4volt

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Original Posts

Original content, projects, and other stuff

4volt.com is 10 Years Old

In April 4volt.com turned 10 years old, that’s a whole decade of weird stuff, lots of posts and files. Here’s a picture of me modding a PlayStation in 2001, at the time this site was just getting started and the internet was a relative wild wasteland. I’ve also moved this site to a new server after running it for 2.5 years on a server in my basement. Here are some fun facts about stats over the last couple years: Total hits: 14,286,663 Average hit size: 32.53kb Total Visitors: 907,787 Browsers...

posted @ Saturday, May 28, 2011 11:21 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Tech ]

This Cupcake is a Lie

With the recent release of Portal 2 and a birthday of a friend of mine, I wanted to do a portal themed laser something to give him. Sometimes the simplest projects are the most fun. What I came up with is this, a small flag you can put in your cupcakes or other baked goods. Yes, I know cake does not make a appearance in Portal 2, but it is still my favorite Portal reference and is well known. I made mine with white acrylic, which is easy to clean and is durable enough to reuse...

posted @ Thursday, May 12, 2011 9:24 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Laser ]

Interview on Open Hardware Junkies and Museum Exhibit

I was recently interviewed on a new podcast called Open Source Hardware Junkies about the Jansen walker, we talked about the walker, CAD and laser cutters. It was fun and you should check it out. http://opensourcehardwarejunkies.com/2011/05/jansen-walker/ Also, I’m taking the opportunity to post these photos from the exhibit the my “Jansen Walker” and a Theo Jansen original Strandbeest last fall.      It was Jansen Walker built to my design in the an exhibition at the Verbeke Foundation. (www.verbekefoundation.com) (It's the version built by hexman, Kurt Van Houtte, Ghent) The exhibition...

posted @ Saturday, May 07, 2011 3:35 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Commentary ]

Canon T2i/550D, Audio, and Auto Gain Control

A while back I posted a glowing review of the video performance of the T2i / 550D camera. I'm coming back now to review the audio quality and frankly there is not much to say. The external microphone jack works well, and the T2i still uses AGC (Auto Gain Control) that automatically increases the gain (volume) on the microphone when things are quiet. That's fine for impromptu video where you don't necessary know what the noise levels will be, or aren't using an external microphone. The 7D also forces use of AGC but the 5D2 does not since 2.0.4 of the...

posted @ Friday, April 30, 2010 5:02 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Commentary ]

Canon T2i/550D Practical Video Review

I got my hands on the Canon T2i and I ran it though it’s paces, the things I was most interested in was the video modes and low-light performance. To see the HD version downsized to 720p, you have to load the video from vimeo directly: Canon T2i, 550D Practical Video Tests. T2i Vs. 7D First a quick word about the T2i vs. the 7D. The T2i does not have that pro-feel that the higher level cameras have. The body is fairly light and it is most defiantly made of plastic, and you can tell when you hold it. For me...

posted @ Friday, February 26, 2010 2:58 AM | Feedback (7) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Tech Photos Commentary ]

JP Image Book 2009

Every year I release a small “Image Book” of my favorite pictures, images and art. Some of the images I’ve published here, some are new to you. To see last years edition see: Image Book 2008 As always I’m releasing the PDF for free, download and enjoy it. I also have a printed version in limited quantity, and if you like my work and want to support what I do. I’m offering a printed version of this book as a thank-you for US donors, while I still have supplies. Soon I'll be buying a new camera, my old camera is now about...

posted @ Monday, February 22, 2010 1:42 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Testing Jansen Walker Version 3

  Over the last week I’ve been working on the next version of the Jansen Walker, this will be the 3rd release. The goal is to make it much easier to assemble, faster, and 1/3rd larger using 3mm (1/8in) material. The biggest change is that instead of using modified servos, which seem to scare a lot of people off, use geared motors which are about the same price. That will make the electronics side easier, perhaps slightly more expensive depending on your controls.   The new version will use the Tamiya Twin-Motor Gearbox, that has a good 203:1 ratio that is ideal...

posted @ Monday, February 15, 2010 3:03 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser Robotics ]

Laser Toy Blocks

For Christmas this year I made some custom toy blocks with friends and family initials. The blocks were cut from square wood stock into 1.25in cubes. The stock I used was indented for banisters, and had peg ends, but they were easily cut off. I made a batch of both Oak and Fir. Oak turned out fine, and is what is pictured here. The Fir blocks came out with a more slightly more desirable finish since the end grain was more smooth after sanding.   Setup First I taped down a...

posted @ Saturday, February 06, 2010 1:26 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Power required to emulate a human brain

Recently, I posted a article about how much computational power it would take to emulate the human brain, and my calculations were off by a factor of 10. I've corrected my estimates and here are the updated sections: Emulating the Human Brain The Blue Brain Project has successfully simulated 1 cordical column on the Magerit super computer (100 TeraFLOPS), and human brain has an estimated 1,000,000 columns. So with 5.2 ExaFlops, one could emulate 52,000 cordial columns. And that’s 1/20th of enough power to emulate a human brain. To emulate the entire human brain you would need approximately 100 ExaFLOPs That's a lot of...

posted @ Friday, February 05, 2010 11:27 PM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Tech Commentary Robotics Commentary ]

Stel Music Video

'Stel' is a song I've been meaning to make a music video for since I released it in 2008, and with a few effects I wanted to experiment with and the short length of Stel made it an ideal test. I used 2 effects pretty heavily, Adobe Premiere's "Time Warp" effect and PSCombine in video mode. I used Time Warp to "morph" between stills, and all the video you see here, is actually still images taken with my still camera imported as video. Once the stills are imported as video I used Time Warp to slow them down by 200-500%. The result...

posted @ Wednesday, February 03, 2010 1:13 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Music ]

Total Processing Power of the Internet

As a brain exercise I decided to try and estimate the total processing power of all the computers on the entire internet, and see if that is enough processing power to emulate the human brain. Since this is an estimate, I will try my best to figure it out with public data. Here was my process: Total Number of Computers No one knows exactly how many people (computers) are connected to the internet since a single IP address can be shared with any number of pc’s, but the best estimate I was able to find was here: Internet World Stats They use population statistics...

posted @ Monday, January 18, 2010 3:38 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Tech Commentary Robotics Commentary ]

CES Post-mortem picture extravaganza

This past week I was at CES doing market research, and I'm sure everyone reading any of the tech/gadget blogs have had a overload of CES related coverage. I’m not going to talk about any of the things that got major coverage, but here’s some general thoughts,  and a couple things you probably didn’t see anywhere else. 3D TV is coming at you like a 900lb gorilla Pretty much every TV/Monitor manufacturer has a 3D version of a product coming out, and with Blue-ray updating it’s standards to...

posted @ Wednesday, January 13, 2010 1:19 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Entertainment Tech ]

The “Cheap and Easy” Photo Backdrop

Every now and then everyone needs to take a photo of something small, there’s an easy (and cheap!) way to get a great looking photo with a white background. As soon as you see the technique, it’s hard to forget, it’s a plain white poster board propped up against a wall or whatever you have handy. Fill your camera’s view with the poster board and take the photo. For lighting you’ll need a reflected flash or some bright lights, but that is not the focus of this article. I’ll soon do an article on my...

posted @ Monday, January 11, 2010 12:50 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Photos ]

CES meetup!

a3o Studios, the company that I do my professional work though will be at CES in Vegas this week, and I’ll have some laser-cut trinkets to give away and a distinct lack of definite plans. I suspect most of the readers of my blog are of the technical persuasion and out of any group of people I would think that at least some of you are going to be going to CES. A chill meet-up wherever would would be cool, so leave a message, or send me an email. That is all.

posted @ Monday, January 04, 2010 1:50 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Commentary ]

Holiday Post-mortem

The holidays are a undoubtedly a a big cost every year for me, but this year I decided to try something different, I wanted to make all my gifts, or give things that are new but unused. My quest was a success, I effectively bought no new packaged items. I did buy some raw materials, but no packaged things. Thingiverse.com was a big help, and I also produced a few things I designed, including: Earphone Holder by 4volt Gothic Bookends by 4volt Little Business Card Stand by oomlout DIY iPhone stand... by...

