Andy's Blog

A handful of ramblings...

Weather Station Project

Weather Station Project

Overview

I've always wanted to build a weather station. I have an interest in weather science but, for me a weather station is all of the stuff I like about electronics - real world use of remote sensing that can be used for practical stuff. From home automation to gardening to knowing what's in the air, local weather and environmental sensing can be used to make subtle cumulative changes that add up to better health and lower bills.

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Active Project

  •   Saturday, 02 January 2016
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Robotic Arm Project V2

Overview

I am working on an upgrade of my Robotic Arm Project that has managed to survive two years worth of kid interactions over the course of many different events. To say I am surprised at its longevity is an understatement.

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Active Project

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Lapcade V1

Lapcade V1

I'm not much of a gamer. When I was a kid, I had a space invaders handheld game, a Coleco Telstar Colortron, and a Tandy Color Computer 2. Although the COCO2 had program cartridges, most of the games I played on it were typed in from a game code book my parents gave me with the computer. That may sound like I must have been motivated to play the games (to spend all that time typing them in) but in reality, I was more interested in seeing how they worked than I was in playing them. 

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So, how did we get here, you ask?

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For years, politicians promised much but delivered little and people became more and more disillusioned and disenfranchised. In response, new politicians seized on this growing public anger and not only promised to fix it but also promised to undo and prevent "the other side" from doing anything else. Thus, we see the erosion of cooperation and consensus building.

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Robotic Arm Software Upgrade

Robotic Arm Software Upgrade

After several months on the to-do list, I finally cleaned up the Robotic Arm Project code a bit to improve my robotic arm's functionality and performance.

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Robotic Arm Project

Robotic Arm Project

A few months ago a fellow member of MTRAS posted on our Facebook page a link to a robotic arm project. The article poster / builder used a design that was previously posted as open source to Thingiverse.com. I took a look and thought that it would make a fun project that would be simple enough to follow but also challenging enough to be rewarding. So I decided to give it a shot.

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Social & News Media Hiatus Experiment

nofbI've been noticing that I spend a lot of time online. I don't have a lot of social media accounts to manage but nonetheless I've been feeling like the time I've spent wasn't worth much. Sure, I've started some discussions on topics I think are important and I've learned a lot from other's point of view, but what has the net balance to all of this online perusing been? Did I really gain anything or add to the world in any meaningful way?

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New Project - Voice Controlled Home

Mr. IncredibleJay Napier is Mr. IncredibleIt is so easy to take everything for granted. Let's take for example, turning on the TV. Next to none of us give this simple task a second thought. I have had days when I came home from work so distracted that, after a few minutes of scurrying around the house, wondered if it was actually me that turned on the TV.

When you enter a room, do you make much of a mental exercise out of turning on the light? I don't. It is like breathing, I just do it. What about turning on a fan or changing the thermostat if you're too hot or cold. All of this is pretty simple stuff and most of us don't give it a second thought - that is, until you can't do it anymore.

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Goals, Projects and Failure

Goals, Projects and Failure

It is amazing how easy it is to get sidetracked on a goal or project. Sometimes the cause is small, for example needing to run an errand during your normal workout time. Then the next day rolls around and the "need" to run more errands in that same stretch of time becomes easier to justify. Finally, that time somehow switched from workout time to errand time.

Other times there are legitimate, longer period interruptions such as illness, changes at work, or other lifestyle changes that alter the way you spend your time either for long periods or permanently. Not much can be done about these events except how we decide to RE-prioritize around them.

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Welcome to AndrewHoover.Info

What is all of this?!?

Every few years I reevaluate the big picture. Yes, "what does it all mean?" is in that list but generally this is more of a state of the union style overview. I begin with questions such as "How is my life progressing?", "Do I still believe X or Y in the same way I once did?", and "Why am I doing X?" and somewhere along the way, life changes course a bit to account for the lessons learned or to challenge assumptions made.

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