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hobbies

  • Capacitive Desk Top

    Capacitive Desk Top

      In the not-too-distant-past, I modified my desk top into an infinity mirror.  The top glass over laps the ends of the lit area.  I don't want to waste the space so I had the idea of adding some backlit capacitive buttons.  The buttons will control some low-level items like a desk lamp, soldering exhaust fan, and my Infinity Mirror Desk. 

      Here's a list of materials I used:

    # Part Company Link Quantity Notes
    1 EL Panel Sparkfun Sparkfun Page 2 Panel is 5"x5" Cut Down
    2 Capacitive Controller MPR121 Larry the Bird @twitter
  • Custom Computer Desk

     I have way too many projects in progress, but let's start another one anyway!  Here is my custom desk with an integrated computer.  Basically, my desk will be a large computer case! 

     

    I'm sure most people may know what I'm trying to build here. It's a custom desk (top) with all the components mounted to the desk. Basically, it's a computer but without the metal box sitting next to your desk. I have looked at hundreds of cases, thinking to myself, "none of these make me smile." I happened to run across one of these custom desks while on a late night surfing session. Needless to say, they were in the thousands of dollars. Nope. I can build one! So I did some research of the prerequisites one needs to have his own. Not much actually, I'm no artist, so I needed to find a way to see it. Used Solidworks and built the custom top to help me "see" it. Check out the 3d viewer.

     

     

     

  • Other Hobbies

    Just some more of RR's hobbies.

  • PCB Etching

     Ever get tired of waiting a few weeks for a simple circuit?  Well, there are ways to get a PCB sooner, like etching your own that can be used in a couple of hours.  You can use perf boards, but I find it an annoying and tedious.  So, let's see if we can make some PCBs.

  • Slot Cars

    Slot Cars

      Most people have never heard of slot cars.  Especially on the 1/24th scale or the 1/32nd scale.  These are just a larger version of a pretty common electronic toy like the image on the right.  I got into the hobby around 1992 when my middle school shop class was, slot cars.  Noteably the larger 1/32 and 1/24 scale.  I fell in love and I'm still racing with my own children.

      I won't bore you with the history or how these work, so if you want to know more, visit the Wiki page.

      Here are some of my current cars.  These are 1/24 scale with winged bodies.  These cars absolutely fly.  They only weigh a few grams and have insane motors in them.  They literally scream around around a slotted track.  I know most people would be thinking, "whaa, they go around a track in slots.  what is so fun about that?"  Trust me, go to a local slot car track and rent a car for 15 min.  It's dirt cheap.  You will be hooked.  People around the world spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars in this hobby.  I have 2 boys and they LOVE it!  More on this topic later..

      So here are some pics of my cars.  I do have several hundred bucks in my collection but, I didn't spend that much all at once.

      Over time, I will post more pics and details of this forgotten hobby.  So come back!

  • Star Trek Enterprise-D Custom Model

      As some of my readers will have gathered, I am a Star Trek fanboy, especially the TNG series This was the first Star Trek show that I watched as a child.  Since then, I've been fascinated by the Enterprise D and her technology.  Now that I am a grown man, I can indulge myself.  About 8 or 9 years ago, I bought and built a custom model kit of the Enterprise D, the 1/1400 scale AMT.  I built it with custom fiber optic lighting for the windows and LEDs for the Nacelles, Impulse Engines, and the navigation lights.  Unfortunately, that model was destroyed during a move and didn't take many pics or document the build process.  I will admit that this model wasn't painted or had decals since I didn't have any experience. 

      Since then, I have wanted to build another one, but with more detail and screen accurate.  Of course I wanted to design and install custom lighting and a few more features that popped in my head.  But this time, I will document the build and share it so maybe someone would use my build as motivation and create their own ideas.