JCOPRO.NET 2011 Blogging Year in Review – Part 2: Top 6 Posts of the Year

I certainly have my favorite articles or subjects, but here’s the top 6 articles from 2011 (and what little I did in 2010) ranked according to traffic:

#6 – How to set up Your CNC Router…: I decided to make this a “top 6 list” because, although this one didn’t quite make the “top 5”, building and learning to work with this CNC router was probably the biggest project that I did this year.  You can find all of the articles relating to my router in the CNC section of jcopro.net.

#5 – Draftsight Review – Like AutoCAD, but Free!: I really wouldn’t have thought this would make a list of top posts for the year, but for some reason this review comes up relatively high on search results.  For those of you that don’t know, Draftsight is a free version of AutoCAD that actually works pretty well!  Give it a try, especially if you have some .dxf or .dwg files that you need to view or work with.

#4 – A Radial Engine Model Made By Accident: After generating some gears with my CNC router. I decided that I would make a device to allow a square block roll around on it’s own using four pushers.  As it turns out, the little air freshener motor that I decided to use didn’t have enough torque to pull this off, even with some gear reduction.  After realizing that it wasn’t nearly there, I decided to “rebrand” it as a “Radial Engine model.”  Actual radial engines almost alwayshave an odd number or cylinders, but apparently it is still entertaining.  I recently made another version using motor that was already gear reduced.  It works much more consistently, but doesn’t have sweet gears.

#3 – The Creepy Glowing RC Box or “Boxie the Creepster”: What do you get when you combine a stripped-down remote control helicopter with a wooden box, LEDs, and a few Ping-pong balls?  The answer in this case is Boxie the creepster.  It could be described as an animatronic box with eyes that go back and forth and light up.  This is a great one to check out as it has a neat video in the beginning.  This project evolved over time, so check out the whole project here.

#2 – Trigger Your Camera Using Automatic Air Freshener Parts: Having been fascinated with time-lapse photography for quite some time and recently finding out how great air fresheners are as cheap actuators, the only logical conclusion was to combine the two.  I never really got around to combining it with an Arduino or other microcontroller to vary the timing, but it seems like it could be done.  I was surprised (and pleased) as some of the unexpected links I got back to this, such as a mushroom-growing forum.


#1 – The Miniature Bolt-Action Pneumatic Spud Gun: Yes, this is exactly as it sounds.  I did do a pretty good write up of this project, and followed it up with an explanation of how the pneumatics work in order to allow it to fire 5 shots per air fill.

One of my favorite projects that didn’t get as much traffic was my “Pegleg Hexapod” robot.  This was one of the earlier projects posted before I was getting much traffic, and was probably the first thing I ever built worth posting about.  The first version was made over Christmas break in college.  Pegleg is probably the most well-built of my contraptions in it’s final state since I machined most of it out of polycarbonate.  Also, with it’s high-torque servo in the middle, it was capable of walking with around 10 lbs of extra weight on it.  Here’s a video in case you missed it:

That’s it for 2011.  Be sure to subscribe to the jcopro.net RSS feed so you don’t miss anything in 2012!

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