Archive for December, 2013|Monthly archive page

Case Modder Builds LCD Window; Causes LSD Flashbacks

In Uncategorized on December 31, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Way back when, a friend of mine and I added windows and LCDs to our computer cases. However we never tried to combine the two. If I had more money I might try this one. I think I could live with it longer than most of the case mods I see.



[Chris, aka Mosquito’s Mods]  is well-known for some awesome PC case mods. He’s outdone himself this time with an embedded LCD panel as his case window. This use of an LCD is becoming common on arcade games and slot machines. [Chris] was inspired by an arcade game he saw at a local Dave & Buster’s. He started with an off the shelf 16″ USB LCD monitor from AOC. [Chris] then stripped off the back light, diffuser, and reflectors. Left with  the bare panel and polarizers, he then created an LCD sandwich of sorts. First a layer of 2mm acrylic. Then the LCD and panel, along with 4 strips of acrylic forming a frame around the LCD. The frame strips are in blue in the image after the break.

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More Pawn and updates

In 3D Printing, Crafts, Electronics on December 29, 2013 at 11:01 pm

We’ll start with the updates this time.  It took some searching but I’ve finally found out what that part I need to replace is called and found some place that could ship it to me in under 1 month (almost everyplace selling them was shipping them from China.)  It is called a screw terminal block.  It should be here by the end of the week.  I’ve started desoldering the old part off of the board.  I’ve got most of the solder removed but my soldering iron is too big for me to get the rest of it out.  I’ve ordered a cheap 40w soldering iron that is more appropriately sized for electronics as well.    Hopefully next weekend I will be able to finish removing the old terminal block and get the new one installed.

In the mean time,  I’ve made another stab at designing the pawns.  This is probably the last thing I’ll be able to do before getting the printer back up.  I might hook everything up and try printing some stuff without heating the print bed.  The pawn is something that might be printable without the heating.  It was suggested by a friend that I try slicing the Queen in half the other way and try printing them that way.  Essentially I would need to stack the pieces instead of putting two vertical halves together.  This should minimize the problems with shrinking or curling.  If I fire the printer up as is I might try that.  Anyway, here are the pics of the new pawn design.  Enjoy,



Well that’s your problem…

In 3D Printing, Crafts, Electronics on December 28, 2013 at 6:28 pm



The problem is pretty obvious when you get everything taken apart so that you can look at it. The two discolored ports are where the power wires for the print bed heater plug in. I think I should be able to remove the entire block of plugs (I am not actually sure what that thing is called.) Then I will try and find a replacement and solder the new one in the same place.

I have not done any soldering on electronics since 1997 or 98. That was to chip my PlayStation so that it would play European region locked games. I was living in Germany with an American region PlayStation so that was the only way for me to play games purchased locally on my system. That was pretty simple. I had expert help looking over my shoulder the entire time as well. I’m pretty sure everyone that helped me with that project is on my Facebook so they may see this and remember the project. In the last few years the only soldering I have done has been for automotive electrical work. That is much easier than soldering on electronics. Wish me luck.

I am going to watch a few youtube videos on the subject and then attempt to remove this block. As always, I’ll keep you in the loop and post some photos of how it goes.


Possible Pawn Design and Troubleshooting Update

In 3D Printing, Crafts on December 28, 2013 at 4:48 am

The bottom would be more like a planetary gear.

Also I have verified that the problem is where the platform heater plugs into the board. The screws that tighten down on the wires were discolored and the insulation on the wires themselves have bubbled. At some point it looks like something shorted between them. I cut off the bad parts of the wires and stripped off the damaged insulation. I have to leave the + wire plugged into the original + terminal so that the board can control the platform temp. I moved the – wire over to the ground of an unused set of power plugs (the ones for a second extruder) in the hope that the I could avoid whatever the problem was with the first set of connections. Unfortunately I have had no such luck. The temp can get to about 50 on it’s own and then it gives up and the temp drops again. If I try to print and heat the platform at the same time everything shuts down. I started to take everything apart so that I can get a better look at the board and see if this is something I will be able to fix on my own. More on this tomorrow probably.


