I prefer to walk golf courses. It’s great exercise, gives me time prepare for shots as well as reflect, and it’s faster than riding. I bought a Clicgear 3.0 three wheel cart in 2011 and with some minor fixes over the years it’s worked great.
I’m not getting any younger and I want to keep walking as long as I can, so I’ve thought about a motorized push cart. Then I came across the Club Booster V2 by Alphard (save $50!), which converts your own push cart into a motorized one. The reviews were awesome so I ordered a refurb unit for $647. Here’s my first test after assembly.
I was impressed, but the dragging front wheel while turning didn’t work very well, so I quickly ordered the Swivel Conversion Kit for $89. The kit replaced the front wheel with an axle where the original back wheels mounted to make it a four wheel cart with a swivel front. It makes a huge difference for maneuverability and stability.
By the time I finished my first nine holes I felt very comfortable controlling it. I’ve played two 18 hole rounds and this upgraded cart let’s me play faster and leaves me fresher for the back nine. I’m surprised how much energy I save not having to push the cart. I’m thinking about doing a detailed review post.
There were two problems though. The parts took up too much floor space in the garage and looked messy. I also forgot to take the wheelie bars for the first round I played.
I needed some type of rack to keep things organized, help me remember to grab everything, and make changing easy. I thought about having slots for the axle or something to prevent the unit from falling to the floor. After cutting a piece of plywood and laying things out, I realized a simple shelf with holes for the wheelie bars is all I needed.
Just what I needed. I love a quick build.
With a motor this is a vehicle for my golf clubs, so it needed a name. I’ve been struggling to think of anything, so I asked ChatGPT.
Those are some good ones and I chuckled. Brandi’s idea was to call it R2-D2, but I don’t like reusing a specific name. I like the style, so I settled on CB-V2 since the unit is like my own droid.
I might end up getting a right angle jack to help with the strain relief. We’ll see how this holds up.
It hadn’t failed, but was heading that way. I didn’t help that I don’t have any heat shrink large enough to go over the end of that barrel jack. I ordered a pack of right angle barrel jacks from Amazon and soldered the wires in.
Didn’t work. The jack wasn’t long enough or the wrong size to make a good connection to the power source. I wish I had checked connections before soldering the wires on. I ordered a different style of jack in two sizes, 5.5 x 2.1 mm and 5.5 x 2.5 mm.
The 5.5 x 2.5, on the left, turned out to be the correct size. After confirming (multiple times) the positive and negative sides of each connection I slipped on some heat shrink, soldered the wires to the jacket, and blasted flames at the heat shrink.
The right angle is a much better connection because of how the battery sits in the jacket pocket and the extra length will help with strain relief. I feel better about having a soldered connection as well. It’s a win all around.
The pocket where you connect the batter is on the back left, which is an awkward position. In less than two months the wire frayed by the barrel jack.
The exposed wires caused a short in the M12 Power Source, which is the red plastic shell that connects the battery.
The part was dead in the water and gives an error status. What terrible designs in the jacket’s wiring and the power source. Luckily, the battery does have fault protection and still worked. I checked the item on Milwaukee’s web site and other people had the same problems. After leaving a review, it looked like Milwaukee reached out to them. So I left my own review with a picture of the wire…
My partner got the jacket less than 2 months ago. The wire frayed by the connector causing a short, which appears to have killed the power source. I read 12.5v out of the battery just fine, but nothing from the power source. Terrible design in the jacket and with no protection in the power source. I can fix the connection and barrel jack on the jacket without an issue, but not much we can do about the power source.
Their social media team sent me an email the next day…
We are sorry to hear you are experiencing some issue with your M12™ Power Source! As a one-time courtesy, our team would like to assist with a replacement!
About a week later they emailed me again, with a return label to send them both the battery and the power source and they sent us replacements. Kudos to Milwaukee for sending the new version of the power source and a 3.0 Ah battery when the previous one was 2.0 Ah. B will be happy about the extra battery life.
By the time we got both items it was exactly three weeks after I had left my review. I isolated the wires with some cardboard between them so I could make sure the jacket worked with the replacements. It was a success, so I separated the two sides of the wire, tested which side came from which part of the jack, and then cut it off.
I stripped back insulation, put shrink tube around each wire, connected a new jack, put shrink tube around both wires, and gave it a couple wraps of electrical tape.
