I built a Christmas countdown clock for the kids out of an Arduino, an RTC, and some seven-segment displays from Adafruit. It counts down to Christmas in "months.days.hours.minutes.seconds". It's also got some other modes - a countdown to Christmas in seconds, the current time in "year.month.day.hour.minute.second", the current time in Unix epoch seconds, and a "Chuck Norris" mode that occasionally spits out random Chuck Norris "quotes". After Christmas I am going to make a better looking wooden enclosure for this, and bring it to work to use as my desk clock.
I tried some other materials with the laser engraver this past weekend. I tried making some stickers out of some re-positionable sticker vinyl, and I also tried cutting some paper. Lighter colors of paper and any color of cardstock wouldn't cut, but darker colors cut just fine.
Finally finished the engraver and got the wiring all how I want it, and moved the whole thing to its final home on one of my shelves.
Over the weekend I used the laser engraver to make a sign for the workshop. Took a few tries before I finally eliminated most (but irritatingly, not all
) of the binding issues I was having with the table axis. But I very rarely get any binding now. Probably still needs a few minor adjustments, but I might just call it 'done' for now.
Still have a few small things to address (limit switches, laser enable/disable, safety lockout, etc.) - but got it actually engraving things last night!
Sean and I messed around with a Makey Makey kit on Sunday. For those who haven't heard of it, it's a little board that plugs into you PC and simulates a keyboard. But the part that makes it neat is that you can clip its leads onto anything even slightly conductive, and use those objects as keyboard buttons. So for example, the first thing Sean and I did was high-five each other in order to pause and resume YouTube videos. The next thing we tried was hooking up four bananas as up/left/down/right keys for a video game on the PC - at one point we were even using a whisk as a jump button!
This past weekend I got the painted laser engraver reassembled. I'm still waiting for a few bits and pieces from Adafruit, and then I can start wiring up the electronics!
Speaking of babies - congratulations to James and Kathy on their beautiful baby girl!