Unheated Platform

In 3D Printing, Crafts on December 27, 2013 at 7:57 am

Ok. So the printer actually stayed on and printed with the unheated platform. I’ve made a couple of attempts at printing the pawns. This is the result:
Pawns v2
This is actually my second attempt at the pawns. The first one had a much thiner gear at the top. It was obviously horrible so I went back to the model and made it about 3 times thicker. Now they look more like mushrooms than anything else though. I”m not sure what I am going to do but this version isn’t the answer. Maybe I will try a planetary gear as base of the pawn and then do the top with a more traditional top. I’ll have to think about it some more. Maybe I will try modeling this idea tomorrow.

I also tried printing the queen with an unheated platform and the lower temperature nozzle. The lower nozzle temp seemed to work, but the unheated platform caused some pretty severe warping and curling. This is what it ended up looking like:
You can see how bad the two pieces curled up. I will have to see if I can get it to run with the heated platform turned on. Maybe I can run it at a lower temperature than I was using before (70 degrees) and still get a good result. I’ll try that tomorrow as well. In the meantime at least the printer is working so there is some hope I’ll get this project finished.

Jello Shot Printer

In Uncategorized on December 26, 2013 at 8:26 pm

ummm… jello shots.


While inspecting some jello shots for a friend’s upcoming 25th birthday, [Sprite_tm] had an epiphany. What if you could print designs inside the jello shots? He quickly grabbed a syringe and proceeded to inject food dye into one of the jello shots — it worked. Unfortunately, his friend pointed out that it would take far too long to do each jello shot by hand, to which [Sprite] responded:

Never mind that, I’ll just whip up  a 3D printer that can make nice figures in the jelly for you.

Classic. The great thing about the hacker-mindset is that you never say no when confronted with a problem!

To achieve this printer, [Sprite_tm] has taken a handful of old CD-ROM drives to create a three axis moving platform. He’s using a forth drive’s ejector assembly to depress a syringe which pushes a concoction of banana liquor, green food colouring and cornstarch through…

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Integrated Searches

In ramblings, social commentary on December 26, 2013 at 12:06 am

So… I clicked a link to read about Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun, the Tiffany exec that was recently sentenced for stealing millions of dollars worth of jewelry. The first note worthy thing about this is that she got a year in prison. One year for millions in theft. How much do you get breaking open an ATM? I’m guessing the punishments would not be linear in there relationship to the amount stolen.

The most important thing about this has nothing to do with her sentence though. Clicking the link brought up a Bing search page with a number of articles on the sentencing. To the right it brought up her LinkIn profile and resume. 🙂

Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun
Entrepreneurial executive with more than twenty years of proven leadership in Merchandising with an extensive knowledge of the Global Luxury Goods Market. Motivational management style with a record of building and retaining high performing teams to achieve company goals. Proven leadership in management of Design, Product Developmen…

Vice President
Tiffany & Co. · 2010 – 2013
Vice President of Design & Product Development
Tiffany & Co. · 2004 – 2010
Director of Design & Product Development
Tiffany & Co. · 2003 – 2004

I’m guessing her knowledge of the stolen Global Luxury Goods Market is also extensive. And she should probably start floating that resume so she can find a new job when she gets out. What I really find interesting and what this search proves is how everything is so interconnected and there is so much info about you on-line that you never know what embarrassing item will pop up when somebody does a search for you. I guess this is probably a little bit counter-intuitive coming from somebody who blogs about the nuances of his life but you really should be careful about what you put on-line. Once it’s there, it’s there forever and clicking “private” doesn’t mean anything. Once posted, it is public. Be careful.


