Tick, tick, tick…

My, how time flies.

I need to catch up on a bunch of stuff soon.

  • First, I have started building custom K-Cup holders called the Kupousel. Please check them out.
  • I have spent a lot of time with my “new” CNC’ed X2 Mini-Mill. Lots of mods and stuff I hope to post about.
  • Sill making Tonal Insanity effects pedals. The mill is helping with them. Started using surface mounted components.
  • Got my hands on some Arduino knock-offs and been using them to develop other AVR stuff.
  • Built an SMD reflow oven from a toaster oven and a ATmega for a PID control.
  • Built (cobbled together) a new spindle for my old router when the Roto-Zip started to give out. It also has less run out so I can route PC board directly now, even SMD stuff.
  • Completely re-written my Board Tools program with even more options, partly to take advantage of the new spindle and mill.
  • Will be re-re-re-building the rain barrel yet again this year. Last year I tested a control using a pico-power ATtiny13a AVR. Worked well, needs a bit of fine tuning. Main reason for rebuild is the barrel cracked, I moved the garden, and I dropped the solar panel at the end of last year and broke it. :(
  • Building my daughter a loft bed – out of an old desk.
  • Rebuilt my MythTV system and got in a fight with the stupid cable box that uses XMP IR protocol. (on going)
  • Oh! It has been so long I never mentioned my new main computer: 8-core! AMD “Bulldozer” FX-8120, liquid cooled,¬† msi 970A-G46, 16GB RAM, 1TB HD, Bu-ray burner, 23″ wide screen monitor, running Fedora 19 (20 soon). It F…’IN SCREAMS! Built Android (for A10) complete from source in a few hours! That¬† was why I got it thrown in on a job to modify a Mele A2000 STB into a network/web based, Scent Palette controller. Builds MythTV in about 10 minutes.

Hopefully I will add more info in less than the next 2 years! :)

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Front yard landscaping

My front yard has been slowly sliding down hill for years. There is hardly any topsoil left, so the grass looks like crap. I have been wanting to add a small retaining wall along the front then back fill to level out the whole yard and replant new grass. After doing the pool, I had to a lot of dirt left over and figured now was a good time to do it. (hence the “free” pool just got more expensive!) Of course, there was not quite enough dirt to fill it all the way! Now to get more dirt (or dig another hole in the back yard!) and get some grass growing. I like having nice grass in my yard, of course the best grass I had was right where the pool went!! I could always start on the garage I wanted to build and use that dirt. Hmmm… another project, but not for a while, I need to rest up for this whole wedding thing. A few more pictures

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New “free” pool

Earlier this spring we got a complete free pool on freecycle. It was in pretty good shape, we just had to take it down. At the time it was still cold, in fact part of the pool was buried and was frozen into the ground! The liner had a small leak in it but didn’t matter since it was still frozen too and got destroyed.The reason “free” is in quotes is it still cost some money to install:
A new liner (duh)
Building permit
Electrical supplies ($45 GFCI breaker!!)
Spray paint for the uprights and rails
Renting tiller
Pavers to go around edge
New filter cartridge
Vermiculite for bottom
Misc. replacement hardware
Food to feed the friends who helped on set up day (Thanks Scott)
All in all, no where near the several thousand a new pool would have cost.
For others who might do this, we found the Vermiculite at Menards in the “insulation” department for insulating block walls, worked out to be cheaper than bags of sand and a whole lot lighter to handle!! It also gives a wonderful bottom. We installed the liner using a shop vac to suck it into place and have no wrinkles!! My family had several pools and I had been though setting them up before, and this method rocked!

Next thing will be to install the solar heater we also got on freecycle. I am not happy with it’s cheesy installation though and will be looking into something better. (Oh goody, another project)
You may also notice the home made solar cover roller. It was a quick project that needs some refinement (it bows real bad) When I redo it, probably season, I will try to document it as well.

A few more pictures, during and after

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Under Slab Vent Repair

While remodeling my bathroom I discovered a problem I suspect many face – a rusted out HVAC vent that runs under the slab.Now in a house with a basement or crawl space this would not be a big deal to repair. Accually it would probably never happen! I my case though, the vent is basically buried in dirt and in addition to being right next to the tub (and being flooded a few times I suspect) it rusted completely away.
Rusty Vent Dirt Vent HoleThis probably explains where the occasional ant would come from every spring.The sheet metal was completely rotten, the only pieces left are the seams that were imbedded in the concrete. You can see the bottom is just sand, gravel and dirt. the Pipe it was connected to was rusty as well, but still had enough integrity to be OK (thank goodness!!)

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