Holy shit, what a year!

I feel like a lot has happened this year, so I’m sure I’m going to miss out on a number of cool things, but lets give it a try and see if I can get most of it.

I began building a Voron 2.4 3D printer. Two of them in fact. One for myself, and one for my wife. She’s been taking up all the time on my printer and that’s been making it hard for me to fit in some of the stuff I want to print. So, we’re buying it bit by bit, and as of writing I’m stalled until some other projects close out and free up my time and money.

I killed my Qidi Tech I. This was my only filament printer at the time. While trying to figure out why my prints would suddenly begin failing and then give me tons of trouble getting level again, I broke the wiring on one of my thermisters and didn’t have a replacement. After some more intense observation and measuring and wating, I was able to figure out that the matte PLA filament my wife loves was eating up our nozzle. Because the hole on the nozzle was getting larger with every print, it would end up with an under-extrusion situation where it was trying to feed 0.4 amounts of filament to a 0.6 hole and the glob wouldn’t get enough nozzle pressure to push it to the plate and get it to hold.

So, how did this lead to me breaking the printer?

Well, the Qidi Tech I is a dual head 3D printer so when the thermistor wire broke, I swapped over to the other head and kept printing. When I finally figured out the problem I ordered some abrasion resistant nozzles. While I was doing that, I decided to replace the thermistor and get back up to full capability. I had to remove the power lines to the board (24v) to replace the wiring for the thermistor. I checked and double checked the polarity on the board, and made sure to wire the red lead to positive and black to negative. As an American, this made sense. But I guess in China, where Qidi is located, the wiring goes the other way around. So the power from the relay was wired the Chinese way, and the board was wired the American way.

When got everything else wired and plugged in I was ready to get printing again. I had Voron parts to finish! When I flipped the switch to power up, the display lit for a second, there was a small little sound inside the printer, and then nothing. I switched the power off, tipped the printer on it’s side so I could open the bottom and see if anything obvious happened. When I flipped the power again, smoke began rising from an IC and then it looked to be glowing red. I turned the power off again and looked closer and saw that probably 1cm or so of the PCB lead near that chip had burnt. For me, that was it. A dead board.

To make the rest of the story short, I bought another board and promptly shorted that one with a screwdriver. Finally I got a real upgrade, a Bigtreetech Octopus v1.1, a set of TMC2209 stepper drivers, a bltouch, a filament runout sensor, and some new, lower profile, limit switches to give myself just the tiniest bit of extra print space. I couldn’t just put marlin on the board because that would be too normal. So I spent a day re-wiring the whole 3D printer and then 3 days configuring Klipper, which included me wiping the whole Raspberri Pi disk to start over 4 times.

Everything was working, I did a number of calibration prints and things were looking good. Except the lighting. I thought the lighting was crap. So I got some RGB LED strip lights and wired them up around the top of the printer. But, while wiring up the LED lights to the control board I accidentally plugged something back in that shorted the 24v rail to the 5v rail. This fried the board and a number of components. I got another Octopus because my wife didn’t like me being mopey. Once I got it back in and wired up, it was a long game of guess the fried component. I fried another BL Touch playing this game but got to the place I am now, everything seems to be going okay, but the BL Touch won’t register the touch, so the printhead crashes into the plate. And then I got pulled away onto another project and haven’t been able to make progress on it.

I built an OpenBuilds CNC machine for my wife. I actually didn’t have much problem with it. But building the table to put it on kind of sucked. I had to buy a new 3d printer to print the corner joints, and the only filament I had was some dark green PETG. So the table is strong, but has a ton of flex. But she’s been cutting almost non-stop since July, so it’s not really a concern yet, though I do want to get some CF infused Nylon to reprint the pieces.

When Augest was almost over, I began working on some of our new Halloween decorations. We usually like to buy one decoration a year, and build the rest ourselves. Well, I began by building some realist size hay bales for a new section we were starting in our side yard. I also built a scarecrow. But the one decoration we bought required some kind of protection to be outside, so I spent all the rest of the time leading up to Halloween building a shack for him.

