Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What's Next 10/1/2015

What's Next: A quick look into future technology news

Interplanetary Rovers:

As far as we can tell Europa consists on one big global ocean and a thick ice covering on the outside. Due to tidal forces from jupiter there's enough heat for the liquid water ocean, and possibly life.

So NASA's  JPL has come up with this. An underwater rover that would drive along the bottom of the ice covering.

There's no mission drawn up just yet, but perhaps one day..

Random Instructables 10/2/15

Instructables of the Day:

Turn a Bandsaw into a cutoff saw

This instructable is unfortunately mostly a video. he builds an aluminum pivot to turn his bandsaw into a cut-off band saw. Its a nice project made out of Shiny Aluminum :)

Cross hole drilling in round stock:

I know what your thinking, this is dead simple. It's actually not at all. Many times something that seems simple becomes incredibly hard when you need it to be precise.

I once had a method for achieving this, my material had nice straight lines down the length.  after I drilled a dozen or so holes I realized. Those nice straight lines twisted about 20 degrees along the length, Oops!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

What's Next 10/1/2015

What's Next: A quick look into future technology news


It seems like a race to the bottom, and refinements are all we get, no new features. Better cameras are nice though..
Image Credit

Extremely FAST vehicles..

Image Credit

Tesla has finally released the Model X, Bigger SUV/Minivan/Crossover shaped 7 passenger family car, can accelerate to 60 in (as little as) 3.2 seconds. It shares this rare atmosphere of speed capability with the likes of the Ferrari Enzo, McLaren F1 and Koenigsegg CCX. According to the linked article it is Very Very Nice.

Oh and ... Double Hinged Gullwing doors

I'd like to shake Elon's hand, seriously!

Tuesday at Mobile Makerspace

We had a good night tonight at Mobile Makerspace.

David and I worked on the woodworking cart. We fixed the drill press power switch. I made a laser cut piece of acrylic to attach to a new metal box and mounted the old switch to the acrylic. Wanted quick and dirty but I got long and ugly. I mispaced one of the holes and it took a while to rectify this problem.

Later I mounted the drill press to the table. (at last)

We had a few people discussing and learning how to use the Shapeoko.

David also broke his MAKE concrete cast to look at the results, we are deliberating how to remove the 3d printed letters. 

Random Instructables 10/1/15

Instructables of the Day:

Dynamic Motor Balancing with Sugru and an iPhone

Someone Has GOT to try this. I just can't believe this would work. Insane!

Easy Low Waste BookShelves

Bookshelves for those not obsessed with overbuilding things (like me).

Monday, September 28, 2015

Random Instructables 9/30/15

Instructable of the Day:

2W Arduino Laser Engraver/Cutter

This is a super simple and cheap laser cutter/engraver.. it really could not be any simpler..
Raster images with 256 levels of grey .. nope
Autofocus or z axis.. nope
Higher power for metal.. nope

But you load materials and it will give you an image, I think it's pretty impressive for the time invested. Also it seems like a good starting point to add those other features as you go..

It's no GlowForge but it works good for what it is..

What's Next 9/30/2015

What's Next: A quick look into future technology news

Space Exploration:

NASA Found strong evidence of LIQUID water on Mars!

I know the "strong evidence" stuff is kind of a downer, but this has been a question without any strong evidence of an answer for so so long.

We've been sending landers there since 1962, and for millenia before that looking up and wondering about the place.

The latest discovery is wonderful news for those who would like to go there (one day).

Image and quote credit

""The ability of MRO to observe for multiple Mars years with a payload able to see the fine detail of these features has enabled findings such as these: first identifying the puzzling seasonal streaks and now making a big step towards explaining what they are," said Rich Zurek, MRO project scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
For Ojha, the new findings are more proof that the mysterious lines he first saw darkening Martian slopes five years ago are, indeed, present-day water.
"When most people talk about water on Mars, they're usually talking about ancient water or frozen water," he said. "Now we know there's more to the story. This is the first spectral detection that unambiguously supports our liquid water-formation hypotheses for RSL."
""Our quest on Mars has been to 'follow the water,' in our search for life in the universe, and now we have convincing science that validates what we've long suspected," said John Grunsfeld, astronaut and associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. "This is a significant development, as it appears to confirm that water -- albeit briny -- is flowing today on the surface of Mars."

This is Awesome!

So in other news:
I won't be able to spend much time writing the blog this week. :(

I'll send as many updates as I can though.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Neato Thingiverse Finds

Not sure why. but I've built up a small pile of neato projects from Thingiverse recently, thought I would show some of that to you guys..

