I Make Clock

I was always wondering what time it was when working in my shop. So I took apart an old clock I had in a closet. Used the hands, gears, and battery compartment to make this.

I didn’t occur to me it reads as a full sentence, “I make time” until after it was done.

Active Life

I’ve posted before about the low back issues I’ve been dealing with for the last few years. Unfortunately I didn’t keep up with the exercises recommended by the PT. I also realized I was wasting my time and money going to the chiropractor every 4-5 weeks because they weren’t doing anything to correct my problem. After getting a bunch of adjustments over a 2-3 week period in August to use up some FSA funds, I tweaked my back the next day. Go figure. I’ve always been skeptical of the chiropractor; I don’t see how 5-10 minutes of work every month can have an impact.

At the end of November I saw Active Life was running a special on their Athlete Membership, which gives you access to all of their programs. $100 for a full year seemed like a steal, so I signed up.

After explaining my back problems, they told me they see similar issues with a lot of athletes, usually caused by an imbalance on one side of the body. Their recommendation was to follow the Single Leg Bias and Back Max programs. I’m over 2.5 months in and just finished the 40 workout SLB program and am over half way through the 80 workout BM program. Tomorrow I’ll be starting the Hips program to replace the SLB workouts.

I like the programs and there is enough variety in the movements to keep my interest. Since I’ve been a member I’ve experienced what felt like a few tweaks while performing my other CrossFit workouts. Only one affected me a bit for a few days, so it seems like the programs are improving things.

If you’re dealing with any CrossFit injuries, check out what Active Life has to offer.

3-Way Smart Wi-Fi Switch

Last year I installed a bunch of Lutron Caséta switches and remotes with dimming functionality. At the time I forgot to test the ceiling fan in my bedroom. So when I went to use it this summer, I got this nice surprise (turn up the sound)…

Ceiling fans don’t like dimmer switches. I’d done a little searching here and there for a smart 3-way switch alternative, but hadn’t been able to find anything. Then one day while walking through Home Depot I noticed some Leviton Decora Smart switches. I did some research when I got home and ordered a DW15S-1BZ and a DD0SR-DLZ. No dimmers on these. Installation was easy and I can use the ceiling fan again. Check out the difference.

I will mention a few negatives with this Leviton switches. The “remote” is wired in, unlike the Caséta remote which can be placed anywhere. It costs a bit more as well. The last thing probably won’t be a big deal for anyone, but it seems like the system is using a relay because I can hear it click back and forth from across the room when I trigger the switch. The clicking may not be the best for a baby’s room.

Other than those things, the Leviton switches work well so far. Check them out if you’re looking for a 3-way switch.

Black Panther

Another fun movie from Marvel. With most of the action set in Africa it had a different and refreshing feel compared to their other movies. My favorite character was played by Danai Gurira, who you may know as Michonne from The Walking Dead.

Today I’m listening to the soundtrack on repeat.

Craftsman 113.232240 Jointer Dust/Chip Collection

It took a few weeks after restoring the Craftsman Jointer (model 113.232240) to get going on a dust/chip collection upgrade, but now it’s done. It’s not going to win any beauty awards, but it’s functional and works awesome. Not bad for making it up as I went.

jointer-dust-collection.jpeg

The previous owner had installed these two side panels and basically let everything fall to the bottom of the stand. Not sure how well it worked, but I knew I could do better.

img_0588

I figured I could build some type of chute that would fit up between the motor and the bottom of the machine.

img_0565-1

My first idea was to create some type of cardboard model that I could reference for building a real box. This was a terrible idea trying to work up under the machine and as soon as I took it out, it basically fell apart.

img_0570

Then I had an idea to cut up this popcorn tin and build the dust chute out of it.

img_0571

I’m still not sure how I managed to keep all my fingers or not even draw a single drop of blood; those edges get extremely jagged and sharp.

In the mean time I made a trip to Home Depot and found some PVC pieces that would work with my dust collection hose.

img_0585

img_0584

The tin pieces worked ok, but I wasn’t confident in the duct tape holding up, especially as a means of keeping it connected to the stand. It was not a wasted effort though because I ended up using the pieces as you’ll see in the video.

img_0586

While working on this project, I realized I really enjoyed the engineering process and solving problems when I made a mistake. I didn’t include footage of the mistakes but there were some epic ones. At some point in the build I stopped checking the fit inside the stand, so when I put it in place I shouldn’t have been surprised that some of the lower parts were smacking into the motor. After fixing that problem, the box for the power switch was in the way, which is why I moved it to the other side of the stand. Finally I forgot the motor needed to be raised in order to get the belt back on and there was no room to spare. Luckily this last problem was the easiest to fix because the motor mount could be flipped over, getting me 3-4 inches of clearance. I picked a 6 inch longer belt at AutoZone.