And as soon as Halloween was packed up, my wife set me on all things Gcode, manufacturing her gifts, 3D printing on both the new 3D printer, and the resin printer, as well as setting up and running her jobs on the CNC machine. But I’m just biding my time until I get my chance to build a gift for her. I am building an electric guitar from scratch. I have learned a lot about guitars and building guitars.

Well, that was a lot longer than I had planned on it being, but I think we’re mostly caught up now. I wonder what my next obsession will be.

Wow, I finally made it back

You ever have one of those things where you know you have to do it, and you mean to do it, and you plan to do it, but when it comes time to do it you just don’t do it? That has been posting here for the past here. I’ve planned on writting a post catching up with everything but when I get some time to write a post I feel like it’s too much to post and end up doing something else. But now I’m forcing myself to do it.

Update 1 – I’ve got my electronics workbench to a state where I feel comfortable working on stuff. I have a soldering and reflow station, a nice overhead light, a work holder, a controllable power supply and a lot of little screwdrivers and pliers. I’ve fixed a couple of computers and even a Game Cube (the nintendo console) at the workbench so far and I have a couple of projects I’m working on for fun. One of those is a universal remote for my house. I have ceiling fans in every room that are controlled with RF remotes and I want to control them from anywhere in the house, along with the IR controls for my TVs and Apple TVs. Another project is a programmable light controller for my wife’s shadow boxes. I still have a queue of projects to fix for family too, so I have plenty of use for this hobby.

Update 2 – Using my electronics workbench I’ve finally fixed my 3d printer and have gotten back into that. My wife has given me a queue of things to print that’s probably going to take me a year and hundreds of dollars in fillament to finish, and between those I’m working with FreeCAD to design my own parts for various needs around the house. Nothing big, just a tray for some electronics projects, some spacers for a computer stand and things like that. But I guess learning to design parts in CAD software is another skill that I can further develop.

I’ve also cleaned up and recalibrated my resin printer. Prints still seem to be failing after a few layers of supports, and that’s frustrating, but I’ve been reading and it looks like maybe if I lay out my prints a little better that problem could be resolved. It sure would be nice to have this printer back up and running so that I can print high resolution models. But right now it’s a lot of stink and a lot of mess for a lot of frustration.

Update 3 – I’m back into book making. I decided to make books as some gifts for Christmas and it reminded me of how much I love doing it. My mom asked me what I mean when I say I make books. I cut and fold the paper. I sew it together and build a spine before attaching end papers. I cut a material for the cover (mostly leather remnants but I’ve been looking at expanding to cloths). Then I cut some backing board, which usually ends up being chipboard but I’ve also used thin wood boards too, before gluing the cover to. I turn in the cover and then attach it to the book end pages, super (a cloth part of the spine that sticks out far enough to glue to the backing boards) and spine. So I tell my mom that when I say I make books, I mean I make books. And I love doing it. I have decided though that I need a few tools. I’ve been doing this with just a stack of books, a hammer, and a razor. I have begun building some of those tools with my clumsy excuse for woodworking.

Update 4 – I’m building a CNC mill from my first 3d printer. My first 3d printer was a delta printer. That’s the kind with 3 arms and no horizontal moving parts. It uses a bunch of triginometric transformations to determine where to move the arms to push a center piece to a point that you want to print. But of course with my little tweaks here and “upgrades” there it became mostly unusable. I’ve harvested some parts for other projects but still have the 3 motors and control board and various other pully parts. So I’ve decided to build myself a 3 (or is it 4?) axis cnc mill for cutting aluminum parts out for projects that need something stronger than a plastic 3d print. For now I’m working with only parts I have in the house, of which I have a lot because I take apart any electronic or mechanical thing my wife wants to throw away. I can also 3d print many of the parts I need and don’t have until the mill is working and I can mill replacements from aluminum. The only parts I know I’ll need to buy for sure is a motor for the spindle and the milling bits. I also have to figure out how to get the RAMPS board to handle CNC GRBL code instead of 3d printer G code (which is a repurposed and non-standardized GCODE).

