If you’re like me, the RC aviation hobby is as fascinating as it is costly. In the two videos below that we produced for element14 though, we cover how to convert a $10 foam glider into a great training flier and then get even more bleeding edge with a cheap-but-good-for-the-price setup for flying UAV style with a pistol grip camcorder mounted to the plane that transmits to a screen on the ground. Dan Meyer with the help of Ken Zinnen walk you through some of the many exciting facets of radio controlled airplanes.
Archive for the ‘Projects’Category
It is impossible to buy presents for my dad. I’ve exhausted my repertoire of gifts. I pride myself on giving fantastic gifts, but the man seems hell-bent on flabbergasting me. So, when I finally figured out this year’s Father’s Day gift, I felt damn proud.
A little context – my dad’s father died almost two years ago, and I’d been hanging onto a shell casing from the 5-gun veteran’s salute since then.
I decided to make a pen out of the casing. See a breakdown of process below. Much credit to Jordan, because you all know I can’t operate any of the shop machinery. Yet.
1. Cut off the casing end from hollow shell body and drill a wider opening. The brass is very soft so use a rubber clamp and a jewelry cutting saw.
2. Cut, hollow out, and finish hard wood shaft for pen body extension. Stain if you so choose. I used a light cherry stain as the wood was almost white.
3. Epoxy and insert wood shaft into wide end of shell casing, and epoxy casing end to opposite end of wood shaft as pen cap.
4. Mold hot glue into removable stopper for pen tip using WD-40 to keep glue from sticking to ink insert and shape into cone using heated blade (neat side effect is that the glue becomes glassy and transparent). Pop in pen tip with glue stopper!
I hope he likes it. I’m going to give it to him on Friday.
Whew! What a ride this past month and half has been! The last 48 hours especially have been one long blur of blinking lights, solder smoke, and beautiful biosignals, capped off of course, by a mad documentation dash.
Going into the final 24 hours we had a good handful of sensors working separately: EKG, pulse oxidation, GSR, CO2 and lung capacity. The only thing left to do was get them all working together. Oh, and off of breadboards. No big deal, right?
Well, not so much. While the sensors worked quite well on breadboards, moving them onto protoshields turned out to be more of a hassle than we anticipated. The signals we’re getting from the shields aren’t quite as accurate as the ones we got from the breadboards, though still well within acceptable limits for our purposes.
Anytime you’re hooking up an electrical device to a human being, it’s important to make sure that they’re not connected to the electrical grid (think about what an electrical surge can do to your computer, now imagine that your body is hooked up too). To achieve this separation our biosensor uses bluetooth to communicate with a computer to display the signals.
1) Get some sleep!
2) Improve the shield versions of our sensors.
3) Write our own display software, including applications for the N900 and Android.
4) Reach out to teachers and educators.
Finally, we’d like to thank Mitch Altman and everyone at Element14 for this awesome opportunity. Special thanks to Jordan Bunker who stayed up late with us to help get this finished (and documented) and everyone else at PS: One that helped out over the past six weeks.
I’m one of Pumping Station: One’s newest members. Ever since I attended my first meeting I fell in love with the atmosphere and people. One of the first ideas I had was to figure out a way to reuse some of the old projects that are just gathering dust.
My idea came to me when Mitch Altman stopped by the space to teach a soldering lesson. One of the kits that were offered was Adafruit’s mini POV. This got me inspired to find a way to use the spoke POV kits that were currently on the TRON bike. So I found an old fan, and replaced the blades with a scroll-cut plywood frame and attached the spoke pov kits to it. After the POVs were attached I took some L brackets and extended the front cover so it would fit over the POVs.
So without further ado, Pumping Station: One’s newest fan:
Nick’s latest project is a replica daft punk helmet. With some help from Dan and his PhlatPrinter Nick was able cut out some parts from his Google SketchUp Design. Dan made a short video of what they did and promoting how collaboration through Pumping Station: One is totally awesome! Great work Nick and Dan!
We’ve been posting our progress on our element14 blog, but I thought I’d do a quick round up. The EKG and other sensors are coming along, slowly but steadily, and Drew got his Arduino to talk to his computer over bluetooth.
We also posted a little intro video.
I couldn’t find any wire reinforced clothesline, so experimented with thermostat wire and others: basically, check out the wire section of your local hardware store and test what they’ve got. You’re looking for something bendable, but that will retain its shape, and can definitely be doubled up on itself, hopefully flush, without a little loop at the end. Some wire types I found did this better than others.
Also, you’ll want to use chunky, bulky or worsted weight yarn, or else you’ll be winding for a very long time.
I’ve made three, and they’re pretty quick once you get going, other than having to remember how to do cursive and remembering that i’s and j’s have the problem of not easily being able to do dots with this format.
PS:One has recently expanded its space and will be moving the workshop into a separate room to accommodate more tools and electronics. Today, a bunch of people got together to build some new workbenches and move some tools into the new shop.
Here’s a photo of what we have so far:
The three tables were built today. Two of them are pretty basic, but what’s that wierd stuff on the bottom of that one?
That’s a cockamamie caster system to make this table roll. The casters are on a hinged board so the legs can still operate as normal when the board flips up, but when the table is lifted the board will flip itself down and those hinged supports above it brace the casters into position, making it a pretty sturdy rolling table. Nathan Witt got this idea from another hackerspace. (If anyone knows which one it was I’ll credit them, thanks for the idea!)
You can also see our new shelves behind the tables. Jen Savage and Tim Winkler donated them and they’ll definitely see plenty of good use here. Thanks guys!
One day after a Pumping Station: One meeting, Patrick and I arbitrarily set ourselves to making a light box. This is what ensued.
The design was completely ad hoc and the workmanship was sub-sub-standard, but it came together exactly as I pictured it. The biggest problem was that neither of us really knew how to make a light box. Most importantly we didn’t have poster board to use for the backing or lights to properly light the item. We just built the box and covered it with some fabric we found in the space, and we positioned the box to use ambient lighting as well as we could. If someone were to make one of these in more than 15 minutes, those would be the things to change. That and actually looking at real instructions from people who know what they’re doing.