Back2School Jeffa Nerding Projects


jeffa April 4, 2010

If we add together parts of parallax propeller .spin ping and radar. What do we get? Spingdar!

I recently finished a course in .net C# (.cs) at Spokane Community College. So over the spring break, which ends today, I reviewed pingdar from Parallax What my programs do is effectively the same however I display the data on a pc using GDI+ in C# on a radar like circular graphics object on a form with a sweeping line and a dot for the location plot. The math is done in the .cs rather than the propeller. I wanted to begin learning about the xbee radios so I utilized them to connect my Stingray with Lynxmotion tilt pan servo assembly to the pc. That’s my dog Sampson under the workbench. He’s my best bud. Above the ping sensor is a TTL micro cam from 4dsystems. I haven’t begun to work on that yet. It’s just sitting in where I think I would like to mount it.

Now about this project and the source code. I had a goal to accomplish a certain amount of functionality. At this point it was just for the learning. I accomplished that goal. The code is not pretty and the entire project isn’t of much use except as a learning experience so keep that in mind if you download the source.

When I have time again this summer I’d like to move on to a phase two of this learning project and enhance the graphics and add probably some code as delegate in .cs. All the graphics and the input data manipulation occur in a serial received data event.

PingServoSampson PingTTLuCamServos lynxmotion-pan-and-tilt-kit-aluminium





ttl micro camera (Hope to make a project out of this real soon!)

Parallax ping sensor,ProductName

Parallax Stingray Robot,ProductName

Sampson dogMyDoggieBoy http://not-for-sale.NoWay.jose

pan tilt

Excellent GDI FAQ/Tutorial


Very useful program and informative for general .cs programming techniques and specifically for serial communications in C#



  Visual Studio 2008 project for spingdar


.spin code for the propeller

Back2School Jeffa

Winter Quarter 2010

I’m attending classes at SCC and SFCC again this winter 2010.

I have a second quarter of ceramics. Not that the first quarter wasn’t fun and/or interesting… There was a lot to learn and I’m still learning. This quarter I get to work on some specific projects that I’m interested. When I took my own creations home and actually used some of the cups and bowls it was quite the tail waging experience! WaHoo! This quarter I’m making a 2 sided dog bowl for Sampson. As well as some experimentation with weaving some strips of clay over a hemispherical form.

I’m also taking a photoshop class at SFCC. I was signed up for a distance learning (DL) CIS 112 at SCC but saw a flyer in on the SFCC campus about a photoshop class lecture opening up with open enrolment. I switched over to it as I prefer the classroom experience. So I’ve got two art classes to my one C# programming class at SCC. I had also begun the stagecraft class at SFCC but decided that 1) it was a little rudimentary for me as I have some prior experience, and mostly 2) that it would require a large time commitment. 

The best part of the C# class is that it’s a programming class! I’m really excited about learning. But what’s more is that I’m surrounded by people that share my interests in computers. I’m sure looking forward to checking out the SCC computer club. I’ve already attended the Ruby users club that I saw notice for in class. It was well attended. There was food, a group coding project and folks sharing projects and such that they’ve found on the web.

Back2School Jeffa

Attending SCC FQ09

In addition to the ceramics class I’ll be attending at SFCC, I’ve bit off a larger chaw by way of the Center for Entrepreneurship. I’ll be attending classes Monday through Wednesday and an occasional Thursday learning how to, and developing a business plan for a new venture of mine. More about that later.

The first day was interesting. Already have an assignment and due date. Looks like there will be a lot of work in this program, and certainly the more I put in the more I get out. I’ll need to be diligent in focusing on the goal of working this program. I already find it a bit sad that I don’t think I’ll have any spare time to pursue some of my nerdy interests namely a new programming language and environment I’ve just gotten hooked on: Ruby on Rails.

Gota keep it in perspective though. My left and right brains. In that light I’m very much looking forward to the ceramics class I’m enrolled in at SFCC on Tuesday and Thursday nights. First class tomorrow night! :-)

Short post I know, but I’m trying to get in the habit of keeping up with the blogging that I’ve indicated or implied I will do here at RODAW.

ok well c ya later…. – jeffa

Back2School Jeffa

Registered FQ09

I’m registered at SFCC for one class in Fall 2009

I’m registered and all paid up for ART 205 Ceramics. Tuesday and Thursday from 1830 – 2130.

I tried to get into the flight school, and was accepted but I’m already one week behind. Classes for the flight instruction have an early start for the fall semester to beat the winter weather conditions. I’ve got a medical exam scheduled for 9am tomorrow. I need a certified copy of my Birth Certificate before I can take flight instruction. I’d be starting the ground school and Meteorology class at least six days late. And it will take about $800 tuition plus approximately $10,000.00 for the flight instruction costs. I just got a loan funded to finish reconstruction on some rental property of mine. I think I can manage the expense considering that I should have the project completed and rented out in less than two months. However with the uncertainly of the finances, and definitely dipping into my reserves that coupled with the late start I believe I’ll defer the flight school until spring.

I need to exercise my creativity as well as my nerd. So I’ll ease back into a school schedule with some artistic creativity, I hope that’s what I’ll develop a bit of at least! :-) I have my first project all planed. An imprint of my hand for my mom at Christmas! weeee…..

rodaw, – jeffa


What shall I do when I grow up? Pt. 2

This is part 2 of x see: for Pt. 1.

I went back on August 4, 2009 for a visit with the councilor I began this journey with at Spokane Community College.

He printed out two reports for me. A “Myers-Briggs Type Indicator” and a “Strong Interest Inventory” We spoke about this briefly, I asked a couple questions regarding specific classes and a general question about age demographics relative to day or evening classes. I came away not a lot more informed but knowing I was on the trail and exploring where and how to learn about learning.

Thoughts on the two tests

Interesting to take, and worth my time. Pretty much told me what I know about myself. I remember as I took the tests thinking how my answer to this or that question would influence the outcome, and as I review the results I think I was right.

It seemed like many of the questions were about religion. And when displayed in the results were billed as Religion/Spirituality. To me there is a HUGE distinction between the two. I consider myself to be a spiritual person but not religious.

My top five interest areas of interest according to the Strong inventory:

  1. Performing Arts
  2. Science
  3. Writing & Mass Communication
  4. Mechanics & Construction
  5. Computer Hardware & Electronics

Areas of Least Interest

  • Athletics
  • Religion & Spirituality
  • Sales


Well today I went out to another Community College campus here in Spokane, WA. Spokane Falls Community College. So stay tuned for more in the coming days about that.

I’ll publish this rather than save as draft. Perhaps I’ll be able to expand on it. But in the interest of being timely with the reporting I’m going to do I’ll publish and add thoroughness to my ToDo list.

rodaw, jeffa