Friday, March 31, 2023

On second thought...

Buoyed by my recent programming success, I changed my mind about the new computer.  Reset the Lenovo to erase all my personal data and I'm returning it for a full refund (gotta love returns on Amazon).  Got out the old problem computer and spent 3 hours figuring out how to do a fresh install of Windows 10...and it runs like new again.  75,82,55,0,B  

Thursday, March 30, 2023


Took all day to program this ESP32 microcontroller with an onboard 135x240 resolution LCD screen.  It gets the correct date, time, and local weather conditions from the internet when it goes online briefly at startup.   Not sure how I feel about the illusion of gratification from completing this project.  Ideally, it should have taken less than an hour - so the real accomplishment was sticking with it and not the project itself.  This is what inspired it.  

In other news:  My Facebook account was magically restored this morning after being informed a week ago that it could not be.  (Wondering if the 10 emails I sent to Facebook had anything to do with that).  Having been "weened" from checking it several times a day, I've decided that I will keep it active but not actively use it anymore.  Now it is just a place to store the 1000's of photos I have posted over the past 10+ years.  78,83,52,0,B

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

New "all in one" with Windows 11

My old (5 years) "all in one" was giving me a lot of problems.
Replaced with this...

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Tempted to try these...



Monday, March 27, 2023

New camera angle...

Moved the camera that was under a shipping container 
since the bunnies don't go down there anymore.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

gotta have faith...

Hebrews 6:11 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 

Saturday, March 25, 2023

from the plant...

a handsome tomato indeed...

Friday, March 24, 2023

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Finding T F L

Really used a lot of brain cells to get to this point with the split flap display - including a bit of math. I am using the standard cheap 5 VDC 28BYJ-48 stepper motor but it is geared down a little too much for my liking with 2048 steps per full revolution. These are only a few dollars apiece because they are manufactured by the millions - DVD drives, motion cameras, AC units (for moving louvers), and many other related gadgets all use this or comparable motors. Ordered the slightly more expensive Adafuit version to try with this. It is geared to be only 512 steps per full revolution. This is still a work in progress and if it continues to go well (and holds my interest long enough), I will make some design changes and use vinyl numbers and letters for the characters instead of a sloppy Sharpee. 83,90,51,0,W

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Hall effect...

Testing out a hall effect sensor. There is a small magnet embedded in the rotating disk that the sensor reacts to when it is directly in front of the sensor causing a digital signal to be sent to the micro controller. This is used to find "home" for the stepper motor when it is powered up - a starting point for it to move on from to reach precise degrees of rotation in order to display specific numbers or letters. 84,91,47,0,B

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Existential Crisis...

Waiting to see why my Facebook account was disabled 
and how another name got associated with it.  
I had all the correct privacy settings in place 
to avoid this exact kind of problem.

Monday, March 20, 2023


I have always been fond of split flap displays - especially the arrival/departure boards I used to see in train stations and airports. Split-flap mechanical signs are sadly a relic of a bygone era. The famous, clacking boards were once used all over the world, but advances in technology have retired most of them in favor of boring digital displays (the epic split flap displays in NYC's Grand Central Terminal were retired and replaced in 2019). Thought I would try my hand at using my 3D printer to make one. This is just a first test to tweak the mechanics of one segment. The model I posted on Friday did not run smoothly at all, so I am trying a different one. It took about 12 hours to print out all the parts and I had to make several small changes to get it to run smoothly. I have some hall effect sensors and magnets coming this week so I can try this out with some Arduino code I found on YouTube. This is the plan I am following... 61,68,41,0,B

Sunday, March 19, 2023


Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;  

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Friday, March 17, 2023

Split Flap Display

Getting a start on my rainy weekend project.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Sneaky front...

In the 15 years I have lived here, the last chance for a taste of winter traditionally appears the first week of March and then we are in the clear.  This weekend will be the crappiest third week of March on record (for me).  Reminds me of spring in upstate NY when it would warm up just enough to bring the spring peepers and wood frogs out of hibernation.  They would begin their mating ritual with their peeping and croaking - only to get dumped on by another cold front with a foot of snow.  73,85,46,0,B

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

background bling...

LED indicator light sequence test for each time segment. From here I can program the LEDs to turn on and off to precisely match the timing of the stepper motor movements. 79,85,46,0,B

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Monday, March 13, 2023

Sunday, March 12, 2023

far spent

Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. 

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Something simple...

Took a break from the big clock project to 
make a little one for an old NYC friend.

Friday, March 10, 2023

programming day...

Got different fonts and two effects loaded onto all 6 time segments and wired them up for a test run. The last programming issue I have yet to figure out is how to get each time segment to switch to a new font or effect when they are out of view. Any Arduino wizzes out there? 76,81,54,0,B

Thursday, March 9, 2023

the next step...

3D printed background "tiles" for the side panels 
and all 6 time segments installed.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

The good ol' days...

Facebook reminded me today of this photo I posted 10 years ago.  I also posted it on my blog on this day back in 2013 (and noticed that remmij even commented way back when).  Dick Cain moved away from the area after he was forced to give up his longhorn herd.  Now a decade later...instead of once-a-month sighting of lone cowboy on horseback, I see 10 tourists a day in vehicles that have no business driving on dirt roads.  81,89,44,0,C

Monday, March 6, 2023

Circuit sculpture...

Got all the movement controls wired up on top of an old circuit board - and to my surprise it all worked! Tried out the "circuit sculpture" technique of making all the connections using 2mm brass rod. Added a timer using an eight digit / seven segment display (because I could spell out "FIELDLAB" on it). There is also a volt/amp meter that you can barely see in the video. All running off a dedicated 5 VDC /12amp power supply. Almost ready for the clock segments... 83,92,41,0,C

Sunday, March 5, 2023

even and child...

Proverbs 20:11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right. 12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them.  

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Friday, March 3, 2023

Birthday Clock

Countdown timer - number of seconds until I turn 65.

Thursday, March 2, 2023


These are the three microcontrollers and drivers for the 
6 stepper motors.  Tried my hand at making connections 
with brass rod instead of wire.  54,81,58,0,G

Wednesday, March 1, 2023