Update 5 – I’ve taken up jewelery making. Well I guess for now it’s only lapidary work. I started with a 2 lb rock tumbler and then moved on to hand grinding stones with sandpaper while those tumble. Oh god that takes for ever. I’ve made a teardrop shaped cabichon from pink opal and a 4 sided die from some gray stone that I’ve not identified yet. My wife bought me a wire wrapping kit and I’ve been drawing up my own designs and trying those out. Just last night I finally got the okay from my wife to get a cabachon cutting machine and I’m excited for that to get here. I’ve found a couple of places online where I can get some cool rough rock for cheep and can’t wait to get some of those made into jewelery. Maybe this summer I’ll even get a hat and go out finding rocks locally. That’s a challenge because I break out in hives with too much sun, on top of burning within half an hour. Still, with some spf 9million and a wide hat and long sleeved clothes I should be good. We have some really cool places to find minerals here.

Misc – My wife still plans on doing her etsy store this summer, and I’m planning on using some of my hobbies to help her populate it. So my job is to build up some inventory of books and jewelery. Once my skills get more refined I may open my own shop, but right now I have no interest in that.

I’ve promised my wife to focus on these hobbies: writing, jewelery making, book making, and tinkering to support other tasks. That means no more working on my car, no more music production stuff, no more film making stuff, and no more flittering to new hobbies… for now. Let’s see if I can make that stick.

I’ve also promised to take my narcolepsy treatments seriously. That means taking my meds in the morning and really trying to sleep at night. How hard this is is really underestimated by anyone who doesn’t have to deal with it. But I’m going to give it my best.

Oh, I mentioned writing above. I actually managed to bang out about half a book over NaNoWriMo. It’s a decent start. I’m not happy with it yet, but once I finish and begin re-writing and editing the real magic happens.

Well, I feel like that’s a pretty decent update. I’m going to post more frequently, though I can’t promise daily or weekly.

It’s been a while

So, yeah. I’ve been meaning to post, like every week since my last post, but couldn’t really get myself to do it. I guess it’s been a bit of a low time for me. The thing about my bipolar mood changes is that I’m the last person to notice them, so I don’t know how long really I’ve been down.

But, on the up, and down, side, I’ve kept up with my latest obsession. Comics! I’ve spent way more than I probably should have. I don’t know how much I’ve actually spent, I haven’t really kept track of it, but I know I bought at least $900 worth of comics since the last post, maybe more. I keep trying to talk myself into stopping, but there’s always “just one more” for me to buy.

I’ve also been trying to keep myself going along with the electronics and game dev interests too, but they feel like so much hard work right now. That’s probably the depression talking. I pretty much just spend my days working, then napping. Comics are something I can do without a ton of extra moving, but the other two take much more brain and energy, and I can’t muster that right now.

I keep hoping to flip the other direction, but I don’t really have control over that. I’ve tried skipping some meds to help alter my brain, but I just end up getting the brain zaps. And while they can be a little fun at first, when I start feeling them in my lips and can’t keep balance I know it’s time to take my meds again.

I’ll try to post again soon. Wish me luck.

My Current Obsession: Game Development

I’m still eagerly awaiting my first comic book shipment. My first comics were added to my shipment today! Still, it’s not going to be shipped until the 14th of April. I have to do something to keep myself from checking atomic empire’s site every 10 minutes.

I’m not sure how my interest got peaked this time. Perhaps I was looking at Steam? Or I was just looking through my installed apps on my Mac for something to distract me and saw the Epic Game launcher which also performs as the Unreal Engine launcher. Whatever the way, I decided to install the latest Unreal Engine (4.26.1) and began looking through the market place for plugins.

In all I have ended up with 27 free plugins that I felt I could use, and another 31 paid plugins on my wishlist that I really feel I could use. I’ve also downloaded and installed Blender and Daz 3D.

