The magical mythical submarine

September 4th, 2015

3D Deleting

January 3rd, 2015

We got a Shapoko 2 for festimas, first print was a TIE fighter, obviously.

First proper project is a drag knife head to let enable paper cutting:

Leap Motion hacking

October 6th, 2013

I’ve spent the afternoon  staring at USB traces trying to grok the leap motion at a protocol level, no huge progress (most of the time reminding myself how USB works).  I have  at least replicated  the openleap instructions so  can capture raw data.

Here are a couple of  scary photos of me in component stereo (simple red/green and rgb with the blue channel is the difference channel) :

leap_rgLeap Motion Stereo


The results from openCV’s stereo correlation aren’t quite there yet : (no doubt due to my coding):




The minority report hand wavy stuff is interesting but I’m more interested to see if I can get one working as a well-calibrated robotics image sensor – the field of view on these cameras is immense (150 degrees or thereabouts)   and the stereo obviously can’t hurt.

Next stop –  fish out an IR laser line from one of the many boxes of bits upstairs (and try not to fry the CCD like I did last time) and do some scanning experiments .


The TV stand

June 20th, 2012

A while ago we visited Becky in London and she took us to Unto This Last on Brick Lane – it’s a really clever operation  – design nice furniture that can be made using a simple  laminated CNC-cut plywood process  and then make it on-demand on a massive CNC mill in the back of the shop.

Sadly they don’t deliver outside of London but it got me thinking whether or not an amateur could follow more or less the same process either at home with a manual router and hand-made templates or using a local CNC service (there are several within a short drive of Bath).

we’ve  been after a TV-stand-come-side board for a while and I’ve been playing around with designing something which could be built using this process:

It would need cutting up to make sensible use of the ply boards (otherwise it would use something like 10 1.2x2m boards at ££ each) but I think it’s doable.

From a home-made perspective I was also thinking it would be cool to make it using recycled wood in small sections and then press it together hotch-potch style.

Nixie Clock

October 4th, 2010

This has been a long-running (standing/sitting in a box?) project, I got some nixie tubes, in ooh, it must have been 2002 but have never had the guts to make a high-voltage (albeit very low current) controller board from scratch.  Fortunately the nice people at have come up with a simple board which uses cheap Russian BCD demultiplexers for not too much money.

So far I’ve built the board and tested it with a single tube (at 170V) which works fine:

Anyway the build page is here:

CurrentCost + PowerMeter

May 18th, 2010

I managed to get my CurrentCost thingy to submit data to Google PowerMeter, thanks to the tweet-a-watt hack.

Music of the Naugties

November 23rd, 2009

The decade is coming to an end in one month and 8 days and an apathetic wave of Noughties nostalgia seems to be sweeping over the country, a breath of relief after the tentative steps of a new millenium in which nothing broke (except the international banking system, respect for international law and modern socialism) if you will.

Musically I would describe the 00’s as a bit of a low patch from my point of view, the first five years were almost entirely taken up with my Ph.D. , an activity involving the purchase of almost no new music and latterly i became 30 which I think pretty much disqualifies me from having a valid opinion on music, if I ever had one in the first place. Thie NME has just released their top 100 albums of the decade and it’s time to compare notes.

NME top 100 comparison

Robot Chassis

October 20th, 2009

Whlie waiting for Hagen’s thesis to print I did a little parametric design for my turtlebot chassis. It’s done using GeoGebra. Stuff like the servo and battery dimensions are fixed but most of the other basic properties are variable or dependent thereon.


Now just need to figure out where to mount the brain and the lasers.

Laptop stand

September 18th, 2009

I’m trying to get into the habit of working with my laptop at the right level and with keyboard and mouse at work as it seems to be better for my wrists/general state of “wellness”.

A while ago I saw these guys selling laptop stands made of cardboard and many other people who had made them from scratch, so I decided to have a go at making my own. Some (100% recycled) laser jet paper boxes, a craft knife, parcel tape and about 1/2 an hour later I ended up with this:

laptop stand

The results turned out quite well if I say so myself (no religious connotations intended, it’s just a very stable structure!).


June 17th, 2009

Photos from my phone
Phone story