Crank Sensor Nightmare

I figured it would be a quick 10 min job to swap a bad crank sensor on my sons car. It sits above the oil filter and can’t really be seen from above or below the car. How bad can one bolt be?

The bolt came right out but this tiny sensor refused to budge. I picked at it for almost an hour and broke it into tiny pieces before I gave up and let my son try it.

After an hour of fun watching him using a digital inspection camera to see around the filter boss and grabbing it with vice grips while snapping off more little bits he finally managed to pop its internal steel core out. Then it was easy enough to put a concrete screw down the center hole and pop it out.

the new one took 5 seconds to install


Now the ECU is happy again… 10 points to whoever can tell me what engine this is just from the scope trace.

The simplest things are sometimes the most aggravating……..

Pumpkin Eyes for next Halloween

I always have decorations out for Halloween. This year I want to try using the Adafruit animated eyes code.

I had a bunch of the displays already so I threw together an ATTiny85 based controller..

It worked well for the round eyes but the code for the square eyes didn’t fit. Guess Ill have some work to do since I’m not putting a whole arduino outside in each pumpkin…

Shift Indicator

I wanted a shift light for my Racing sim dash but didn’t have any leftover ones from my cars so I decided to print a simple one.

I used a jewel from an old fashioned pilot light and a Led Cluster from a roadside sign.

They came out so nice I may use one in my real car.


Since they’re red/green modules I can have a split warning….


Now I just have to print the mounting base.


Atmel VUSB library Testing

One of the nice things about the VUSB library is you can use cheap $2 chips for USB projects. I’ve used the PIC Microchips for years but now I’ve started adding USB to everything. Even these antique joysticks I found.

To make it easy to test some code I made a breadboard with the necessary zener diodes and resistors.

add a small protoboard

and some duct tape


and you have a nice quick way to try your code.

I tried making a simple control wheel with an encoder.

Works great as a volume control or even a photoshop controller.