Funny side story. I used to work at a software company that developed retail software. As in, Point of Sale (cash register), inventory management and ordering, scheduling, etc. In the same building was a small, one office company called Daz 3D. I had no idea what they did, but when I’d go out to smoke, their lead QA would sometimes be out there too. It took me over a year to ask what they do, and he told me that that they had replaced Poser and now manage sofware for character design and whatnot. He worked on the online warketplace. When I’d played with Poser in the past it seemed like an expensive toy. I asked him what people use it for and his anwer was, “people animate characters for games and CG. But mostly it’s used for porn.”

So, I kinda felt naughty downloading Daz 3D, but I figured I could look into using it for character animation.

Last night I spent about 3 hours trying to remember how to use blender, though I was never really good. I think I may have to start off with goofy looking characters to start with.

Now I just have to get to it. Finally an obsession I don’t need to buy stuff or wait on. If I ever get something done, I’ll post a link on this site.

My Current Obsession: Comic Books

So, I’m not sure what triggered this one. Just, one day last week I started looking for comic book subscriptions. That night I asked my wife if there were any comics she would want. She listed a couple and I was off. I created an account at atomicempire.com and started adding stuff for subscriptions. Before I knew it I had something like 50 comics on my list.

After having a hard time trimming the list down, I asked my wife how much I could spend per month. She said probably no more than 60. So I kept trimming down the list.

I finally got it down to 20. But I keep adding them back. I’m back up to 35. I don’t think I want to miss out on some of these. I also secretly bought all the back issues of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for my wife. Maybe to convince her to let me keep them.

Since then I have ordered some comic storage boxes and comic dividers. Last night I organized all the comics we already have and labeled the dividers and put them into one of the boxes. We have allmost a whole box full already. It’s mostly filled with my Fight Club 2 and Fight Club 3 comics and variant covers, but also includes my wife’s Cable and Ghost Rider comics. I’m pretty sure with 30+ comics coming a month we’ll finish filling up that box and start on the next one in no time.

Next I have to hunt down all the back issues of the comics I subscribed to too late to get issue #1 of. The 2019 run of X-Men, Spawn, Miskatonic, 2021 Suicide Squad, Vampire: The Masquerade, New Mutants, Children of the Atom, and Strange Acedmy. Below is a full list (at time of writing) of the comics I decided to subscribe to:

  • Alien (2021)
  • Aquarius: Book of Mer
  • Black Beacon
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer (2019)
  • Carnage: Black, White, and Blood
  • Cherry Blackbird
  • Children of the Atom (2020)
  • Cojacaru the Skinner
  • Cult of Dracula
  • Cyberpunk 2077: You have my word
  • Future State Gotham
  • Great Gatsby
  • Harley Quinn (2021)
  • How to Read Comics the Marvel Way
  • John Carpenter’s Tales of Science Fiction: Hell
  • Joker (2021)
  • Lady Baltimore: The Witch Queens
  • Locke and Key / Sandman: Hell and Gone
  • Minky Woodcock: The Girl who Electrified Tesla
  • Miskatonic
  • New Mutants (2019)
  • Nightmare Before Christmas: Mirror Moon
  • Picture of Everything Else
  • Red Room
  • Rise (2020)
  • Shadecraft
  • Shadowman (2020)
  • Silk (2021)
  • Silver Coin
  • Spawn
  • Strange Academy
  • Suicide Squad (2021)
  • Vampire: The Masquerade
  • Way of X
  • Women of Marvel
  • X-Corp
  • X-Men (2019)
  • You Promised Me Darkness

About that video

After hours and hours of learning to use Adobe Premier Pro, more hours and hours of editing frame by frame, and two weeks of not posting because the video wasn’t done, I have decided to skip it. I realized that it’s not going to be something I want posted on youtube, and wasn’t going to be good enough to even show what I did with the grounding. I promised I would included it with my next post, and so I held off writing any new ones. So I’m cancelling the video. Once I get into doing more exciting things, I’ll be more excited to post them.

