Thursday, July 4, 2013

My first post...

As I am listening to the explosions going on outside (it's the Fourth of July here in the USA) I am wondering what to do with this blog. I guess I mostly created it as a place to document my electronics projects, like my awesome R2D2-hack rc robot thingie. I am using Arduino microcontrollers as the foundation. Neat stuff. Stay tuned for pics and a YouTube video that I am uploading as I type this.

I am also into "adventure motorcycling" so I have lots of gps tracks and pictures of my wanderings. Also 4x4 adventures, other travel stuff. Just got back from Alaska but it was a cruise so pretty boring trip because of that. Got some epic pictures though. Also pics and stuff about repairing and upgrading my motorcycles could come here.

I might also post a rambling or two about the continuing saga of my recovery from a bout with menengioencephalitis that I suffered through about 18 months ago. I was in a coma, nearly died, and in the hospital three times over the course of a month with only one or two days at home in between trips. I still struggle with a lot of things, mainly extreme fatigue, headaches and periods where I am just not quite "on." At this point, I don't think I will ever fully recover so it is more about coping with the "new me" that I have to deal with.

And, of course, the obligatory picture or two of my dog Charlie may show up now and again.


  1. Hi Darren,
    Great job on your R2 D2 robot arduino mods. I picked up a broken R2 D2 robot, originally I was going to try using an arduino and a tv remote to control my R2 D2 robot. Then I came across your video using a RC transmitter. I was impressed with your idea of using a RC TX to control your robot. Would you be willing to share how you hacked your R2 D2 in more detail? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. (I am just beginning to work with electronic's and the arduino)
    I ordered an arduino, prototyping shield and a H bridge from Thus far I added to my robot: LED's and a cloned apple mp3 player for sound. Thanks
    *Darren, we have a couple of things in common. I had black lab named "onyx" and I owned a Kawasaki KLR 650 (riding in NYC is enough of adventure for me!)
    Best, Pierce

  2. Thanks! And people thought I was nuts when I rode my dual-sports alone in the Sierra Nevada mountains... you are truly an ADV rider riding through NYC! My helmet's off to you!

    Give me a week or so and I'll see if I can dig out my R2D2 schematics and code and post them up here. RC transmitter will work a lot better than TV remote - more range and no pesky line-of-sight issues.

    One big piece of advice... learn to make your own Arduino's, especially using the Atmel ATTiny chips... huge space and cost savers if you do! I can make an Arduino Uno clone for about $8 or so, even less for an ATTiny version if I don't need all those I/O pins on the Uno.