Mar 15 2010

In business news

Emails have been sent, bus battery’s on charge, business site WordPress install backed up and updated.

Today I’m expecting to take receipt of the remaining UKFur “shop” stock, records and documents. I’ll need to restock on a few things, but it’s my first corporate takeover, so rather excited!

Tomorrow I should have a digital camera in the post to me. Only a Fuji FinePix S5600, but it’ll be sufficient for taking some very nice product shots and filming VGA videos. Hoping to get some more out of my youtube account with that. There’s been some interest in me doing videos from the workshop.

Tomorrow in the AM, I’ll also be heading out into Essex for a bit to collect 2000 NOS stepper motors. I’m hoping to produce a Bonsai Repstrap; a very basic low-power 3D printer for light-duty work or producing the printed parts for a full size RepRap.

Waiting to hear back from a business advisor. I need to make sure my disclaimers are legally in order for the webshop, and look into if there’s any grant or loan options I may still be eligible for. Things were very disorganised and hurried at first, so lots of things have gone on the credit cards. I’d like to clear them and have some working capital to fund these developments a little easier.

I also have a Little List of old jobs. These aren’t necessarily business-related, but they’re old matters that have been hanging over my head for too long. There’s only 5 on it now. It feels good to clear them out of the way.

[20/06/2010: Amalgamating old posts from “Dreamwidth Creative Blog” into sci-fi-fox.com to re-purpose DW blog account.]

Mar 12 2010

Cleaning, casting and picture-taking

Straight to the workshop this morning, and finally managed to dig out the custom wax seal I made for Ash!
I had to modify it because last time I wasn’t happy with my own piss-poor engraving and due to the fact I didn’t reverse the text or images. So the stamped text came out backwards! D’oh!

It polished up pretty well with rotary tool and felt wheel though.

Also checked on the paw-pad castings. Was a bit worried since the part-A had settled out and I used a portion of the surface fluid by itself on the first run.
I’ve since scrawled “SHAKE BEFORE USE” on the side of the heated cabinet.
Regardless the elastomer seems to have set and cured pretty well. No areas of unmixed dye, and a glossy surface finish. I’m still going to give them another 24hrs before they go in the post though, just to be on the safe side. They should be fully hardened at 7 days, but they can be used an manipulated as-is.
Texture’s good too. Feels very natural.

Bit miffed that TOMPS haven’t gotten back to me yet regarding the order cockup, where they sent me Shore-60 instead of 80. I had intended to make up the “tire-tough” footpads with the new 4″ wide velcro embedded in them, and strap them to the bottoms of my shoes to test them at tomorrows LondonFur meet.
Really I should have checked the order contents when it arrives, but I assumed that they were correct because I’d been told the 80 was in a larger set than the 40, due to new suppliers. There were two sizes in there, so I assumed. I should have asked for the product numbers, rather than the descriptions.
It’ll get sorted eventually.

So, spent a little while here, setting up the ghetto Ikea light-box, and getting some much improved publicity shots of my works.
I really need some bigger, brighter lights though. Maybe my welding halogen..
Also depth-of-field is a bit messed up in some. Should be resolved with more light and using Macro shots, rather than regular with zoom.

Some unedited, resized shots below cut..
Read more »

Mar 11 2010

Vacuum de-gasser progress/update

Just a little something recorded with the new digital camera. The one that you get the video off via USB.

[20/06/2010: Amalgamating old posts from “Dreamwidth Creative Blog” into sci-fi-fox.com to re-purpose DW blog account.]

Mar 11 2010

Video production woes

*sigh*

Adobe Premiere only captures from DV sources. My SAA7130 capture card isn’t recognised by it.

AvidFreeDV is the same.

VirtualDub disconnects from the capture device when I try and change the capture resolution. And when I reconnect it resets to 320*240 anyway. Capture output files contain no video.
Attempting to capture with any compression crashes the capture system.

WinDVR doesn’t capture the audio due to the RealTek onboard video card. I can reinstall a separate soundcard, but few of them work on XP and none have the extra I/Os I need.

WinDVD Creator crashes when trying to connect.

When it doesn’t crash instantly, Windows Movie Maker won’t capture in anything but WMV.

So far my best option looks to be to capture in WinDVR using mpeg2 compression and capture and sync the audio manually afterwards.

And attempting to simply connect to the card in MPC bluescreens the machine.

REALLY getting pissed off with this. I bought cameras and playback units so I could actually do something with recorded video. It’s been nearly 4 fucking years and upgrading to XP has stopped me from doing any of it! VirtualDub worked PERFECTLY on Windows 2000. Not a single frame dropped at full PAL resolution, directly from my SVHS playback unit.

I can’t even connect to the fucking video source on XP without something crashing or having to physically replace hardware, let alone getting to the point of TRYING to record it!

Am I seriously going to have to BUILD a Windows 2000 machine just for recording video? Not even for editing it; just recording it??

I’d happily farm the capture out to someone else at this stage except the files produced would by several gigabytes a piece, and getting them onto this machine to edit them would be an equal nightmare!

[20/06/2010: Amalgamating old posts from “Dreamwidth Creative Blog” into sci-fi-fox.com to re-purpose DW blog account.]

Mar 07 2010

Stock-take

Stock-taking is still only marginally more interesting when you’re counting stock you have your own money tied up in.

2053 stepper motors visually accounted for, sorted and boxes taped up.
Will shift them to the eaves tomorrow. 4 set aside for prototyping.
I’m the walking dead here.

1672 regular
381 with gear on shaft

Now I just have to find a motor of the same spec to work out what the replacement cost will be for my insurance.

[20/06/2010: Amalgamating old posts from “Dreamwidth Creative Blog” into sci-fi-fox.com to re-purpose DW blog account.]

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