posted @ Monday, January 04, 2010 1:26 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Thing: Earphone holder (folding style)

For Christmas this year I’ll be giving out inexpensive things I’ve cut with my laser, here’s one of the original designs I’ve come up with, a small holder for earbud style earphones. Other earphone winder designs make you wrap your chord around and around until you’ve wrapped the whole chord. That way is pretty aquard, and I never end up using them. It really is quite a bit faster to “fold” then to “loop”. This winder/holder is designed for that with a hook on one side, and a strap in the middle. Although, you can still wrap them the other way...

posted @ Friday, December 18, 2009 2:31 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

JP Collected Works 2009

At the beginning of December each year I start collecting material for an anthology of my work of the year, the last couple years it’s been largely photography, but this last year I’ve taken less photos and produced more “things”, many I’ve posted about here. You can download the PDF of last-year’s book at: Image Book 2008 So how many files is a year’s worth of work? This year for me it’s 25,470. Now, if I could only post more often. If you are interested in this years book, please leave a comment, so...

posted @ Wednesday, December 09, 2009 7:52 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art ]

Making a $1,000 laser into a $10,000 laser

      If you follow this blog you’ll know I do a lot of stuff with my cheap $1,000 dollar Chinese laser engraver/cutter. I’ve had it for almost a year, and I think I can clearly define all it’s shortcomings. Cutting area is small (8x8in) Controller software is poor Laser power control is manual Poor ventilation for fumes Poor/no laser cooling system Not very fast with engraving tasks Keeping all those things in mind, I’ve decided to start planning a re-build of my laser using...

posted @ Tuesday, November 17, 2009 11:57 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

US Droid + Root = Multitouch?

After having the new Motorola Droid for about a week, I've been very impressed with it’s features, usability, and experience. Previously I was using a windows mobile phone, and as far as usability goes, Android is leaps and bounds better then even the latest (6.5) version of Windows Mobile. Although, when I show my phone to an iPhone users, they generally complain about the lack of multitouch, especially in the web browser, and the on-screen keyboard. I think that feature alone will end up being a major sticking point when people talk about switching from the iPhone to the Droid. As you...

posted @ Monday, November 16, 2009 11:05 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Tech Code Commentary ]

Project: Gothic Architecture Bookends

  With the glorious re-launching of my laser, I broke it in with a new design. This is a design meant mostly for small books and is inspired by Gothic Architecture. This is a design meant mostly for small books and is inspired by Gothic Architecture, inspiration drawn from Cologne Cathedral, and Church of St Barbara Kutna Hora. There are several flying buttress and the "windows" are done in the style of a Flamboyant arch. The small gargoyles are designed after the hunched Notre Dame gargoyles. Lately I've been doing mostly mechanical projects, there satisfying to build, but usually very time consuming....

posted @ Wednesday, September 23, 2009 9:19 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

I Fried My Laser’s Power Supply

Last weekend I started a little project cutting some arts and crafts (1920’s) style address numbers for my house, the test numbers came out fine but when I started cutting a slightly larger set my laser just stopped cutting. I found some obvious electrical burn marks  on what looks like the high-voltage transformer on the laser tube power supply. So, until I can replace the part or get a new power supply, I'm out of business with the laser. If you have any comments or ideas...

posted @ Wednesday, September 02, 2009 12:39 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Laser ]

Temporary Tattoos with Laser-cut Stencils

There's been a lot of scarification type "tattoos" done with lasers over the last couple years. But, this is a temporary alternative that is not new, but still involves lasers. Temporary airbrush tattoos have been around for a while, and there's even an entry in Wikipedia, but all the airbrush stencils I've ever seen have been pretty lame. Enter the laser, where it can cut custom stencils on demand. Seen above: an electrocuted man stencil. For a short film project I'm currently working on, there was need for the main actress to have...

posted @ Wednesday, August 12, 2009 10:48 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Laser ]

New Generative Art – Missile Cloud

Lately I’ve been playing around with generative art for framing and hanging, this is a collection from some code I wrote in Context Free. I’ve also recently discovered the function to render at high resolutions and really adds another dimension of detail in this kind of recursive art. The frames you see here are cropped sections of one of the renders I found interesting.   If you want to explore one of the 5000x3500px high-res frames, it’s here: Missile Cloud 8 – VBX (7mb). I also have a 10k pixel, 22mb version, if anyone is...

posted @ Wednesday, July 29, 2009 12:06 AM | Feedback (3) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Code ]

Abandoned House

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to take a bunch of photos in a turn of the century abandoned farm house, and it was very cool. It was out in the middle of nowhere, Minnesota.    The house was in disrepair and was pretty treacherous, but not seriously dangerous. Some walls were smashed, garbage strewn around, and there were trees that had not been trimmed back in years. But no graffiti or fire damage.   Check out the full galley here: Abandoned House Also, if you’ve been missing the lack of cool new...

posted @ Tuesday, July 21, 2009 12:19 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Photos: Running a exposed hard drive, and then ruining it

Way back in 2002, I ran an experiment with a hard drive to see how durable the inside actually is, mostly curious to see how easy it is to ruin a drive. In the 2nd above photo you can see the drive arm moving, all of these photos were taken while the drive was being used in a live system.    We removed the cover of a old IDE hard drive and proceeded to format and install windows. We didn’t make any attempt to protect the drive, and the office we worked in...

posted @ Sunday, July 05, 2009 10:31 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Entertainment Tech Photos ]

Hex Toy 3mm –or- 1/8in

If you are not familiar the Hex Toy is a laser cut building toy, the edge notches fit together to make abstract shapes. Here’s a new version made specifically made for 3mm and 1/8th in plastic. The notches are larger, and the peices themselves are larger too. The feel is much more substantial. Check out the Hex Connectors project page for more detail and to download the new design.

posted @ Thursday, June 25, 2009 12:16 AM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

DIY 3 Stage Air Filter

Here are my plans for a 3 stage filter, it has a rough filter, a fine filter, and a tray of activated carbon. It uses standard 14x20in home filters and bathroom ventilation fans for suction. The cost is about $50, not including filters. It’s good for dust, smoke, and fumes at about 100 CFM. It’s great for my shop. To start you’ll need: 2 – 24x48x0.5in plywood sheets 1 – 4ft 2x4 board 2 – 8ft 2x2 boards Screws or nails 2 Bathroom style ventilation fans ...

posted @ Tuesday, June 09, 2009 10:13 PM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Follow up: Rapid prototyping with sugar and lasers

My last post was about rapid prototyping with sugar and lasers, it turned out well, but the result is really only 2d. Although with some supporting hardware I think it has great potential for making full 3d objects. Soon I will be testing a 3d object with finer sugar, but the first step is to get all the 2d layers of a 3d object and semi-manually building up the object layer by layer. After some research I found Skeinforge, a collection of python tools for slicing and creating g-code for 3d printers like the RepRap and Makerbot. I downloaded the version...

posted @ Monday, June 01, 2009 11:15 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Rapid prototyping: Making Sugar Objects with a Laser

I always wanted to start a project for making 3d prototypes with my laser in layers similar to how the legacy Candyfab project did, but never got around to it. With the recent Candyfab news , and the relative success of my Laser Cooked Bacon project, my curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see what would happen. I did some research and I wasn't able to find anyone that had melted sugar with a laser, there was some posts on the Candyfab forums, some seemed to think it was possible, and some did not. So I fired up...

posted @ Friday, May 29, 2009 1:27 AM | Feedback (10) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Laser ]

Cheap Laser Engraved Keychain Tags

I was looking for inexpensive things to engrave at the local department store and came across these cool “Key Tags”. They are a thick paper chip with an aluminum protecting ring around them with a keychain ring already inserted. The Avery 11027 pack has 25 in it for about $3.50. It turns out these are perfect for engraving on and handing out as trinkets, the paper chips mark easily, but are thick enough that a low laser power setting doesn't instantly cut though them.   I...

posted @ Thursday, May 28, 2009 9:10 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Rubber Coating Laser-cut Plastic Parts

When building the Jansen Walker I coated the feet for better traction, I didn't go into much detail then but I wanted to show the whole process here. Laser cut acrylic parts are pretty slippery, especially on hard surfaces and fabrics. For parts that need good traction, like legs and wheels, it’s nice to have a little extra something. I used plasti-dip, it’s a rubberizing dip that’s designed for dipping tool handles and it works great with laser cut acrylic.   I used 3 coats and dried them hanging up, the tricky part is hanging them...

