Laminar Nozzle Light Test 1

11 05 2009

I finished my first test for the lighting.  I’m pretty pleased with my results.  I’m just using a single Rebel Endor Tri RGB LED.  It’s not as good as Mario’s results, but they are a good start.  The good thing is is that I am going to just use one LED per nozzle.  I’ve designed a “lighting core” that uses use 3 fiber optics. The LEDs or the Rebel Endor is placed at the bottom of the lighting core below the nozzle.

The problem that I have is that the stream is too clear and is transmitting the light too efficiently and not producing a nice light effect during the day or in light.

enjoy!  Ideas for making the light shine better?

The Nozzle Design

20 04 2009


Laminar Nozzle Cutter Test 2

11 04 2009

The cutter is working much better since I added the baffle.  The baffle is working almost perfectly except for that pesky leak.  I’m pretty sure that leak is comming from the brass nozzle/plexiglass interface. I suppose that I will just add some more expoxy and hope that it works this time.

Here are a couple of my thoughts regarding the cutter.

1. Fix the electronic switching so that it flips the electricity from one solenoid to the other immediately.

2. Fix the drip.

3. Fix the drain for the water.  I think it is probably the biggest of the three right now in order to make the cutter work properly.

Laminar Nozzle Speed Cutting Test

11 04 2009

A friend of mine posted a video of his cutter just cutting so that we could gauge the speed of his cutting.  I’ve decided to do the same.  If you have done this let me know how your’s compares.  If you have any concerns or possible design improvements let me know.  I’ve been told that this is the trickest part of the whole laminar fountain, and it is pretty tricky to get it to work the way I dream it.

Laminar Nozzle Cutter Mechanism Test 1

8 04 2009

I got a prototype working last night for the cutter mechanism!  It works….mostly.  There are some bugs in that I have to work out, but all in all a strong showing.

It may be difficult to see, but when it is un-cut there are more blurbs (I don’t know what to call it!  If you have a good name submit it please!) than there should be.  I’m thinking it is probably from the water splashing on the upper plate and then dripping down onto the nozzle and then getting sucked up by the stream casuing the annomally (there’s a good word for it).  That’s my guess.  Any suggestions as to what it is would be greatly appreciated.

Compressed Air Rockets (Part 2.01)

17 09 2008

There are a number of people are interested in my Altoids Can Ignition Switch, so I thought I would post a few more pictures to help them out on there journey.

The toggle switch in is the off position.
The toggle switch in is the off position.

Underneath the electrical tape is the illuminated momentary push button, and the toggle switch (or single pull single throw (s.p.s.t.) switch).  Also shown is the two binding posts.  I still need to draw up a schematic, but it is really simple.  The toggle switch activates the momentary push button, and the momentary push button activates the binding posts.

The safety is off and the Altoids tin is armed.

The safety is off and the Altoids tin is armed.

In Circuit Serial Programming

11 07 2008

So, I learned a very valuable lesson this week with the PIC microcontrollers from Microchip. In Circuit Serial Programming, or ICSP. I don’t know if this is available with other uCs or not, but I’m sure that they would have something similar to this. Please comment and let me know otherwise!!!!!

ICSP is where you can install your chip into your circuit but still be able to program it by using 5 wires (2 wires actually program it, but 3 others support it, Power, Gnd, etc). It’s really cool because you can put the uC in the circuit you are ACTUALLY going to use and work with it instead of working with a breadboard, prototyping board etc. Below is a picture of exactly all that is needed in order to program any PIC microcontroller.


In this setup I am using the PICKIT 2 programmer. I am using the standard software that comes with the PICKIT 2 to load the hex file into the chip. The chip is the PIC16F690. I am writing code in the Proton+ Development Suite.

The wiring is really simple. You just need a pin 5 header, a PIC microcontroller, and a breadboard. The wiring is specific to this microcontroller, but probably will work for a number of different microcontrollers. See your specific datasheet for details on how to wire up your own microcontroller.

Pin 1 – Pin 4
Pin 2 – Pin 1
Pin 3 – Pin 20
Pin 4 – Pin 19
Pin 5 – Pin 18

It took me a number of hours to realize that the pinout on the PICKIT2 starts pin 1 position on the right and goes to the left. In the picture above note the arrow. That designates pin 1.


After hooking up the PIC16F690 correctly it was really simple to load the hex files onto the microchip.


Using the ICSP is really simple, once the wiring is hooked up properly. I plan on including ICSP in all of my own circuits in order to update the software without needing to remove the uC.

It has been suggested that if you are giong to use the specified pins for ICSP to not use them for any other purpose even though it is possible.