A very fun and makerly weekend it was. Eric and Darcy looped us into the global synchronous hackathon with live video feeds from 9 or 10 hacker spaces including kwartzlab as we hacked throughout the weekend. Thanks guys for setting up for the event, and to Ben for the sandwiches. I got a lot of stuff done and had a great time.
Here’s a vid of the coil winder counter I cobbled together this weekend. I need to make coils in a repeatable way for the animeyes solenoids and this is just the ticket. Interestingly, none of the parts are mine: Karl gave me the counter, James gave me the microswitch, and Ed had the wallwart. kwartzlab magic. Thanks guys.
Click through for some weekend highlights…
Here’s a still of the coil counter. Very bare bones. Coat hanger, switch, counter, power. Works great up to about 10Hz which is fine for my application. I’ve got some old handdrills that I’d like to hook a control pedal to for a more permanent setup, but this will do for now.
This counter is so sweet. I was about to dig a Hall-effect sensor out of a disk drive and hook it to an Arduino and LCD when Karl offered this counter to me. Brother!
Why are these guys smiling? Because they’re wheeling in a UV160U UV-Visible Recording Spectrophotometer that Gus picked up on Thursday.
This beauty gets to stay in our lab for a week or so while Gus arranges to sell it so he can TCoB.
It boots! Delightful orange screen.
It prints! Remember thermal paper?
Specimens for analysis go in this chamber.
It’s the size of a Volkswagen.
And thankfully, runs on 110VAC.
What do we need to do to put you in the UV160U today? Contact Gus if you want to buy this rig.
In other news, Caelyn crocheted 8km of intestines. Ok, not really. It was ultimately getting coiled into a… hmm, giggling to myself about my intestine joke precluded me from hearing the end product. M|C will set the record straight.
Karl, Gus, and I went for a little run to buy more cheap and hackable toys on Saturday. While we were out we swung by Grand River Hobbies where Corey entertained us with an indoor helicopter flight. This ain’t your $20 AirHog chopper. They’re on sale for $120 down from $160 I think.
Grand River Hobbies has an interesting array of repurposeable parts. I picked up this control rod set, which you can think of as a bicycle brake cable, but tiny (the cable is 0.032″). I’m going to try this for some animatronics projects following animeyes. Anybody know where I can get this type of thing cheaper? This was $5 for 36″. I really just need the tubing which I could pair with old guitar strings. Don’t (at this point) need any of the attachment hardware. I checked out medical supply co’s since this tubing reminds me of an IV port, but no luck so far.
The store is big into RC and also has a model train section. Corey showed us some beautiful brushless DC motors that have some insane power specs for such small motors. And they were made of machined aluminum. It was like looking at geek jewellery when he took them out of the showcase. They also have lots of BLDC motor controllers. Most interesting to me was the array of small gears, wheels, and aluminum and brass stock. This stuff isn’t cheap, but if you need something very specific for your project and need it now, check ‘em out. Great local resource.
To justify all my toy trips, I actually made something with this Lite-Brite I picked up for $5 (with pegs!). kwartzlab logo! I’d like to try both UV and Cree LEDs in this rig as replacements for the 25W incandescent bulb. Maybe next week.
Ignite:Waterloo this Wednesday. Been practising my talk all weekend, so come out and see how I do and then we’ll have a beer afterward.