Quarterly? Update

Girlfriend and I have been together almost a year now. Roommate left when i told him i would move out if he didn’t get his own place because I was tired of him not paying rent. I move into a new apartment and he vanishes a week later. I would be tempted to move in to the old apartment if it wasn’t for hard it was moving the furniture.

I have been spending time recently learning how to use the parallax propeller micro controller. I have an invention that uses it. Hopefully the prototype will be done very soon. Hopefully this will get my company off the ground.

Right now i have two main projects. The device to control a display i am hoping to patent and produce. The other is my UAV project. that one… has no ETA.

Still here, I think.

Between getting a girlfriend and having a roommate, I havent been able to use my workbench much. My eeepc has been gathering dust because the motherboard I ordered for it turned out to be for the eee701, not eee701SD, big difference. I decided to just buy a new netbook. At this point I am looking for a new apartment so dont expect too much within the next few months.

Day of discovery

I made another discovery when it comes to my UPS mod. I thought that the battery was always topped up when it was plugged in, regardless if it is turned on or not. It turns out that it only tops up the battery while it is turned on. I discovered this when i ws replacing a segment of cable that runs to the UPS. The light ran for about 5 seconds and then gave the dead battery beep after i unplugged it. When the UPS turns on it does a self test in which it runs on battery for a few seconds. Over the time that the UPS has been used to control the light, the battery has been slowly draining. At the time of writing this, the UPS is sitting turned on with nothing plugged into it.

Second discovery. Today i was working on my raspberry pi using a PSU that supplies enough to boot it but not much more. I plugged in the cell modem i have and the network adaptor failed on the raspberry pi. The adaptor would not come back up until the pi was rebooted. Learn something new every day.

Undocumented feature

Last week I noticed my storage room light would go into a loop. The light would turn on, stay on for a minute and turn off again, then turn itself back on. I thought this was caused by damage from the relays coil to the light whenever it was turned off. I had other things to do so I put the light sensor on my workbench to work on later. This morning I noticed my bedside light doing the exact same thing. It would turn on automatically and loop. This light has no relays in it so the first thing i thought of was to test the batteries in the other controller. Sure enough the batteries were low, all four read 1.1v on my multimeter. After replacing the batteries the light is now working fine. Just a heads up, the lights from harbor freight go into loops when the batteries are low enough. I don’t remember that in the manual.

 

Upgrades to workbench for (hopefully) more documentation.

Status

Over the weekend i have upgraded my workbench. There are now two cameras mounted on the lights pointed down. I marked out where the higher resolution camera covers on my workbench with tape. The image below is showing the battery powered screwdriver that i modified to be USB charged because the original charger broke. VLC is on the computer running in full screen. This camera operates at a resolution of 640×480. it was a fairly cheap camera and i do intend to buy more. I originally bought the camera to cover the door on my security system.

Right now it is only mounted using electrical tape, i will probably mount it better later.

Lower resolution camera is mounted on the center overhead lamp. This was the old camera for the door on my security system.

 

***Bonus***

If you are closing a computer case while it is running, make sure you know where all the wires are. I managed to clip a ribbon cable to a slim cd drive that was hidden behind a panel. I had to open a window to get rid of the burnt smell. At the time it was 22F outside.

Happy new year of hacking

New work in my emergency lighting project.

Before you ask, the oven was like that when i moved in.

Hallway covered by emergency light

 

Placement of the light itself. That wire powering it has been moved to not be in the way. That is 3:10AM. At the time of taking these pictures, the light was powered by the 5v rail on my bench power supply. When this is done it will be powered by a LM7805 and a SLA battery.

Imagine trying to navigate this without a flashlight or other light source if the power went out.

^^^^^^That was done in 2011 ^^^^^^^^

Now for the first mod of 2012

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My apologies for the picture being so blurry. I did not realize that “night shot” on my phone was enabled, it tends to blur the pictures a bit.

Close up of the power connectors i have been using. They are 3.5

Inside the light. The power for the light is being taken directly from the plug. The small board is the power button, that has been disconnected and has only been left inside because it holds the power button cap in place.

This light will be likely installed in the bathroom over the door. The only rooms left to set up will be my store room and my bedroom. I am not quite sure if my room will have one of these lights because i already have the light beside my bed and a decent light i could turn on close to it.

Online again

Sorry about the delay in getting the blog back up. Here is the story. I was testing out some vpn software for carpc which apparently was used to send a bunch of spam. My ISP noticed this and suspended my account. In the time it took to get my internet back up i made myself a vps account and moved everything over to it. There were a few problems in getting my website back up but that has been taken care of.
The only big update i can think of since then is that i bought myself a “new” netbook. Asus eeepc 701sd. I have a few mods in mind but they will have to wait for funds to become available. Due to unforeseen circumstances i had to spend about 350+ dollars to resolve both both a family issue and a car issue. My car is currently in the shop because i no longer have a garage and i am not going to replace i starter motor laying on the cement when it is 10F outside.

Working on lighting

I am working on a emergency lighting setup for my apartment. Thats the best picture i could take with my phone. The light system gives off enough light that you can move around but not so bright that outside attention is not attracted.

The LEDs light up the glass of the bulb and use it to spread the light around. I set up a 12v line for the lights in my kitchen and over my workbench. Next (hopefully) is the hallway, then the bathroom, then my room, then storage room, then finally the power for it. The system will be controlled by a relay connected to mains via a modified cellphone charger.

 

 

Bonus:

I built a bedside motion sensitive light. I had the parts for a harbor freight motion sensor light and closet light laying around. I soldered them together so that now when i put my feet down to get out of bed the path is lit up if it is dark. Rather useful for avoiding stepping on parts left on the floor for a unfinished project.