NEWS - What's been going on lately

2002 Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec | Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May 2003

March 2002


I finally got sick of the studio work surface so I decided to make a REAL benchtop.

Above is a shot of the main sheet (2 pieces of 18mm MDF laminated together)


This serious bit of work is my new "flight case" to house all my DJ / portable studio gear in.

Its waiting on the final black paint coat, the foam lining in the "bays", rack strips in the lower bays and clips for the lid.

April 2002



Now this is a project I have wanted to do for years. Its a model of a 4 wire control system for camera control (originally developed for US Grid Iron / Baseball games.)

The system works like this, 4 towers (not 3 as in my original drawings) each has a take up cable reel and a counter to keep track of the amount of cable that is "out" - all 4 cables meet in the the "centre" of the field. This forms the "camera" point - by controlling the length of each of the 4 cables one can "fly" the camera (or hook, load, whatever) about.

This section shows the computer interface (DIY K93) and the switcher board (controls 4 x motors [forward, reverse] and the counter switches for feedback.)

Now I think about it, I don't know WHAT possesed me to make the driver board with relays! I'm building another version using solid state switching. I ran in to troubles after I forgot that the DAQU kit is open collector out... Besides I need faster control and counting (opto, not switches)!

Rather evil code (still under construction) for Qbasic 4.5 is available here. It has both control test & "fly to point" functionality.

For those that were wondering what the formula was for calculating the length was - it turns out to be a compound use of the Pythagorean Theorum (h2=a2+b2)

The final solution is

Length = SquareRoot ( (Tower.x-Load.x)2 + (Tower.y-Load.y)2 + (Tower.z-Load.z)2 )

This needs to be done 4 times (once for each tower / cable length)

Windows NT / 2000 / XP users who want to play with parallel port interfaces without having to use / write WDMs should check out as well as a stack of useful info at Embeddedtronics.

May 2002


Is it the monolith from 2001? A borg craft? No, its the newly painted road case...

Stay tuned for the final fit out...

June 2002


The final fit out of the DJ box.

With some custom rack ears for the Pioneer mixer, some goose neck lighting, fan cooling for the bays and some tricky removable monitoring (freshly rebuilt with new drivers) the road case is complete. Not that I'm rushing to carry it down those bloody stairs!

July 2002

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No, its not strange fetish wear for the bedroom! It's a light up costume for "Electra" - one of the cast of the Act 1 Scene 1 production of Gypsy.


And this is the prototype of a rotating dais designed for a CLC exhibition.

The base assembly is Meccano wheels on brass tube axels. The original drive train was also plastic Meccano gears but they didn't handle the torque (nor did the motor) and was replaced with a windscreen wiper motor and right angle drive reduction gears made by Tamia for R/C cars.

Updates to the (CLC) web pages were complete to showcase new designs and extend works on show in the gallery section.

The final dais (showing drive drain and complete with cover) are shown below.


August 2002

Fixing the web site up after people complaining about lack of updates :)


The garage has been getting an overhaul. This is the start of a shelving frame to house all those pesky packing boxes and stray furniture


And all the misc 19" gear got racked up in the "fridge" to form an audio test bench as well as a convenient radio for the workshop...
Plus I finally got the table saw on wheels so I can haul it about the workshop...

September & October

Lots of special projects. Doing plenty of work on wireless network stuff (see pages elsewhere.)

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I needed a grunty regulated 5V desktop power supply. What better source than an old PC power supply! Bonus 12V rail too!

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Well the house is about to go to 100 baseT on the second segment (along with the installation of a backup server) and I wanted to have to replace only one hub. To do this I needed to squeeze 2 ethernet runs down a single cable for one room - hence the "Hydra" cable above. This is easily accomplished using the the 2 spare pairs in Cat 5 cable.

November, December & January 2003

It's been an amazingly busy festive season. With a truckload of work and a stack of projects I've been keeping myself involved. Here's a few bits :

I finally got my GPS unit (a Motorola Encore unit from BG Micro) up and running
I've been working on a new wine cellar. This is a temperature probe (a waterproofed LM35) designed to be inserted in a wine bottle full of water for accurate temperature measurements. For a good read on cellaring on a budget check out Cellaring Wine by Tyson Stelzer.
I've completed my waveguide. Check out the details in the wireless section.
And there's now a guide under the wireless section on adding an 'N' connector to your DWL-900AP


The Boxing Day Show : The event was well organized and a stack of locals enjoyed themselves out on the Swan River. Boy was it hot working in the cabin all day!

February 2003

Sorry about the lack of updates people! Things have been absolutely flat out everywhere! In between changing some of our work PCs over to XP, wireless adventures (there are just too many trees around here), booking DJs (local and international), new gigs, heaps of extra call outs (for IT service and repair work) not to mention re-racking the whole system at home and more.

March 2003

Well after literally years I finally got a chance to go down to the Margaret River wine region and stay at our part family owned Winery, Chapman's Creek. I also had a good chance to test out my Motorolla GPS unit on my laptop.

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April 2003

The Rack

"I decided to rack up all of the computer equipment here in the studio. The e-mail extract below highlights my adventures :

Anyhow - I had already tried a cardboard model of the cabinet footprint in the stairwell (based on the PDF manual) to check it would go up.

Picking what must have been the most humid day of the year a mate and I tried to get it up the stairs - only to discover a few feet from the top of the folded staircase that the woodwork narrowed.

Back down it went. Close inspection showed it not be screwed together but factory riveted.

After drilling out about 30 rivets and removing just about every panel I had to use a pair of car jacks to lever the corner posts apart they were meshed so tight.

Finally in manageable pieces it went up the stairs and was reassembled with screws in place of the missing rivets.

After buying a M6 reamer, a few spare bolts, adding the shelves, making some DIY standard 19" rack framing and mounting all the machines (and about 5km of cable) it's all up and running."

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May 2003

X-10 home automation units have finally come down dramatically in price here in Australia due to them now being carried by the consumer electronics chain Dick Smith Electronics. Hence I've been increasing the "reach" of my home automation system.

2002 Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec | Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May 2003

(c) 2003