The personal website of Scott W Harden
Source code for Random Junk In'da Mail!
---
title: Random Junk In'da Mail!
date: 2009-05-12 11:49:58
---

# Electronic Components have Arrived

 __I placed another online order__ to [DigiKey](www.digikey.com) yesterday.  They have virtually every electronic component available for next-day delivery.  How awesome is that?  The frustrating thing is that I'm always trying to get my order in before 6pm CMT so that my package will ship same day, so I rush, and I always forget something!  It never fails.  30 minutes after I place an order, I always remember something else I wish I'd added to the order (to save on shipping).  So, instead of buying it when I want it (now) I wait a few more days to think of some more stuff to add.  The last couple weeks I've placed 3 orders totaling about $30.  You never think you're spending a lot, but all the sudden you realize that all these 40-cent parts add up when you go to check out. Shipping is usually under $3, which makes me happy.  What did I get?  I got a couple [MAX232 chips](http://focus.ti.com/lit/ds/symlink/max232.pdf) so I can easialy [shuffle data back and forth from my PC to an AVR chip using the serial port](http://blog.jeffmurry.com/2008/11/14/hello-world--uart--serial-comm-with-pc.aspx) using a simple terminal application like hyperterminal.  This will [allow me to do some pretty fancy stuff](http://www.societyofrobots.com/microcontroller_uart_50_robot.shtml) and certainly help with the prototyping/debugging/development steps of my various microcontroller-based projects.

<div class="center">

![](rs232_03.jpg)

</div>

__Some of the things which I forgot to order__ include [a few 1F supercapacitors for my solar-powered QRSS beacon project](http://www.solarfreaks.com/rc-solar-car-t19-20.html#p439) and a [random collection of parts](http://www.ladyada.net/make/usbtinyisp/parts.html) needed to build [a DIY AVR microcontroller programmer with a USB PC interface](http://www.ladyada.net/make/usbtinyisp/use.html) and I also wanted to buy at least one [ATMega8 microcontroller](http://www.solarbotics.com/assets/images/atmega8l/atmega8l_pl.jpg) because they seem to be a good step above the [ATTiny 2313 chips](http://home.scarlet.be/kvandepitte/Mijn%20afbeeldingen/nixies/attiny2313.jpg) I already have and are at the center of so [many microcontroller projects](http://hackaday.com/tag/atmega/).  I'm sure there are are few more items I need, but can't think of them right now, so they don't make the list.

__A little random, but worth noting__ is a cool website I found earlier which details (in a very basic way) the various types of HF antennas and does a good job (IMHO) of explaining the basic theory behind them.  The page can be found at [deltadx.net](http://www.deltadx.net/ABCDx/Sections/Antennas.htm).

<div class="center border">

![](squareant.jpg)

</div>

__As an aside,__ I encourage everyone to take a couple minutes out of your day [and browse the Wikipedia entry describing the JPEG compression algorithm](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JPEG).  Seriously, it's an educational, enlightening, and entertaining read.
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