Category: Projects

Electrodragon ESP8266 (Wi07C) Module Notes

I recently ordered up a few of those super-cheap ESP8266 wifi modules.  These have an 80211 b/g/n Wifi with WPA/WPA2 support, are super small and have a fairly powerful CPU on board (more powerful than that Arduino I am hooking it up to).  I ordered my modules from Electrodragon and they came super-fast (and even shipped from state-side).  For ~ $25.00 I got 4 pieces shipped to my door.  In hindsight I should have ordered a couple of the modules with all the GPIO pins exposed.  The first order of business is interfacing.  These modules utilize a 3.3V power supply and IOs.  I utilized my $17.00 Arduino Mega with 3.3v selector to be voltage compatible instead of setting up voltage dividers.

There are 5 critical pins needed to get this working:

  • GND – Connect to Arduino GND
  • VCC – Connect to Arduino 3.3V VDD
  • UTXD – Connect to Arduino Mega RX1
  • URXD – Connect to Arduino Mega TX1
  • CH_PD – Connect to Arduino 3.3V VDD

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Cheap and Easy DIY Router Table

I found my self in need of a small router table to clean up edges of some small parts.  I have a pretty nice Porter Cable 890 Series router and adjustable base already and wanted to be able to make use of it for these smaller parts.  How hard could it be to build a router table?  I didn’t want to spend upwards of $100 for a piece of junk and it turns out a decent table can be built for far less. I think the total bill of materials came out to be around $20.00 including hardware.  I also wanted something that would take little or no room to store.

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Old Project: Chicken Coop Automated Door

Sometime around May 2004 we decided we were going to get chickens.  We decided to build out own coop.  I researched several designs online but wanted something that wouldn’t stick out and would blend in with the existing shed it was going to be placed near.  I made some measurements of where it would be placed and got to work sketching out what I wanted for a coop.  I refined the design and came up with how it would be framed on paper.

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Truck Canoe & Kayak Carrier

Faced with the challenge of carrying a a 16′ Old Town canoe, a kayak and all the gear and accessories and camping supplies in the 5 and a half foot bed of my F-150 SuperCrew I set out looking for options. First and foremost how to transport the canoe without being a hazard on the road to myself or anyone else. The prerequisites were as follows:

1) Should allow safe operation of the vehicle
2) No drilling or permanent modifications to the truck and should not interfere with or require the removal of the toneau cover I have installed
3) Must be easy to remove and install
4) Loading the canoe must not be difficult
5) Should hold at least one canoe – two would be better
6) Should look halfway decent
7) And the ever present engineering requirement of cost

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Project – Electric Spinning Wheel

I designed and built this electric spinning wheel for my wife earlier in the year.  The spinner was mocked up in OpenScad (See e-spinner.scad for the cad design and assembly).  This was built out of Maple, Aluminum tube, Nylon bushings and tube and some miscellaneous hardware. The e-spinner is powered by a Singer Style sewing machine motor hooked up to a foot pedal and lamp dimmer for speed control. The aluminum and nylon tube was cut on my Atlas 10″ lathe. The bobbin ends were cut on my Shapeoko CNC Router.

You can see the spinner in action here with my wife spinning imported wool she carded herself:

Bill of Materials (all wood is maple or other suitable hard wood):

  • 1″x3″x7″ (x2) wood for supports
  • 1 Nylon Bushing (1″ O.D. 3/4″ I.D. 3/4″ thick
  • 3/8″ x 8″ (x2) Dowel
  • 1″x1″x6″ wood for flyer arm
  • 1″x3″x9 3/8″ (x2) wood for frame
  • Nylon Tube (1/2″ I.D. 3/4″ O.D.) 6″
  • Aluminium Tube (1/2″ O.D. 1/16″ Thick Wall)
  • 1/4″ x 3″ x 3″ wood for bobbin ends
  • Wood Glue
  • 1 1/2″ Brass wood screws for assembly (x6)
  • Singer Style sewing machine motor
  • Silicone Hair Ties (for belts)