Western North Carolina. Offically it is the Roy Taylor OHV Park.  Most locals including myself call/pronouce it "Worryhut" It is located in the Cullowhee area. It is normally open from Dusk till Dawn and is a pay area (Few bucks per day).  ATV's, SXS, and bikes are all welcomed there.  I've had no problems with larger machines like the RZR-S.  RZR900's barely fit but I do occasionally see them riding some of the larger trails.

 

There is a pay box for day passes and you can also purchase a season pass from the Ranger or a a forest service location. Here is a link of Trail 10 and the parking area. http://goo.gl/maps/KFKqj .  There is further information located in the parking lot related to rules, fees, and a map.  There is a rest room and water source in the parking area along with covered picnic area. Helmets are required and no double riding unless the machine is designed for it.  Cell phones do not work in the parking area but driving down close to the gate or many places on the trail that are elevated they work fine.  If you have an emergency dial 911, there are emergency service personal that train regularly in the area.

Trail 10 is the shortest trail to and from the parking area. You must enter the upper side of Trail 1 for a few hundred feet to enter Trail 10.  It is a one way area and exits back onto the gravel road that leads back to the parking lot.  I would rate this trail as the easiest trail.  The only obstacle is a small bridge which is approx 60" wide.  RZR S and Ranger XP fit nicely snug while RZR 900s may want to have a spotter and be very careful.

Trail 11 is just below the exit of Trail 10. The inlet is also the exit from this trail.  The first section of Trail 11 is two way which leads up to a intersection where it makes a one way loop.  Parts of this trail are steep on both uphill and downhill sections. Also the trail in most places is very wide.

Trail 1 makes a  complete circle around all trails with the exception of Trail 10 and 11 which are independent trails. All other trails are inside the Trail 1 loop.  To prevent getting lost, just remember that Trial 1 is the outer loop and either direction will eventually lead you back to the parking area or gravel road to the parking area.  Trail 1 is the longest trail and has a little bit of everything. It is well maintained and wide in most areas.  It also takes you up to two large ridge top areas for taking a break.  Trail 1 is two way and has a upper entrance at the top of the parking lot and is the trail you have to follow for a few hundred feet to access the start of Trail 10.  The lower entrance is near the gate to the park which can be seen if you look for the bridge right past the gate.  All bridges are the same width on all trails which is approx 60".  On the upper side of 1 there is a rock "gate" that prevents anything larger than a RZR-S or 900 from passing.  If you have a RZR 900 with larger wheels or extensions its impassable.

Trail 2 has just been revamped and is very wide and fast.  It can be accessed from Trail 1 and is two way.  A very popular route is to ride in on the upper side of Trail 1 to Trail 2 then down Trail 8 back the parking lot.

Trail 3 is a two way trail that has some steep sections mostly sandy and clay.

Trail 4 is a two way trail which leads up to one of  ridge clearings on Trail 1.

Trail 5 is a very short trail.

Trail 6 has been revamped and has some very challenging uphill and downhill slopes.  It also has a partial rock climb section that includes two moderate hills with embedded rocks sticking out.  I have had no problems on either a RZR or ATV in two wheel drive picking a drive-able line.  It also has some steep grades with negitive cut that provides banks on both sides.  One of my favorite trails.

Trail 7 has been revamped and some sections are wide but with steep drop offs on the side.  This trail along with exiting 7 via 7A is one of my favorite trails.  There is a waterfall along the left side of this trail if you don't speed by it.  This trail eventually leads to a optional section labeled 7A which is one way and extremely difficult.    I have taken dirtbikes, ATVs, RZR S, and even a 6x6 thru this area but its not for the faint of heart. Most everyone that sees it for the first time pauses and spots the area before attempting. It has very steep inclines with 2 sharp S sections.  Also there are very deep ruts that have to be navigated at steep angles.  I would recommend for first time vistors to ride at least with someone on this trail or see if anyone that has rode the trail would like to take you with them.

Trail 8 is has a very steep downhill section that is one way.

Trail 9 is nicknamed "Rocks on Rocks". It is very rocky and is a one way trail rarely traveled.  There are some small streams at the trail in the rock section and in places it gets very narrow. I have no problems with RZR-S or ATV on this trail.

 

I ride at Wayehutta almost every weekend and using the map post above that should direct you to the parking lot as well as wet your feet on trail 10.  We normally ride in a fairly large group including RZR's , RZR - S and ATVs. If you are going to be in the area drop me a line and if you have any questions about the riding area please ask.

29Aug/120

Mendelmax Update

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