Making, Crafting, Creating... aka Whatcha workin' on?

I built an 18 watt trinity four years ago from scratch.

Gave it to my sons for Christmas last year.

Such intense satisfaction Watching my oldest play blues on it.


post pix. :sunglasses:

Sure, most of my stuff is at and a few loose tracks at

The new stuff isn’t online yet.


I had one precious picture of my son playing Christmas day, but my phone crashed and died and I couldn’t recover the image.

I can still see him like it was yesterday.


I’ve been tidying up the garage to make some workshop space and now I’m building a pair of quadcopters to fly with my daughter. Having problems getting the flight computer (a Naze32 Acro running Cleanflight) to talk to the receiver (a Turnigy 9x 8 channel) though so the first one is all in bits across the bench at the moment.

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I’m working on weatherproofing an ADS-B receiver. dump1090 and flightaware make getting the basic rPi+RTL-SDR part going quite trivial; but 1090MHz has lousy penetration of roofs and structures; and my house doesn’t have any good options for leaving the computer bits inside and the antenna outside(it doesn’t help that low-cost RF cabling is pretty high loss; and low loss RF cabling is pretty high cost; so I really want the RTL dongle close to the antenna). The un-hardened system has worked fine in tests; but the limits of an indoor antenna are starkly apparent.

Sparkfun has these sweet aluminum enclosures, so I’m using one to house the weather-vulnerable parts. Currently doing thermal tests to see if I need to add fins to keep the system at a safe temperature under summer conditions; and/or include a heater for winter conditions.(The enclosures don’t include, or include provision for, an O-ring/gasket, so I’ve also been doing some experiments on UV-stabilized high temperature sealing waxes for a robust seal that I can(unlike epoxy) break if the SD card decides to give up, or other internal failure occurs. Full epoxy potting is wonderfully Serious; but I don’t want to have to write off the entire project if some $5 microSD card decides that it signed up to store pictures in some cellphone, not serve as a boot volume. It turns out that adding controlled amounts of polyethylene to paraffin substantially improves its durability and increases its melting point; and titanium dioxide does wonders for UV stability. )

Because 5V has nasty sag over cables of any serious length, and to ease integration with my solar panel system(ETA: TBD), I’m including a 12v->5v step-down converter, so the box will externally require 12v, with 5v runs only within the enclosure.

Since they have to go outside the enclosure, for signal reasons, I’m potting the wifi module and GPS receiver, the RTL-SDR is going to stay inside, with just the pigtail connection to the antenna running through the enclosure wall.

Aside from time, where I’m running into trouble is trying to decide whether other possible features are sensible, or scope creep:

Given that rPis are not 100% reliable, I’m attracted to the idea of adding one of the lightweight Ardunio-alikes to serve as a watchdog(have the rPi twiddle a GPIO pin every few seconds, have the microcontroller reset the rPi if it sees inactivity for too long) and do temperature monitoring to shut down the rPi in the event of a thermal excursion.

I’d also like to bring out the rPi’s serial header(ideally optically, using holes drilled in the aluminum box and filled with transparent epoxy, for maximum corrosion resistance and reduced chance of moisture infiltration).

However, I know that if I over-complicate the project, I’ll just never finish it, so I’m trying to decide if I should go for it, or admit that the perfect is the enemy of the good and at least get a working system out there.


I’m working on a book proposal/book chapter for a book on yoga. I’m finally in a situation where I have a lot of support for the business end of it all, and I’m working with friends to put together the marketing piece. I’m toying around with the idea of running a Kickstarter.


I am working on:

A dog house.
Its made from scraps of reclaimed wood I had laying around so its not pretty. Yet
This one I’ve been working with my son, taught him how to hammer nails in for the first time and he’ll definitely get a kick out helping me paint.

An awning for my back patio.
I had to put the project on hold because it rained* out of nowhere as I was applying the second coat of polyurethane to the beams.

[size=10]*Seriously, it hasn’t rained for months and all of a sudden a sunny day just turns cloudy and I’m running to cover my work as fast as possible.[/size]

A desk for my project studio.
This one’s going to take some time, It has to double as a desk for light electronics projects and I’m still figuring out how to best store a midi controller for extended periods of time and yet be able to break it out in a few seconds without much hassle. Right now its basically just a table with stands for my monitors that double as half size racks. :smile:

Writing songs.
I find it easier to work on stuff when I’ve got the house to myself and we’ve had a lot of visits these last couple of months so I’ve hardly touched my guitar, but tonight, Mrs. Tachin and Tachin Jr. are away so I’ve been playing all day, right now I’m just taking a break from writing because I was starting to get too self conscious about it.

@crashproof That is awesome, I love’d the way got some new strings twists my brain and the dark mantra like insistence of Elevennn. I’ve tried my hand at electronic music before but it is just beyond me.


I like the photo that’s up with Elevennn on Soundcloud, is the photo your work too?

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As many have noticed I’ve been trying to tame the beast known as the hurdy gurdy. The tuning is a night mare. Basically you have to tune all those pegs flat, and adjust with horizontal tension when you hit the keys.

Also, this instrument has Gravity keys, so they have to be played vertically or they won’t disengage.

And the wheel isnt round, so you have to change speed a quarter way through a rotation to make it sound even. And that fucks up the trompettes.

So I’ve been fixing that.

And of course the bridges are all pressure fitted and move. So that’s fun. And the crank is cross screwed, so it comes out while I play (loctite perhaps?)