I might end up getting a right angle jack to help with the strain relief. We’ll see how this holds up.
The Breadboard Pi Bridge is a neat way to connect the Raspberry Pi to a breadboard for prototyping. I preordered this kit in March of 2019 from RasP.iO after I’d seen Alex Eames release some cool kits there before. It shipped less than two months later, but it took me until February of 2021 to assemble it. Then it sat on the shelf until now when I finally did the testing and put together the video.
The build was simple with only having to solder some headers to a circuit board. I look forward to using this when I make some projects based on Pis.
I’ve started to remodel the kitchen and we’re getting all new lights. This one almost never gets used and is in a weird spot, but it had to go.
We determined something like this is generally called a sconce, so naturally went searching for a replacement on Amazon. We found this farmhouse steampunk light we really liked.
I knew I could very easily make something similar. I picked up 3/4″ pipe pieces and a lamp socket from Menards, along with some metallic hammered spray paint.
I used some sandpaper on the end of the light socket (bite for the bonding), wired it up, screwed the pipe pieces together, and attached the light socket to the pipe with epoxy. Then I did several coats of spray paint. I also did some matte clear coat, which I think was after this picture was taken; I wanted to knock down the shine.
We picked out a piece of pallet wood, of course.
After we picked out our new kitchen faucet, which has some bronzed edges, I ended up grabbing some bronze metal paint, which I used on some of the edges, though it’s subtle and hard to see here.
I reused the bolt from the previous light, and put it all in place to figure out where to cut the board.
Then I drilled holes for screws and the mounting bolt. I had to route out some of the back side to make room for the circuit box and brackets sticking out of the wall. I guess I forgot to take a picture. I painted the screw heads and bolt and touched the edges with bronze.
I love how it turned out and can’t wait to see what it looks like after the walls get painted though.
After getting rid of my old recliner and lamp (as part of the living room updates) I quickly realized a light was needed for the new loveseat. I thought it would be cool to integrate a light in to my shelf and as a bonus it would be hidden. It would be a fun challenge to work on. Here are the last models I had mocked up in SketchUp before starting on the build.
This initial testing was done using a very simple limit switch, but those are only rated for very low currents and would quickly burn up with the requirements of the LEDs. It took some searching, but I finally found a limit switch that said it could handle 10 Amps of DC. The big controller board for the dimmer and this much bigger limit switch introduced some new challenges to my build.
We picked through the wood leftover from the walls to find an assortment of pieces to use for the backer.
I played around with the arrangement, shortened the length of some boards, and ran everything through the planer to get an even thickness. Then I stained five of the boards and glued the pieces together in several steps.
To make the pull-out part of the shelf I started with a piece of plywood. I cut up scrap sheet metal I’d saved from the drop ceiling light fixtures I removed from my shop several years ago. This would be used behind the LEDs so any excessive heat they produced wouldn’t burn in to the plywood or create a fire hazard. I screwed the metal to the plywood and used some white spray paint on it.
I cut scraps of wood for sides and a divider. Then I cut some slots through them, using the table saw, where the light covers would slide in. I also made a face for this piece, leaving it oversized for now. I attached the sides and front face with glue and pocket hole screws from what will be the top side.
Perhaps the most nerve-wracking step of the project was cutting and positioning a scrap piece of 2×4 to the backer boards. This will hold everything together and allow me to attach the surrounding pieces of the shelf. Thankfully I remembered to cut one end short before glueing and screwing (from both sides) it in place. This is where the dimmer knob and board went. I cut a scrap piece of wood (later replaced with thinner plywood) to prop it up a bit so the knob would be easier to handle.
I put a straight bit in my trim router and cut a channel down the back of the longest backer board. This will be where the power cable runs down and behind the loveseat. It’ll never be seen, so I wasn’t concerned with how it looks.
Next I milled up some boards and glued them to make the top and bottom of the shelf. I tinted clear epoxy with black paint and filled in some holes. I also milled and cut a couple of pieces for the sides of the shelf.
I trimmed all of those to the sizes I’d need. Then I cut rabbets in the sides so the edges of the top and bottom wouldn’t be seen and there would be more support. To fit properly around the dimmer switch I had to notch out some areas and drill a hole for the knob shaft.
