Review or Discard at Will

Shelves on Wheels

Shelves on Wheels

Jan 16, 2016

I scored some used shelving 18” x 36” x 72” for $10 bucks from an onsite auction of a closed furniture store. Space is at a preimum in my house and garage. I wanted to put some wheels on the shelves so I can move them around the garage. Wow they’re on sale for $55 bucks at HomeDepot. (oops online + exorbitant shipping) These are significantly stronger shelves than the plastic and metal ones that are only a few dollars less expensive. I bought a 4×8 sheet of 3/8 inch plywood. Homedepot was kind enough to rip it to my specifications. I bought a dolly on sale at Harbor Freight (HF) for twelve bucks that I salvaged both the casters and carriage bolts and nuts. I want to put wheels on these shelves. I start with a diagram of my idea. It was very helpful in describing the cuts I wanted from the HomeDepot saw cuts. I keep a project journal with graph style pages. Two pieces of 3/8” plywood. The bottom piece is 1” wider on all four sides. This will fit just inside the metal colums of the shelving unit. Clamped for curing over night at least ten hours. I used full tube of “Liquid Nails”   Bummer! Surprised that the liquid nails didn’t hold. Well anyway I’m forging on bolting the casters to the two pieces of plywood.   I clamp a piece of the salvaged HF dolly in place to use as a drill guide for the caster cariage bolts. Casters attached surrounded by the dregs of the salvaged HF dolly. A detail of how the shelving fits snugly over the top piece resting on the bottom. The custom shelving dolly raises the shelves a little less than 4 inches. Looking good. They seem pretty stable. Time will...

Imsai Power Supply Rebuild

Imsai Power Supply Rebuild

Dec 13, 2014

Recently, well once in a while in the last couple years, I’ve had the urge to rebuild some of my old CP/M equipment. Back in the day, the late 70s and early 80s, I ran some California Computer Systems (CCS), CompuPro (aka Godbout and Visan) equipment for a public bulletin board system. Also used these in business mainly for word processing but spread sheets too. I also used my father’s old Imsai S-100 equipment mostly for playing Startrek. I’ve recently been able to boot the CCS and CompuPro systems, however the Imsai was the worse for wear. It blew it’s fuse protection. My house through the years suffered a fire with resultant water damage as well as an ice storm that caused some flooding during the thaw. As you can see in the following pictures the damage isn’t totally catastrophic but significant. I’ve removed the card edge guide rails and the mounting hardware holding the PS-28U unregulated power supply sub assembly to the main chassis. The power supply with capacitors removed.Main frame before cleaning. Interesting, this image from my original Imsai documentation shows what appears to be a half wave rectifier, see heatsync near large capacitors, with two diodes. The image above of my actual board has four diodes. The documentation text does indicate four (4) diodes for a full wave bridge rectifier. Although the water damage, really just some mudding of the dust, was minimal I thought the capacitors may have shorted or leaked, note the white oxide near the connection holes. The diodes near the lower left in this image are two different kinds, the documentation specifics four (4) of the same diodes MOT MR 501. The outer locations CR4 and CR7 are the correct diodes specified while the center two (2) diodes were HEP 7520. Using the diode test setting on my digital VOM I found that the two MR 501s at CR4 and CF7 were shorted. Checking a few substitution charts I came up with a diode I had on hand an IN5408. I replaced all four to have a matched set. Although mechanically very well connected I found two of the diodes in the bridge rectifier with cold solder...

Nagios Thermometer

Nagios Thermometer

Aug 17, 2013

Nagios is an open source IT Infrastructure monitoring system. It is mature, widely used, supported, flexible and extensible. Perhaps the industry standard. Nagios at Home I use Nagios on my LAN at home to monitor Remote virtual machines that host my personal blogs business sites Status of Raid arrays Linux Microsoft Server 2008r2 Disk space availability on multiMedia server Asterisk PBX status for phone(s) Temperature at home indoors outdoors … Here is my main ‘rack’ at home. NerdDoro ePhidgety – Phidgets, MySQL C++ Server 2008R2 Fedora fc.16 – LAMP stack CentOS Asterisk (retiring PBX) Wireless phone base station Grandstream HT502 ATA Monitor/Keyboard 4 way switch RaspBerryPi (new Asterisk PBX) UPS Future CNC project likes extra slot in monitor switch. Note NEMA stepper motors. Display of Nagios monitored services including temperature from two separate sensors shown in this status screen. (click image to enlarge) The yellow highlighted line indicating warning, and the line above are temperature readings. The boxes to the left of each with the diagonal red line indicate not to send alerts. Nagios provides me email updates like this one when my Asterisk PBX, pisterisk, went down. Subject: ** PROBLEM Host Alert: pisterisk is DOWN ** ***** Nagios ***** Notification Type: PROBLEM Host: pisterisk State: DOWN Address: 192.168.1.220 Info: CRITICAL - Host Unreachable (192.168.1.220) Date/Time: Mon Aug 19 11:01:12 MST 2013 And this email informing me that the problem is resolved, that pisterisk is back up: Subject: ** RECOVERY Host Alert: pisterisk is UP ** ***** Nagios ***** Notification Type: RECOVERY Host: pisterisk State: UP Address: 192.168.1.220 Info: PING OK - Packet loss = 0%, RTA = 0.68 ms Date/Time: Mon Aug 19 11:03:02 MST 2013 Nagios Thermometer This article assumes you have a working Nagios system and have some familiarity with Nagios configuration. This blog post will explain how I monitor temperature with Nagios using a hardware sensor compatible with my HomeAmation MS Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 projects. Previously I’ve published a couple projects that can deliver XML suitable for this Nagios plugin. A netduino temperature sensor can be found on gitHub as HomeAmationNetDuino and my Parallax Propeller project NerdDoro source is available on github as nerdDoro it produces similar...

