After seeing an awesome Hack-a-Day “RickRolling” Free Wi-Fi access point based on a node MCU I wanted to see if I could do something similar on my tiny 51KB ESP-01 module. While annoying as all heck this “hack” is pretty clever and involves social engineering to rick-roll people. The users is lured in by free wifi that does not exist and then a message of the designers choice is displayed on their screen. The original can be found at Hack-a-day: ESP8266 Mobile Rick Roll Captive Portal – and like mine was based on the work of others. This was designed for a NodeMCU ESP with 4MB of flash – not the 512KB not found on the paltry ESP-01 – although the original “Captive Portal” did run on an ESP-01 it was much more limited in support. This project also gave me an excuse to try out the new PlatformIO IDE and dust-off my unused ESP-01 modules. Read more
I recently lost one of the caps for my nearly new water jug. A quick search showed me I could order a replacement cap (and spout) for $10! I would never pay that kind of money for a few cents worth of plastic. Instead of throwing away this really nice jugs I decided to design a replacement cap in Fusion 360 instead using the cap from my second can as a reference. The water can in question is this one which we purchased from Amazon: http://amzn.to/29JFeCw
A lot of the Sate and National park campgrounds we visit to do not have full-hookups or RV sites. To counter this I wanted to make our camper a little more capable of boondocking or dry camping. The first upgrade that one can do is install some solar panels to keep the lights on, heater running and the water pumping. So I set out and did some research as to what others had done and how they had done it. I settled on a Renogy 200W Monocrystalline Solar system to start with and can upgrade it trivially up to 400W with the addition of two more solar panels – which should still fit on my roof when done.
Having a dog often results in a torn screen on the screen door of our camper. So we looked around for different solutions to prevent this. We wanted something that looked good and still allowed airflow. We considered a sheet of Lexan, but this prevents airflow. After searching around we found several companies selling screens that can screw on the door to protect them like this Camco Screen Door Grille or this slightly less expensive Camco Aluminum Screen Door Grille. These solutions were expensive ($30-60) and really don’t look that great. We also considered taking a $10 piece of metal expanded sheet and making a frame for that to screw or mount onto the door. On our way to Home Depot to pick up the materials, we stopped at our local transfer station and found a damaged Safety 1st Bamboo Gate. It had a nice bamboo frame and a light plastic grate. It also happened to be the perfect size to fit on the door.
I recently purchased a 2015 Jayco Jayfeather X213 Camper. This trailer has the prefect sleeping configuration for our family with a King Size slide-out and 2 Bunks. This allows us to setup and not have to break-down the table or convert a sofa for sleeping quarters for our two children every night. The two bunks are nice but getting into them without assistance can be difficult for a child and downright impossible for an adult. To remedy this situation I looked into several commercially available ladder solutions such as the following:
But at nearly $60.00 and made of ugly metal that didn’t match the interior of the camper I passed. In addition this ladder was wider than it needed to be and needed to be fastened into one location. I found several other options while searching the internet but none fit the bill so I sketched out what I wanted on paper and came up with the following requirements: Read more
New 3D printed hiking pole end caps. Designed to fit into the repurposed golf clubs my wife used. Find it on Thingiverse.
I lieu of the nearly constant inexpliciple crashes I have been encountering with Slic3r I decided to try and get Cura working with my now (Ancient) Makerbot Thing-O-Matic running Sailfish. It wasn’t really terribly hard to get into Cura after the legwork with Slic3r was done. I just needed to slightly correct the Gcode coming out of cure before it was fed into the GPX post-processor to generate X3G for the printer.
My basic slicing profile can be found here: Cura Thing-O-Matic Profile
In addition to this profile I made a slight tweak to the previous post-processor script I had written for Slic3r. This removes the CURA_PROFILE_STRING from the end of the code since it causes a buffer overflow in gpx. In addition it maps over the bed temperature and tool temperature settings over to compatible settings for my Thing-O-Matic. Note: This is for running Cura/GPX on a Mac.
egrep -v "M127|M126|;CURA_PROFILE_STRING" "$1" | sed 's/M109 S/M104 T0 S/g' | sed 's/M190 /M109 /g' > "$1.tmp"
# rm $1
mv "$1" "$1.orig"
mv "$1.tmp" "$1"
It’s amazing this thing is still running strong after 5 years of abuse.
Aside from a mouse and keyboard or XBOX 360 console game this is the first Microsoft product I have purchased in around 6 years. I switched to Apple products after spending over $2500 on a high-end Intel Xeon powered quad core HP workstation which was running Windows Vista and having it burn up on me after two weeks of use. Not only that but the windows Vista transition from XP was painful and the constant dialogs that would pop up destroyed my workflow. Based on the learning curve alone and the quality of even high-end hardware I sent back the HP machine and purchased a Mac Pro Desktop instead. I have been an Apple fan ever sense.
Apple products usually “just work” out of the box. Sure there was an initial learning curve and there weren’t a ton of games. For some reason OS X is seen as as a second tier by game vendors still, mainly for how it chose to support graphics. This article isn’t about Apple products though it’s about the new Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and it’s only fair to let you know where I’m coming from. The Surface Pro 3 I am using was purchased from Costco as a package with the click keyboard and stylus. It’s a mid tier model with the following Specs:
- Core i5 4300U CPU
- Intel HD4400 Graphics
- 4 GB RAM
- 128 GB Internal Flash
- Click Keyboard
- Windows 8.1 Pro
- MicroSD, USB 3.0 and MicroDisplay ports
- Docking/Charging port
I have a Danby DKC14SLDB 5.2 cubic Foot Single Draught Kegerator I purchased several years ago. Several times a year I find myself with two pony kegs of homebrew I want on tap. Only having a single draught faucet was really cramping my style. I decided instead of purchasing a whole new tower with two faucets ($90) or an adapter ($70), which would have required the additional faucet anyhow, I would make it work on the cheap. I set out by purchasing the following items form Beveragefactory.com (note I have been home brewing for a long time and as such I have some old Coca-Cola pin-lock kegs that I normally use – please purchase whatever keg coupling is appropriate for your application): Read more