Of course, its not much use without a 3d printer (but joining your local Makerspace can usually get you access to that)

Dremel Drill Bit Sharpener:

Board Feet:

Lathe Quick Change Toolpost Dial Fixture:

Quick Grip Clamp Feet

Honda B Series Electric Conversion Adapter plate:

3d Printed RC plane:

Friday, September 25, 2015

Random Instructables 9/24/15

Instructables of the Day:

Hackerspace Access System:

Good instructable about constructing a building access system, could work for any place but specifically aimed at Hackerspaces and Makerspaces.

Small Foldable Tripod dolly:

This is probably a better design than the one that I built.

What's Next 9/25/2015

What's Next: A quick look into future technology news

Qualcomm Has released a SnapDragon Dev board:

A $70 development board that runs linux on cell phone guts.
The inclusion of high speed ports and linux OS could make for a bright future with this board.

 What's Next in Technological Skepticism: Lets not move to Mars

Seems Pretty unlivable.. (for now)

Have you ever considered? Fusion isn't the core.

You've probably heard the following:

"Fusion powers the stars"

Or the "reaction that powers the stars"

Then physicists will talk about the potential energy in a star (it happens ok).

Have you ever Considered....

The reason the fusion happens is the compression caused by masses falling in on each other. The compression is caused by the gravity. The gravity is caused by the mass. Gravity adds energy needed for fusion.

Gravity is what really powers the stars.. the universe

Gravity is caused by mass, mass causes more gravity, which attracts more material that causes more gravity... the recursions never end

Hydrogen fuses into helium, fuses into carbon... all fueled by gravity.

Am I wrong? I would love to have a discussion about this. Anyone out there have any thoughts?

Random Instructables 9/24/15

Instructables of the Day:

We're gonna get in more than 2 today..

Repair broken hinges of a laptop:

I have a forehead smack reaction to this one, why didnt I think of that. This looks like exactly the same model of laptop that my sister recently broke in exactly this way..

Host a Repair Cafe

Hey look, a guide to that thing I've been talking about doing at Mobile Makerspace for a year.

Walnut and Aluminum Lamp

A very handsome lamp. The instructions are more of a school report than actual instructions, but still a nice project.

When a Phillips is not a Phillips

A useful instructable about screws fasteners.

Washer Bracelets

Looks like an easy craft.

Ring Roller

A DIY machine that can bend serious steel into hoops or curves, sweet.

X mounts

This uses actobotics grommets and modular beams to mount phones and gadgets, but its totally diy-able too..

DIY Big Peg Board Shelving

This is a very attractive and easy build, doesn't get much better..

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Prevailing thoughts on Technical Problems

Things are changing, excuse me for being impatient, but its taking a really long time. And skewing in a direction that, leaves most people with little to no control over things we should have control over (I think).
I just wrote a post about the new Glowforge "3d laser printer"

It looks amazingly useful and easy to use.

Much much better software and use of modern hardware and software to enable amazing things.

The prevailing thought has been for the longest time:

 "It should be hard"

I have never understood this.

People all up and down the chain of engineers and company management for dozens of companies putting out tools (like laser cutters but dozens of others) don't think about the time and effort value of thier customers. The software is terrible, it barely works, it's frustrating and time consuming. More of a hindrance than a help. You Have to stay within these parameters or it won't work AT ALL.

Why should it be hard?

I don't get it. Good on Glowforge for putting in the work to make using a cutter easier, its long overdue.

The bad skew I see in this is; everything is in the cloud. Which none of us users have any control over. Even worse, if you are in a less fortunate geographical situation, your machine may not work at all. I know local server management and image processing has distinct disadvantages, but what if glowforge (one day) goes belly up. Like so many abandoned music services suddenly their servers go dark.

Ease of use: Good, finally
Cloud: So So
Another thing I can't fix myself: Bad..

What's Next 9/24/2015

What's Next: A quick look into future technology news

Today we have great innovations and developments in ease of use in the small CNC industry.

Printrbot Releases the New Crawlbot:

This new CNC router from printrbot does not include a table! Instead you attach it to the plywood or sheet material you are cutting (or alternatively it is sized large enough to build a table bigger than a sheet). But at its core it's "the size of a golf bag", so it can easily be transported to a site or the material. As opposed to other full sheet machines, that need a crane to be delivered.

I've had my eye on printrbot since they first debuted, they seem like an exemplary company from what I've seen.

