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Update: Myron Lo

Today I got in touch with Myron Lo, the person involved in building the DIY flip display I wrote about previously, and they are apparently building this as part of a performance with the intention to share the designs later, there is more information on their Indiegogo page where they are seeking $10,000 to put their performance together.

The Indiegogo campaign has some great rewards, I've backed and hope you will also. Keen to see how they solved some of the problems, Myron said they'd read a lot on my website but hadn't had the time to contact me yet.

Very excited, and super keen to start working on this PCB that will have the RS-485 converter, the Arduino board and the stepper driver and sensor sockets on it, this will be the motherboard of each unit and allow them to be daisy chained without the hassle that Myron has had with I2C wires everywhere.

DIY Split-flap project

An Electrical Engineer by the name of Myron Lo has recently been working on a very similar project to myself, to manufacture his own flip display project. He is driving Adafruit motor shield using I2C from an Arduino Due rather than using a small MCU on each module, and has successfully manufactured a number of these units. So far he has made 16 and aims to make 64...

Early prototypes:

5 units:

8 units:

16 units:

I feel rather like I have been beaten to it, but I am aiming to spend some time on it very soon!

Qantas Solari Board

I was sent this and some from a kind gentleman working at Qantas in Sydny who saw my blogging and thought I might find this interesting, he has been working to repair it.

Mouse on glass – Hack

photo 1

It's been a long standing issue for me, trying to use an optical mouse on a glass desk, I have for a long time had cheap ebay mouse mats for years, but this week I came up with a simple solution.

I applied a neat square of vinyl application tape, normally used for applying vinyl graphics onto the cleaned glass surface, and it is perfect, a massive area, bigger than even the larges mouse pads.

Just a quick blog but very nice little trick! If anyone needs a bit of application tape to do the same mail me.

photo 2

Screen printing

On Friday I went to the print room at UCA Epsom, where I worked with screen printing technician Liz Wilson, who helped me to print a limited edition of South London Makerspace posters featuring the lovely new brand!

The day started in Adobe Illustrator where the design for the A1 poster was finalised. The positive of the image was then printed onto Agfa transparency film using a Canon inkjet printer...

The process was very quick, however the little feeder wheels inside the printer meant that there were a lot of holes in the image, that we had to colour back in with a permanent marker to avoid streaks in the image.

Here you can see Liz holding up the positive, it's quite a nice image as it is, but it's about to get a whole lot better...

After degreasing, and coating a screen with UV sensitive emulsion it's into the drying rack for a few minutes all under the co-incidentally matching red light of the dark room to avoid exposing the emulsion.

Once dry, the image was aligned with the screen and put into the exposure unit, which has a very powerful UV metal halide lamp at the bottom and can precisely control the exposure time. To assist in the exposure the screen and the film are sandwiched between a massive glass window through to the lamp, and a rubber membrane which is vacuum sealed to ensure a the image is held tightly against the screen and stays focused.

https://twitter.com/LDN_Makerspace

After it's a quick trip next door to wash out the uncured emulsion before it cures in the white light. It's the first time the image is seen.

Now it's time to mix the ink whilst the screen dries in the drying cabinet...

Then it's a simple case of flooding the screen with ink, and printing.

The whole day was a fantastic opportunity to get making and I am really thankful to Liz for her wonderful help in making these posters.

Flip Flap Digit

Just after Christmas I got an email from a chap called Philip Jensen, he reached out to me to tell me that he found my blog through a Google Search about Split Flap displays, and he too has been working on building one himself. He hasn't blogged this but I wanted to share what he was doing, it is very similar to the techniques I am using.

He has used a laser cutter to manufacture the unit out of 3mm MDF, and is using a 28BYJ-48 stepper motor commonly available online, he is powering the stepper directly from the Arduino, a little risky as the coils remain energised when they are turned off and the power is sent back into the Arduino and can damage it, also the Arduino can only handle about 40ma which isn't enough for a motor but it works as a prototype and thats what counts!

This is a great little project build, and has motivated me once again to get off my arse and do some work on it!

New Website!

It's been a long time coming, but I have finally designed, and most importantly built a brand new theme for WordPress, I call it Outlines, and whilst I will chuck it up on GitHub, it certainly isn't ready for public consumption.

The real effort behind this was my ageing portfolio site which looked dated, and wasn't easy to update, now it used Advanced Custom Fields to make it a cinch to update my CV online, or reorganise my work.

I am really satisfied with the result, and will continue working on it to bring back key features like comments on my blog, if you like it send me an email above to tell me!

Scaling HTML elements proportionally (the easy way)

I love thunder and rain!

I don't know how to express how excited I am at the second storm in the past two weeks, love thunder, love lightning, love tropical rain storm type weather!

Want to make your WordPress Custom Post Type appear in the main blog stream?

Probably not, but this code allows you to do it, and save you doing all the hard work I had to do, in order to get this to work...