posted @ Sunday, May 24, 2009 10:18 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Stripping a Scanner for Parts (in 10 minutes)

I’m starting on a project that I’ll be using stepping motors and belts, and after looking for cheap parts online, I thought I could do better by stripping down some old scanners. People are excited to get rid of there old computer stuff, the great thing is it doesn't matter if the old scanner works. Even if it doesn't turn on likely the motor and mechanical parts are still good for salvage. I posted a ad on Portland’s craigslist in the wanted section and got several responses, in a week I had a bunch of scanners for free, I only...

posted @ Wednesday, May 20, 2009 9:35 PM | Feedback (10) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Tech Robotics ]

Adam’s Jansen Walker

Adam so far has been the first to complete a Jansen Walker and it looks very sharp. This is a build of Beta 2, which includes 3 pairs of legs on each side which looks awesome. He also implements it with a Seguino which is also a first. It sounds like Adam is still working on one of the servos, but there is a video available at: http://vimeo.com/4739602 Edit: Adam has uploaded a new video with better walking action: http://vimeo.com/4739602 If you have finished a walker, or know someone who has, I would love to hear about it, send me an email. In other...

posted @ Wednesday, May 20, 2009 8:49 AM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Ikea Hack: Home Wiring Cabinet

Last year while remodeling our house, I took the opportunity to wire up the whole house with cat5e Ethernet wire, as well as coaxial cable to every room, and some lower quality wire for security to each door and window. Some people think Ethernet is unnecessary with wireless access points and cards being so inexpensive, it’s great to have around, but for permanent (non-mobile) devices I much prefer a wired connection, so I decided to wire the whole house up. One problem is where to source all the wires to, there ends up being quite a few. A commercial enclosure is big...

posted @ Monday, May 18, 2009 12:32 AM | Feedback (3) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY ]

Pi Pie

This isn’t incredibly unique, but while searching for photos on another post I wanted to share it with the world. It’s a pie, with the number of pi around the edge, plus the pi symbol is carved in the lid. Also, apple pie is awesome. I want some now.

posted @ Sunday, May 17, 2009 10:43 PM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Photos ]

Laser Cut Calipers

Here are plans for a simple caliper, handy to have around the shop for measuring thickness and diameters. Anytime I can build something that helps me build something else I am always pleased. The plans should be as accurate as your cutter or printer is, I actually used this project as a calibration for my laser. If you don't have a laser you can print the PDF and glue the paper down to any flat material and cut it by hand. In the case of a laser, I engraved the markings and painted them, then sanded off the extra...

posted @ Monday, May 11, 2009 11:35 PM | Feedback (3) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Laser Cooked Bacon

So recently I was thinking about what other non-standard uses I could put my laser up to, that got me thinking about what food related things I could do, and bacon came to mind. Other then being awesome in general, bacon is a thin meat that might be ideal for cooking with a laser. Laser Bacon   So what was it like? The bacon cooked well on the top layer, so well that it was slightly charred. After cooking the bacon was thinner after two passes, but didn’t shrink in width like it does...

posted @ Wednesday, May 06, 2009 8:45 PM | Feedback (14) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Laser ]

Jansen Walker Beta 2

I’m releasing the plans for the beta 2 of the Jansen Walker, Improvements include: 3 pairs of leg on each side instead of 2 A drop-in platform for the center Several other small improvements Improved building plans. Check out the Jansen Walker project page for all the files and plans.

posted @ Monday, May 04, 2009 1:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser Robotics ]

Functional Papercraft: The Laser Cut Takeout Box

In the past I designed and posted the Functional Papercraft: Folded Box, this project in that same vein. This box is perfect for carrying stuff with it’s built in handle, which is surprisingly strong. It also makes a good gift box. This copy of the container is cut from a 8x8in of paper area, and when folded is 2x2x4, big enough for small trinkets. The design can easily be scaled up to hold bigger items, all you would have to do is printing out the design larger. Check out the projects page for more details and downloadable files on the...

posted @ Thursday, April 30, 2009 12:03 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Laser Engraving with Highlight Paint

Last week I posted about a coin that I laser engraved and enhanced with some paint, but did not post step by step instructions. With a recent project for Midnight Research Labs, I had a chance to take some more pictures. I engraved the coin in the regular way and then painted over the whole sheet with a standard acrylic spray-paint.   After the paint dried over night I used a random-orbital sander to sand off the excess paint. I also sanded the back sides of the coin so the back finish matches the front...

posted @ Tuesday, April 28, 2009 7:46 PM | Feedback (4) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Art Laser ]

Fail Whale Stencil

For the most of Monday my ISP and connection was having issues and the site was up and down all day (mostly down). In honor of the occasion I decided to make a Fail Whale stencil, something fun for the whole family for when the site goes live again. Making stencils with a laser is as easy as it sounds, the most time consuming part is making the design. This version is loosely based on the twitter's infamous fail whale. Download the Fail Whale Stencil DXF file.

posted @ Tuesday, April 28, 2009 1:33 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Art Laser ]

Jansen Walker Beta 1 Official Release

I’m officially releasing my Jansen Walker as a beta with the source files and a video! 4volt Jansen Walker Beta 1 Video Jansen Walker: An openly designed Creative Commons licensed robot. What you see here is the Beta 1 version of the walker, a laser-cut robot, based on the Jansen Mechanism. It has 8 legs and scuttles similar to a crab walking sideways. The brain is a Arduino, and the legs are powered by 2 micro-servos modified for continuous rotation. If you would like to buy a kit of just the plastic in its current state, check out the...

posted @ Sunday, April 19, 2009 2:24 AM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Tech Laser Robotics ]

Modifying Micro Servos for Continuous Rotation

There are many ways to power your next project but I’m quite partial to the continuous rotation servo because it’s very easy to hook up to your micro controller, you don’t need to build or buy a separate controller or h-bridge to power the motor. In a servo all that is built in. All you need to do is connect the power directly to your battery and send a low-voltage control signal to tell it what you want it to do. Servos out of the box are meant to rotate in a fixed range of 180 degrees, but modifying them for...

posted @ Saturday, April 18, 2009 9:29 PM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Tech Photos Robotics ]

Jansen Walker: The story so far

Update Note: While I'm keeping this post for historical value, this post is not kept up to date with my Jansen Walker, look at the Jansen Walker project page for the latest details and plans. Original Post: If you’ve been following my posts lately I’ve been putting a bunch of my time into a robotics project that uses the Jansen mechanism for movement, if your not familiar look below for an animation. I've spent quite a bit of time on the mechanical design on this robot, maybe more then was strictly necessary since I used this opportunity to learn SolidWorks, and since...

posted @ Saturday, April 18, 2009 12:33 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Tech Laser Photos Robotics ]

Laser Cut Coin and New Marking Technique

I took a break from my Jansen Walker project to do a few other smaller projects, and one of them was this membership coin for a Lovecraft board game a few of my friends have been playing. The coin says “Secret Society of Arkham” and has a little icon of Cthulhu. Getting text on laser cut acrylic is hard to see unless you are looking at a specific angle, and kind of leaves something to be desired. I wanted distinct black engraving on the acrylic. My new technique involves engraving the item, painting the whole part, then after...

posted @ Thursday, April 16, 2009 11:50 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Image: Pet Godzilla

Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec Aperture: F/6.3 ISO: 1600 Focal length: 35mm Here in Portland on some of the old streets you’ll find metal rings embedded in the curbs that were originally installed in the early 1900’s and were made to tie your horse to. Eventually people started ironically attaching toy horses to the rings, and just the other day I found this dinosaur / Godzilla attached to a ring. Very clever. On another note, I’ve decided to discontinue my image-a-day posts, I’ll still be posting pictures from time...

posted @ Wednesday, April 15, 2009 11:54 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Laser Cut Gears 2

I spent most of last night designing the gears that will link the servo to the drive train on my Jansen walker, I'm hoping that a 1:1 ratio will be okay, the servos are surprisingly strong for how small they are. I used a playing card as my test material, they are stronger are more ridged then cardstock. The hardest part of the design was getting the teeth on the inside of the servo gear just right, I wanted to just slip the gear onto the servo horn and have the teeth grip the ridges that are on the horn...

