Once again I've needed to quickly produce some labels for a small prototype run, and once again I've turned to off-the-shelf labels from the Avery brand. Just as I did the last time, I've made a template for Adobe Illustrator so that using these label sheets might be easier. If this is what you're looking for, please download the file below.
Welcome! I am an engineer, programmer, designer, and all-around geek. You may be interested in some of my electrical and mechanical projects. Take everything you read here with a grain of salt and remember to wear your safety glasses.
It's already a good year for the small R&D team I work with: we've been lucky enough to get a laser cutter to experiment with! Ours is the 40W “fifth-generation” model from Full Spectrum Laser; it can cut up to 1/4 inch wood or plastic and can engrave anodized aluminum. It also features some slick software that acts as an ordinary Windows printer driver so that you can print directly from the software of your choice (for me in this context, usually Adobe Illustrator).
Like a lot of digital fabrication machines in the hobbyist end of the market, however, this device requires some setup to get it running. You'll want to mount the laser on a worktable or mobile cart big enough to support it and all the associated infrastructure. We equipped ours with a power strip for all the associated peripherals as well. On the left side of the photo is a small air compressor, supplied with our laser, that provides high-pressure air to the cutting head for purposes of blowing away anything that might otherwise adhere to the optics. This might also be useful in blowing out flames that may occur, which is definitely something to keep an eye on when laser cutting.
The rumors circulating among my friends and family are true: I have laid down arms and ceased resistance to Facebook. On January 29, 2014, I became a node in the Social Network. Like so many before me, I like to think that I'll profit from this alliance more than will the network itself. Time will tell!
Instead of making New Year's resolutions, I've written up some quantifiable goals for 2014 as a motivational tool; this is an idea that came to me via Brian Brushwood (although probably he didn't originate it himself). I did this last year as well, but in 2014 I'm publishing them openly here, hoping to use social pressure to exert some extra leverage against indolence and inertia.
Here's the list:
- Complete one 5k footrace
- Earn Fechter rank in HEMA
- Do 10 pullups in a set (I can do about 3 at present)
- Do 100 pushups in a set (I tested at 21 at the beginning of January)
- Do 200 situps in a set (right now I'm at 50–60)
- Add five new videos to Youtube
- Launch three new web projects
- Add five significant projects to my personal site
- Add eight artworks to my personal site
- Post 24 new blog entries
- Launch my crowd-funded project (of which more anon)
I'll be updating this with additional blog posts quarterly, to keep myself on track.
Lately I've been elbows-deep in some broken Playstation 3's and found myself wanting to test their cooling fans. These have a three-wire header with leads colored brown, black, and gray; you may be tempted to conclude that this is a brushed DC fan with a tachometer lead, but you'd be wrong. These are brushless fans, and the third wire is a PWM signal that you supply to control the speed of the fan. The two PS3s (both “fat” style) I've opened recently have compatible fans from separate manufacturers; one is a Nidec G14T12BS2AF-56J14 and the other is a Delta Electronics KFB-1412H.
It's not trivially easy to find datasheets for these fans, but no matter. If you just want to test them or need a good centrifugal blower for one of your own projects, do the following:
- Apply 12 volts across the brown and black leads; +12 V on brown with return on black. The fan will probably jump a little but it won't start spinning.
- Drive the gray lead with a TTL-level pulse train at 25 kHz from a signal generator or 555 timer circuit or microcontroller or whatever.
- Control the duty cycle of this pulse train to adjust the speed.