Jan 182020
 

My door has a crazy turret peephole thing. It belongs in an arctic research submarine. It’s huge and it rotates. Pretty sure it was designed by Carl Norden.

The Norden Door Sight

So I wanted to make a little peephole camera for it because it’s 2020 and I own a 3d printer and play with cheap microcontrollers with built in camera’s so why the hell haven’t I done this already?

I didn’t have a good answer for that question so I did this:

And I put it here:

And now I can see this:


And FYI this ESP32-CAM is running the esphome firmware and integrated into Home Assistant, which are two of the most awesome things I’ve encountered lately.

I won’t bother posting the 3D files or esphome yaml unless someone asks. The 3d files are just a crappy case I stole off thingiverse and modified to secure it to the end of a cylinder, and the yaml is straight from esphome examples. I’ll post some of the yaml I’ve made for servo controls with ESP32-CAM\Lolin32 boards a bit later, still working on making servo movements a little smoother. I’m having to relearn simple stuff like incrementing values in loops in yaml. Sadly literally none of my arduino code is remotely portable for any of this.

Jan 102020
 

This is an old ‘hearing test’ box that I gutted and used for various projects. This time it’s filled with older raspberry pi’s. I mainly use zero’s now, but wanted to make a sort of functional retirement home for my pi’s. This rig has:
(1) Raspberry Pi B (Original 256Mb RAM)
WiFi Bridge to LAN
(3) Raspberry Pi 2B+
~WebCam
~LCD
~RTL-SDR
(1) Acer Netbook running Raspian x86
~Interface
(1) 5-Port Ethernet Switch

I don’t turn it on much, but it’s a nice little package whenever I need to haul it out for something.
Figured it deserved a post so here’s that.

Jun 142015
 

***EDIT*** Now available on Etsy – https://www.etsy.com/shop/funkboxing

So here’s a redesign of the Levitube things I made awhile back. It’s essentially the same, just slightly more aesthetically pleasing with the wooden base and cork stopper and spade thumb-screw. That link above is super old and I don’t feel like updating a super old html page, if you click it just ignore the parts that contradict this post, like the part saying they’re no longer for sale- They ARE for sale again. That’s probably unnecessarily confusing… but anyway. Look! Here’s the new design!

LeviTube

It’s an acrylic tube with a little magnet that levitates between two bismuth pellets. Basically it’s thing to stare at occasionally. I’ve also had fun making it spin and shining a laser on it so it flashes the laser around, I’m easily entertained like that. I’m sure there are practical uses for the effect, but the levitubes are really only good for the staring bit.

It’s either an ‘educational demonstration’ device or ‘desk-toy’ thing. When people ask you about it you can tell them about the principle of diamagnetism and they’ll think you’re all smart, or more likely they’ll just think you’re tragically nerdy. Optionally, you could tell them you’re doing it with your mind or you bought it at a shop in Diagon Alley and it’s enchanted, your call.

If you want one, let me know via the funkboxing contact form. I’m going to ask you to send me $30 via Paypal and that’ll include shipping within the U.S. If you live somewhere else, just ask and I’ll find out what the shipping is to there. If you live in Iceland or the Netherlands I might ask if I can come stay with you for awhile because I’d really like to go to those places but I don’t have a lot of money. I also might need to borrow some warm clothes because I don’t have anything for cold climates, I’m from the south.

I’ve only got about a half-dozen ready to go at the moment but I can make more, it’ll just take a little while longer to get one to you. They also include a cool stamp with the funkboxing logo on the bottom of the base so you can remember where you got it.

-Me

 

*The dime in the image is for scale, it’s not included. I guess if you ask me I’d send you a dime too, but you can probably source one locally. It’s not a rebate thing. If you absolutely insist I’ll just give you 10 cents off the price instead, but I’d probably make fun of you for being so insistent over 10 cents. I’ll give you a whole dollar off if you read my ‘Hello, World’ short story and tell me what you think since I really spent some time on that and I don’t think anybody’s read it yet. If you’re Limor Fried and you request one I’ll send you a free one since you’re so totally awesome and I love Adafruit Industries.

 

Sep 152013
 

funkboxing-the t-shirt, funkboxing-the coloring book, funkboxing-the lunch box, funkboxing- the breakfast cereal, funkboxing- the flame thrower (the kids love this one).

Now instead of just reading, listening, and looking at things on funkboxing, you can also have some funkboxing stuff of your very own. Here’s a bunch of stuff available at the funkboxing Zazzle Store. CafePress Store coming soon.



Jul 252013
 

This is an evolution of a concept I had for an ‘info-hydrant’ device that would preserve and proliferate information and knowledge in the event of catastrophic loss of technology, communication, and historical information about humanity and nature.

INVENTION - Speaking Stone

GOAL:

An inexpensive, accessible and easily replicated device that would serve as a repository of information. This device must outlast several human lifetimes, withstand elements and most casual attempts at theft and destruction. The device must be exceedingly simple to use, to the extent that a person with absolutely no knowledge of the device may be reasonably expected to discover it’s function.

PURPOSE/MOTIVATION:

There is a strong chance that some population of human beings will survive catastrophe. There is less chance that deep human knowledge about science, nature, and history will survive the same event. A speaking stone will provide the basis for rapid rebuilding of civilization in the event that communication and information are lost.

The motivation for this can be stated most succinctly in the words of Dian Fossey “When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.”

CHALLENGES:

Language. This wholly relies on the idea that the language used in the device will be understood by the user. There is no guarantee for this. Essentially I’ve chosen to overlook this challenge and suggest the use of English and hoping that remains a dominant language form into the future. Alternative suggestions on this are welcomed.

