KooL Koor 50 year of Hip-Hop
Hip-Hop was born in my home town of NYC in 1973. This year is the 50th anniversary of that event. Over the past six months we have been working with a world-renowned artist Charles Hargrove – KOOL KOOR! He grew up in the South Bronx and was very much a part of the birth of Hip-Hop. His passion started with street art and his talent has exploded across the globe, having exhibits in many major cities. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop, he created a wall of sound – 50 hand-made custom-painted boom boxes that were exhibited in the Shinn Gallery on the Lower East Side earlier this year.
Five of those boom boxes were connected to an audio system designed by Celtic Engineering Solutions. Each of the five boxes played a mix of Hip-Hop music from one of the past five decades. Our system feed the boom boxes a continuous loop of that music for the 6 weeks of the exhibit.
Not only is Kool Koor, Charles, a fantastic artist, but, spending a few days with him before the exhibit, I got to know him as a deep thinker, passionate artist and all-around amazing person to be around. This was the first, but not the last endeavor we will work on together.
Seen in the photos are one of Koor’s Boom-Boxes where we tested out the CES system. Sean O’Leary, Charles Hargrove, and Carmen Colon, in the Shinn Gallery as the exhibit was being staged. Koor in front of his amazing wall of sound.
Often, we don’t give much thought to agrarian issues in the US, but climate change has placed a strain on farmers in developing countries. Africa is a vast continent with limited resources. Nicolas Lopez, founder of Kanda weather, and software designer for NASA Goes-R weather satellites, asked us to help him refine a weather satellite payload to be deployed in western Africa, in places like Douala, Cameroon. In the attached pictures, you can see a local weather station, a local team Preparing a Radiosonde for release, and the Weather sensing and telemetry unit we designed for their next round of testing, and launch of a Radiosonde.
It is always exciting to be part of a project that betters people’s lives, and improves their ability to take control of whatever situation they are in. Farming has never been easy, and having access to good predictive weather will improve their chances of success.
We were approached by a linguist, Andrei Golub, to help preserve and promote languages. We designed an embedded device that could speak two languages, had an intuitive tactile human interface, was power efficient and had a custom enclosure that met his marketing goals.
Pictured is an early prototype. While prototypes may bear no resemblance to the final product, they are very important to product development. They allow circuits to be tested and firmware and software to be developed. You can also see the final design – a PCB with speaker on one side and MCU and audio circuits on the other, connection to the Brain, 3 User switches and a battery box. Last picture is of Andrei and Sean.
You can check out their website at: https://linguabear.org/donate/
Acceleration and Pressure Displays
We have done man project for researchers through the years. Our longest relationship is with Dr. George Pantalos at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. He has flow over 27 research missions on the NASA Zero-G airplane and our instrumentation has gone along for many of those flights.
Pictured above you can see Dr. Pantaolos floating above his work. To the left is a dual independent pressure display that measures up to 200 mmHg and has a display large enough to be seen easily from across the plane. We have also designed him a G-Meter that displays the acceleration felt by the experiments (+/- 2G’s) and is used on each of his Zero-G flights. Read his endorsement here.
PCB's with Embedded components
Inertial Monitoring System
Projects evolve as we move from concept to product. On the left is the first prototype of a project to help amputees to learn to how to walk with a prosthetic. The image on the right is the final product and they are roughly to scale.
The product PCB is installed on both feet of the patient. Then a physical therapist can watch the patient walk, as well as get real time information from the Bluetooth device that is monitoring a 3-axis inertial navigation system. This tells the PT when a patient is favoring one leg or the other, if they are walking smoothly, or struggling with the prosthetic.
Relearning how to walk is not easy, but this tool helps speed the patient toward a comfortable new life and it gives their physical therapist the tools they need to help them.
Powered Life Test Station
One of our long-time clients had an issue with a powered life test they were doing. This test lasts for years so they only check on it once a week. During that week if one of the units failed, it would stop the test for all the units attached to the test station. What they needed was a test station that connected to each unit and would remove that unit from the circuit when it failed allowing the other units to continue testing un impeded. An optical indication of the health of each unit is shown and allows the test engineer, at a glance, to tell if any of the units need attention.
Mini Weather Station
This was the Phase II PCB for a mini weather station. The concept was to have temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed and direction be readily available in the palm of your hand. The bottom of the board connected to an LCD screen that displayed the various pieces of information by scanning through a series of screens. The unit has a USB port for easy charging of the internal LiPo battery.
Industrial process control is usually done by employing 4-20mA signals. The data, pressure, temperature, flow, level, acidity, etc. Is transmitted from the sample location to a Distributed Control System using current. Our client wanted to install an eavesdropping system that would allow them to connect to a critical system while walking through the plant. This system would not disturb the normal function of the plant but would allow you to pull up the datapoint on your phone. Above you can see the first prototype.
3-Axis Motor Control
This board was for a 3 Axis motor control system. Each motor had its own STM microcontroller seen on the right. In the center there is a supervisor STM and an integrated Raspberry Pi controller. In addition, the PCB has and accelerometer, audio and optical actuator controls. While a complex design, the client was pleased that the board powered up properly on initial test.
Road Hazare Mitigation
This small board is the control center for a road safety system designed to make breaking down on the road less dangerous. The unit displayed a series of light patterns, had an internal flashlight and could run off of batteries or be plugged directly into the car.
Click here to learn more about our Free Consumer Awareness Guide.