We were invited to the July 4th celebration at the Fairground by the City of Albany, so we had to build some fun projects for that!
We thought a few nice water projects would be great for the summer, but it didn’t work out so well (more on that later).
The projects we chose were:
1. Sprinkler Gateway
2. Water Balloon Canon
3. Bubble Wands
The bubble wands were always a big hit, and we bring it to pretty much all our events. If you’ve never seen one, it’s two wands with a cotton string so it soak up the solution, and create GIANT bubbles.
Here are some pictures:
It is important to get your solution made ahead of time, and with the right ingredient! We’ve tried a few formulas, and is still improving on it. Once we get the perfect solution, we’ll post it up.
Besides that, we have our water gateway, which are just PVC pipes with attached sprinkler heads. They work great as we put them over a tarp as a slip and slide. Here is a picture of it:
Of course we have to have an over the top project, and that’s our Water Balloon Canon.
This project is NOT a toy, so do not take it lightly. It will charge to 120 PSI. We decided to make two different interchangeable barrels. The 2″ Barrel shoots things at VERY high speed, the 3″ barrel shoots larger items, at a slower speed. We also add a gauge in the tanks to make sure we know how much air is charged in there. Also we used a Orbit solenoid with a 9.6v power drill that was gutted. Soldered the wire directly to the trigger and to the battery, and we have a removable battery with a trigger assembly.
It will shoot paintballs, potatoes, water balloons, pretty much anything we can fit into the barrel. We made a few foam wads by spraying “GREAT STUFF” foam into a red solo cup, then wait for it to cure, and cut it to the size we need for the wads. They work great so far, very lightweight, and have held up well after many many firings.
Makers!! The Gunraiser event was quite a success. We were able to reach our goal for the down payment of a building. A big thanks to EVERYONE that helped out.
Other big news, we got our 501(c)3 exemption application filled out and sent in. Next, we will be handling bank accounts, loans, and other not as fun stuff. Super excited about 2013… big things happening!!!
Thanks again to all of our sponsors and everyone that helped with the Gunraiser!. We couldn’t have done it without you!
In preparation of receiving my Shapeoko Mechanical Kit (the 30 day lead time is killing me, but I have received news that it should be here today), I decided to work on setting up a computer dedicated to running my CNC. I had a few computers that I bought when a local call center upgraded their machines. They sold the old machines for $5 a piece with a formatted HDD. They aren’t top of the line; in fact I believe they are at least 8-9 years old. So I took one of these computers and installed a copy of Windows XP SP3 and Mach3. I set the Mach3 software to run as the shell, so that the computer boots straight into Mach3.
After configuring the software side of the things, I was satisfied with what I had. That is, until I happened across a locking key box that I had hoarded away. Actually I tripped over it one morning when I was trying to get on my motorcycle and go to work. All of a sudden it hit me… “The door on the box is big enough to mount a monitor in”. At this point, it was on.
I removed the lock from the box; of course I kept it so that I can relocate it. Then I began work on removing the smaller pieces inside. There were some key ring hooks that were spot welded in a few places that had to be removed. I simply ground down the weld and then used a screwdriver to pop the hooks off. There was also a little strip of metal on the inside of the door that had to be taken care of.
I then disassembled my monitor, an old 15” Dell Flat Panel.
After stripping all the plastic from the monitor, I measured the section that would need to be removed from the door.
After cutting out this section with a Dremel, I can honestly say that you should try to find an angle grinder with a cut-off disk. The Dremel gets extremely hot trying to cut this much steel. If you do decide to use a Dremel, take your time and let it cool off some after each side. I was lazy and didn’t want to walk out to my shop.
It took some time and patience to get the monitor cage to fit, but with a little finesse, I ended up with this.
In order to secure the cage I decided to cut small tabs in the cage and bent them to the door. I did this in multiple places, all around the monitor.
After reinstalling the electronics for the monitor, I trimmed the original plastic bezel, in order to reuse the control panel for the monitor settings.
With the monitor now installed, it was time to move on to the computer itself.
I laid out the power supply, motherboard, and HDD in an attempt to decide how to use the space I had. Tip: be mindful that the monitor cage can cause clearance issues. I noticed this after originally mounting my power supply. I ended up having to rotate the power supply 90 degrees in order to clear the monitor cage. Of course this means that I have an extra hole in the bottom of the box, but I will patch it or something.
On to the power supply, I used my angle grinder to cut off the section of the computer case that the power supply mounted to. I then used that piece as a template to trace the cut-out for the power supply. After cutting out with the Dremel, I drilled the holes to match.
For the hard drive, I noticed it fit nicely under the lip of the box. So, I drilled a couple of holes to match up with the mounting holes on the HDD, and screwed it in place.
The heads of the screws interfered with the lid closing all the way, so I had to cut out some spots on the lid that would fit over the screws. (not very pretty… wish I would have drilled both spots out.)
To install the motherboard, I took the old computer case and cut out the motherboard mounting surface with the angle grinder. Then I screwed the motherboard to the plate, in order to straighten the plate (It warped from cutting it out). I scratched up the plate and the inside of the box with the Dremel cut-off disk. I then applied a heaping helping of trusty 5 minute epoxy. I carefully pressed the motherboard/mounting plate down and let it sit for about 30 minutes to cure. At this point, I was getting antsy, so I had to test it out. Plugged everything in and VOILA!
I plan to use the extra hole from the first attempt at mounting the power supply to house the front USB ports. I also want to feed the monitor and computer power supplies through one cable (not sure how I’m gonna do that), I am also going to make a ribbon cable to connect the monitor to the motherboard, instead of using the stiff, 6’ long VGA cable. Also need to install LEDs and power button. Eventually my 24V power supply and Arduino/GrblShield will be mounted in here with some ports to connect the stepper motors.
I will be updating this post as the terminal evolves…
Their instructions are pretty thorough. But we took it a step further. Since our unit is going to be outdoors, and exposed to the elements, we decided to stain it for some color, and seal it with a few coat of semi-gloss varnish to protect the wood from the moisture so it’ll last longer.
Here’s a picture of the prepped pallet. (Tip: Dont varnish inside. It smells horrible.)
Also, another difference is our pallets are not double sided. So we can’t just staple the landscape cloth to the back since it would not be as secure. We’ll screw some lateral 1″x2″ ribs on the opposite for support, then staple the cloth onto there.
For ease of even water distribution, we’ll collect water bottle and cut them up and staple them to the side of each section. This will help hold water, and distribute it somewhat evenly so that the plants at the bottom doesn’t get soaked and the plants at the top dried.
We’ll be installing it before Mardi Gras this weekend! So come check out the Art Park!