DIY project usually is prototyped using breadboard. Big mess of wires, and some chips between :) It is very convenient build it that way. Rewire connections? No problem, just switch some wires.
However, when project is done and You want to use this prototype in the filed, it turns out, what was advantage has suddenly become burden. Any moment You can pull some wire by accident and thats usually mean broken circuit. In most cases You won’t even remember where that wire was…
How to create fast but solid DIY prototype?
Chris Fenton, an electronics engineer living in NYC is making various DIY projects in his free time, such as notebook based on Picaxe uC (v1 and v2). These project aren’t always very sensible :), because who really needs this notebook, but have pretty high educational value. While reading article about 2-stage light gas gun (for obvious reasons, ended with an explosion ;) – so it’s worth reading to find out why), a quote caught my eye:
My Mom actually made me collect all of the pieces, lay them out, and try to root-cause the failure. Whatever happened to just grounding someone?!
Cool mom – making to root cause analysis.
Cray-1 (C) by http://www.flickr.com/photos/keitamiyoshi/
But, to the point: the next project is a copy of supercomputer (actually it was super in the 70s) Cray-1 based on FPGA. The biggest problem – lack of software supporting it, to check if it really works like true. If you have any, you can help with testing it :)
Or – you can make your own Cray, if you wish :)