Solenoid engines are nothing new, though they still seem to be a fairly common project among the curious. Using a hard drive makes such a project much more simple and straight forward, that is if you want to keep it that way.
This solenoid engine uses a software control loop (code below) running on a 16MHz Adafruit Trinket to adjust its speed. The program specifically alternates between a modest 180RPM to a smashing 3000RPM every five or ten seconds! Watch the video below!
Continue reading Hard Drive Solenoid Engine With Trinket
My (not so) fancy-like PC has recently developed this issue where it, regardless what the power settings are set to, will always go to sleep within one or two minutes of inactivity. I found this to be an incredibly large nuisance when it came to watching videos, 3D printing something over USB , or just
brainstorming in front of the keyboard basking in the warm glow of the monitor; the PC will never fail to go to sleep after a mere matter of seconds.
After much wasted time in the many Power Options windows, and after hunting through old, seemingly irrelevant forums, I have decided to bring yet another Adafruit Trinket to the rescue.
In less than a dozen lines of code, I got the Trinket to “poke” the mouse once every 59 seconds. The net movement is 0 pixels over time, and the “poke” occurs in a matter of a few clock cycles.
Check out the code below:
Continue reading Fixing the Symptom, Not the Cause – The Smallest Trinket Project
Want to add a degree motion to your GoPro camera without a bulky gimbal? If so, here’s a simple DIY add-on for your multicopter that may only take you a couple minutes to build.
All you’ll need is a spare servo, a 25mm M5 bolt with nyloc nut (for GoPro mount), some double sided foam tape or equivalent, and some other small vitamins.
Continue reading Simple Servo Tilt Gimbal for Rev. III Tricopter (and others)
I pulled a couple 4Ah 3S LiPos from my tricopter’s stash and soldered together a little series adapter to give me an effective 4Ah 6S LiPo pack. The effective range has been cut in half to around 5miles compared to the original 13lb 10Ah SLA pack, but that’s still plenty enough to get someone around a college campus.
Click here to read more about how to build the DIY electric bicycle.
Here’s a video of the updated e-bike taking a quick spin around the block: Be sure to continue reading after the break for more info.
Continue reading 5 Minute SLA to LiPo Battery Conversion for the DIY Electric Bicycle (Video)
After years of waiting to find the right hardware, I have finally found the time and the opportunity to build my own digital mechanical clock that uses absolutely no transistors or ICs. Its technology is reminiscent of the early relay computers from many decades ago. It uses 67 relays arranged in such a way to create 21 identical flip-flop logic circuits.
Continue reading The electromechanical relay clock project is complete!
It’s a simple idea. Just modify the source code from our Arduino IP Webcam project page and add an additional set of AJAX response lines that toggle a couple IO pins on the Arduino. You can have these pins go directly to some headers on your 3D printer and/or to an inline power-switch tail that you can toggle in the event of a problem. All the while monitoring your 3D printer visually with a live image feed from anywhere on the World Wide Web.
Heck, while you’re at it, you might as well add some remote controlled lighting, and a relay shield. Your only limit is
your imagination RAM. Check out this simple user interface:
Continue reading Using the Arduino AJAX Webcam to Monitor and Control Your 3D Printer
Over these past few months, I have slowly been testing out various materials for absorbing vibrations in the Revision III tricopter. The goal was to eliminate the rolling-shutter effect (or jello-effect) from aerial video as much as possible.
If you don’t already know, this tricopter has its battery and camera equipment suspended from the main frame with three zip-ties. Dampening materiel is loosely compressed or adheared between these two subassemblies and is ultimately responsible for most of the physical vibration isolation. Usually this materiel is rolled into three separate ~1″ long by ~5/8″ wide cylinders and stuck between each of the three zip-tie loops.
Among the materials I have tested include vinyl furniture bumpons, Sugru blocks, double sided foam (vinyl) adhesive, and latex foams among other things. Most worked pretty well, but others were hard to come by or showed poor performance.
Here is a short list of my findings presented in a general order with the best (so far) near the top. Continue reading Obscure vibration dampener material tests for the Rev. III Tricopter
Circa 2008. At age 13 my adolescent mind desired a motorized bicycle. With absolutely no budget, I began brainstorming ways to cannibalize my seldom-used Razor E300 electric scooter with its rusty bearings and dry SLA batteries… This is the short story about how my DIY e-bike came to be.
Continue reading The story of how the electric bicycle was born
I recently received permission to fly at a local recreation field for the weekends. Flight videos and a full write-up coming soon.
Fun fact: The frame alone, when constructed with generic 1/2 in. square wood dowel form the hardware store, weighs only 220 grams!
It’s alive! The tricopter went under a few more revisions and prints before finally taking to the air. My old Rev One Quadcopter has been reduced to it’s (over-engineered) frame and nothing more. Its parts (motors, ESCs, batteries, Crius AIO, etc.) have moved on to become this very tricopter.
Currently (in the picture) it is set up to fly FPV sans-GoPro. There is an optional part available to replace the camera pan/tilt servo mount/hole with an alternative “use-what-you-want” vibration-dampened plate.
Keep reading for a couple closeups and highlights of the tricopter.
Continue reading Tricopter Build Log part three