I have a bunch of multimeters and I’m just not getting anywhere with them because they are old and I think the later one I got at Active on sale doesn’t actually work properly.

So I splurged and spent 15 bucks.

Ottawa Art Gallery Show

Thursday a week ago I attended this party.

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Problems with HostPapa

This site wasn’t being updated for a while since I was having problems with HostPapa the hosting company that I had this site on.

The site is now hosted at BlueHost which has more of a culture of security and reliability. So updates will continue and the backlog will probably take a day or two to catch up on.

Cool Business Cards

I’ve been going around impressing people with cool business cards.

But I was shown up by this lady who just has a simple card but it comes out curved matching her butt.

Laser reflection and diffusion

I bought a laser toy which consists of a couple mirrors spinning on motors and a laser. Also some nice laser pointers to experiment with.

AA and AAA batteries

I finally got some AAA batteries and a descent charger. This was holding up a couple of projects that need batteries. I didn’t want to buy them local, I got them on the cheap instead.

The charger was expensive but can charge up to 12 at once and can charge each battery independently. So you can put them in any order AAA/AA and don’t have to worry about putting them in pairs like on cheaper chargers.

Magnets for model airplanes

I got these magnets. 75 Of them at .8g. They are 2mm x 0.4mm.

That comes to .01g each so I can use a few of them on one airplane and it will not impact the weight.

I will experiment with these for fastening winglets, tail planes and perhaps the wing.


Black and White Printer

UPS is dropping this off today.

It’s an HP LaserJet CE461A P2035 B/W Laser Printer. This is for printing the instruction sheets for the Squirrel model airplane.

Not theoretically exciting but it will cut cost. I will order another machine for color. So there will be three machines. Black & White, color and inkjet color.

World Maker Faire New York!

Call for makers is open! Friends lets get busy! Do it yourself or do it together!


Saturday, September 29th – from 10am – 7pm
Sunday, September 30th – from 10am – 6pm


New York Hall of Science (NYSCI)
47-01 111th Street
Queens, NY 11368-2950

3d printer logistics

The 3d printer is finally in transit! It went Fedex as of Friday.

Through the wonder of cardboard the shipping weight was dropped from 163lb down to 72+16 = 88 lb. Also the price dropped from around 350 down to about 170. Wohoo!

The service is 4 business days so I should see the machine next Friday or so.

To like balsa you have to like stats.

Balsa is not a constant. It’s like buying produce. There is a lot of variance and this leads to a higher waste and labor content when using it in you projects.

For instance I was looking at a batch from a new supplier and I suspect they picked the batch over for a specific weight  (9-12lb) and then sold me the rest. So I took a sample and weight them to make a histogram of density.  I got the figure at the right. I expect a normal distribution for balsa density (perhaps with a longer tail to the heavy side). There could be a double peak in the histogram proving my point. But another good explanation is that the shipment came from two sources.

Sometimes you also deal with uneven cutting.  As you can see below the bundle of wood is not square.

This is a challenging aspect of dealing with a product of nature.



Laser air cleaner

I was at ArtEngine the other day and noticed that the laser lens was dirty when I went to use it. I had to use about 5 q-tips so it must have been really dirty smoke from a previous cut.

When I ran it after cleaning it I noticed the room was getting smokey so I pulled the pre-filter from the cleaner and sure enough it was pretty clogged. I couldn’t find another so I replaced it and stopped work. I guess I will eventually go looking for the manuals and start to figure out the air cleaner. I know it was expensive so I will read up on it before figuring out how to service it. The pre-filter obviously needs a hardware store part.

Also, lately I’ve noticed that the air cleaner is chirping sometimes. I’ll have to look that up. I suspect it has too much drag since it needs some service.