Things change so quickly!

So obviously I have not been posting to this site in a while. The truth is I simply haven’t had anything to talk about. Well this past weekend I decided to start a completely different site. Not saying what it is. It’s on a different account. I’ll keep this of course as I’ve had my vanity domain forever.

There is a lot of stuff I need to catch up with. My brain is melted.

Making Things

I haven’t posted in a while. The simple explanation is that I’ve got a rather full plate. My TLS certificate has expired. I tried to renew it, but something didn’t take. I hate making phone calls, so I haven’t talked to my hosting provider yet to see what I’m doing wrong. It seemed so easy before.

So what have I been doing? I’ve been learning the Arduino. I’ve been learning the Raspberry Pi. I’ve gone all out physical and started learning about 3D printing. In short, my foray into Physical Programming is getting very physical indeed.

There is so much to learn!

I still haven’t finished the pendulum. The plywood I got for my base is warping in the basement. This I do not like. I may change the design of the base rather radically. I only need the pendulum to keep swinging. That requires providing a small kick each swing to add energy that was lost to air drag and friction in the cable. I’ve got a magnet for that. It needs 12V. The Arduino can handle 5V. The Arduino needs to operate a power transistor to give the magnet the voltage and current it needs.

I’m building a weather station. It’s based mostly on SwitchDoc Labs gear. That’s the heart. The brain will be a Raspberry Pi. I have most of the pieces. I’m going to be soldering soon. There is some software to learn for this one too. There is a protocol used by the ICs on the boards. It’s called I2C. Both Arduino and Pi can speak it.

And then there’s 3D Printing. This is very exciting. It means I can make some of my own things. The printer will only do a few plastics. ABS and PLA are the two main ones. People have figured out how to get others to work. To take advantage of this, I have to learn to use something called slicing software. This takes a 3D model in a particular file format and creates something called G-code to control the printer. It’s much like CNC. The code tells the printer what to do in rather exacting detail.

There is a lot of stuff.

Traffic Cone
Traffic Cone

Good Morning!

I’ve been playing with a few things. One is a Foucault pendulum. I’ve built it in the basement. It’s not complete yet. It needs a drive to replace the energy lost to air drag. I don’t yet know how to design such a beast. I’ve ordered some learning materials to aid in that. A magnet controlled by a micro-controler seems to be the ticket. Arduino is very popular. It looks like I’ll go that way.

I’ve also been getting back into photography. I’m taking small steps. While a nice DSLR would be great, I’m starting cheap with a bridge camera. I’ve got a Nikon P610. I wish it gave me more range on the shutter speed. That’s because I want to do some night photography. Nevertheless, it’s got some nice features. I maybe writing some Swift 2.0 code in the future to composite images into 4K video.

In the meantime, I’ve done this little clip just using iMovie and the camera’s built in functionality.

Enjoy!