Image Credit; Makezine Review;

GlowForge Looks to Revolutionize Laser Cutting:

Using advanced sensors and software (why has no one done this yet?) and even more advanced software, the Glowforge laser cutter takes the user interface completely out of using a cutter. Just draw a design, the cameras inside record the design and convert it to laser motions. Then hit go, basically. There's no CAD, no drivers, no illustrations,

Additionally no privacy, but quick don't think about that (every design goes into "the cloud" for the magic image processing and other mysterious things).

It looks like an amazing machine, the bigger one with an included pass through, (use any length material as long as it's no wider than 20in) the machine tracks the material as its pulled through.

More: Here; Here; and Here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Random Instructables 9/23/15

Instructables of the Day:
We have a couple of projects for a more luxurious home today:

Luxurious Shower - Under $60

Do you really need more than this pic?
Add some luxury to your shower with this 6 head setup.

Need to keep something out of the way?
Then the Secret Door Bookcase is for you

It's a big complicated project that wont work for every house, but if you have the resources what a cool reward having that secret room would be.

What's Next 9/23/2015

What's Next: A quick look into future technology news

New SSDs today. The Solid State Drive space continues to heat up, the main drivers of this tech are Samsung and Intel. Who both recently released new tech, but for very different markets.

Samsung Heats up the Consumer side with the 950 Pro

Image credit: Samsung 

This little gumstick sized drive can write up to 1.5GB/s and read up to 2.5GB/s, fast enough to unload the entire larger 512GB drive in under 4 minutes.

Intel burns down the data center with the new Intel SSD DC P3608 PCIe NVMe 
Up to 5GB/s read speeds and 850,000 iops, that's an entire DVD read in one second!

Though the Intel card is a bit steep for most takers at $3500, serious business users only it would seem.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

What's Next 9/22/2015

What's Next: A quick look into future technology news

Open Source Hardware:

Autodesk has pulled a complete turn around on open source policy as evidenced by the recent release of the designs for the ember printer, down to the recipe for the resin used. The ember is a desktop Stereolithography printer, that casts an image from a high resolution projector into optically actived resin.

Image Credit

NoSql Databases:
Scylla is a new rendition of NoSql Datastores. Written in a highly optimized C++ environment, taking maximum advantage of all available cores, this database leads to 1000% the performance of previous Java based solutions. Who knew, Java's not the fastest language in the world.

Scylla is also open sourced, instructions for install are here

Random Instructables 9/22/15

Instructables of the Day:

Use a Treadmill DC Drive Motor
I haven't read all the way through this one yet, but the essential gist is, Treadmills have awesome motors, good for lots of applications (for example a drill press with variable speed, a cnc milling machine, a table saw). Also, A/C motors are expensive. So Hack a treadmill motor instead.

Free Stealth Piano Workbench
This hack may not end up being free, but it could be a nice way to have a workbench without anyone really realizing you have a workbench.

Numato Opsis: FPGA-based open video platform

This board seemed mighty expensive to me ($349) until I started looking at their comparisons, and realized I'm not in the target market (though if you are I would be happy to help install such a thing).

This board uses an FPGA to process and transcode newer digital signals (HDMI and Displayport) to other types of signals such as outputting to USB or multiple outputs.

Its an interesting (and long overdue if you ask me) setup.

More SSD's please

If you're pretty serious about having a high performance PC, then SSD's should be the goto solution currently for achieving those performance goals.

When you get to the point of using multiple ssd's in RAID, then this product becomes very interesting.

The ICY DOCK ExpressCage 4x2.5" SAS/SATA HDD Hot Swap Mobile Rack
Photo and product link credit:

3 5.25in bays can become 12 hot swappable SSD slots.

Here's a recent review, works good.

Yes I should be getting paid for mentioning it. :P

Distracted ...

I got a bit distracted last night..
Looking at this..

"McLaren F1 LM" by robad0b - Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons -

The Mclaren F1, often reviewed by extremely Lucky Englishmen, employing primarily superlatives and words ending in "est". It is my favorite car. Even after all these years. I doubt I will ever even see one in person, let alone touch or drive one. But it seems the ultimate and final word to answer the question  "what should a fast car be?". Additionally it won the 24hrs at Le Man race without breaking a sweat. Even though it recently lost many of it's long held records, the new cars just don't really seem to be better.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Random Instructables 9/21/15

Instructables of the Day:

Bike Rack of Wood:
Best looking bike rack I've seen, I'll take two please..

Tabletop bench and Moxon Vise:

Good for the aspiring craftsman who is short on space (also good for a space limited Makerspace maybe?)

