LoL I wish. Nah, it was just a controller PCB for a BLDC (brushless DC) motor. Our sponsor was going to use it in a line of “home workshop” CNC controllers, I think, back in 2007-2008. As it turned out, this was right on the cusp of Arduino being unleashed on the world, and the “maker movement” had just arrived, right on the heels of The Great Recession, so it really didn’t go anywhere. For my engineering team and I, it was a semester-long project for our Embedded System Design class.
The videos themselves were just a few seconds long each, just enough to show a small BLDC motor spinning (very slowly, as I recall, because our code wasn’t exactly ‘optimized’ yet), next to our PCB. This was the PCB any of us had designed, manufactured, and assembled ourselves, so the possibility of catastrophic failure was quite real. In fact, I clearly remember deliberately doing something our professor warned us not to do: “Do NOT design your own on-board switching power supply.” The reasons for such a warning are numerous, and it’s not hard to imagine things going BANG! if the power supply isn’t built correctly, or nothing working at all.
I took that as a challenge; using my natural engineering knack, I successfully pulled off designing and building the switching power supply, from scratch, for not only the entire board, but the motor as well. Our professor stared at the board incredulously, at the end of the semester, as the motor spun and nothing went up in smoke. This had been a double-edged sword, as I’d spent so much time and effort perfecting the power supply design that the rest of my team had to literally do almost everything else, so I kinda felt like an ass. But it also proved I could successfully do what many senior-level engineering students wouldn’t have taken on, at least not back then.
Man, I can count on one hand the number of decent thunderstorms we’ve had here in the Love Glove this summer. I’d thought that crazy tornado we had up in Gaylord
back in mid-May of this year would’ve signaled a truly awesome storm season, but no, we’re still behind by about 1-2 inches of rain for most of the state.