The Ultimate Altimeter

Last day of Butthouse!

OK. I signed up for an online Secret Santa thing with redditgifts, and my giftee was into RC planes and such. I made this Altimeter for him, and published how I made it. Check out the Instructable: http://tinyurl.com/UAInstructable

Also, you can vote for my post (top right corner of the post) if you think it is worthy. If I win we get free stuff!

Bye.

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3D Printed Gear Cubes Flashback/Update

Remember when I posted this?

Photo Sep 26, 6 32 35 PMA gear-y cube (it doesn’t turn yet, but it will!)

I just returned to a similar design and decided to print that! The designer of this made a new version in which the pins are better designed for many different printers so they work better for everyone. Here is a video of the new and improved version:

Open Source: Sketchy but Awesome

First some definitions:

sketchy, adj., not thorough or detailed.

Most people take sketchy to describe, for example, a bad neighborhood — dark, shady, dangerous, etc. When I use the word “sketchy” I use it as its literal meaning: not thorough or detailed; unpolished; rough, etc. For example, this is sketchy:

The iPhone -5(A very early iPhone prototype)

This is not:

 

The iPhone 5(The iPhone 5)

So, speaking of phones, I made my own cell phone! Here is a picture:

cf81f411-3b07-4558-8e32-ccae7e0f7c77(It doesn’t have a case yet, but it’s coming!)

I saw this project in an issue of MAKE Magazine, and decided to do it. I needed a cheap, basic phone anyway for my visits to NYC. With the help of this guide, and a forum that goes along with it, I now have a fully functioning cell phone (it can do texts and calls, and store contacts–that’s about it).

It is ALL open source as well, so I can go into the code of the phone, and tweak anything I want. I’ve already added some new features such as a brightness indicator, and I’ve started on being able to save and view old text messages. While building it I learned that it is possible to solder surface mount components by hand (they are usually done with a machine and a large oven all at once). I had some challenges with soldering the speaker though, since it is a fragile part, and it was awkward to solder.

This phone is SUPER sketchy. It looks very home made at the moment, with all its parts out in the open, and it is not as reliable as a cell phone you could buy. In spite of this, it is still awesome. I can modify anything about the phone that bugs me and customize it to my liking!

The magpi is here!

Hello people!

The magpi is here! The Micro Arduino Gaming Platform Interface (magpi) has been released to Instructables, and the rest of the internet! My dad and I have been working on it for a while now – coding games, printing cases, designing hardware, etc. – and we wanted to get it out there!

You can see the instructable here: http://tinyurl.com/lu65w3r

If you’d like to take the time, you can vote for us in the Arduino contest (“Vote” button in the upper right hand corner). You will have to make an account. If we win we get free stuff!

Thanks!

On the Internet, No One Knows You’re a Teenager

The internet is a very powerful tool. Weighing in at around as much as a large strawberry (seriously) this mind-bogglingly giant “network of networks” is a hugely important part of many people’s lives, and can be a great tool for good. People can dislike it for its creepy, strange, and NSFW content, but this is only one of the internet’s many glittering facets. The internet provides a global means of communication and can be used for amazing things.

Recently, I joined Reddit (watch this if you don’t know what Reddit is), and that gave me a very wide and thorough view of the way people and the internet work, and how it can be used to make the world a better place. Since then, I’ve been helping other people who don’t have 3D printers make use of 3D printing technology by printing things for people. This also lets me use the money from this to keep the 3D printer running and supplied with filament.

I found that while doing this and other things on the internet, I become a slightly different person. When I am allowed to intentionally select what I am a part of, and I have time to edit what I say and do (because it’s mostly in text) I am able to choose what people see of me. This has advantages and disadvantages. People that I interact with solely online will never know who I am in full, but they will also see a side of me that is more informative and polite than I could ever be in the flesh, simply because I have more time to think online. This brings us to the title of this post. Just like in the famous cartoon (except I’m not a dog), on the internet, no one knows you’re a teenager. The people I am 3D printing things for have no idea who I am. I have been told I write well for my age, and I would not be surprised if they thought I was an adult. And for all I know, I am taking 3D printing requests from extremely literate pandas with Reddit accounts. On the internet, no one knows that I am 15, and it doesn’t really matter. People think I am an adult, I act like an adult. I can’t see any disappointments there.

A Look Into my Week

This will be a look into my week. There will be names of some of my Kanban Board sticky notes and short explanations as to what they were and what I did. I will be doing this sometimes when there is no other big event to write a large post about.

Scale of the Universe

Looked at Scale of the Universe for about 30 min. It was very enlightening. Especially the part about the sun (haha).

Scale of the Universe is a website that ingeniously represents the biggest and smallest things in the universe. I highly recommend you take a peek at that.

Quadcopter Aerial Videos

Went outside to film houses around the land with quadcopter. At some point I will make a video of  “QIVC from the air.”

Stream Trips

Went to stream with Eric Bear and others. Found Glass Bottles and Watercress. Tightrope-walked across stream on small bent over sapling. Fell into stream. Twice. Made prototype catapult out of bent over sapling. Found old boot. It was awesome to find old stuff and to be outside for a chunk of time.

Stranger in a Strange Land Paper

Wrote paper for Lit. Class about Stranger in a Strange Land and what people think of it based on reviews. It was strange to talk about a book that many people really love, and many people really hate, and try to view it from both sides.

Cool Tools

Looked at some cool tools on the Cool Tools blog.

Cool Tools is a blog where community members post about and recommend their favorite tools. It contains posts about awesome products such as this Wireless Rechargeable Touchpad and this Lithium-Ion Mini ScrewdriverIt is extremely cool!

Fix 3D Printer

Replaced broken motor on the 3D Printer. Took Printer apart, untangled wires, unplugged old motor, plugged in new motor, re-tangled wires, put printer back together. Frustrating but a relief to have a working printer!

Space Invaders on the Ceiling, and the Rise of Arcade Games

As soon as Geva, Timo, and Douglas came to Cloudhouse from MFS for a week, the spirit of making cool stuff was activated and a flurry of creation begun. The place was buzzing with activity and that made it seem so alive and happy that it got everyone making. Douglas started on his elaborate Rube Goldberg Machine, Timo coded games in BASIC, and Geva and I poured our  hours into an almost-bottomless pit of a project. We intended to cover the ceiling in a grid of RGB LEDs (LEDs that can light up almost any color).

3 days, 240 soldering joints, 320 wires stripped, 40 wires cut, 170 staples, 2 trips to the hardware store, 1 taken-apart PC, and 282 lines of code later, we had this:

This is a game of Space Invaders, played on a 4×10 pixel, 8×24 foot, full color screen, on the ceiling. More programs are to come, in the making is one that fades between different colors and shades, creating an ambient glow in the whole space.

Another interesting thing about the screen is how each pixel is really 3 LEDs in a row, so that the pixel your ship is in is actually 2 different colors.

On the topic of old video games, I recently enlisted Geva’s help to get MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator) running on my computer, started dabbling in some classic games that my dad played when he was a kid like Marble Madness and Qix. Here’s a video of me playing Defender:

Post Script: I will now be posting a post every Thursday, starting after Christmas Break (I hope).