Category Archives: Steampunk

Not slacking

Ok, so I have been slacking.

I just noticed that I have not posted yet this year. I do have plenty of excuses that no one wants to hear about. So I won’t try to explain myself. Instead I will give a preview to some projects I am working on…

First is to complete my automated steampunk bar. Actually it is done and working, however I am not satisfied. The glass dispensing tubes are not straight nor are they long enough. During testing I found that the alcohol splashes a bit when dispensing. Picture standing verses sitting, I need to re-make the dispensing tubes so they are a bit closer to the bowl as it were. Otherwise I risk alcohol abuse. Well, alcohol abuse before I can abuse the alcohol.

My next project is to install backlighting in my upper kitchen cabinets. These cabinets are mostly for decoration as they are eight feet in the air and I am the only one I know who is tall enough to reach the doors. Anyway, I bought a strip of any colour LEDs that should do the trick. I built a controller that not only controls the colour but the brightness of the LED strip. It has a total of 60 LEDs on the strip, and I have six cabinets to light, so 10 LEDs each cabinet. This should be plenty to light things without being too obnoxious. The controller I built includes a X-bee radio so the system will be wireless. I found a nice way to control the lights from a matching X-bee radio using the spark fun Danger Shield. This should be a really cool way to control the lights because it has so many inputs that I can exploit for different settings. It has three sliders, one for each colour, a temperature sensor, light sensor, and a few buttons and a seven segment LED display. This should be plenty to give the lights a lot of options for when they are on and what colour and brightness they display.

Then my lovely wife would like some kind of kinetic sculpture for the living room. Something time based, like a clock, but not. Maybe with hour glasses or something, anyway it should move and make subtle noises. So I don’t have much to go on, but she trusts me. Or she is just trying to keep me busy. Not sure.

Oh, and I need to start working on something unique for Christmas next year. Our lighting display was really disappointing. There are lots of kids in the neighbourhood and I want to make sure that they are suitably entertained. Ideas are welcome.

I will try to be more prolific, once a month is just not frequent enough.


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