I was able to do a dry fit and then had to make a bunch of adjustments to make everything fit better. After a shitload of sanding I stained one coat of Red Mahogany.
The next morning I was able to glue and pin nail the bottom and left side to the backer. The top and right will be screwed in place in case I need to take things apart to troubleshoot or replace the electronics.
After giving the stain several days I masked off the dimmer board and used my paint sprayer to apply four coats of water-based poly.
The next day I put in the LEDs and switch, wiring everything up. I had to make one more piece of wood that would trigger the switch when the “drawer” was pulled out.
I painted the wires white. A bit of hot glue was used to keep them in place and provide strain relief. I also used hot glue down the back side to hold the wire in the groove.
The final step was to figure out where to cut in keyhole slots.
This turned out to be a bad idea. The shelf was just too heavy. So I drilled all the way through the cross beam and drove two long lag screws through and in to the studs.
Here’s a night comparison which shows how bright the LEDs can be.
This video shows everything in action.
This project ended up being a lot more work than I expected. I’m really happy with the results though and we now have a one-of-a-kind piece in our living room.
We got a blackout top down bottom up shade made from SelectBlinds for the window, which came in over the weekend. They’re really easy to install. Now the living room is complete and I can focus on the kitchen remodel.
We bought an old milk can at an antique mall for the corner of the room too.
Pease-out was project #32 of the Boldport Club. This kit is kind of boring one, since it’s main purpose is a tribute to Bob Pease, an expert analogue designer. Adjustments to the potentiometer change the output frequency of the LM331, which can be observed by the flashing LED.
It was a simple build and removes another project from my todo list.
With my updated hobby room and new soldering station, I’ve been itching to do some electronics. I have several kits saved up from 1-2 years ago and the first one to get back into it was Stringy from Boldport. It’s a kit that synthesizes notes with a PIC microcontroller in either acoustic or electric guitar.
Following up on getting the new hobby desk and organizing the room, I needed something for all of my soldering tools. A lot of the stuff on these shelves needed to be easy to pull out and use at the desk.
The portable soldering station Adam Savage built gave me some inspiration. I could make something to live in the closet when not in use and being portable would allow me to take it to the basement if needed. I measured how much floor space I had available in the closet and hauled everything down to my woodshop.
I cut up some shitty scrap plywood and started playing around with ideas.
Being able to see things in space really helped with my design process. When I had something I was happy with, I made a sketch with rough details.
When I saw it on paper, it reminded me of a wood toolbox with a handle. Makes sense, I guess, since that’s essentially what I was building. I still have a large pile of old oak flooring, so I spent about two hours milling a few pieces down to 3/8″ thick boards. Then I glued some pieces to make panels for the sides, bottom, and shelf.
I picked up a piece of 1″ (it’s actually 1 – 1/8″) oak dowel from Menards for a handle. After letting the glue dry on those panels for a few hours I cut them to size, designed the side profile, and made other pieces. I realized I need to glue up two other panels for the small shelf bottom and a cross piece on the back. I think I only had to recut one small piece that was originally the wrong size. Eventually I had all of the parts.
I sanded all of the faces with 80 grit and then used glue and a pin nailer for assembly. Since nothing here need to support a lot of weight, I went with simple butt joints.
After a quick fit check for all of the tools and supplies, it was obvious I need some way to organize the power cords, so I made a cord wrap from some scraps.
With a palm router I softened the edges everywhere and did a final sanding. Originally I was planning to use a dark stain to match the hobby room’s trim, but after seeing this put together I really liked the lighter colors and the wood grain. I skipped the stain and applied three coats of Minwax Water Based Polycrylic, sanding with a piece of paper bag after each.
I’m really happy with the decision not to use stain. The pieces I selected for the side panels have some great coloring and grain.
All of the tools and materials are easy to access and the station fits well in the closet.
After building a rack for my workout shoes a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to tackle another thing about the broom closet that has been bugging me for years. It never had a light! I put together a rough video of the entire process.
I’m really happy with how it turned out, especially since I was able to use parts I had in my electronics collection. The whole thing uses a simple circuit, cost less than $10, and doesn’t require WiFi or any fancy connections. The Working of Transistor as a Switch page on Electronics Hub was a big help. I ended up using a PNP transistor in my circuit without resistors because the LEDs were dimming and I wanted maximum brightness.