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  #1001  
Old 04-11-2022, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

I took a break from Sudoffle programming to design, 3D-print, and code this little two-servo clock.



It uses two cheap servos to drive the hands, and a cheap ESP8266 board to connect to WiFi and get the correct local time from an internet time server.

Total parts cost less than ten dollars.

Of course, I don't need yet another clock, but it was interesting designing it.
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File Type: png slicerScreen.png (268.3 KB, 2 views)
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  #1002  
Old 01-14-2023, 08:17 PM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

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  #1003  
Old 01-15-2023, 07:13 AM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

The public demands to know why the first ball bearing needed to be separated. Is this some kind of monarchy, 1%, capitalist situation? Or is the isolated ball bearing being othered, marginalised, sent to punishment camp?
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  #1004  
Old 01-15-2023, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

It's for a clock that measures the passage of time by 'counting' balls, and displays the time by the position of the balls.

There's a rollercoaster type track, with an elevator mechanism that delivers one ball to the top of the track each minute. The balls roll around the track and accumulate at various resting places. When a certain number of balls accumulate at one place, there is an 'avalanche' and all those balls are released.

It would be possible to have an accumulation of up to sixty balls to count the minutes, then, when the avalanche occurs, by separating one ball from the train of sixty, there's a branch line from the main track that only receives one ball per hour.

My design doesn't do that 'divide by sixty' thing. Rather the first avalanche station divides by five, the second one by three, and the last one by four. This gives avalanche cycles every five minutes, quarter of an hour, and hour respectively. You can see how this corresponds to a normal clock face, where the numbers one to twelve are spaced at five-minute intervals for the minute hand.

I can also have the rolling balls hit little 'bells' as they roll past, resulting in hourly, and quarter, chimes.
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  #1005  
Old 01-15-2023, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

I'm assuming there will be a live stream / slow TV event when it's finished, just showing the current time?
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  #1006  
Old 01-15-2023, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

:deeznuts:
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  #1007  
Old 01-16-2023, 11:37 AM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

I don't know what voice you had in my head but it wasn't that one. Cool invention!
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  #1008  
Old 01-18-2023, 12:03 AM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

Who knew Sir Michael Caine CBE was a member?
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  #1009  
Old 01-18-2023, 12:17 AM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

Odd, that was p. much exactly the voice I had in me own 'ead.
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  #1010  
Old 01-19-2023, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

I've been doodling this somewhat complex 'waterwheel' for the balls. The idea is that the balls enter on the little side-arm track (foreground of the image) and then roll down the spokes towards the centre of the wheel. Once five balls are present, an overbalancing mechanism (not shown here for simplicity) causes the wheel to rotate anticlockwise, one twelfth of a turn, and the balls roll back off towards the left.

By altering the position of every third stop (near the hub) then there's not enough room for all five balls to fit on the 'spokes' and the fifth ball is trapped on the entry platform. As the four balls roll off, they push the fifth ball back out the way it came in (but lower).

It's something of a cheat, but saves a whole wheel - this way I only need the minute hand wheel and the hour hand wheel, plus the external roller coaster track and the elevator mechanism.

I think I'll build this one first, and then maybe make a three-wheel ball clock to follow (unless I become bored with ball clocks).

Not shown here are the numeral ring and other niceties.
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  #1011  
Old 01-30-2023, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

I'm still working on the ball clock, but I took a short break to make an external battery backplate adapter for my LEGO Mindstorms NXT set.

This is the brick "brain" of the Mindstorms NXT



Here's a view on the back



As standard, it's powered by 6 AA batteries



But it eats the batteries very quickly, and even using rechargeable AA cells is a hassle because you have to take them out to recharge them, and when the brick is built into your robot, that's a hassle.

I designed this



Here it is printed, with some bits of tinplate for the battery contacts in place, and some wires to an external battery connector



Here's how it fits





I tested it out on the Mindcuber (not my design) which solves Rubik cubes.



I should upload a video of the Mindcuber in operation? :chin:
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  #1012  
Old 01-30-2023, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

YES :eager:
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  #1013  
Old 01-30-2023, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest


You can find the design and code online. Just search for Mindcuber. It's available for all the generations of the LEGO Mindstorms kits. Mine is one of the older NXT kits. The designs for the newer kits solve the cube faster - because those kits have more processing power in the "Brain", and some have the option of controlling an extra servo motor.
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  #1014  
Old 01-31-2023, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

:appl:
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  #1015  
Old 01-31-2023, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

I assume it will just error out, but I do wonder what will happen if its given a cube with switched stickers so that its in an unsolvable configuration, or with two central colors the same?
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  #1016  
Old 02-01-2023, 12:26 AM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

Some people just want to watch the world burn.
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  #1017  
Old 02-01-2023, 06:31 AM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

