convert google earth KML files to GPS tracks with kml2gpx

I had some issues converting KML to GPX so I wrote a tool to do it for me. It does some basic error checking. Some GPX import tools require time stamps and Path objects in KML obviously don't timestamp. It's written in Python so don't forget to chmod before running. Yes, it could be done in bash with awk or sed but I haven't programmed in Python for a while so thought it would be fun. Syntax: ./ inputfile outputfile.gpx.

solar tracker: arduino-based system that makes a solar panel follow the sun as it moves across the sky

protected by creative commons. proof of concept solar tracker with an arduino pro mini. it was pretty simple but fun. the internet exploded a year after i made mine with similar projects. most of which were more impressive than mine. #respect

electronics: attopilot and UBW32

i threw together a little video on how to test the attopilot current voltage sensor. second, here's a bunch of old UBW32 (based on the PIC32) how-to videos. brian schmalz developed the UBW32 breakout and development board which is AWESOME to use, but there wasn't quite as much documentation as i would have i made some. video 1: attopilot. video 2: UBW32 bootloader tutorial. video 3: HelloWorld. video 4: HelloUSBWorld

convert and 3d print google sketchup files

so you built something sweet in sketchup and you want to print it in 3d? now you can. N Bromham developed a ruby script to do just that (plugin hosted by guitar-list) . essentially his script exports the skp file to a stl file.

stl stands for STero Lithography and was one of the first formats to quantify objects digitally in three dimensions and is still an industry standard. most 3d printers can directly import and print stl files. the printing process itself is pretty neat. the printer software physically builds the data with plastic (or abs, pla, caramelized sugar,skin cells, teflon, steel, whatever) one little drop at a time kind of like an advanced glue gun.

install broham's plugin (download here), drop the ruby script into the sketchup's plugin folder under program files. restart sketchup. boom. done. you will find a new option in the drop down menu. if you're not sure, check my video below.

poison ivy climbing wall

there wasn't that much info about the pi wall out there on the net. it's nice to know what you're getting into before you go. i was a little upset no one (aside from the dpe manual) has really documented the wall, so i did. special thanks to dr. hanlon from the usma crew team for taking me out on the water to take these pictures. i used photoshop's photomerge utility (under file>automate>photomerge) to stich the photos together. it's still a prelim copy so don't expect the world from it, but it is rather useful. if someone else marks the routes on the picture, please let me know and i'll post with credit to you.

click the picture for a bigger file