Week in Projects

Andrew took some great pictures at the meeting!

Makerbot platform received a much needed upgrade of countersunk screws (yes seriously, they designed it with giant allen caps sticking up, I know, us too. . .)

Isthmus Engineering sent us another load of scrap materials and machine shop bits that were being discarded!  These guys are great, if you ever need equipment built that’s the size of your house, there’s no other choice out there :-)

Dave broke out his toy helicopter sent to him from his brother on his birthday.  Note in this shot the laptop sitting just behind Dave’s right arm – that’s his brother on video chat watching Dave careen his birthday gift into the floor!  Technology is great :-)

He then got down to real work: (Melamine sheet erases perfectly for anyone still wondering)

Peter tried out the hot air rework station to try reflowing the dreaded RROD on the Xbox360. The fix was initially successful but ultimately reverted to red after a few days. It will be returning shortly to try again at higher temperatures.
Interesting laptop power cord fix was spotted: (that’s a nail jammed into the insulation to make contact for the ground conductor)

Ann learned to solder and put together a micro-mouse soldering kit/toy.  We were initially a little underwhelmed by performance until the 9V battery was measured at 6VDC.  Swapping for a better battery led to insane speed being unlocked and chaos ensuing :-)

Craig took out some aggression on a MagLite flashlight.  The batteries had been damaged when the flashlight was struck, leading to the leaking of all of the acid into the case which then sat idle for some time.  The entire interior of the flashlight was corroded into a giant ball.  He ended up using a 4ft solid steel prybar to get the last cell dislodged.  The flashlight amazingly survived with all critical features entirely intact – MagLite - if you’re out there please send us a new flashlight so we can put this one out of its misery:

One cell free:
Cell two free:

Finally to free cell three:

We were fortunate enough to pick up four $5 computers from UW SWAP on Thursday, the machines are P4 2.8ghz with 1GB of RAM, seem to work perfectly after adding a hard drive and imaging them:

Joseph brought in his ultralight RC airplane.  We took advantage of the giant empty warehouse to take it for a test flight:

All this  RC plane and helicopter madness led to a rethinking of a junk RC helicopter, could it work as an RC paper airplane? Initial results are not good, but we’ll see how things go over the coming week, last seen this plane was under the hot-wire knife getting a new pink foam body!


Micah’s Focus, despite the drag posturing in this picture, has unfortunately thrown a few important bits in the transmission
so some time was spent removing it from the vehicle and getting a new transmission installed:

Peter spent some time patching up the hinge mounts on a laptop and disassembling a 900MHz cordless phone to explore the possibilities of a cheap Arduino integration for an RC project:

Lastly, a Ford Taurus received new lower ball joints, tie rod ends, brakes, and sway bar links:

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