Tapioca Challenge? I can do that.

So I recently got an idea from the Tapioca Challenge trend going on. Being a dude, it’s a little difficult to do it how it’s supposed to be done so I chose to use the assistance of some magnets. The main plan was to have a central 3d printed base that houses the magnets, holds the tapioca balls, and takes up volume to minimize the amount of silicone needed.

For casting the half balls, I used a router bit to make round cutouts in a piece of wood and mixed up some silicone to form them. Black acrylic paint was used to color the silicone.

This is the bottom half with the half spheres super glued on. Not shown but I painted over in semi gloss acrylic paint to darken them up a bit more.

This is almost the final part before adding the straw and pouring the silicone. I used acrylic paint to match the color of milk tea and the realism test from that is shown below. The trick was using bright orange acrylic to brighten up the color.

With the color all set, I added part b and poured it in the cup. I didn’t want to drive 45 minutes to where I had a real vacuum pump so I just removed most of the bubbles by hand. There are a few visible from close up but overall it looks pretty good. As for having it stick to me, I bought a cheap GoPro chest mount and epoxied some more neodymium magnets to it.

That’s it for now. I’m currently working on another rocket so I will hopefully be posting a bit more often.

Wooden PC build RETURNS!

It’s been a while, both on the wooden PC project and in general but I finally have a better design for the PC that can be fully laser cut on an Epilog 60W. It is made entirely from 1/4 bamboo plywood. This is what I have cut and glued so far.

And the motherboard tray is fully threaded with brass inserts.

This base here will mount the motherboard, the drives, and the Aquaero. On top of the right side will be a cover that hides the drives and wires and gives the project depth internally. I will be working on this project quite a bit over the next two weeks (hopefully finished by May 7th) to enter into the builds.gg contest that is about to start.

The DIYCYCLE

So I have wanted to do a stupid EV project for a while and a few months back I saw a Razor MX350 electric “dirtbike” at a tagsale for $25! The batteries were shot, wheels barely holding on, but it had a frame and that’s all I needed.

The plan is to replace the 250 watt motor with a 2700 watt RC plane motor I had laying around. I will be building a custom battery pack most likely using Vruzend battery caps, an equalsZero Brushless Rage motor driver, and some other BS to make this work. So far I have made a wooden mock-up of the motor mount and it fits. The steel mount should be ready in the next week or so and after that it’s all electronic from there. I’ll post updates as stuff gets added on.

DivaSlide1_0 code complete!

Over the past few days I have been re-writing my own code for my touch slider project and I finally arrived at a point where it is running fairly well. All code and future updates on the Arduino code portion will be available on my github using the link below. There are still a few bugs to work out but at this point I have a code I feel is ready to publish. The biggest issue is the outputs will sometimes latch onto a direction. I have a fix for that which is fairly simple but I have not implemented it yet.

https://github.com/TT3D/DivaSlide

I decided to make the project open source and it is licensed under the MIT license. When I have a proper PCB design I will be publishing the BRD files and schematics for that.

The current method of testing the slider isn’t the prettiest, but it sure works well.

DivaSlide Revisited: It’s happening!

It has been about a year since my last attempt at building a functional touch slider that works with custom Project Diva controllers but its back! It was a combination of seeing a 18×24″ piece of single sided copper clad FR4 in my amazon recommended bar, not wanting to invest $1000 into developing a hobbyweight Combat Robot, and a new copper sensor layout idea that I saw on a datasheet.

I knew from my last “attempt” that a lot had to change. The three main things were to significantly shorted the traces from sensor pad to MPR121, less gap between sensor pads, and to zig-zag the sensors allowing for better contact on multiple pads while also increasing overall width. With these criteria in mind, I went to Inventor and whipped up a few sketches of different patterns and imported to CorelDraw. After filling in the bits that needed filling in, I set the whole file to inverse color and I was ready for the laser cutter. For anyone following along at home, this is the image to use if you want to attempt your own. If you have CorelDraw, I can give you the native file to import instead of using the JPEG below.

Backup_of_PCB Layout Test 1 (NEGATIVE, Print This).jpg

For anyone not familiar with making a PCB with a laser cutter, it is done by spraying the entire board with paint, and etching away the negative of your copper layout. After a little cleaning with rubbing alcohol, the whole board is etched in ferric chloride. For anyone following along at home, my laser settings on an Epilog 40W laser were speed 5% and power 10%. My next attempt will probably be 12-15% to remove a little more on those thin traces between the contacts, two were bridged after etching.

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With the board etched, the last two steps are to acetone away the remaining paint, and to drill the holes

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Not pictured is where I am currently. I drilled the holes and attached the first MPR121 breakout board and it is working fantastic with the first 12 sensor pads. the next step is to wire up the other four and try to get some working code which is always the hardest part for me.

UPDATE 7/29/18:

I got some base code to work off of from Reddit user u/Fatso666 and modified it to work with all four sensors. Did a little cleanup and it’s working! I unplugged the middle four arrows for the time being to plug into the Arduino that is hiding underneath the controller and taped a box behind to hold up the slider but everything registers without issue. I will still be working to revise the code to operate smoother and more efficient. I may try to possibly add code for tracking LEDs up top just like the real cabinet but I don’t want to get ahead of myself just yet.

Also this means I have to build another controller being a 1:1 replica of the input face. DivaPRO? DivaUltimate?

Barometer Bulb Blues

After a few weeks I finally got the remaining parts in and cast a smaller bulb for the first “full prototype”

As you can see, it still has work to be done. It “almost fits” (TM) and “almost works”. Unlike with the first prototype bulb, this version does not always register the hit. It could be the switch to a 3v3 8mhz board or the cheap eBay special BMP280 breakout boards. For now it’s off to the side as I came up with an idea for a full size Project Diva touch slider PCB that I will be making in the next week or two.