Designed a solar heater for my pool

4’x8′ pegboard painted black with zip-tied 1/2″ irrigation line. Three separate lines to maximize flow. I put clear roofing to keep pests from eating the line. Brought the temperature up to about 95°.

Built an enclosed garden

I designed and built a fully enclosed garden. 1/4″ mesh all around (including buried below) to keep rodents out.

Put up a few greenhouses

I finally purchased some harbor freight greenhouse kits and put them up.

I added caulk to the panels to help keep them in place and used 4×4 posts to keep them anchored.

Building another mid-power rocket

Ready for launch!

Designed some stickers

Weasly needed his own stickers. Hit me up if you want one.

Some recent 3D prints

I made some time-lapse videos of 3D prints I did while working on other projects.

Articulating mini octopus
NEMA 17 gears
Herringbone gear
Articulating gecko

Got a sweet deal on an industrial laser!

I got a really good deal on a functional industrial laser marking system on eBay. It is a VideoJet 3120 10 W laser that uses galvanometers to direct the laser beam. This makes it really fast. This leaser is typically used in assembly lines to mark expiration dates and batch numbers on products. It is capable of marking 1,200 characters per second!

The one problem is the working area (maximum size area it can mark) is slightly less than 2″ x 2″. I’ll play with it for a while and eventually trade it in for some other shiny toy.

Never mind all of the weed abatement equipment in the background; ’tis the season.

What to do with my GI Bill?

In 2011, I thought I was finished with college. I had been a full-time student since 2006 and completed an Associate’s in Electronics Technology, a Bachelor’s in IT, and a Master’s in Business with and emphasis in Information Assurance. At thins point I had barely used 1/3 of my G.I. Bill and had paid tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket.

When one exits military service, any remaining benefit of the G.I. Bill has an expiration date. If not used by this time, it evaporates into thin air; my date was approaching.

When I joined the service, I qualified and opted for advanced training in computer and electronics, which carried a requirement an obligation for additional time served as the training involved was nearly two years long. This brought on a choice between two incentives once the training was successfully completed; $15,000 cash bonus or an additional financial contribution toward college endeavors when using the G.I. Bill. Being a glassy-eyed 17-year-old with sights on world conquer, I opted for the money for college.

Now that I am approaching forty, working full time, fathering two teenagers, and working a plethora of side projects, I did the only irrational thing… I signed up for an Associate’s degree program. Why not?

I chose something different, but fun… Firearms Technology. I enrolled in the program offered through Sonoran Desert Institute (SDI), which when using the G.I. Bill is fully covered. I am very excited about the offerings and the new skills I will acquire. It can be expected that I will post content related to my studies to this site. With my previous college activities, all of the general education has been satisfied, so it is degree specific for me only!

I start class later this month and will graduate (based on the class schedule) in April of 2020. I will have about 8 months of G.I. Bill left at that point, so there is no telling what I will do next.

My Shop Is Unpacked!

Being low on the priority list, my shop has been in disarray since moving in. Last weekend I finally unpacked all of the boxes and got it set up. I need to organize my piece-parts and put up some more shelves, but I can finally get to stuff!

Runner-Up for Contest

I earned a runner-up spot for the WIZnet contest. They sent me a free prototyping kit based on the idea for my project and are now giving me some cash. Thank you WIZnet!