posted @ Thursday, April 09, 2009 10:04 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser Robotics ]

New Laser-cut Business Card

I went to the first MAKE:PDX meeting on Sunday and decided I should have some business cards to give out, so I whipped these up really quick. I’m able to cut 10 of these from one standard piece of letter-sized cardstock. I was pleased at how thin I was able to get the stencil markings on the letters to be, when you see the card your don’t immediately think the letters are stencil-cut. I suppose if one were more vandalism-oriented then I am, one could use the card to spray-paint the 4volt logo all around...

posted @ Tuesday, April 07, 2009 10:35 AM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Jansen Walker Post 4: First Prototype

Update Note: While I'm keeping this post for historical value, this post is not kept up to date with my Jansen Walker, look at the Jansen Walker project page for the latest details and plans. Original Post: So I updated my plans make a medium sized version and fired up my laser cutter. This version is about 5 by 4 inches and seems like a happy medium in terms of size. I think I'll be able to use 2mm plexi-glass for the material, though I managed to break several parts while I was separating them from the sheet. I suspect that...

posted @ Saturday, April 04, 2009 7:56 PM | Feedback (3) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser Robotics ]

Jansen Walker Post 3

Update Note: While I'm keeping this post for historical value, this post is not kept up to date with my Jansen Walker, look at the Jansen Walker project page for the latest details and plans. Original Post: I’ve put a little bit of more time into my natural gearing walker, and got a few things done. Here is an animation of the quad-leg assembly, I plan on putting one of these assemblies on each side of the walker. I’m still on the ropes about what type of motor to power the movement, I've been leaning towards continuous rotation servos, that would...

posted @ Monday, March 30, 2009 1:21 AM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Robotics ]

Image-a-day 86: Fly

Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec Aperture: F/13 ISO: 100 Focal length: 50mm

posted @ Monday, March 30, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 85: Catching the Bus

The kinetic energy of this photo is great, running to meet the bus while the bus drives on. Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec Aperture: F/11 ISO: 200 Focal length: 18mm

posted @ Friday, March 27, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 84: Reflections

Shutter Speed: 1/60 sec Aperture: F/5 ISO: 1600 Focal length: 18mm

posted @ Thursday, March 26, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 83: Columns

Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec Aperture: F/9 ISO: 100 Focal length: 18mm  

posted @ Wednesday, March 25, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Flashing the PSP with alternative firmware

The sony PSP (pay station portable) is a great piece of hardware, a nice big screen with a decent processing power along with a some good controls and a fair amount of software features right out of the box. In my opinion the biggest competitor to the PSP is the iPhone and the iPod touch, though there are not directly equivalent. The problem with the stock firmware is that it’s locked to sony signed apps, running an alternative firmware will let you run homebrew code. There’s a plethora of conflicting info on how to flash the psp, There...

posted @ Tuesday, March 24, 2009 6:39 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Tech ]

Image-a-day 82: Vegetables

  Shutter Speed: 1/60 sec Aperture: F/5 ISO: 800 Focal length: 18mm

posted @ Tuesday, March 24, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Electric Pickle Experiment

Here’s an experiment my brother and I did a while back, involving high voltage and pickles. The setup is an electrical cord stripped, and wrapped around two nails. The nails are the terminals that transfer the electricity into the pickle(s).   For safety the modified cord is taped down to the work surface and plugged into a power strip with a isolated switch and fuse. This allows some safety (the 15A fuse) and control (the switch) that we used to start and stop the experiment.   Immediately after switching the power on, the pickle lights up with a flickering pattern. One side of...

posted @ Monday, March 23, 2009 9:11 PM | Feedback (5) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY ]

Image-a-day 81: Cheese

Cheese, cheese, everywhere cheese. Shutter Speed: 1/60 sec Aperture: F/5 ISO: 800 Focal length: 18mm I’ve taken a short break with the image-a-day (again) to spend some time on other projects, but I've resumed again and I’ll be posting every weekday.

posted @ Monday, March 23, 2009 8:29 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

New Art Gallery: Archival

You may or may not know that 4volt.com has been around since 2001, and in that time there’s been a fair amount of random stuff on it. Lately I’ve been slowly re-building the site, and tonight I’ve put together an archive of some of the more popular art I've posted. Some pieces are a little dated, but most of it holds up well I think. Things change in 8 years.

posted @ Tuesday, March 17, 2009 11:13 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art ]

Image-a-day 80: Textured Pine

Shutter Speed: 1/50 sec Lens Aperture: F/10 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Saturday, March 14, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 79: Lock

Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec Lens Aperture: F/6.3 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Friday, March 13, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 78: Tongue

Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec Lens Aperture: F/6.3 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Thursday, March 12, 2009 7:18 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Howto: Hotwire a PC power supply

In my current PC I have two power supplies, one for my motherboard and accessories, and one for my raid array. The problem is, you cant just use a regular ATX PC power supply for dumb power without hooking it up to a motherboard. Fortunately there’s a (fairly) easy way around that. There is a wire in the main 20-24 pin ATX header that tells your power supply to turn on, and is usually the only green one. Before we get into the details, here are two warnings: There are dangerous voltages in your power supply, if your not...

posted @ Thursday, March 12, 2009 9:51 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Tech ]

Unicode domains, short URL’s and Twitter

Today a news story hit about tinyarro.ws, a url shortening domain that can appear as as a single Unicode character like: www.➡.ws/誮 I was not very familiar with unicode domains, so I did a bit of research. Unicode domains are meant to allow non-English domains to be registered with by escaping them into Punycode. For instance www.➡.ws/誮 is shown as “www.xn--hgi.ws/xn--y42a” in the source of this page. ‘XN—‘ is the Punycode notation to start the escape sequence, here is a converter I’ve found for your pleasure: http://idnaconv.phlymail.de/index.php This brought out two interesting lines of thought:...

posted @ Wednesday, March 11, 2009 3:28 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Tech ]

Photo Gallery: Pendulum

  I caught Pendulum live this weekend and ended up taking way to many photos, the good news is there was a bunch of them turned out well. There’s a new gallery over in photos. Pendulum is a live drum and bass group that I like quite a bit, as far as I can tell all the instruments are played live including drums and vocals which is rare for a drum and bass group.

posted @ Wednesday, March 11, 2009 9:54 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Jansen Walker: Post 2

Update Note: While I'm keeping this post for historical value, this post is not kept up to date with my Jansen Walker, look at the Jansen Walker project page for the latest details and plans. Original Post: I posted a few weeks ago about the Jansen walking mechanism, and since then I've been working on a Solidworks model to test the proportions of the 12 numbers with success. Solidworks allowed me to adjust the length of any proportion in the model without redrawing anything. I ended up using a variation of the numbers found by Rik at Lets Make Robots. Below is an...

posted @ Sunday, March 08, 2009 4:02 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Tech Robotics ]

Generative Art: Context Free

I’ve been playing around with Context Free lately, it’s a 2D generative art program, meaning you can create art from code. Here’s the code for the above images: 1: startshape SPIKES 2:   3: rule CENTER { 4: 10* {r 36} SPIKE { y 25} 5: } 6:   7: rule SPIKES { ...

posted @ Saturday, March 07, 2009 1:10 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Code ]

Image-a-day 77: Anthropomorphic Boxes

This street art took advantage of the existing square shapes on this building to make make something anthropomorphic.  From the look of the various tan and gray squares, it looks like a popular wall in the past. Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec Lens Aperture: F/10 Focal Length: 20mm

posted @ Sunday, March 01, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 76: Birds, Flying

It’s easy to get a little action in your photos if there’s ever a flock of birds sitting around, my strategy is to walk up quietly with the camera ready, start taking shots and then suddenly stop towards the flock. Chances are if you take enough photos you’ll get something interesting. Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec Lens Aperture: F/9 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Saturday, February 28, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 75: Cherry Blossoms and Rain

This is a great confidence shot, another reason why you should have your camera handy. It was a sunny but somewhat rainy day. The cherry blossoms and trees perfectly frame the person sitting alone on a bench with an umbrella, looking out on the river.. Shutter Speed: 1/80 sec Lens Aperture: F/7.1 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 74: Joy Electric