In 3D Printing, Crafts on December 25, 2013 at 10:12 pm

I had a hunch. I played it. My best guess about why my 3D printer was shutting off was that it was drawing too much power and so the board was shutting down as a safety precaution. The house was pretty cold. I did crank the heat up when I noticed that the printer was having trouble bringing everything up to temp. It still seemed as though the printer was struggling with maintaining the correct temps. I decided to see if it would work today without heating the print platform. This way the board would need to draw less power. I think heating the platform is probably the biggest power draw and it is also the least necessary for printing with PLA. So far it seems to be working. The print job is 1 1/2 hours into the 11 hour print job and everything seems to be going well. It was a little messy for the first layer or two getting the media to stick to the unheated platform. Other than that it seems to be working perfectly. I’m hoping that this was the problem. I’m going to keep my fingers crossed and try to get the most important stuff printed as quickly as possible in case it decides to stop working again. I was going to start printing the board next so that my niece could help design the pawns. I have modified that plan in light of recent developments. I designed the pawns this morning and I will print them next. The board is the lead essential bit so it will have to wait till last. This isn’t ideal but it will have to work.


edit: it seems as though i use a lot of run-on sentences. i’ve noticed that is the biggest thing i have to fix in editing.

edit 2: 3 hours in and the print failed. it failed for a different reason though. I ended up with a big glob of burned PLA that got stuck to the print. It was higher than the rest of the print job at that point so when the nozzle had to move past it, it knocked everything off by about half a mm. This caused the printer to lose it’s calibration and printed everything from that point on about 1/2 mm off to the side. The print is ruined, but the printer does appear to be working. Now I need to find out what is causing these blobs. This is the 2nd time the print job was ruined due to this same issue. Maybe I have the nozzle temp too high. I’ll try printing something colder and see what happens.

The Task at Hand

In Crafts, tools on December 24, 2013 at 11:18 pm

This gives you some idea of the task I have in front me. Somehow these tools need to be organized and put where I will be able to find them. There is a soldering iron floating around the house that needs to be found and put back in its case as well. I also just realized that I need to find the battery charger for the cordless drill.

This needs to be organized some how.

This needs to be organized some how.

Another Day

In ramblings, therapy on December 24, 2013 at 10:09 pm

As an adult the holidays have been a tough time of year. Most of the time I’m far away from the people I want to spend Christmas with. Often I have little money to send the gifts and things I would like to send. All too often Christmas is merely the day I am most reminded that I am alone and not with my close friends and loved ones. This year is no exception. There are reasons that I am where I am. I quit a very easy and well paid job that I hated and moved here to start my own business almost two years ago. The business is surviving. I can’t really say more than that. I know that for a new business surviving actually means I’ve done better than most. For the moment though, the business is a source of stress rather than joy. Abject failure or success are more easily dealt with than continuing the struggle for an uncertain future. The struggle is the hardest bit for me. I think I deal with failure better than I deal with uncertainty. I’m guessing that is true for most of us.

I got up a bit late today (I was up till 4 am last night playing video games with some friends online). But I did get up and took a shower, brushed my teeth, and shaved. That is the hardest thing when depressed. Getting up and taking that shower when you know that there is absolutely no reason that it will matter. So getting this far is like spitting in depression’s eye. It is a small victory, but large victories are built on the little ones. Because I live in paradise, the sun is out. The palm trees are swaying in a gentle ocean breeze and the birds are singing. I have the doors and windows open and the sun is streaming in. It is not very Christmas’y but that helps in a way. It makes it feel like just another day.

I don’t have the energy to deal with attempting to fix the 3D printer today. I feel like it is probably going to be a lot of work and effort for little result. I don’t want to deal with that on top of everything else. So I need another plan. I started the day with pizza (as good as any holiday meal in my opinion) and watched an episode of James May’s Man Lab (the best show on television right now.) I am going to do a little bit of cleaning I think. I’ll practice playing my bass and I am going to organize my tools. I had a lot of space at my last place and so I had a couple of large tool boxes to keep things straight. At my current apartment I have much less space and my tools have just been thrown in some tool bags and a box. The big tool chests are at my Mom’s house and I am constantly picking stuff up from there or dropping off stuff I don’t think I’ll need. The end result is that I have everything jumbled together. So I’ll do some organizing and clean up any tools that need it. This will leave me in a better spot to start working on the 3D printer when I get to that point. In the mean time it will give me a good result and some job satisfaction for the day. Everything in it’s place feels good.

Tomorrow I’ll go down the local watering hole and meet with some other friends that are far from home for the holidays this year. Maybe I’ll see a movie (Walter Mitty looks very good). In the mean time I’ll take care of today. I’ve got things to do. After all it’s just another day.