:shiftier:
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  #1018  
Old 02-01-2023, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari View Post
I assume it will just error out, but I do wonder what will happen if it’s given a cube with switched stickers so that it’s in an unsolvable configuration, or with two central colors the same?
It just stops and says 'cube error' on the display. :(

Here's the video (not mine) showing cube solving robots built from three different generations of the LEGO Mindstormer kit.


http://mindcuber.com/

I've modified mine since filming my video, to solve more reliably. Main problem was a loose fit of the cube in the turntable. Awkward to make it fit better because moving the rails in by one 'LEGO hole' made it too small. I solved that problem by using a diagonal construction to hold the corner posts. With a regular construction the diagonal must be sqrt(2)*side length, so 1.414 * some number of holes, but with a diagonal construction it's a whole number of holes. Lego Technic parts are not really designed for diagonals - especially when the floor of the turntable needs to be smooth to allow the cube to turn over smoothly, without catching. After building four prototypes, I figured out a way to do it. I could just 3D-print an optimal turntable - but that would be cheating! The robot *MUST* be made only from standard LEGO Technic parts. :yup:
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  #1019  
Old 02-06-2023, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

My weekend project: I made a sketch in Processing to model the 60 possible orientations of my 12-sided rubik's cube.

Will this be useful to me in some way? Who knows!
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  #1020  
Old 02-06-2023, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

I've been investigating the Bluetooth functions of my old LEGO Mindstorms NXT brick. I've written some Python code on a PC that allows me to control the Lego motors using the NXT as a slave, with the Python making all the decisions.

Now, I want to try controlling it using an ESP32 Cam. This is a small, very cheap, microcontroller with a built-in camera - and it also has WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. If I can get it to work, I can use its camera to capture the state of a Rubik cube, the ESP32 should be able to solve the cube in less than a second, using Kociemba's two phase algorithm, and then it can send the solution (typically only 18 face twists) to the slave NXT to actually make the moves. Because the NXT won't need to scan the cube itself, it frees up a motor, allowing the robot to have a better cube-gripping and turning mechanism.

Lots of ifs remain. It may turn out to be too difficult a project for me.
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  #1021  
Old 03-23-2023, 04:05 AM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

bey bullied me into posting these, even though I made them several weeks ago.

Remember many years ago when I wanted to learn how to crochet, and so I did, and I made a granny square, and then I decided I wasn't really that into it? Well a couple weeks ago I was like "I want to learn to knit." But of course I thought, do I really want to go down this road again? Isn't knitting supposed to be even harder than crochet?

Well, it's not! Not if you know how to count, anyway. \_(ツ)_/ I like this way more. It's super fun. These three "dishcloths" are the first things I ever knitted.

I did the white one first. It's just row after row of basic stitches, to get the hang of it. Next I made the pink one, which is a like a sampler, I guess. Just trying different things and seeing what happens. Finally, once I had a basic idea of a design and how to implement it, I made the blue one.

Now I'm all out of the good cotton yarn, so I've been playing and practicing with this skinny acrylic shit, which is fine for practicing, but I haven't made anything worth keeping. I need to order some more good yarn, now that I believe this is a hobby worth keeping at.
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  #1022  
Old 04-30-2023, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: The Make Something Every Week Contest

The ukulele isn't something I made. The stand is. I was using an electric guitar stand for it, but the ukulele was too deep to fit in it properly. I decided to make a stand for it.

I looked up a few DIY projects and played around with a shape I thought would work. It's basically two "J" shaped pieces of wood with notches cut out so I can join them together at right angles. We have some plywood left over from one of Mrs. Reason's previous projects, and it was fine for experimentation.

Shown is the 2nd attempt. The first attempt, I made the notches too narrow and the plywood broke when I tried to slide them together. On this attempt, I made them too wide and it wouldn't stay at right angles. I clamped it to make it as narrow as possible and liberally applied wood glue. I wound up with something "good enough" so I sanded and stained it to make it look a bit better. This morning with the stain dry, I put some felt on the places where the ukulele will rest.

IMG_2047.jpeg

Lessons learned:
- I learned that plywood is not the right material for this. With a small amount of pressure, the plywood easily cracked. A ukulele is really light, so I'm not worried at all about how sound this is, still, if I decide to make more final version, I'll use solid wood.

- The 2nd attempt, I made the whole stand deeper than I thought was aesthetic to help prevent the cracking I experienced, but it probably wasn't necessary if I just cut the notches better.

- I shouldn't have just done the notch measurements "by eye". I made the notches by clamping the 2 halves together and drilling a hole in the center of both with a bit as thick as the plywood, then I just cut straight out from the hole with the jigsaw.

- Using a jigsaw was faster, but I'd probably be a bit more precise using hand tools. I could also have been much more careful with the jigsaw, but I was only going for good enough.

- The notch needed to be a bit lower. It would look more splayed out if I hadn't glued it at a more acute angle.
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