What's Next 9/21/2015

What's Next: A quick look into future technology news

Resurrected Prototype Plane Projects:

This is the Bugatti 100P Project. It was designed by Ettore Bugatti and Louis de Monge in 1938 for a race to take place in 1939, but he never finished the plane. Now there is a group diligently working on rebuilding his design. Well Mostly, they are using 2 Hayabusa Motors instead of a 1938 powerplant. The older plane (with the older motor) was theorized to reach a speed of 500mph, I would really like to see this team achieve that. Looks Amazing!

They took the first flight about a month ago (a brake failure landed the nose in swampy turf next to the runway though). Other than that the plane performed as designed (77 years ago!).

I can't wait to see more.

Military Aircraft:

The U.S.A.F claims they are just a few years from functional laser weapons.
We'll see..

Friday, September 18, 2015

Random Instructables 9/18/15

Instructables of the Day:

Reanimate an Old Cordless Drill:
I've got about 4 drills I could revive with these instructions.

Build a Man Table:
This is a very handsome and sturdy build.

What's Next 9/18/2015

What's Next: A quick look into future technology news

Gaming Monitors:
Asus' ROG branding unveiled the latest in impressive gear for well funded gamers. The ROG Swift PG348Q, is a curved IPS 34 inch monitor, featuring a mind boggling Native Resolution of 3440 x 1440 in a 21:9 ratio, utilising the Nvidia G-Sync technology to do away with Jaggies. I think it looks rather good (from the back).

Ridiculous Dart Weaponry:
The Nerf Modular system makes for some crazy setups..

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The New Airbus Plant, Featured... everywhere

Mobile/Alabama/Airbus featured everywhere.

Yesterday's unveiling of the Airbus Plant in Mobile, Got featured lots of places.

Here's Gizmodo's 5 words about it. (dont read the comments)

It must be a big deal!
(we don't get featured much around here)

These two things are related

Remember the test questions when you were a student, "This is to that and this(2) is to ____?" These two stories are related, anyone else see the connection?

TSA Master keys uploaded to github

FBI Chief calls for Encryption Backdoors

Maybe that second one is even less of a good idea than the first.

The Solar System to scale

This is an illuminating film. Our place is So So small..

To Scale: The Solar System from Wylie Overstreet on Vimeo.

I once helped my little sister with a project and we did this, we got the foam planet set and we strung them along a 29 ft string. Then we made a poster where each planet was a dot or circle approximating it's diameter (the sun was a 6ft wide circle so it was only shown as an arc on one border of the poster, the earth was a simple dot from a pen, barely even ranked, I think jupiter was 1.25in).

I wish I could have been in class when she showed that project.

Random Instructables 9/17/15

Instructables of the Day:

Trunk Foldout workbench:
This looks super handy, I can't name how many times I've had all my tools in the trunk but no place to actually work on something. Would have really worked well with my CRX.

Lasercut Settlers of Catan Board:
I need to build this one. It's my favorite board game mixed with (one of) my favorite materials.
Plus we have a suitable machine at Mobile Makerspace

What's Next 9/17/2015

What's Next: A quick look into future technology news

Commercial Spaceflight:
Blue Origin; the Jeff Bezos backed commercial space launch company unveiled its new facility adjacent to Nasa's Cape Canaveral launch complexes. Blue Origin plans to build and launch from within the new facilities.

Electric Sedans:
Porsche brought a new toy to the Frankfurt Motor Show, a Prototype dubbed "Mission E". Unlike the Porsche 918 this car would be fully electric. For now it's just a prototype, but they are already touting a fast charge system that brings the batteries to 80% in just 15min. With 600 electric HP and a 300 mile range, this car is bound to put Porsche on the short list for well heeled buyers. It's just a prototype so no word yet on Price or Availability.

What I've been working on: 9/15/15

I'm working on building a new desk.
This isn't it, this is the first step after dimensioning some of the lumber. This part is an over the desk shelf/hutch that will hold my Ikea Drawers and some plastic boxes above the desk. 

There may be some people who like it, but I'm building out of OSB because I already had a sheet or two of it on hand. 

When I first started I counted all the wood I had in my little shed, 51 pieces of sheet and board. I've decided it's time to quit waiting for the ideal project for each piece and just build instead. 

Sometimes you have to get creative with the clamps. 

Just one more side (the bottom) and this part will be done, then it will start looking like I have something.

I was inspired to this design by this post on Apartment Therapy:
East Finalist: Tony and Hilary's 3 in 1 Studio

Mine won't look this good.. Maybe in Version 2.0