Anyway, I’m including a list of the parts I used to set my workstation up with a grounded anti-static mat. I’m excited to get working on projects, and not worrying about working on a video that is going to make me depressed anyway will give me a chance to get started on them.

You can click on any of these images to be taken to the amazon link for the product.

First the mat:

I got a mat large enough to cover the desk I linked in the previous post. In fact, I got one too big and had to trim it down. Luckily some sewing scisors cut right through it like butter. The top of the mat is rubber and the bottom has a static dispursing plastic film. It’s quite a bit heavier than I expected.

Grounding snap kit:

To install the grounding kit, you will have to cut a small hole into the mat. I just used the tip of a box cutter. Be careful though, the box cutter is easy to make a cut that is too large for the kit. You only need the tip to go through, just enough to stick the screw through to the other side. Once you have that, you just put the screw into the snap side you need, then the washer, and then press it into the hole and screw on the back side. Tighten up with a screw driver and it’s done. The wired plate snaps right on to the mat now to carry away any of that pesky static.

Plug kit:

There are two screws you need to undo to get the grounding kit wired up to this screw. The first is the outside, to remove the cover, then there is the one on the grounding post (the bottom of the 3 posts in a US plug). Make sure to thread the wire through the housing before mounting it to the ground post. Then you just put everything back together the same way you took it apart. I had to bend the post inside the plug a little to accomodate the grounding wire, just make sure it’s not shorted to any other post. Because the other two posts are not wired internally, they are an open circut and no power flows through the plug, it is simply grounded. Now you have a grounded plug.

Power strip:

I wanted a plug that would attach to the desk so that I could easily plug things in near to where I was working. Nothing special about attaching this. Just opened the jaws all the way and slid it on over the desk frame and top then tighted the jaws. Easy.

And that’s it. My workstation now has a grounded anti-static mat and power strip. It is ready to accept electronics tools. I haven’t been able to afford any yet, but I did hunt down my old soldering iron and heat gun. It’s not really the kind of heat gun you’d use for electronics, but I probably can use it for desoldering surface mount components. Next up I need to get a lap for lighting my work better.

Electronics workbench

The first part of my electronics workbench came about a week ago, but I was waiting for more parts to put it together. But my wife, the supportive person she is, put it together for me while I was streaming on saturday. And like I promised in a previous post, I have a picture of it for you.

A desk in front of window with electronics on top.
Start of my electronics workbench

As you can see, I’ve selected a place in front of a window so that I can open it for venting any fumes. I also have a power outlet nearby. And on top, I have my first little project. We bought a cheep receiver but never purchased any speakers for it. We just couldn’t afford a good set. And while it was sitting there it got bumped around or something. We finally did get some speakers a few weeks ago and the receiver no longer output any signal to the speakers. That was frustrating. But it is kind of exciting for me. I get a bunch of components to harvest. I get some practice desoldering, identifying componets and testing them.

I have my anti-static mat and grounding cable on it’s way. Should be here today. I’m thinking I’ll make a video of setting it up and post it on youtube. I’ll post the video in my next post!

Almost got me

Yesterday I talked about looking at IMUs for a project. I thought I had found the unit I wanted. It is a Bosch BMF055. It includes the Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Magnometer, and also an SAMD20 32biti Cortex M0+ processor. All for about $10 on digikey. Sounds nice, right? Does all the things I wanted, right? Yep.

But then I was going over the datasheet for like the 5th time, and saw this section:

“8.2 Programming and debug interface
The MCU can be programmed and debugged via Atmel debugging tools using the SWD interface.”

Okay, I thought, what does that involve. So I searched for what that involves. Wll, it looks like it involves aditional hardware. I can save up for something small. It looks like this is the required piece of hardware for programming atmel chips. Fine, I think. I can just add that to my collection of required tools for electronics. I’m sure something in the future would end up needing that and it would be good to already have it.