As a guitar, saxophone, flute, drum, shakuhachi, bagpipe player I gotta say–this is a bigger pain in the rear than a Bassoon.


One of the Naze boards won’t talk to whatever receiver I connect it to. :frowning: That’s what you get for buying from dodgy Chinese websites. Every now and then something doesn’t work. Good thing I buy spares.

The other naze worked, so I’ve mostly finished one. Just got some transmitter and Flight Computer programming left to do. First time I’ve built one of these and it’s all from parts that were bought separately —not a kit— and forced to fit. So it’s very ugly. :smile:


Yup, I took that with my phone camera in front of my house on an overcast evening and messed with it a bit in Paint Shop Pro.


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That’s an awesome project. I guess I never thought about how mechanically complicated a hurdy-gurdy is. Gives me a new appreciation for the fantastic Wheelharp:


My plate might currently be a little over-full:

  1. A pair of shoes for my middle daughter. It’s my second pair, and we call them Tim’s-not-Tom’s because obvious. I have a pair for the wife lined up after this.
  2. A backpack for my youngest child. Kids backpacks are mostly junk, and the ones that aren’t are much more adult-sized than they should be. So he’s getting his very own copy of Dad’s bag (though in less… somber colors).
  3. I’ve got a KLH speaker I’ve been “rebuilding” for a couple of years. Mostly that means it sits one the shelf being ignored because for whatever reason I can be bothered to order the tweeter off ebay or whatever.
  4. I’m planning out a new computer station. The youngest computer I have to work on is something like 8 years old, and that’s just not cutting it. So new computer & monitors & stands & storage and and and.
  5. Working on some moss-based terrariums. I haven’t done something like this in many, many years.
  6. Analog photography. Which is nearly as much a money sink as the above-mentioned sailboat.

Most of this would be trivial if I wasn’t in the middle of both selling my house and buying the next house. During the holidays. With kids running around. And a wife who’s job doesn’t let her take time off. And. And. And.


whoah cool idea. I use a couple of bananapis instead of Rpis. I have left them running for months with no difficulties. They are pretty spunky fast, not sluggish like the old rpi’s. I haven’t used the latest Rpi’s to compare speed, but I think they are similar. Just make sure to run a very lightweight os like arch linux or something. If you go with one of the more traditional distros, these little bugs get sluggish.

As for the moisture issue, I’d suggest using one of those boxes like you are doing, but mount the thing “up inside it” as in have no cable pass throughs above or at the same level as the computers. That way if moisture does make its way in, it would have to splash upward to get at the electronics. For humidity control, and if the thing is tightly sealed, I would suggest using those blue/red desiccant beads that you can buy cheaply.

NEAT PROJECT. Can you post some pics?


Pics or it didn’t happen!!! :slight_smile: But for reals, good luck with the house sale and use one of these kick-ass projects for stress-relief. There is nothing quite like something handbuilt.

For new computer, consider buying a chromebook… I use one all the time. It set me back all of $300. It’s lightweight and if it breaks or gets stolen… so what. I didn’t spend an arm and a leg on it.

Then, I also have a water-cooled 12-core tower w/ 1tb ssd & 32Gb ram & a fat video card that I hand-built to do my work on… & just ssh/rdp over from the chromebook… That was fun building that.


Alright then.

As far as the computer- as much as I like Chromebooks (and I do…), this is the proper computer setup to manage all my stuff. And I’m a Mac person, so…
Likely an iMac of some flavor or another, with at least a second screen hooked up. I’m looking at doing a USB3 Raid array of some sort for mass storage (likely in the range of 8TB or so, maybe more.). My storage is strewn about on a pile of external hard drives, and I finally need to get that under control.
The question is how many other monitors/machines and how to arrange them in a workstation. Maybe even strapping a ChromeBox to the back of the rig as more of an appliance-pc.
Dunno. The specs in my head are constantly shifting.
I close at the end of next month on both houses, so I won’t be doing any computer-buying until some time after that.


Question for the makers who sell some of their work…

Generally, what’s the best way you’ve found to get people engaged with what you do online, especially Facebook?

When I’m out in public, it’s not hard to show people my artwork when we’re engaged in conversation and it inevitably comes around to “what do you (or try to do) for a living”, because I have finished pieces in the picture gallery of my phone. I figure it’s even a conversation starter for people who can wear their works, like Monkeyoh.

However, I’m fairly new to Facebook (don’t judge) and I wonder how many others have been met with apathy or resistance when trying to get friends to “repost or share” the fact that you have an artist’s page on the website? I’m new to Instagram and Pinterest, but I’m still attracting the occasional follower with little more effort than simply posting my work. Why does it seem so hard to do on Facebook?

edit: Call me crass, but it almost feels like the most effective way to go about it is find some cancer-stricken kid in a hospital bed surrounded by a pile of puppies/kittens to hold up my painting for a photo op to post later.

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I don’t have a great answer for you- but I can share a couple of (maybe) helpful bits:

  1. Facebook is terrible- you are likely getting low conversion/like/repost rates because many of the people that are your friends on there aren’t ever seeing your posts. It’s the nature of how Facebook has decided to make money: you have to pay to have your posts seen. Period, full stop.
  2. I’d be investing my time elsewhere- Instagram, tumblr, Pinterest… because they haven’t (yet) started charging for exposure like Facebook.
  3. It’s going to be slow. Going from 100->200 followers is much more difficult than going from 1500->1600 (and so on). There’s an energy of activation, so to speak, that you need to pay into.
    That’s all I’ve got- but good luck!
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