A while ago I made some Fairy Light Globes. 100mm Glass Christmas ornament globes with a Fairy LED Light String in them. I display them in groups of three in two places in the house. Recently I touched the power supplies – Wall Wart supplies producing 3.5 Volts – and noticed that one of them was warmer. Odd. All the light strings were bought at the same time. I got out my FLIR thermal camera and this is what I found.
One of the globes is hotter then the others. Using a KillaWatt measuring device, I found that the warm globe is drawing 3 watts, and other others don’t draw enough to move the value from zero. So this is what is making the power supply for that globe warmer. I have swapped the power supplies and the globe – Fairly Light String actually – is different, not the power supply. Odd. I have no idea why.
DesignSpark Mechanical is an Easy to Use CAD tool. I’ve done a few hours research over the past few days to figure out a quick to use FREE CAD tool that can be used to draw wood working projects and dimension them to produce drawings for building home projects.
As you may know from my site, I’m a long time user of 3D Art software including 3DSMax and Carrara. But these are expensive. Even Carrara costs more than $250.
I’ve looked at FreeCAD, Blender and a host of others. But the idea is to find something free that’s as easy to get going as possible and allows you to produce drawings with dimensions. There is no doubt that FreeCAD, and Blender can do this, but FreeCAD is quirky – at least for me – and Blender has a very high initial learning curve and no dimension tool built in. There may be plug-ins for that, but that is more learning curve.
I’m sick of not having lighting for my Alienware Area-51 and Alienware Aurora cases. They work part of the time but can’t be easily controlled. The lighting is Proprietary and out of date. Alienware and later DELL made no effort to support the lighting with Windows 10 or Linux. These are what the two cases look like with lighting on:
That is the Area 51 circa 2006 with blue lighting in the vents and Alien Heads on sides and front. The Front Alien head is the power button.
And that’s the Alien Aurora R2 in Blue and Red lighting. The Front Alien Head opens the access door for the media drives. The power button is a hidden button behind the head on the top of the case.
Nothing new I’m sure. But this is how I do it.
20 Oz of beans. And lose the packet of flavor. Rinse the beans and Soak the beans over night if you remember. Drain the beans.
I need a rack to dry and store brandy snifters. So I made one. The snifters are 3″ in diameter with a 2.5″ base. I didn’t see anything like this online.
The project uses light weight plywood and a 1″ dowel 5″ long. Here is the plan for the top and the base. The top and base are 6″ square. I used a forstner bit to drill the holes and a scroll saw to cut out the slots.
Walnut stain, Poly varnish, and felt feet on the bottom complete the project.
Dust Deputy Cyclone Separator
A while back I bought and hooked up a Dust Deputy to the shop vac that I have been using to clean my pellet stove. The Dust Deputy is an after market DIY cyclone separator. And for what you get it’s pretty pricey.
The kit I got comes with two 5 gallon buckets and a hose along with the separator. But it required some ABS pipe, glue and some work to get it hooked up to the shop vac that I’d been using. Turns out that hose diameters are no where near standard on these vacuums of course. But I’ve got it going and have not had to clean the vacuum filter in over a year. I have emptied the 5 gallon bucket once in that time. But Wait There’s More. A Better Solution has arrived.
Home Depot Dustopper
The Dustopper from Home Depot is a much better solution. And Cheaper.
The left picture shows the Home Depot picture for this use of this device. Clearly a mess since you are dragging two separate canisters around your shop or other area as you clean it. That’s gotta be a pain. On the right we see a fellow who has designed a simple modification for a Ridgid vacuum to hold the Dustopper together with the vacuum. Takes less floor space and moves as one unit.
Clearly this is what I should have done. And I may yet do this.
I still cannot understand why Ridgid or some other shop vacuum company, Dyson even, has not just made a vacuum with a cyclone separator built into it. Why these nonsense add-ons? Is Dyson holding a patent that keeps others from doing it, but is not doing it themselves? Dyson does not make a vacuum suitable for cleaning shop areas after all this time.
So, apparently, Dice Towers are a thing.
There are many Dice Tower design / construction videos on Youtube. Here are a couple of pictures from some I found. The problem with these designs is that they are made from foam. The one on the left is made with a foam core / glue gun construction with EPS foam blocks then cut and glued on. While the paint job is very cool, the light foam board construction is going to sound silly when you toss in the dice. The one on the right uses EPS foam blocks glued around a vase and a spiral ramp of foam core inside to bounce the dice around. Again, this one will just sound silly as it’s used.
I called Dyson recently to get some attachments for my Ancient DC 44 portable vacuum, and they offered me a special price on a Dyson V7. Now I get why. And I’m not unhappy, but also not surprised. The latest model is V10, so they want to dump those old V7’s they still have in the warehouse, apparently. My DC 44 is old enough that someday I’ll need a new battery and those are expensive, so I was hedging my bets by taking the V7 deal.
The V7 has some new attachments and a more convenient latch for them. Instead of having to use two hands, you can remove the attachments with one hand. How cool, and how obvious.
I got the V7 “Motorhead” which came with a wide floor motorized brush, straight extension, combo brush and crevice tool. In addition, a few days later a package arrived with the “Up Top” bending tool, the angle brush and the extension hose, probably due to having done automatic registration or something.
Anyway, the V7 is very cool. Easier to empty, with even more cyclone thingies and more powerful suction.
I have allergies, and Dyson’s allow me to clean the house without sneezing since nothing gets by those cyclones. I have an old pre-ball model for the floors and portables for dusting. No rags for me to dust. If you have allergies, you might like to try a Dyson.
I’ve been wanting a Thermal Camera for a while and finally got around to doing some research and the Flir C2 seemed to be a good one to start with. It has the option to take a normal light picture with the thermal image. Once charged up and with the settings changed for F rather than C, here are some pics to start with.
Should be an interesting tool.
Just switched to Spectrum 400mbps service. It’s great. 400 mbps down, 20 mbps up. And I hear a rumor that they are going to provide 1 Gbps service soon. My YouTube posts now complete in a reasonable time. Fibre comes to my street and the last 100 yards or so is coax. My service is about $70 / month for internet alone.
Check out your options here if Spectrum is in your area.
Not a paid endorsement, just a happy customer. The installation procedure is much more modern and up to date with Spectrum than with the local phone company, that is still operating with hand typed username / passwords to configure DSL modem. The Spectrum modem configure operation was a photo shot of the bar codes on the router into the installer’s mobile phone with their special app, and away we go in seconds. The local phone company has no plans for faster service, in spite of the fact that my house is only a little farther away from their fibre head end box.