So, does that require anything else? How does this get the code into the chip? Is it just a loader like the Arduino IDE? I looked into the user guide and found:

“1.3 System Requirements
The Atmel-ICE unit requires that a front-end debugging environment Atmel Studio version 6.2 or later is installed on your computer.”

This means it does require specific software. I spent some time hunting around for Atmel Studio and after some time found out that Atmel is now called Microchip, and Atmel Studio is now Microchip Studio. After a bit of hunting I found that Microchip Studio is free, which is nice. But from reading a bit on the allaboutcircuits forum, it seems that Microchip Studio might be going away, and I’d be forced into purchasing MPLAB, which is also free. But will it support the hardware programmer?

And on and on it goes. Looks like there is some beta support, and what I really should be using is is something like this debugger/programmer. That is definately cheaper, but it may also require this little helper. And it would also require I use MPLAB.

So, instead of having this one chip decide all this difficult dev chain for me, I think it’s probably just going to be easier to find an IMU without the MCU and need for programming. So, now I’m leaning more toward a chip like this one. This chip looks like it’d be much easer to get programmed since it uses I2C and is only programming interrupts.

I’m going to have to remember to always check these things on all the chips I want to select for my project. Good to remember, and I’m glad I found this before I bout 5 or so IMUs.

Another project idea

I mentioned in my previous post that I’d come up with a new project that I want to work on, and that I’d describe it in my next post. Well, here’s the next post.

My wife and I are looking to buy a pistol. Her biggest concern (other than keeping it locked away, mostly from me) is the recoil. My biggest concerns are comfort, ease of maintenance, ability to shoot easily with, and durability. I’ve long liked Glocks. We’ve gone shooting a few times together, a couple times renting guns at the shooting range, a couple times with friends, and once with my dad. On top of that, I grew up shooting, received top accuracy in my hunter saftey course (wayyyyy back in the 90s) and was the youngest competitive shooter in my grandpa’s shooting club. So we have a few points of reference for the guns we’re interested in. My wife like’s 9mm pistols, .22 rifles, and my dad’s .38 special. She also had some fun with his .50 caliber black powder rifle but it was a bit more recoil than she wanted to deal with constantly. She hates 12 gauge shotguns and 30-06 rifles.

But in picking our own, she’s mostly worried about recoil. I’ve looked up charts of the energy that pushes back against the gun, but the way that energy is felt is affected by a number of factors, some of which include the weight of the gun, the amount of powder in the cartridge, the weight of the bullet, the momentum of the moving parts in the gun. Almost every site I’ve looked at though says that recoil is much more subjective than the numbers in a table. I’m sure there are many more that could be added to that list, but she doesn’t care about the math that goes into the recoil energy. Well, actually, that might interest her, she has a BS in applied mathematics and is working on her MS in data science. But as far as buying a gun, she cares about how the recoil feels.

So, I’ve been trying to think of a way to quantize the feel of the recoil of a gun. At first I thought of just putting a pressure sensor somewhere on the backstrap so that when the gun is fired the pressure of the recoil against the hand can be measured. But that doesn’t tell the whole story of what you’re feeling when you shoot. So I thought, what about an accelerometer? That would give me the momentum changes, and that should give you more information about the pressure and movement of the gun. That is, until I realized accelerometers only give measurements about momentum, not angular velocity (rotational energy). But gyroscopes give you angular changes. So I realized I’d have to include both an accelerometer and a gyroscope. There are chips known as IMUs (Inertial Measurement Unit) and they include both, and often also include a magnometer to measure changes in relation to the earth’s magnetosphere. I’m not sure how I’d incorporate the magnometer, but I think I could map the motion of the gun with the other two sensors into some data that she could use to select a gun based on the feel of just one or two.