I imagine you could build something similar for most jointers. If you come across this post and it helps you out, let me know.

Photo Challenge: Sweet

“What do you have for desserts?” I asked in the KFC drive thru.

“We have chocolate cake and chocolate chip cookies.”

“I’ll take the chocolate cake.”

She literally meant a chocolate cake!

❤️ is not having to share your sweets on Valentine’s Day.

Home Network Updates

My router had been flaking out, so I picked up a Eero with 1 beacon. Setup was smooth and painless. I decided to use a new Wi-Fi network name, which was not one of my best ideas; reconfiguring about 30 devices was a pain in the ass!hass-io-install

While I was working on my network I took the opportunity to do a fresh install of everything on the Raspberry Pi server running Home Assistant and Pi-Hole. Instead of installing Raspbian and all of the software myself,  I took advantage of Hass.io, which is a preconfigured image and works well. When I first started using Home Assistant, the project was pretty immature so I didn’t use it.

Installing Pi-Hole as a Hass.io add-on is slick. Due to issues with my old router I’d been living without ad blocking for a few weeks and it was horrible. It’s hard going back to a web littered with ads when you’ve been living without them.

Figured I might as well keep going, so I also made a bunch of improvements to the Raspberry Pi Temperature Monitor I use in my garage. Seems to run much more stable, which may also have something to do with the fresh Home Assistant install. Changed a few things with home-assistant-pi as well.

Another big change I made to the server is connecting it to my network via ethernet instead of WiFi. It’s wired in through an AirPort Time Capsule, which is connected to the Eero via a really long cable running through the basement. I bet this has done more than anything to improve the stability and consistency of my system. A bonus of this connection change is the Speedtest reporting inside HA is much more accurate.

Now I need to make time to get more automating done in Home Assistant and publish part 2 and 3 of my home automation series. It’s coming up on a year since part 1, so long overdue.

Link Dump – 2018/02/12

 

  • How thick is a three-sided coin?
    Math is fascinating.
  • Meet the hardware startup trying to save athletes’ heads
    In 10 years I doubt football will look the same as it does now.
  • Jesus Coin

    Jesus Coin is negotiating with churches to outsource sin forgiveness.

    Can’t tell if this is a joke or not.

  • The Psychology of Inequality

    …poor people engage in riskier behavior, which is why they are poor in the first place.

    Preschoolers, brown capuchin monkeys, California state workers, college students recruited for psychological experiments—everyone, it seems, resents inequity. This is true even though what counts as being disadvantaged varies from place to place and from year to year.

The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

Last month I learned about drill bit gauges in a YouTube video and knew I’d get use out of one, so I ordered my own from Amazon. Ever since I’ve been seeing them at estate sales. I started to wonder if they really were just showing up all of a sudden or if I just started “seeing” them.

Then there were several instances at work where we started running into situations that were clearly explained by some articles we’d recenctly read. Sounded like the same type of thing. I figured there had to be some type of phenomenon to explain this, so I Googled and sure enough, it’s a thing.

…you’re experiencing “frequency illusion,” somewhat better known as the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon.

Stanford linguistics professor Arnold Zwicky coined the former term in 2006 to describe the syndrome in which a concept or thing you just found out about suddenly seems to crop up everywhere. It’s caused, he wrote, by two psychological processes. The first, selective attention, kicks in when you’re struck by a new word, thing, or idea; after that, you unconsciously keep an eye out for it, and as a result find it surprisingly often. The second process, confirmation bias, reassures you that each sighting is further proof of your impression that the thing has gained overnight omnipresence.

THERE’S A NAME FOR THAT: THE BAADER-MEINHOF PHENOMENON

Tesla Model 3 Delay

On Wednesday I received an email form Tesla.

Thank you again for your continued support as a Model 3 reservation holder. In the past few months, we’ve made significant progress in production and have started delivering Model 3 to customers in over twenty states.

As we work hard to meet demand, we wanted to let you know that your estimated delivery timing has been adjusted to a slightly later window. You can log into your Tesla Account to view your current delivery estimate at any time.

Thank you for your patience. We can’t wait for you to get your Model 3.

I can’t wait either! The estimate in my account is Aug – Oct 2018, which is 2 or 3 months later than it was. Quite the wait considering I placed my reservation on October 29, 2016.

It doesn’t look like I can extend the lease on my Ford Fusion, which is up near the end of May. I guess I need to get a second vehicle in the next few months that can serve as a primary set of wheels when I turn in the Fusion.