This is a photo from an Joy Electric concert that I just added to the Galley, the lighting was good enough to get some nice clear shots without needing a flash. Note to concert photographers: never use the flash! It’s distracting to everyone, and you won’t get a good photo anyway. Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec Lens Aperture: F/2.8 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Thursday, February 26, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 73: IR Portraits

   Infrared is a interesting twist any photo, and I wanted to show this experiment. It’s a fascinating study on how the different light bands change a portrait. It is tricky to get the manual settings just right, but once you do your good to go. It’s a little on the weird side, but interesting never the less. Shutter Speed: 2 sec Lens Aperture: F/1.8 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Wednesday, February 25, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 72: Test Tubes

This is another stock photo from my gallery, the simplicity makes it one of my favorites. Shutter Speed: 1/30 sec Lens Aperture: F/8 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Tuesday, February 24, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Jansen Walker Research

Update Note: While I'm keeping this post for historical value, this post is not kept up to date with my Jansen Walker, look at the Jansen Walker project page for the latest details and plans. Original Post: I’ve taken a  strong interest in Theo Jansen’s walking mechanism, it’s a very efficient mechanical leg design for converting rotary motion into leg movements, and is very elegant in my opinion. The basis is the relative distance of the 12 joins, he calls them “The 12 Holy Numbers”. I’ve also seen “11 Holy Numbers” in a few references. Another parallel interest I have with...

posted @ Monday, February 23, 2009 7:31 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Tech Robotics ]

Image-a-day 71: Viking

Although this is probably technically a tag, I still like the photo. Shutter Speed: 1/500 sec Lens Aperture: F/9 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Monday, February 23, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 70: San Francisco at Night

These shots were taken from the Coit Tower in San Francisco even though the shutter speed was pretty low I was able to keep the shake down by bracing the camera against the glass. Shutter Speed: 0.8 sec Lens Aperture: F/5 Focal Length: 37mm

posted @ Sunday, February 22, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 69: Autumn Leaves

I debated weather or not I should post this photo since it’s kind of out of context for the season, but it’s a good opportunity to tell you all about my new seasonal gallery that I'll be filling  as time goes on. Shutter Speed: 1/50 sec Lens Aperture: F/8 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Saturday, February 21, 2009 3:24 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 68: Aerobatics

Shutter Speed: 1/500 sec Lens Aperture: F/11 Focal Length: 300mm

posted @ Friday, February 20, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 67: My Secret Lair

It’s time you all see my (mostly) secret lair, but I wont tell you where it is so that it’s still nice a secure. If you ever want to drop by my secure web host farm you’ll have to parachute in by airplane. Shutter Speed: 1/160 sec Lens Aperture: F/8 Focal Length: 18mm  

posted @ Thursday, February 19, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 66: Turmoil at Sea

There’s always something to see at the beach, but makes for boring photos. But a stormy day makes it much more interesting to me. Shutter Speed: 1/640 sec Lens Aperture: F/9 Focal Length: 300mm

posted @ Wednesday, February 18, 2009 9:20 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 65: Tulips

These were taken with a ring flash and a macro adapter. The colors are vivid and the details are what makes these interesting to me. Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec. Lens Aperture: F/22 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Tuesday, February 17, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 64: Spider Web and Dew

This spider web with dew droplets on it is one of those things I couldn’t pass up taking a few photos of. Shutter Speed 1/100 sec Lens Aperture F/2.8 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Monday, February 16, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 63: Stock Photos Launch

I’ve posted a new gallery of photos called “Stock Photos” on my Photos Page, if your looking for some generic photos for your next publication, feel free to take one. I’ve also taken the time to title and re-arrange the photos in a more logical order. About this particular photo, I used a high aperture and long zoom to keep all the details of the thread spools in focus. Shutter Speed: 1/3 Sec Lens Aperture: F/29 Focal Length: 190mm

posted @ Sunday, February 15, 2009 10:21 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Engrish Glasses

I saw Coraline today in 3D and got these spiffy glasses. I’m impressed with the new 3D technology, but I'm more impressed with the engrish warring message that reads: “Not sung lasses-No UV / Sun Protection”. Clearly it was phonetically spelled by someone that doesn't know what the words sun glasses mean. No sung lasses for you!

posted @ Saturday, February 14, 2009 10:39 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Entertainment Photos ]

Logging into TurboGears with Flex

I spent quite a bit of time today getting a Adobe Flex application to login into a TurboGears site and I couldn’t find any good articles on how to get it to work correctly, after quite a bit of trial and error I was able to figure it out. Here’s quick post on my findings. Form Fields The main trick is to get the POST form parameters correct. The default TurboGears “identity.form” parameters in your app.cfg are: identity.form.user_name="user_name" identity.form.password="password" identity.form.submit="login" To mimic those POST fields in Flex here’s what the mx:HTTPService would look like: <mx:HTTPService id="tg_login" method="POST" url="http://localhost:8080/"...

posted @ Saturday, February 14, 2009 2:01 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Code ]

Image-a-day 62: Alley

The amalgamation of wires, pipes and concrete buildings gives this photo a nice high-contrast look with no adjustments. Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec. Lens Aperture: F/4.5 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Saturday, February 14, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 61: Floating Objects

The fast 1/1000 exposure freezes the falling pencils in place. This was actually a more difficult shot then I was expecting, throwing the pencils in place where the focus was and taking the shot at the exact right moment took quite a few tries. Shutter Speed: 1/1000 sec. Lens Aperture: F/4.5 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Friday, February 13, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 60: Orchid

This is from a bunch of common orchids in the lobby of an office building, I used offset flash to darken the background and highlight the bloom. Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec. Lens Aperture: F/2.8 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Thursday, February 12, 2009 6:34 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 59: Spider

I’m not sure what kind of spider this is, but it is waving hello. Shutter Speed: 1/100 sec Lens Aperture: F/8 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Wednesday, February 11, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 58: Saturday Market Elvis

I snapped this photo while passing the Portland Saturday Market Elvis, not expecting it to turn out I took a few at the hip as I was passing. I was delighted to find one shot had this dramatic reaction. “The Elvis” is a guy that plays for money at the Saturday Market, and despite not looking anything like Elvis in my opinion, he does have it on his cape in handwritten faded white lettering. Shutter Speed: 1/320 Sec Lens Aperture: F/11 Focal Length: 18mm

posted @ Tuesday, February 10, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 57: Mirror Pond

I’ve taken a brief interlude in the image-a-day series to consider my strategy. I have about 60,000 photos in my collection total, and about 1 in 100 is “good”, but even at that rate I have over two years of photos for image-a-day, not counting any I may take in that time. So with all of that in mind I'll only be posting my noteworthy best photos, when I run out of those I have another daily image project I’ll starting up. Now it’s quality over quantity, so expect good things.   I couldn’t resist mirroring the...

posted @ Monday, February 09, 2009 12:27 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 56: Abandoned Couch

Here is yet another interesting abandoned target in the same gravel pit. I did try the chair and it was even less comfortable then it looks. Unlike most of the photos I post here, the contrast and saturation was modified on this one. Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec Lens Aperture: F/13 Focal Length: 26mm

posted @ Thursday, February 05, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 55: Firing Range Fridge

I found this bullet-ridden and rusted fridge was in a gravel pit in Minnesota. Evidently it was used for many rounds of target practice. Shutter Speed: 1/500 sec Lens Aperture: F/14 Focal Length: 18mm  

posted @ Wednesday, February 04, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 54: Slug

The creepy crawly things in the garden are always fun to photograph. This slug was one of the largest i’ve seen in a while, a good 4 inches or so. Shutter Speed: 1/30 sec. Lens Aperture: F/5.6 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Tuesday, February 03, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 53: Four

This is an elevator plaque from the building I work in, I guess I’m a sucker for plaques with only the number four on them. Shutter Speed: 1/25 sec. Lens Aperture: F/5.6 Focal Length: 46mm

posted @ Monday, February 02, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 52: Clover

Every season brings it’s flowers, the same field has given me many different opportunities. Shutter Speed: 1/250 sec. Lens Aperture: F/14 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Sunday, February 01, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 51: Fire 2

