Late night confession

I’m a bit afraid right now.

The milling machine’s been delayed another month. ETA is now early December. But I’m not complaining. Technically I don’t have enough money for it anymore. Once it arrives I’ll have at most a fortnight to pay the rest of the outstanding balance.

Since the £700 set aside for it was going to be sitting in my bank account for some 3 (now 6) months longer than expected, I decided to try and grow the money a bit before it went finally into low-fluidity material goods.

I’ve been spending a lot of money this week. A lot of it either on repairing or replacing tools, but mostly on these horns I’ve won on ebay tonight and the upright rotary table for the 4-axis mill project.
And I’ll be spending more once the horns arrive. I’ll be casting a lot, painting, trying out foam-rubber casts, mostly in the hope of getting enough wonderful quality items ready that I’ll be able to storm both Etsy and MCM Expo with them.

I think I can do it. But I’m still gambling again. And to be honest with myself, my previous gambles haven’t had very good returns.

It’s a supportive routine though. Waiting for supplies and parts to arrive sets me up with a waiting list in my mind, so I get on with immediate jobs a lot faster.

All I do is talk about what I do now. I’m sorry it’s likely not a very interesting subject to most.

Backlog/owed items are almost all done. Legacy projects are either scrapped or progressing. Things are generally improving. Life’s clearing out the chaff.

Will try and get back on Skype in the workshop again tomorrow. Talking while I work may help further.

HEV Suit ad-on idea: HUD displays

Mulling over a future HEV suit option.

Just an idle thought really, but perhaps it could be fun to install a couple of OLED display in the Mk5’s neck recess. Placed so I could glance down a them and see the health, suit power and ammo read-outs.

It would seem the Farnell catalogue stocks some yellow ones of the right sort of size (256 x 64 Pixels, 71.104mm x 19.264mm). Not cheap at £40 each, but it’s a nice thought for the future. The resolution looks like it’d be enough to handle the status displays on the left, and primary and secondary ammo levels on the right.


In HL1, the HEV Mk4 suits do indeed have a helmet where you can presume the HUD displays would be located. You know this from seeing dead scientists wearing the full suit with the (ugly) helmet.

In HL2 though you never see the helmet. Yet Dr Freeman is apparently still receiving head protection from the suit (at very least, radiation doesn’t aim). My personal excuse for this is some sort of armoured hood that pops up when needed. Maybe that’s what’s behind the hatch on his back. But in any case, you’d need to know suit status with helmet on or off, so makes sense to stick if in the neck hole.

See? It makes perfect sense!

For really stretching things, assume the suit auto-detects gun and ammo status through strain-sensors in the limbs, and a database of the precise weights of different manufactured weapons and their ammunition. At precise enough measurement, it’d just be a matter of looking up what combination of weapon and ammo matched the weight of the object being held. Only certain ammo would combine with certain weapons, so the table of matching weights would be very limited.

In reality though, it would probably need to be fired a few times to be increasingly sure (assuming each shock is loss of one item of ammo, the weight afterwards would confirm individual ammo weight).

More prep progress

Pink rubber nose has come out perfectly. OMFG it’s so cute. And soft like real skin.
Need to make a black one next.

Think I shall make a poll for CF. Currently I have some rough nose prototypes sitting here. Let the users decide what I should do next? Generic triangle? Squirrel? Small or medium canine? Others?

Rainbow selection also come out well. And replacement velcro heel-pad is done, cut and fits with the rest of the set.

Have trimmed up Razor moulds. Will cast more shortly. Gonna add the three Razor sizes to the main claw display first tho. And get on with the special order display.

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

Power, lathes, wings

Reprap prototype PSU is done and ready for the stepper controllers to arrive now. All boxed up nicely. If memory serves, it didn’t have a fan when it was in the fax machine, so should be fine in the enclosure. At worse I might have to drill it some extra air holes.
Mains lamp, some (vintage) terminal posts, switch and IEC C14 socket.

Even took the engraver to the front panel to mark out the various terminals and added a couple of ferrite beads to the lines to be on the safe side, and used some cable wrap to keep the wires tidy.

Today I also finally removed the piston and cam off the old compressor pump, and filed down a pully to fit. I’ve hooked this up to the 3rd party headstock from the Black and Decker extruded aluminium wood lathe I found last year. It’s meant to be run by a type of drill they no longer make, so the compressor motor should be easily powerful enough. Currently getting a head speed of about 3200rpm, so it’s currently about twice as fast as it needs to be. Will see about swapping the headstock pully for something larger (I have one, but getting the old one off will be a pain).
It’s not urgent, but it’s sitting around and there’s a friend who should be able to use it once it’s basically working.
Also made a control box for it, currently a simple latching safety power switch (see background of first image) from a broken garden shredder and an old RS project box. If I find a spare suitably rated rheostat I may add a limited speed controller.

Also the sewing for the set of “Navi” wings was mostly done today, but one of the blue plastic rods snapped while trying to flex it into it’s “pocket”.
After some considerable swearing and therapeutic angle-grinder time (see above compressor pump), I will tomorrow attempt to construct a coupler out of clear perspex rod and use it to join the two broken ends, as the stress on them will likely be more than any other repair would take. this may mean purposefully breaking and repairing the opposite wing to match.

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

Some progress

I have not been coping well today.

Footpads haven’t bonded correctly. Gluing method hasn’t worked very well. I guess the rubber chemistry changes while setting. Unset won’t bond to set.
Going to have to try slashing the velcro to get rubber to bond into it better.

Still, one set come out acceptable.

More casting tomorrow. May catch up yet.

Also roughed out the folding mechanism for the Bonsai Repstrap..

A portable 3D printer is certainly feasible.

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