Monday, July 27, 2015

Breezeway Fence

We live on a corner with our detached garage on the side street. The breezeway entrance between the garage and house serves as our family's front door. The original fence was leaning, moldy and rickety. Kinda sad, very blah, not at all welcoming.

This weekend I fixed that. I built this 7 foot tall cedar picket fence. It adds a great deal of curb appeal. The sunray pattern on the gate's upper and lower panel add a whimsical touch. 
We now has a great looking side entrance, with privacy and a breeze. 

Now to find a new place for the 'beware of dog' sign...

Friday, January 09, 2015

2014 Fa La La PEZ apalooza

This is my Christmas display for 2014. The PEZ are making their 4th Christmas appearance while the M&Ms and The Grinch are debuting this year.

The Grinch's sled frame is a walker attached to two wheelchair motors. The Grinch and the M&Ms bodies are mainly PVC, plywood and styrofoam. The Grinch's forward motion is controlled a Sabertooth dual motor driver paired with an ArduinoHe has two wheelchair motors in the sled and four servos in his arm, foot and neck.  A pair of XBees communicate to start the Grinch's program at the proper time. 

The PEZ bodies are simply wooden boxes, with hinges or drawer slides lifting the heads. The motion is driven by air cylinders with air valves controlled by a relay controller.

The M&M's are equipped with servo motors. The guitar strings are El Wire and driven by Sparkfun's El Escudo Dos. They are supposed to react to the motion of the guitarist's strum via an accelerometer but my sketch is wonky.

 A Lynxmotion SSC-32 controls the relays for the solenoids and the servos in the M&Ms.

I programmed the movements using Brookshire's VSA. MonkeyBasic's HelmsmanPRO allows me to use a on/off button to start the entire sequence.

Mr. Grinch is performed by Mojo Nixon and the Toadliquors. The Grinch's voice was provided by my nephew, Jeff.