Here is the second study with fire, the above photo was taken right after the flint was struck. You can see the sparks flying out of the top of the lighter. Shutter Speed 1/50 sec. Lens Aperture: F/5.6 Focal Length: 50mm With the below photo you can see the wax droplets wicking out of the end of the wick and glowing red.

posted @ Saturday, January 31, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 50: Fire

  Here are some candles, interesting in there own light. Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec. Lens Aperture: F/5.6 Focal Length: 50mm

posted @ Friday, January 30, 2009 8:47 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 48: Kings Street Station 2

  Here’s some of Kings Street Station, some of the neglected parts. The cracked paint and rusting metal makes interesting photos. Shutter Speed: 1/2500 sec Lens Aperture: F/3.5 Focal Length: 18mm ISO: 800  

posted @ Wednesday, January 28, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 49: Streets

The streets always hold something to photograph, if you just keep your camera ready. None of these would have been taken if I had left my camera at home on a day out on the city. Shutter Speed: 1/25 sec Lens Aperture: F/3.5 Focal Length: 18mm ISO: 100

posted @ Wednesday, January 28, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 47: Kings Street Station

Kings Street Station when I visited was a strange mixture of old style decedent train station and careful neglect, these photos  are some of the redeeming parts. Shutter Speed: 1/30 sec Lens Aperture: F/3.5 Focal Length: 18mm ISO: 800

posted @ Tuesday, January 27, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 46: Glass Baubles

Here are some glass baubles I came across in a store on a day in Seattle. The clerks didn’t even get mad at me for taking pictures in the store. I was quick about it, but you never know if you’ll get yelled at. Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec Lens Aperture: F/10 Focal Length: 39mm ISO: 800  

posted @ Monday, January 26, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 45: Ikea

There’s always something to see wherever you go, I try to keep my camera with me all the time. Shutter Speed: 1/50 sec Lens Aperture: F/5.6 Focal Length: 39mm ISO: 800

posted @ Sunday, January 25, 2009 9:29 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 44: Wood Block Art “4vc”

Here is the 2nd of 3 pieces in my Wood Block Art series. This one is more angular in form and design. The design wraps around some on all four edges. I like these because there completely independent no mounting extra protection is needed, works great on a desk. The first entry in this series is: Block Art 1: X

posted @ Saturday, January 24, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 43: Video on Paper

  When taking continuous shots I've found an effective way of printing them is using Photoshop’s contact sheet batch process. While it’s not as effective as “real” video, it’s pretty cool. Another cool way to show video on paper is with flipbooks, I’ll try to post an example soon. Shutter Speed: 1/25 sec Lens Aperture: F/5.6 Focal Length: 50mm ISO: 1600 Frames per second: 1.5 Total Images: 151

posted @ Friday, January 23, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 42: Magic Hour

Knowing when the magic hour is a handy thing to know as a photographer. If you are unfamiliar, the “magic hour” is the first and last hour of light in the day. It’s a great time of day to take photos because the angle of light from the sun and color makes almost any photo great. Yesterday’s image-a-day was also taken around the same time. The above photo was taken at the magic hour, you can tell because the light looks like it’s coming at an angle at the clouds. Shutter Speed: 1/200 sec ...

posted @ Thursday, January 22, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 41: Outside

I love macros, why? I can’t tell you. This is one of my all time favorites, it’s got good contrast and color and I didn’t have to work to take it. It seems great pictures just happen sometimes, especially during the magic hour. Tune in tomorrow for a short write-up on the magic hour if your not familiar with it. Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec Focal Length: 20mm Lens Aperture: F/7.1 ISO: 100

posted @ Wednesday, January 21, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 40: Haystack Rock

Keeping with yesterdays entry on Canon Beach, here’s the famous Haystack rock, as seen in the movie Goonies. Shutter Speed: 1/320 sec Lens Aperture: F/14 Focal Length: 50mm ISO: 400  

posted @ Monday, January 19, 2009 10:48 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 39: Canon Beach

Every time I go to the beach I find something to photograph, as with most scenic locations the trouble it finding a interesting angle or something out of the ordinary. There’s not very many technical issues to try and get over so your free to find something good to take a picture of. Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec Lens Aperture: F/6.3 Focal Length: 18mm ISO: 100

posted @ Monday, January 19, 2009 12:40 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 38: Infrared Photography

Infrared shots are fun, I only wish that I could take them with out having a extremely long exposure. It would be cool to just be able to point and shoot. These images were taken with an Infrared filter and then I used Auto Color in Photoshop to shift it away from red. Since the grass appears white, it appears to reflect the most infrared light. Filter: Hoya R58 Shutter Speed: 30sec Lens Aperture: F/5.6 Focal Length: 18mm ISO: 100 ...

posted @ Sunday, January 18, 2009 10:44 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 37: Fallen Tree

At my last house on a particularly windy night one of my neighbors had two tall fir trees fall on their house. Don’t worry, no one was hurt. Later that night the evening news came out and did a live news cast, it was a slow news day otherwise.   Main Image: Shutter Speed: 1/60th sec Lens Aperture: F/4 Focal Length: 70 mm ISO-200

posted @ Saturday, January 17, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 36: Night trees

Here is another shot near my last house, the moon behind the trees makes a nice silhouette. This was a 30 second exposure on a tripod. Later that year two of those trees fell on a house, tomorrow’s image-a-day will have some photos of that. Focal Length: 26mm Shutter Speed: 30sec Lens Aperture: F/5 ISO: 100

posted @ Friday, January 16, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 35: Night shot

This was taken right out my front door at my last house at 11 pm, This is a typical night in Oregon, wet and a little foggy. It goes to show you can find a photo anywhere. I took this photo with a tripod and remote, the shutter was open for a full 10 seconds to capture enough light at ISO100. Focal Length: 18mm Shutter Speed: 10 Seconds Lens Aperture: F/5 ISO: 100

posted @ Thursday, January 15, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Laser Cutting Cloth and Felt

I did a series of experiments with cutting cloth and felt, and done with some care you can make some cool stuff. Natural fiber cloths like cotton and wool felt cut well. Synthetic-based cloths like polyester and nylon just melt. The blue patterned cloth is a thin 100% cotton, it cuts extremely well, the edges are crisp and there is little to no scorching. The tan cloth is 60% wool, it cuts well with some scorching, but the result looks nice. There is some bunt-wool smell, but it’s not too bad. ...

posted @ Wednesday, January 14, 2009 10:24 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Laser ]

Image-a-day 34: Graveyard

Stones last a long time, this one was carved over a hundred years ago and the letters are still crisp and easy to read. This stone has been around 4 times longer then it’s owner lived. I’m sure you can find stones older then this one in your local graveyard. The thing that amazes me is the labor that must have been spent carving it, and how it must surely have been transported by train and/or horse. Oldsmobile started production in 1902, and Ford in 1914. (Wikipedia) Focal Length: 80mm Shutter...

posted @ Wednesday, January 14, 2009 12:10 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Laser Engraved DS Lite

  When laser engraving plastics, all the laser does is evaporate material from it, so depending on the plastic, you could get many results. I just engraved a white DS lite, that version of the DS has a clear shell that is painted on the inside. The engraving is light but has a cool effect, It casts a shadow on painted inner shell and depending on the light it shows with varying effect.

posted @ Tuesday, January 13, 2009 11:37 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Image-a-day 33: Frog

A lazy photographer never gets the shot, especially with animals. If nature doesn't come to you, the best you can do is have a camera ready all the time. I got this photo mostly with luck, frogs usually don’t hang out in my back yard. Focal Length: 50mm Aperture: F9 Shutter Speed: 1/125 sec ISO: 400

posted @ Tuesday, January 13, 2009 12:33 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 32: Bullet Camera

This is a Kodak “Bullet Camera”, the lens screws in and out, I assume for zoom. The shutter is is a simple lever that doesn't appear to have any adjustments that can be made. The design is simplistic and functional. See the two images below for an example of the lens open and closed.

posted @ Monday, January 12, 2009 12:44 AM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 31: Waterfall

The upper photo is probably my favorite waterfall picture, I was standing so near the fall that water is splashing up on the lens and leaving those blurry smudges you can see everywhere on the image. The problem with waterfall pictures is waterfalls are so cool in person that everyone takes a hundred pictures, also everyone has seen a hundred boring photos of waterfalls. So the challenge is getting something interesting, something different.

