Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A futon? Nah, just some benches.

I recently moved into a bigger house to accommodate the fact that I know have a roommate (buddy from high school). Whilst moving everything into the new house, we quickly realized that my futon frame stood no chance against the corner at the top of the staircase. Ted was instantly struck by a genius idea, dismantle the frame and turn the two halves into benches for the porch. Now, while this was a great idea, it would also leave me without a frame for my mattress. Ultimately the prospect of a new project outweighed a bed frame, and so began the transformation!

We started off by dismantling the frame, which was nothing more than removing a few carriage bolts. The first issue we ran into was that the two pieces were far to wide/deep, as seen below...

A quick visit from the jigsaw and we had the length issue taken care of...

After some wood glue and sitting overnight to let the glue set, we were in business.

The legs were also a fairly straightforward endeavor. Just a few planks of wood cut to size and secured in place with a carriage bolt. I'm starting to realize this isn't the most exciting project ever... :P

Legs attached, we have a bench!

Problem is that the bench wasn't all too comfortable, which we somewhat anticipated, as it is just solid wood. Originally the plan was to buy some foam of some sort and rig up padding, but while enjoying our work, Ted was struck with the 2nd great idea. He noticed my old area rug sitting in the corner and out of sheer curiosity, sized it up against the bench. By some miracle, the rug fit PERFECTLY across the bench. We sprang into action without a moments hesitation.

And just like that, the benches were complete! The rug could use a cleaning, and we are thinking of adding some cardboard underneath to sturdy it up a bit, but other than that, they came out quite well!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Oh oh oh I forgot!

That $0.50 Sports Illustrated camera? The roll was pretty much a total bust, with the exception of 3 pictures found here. Also, I apparently bought slide film, $20 bucks to develop!? I really should just buy a DSLR...

Photo update!

Random side note before we get going here. I've decided making 'promised' updates just isn't working out. So no more 'check back next week for this and that', I'm just not that organized :P

ANYWAY! Finally got around to not only taking pictures, but getting the roll developed. It's pretty clear I still don't fully get ISO and aperture and whatever crap goes into taking photos, but hey, I like to just wing it and see what happens. With that said, these B+Ws came out much darker than I thought they would, but with the effect of the lens, I'd say it worked out pretty well. These were taken with the lens from the last post...


Anyway, full gallery can be found here.

In the pipeline...
Suitcase guitar amp, which has been on hold for nearly 4 years
Tear down and cleaning of the 750 (finally got my 350, and after sitting for about 3 years, started right up!)
Benches for the porch made from my old futon frame
Curtains for the porch
Maybe some sort of microcontroller project?

We'll see if I can finally get back into the swing of things...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Yet Another Camera Lens...

These may very well become a trend on here. Not only are they easy (generally) to slap together, but they are a blast to goof around with and see what kind of pictures you can produce. This lens is the 'child' of the first lens I put together. I say this because it's simply the front half of the first one. It has a somewhat macro-ish but not really with some neat blurs kind of effect to it, which I'm sure you all know exactly what I mean by that. Sadly no pictures yet, but I'm aiming to get a roll down sometime this week.

So to start, we had the usual drilling of the body cap.

I had some decently thick poster board from a failed Halloween endeavor, and made a sleave to fit around the lens. I also cut small slits into it to serve as guides for the two screws that protrude from the lens.

This seemed to be the final step and all was good, until I accidentally pulled the lens out of the sleeve, and tore the paper while attempting to fit it back in. Annoyed, I opted for a much simpler approach. I fit the sleeve to the cap, not the lens. This left a decent amount of room for the lens to slide in and out of, so I padded the lens with a few rounds of electrical tape.

All said and done...

Hopefully I'll have some pictures up next weekend. Trying to get back into the swing of things now that winter is dying down.

Monday, January 31, 2011

That flavored cider...

After letting it sit for a while, hoping that it would age a little and perhaps the cinnamon taste would dwindle, I was met with the same crappy taste.

Officially marking the flavored cider as a failure!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mini update!

The winter blues have been hitting pretty hard. IE I get home and put sweats on and all motivation flies out the window :P. But there's been some progress.

First mini project, whiteboard! I was sitting at work, discussing who knows what with a co-worker, and he was frantically drawing diagrams, code samples, arrows all which ways, and who knows what else on the whiteboard when it hit me. What kind of hobbyist am I, without a dry erase board! So no way am I going to pay the money for a legit board, so I sought out alternatives. As always, Goodwill swoops in to the rescue!

I found a nice little picture frame...

Cut a piece of standard printer paper to match the backplate...


Ok, so not really impressive at all, but I'll take anything at this point.

And for my second lame project, I took a $0.50 sports illustrated camera I bought at WHO WOULDA GUESSED IT Goodwill.

A little muscle and a quick visit with the Dremel tool, and I had the lens removed and sanded down so that it would fit over a Nikon lens cap.

Slap it on the body and there we have it. Not so impressive, and sadly no pictures yet. I'm hoping to take some in the following week and get those posted ASAP!

ALSO! The NES synth is probably 75% breadboarded. Woohoo! I'm hoping to have it fully boarded by this weekend, and have microcontroller code written by next weekend. Fingers crossed!

Ohhhh almost forgot, I also kind of blew up a TV. Sorry, no pictures :(

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Time for something a little more ambitious...

So I've been knocking some relatively small projects as of recent, and I figured it was time to tackle something that will require a decent bit of effort. A few weeks ago I found a guy on Hackaday that had interfaced a microcontroller to the sound chip in an NES to create a hardware based synth, as opposed to the software/cartridge method many other people take. So I'm rolling up my sleeves and attempting to follow in his footsteps.

Before any action can happen, I had to gather up the necessary components. Thankfully all of the heavy hitter components, and by 'all' I mean the 2A03 sound chip. So I pulled out the trusty NES...

I made quick work of the top case...

And removed the board from the bottom half...

I then desoldered the chip from the board, which took a painstaking 30 minutes, and I didn't even do a good job! But in the end, I did extract the single most important component of this entire project, so hoorah! Below you can see the details of my shitty desoldering.

More to come...