Walker; 2013 National microMedic Contest Entry

Walker; 2013 National microMedic Contest Entry

Jul 31, 2013

My entry to the Parallax, Inc. 2013 National microMedic Contest. Walker is a Windows Phone 8 application for activity tracking. It uses geoLocation to record GPS data. It creates a .gpx file and saves to SkyDrive. Sensor data created from a Parallax propeller with temperature, humidity and heart rate sensor data is sent to Walker via bluetooth. This sensor data along with summary activity data is persisted to Microsoft Windows Azure cloud storage. The .gpx file association in the windows phone allows a suitable gpx viewer to be launched to view the activity. This .gpx file can be visualized on many sites around the internet. For instance here. Along with my Right Weight Windows phone 8 and/or Windows 8 applications I use Walker to track my physical activities along with environmental and heart rate data as well as weight loss (or gain). Walker Sensor Board The Walker Sensor board is built on a Parallax Proto Board. It consists of a Parallax Propeller MPU, Sensirion Temperature and Humidity sensor and a Polar heart rate sensor receiver. The bluetooth connectivity is accomplished with an RN41-XV in XBee form factor on an XBee explorer. Sensor reading are updated every fifteen seconds. See source code for theory of operation. (click on any image to enlarge) Schematic Source code (available under MIT license) Walker-BluetoothSend Parallax .spin code for sensor data bluetooth send. Walker-Wp8 Microsoft Windows Phone 8 activity tracker. Windows phone application, Walker, screen shots Activity, ready to start Activity, ready to stop Debug log Previous activities from Azure cloud storage, displaying activity date and distance traveled. Map from .gpx file. Normally would have an activity track of multiple geo locations. This is a single location. Settings page allows chosing bluetooth, .gpx launch and/or Azure cloud persistence. .gpx file association launch of GPXviewer. Resources used in production and documentation of this project Schematic created with Fritzing Windows phone tiles created with PerfectTile GPS Exchange format Windows phone app uses these projects MVVM Light toolkit Fody Json.net Windows Phone...

Dagu i-Racer Windows Phone 8

Perhaps I should have worn shoes! i-Racer is a Bluetooth enabled Windows Phone 8 application that will control a Dagu i-Racer remote control model car. I posted a short video of the first working prototype of my app to control the Dagu i-Racer remote control car on youtube. No it didn’t go viral but at the time of this writing it’s the most widely viewed nerding of mine in any of the social media with a whopping 1,303 views. I’ve lost a lot of sleep over that one thumbs down – out of eleven. (hi mom) Check out i-Racer in the windows phone store. I’ve also published the source code on GitHub. It’s probably the simplest app _ever_ to use MVVM Light. I don’t even begin to know how to program in code behind. ;-)...

DIY Workbench LED lighting

DIY Workbench LED lighting

Feb 16, 2013

After looking around Homedepot and Lowes a few times I wasn’t satisfied with the price, size or color temperature of any of the lighting solutions I saw. Blam, Pow and Zap! DIY to the rescue. I bought some surplus LED light modules on a string of 20 from MPJA. An eight foot length of angle aluminum and some screws from Homedepot. Got busy this morning, drove to Homedepot and with writing this article I took less than three hours to complete this project. Now I can see quite a bit more clearly on my work bench. I can remove a couple free standing desk lamps for more bench space. Here is a photo shot from my new #wp8 Nokia Lumia 920 showing the LED modules and the angle aluminum. There are adhesive backs on the modules. I soldered on a power connector, found an old 800ma 12vdc wall wart and well… there ya go. And the finished product on my work bench. Now I can get to work on the microMedic contest at Parallax. And my @HomeAmation data logger, and my RaspberryPi node.js Home automation, and my laser robot, and my CNC mill, and yada yada yada sis boom bah! c...

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