Still Around

Well yes, I’m still around. Our move to a new home has hit some snags (such as having to re-do plumbing and wiring, etc.) and so it’s taking a LOT longer than expected…and most of my tools are packed up. So, I haven’t been able to make much of anything in the last several months. Also, my wife and I both started back to school full time, so between that and work, and no tools to work with, this site has fallen to the back burner. I have a few projects lined up once I get the time and materials (and space again) to work on them, so look for things in the near(ish) future!

I’ll be working on (in no particular order):

  • A hallway light that runs off of a micro-USB charger, and has a lipo battery backup, which also tells temp and humidity.  This will be the first part of my “smart home” setup.  I want it to automatically tell when someone’s in the hall, and turn on, and then turn off when everything is clear again.  I’m thinking about using ultrasonic sensors since I always have terrible luck with IR sensors.  Behavior needs to change based on the time of day as well, so the central server will need to report time so that I don’t have to install RTC modules in all of these.  I intend to eventually have several.
  • A file server based around a Raspberry Pi Zero-W.  I found some great 8000 mAh batteries on Amazon that should work for it since they can apparently sustain a 2A discharge.  I’m looking at using (tentatively) Raid 1 and thumbdrives to make this thing workable and expandable.  (And cheap…I found tiny 64gb thumb drives on Amazon too.)  I’m looking at putting this into a water-resistant case about the size of a cell phone (in a case) and using it to hold books, movies, documents, etc., and being able to serve that wirelessly to my phone or laptop as needed.  My mom has a LOT of files (books and movies and TV shows, primarily) that she likes to keep downloaded with her everywhere that she goes, and with the lack of many phones that support microSD these days, something like this might be a help for her.
  • I’m going to be re-working my helping hands.  A few of you may remember my earlier comments about them…they work OK for most things, but there’s way too much spring in the arms, making them extremely hard to use for some of the things that I really need them for…like soldering wires together and the like.  So I’m going to acquire some coolant tubing, so alligator clips, some magnets (for freestanding arms…it’ll be great on the new (to this channel) desk that I’ll be using) and some epoxy to create new arms for my heavy base.  I still like the base, and I love that it’s magnetic so I’ll be able to stick an extra arm on there when I need it, but those current arms have to go.  While I’m playing with epoxy and magnets, I’m going to make some magnetic part holders as well.
  • Setting up my space.  I’ll be in the back half of our living room, so I’ll have a lot more space, and dedicated space at that, so I’ve got to get that done before I can work on any of these other projects.

So that’s about it!  I just wanted to update all of you who do follow me with what’s going on, and where things stand.  If you have any suggestions for any of the projects that I’ve listed above (or suggestions for other projects!) please let me know!  I’ll try not to let it go so long between posts anymore.

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