RepRap Mendel

Scott Tse and I have been slowly building a RepRap Mendel, which is a DIY open-source 3D printer.  It extrudes melted plastic to ‘print’ objects.  We started nearly a year ago, and progress has been very slow.  We’ve certainly learned a lot about surface mount soldering with a hotplate, and how to order millions of tiny electronic parts online.

The photo above is what it SHOULD look like when done.  So far we’ve built all the electronics, but have been having issues with the extruder controller board.  Once we get that figured out, we can start the physical build.

Heavy Lift Quad Copter

I started yet another audacious project this summer, a heavy-lift quad copter, which, when finished, will carry a video camera into the sky and capture amazing footage for my projects.  I started with a ‘recipe’ gleaned from hours of reading aplanding.com and rcgroups.com.  Thanks to AJ, DJ, MorenoNYC, Mark Dana, Tkeeg and countless others.

Here is a list of what went into this so far:
1x MK FlightCtrl   ME
1x MK Pressure Sensor (mpx4115)
1x MKUSB
1x DCDC regulator (for servos)
4x 1hoch4 BL V1.0 30A max (16 kHz)
Radio: JRX9503 TX
4x APC SF et SFP 14×4.7 props            (I think I got smaller props later)
4x 12″ Align 450 tail booms
Rusty’s Frame
iCharge 206b w/ cables and PSU
2x 2S5000mah 7.4v Thunderpower Lipos
4x AXI2820 motors

Currently I’m able to fly for about 10 minutes on a charge, which is quite a bit less than I imagined.  Some of this is certainly due to the foam landing gear that I cobbled together, which blocks a lot of wind.  I was hoping to get 20 minutes without a camera onboard.  I haven’t started on the camera mount yet, but hope to soon.

Shoulder Mount v1.1

Today I finished some upgrades to my first attempt at a shoulder mount.  This new version includes separate rail-mounted hand-grips (thanks to some mt biker who left his bar-ends in my basement). The grips can be adjusted on the rails, or turned on the rod they are attached to.  They are extremely light weight.

The mount sits on the shoulder, and is adjustable for length, but not height.  It attaches to the rail mount under the camera with a simple wing nut, and can be removed easily, though as you can see in the photos, you can leave it on while it’s on the tripod, and it works fine.  Nearly all parts of this mount are recycled.  The large square pieces of aluminum are cut-offs from my stalled steadicam project.  The tubes are from an old tripod.  The shoulder ‘pad’ is a piece of the old foot rest in my Eskimo Salto kayak may she R.I.P.