Degradation/Theft/Vandalism. There is a possibility these devices will be destroyed by nature, theft, or vandalism. There is no fail-safe against this except by making these devices as physically difficult to destroy as possible, and by proliferating them as far and wide as possible. Another safety would be to encase the electronics in such a way that they cannot be accessed without destroying them. Additionally the value of the contents should be kept as low as possible to discourage attempts.

IMPLEMENTATION:

POWER: Thermo-Electric (Peltier) tiles placed just below the surface of the stone, with one side attached to heat sinks or pipes that run deeper into the core of the stone. The thermal gradient will allow a small array of these tiles to generate enough power (3-5W) to run the electronics.

ELECTRONICS: A Raspberry Pi or similar low power, single board computer could serve as a reliable and inexpensive controller and memory storage. A piezo transducer and possibly a small amplifier will be attached to the audio. In addition, the Raspberry Pi can be used as a simple FM transmitter with no more than a wire as an antennae.

SOFTWARE: Any OS could used, Debian would be fine. A text-to-speech synthesizer program should be installed. Storing information in text format and synthesizing audio will allow vastly more information to be stored than if audio formats were used. RISC OS is another option for the OS and may have more desirable characteristics.

INFORMATION STORED: This requires some thought and I don’t think any one person should decide what information is critical enough to preserve. I’ll leave this open for discussion. I would suggest storing mainly information on science and nature.

So that’s my spiel… This concept is clearly in the ‘alpha’ development stage and I’m open and eager for discussion and suggestion on all points. I hope I’ve presented this in a way that it makes sense, if not, open to suggestions on how to do that better too.

May 032013
 
This is/was Dominar Rygel XVI
Rygelz
Dominar Rygel XVI has had a tumultuous development cycle. I purchased the basic platform and servos with the idea that I would create a semi-autonomous robot capable of SLAM and Face Recognition running Raspberry Pi and Arduino. Well that may still happen, but I ran into some limitations on the Raspberry that I can’t get past yet. Just to be clear- no complaints about the Pi, I just didn’t spec out my hardware well enough (or at all really) before I started piling tasks onto it.
There’s a good chance I’ll be harvesting some of Rygel’s current parts for another project soon so I wanted to get his pretty mug up online because why not.
PARTS:
(1) Arduino Duemelinova
(1) Raspberry Pi (Model B – 512Mb RAM – Raspian Distro)
(4) Parallax Continous Rotation Servos
(2) HCSR04 Ultrasonic Rangefinders (one pan/tilts with camera, one pointed at 45degrees down to detect changes in ground level.
(1) Gyro (not implemented yet, originally he had a 6DOF but I pulled that to use on Tweedle and ordered and 9DOF sensor for Rygel
(2) 9g Hobby Servos (pan/tilt camera)
(1) Webcam
(USB 4 port Hub, USB Battery pack, and a little speaker)
I got pretty far in understanding R.O.S. Groovy and even wrote a couple of message types and nodes and they worked. In the future I think R.O.S. will be a very powerful tool and I’m glad I got some exposure to it already. Just turned out the Pi didn’t have the juice to run R.O.S. with all the bells and whistles I wanted. Next time I’ll start with a more powerful processor.
Apr 102013
 

I would like to introduce:

Stanley Tweedle – Captain of the Lexx.
Formerly Security Guard Class 4 for His Divine Shadow, and Assistant Deputy Backup Courier for the Austral B Heretics.

2013-04-05_16-43-58_5892013-03-16_16-51-29_671

I have a new project that will have to borrow time from my robot stuff for a bit, so I wanted to go ahead and post what
I’ve done so far, mostly for my own reference when I go to pick this up again.

PARTS:
(1) Arduino Nano
(2) 9g Continuous Rotation Hobby Servo
(1) Ultrasonic Rangefinder
(1) 6DOF Acc/Gyro
(1) USB 5V Battery
(3) WS2811 LEDs
(1) Bluetooth chip

Tweedle is complete hardware wise, but I have a little more coding to do before I’m satisfied with his brains. I ran out
of space in the Nano for anything other than input/output so all the control is done from a remote PC via python over
bluetooth/serial. I also made a wiimote script to control him manually. His brains is just basic obstacle avoidance right
now, still trying to see how much nav/odom info I can derive from a 6DOF sensor. Dead reckoning would result in massive
error accumulation, so for right now it just tells him orientation.
Anyway I’m pretty happy with how he’s turned out so far and he’s been a lot of fun. I’m usually not concerned with
aesthetics of these kind of things but I think he’s kinda cute.

This probably won’t help anyone because if you’re deep enough in your a project to understand my code- you’re deep enough
to write it yourself probably faster than it would take to adapt mine to your project… but here is is anyway.

Tweedle Arduino Sketch
Python Ncurses Control Program
Python WiiMote Teleop Program (NOT WORKING)
DOWNLOAD

And here’s some more pics of the wiring…

z2013-09-14_11-34-50_778 z2013-09-14_11-35-19_156 z2013-09-14_11-35-28_663 z2013-09-14_11-36-24_726 z2013-09-14_11-36-40_360

 

Oct 292011
 

Here are pictures of some balsa planes I made with balsa planks (1″x12″) I got from a pallet of donated educational stuff. They were with the expendables marked for the mechanical demonstration ‘modules’ on the pallet. One of the modules probably cracked them under a given load. Now they are planes.

I still have a bunch of planks left too.

Hope you like. Thanks.

Thomas