Tag Making

A Paper Figure Stand Using OpenSCAD and 3D Printing

When a man has children he has bestowed upon him a lengthy catalogue of fatherly duties. One of the many roles on this list is that of "Toy Repairman".

I still remember taking broken toys to my Dad which he'd subsequently return to me repaired and ready once more for play. I even use a few of his techniques when repairing my own kids' toys.

So when my daughter broke the (admittedly rather flimsy) paper figure stand that came with a diorama set she was playing with...

Stand Original

...my first thought was to reach for the Araldite, knowing full well that the stand would likely end up back on my workbench after a day or two of enthusiastic play.

My second thought was: why not solve this problem forever, both for myself and every other Dad/Toy Repairman in the world?

Stand Printed 1


There are comments.

Build Your Own Snowman Kits

With the 2016 school year drawing to a close my daughter and I were looking for something interesting and fun to give out to her classmates with their Christmas cards.

As further evidence of the fact that 3D Printing is Awesome I give you...

Snowman Complete

...the 3D-printed Build Your Own Snowman kit!


There are comments.

The Pythonic Staff of Enlightenment

Introducing... The Pythonic Staff of Enlightenment:

Pythonic Staff 1


There are comments.

Bike Helmets Decorated with Electroluminescent Wire

Back in October my daughter and I went along to the excellent EL Wire Wearables workshop hosted by our makerspace SparkCC.

Purple Helmet Unlit

We had a great time going through the process of first designing our creation and then making it a reality. The result was a helmet decorated with a very cute purple flower on top and a pair of purple eyes at the front.


There are comments.

Boost Your USB WiFi Signal Strength for Next to Nothing

In my workshop I have a Raspberry Pi whose primary function is to control the temperature of my home brew using Braubuddy.

Said workshop is part of a detached garage, so I planned to employ a USB WiFi adapter to connect the Pi to my home wireless network. This would allow me to:

  • Update software on the Pi without unplugging and taking it inside.
  • Monitor the temperature of my home brew remotely.
  • Stream music while I make beer and build things.

But as it turned out, the WiFi adapter's tiny internal aerial wasn't capable of maintaining a reliable connection to my Wireless Access Point. On the rare occasions that it did manage to connect, data transfer was hideously slow due to packet loss. Inevitably the link would drop out altogether as Linux' WiFi connection manager gave up in utter despair.

I had resigned myself to buying a USB module with an external aerial until I stumbled across this article in my Twitter feed. The author describes a similar predicament to my own as well as his solution: a home-made, foil-covered dish mounted behind his Wifi adapter.


There are comments.

How to Build a USB Powerboard and Control it with Python

I previously blogged about the tosr0x, an inexpensive USB relay controller board which I'm using as part of a computerised thermostat.

Having creating tosr0x.py to control the tosr0x' relays using Python, I required a device which employs these relays to switch a pair of mains sockets. This device will essentially be a programmable mains powerboard, switching power to a refridgerator and heat belt to regulate the temperature of my home brew.

This is a reasonably simple project. It essentially involves wiring together a handful of components and mounting them inside a box. For the sake of neatness I take the mains input from an IEC socket rather than wiring a cable directly.

The finished product is a mains powerboard which can be plugged into a USB port and controlled by anything that can speak to the tosr0x.


There are comments.

The Hammer Of Doom: Building a Gigantic Warhammer

Introducing... The Hammer Of Doom:

Hammer Of Doom


There are comments.

Controlling a TOSR0x USB Relay Module Using Python

As part of a forthcoming project to build a computerised thermostat, I require a means of programatically controlling a pair of relays to switch mains power.

The brains of my thermostat will be a Raspberry Pi. This credit-card-sized computer is overkill for such a project, but having access to a complete Linux environment will make it relatively simple to do interesting things such as produce graphs, send Twitter updates and expose temperatures via SNMP. It also allows me to code my thermostat in any language that I choose and in this case, I've chosen Python.

One of the Raspberry Pi's key features is its GPIO interface, allowing it to control all manner of electronics. However for v1 of my thermostat I want to focus on software rather than hardware, so I went looking for a relay controller with a USB interface. What I found was the TOSR0x:


There are comments.