The Machine That Goes PING!

February 1st, 2011 by noise

I never appreciated my internet connection enough when I lived in the city. Now that I’m a country mouse I think it really IS a series of tubes. Reliable it’s not. So I thought it would be fun to use an Arduino, my BlinkM and a bit of python to create a visual network monitor.

Here are the steps:

1. Plug your BlinkM into analog ports 2-5 (the standard way instructed by ThingM).

2. Load the Communicator sketch from ThingM onto your arduino.

3. Run the python script. This must be run as Administrator on windoze and although I haven’t tried it yet I believe it must be run as root on Linux. The code should be safe, but review it anyway for your own piece of mind.

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Simple Diet Coke and Mentos Nozzles

February 1st, 2011 by noise

There are various plans for nozzles online but I wanted something simple and a bit more elegant (if that’s possible with PVC) than what I was seeing. I also wanted my nozzles to use as few parts as possible.

Here’s what I came up with:


* 1” PVC threaded to smooth adapter
* 3/4” PVC end cap that fits inside the smooth end of the adapter
* 12, 16 or 20 ounce plastic bottle of soda. Some caps work much better than others, look for the ones with numerous thin knurls. Regular Pepsi caps are good for instance.
* PVC cement.
* 5 minute epoxy.
* A nail or non tapered toothpick to use as a trigger. It has to be long enough to go all the way through the 1” adapter and stick out on both sides.
* String to use for the remote trigger.
* Drill.
* Drill bit the same diameter or slightly larger than your trigger.
* 3/16” drill bit.
* Hobby knife or Dremel with a spiral cutting bit.
* 2 liter bottle of Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi.
* Package of mint Mentos

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Reminder: Ask-an-EE and Soldering class – 5/15 @ 2pm

May 14th, 2010 by noise

Mike Hord will be holding geek court this Saturday from 2pm on. Come and chat about all things electronics and stay for the soldering primer ($30 for the class).

See the original post for more details.

[image attribution]

Makerbot has Arrived!

May 6th, 2010 by noise

Our Makerbot was delivered to Brandon on Tuesday and we started working on it last night.  As you can see we made good progress.  With some luck we will be printing by next Wednesday.  It a great kit with good instructions and quick progress was made.

We also received the sister Makerbot that will be sent out to the raffle winner in the coming days.


Beckie and Jon worked on the Makerbot some more on Thursday night and got it working.

There’s some more tweaking to do before it’s fully functional, but here’s the first object du 3d:

Handmade Music: Minneapolis #3 – May 1st – 5pm

April 21st, 2010 by noise

The next Handmade Music: Minneapolis will be on Saturday May 1st, starting at 5pm. Alex Deeba (from GetLoFi) and Micheal Una will be holding a Workshop to build an interesting bleepy electronic instrument and there will be lots of other great stuff going on.

See the blog post for details at the dedicated HMMM site Also if you are interested in the workshop please sign-up at Eventbrite so that we have a head count. There will be a $10 parts fee collected at the time of the workshop. GetLoFi Workshop Registration.

Stop the presses! Alex just sent me this video of an example of what we will be building.

More information about Handmade Music Minneapolis over here, along with photos of past and information on past events.

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