I’m generally on the lookout stuff to break, modify, or otherwise use in my projects. I recently obtained a few hackable items that I thought were pretty cool for not much money ($3.00 + tax). As usual, many of them are from the dollar store like the components on the right. The USB LED light I’m not sure what I’ll do with it, but it looked cool. The earbuds could be used with my insulated headphones since I ripped out the original mono plug in my latest hornet altercation, and the CR2032 3 volt batteries could be used for more throwies (here’s my “ultimate throwie” design).
I was also given some other interesting components by a relative who knows that I like to build stuff around the house. These included a clock with a temperature and humidity gague, a package of solar LED “path lights,” (similar to these lights from Amazon) and some assorted cables. These lights are generally used to light a driveway or other path around the house, but I immediately though of using them for “solar throwies” or something similar. I’ll do a post on the results of my experiments a bit later. For now, there are some pictures of my latest haul after the “read more” thing. Read more »
Is it cold out? Has your Heat Pump heating coil decided to break? If you have a Nalgene bottle (or just have one shipped overnight from Amazon), a sock, and a microwave or other method of heating water you’re in luck!*
*Ok, you’re not exactly “in luck,” but this might help you keep a little warmer at night. That picture should give you the general gist, but read on for some more pictures and explanation! Read more »
Well there’s 50 bucks down the drain…
After crashing my Hubsan X4 quadcopter probably close to 50 times, one of the motor pods finally decided to snap off. I was disappointed at first, but then realized that it could possibly be fixed. That, and I could write a post about it.
To repair things, I first used some Gorilla Glue (Amazon) and a cheap clamp that I bought a while ago to secure things while it was drying.
The wiring was hanging outside of the plastic piece, so I stuffed it back into it’s indention beside the structural socket part on the bottom of the arm as best I could. A tiny flathead screwdriver can help with this. You may also have to stuff the wiring back in at the bottom of the pod if it’s been pulled out. Once this is done, you can align the socket and snap the leg back into place.
As an aside, if you think this quadrotor breaks easily, here’s a guy crashing his Hubsan X4 (Available from Amazon). It takes this minor abuse quite easily, but I’ve crashed it much harder, so eventually it does break. I don’t think a large ‘copter would survive nearly as much abuse.
Once the arm is set into place, I applied some Gorilla Glue where the fracture actually happened. This method worked OK, and survived a crash or two, but after some thought I finally came up with an attachment method that held up quite well: Read more »
Some people decide to build their own quadcopters. Although I think this is a noble pursuit, this seems like something that might be above my abilities/time availability currently. After being persuaded that a larger drone for around $500 might be something I needed to “think about,” I was introduced to a smaller version, The New Hubsan X4, which currently sells for $51 on Amazon.
My New Hubsan X4 – note the included spare blades.
After trying it out, this is definitely one of the coolest things I’ve purchased in the last few years. I have briefly experimented with more traditional remote control helicopters with very limited success, but this quadrotor is much easier to fly. Plus, it’s very small, easily able to fit in your hand, so it can be flown indoors. Here’s a flight video of the Hubsan (not mine). Note that a keychain camera like this one is attached for some of the shots. I’m surprised that part turned out as well as it did.
It is relatively simple to fly, but Read more »
First of all, my apologies for not posting as frequently as I should lately. I got an email the other day saying that this site would be featured as EEWeb’s site of the day. I really haven’t browsed their site too much, but it’s nice of them to think of me, especially since I’m not an electrical engineer by training. So thanks EEWeb!
It’s been a really cool adventure blogging about all of my projects. I really appreciate all those that take time out of their day to read about whatever craziness I’ve been working on. Even crazier is that it’s led to some other cool writing gigs, which you can read about in the… about section.
I’ve got a few posts that I’ve been working on/thinking about doing here. However, if you’d like to see some more of my writing, be sure to check out my other site, DIYTripods.com. It’s similar to this, but focused on DIY photography stuff.