posted @ Sunday, January 11, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 30: Leaf

  Okay, with only one false start I can officially say this is the 30th image-a-day. It’s a milestone but a poor one at that. Here’s a fig leaf in detail, being able to see the veins and leaf cells is pretty cool. The leaf is between a flash and a lighting umbrella, the flash is pointed towards the umbrella to get maximum light reflection on the back of the leaf, the white you see is the actual fabric of the umbrella.

posted @ Saturday, January 10, 2009 12:00 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Flex LS, Spark Competition, and .Net Micro

I recently created a entry for the Spark Competition, go check it out and rate it highly. There’s 188 entries and the top 50 win a VIA Artigo Pico-ITX system which I’ve been excited to see since it’s release. I wrote a blog entry about it back in December. The Spark Competition is for Microsoft's new embedded development environment focused on the new .Net Micro framework. Microsoft's new framework is for lower-end microprocessors. While it is a Microsoft product it has some very interesting features like higher-level access to networking, interface, and data libraries. There...

posted @ Friday, January 09, 2009 11:26 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Tech Code ]

Image-a-day 29: Alley

We’ll I've managed to make it to 30 days of images, that’s 8.2 percent of the year. Time flies when your having fun. Edit: I guess this is only 29, consider it the ramblings of a crazy man.

posted @ Friday, January 09, 2009 9:15 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 28: Circuits

  Here is another macro, this time of the circuit board of a video card. These images are the result of a moderate light source with a very small aperture (f32) and a 30 second exposure.

posted @ Thursday, January 08, 2009 12:05 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 27: Foggy Travels

Goode pictures are where you can find them, likely most pictures wont turn out, but I’m glad I had my camera ready the foggy morning I drove from Portland to San Francisco. Taking pictures from a moving vehicle are also tricky business, you have to be ready at any moment to get that one in 50 that actually looks okay. I find that at a 50mm zoom (about 2x) really helps cut out the ground blur on the things that are the closest to the car.

posted @ Wednesday, January 07, 2009 12:01 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 26: Baked Goods

Everyone loves a good freshly baked desert, including myself. I took the super close up with a 50mm lens with a macro attachment, the two below were with the standard 50mm lens at f1.8.  

posted @ Tuesday, January 06, 2009 12:01 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Making Laser Cut Gears with InkScape

  If you ever decide to design something mechanical, eventually you’ll need some gears. I’ve been experimenting with laser-cutting gears. The first thing I found out is that drawing gears is hard, they are complex in ways you might not realize at first. Gear teeth aren’t simple squares, or triangles, or a easy combination of the two. The teeth are angled based on the diameter of the gear and the pressure angle. See the two following images to compare a small diameter gear and a large diameter gear with the same size teeth (20px) and pressure angle (20). Luckily there is a easy...

posted @ Monday, January 05, 2009 10:28 PM | Feedback (5) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Tech Laser Robotics ]

Image-a-day 25: Eye

The human eye is infinitely interesting to me, it seems that the closer you look the more there is to see, especially in the detail of the iris. These photos were taken with a ring flash (you can see the refection in the eye), and it gives them a bleached, almost sterile appearance.

posted @ Monday, January 05, 2009 12:29 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 24: Knobs and sliders

There’s nothing like having a good knob or two around for some good tactile feedback, that’s why this analog style midi sequencer is one of my favorite instruments. If you are not familiar, it’s designed so that each slider is a note, and it runs though all the sliders to create a little melody that you can change while it’s playing. Also the black on white styling reminds me of star wars.

posted @ Sunday, January 04, 2009 12:01 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 23: Smoke

  The best part of this picture is the contrast of the smoke on the dark background. Smoke is a pretty difficult thing to photograph, though with a bright flash and a dark background you can get some great results. This picture was taken with the same poser board technique as image-a-day 22, but with a black poster board.

posted @ Saturday, January 03, 2009 12:01 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 22: Nails

This is from one of my first attempts to use “real” photography lights and a white background in 2004, even though my photography and lighting techniques have improved quite a bit since then, I generally still use the same type of background. I use a semi-glossy poster board that curves from the table to the wall, it works well for small objects and is very inexpensive. Also. if you get the poster board dirty you can always toss it out and grab a new one for a dollar or two.

posted @ Thursday, January 01, 2009 11:39 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Cassette Tape Business Card

Description This business card is a tri-folded laser cut card meant to look like a old school cassette tape. The advantage this card has over other is that there's a zipper seal (like on UPS envelopes) on the back of the card that lets you open it like a tri-fold brochure so you can fit a mini-portfolio or a bunch of text on your usually too small business card. This design gives you about 3.5 x 4in of space that you can't see when the card is folded and sealed. It's possible to print the card on standard...

posted @ Thursday, January 01, 2009 10:29 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Image-a-day 21: Latch

An open window or door brings the outside world in.

posted @ Thursday, January 01, 2009 2:52 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 20: Wood Block Art “X”

In the epic remodel of the summer we stained and varnished all of our own wood trim for the house. While I was working with all that wood I remembered Audrey Kawasaki’s work, which inspired me to create some wood art of my own. Working with wood as a canvas is an entirely unique experience, the uneven texture and angles make creating a drawing that covers multiple plains more like crafting something then drawing. There are three pieces in this set, I’ll be posting the other two as the mood strikes.

posted @ Wednesday, December 31, 2008 12:58 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art ]

PSCombine 1.5.0

I’ve just released version 1.5 of the PSCombine program. I’ve put quite a bit of time and effort into it the last few days trying to make it more flexible, and easier to use. Head over to 4volt.com/projects/PSCombine/ to download the new version. If you enjoy PSCombine, you can always donate, or just drop me a note. Here’s a quick rundown on the new features: Live View When you are actively generating images you can use the “Live View” tab to view the images that Photoshop writes immediately after they are...

posted @ Tuesday, December 30, 2008 9:33 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Tech Art Code ]

Image-a-day 19: Light Off

Here is a light switch from a partially demolished wall. I’ve always liked walls made of lathe and plaster. This was a wall in the old stairwell. When the construction team was working on the house I used it in the morning and when I got home from work it was gone, converted into a pile of rubble.

posted @ Tuesday, December 30, 2008 2:39 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

New Hex Connector Photos

I made a bunch of my Hex Connectors for Christmas gifts and I spent a few minutes taking a few more photos, here are some of the things you can make:   For directions on how to make see my previous post: Hex Connectors

posted @ Monday, December 29, 2008 9:22 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser Photos ]

Image-a-day 18: Singer

Here are a couple of detail shots of the antique Singer sewing machine we recently acquired. You don't see detail like this on modern machinery. I really love the electricity free household machines of the early 1900’s, somehow it’s satisfying to wind a clock that doesn't need to be plugged in as well as running the foot pedal on this sewing machine. My current favorite desktop item (other then my computer) is a 1940’s-ish wind up clock with timer. It looks kind of like a old style transistor radio but only about 8 inches high....

posted @ Monday, December 29, 2008 12:30 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 17: Brick

I’m a sucker for textures and the one I snagged from our old chimney is one of my favorites. The concrete texture with the cracks and water marks really gives it interesting character. These are from the day we had our “extra” chimney knocked out, I don’t think I've never cleaned up a bigger mess.

posted @ Sunday, December 28, 2008 3:08 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image Book 2008

Every year I choose my top favorite photos and and have them printed and bound to give to family and friends. This year’s edition is 121 pages and includes some of the photos I’ve been posting here. JP ImageBook 2008 14mb PDF JP ImageBook 2008 Press Quality 40mb PDF Also, I have...

posted @ Saturday, December 27, 2008 10:00 PM | Feedback (4) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 16: The Faint

     Here are some photos from The Faint concert earlier this year. I brought along my 50mm f1.8 lens and it worked great that night. Unfortunately I got too close to the action and smashed the focusing ring with the forward lens element. The concert was pretty crazy and I had fun. You can see the entire gallery here: 4volt.com/photo Also, while I was at it I posted the Shiny Toy Guns gallery.

posted @ Saturday, December 27, 2008 8:05 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 15: Clouds

