Gas station without pumps

2016 February 27

Applying for Mini Maker Faire round 3

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 20:10
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I’ just submitted my application for the Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire, as mentioned in Santa Cruz Mini Maker Faire 2016Applying for Mini Maker Faire, and Applying for Mini Maker Faire round 2.

The banner will still be a yard of 56″-wide “Performance Piqué” fabric for about $18, but I’ve changed the design:



I’m still not happy with the design, but it is better than the previous one. I have time to work on it more before I have to order the banner, so I welcome suggestions. Should it be made simpler? busier? different colors? Should it include photos?  Are there other circuits I should include? Should I scale the circuits to have the same line widths? or make them have a wider variation in size? (Note: everything but the PteroDAQ logo is scalable graphics, so I can make things as big or small as I need to, and still get the 150dpi resolution needed for fabric printing.)

I’ve pretty much given up on writing an exciting one-paragraph blurb to go with the application and will go with something rather bland, just so I can get the application submitted.  Sometimes it is better to be done with a less perfect result than to keep fussing and miss a deadline.  Here is what I’ve submitted:

See your pulse on a home-made optical pulse monitor!
Record air pressure waveforms using Arduino or Teensy boards with free PteroDAQ data acquisition software!
Play with a bright LED stroboscope and desk lamp, made with custom-designed PC boards!
Use oscilloscope and function generators!
Watch demos of a home-made electrocardiogram (EKG)!

I did not submit a picture with the application, because I couldn’t think of a good one to submit—they wanted a URL for one that is on-line, which would probably mean something from this blog.  Ah, well, if they accept my application (which I assume they will), then I’ll be able to ask them what sort of picture they want and see if I can find something that is useful.


  1. Can you take some space to explain what “data acquisition software” does? I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, but don’t ask me to explain what Pterodaq is or does. Did you create it?

    Comment by V John — 2016 February 28 @ 16:07 | Reply

    • Sorry, PteroDAQ has been such a mainstay of what I do on this blog, that I forgot that it had been a while since I explained it.

      Basically, what PteroDAQ does is to record voltage vs. time information on a microcontroller board and communicate the results over a USB link to a laptop running a Python program, which provides a graphic user interface. It can handle several analog inputs and even more digital inputs, and can use either a constant sampling frequency or external triggering with a digital input.

      The software was mainly written by my son, though I have added a little to it (porting to the Teensy boards and adding frequency channels). It runs on Arduino boards, Teensy LC, 3.1, and 3.2 boards, and FRDM KL25Z boards. The host computer can be Mac OS X, Windows, or Linux, running Python 2.7 or Python 3.

      For low-frequency signals in the right voltage range (like from EKGs or pulse monitors), the PteroDAQ interface is better than an oscilloscope.

      The software started out for recording results in home-schooled physics experiments, and evolved into a major tool for my Applied Electronics class.

      Comment by gasstationwithoutpumps — 2016 February 28 @ 17:22 | Reply

  2. […] Mini Maker Faire 2016, Applying for Mini Maker Faire, Applying for Mini Maker Faire round 2, and Applying for Mini Maker Faire round 3), was accepted this week.  I’ll have a 30″×72″ table to display […]

    Pingback by Accepted for Mini Maker Faire | Gas station without pumps — 2016 March 25 @ 00:02 | Reply

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