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...

nerdDoro Parallax Spinneret Design Contest Entry

nerdDoro Parallax Spinneret Design Contest Entry

Jul 31, 2011

Edit: Ohh My! :-) I won honorable mention in the contest! What fun. Too cool. happy jeffa, happy happy! See all the winners here. Hello pictured above is yours truly the author Jeff Albrecht holding my nerdDoro prototype entry for the Parallax, Inc. 2011 Spinneret Web Server Design Contest. Click on any of the images in this blog post to enlarge. nerdDoro is functionally two devices. nerdDoro is a standalone clock and thermometer with Pomodoro timer feature that can be operated by tilt actions. No buttons or switches. And it includes the Spinneret embedded web server that serves a configuration web page capable of setting the internal RTC (Real Time Clock) from a SNTP (Simple Network Time Protocol) source. It also delivers upon request an XML file of the current RTC time and temperature. Several examples accessing this data in php and .net are included. This site, www.rodaw.com, also has a widget displaying the dateTime and temperature from nerdDoro and a previous project based on Phidgets. nerdDoro functions in these capacities very well. Yet nerdDoro can be capable of so much more. In the coming months I hope to explore aspects of home automation and incorporate a Spinneret in a new project that not only monitors but can initiate functions such as opening the garage door, turning on fans – the sky is the limit. See nerdDoro in action in this embedded video or view on Youtube. nerdDoro tilt operation demonstration.   Inside nerdDoro viewed from the back with access cover removed. Note the black cable is a temporary programming cable. The long ribbon cable allows the Sensirion sensor to be placed up to twelve inches away from nerdDoro   nerdDoro block diagram with pin specifications. nerdDoro web configuration page. Displays the time and temperature updated each time the page loads. From this screen nerdDoro can set the internal RTC from SNTP. The Spinneret usr led can be toggled on and off and the LCD Backlight can be toggled as well.   Sample XML output nerdDoro produces XML of the current temperature and time. This can be read by many programs I might design without the need to reprogram the Phidget in my earlier...

Power over other Pairs

Power over other Pairs (PooP – perhaps the second o is silent) I’m working on a project I’ve entered into Parallax, Inc. Spinneret Design contest. The first thing I need to accomplish after ordering and receiving the parts from Parallax is to create power for the Spinneret. Hello World on my Spinneret will have to wait for me to create a power supply and delivery method.   Basically what PooP allows for is to plug in a DC wall wart into two of the unused of four pairs in 10/100mb cat5 cabling and on the other end add regulation and filtering to supply 5vdc to the Spinneret. I could power the Spinneret with 3.3 but I want the 5vdc for an LCD and Sensirion (temperature/humidity sensor) Last night I sketched out this rough idea with parts list and a couple questions. Click on any of the following images for a larger display. Then picked the parts at a local electronics store. For curiosity sake I also picked up this surface mount RJ45 connector. I have not used it in this current project. Note that it has two LEDs They aren’t powered from the Ethernet. Rather they are supplied by circuitry on the motherboard. I’ve often noted that they power this circuit even with the computer off. Note how I created a strain relief with a zip tie  I got this low profile box at a hardware store (Lowe’s or Home depot) It shows the input jack, the LED power indicator, and the little circuit board I got at Radio Shack to build the regulator, capacitors and power on. My handwritten schematic with some pain.net annotations. I think the 3.3 vdc regulator can be placed off of the Vout of the the 5vdc regulator contrary to the ‘proposed addition’ If you know of any resources for drawing schematics please leave a comment. Perhaps clip art or templates for use in gimp, paint.net etc.. Or an actual circuit drawing program. Budget is tight. Here it is all buttoned up. I have fifty feet of cat5 between the boxes. They are sitting next to one another for the sake of the picture. And here we go! Hello...

Prototype 2 home built quad copter Success

  Cool! This test of my second prototype worked. This first prototype didn’t. Not bad for an hour of work and less than five bucks of parts. Next step accelerometer and or gyroscope. I think I’ll try it with Parallax propeller, netdruino and arduino. I mounted the motors on the top of stronger spars with a glue gun. Dressed the wires too. (FYI It’s a mountain Dew) Although highly unstable I’ve proved to myself that these motors have enough lift to experiment with. If you look closely in the video you will note that two motors on one spar or the spare itself is tilted slightly. Hopefully this can be overcome once I add some sensing and logic to the motor control. This is just motors straight to power supply. Might try warping the spar with some steam. I’ll probably wait until after I add the control electronics. Great second prototype test proving the motors have enough left to experiment...