Here are some photos of clouds from above them. It’s interesting how much like landscape and mountains they look like from that perspective.

posted @ Friday, December 26, 2008 6:37 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 14: Keys

Here are some macro shots of a bunch of old keys we found in our house (it was built in 1914). The texture of the old metal gives the keys great character, and the close up shot brings it all out.  

posted @ Thursday, December 25, 2008 4:25 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Photos ]

PSCombine: Computer Assisted Art

I've posted the first version of my image randomizer program, I like to think of it as "Computer Assisted Art". http://4volt.com/projects/PSCombine/ If you have any issues installing or using the program, email me, or post a message here. Update: I've released version 1.0.4 that solves some incompatibility issues with Photoshop CS3. If you previously were having issues and were running CS3, download and install 1.0.4.

posted @ Thursday, December 25, 2008 5:54 AM | Feedback (6) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Art Code ]

Image-a-day 13: Shiny Toy Guns

Here’s a few of the good shots from a Shiny Toy Guns concert a while back. In these shots I find the crowd almost as interesting as the performers. Bonus Image: Here is a photo from the Random Set 2008 gallery that just happens to be from the same concert, if your not familiar with the process see my post here.

posted @ Wednesday, December 24, 2008 8:48 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 12: Light

This is a photo I hand traced for effect, the black lines really give it a different feeling.

posted @ Tuesday, December 23, 2008 9:34 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 11: Yashica Lens

I skipped posting on Sunday, so I'm double posting today. Here are a couple new photos from my macro set, the top photo is the aperture and focus rings on a Yashica f1.4 38mm lens made for a made for an old 8mm camera. Since I don’t have a camera for this lens it makes a great paperweight. Below are the actual blades of the aperture mechanism. This lens is great for explaining what aperture is since the blades are so easy to see.

posted @ Monday, December 22, 2008 3:35 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 10: Snowed In

  Here in Portland we don’t get too much snow, and when we do no one is prepared to handle it, including the city. On Saturday we ventured out to get a couple last minute Christmas Gifts and I took these photos after nightfall. Snow at night is always more interesting to me. Today I’m stuck at home hoping the power doesn't go out.  

posted @ Monday, December 22, 2008 2:51 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

PSCombine: Computer Assisted Art

I’ve written a program that randomly selects photos from my collection and then combines them with a random opacity and blending mode. Generally, I generate 5,000 random combinations then manually sort though them and select my favorites. About 1 in 150 make the cut. The following photos were randomly combined and mixed to create interesting new art. I like to think of this as "Computer Assisted Art". I’ve published my most recent gallery here: 4volt.com/art/, the images in this post are from there, as well as part of my ImageBook 2008 printed book (also available as PDF) that I'm giving...

posted @ Saturday, December 20, 2008 7:29 PM | Feedback (15) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Code Photos ]

Image-a-day 8: Thread and Glass

I took some time today to get re-acquainted with my 300mm lens to get some super detailed photos for a review I'll be doing soon and took some macro shots of nick-naks laying around my desk. On another note: I took the 20,000th photo on my current camera. I’m currently using a Canon Rebel xt which it has served me well for the last two and a half years. Neither of these photos are retouched in any way.

posted @ Friday, December 19, 2008 1:03 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Functional Papercraft: A Folded Box

Description It seems that many of my things I'll be giving as Christmas presents this year are small, less then a few inches in dimensions. That brings up the question, How do I pack it? One could put the thing in a envelope or a small plastic bag, but all of those like a distinct "giftiness", they don't really look like a gift. Enter the Folded Box, it's small enough to print and/or cut from a piece of standard size card stock. You can also easily customize it with a logo or name to make it that much cooler. The box is...

posted @ Thursday, December 18, 2008 11:31 AM | Feedback (4) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Image-a-day 7: Frosted Grass

Here is a quick macro of the grass in front of my house. Getting these shots was harder then I thought it would be, since the camera is so low to the ground you would have to be laying on your stomach in the snow to look though the viewfinder. For this one I set the camera to auto-focus and took about 20 photos at various angles, this is the only one that turned out. The photos below were taken of a different kind of grass while it was still dark out with a ring flash,...

posted @ Thursday, December 18, 2008 9:31 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 6: Exterior Scene, Night

This is a shot from the passenger side of a car, it was a stereotypical Portland night. I love the third shot because of the coincidental person waiving to someone unseen. (Click to enlarge)

posted @ Wednesday, December 17, 2008 4:18 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 5: Construction

Here is an quick photo from a night I was working in the attic at night laying down floor boards after cutting them to fit. At the time there was no lights installed and I had to work with this and one other work light. This light has a porcelain socket and a metal cage to protect the bulb, I inherited it from the previous owner with a whole workshop of other old tools.

posted @ Tuesday, December 16, 2008 12:34 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Image-a-day 3: Retro Robot

I don't have any entertaining stories behind the origins of this photo, though I was told by the old man in the magic shop I bought it from that it carries many mysterious properties. He also made me promise not to wind it after midnight or  Mechagodzilla could be awakened again. In my opinion, he could also be a distant cousin to Bender Bending Rodríguez. (Bender from Futurama)

posted @ Sunday, December 14, 2008 8:15 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Gallery: Street Art 1

Here's a new gallery of some various art-ish photos I've taken around Portland and San Francisco. Enjoy.

posted @ Saturday, December 13, 2008 3:24 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Photo-a-day 2: Tiger Stencil

This is a stencil I found in San Francisco, I find the layering of paint fascinating, it's almost monochromatic. Also, if you look closely you can see where the stencil was held on the door, and the hand print in the upper right. Evidently it was a messy procedure.

posted @ Saturday, December 13, 2008 3:06 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

DIY: Hex Connector Toy

I created this design while learning how to use my laser, it's a good simple project that creates 35, 1.2in hex pieces that can be pushed together to make abstract sculptures. They make a great desk toy or gift because you can engrave a custom logo or name on each piece to make them truly unique. I'll be giving several sets out this Christmas. This pattern creates about 35 pieces, and the only material you'll need is a 8x8in piece of Plexiglas, which I've been able to regularly find at my local home improvement store for $1.50. 35 pieces is enough...

posted @ Friday, December 12, 2008 9:47 AM | Feedback (5) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Gallery: Hot Sams

Here's a follow up to this mornings post about Hot Sams. I've posted a quick gallery of the interesting photos. In other news, I'm in the process of overhauling my photos page using a new ASP component I've written that takes a folder of images and resizes and generates HTML on the fly for those folders. Once I'm happy with the code I'll be posting it here.

posted @ Friday, December 12, 2008 1:57 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Photo-a-day 1: AGFA PD16 ReadySet from Hot Sams

  I am a collector of many things, photos is one of them. If I see something interesting, I'll snap a few quick photos and add them to my collection. I took about 7,000 photos in 2007, and I'm up to about 6,000 for 2008 so far. I make an annual physical photo book to give out to friends and family, but I don't do much else with the photos other then let them sit on a drive, so I'll be posting some of them here each day.   About these photos: This is the AGFA PD16, marketed in 1935 (possibly). It's...

posted @ Thursday, December 11, 2008 9:36 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art Photos ]

Super-inexpensive laser cutting material

  Recently, I made a copy of the Planetary gear calling card by phooky from (thingiverse) with a more permanent material. My version is made from 1/8in (3mm) fiber board that is very inexpensive, a 4ft by 8ft sheet is only $9.50 at Home Depot. This cut only costs about 7 cents in material. What is this wondrous and mysterious material? It's cheep imitation wood-grain wood paneling. Normally this is used to nail to the back of inexpensive bookshelves, or for fake wood wall paneling. The type I found is smooth on both sides, there is also a version that...

posted @ Wednesday, December 10, 2008 8:46 PM | Feedback (9) | Filed Under [ Original Posts DIY Laser ]

Skidmore Bluffs

"What are you shooting?" he asked. I Said, "Either it's a music video, or a really weird porno." *Disclaimer* This is a last minute guest post by myself intended for SkidmoreBluffs.net. Zander was stuck in Vegas and too poor to shell out for access to the web-o-sphere. If you ask me, he gets what he deserves for spending all his money on booze and hookers.

posted @ Monday, December 08, 2008 11:23 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Original Posts Art ]