Then I started thinking of how to connect the sensor to the gun. Maybe an under barel attatchment of some sort would work, but I think the mechanical stress of shooting the gun would require a more permanent attachment, something that the shooting range might not appriciate on their rental guns. The measurements made under the barrel might not accurately represent the feel of the recoil in the user’s hand either. But a glove that is worn on the user’s primary hand might do the trick. I could measure the motion of the user’s hand when shots are fired. This would also allow me to make the sensor portable and quick to ready. I could even embed a pressure sensor or two in the palm for measuring the pressure against the hand.

So there it is, a shooting glove that measures the telemetry of recoil when firing a pistol. There might be something out there like this, but I have no doubt it would be expensive. Doing it myself would cost me a few dollars for the pcb at JLC, about $10 for the IMU at digikey, and a couple of bucks for incidental components, and as little as $3 for a bluetooth module to relay the information back to my phone, or similar for a usb port and data logger. I have two 3D printers and could print out any housings I need after desiging it in FreeCAD. It would take me some time to develop firmware for the device, and then a bit more time to write an application to gather and display the data from the device, whether that be for my iPhone or my computers. I’m fairly comfortable with C, C++, and Ruby, am a little rusty on Java, C#, and Python, Javascript, and could pick up Swift as needed. So all in all, I could probably have this up and running for about $50 and a bunch of hours. Who knows, people might be interested in this thing if there isn’t something around like it. Maybe not.

A low week and a new table

So, I don’t make it a secret that I have bipolar disorder because it shapes a lot of my mood, and so it shapes a lot of how people perceive me. Even though I take meds to balance me (lithium, lamotrigine, and escitalopr├ím) from swinging too far in one direction or the other, it doesn’t always keep it from happening. And so I still have periods of hypomania and depression.

You would think, since it’s my brain and my moods, I would know right off when it changes. But it’s not that easy. The best analogy I can come up quickly is think of the smells in your home. In my home, we cook food with a lot of italian and mexican spices, and we like them to be fresh, so we have Aerogardens all over the house with tomatoes, jalape├▒os, basil, oregano, thyme, chives, parsley, sage, cilantro (which I guess is also known as coriander in other places), and dill growing. We just walk up to them when we’re cooking and grab a sprig or two and then throw it in the pot. We don’t notice the smells unless we’re up close and disturbing the plant (oh man fresh basil smells so good when you brush past it). But when we have visitors they always ask what we’re cooking (“You making spaghetti sauce?”).

That’s how bipolar is for me. Unless something rubs it the wrong way I don’t notice it until someone else points it out to me, usually by asking me what’s wrong with me. Even with my wife helping me to keep track of these things, I’m about 3-5 days behind what the rest of the world already sees. And last week it was depression, a low week. I don’t know when it started or when it ended, but what I’m excited about is that I was able to carry my interest in building my cyberdeck through it, though my excitement for rushing into building the cyberdeck is a bit more subdued because of all the doubt and challenges injected into my plans. It’s going to be a longer process than I imagined before. But that’s okay, it gives me more things to learn and more time for them to stick.

Anyway, the exciting part of the post is that my wife is starting to see that I plan on going through with this hobby, and ordered me the first piece of hardware for my electronics workbench. The workbench! I tried to pick one out that was as big and cheap as I could get. This one is almost 5 feet (55 * 2.54 = 139.7cm) wide, and almost 2 feet (19.7 * 2.54 = 50cm) deep.

You’ll notice those are Amazon affiliate links. I’ve set up an account so that if you are interesting in purchasing any of the bits I’ll be ordering off Amazon you have the option of using one of those links and maybe helping me get some extra $ to further the nerdy works I plan on sharing here. Don’t worry, I won’t be posting anything I didn’t buy first.

Once I get the table put together, I’ll post a picture of it in its new home to show progress of how the electronics workbench is coming together. The next item on the list is an antistatic mat to go over the whole top and a way to ground it to my home grounding. I don’t know how far out that purchase will be, but I’ll be sure to put up a new post when it happens.

And lastly, I’ve come up with a new electronics project I want to work on. I’ll write the details of that one in my next post.