Prototype home built quad copter fail

Well I guess if NASA can do it in the open so can I. Fail that is. Openly. I remember watching several Mercury program missions failing spectacularly on the launch pad. So here is a quick post to document my first prototype test of a homemade on the cheap autonomous quad copter drone. I bought a bunch of small DC motors at a surplus site that I used for an art project honoring Parallax by creating their logo in a low fire ceramic with functioning propeller of the quintessential nerd beanie. I gave a functioning ceramic beanie to the founders of Parallax and sold one too when I attended the 2010s unofficial propeller expo. (This is not a flyable beanie!) I have a bunch of the motors with propellers left over. I think I paid fifty cents or something cheap. I had some balsa wood laying around that I’ve used for some model airplanes and such. I used a glue gun to attach to the spars. Lately I’ve been wanting to buy a quad copter but they are at least three hundred dollars. I thought I would tinker a bit. I plan on trying to fly it with a couple different processors both a netduino and a Parallax propeller. It’s probably taking me about as much time to take the pictures, write the blog and upload it as it did to build the first prototype. Looks like I will have to concentrate on a stronger air frame. I wonder if I can buy some carbon steel in pre cut shapes? For maybe three hours work including the blog post and less than five bucks not bad. Cheaper than crack! OK here is the before: and the after: I hope you’ll take a moment to comment, particularly if you have some suggestions where to buy parts or alternate ideas for an airframe. A great deal on motors and propellers would be cool. These motors are pretty small and not much to attach to, hence the glue...

Spingdar

jeffa April 4, 2010 If we add together parts of parallax propeller .spin ping and radar. What do we get? Spingdar! I recently finished a course in .net C# (.cs) at Spokane Community College. So over the spring break, which ends today, I reviewed pingdar from Parallax http://forums.parallax.com/forums/default.aspx?f=6&m=129099 What my programs do is effectively the same however I display the data on a pc using GDI+ in C# on a radar like circular graphics object on a form with a sweeping line and a dot for the location plot. The math is done in the .cs rather than the propeller. I wanted to begin learning about the xbee radios so I utilized them to connect my Stingray with Lynxmotion tilt pan servo assembly to the pc. That’s my dog Sampson under the workbench. He’s my best bud. Above the ping sensor is a TTL micro cam from 4dsystems. I haven’t begun to work on that yet. It’s just sitting in where I think I would like to mount it. Now about this project and the source code. I had a goal to accomplish a certain amount of functionality. At this point it was just for the learning. I accomplished that goal. The code is not pretty and the entire project isn’t of much use except as a learning experience so keep that in mind if you download the source. When I have time again this summer I’d like to move on to a phase two of this learning project and enhance the graphics and add probably some code as delegate in .cs. All the graphics and the input data manipulation occur in a serial received data event.       Resources: ttl micro camera http://www.4dsystems.com.au/prod.php?id=75 (Hope to make a project out of this real soon!) Parallax ping sensor http://www.parallax.com/Store/Sensors/ObjectDetection/tabid/176/ProductID/92/List/0/Default.aspx?SortField=ProductName,ProductName Parallax Stingray Robot http://www.parallax.com/Store/Robots/AllRobots/tabid/755/ProductID/601/List/0/Default.aspx?SortField=ProductName,ProductName Sampson dogMyDoggieBoy http://not-for-sale.NoWay.jose pan tilt http://www.lynxmotion.com/Product.aspx?productID=287 Excellent GDI FAQ/Tutorial http://www.bobpowell.net/ …io.ports http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.io.ports.serialport.aspx Very useful program and informative for general .cs programming techniques and specifically for serial communications in C# http://msmvps.com/blogs/coad/archive/2005/03/23/39466.aspx Code:   SpingDar.spin.zip   Visual Studio 2008 project for spingdar   SpingDar.spin.zip .spin code for the...

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