04 Sep 2011 @ 6:01 PM 

Well folks, it’s been a while since I last updated this site, but after a long hiatus, here I am, still alive, slightly worse for wear, old enough to know better, yet still young enough not to care…

Now that I have your undivided attention, let me tell you about my most recent project which I refer to as ‘the most complicated and useless project I have ever finished’ (not a direct quote).  Those of you who actually know me in person might ask yourselves if the final result of this project is actually more pointless than my Homer Simpson Chia Pet video.  When people ask me dumb questions like that, I realize that when I have too much time on my hands, people tell me that I should get a hobby, and then when I get a hobby, people start telling me I have too much time on my hands.  It’s just a classic example of ‘Haters gonna hate on my arduino powered useless machine’.  I’m sure that it’s a common problem and that I’m not the only person it happens to.

So this is my Useless machine video.  It really is quite the piece of equipment.  A marvel of manufacturing ability that can be obtained without power tools, within the confines of my small bedroom.  The project took me about 70 hours in total over the course of 4 weeks.  Much of that time was spent sawing, sanding, gluing and nailing, but much of it was also spend soldering, tinkering, and programming the instructions for the Arduino Microprocessor which functions as the brain for the entire contraption.  And when I say microprocesser, I mean that this little device is actually an intelligent robot which is capable of learning about it’s environment with the intention of performing a specific task.

I enjoyed working with the Arduino and figuring out the ins and outs of the various sensors.  It’s quite interesting.  In the very near future, I am sure that I will purchase another Arduino board.  I am not entirely positive what my next project will be but I do have a few ideas that I am considering.

Much thanks to the people at http://saskview.com/ for sharing my video on their site.  I’m getting an average of 60 views per day on this video, and quite a few of them are coming from you guys, so much thanks for that.

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 29 Sep 2009 @ 2:05 PM 

I looked at my Homer Simpson Chia Pet Time Lapse tonight and noticed that was ‘allegedly’* the 999th viewer.

A few months back I got a Homer Simpson Chia Pet.  Having prior Chia Pet experience on my resume, I already knew that they leak like a siv and i figured painting it would keep the water in.  I picked out a nice enamel paint, which was Homer Simpson yellow.  The water leaked through the terracotta pot and separated the paint from the pot, which formed as bubbles in the paint.  A few modifications later and I got the pot to hold water without leaking at all, and the paint didn’t bubble anymore.  Having gone this far, I wanted to make the Chia Pet completely self sustaining.  I didn’t want to be watering it at all, I just wanted it to grow.

I figured if I was going to go so far as to get a fish tank pump involved, I needed something more than the satisfaction of watching it grow once.  Thats where the photographs come in.  I started looking in to time lapse photography a little bit, and I found a few solutions, but nothing that would record for anything more than a few hours at a time.  This thing is gonna take 6 weeks to grow.  Resetting the camera every three hours doesn’t sound appealing when I already have a fish tank pump keeping Homers head full of water 24 hours a day.

More on that later.  Don’t let the suspense keep you awake at night.

* I say allegedly because I’m not entirely sure how that number gets updated, but it doesn’t seem to happen in real time.  Maybe it does it every few hours or something.
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