Sunday, May 16, 2021

You'll See Summer Come Again

 Look at that, another post in under 6 months. I'm nothing if not prolific. Just a picture dump of what I've been up to.

A guard for the power button on the Brother laser printer. The cat would sit on it and hold the button down inadvertently which disconnects the printer from the network. Used my new Prusa Mini for it.






Made a Barton VC Multiplexer.


We had snow for a day in late January.



We Gave away our trampoline, Felice couldn't find the spring-hooking tool, so I made one, just as I finished she came into the shop and told me she had found it.


The slip nut for the kitchen sink drain disintegrated.


Started gardening again...


Started some sweet potatoes.





Expanded the garden...it's now 48' x 24'



Made this little wire weeding tool.


Western Fence Lizard lives in the cardboard covering my compost pile.







Soldier Beetle guarding the fava beans.



I started making kimchi. Felice likes it.


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Gimme Five, I'm Still Alive


 I've been getting comments on and off in posts on this neglected blog, and reviewing the posts I wonder, "who is that guy? how did he have so much time and energy to write about odd stuff?" Well not really, I've just been busy with life and such. Last posts were about my first forays into modular synthesis. Well, that's continued.

I went from one 3U row of 84HP, to 8 3U rows...and it's not stopping. Most modules made from PCBs made by others and my own milled panels. I'm keeping it on that level of DIY to avoid GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) and keep costs down generally. I have done some basic PCB design myself (Kicad) and a few modules are constructed on stripboard.

I made a pretty conscious decision not to publicly document my DIY progress in the hobby for three reasons:
1) I'm doing a lot more learning and it'll be a long while before I feel comfortable giving advice or tutorials (if ever) on synth design or electronic engineering.
2) There are tons of people who do know what they are talking about.
3) It's burdensome to constantly document hobby progress.

That said, I will try to post about interesting things I come across going forward. Social media just hasn't replaced the utility of blogging.

Oh yeah, I've been doing a lot of gardening, getting back to my hippie ways. Here's the garden in July:

I'll leave you with this picture I took last week of two slugs mating in my back yard and also implore you to WEAR A MASK while the pandemic is ongoing.


Saturday, January 27, 2018

Eurorack Modular Synthesizer Case

Yay, new hobby/midlife crisis. Slowly putting together a eurorack format modular synthesizer. The case is the first bit you need. casebuild01casebuild02casebuild03
Rails from Synthrotek. I wish they had measured drawings.

casebuild04casebuild05
Meanwell RT65-b power supply. Busboard was from a random Ebay auction.
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Milled a slot so I can slip in more nuts without disassembling the case.

casebuild10Fine tuning the rear panel after mounting the power supply, so covered everything with plastic.

casebuild12casebuild13
The wood is from a 1x8 I found laying in the road. It has insect damage and checking.casebuild14

I finished in early November 2017.

casebuild15
This is how many modules I’ve built since. I’m buying PCBs for various modules and then sourcing components and soldering them up. Fun.

Friday, August 25, 2017

I Should Be Ashamed Of My Laziness

But heck, life with two ~teenagers is apparently tiring and busy.
I’ll try to catch you up on some of the more interesting things.

Exciting things like how I organize my “wallwart” power bricks. You can’t just throw them in a box together because they twine together like a king rat.wallwart1Divided roughly by voltage (but not AC/DC).
wallwart2wallwart3
Individually bagged, mostly labelled. Ziplock type bags are cheap.

I built one of the incredibly XR2206 based cheap function generator kits available on Ebay from China. I think it was maybe $6 or $7. I’m too lazy to look it up.
funct2funct1funct3

I worked a little bit more on what I believe is a Quixotic attempt to fix the Alesis keyboard I bought at the beginning of last summer. I found that the previous repairperson/demon from hell had ruined one of the pads & vias for a capacitor (probably pulling it off mechanically rather than desoldering?) on the PCB and just glued the cap onto the board.

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So I used a grommet to create a new pad and via and scraped back the solder mask to connect. I haven’t done that before. The synth is still dead but now the power section works.

I found even cheaper function generator kits on Ebay (it’s fun to search “DIY kit”) They were about $2.00 each. Why? Don’t ask.
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In 2014 snow smushed down our grape arbors. I finally pulled them upright and pounded in some supporting t-posts. The grapes were happy.arborday1

Felice’s riding mower had a small problem with one of the spindle housings…

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It took me hours to get it all apart…cheaters and extensions and swearing.

After I rebuilt the mower she took it out and got it stuck in one of the grape arbors.
stuckmower

That brings us up to the 4th of July.

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Playing with a old webcam and adapting it to a microscope. It was unsatisfying.micro1

I decided to build one of the cheap DSO Oscilloscope kitssortSorting resistors with a breadboard and an Ebay component checker.

running
If you were living under a rock and hadn’t heard, we had a total eclipse in Oregon.
eclp1Felice and family enjoying the weirdness.

eclp2Playing with colanders.

eclp4eclp5They had several alerts.

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Weird shadows. I didn’t have a good lens to take an actual eclipse picture, but there are plenty of good ones out there.
I will say that I was skeptical about how amazing a total eclipse would be. It was, in short, the most interesting, largest and amazing thing I have ever seen in my 50 years. Breathtaking does not do it justice. If you have a chance to see one, do it.

There was also a whole bunch of stuff I didn’t take pictures of this year. But I’ll try to do better.