7 questions for my avid fans

Seeing as how I am constantly inundated by media requests – I figured I would use my podium here to ask the readers a few questions. I look at it as distributed googling really, and hopefully finding some vetted answers in the sea of confusion that is out there.

1) has anyone used CHDK here? It is a modified firmware for certain cameras, and seemingly it allows you to get very low level access to the camera. With it you can enable time lapse mode, Raw shooting, video, motion detection, and I think they are working on time travel. This seems like an amazing project. Does anyone have any success with it? Does anyone have any recommendations on cameras? Im kind of looking at the SD1100 and the SD600.

and lastly, does anyone have any recommendations on where to find said camera cheaply? I’m running dd-wrt on my home router and have a hacked xbox, so this seems like it is within my reach, just looking for people with experience in it.

chdk interface

chdk interface

2) does anyone know of any good anti flicker plugins for after effects (or anything else (on a mac)) that will remove the frame-to-frame luminance variations of a dslr time lapse?

3) does anyone know why frame-to-frame luminance variations happen on my d40 running in complete darkness with a manual lens and a flash?

4) does anyone know of a good guide to moving an arduino project towards a mass producible item? Lets say I would like to make a one board version of my arduino rss reader – how would I go about doing that?

breadboard arduino

breadboard arduino

5) How much does the average human heart weigh?

6) Does anyone know of a comparison between the online stock video sites from a submitter’s perspective? Does anyone have experience with any specific sites? (feel free to email me if you would rather not post publicly – “r” at this domain, no prefix.)

7) Enough about me – Why are you here? What kinds of projects brought you here, and what kinds of projects would you like to see here?

Thanks for your time, and hopefully your answers!

DIY CNC router build update

It’s been quite a while since my router arrived in the mail. It came in mid winter and essentially stopped all cnc progress. It was much heavier than I had expected, and the gantry I had built wasn’t up to the task. The x and y axes were finished, but needed to be rebuilt stronger. The last few weeks has seen the end of summer weather and the return of my tinkering productivity. I have put in a ton of time thinking, cutting and swearing in my garage.

DIY CNC router as it stands

DIY CNC router as it stands

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Get yer lase on

As of last night I got my 16x sony diode all plugged in and turned on! I’ll have some pictures to prove it in a bit. I’m excited, but I really was expecting a bit more danger in the process. It’s bright, and it cuts very thin, dark things. It might even do a decent stencil if cut out of black paperboard, but I was hoping for something with a bit more killing power. I guess I had my hopes a bit high for a laser that cost $30!
I’m still gonna try to mount it to the cnc router and see what it can do. Hopefully I can find a type of wood, or a stain that makes wood “singe-able” I’d be pretty happy about that.
Here’s a pic of the laser diode and enclosure(silver thing in mid-air) and the power supply (thing on the breadboard) Yep, it’s not pretty.
sony 16x diode DIY 620nm red burning laser

Here’s a pic of the output. Shining gloriously on my hardwood floor.

laser dot on floor

Lastly, I went out and got drawer slides for the z-axis (at lowes), and bought a hitachi trim router (at ReconditionedSales.com)
With the exception of one L shaped piece of metal I should have everything I need to fully assemble this monster.
If there aren’t any posts for a few weeks, either my body is frozen out in the garage, or I’ve become even more fascinated with the fully functional router.

Treatise on living and loving lasers

In case you haven’t caught on yet. I love projects, and I am always starting a new one in order to abandon an old one. Recently I have become fascinated by the DIY laser movement propagated by the fine people over at laserpointerforums.com. My interest was piqued initially by “lamedust” who posted an instructable here that showed how to build a laser powered stencil cutter out of 2 scanner corpses and a sony16x diode.

My previous post showed my homemade laser driver (ie regulated power source)

I bought a laser focusing tube/heatsink and a sony 16x laser diode from stonetek. Stonetek is run by a frequent commentor from laserpointerforums.com, and is highly recommended over there.

I’m really excited about seeing what this sucker could do if I were to hook it up to my cnc router. Right now it only has an x and a y axis, so this laser fits in nicely without the need for a z axis!

I havent been able to get a precise answer regarding how useful this laser will be. It certainly will not be more powerful than I need! It might be strong enough to burn (but not cut) wood and to possibly cut paper, paperboard, or etch plastic. I’m really excited to find out what it’s capable of.

Here’s to the start of another project, and hopefully the smell of burning things is in my future!

Parts list (AKA why I’ve been eating ramen and coffee)

So here are the bits I’ve bought already

3 axis system kit with 425Oz/in stepper motors

Xylotex kit

12′ of 1/2″ acme rod
8 matching nuts

6 1/2″ 2 bolt pillow block bearings
8 1/2″ shaft collars

Home Depot
Tons of bolts, nuts, washers, bits and doodads.
20′ of galvanized steel u-channel (not really sure what to call this stuff)
specialized u-channel bolts, nuts and spacers
aluminum angle iron
1/2″ black pipe for x axis

Don’t remember.com
lovejoy couplers for motor shaft to acme rod

As far as buying things goes, I think I might be mostly done. I can foresee buying
drawer slides for the z axis,
a trim router,
and the black piping for the y axis
I might need to buy some more skate bearings at some time…who knows…