Another update: Slow Progress

This week is proving to be a week of slow progress, a couple of key orders were cancelled by the sellers and a key component is taking a tour of the U.S. On a personal note, been dealing with a migraine, as well.

I had tried to initially go through Amazon, but due to the fact that what I require is considered non-essential parts there was a probable delay well into May which is like ordering from China. So I went on eBay and basically did that, still to no avail since both sellers have cancelled and refunded my order. Though, most people would be jealous of one order, because it’s travelling about the Lower 48 like a tourist, I’m expecting post cards from it, any day now.

Plus, I have been dealing with a migraine since Sunday and sudden storm Tuesday night, that wasn’t in the forecast, only encouraged it to continue to take up residence in my head. On the upside of things, I have had time to brainstorm, to figure out some designs and to think of other projects and devices to make. Even when down, I try to make positive progress.

Besides the some delays in procurement and an annoying health issue, the plans are moving along at a decent pace.

Hydroponics Update

Trying my hand at actually growing something the past few weeks, some mint and an onion, and have been working on the design of the connectors for the PVC frame, as well.

About a month ago, I found a few mint seedlings at a big box store and by the time I got it home it had gone into shock. I gave it some water and a bit of plant food with plenty of light after deciding to try to bring it back. That’s been somewhat successful, half of the seedlings survived and their roots are bunched up, so going to try make cuttings out of the surviving plants. So will be trimming them off at the base with sharp scissors and pinching the tops, before putting the cut ends in water to try to encourage new roots to grow. Pinching the tops discourages growth on that end so most of the plants’ energy will be used to grow out the root system. The plants that look like they have the best chance to live will be planted in pods and given beneficial fungi treatment. I feel for the plants, because they got a bad start and I’m very much a novice at this.

Speaking of moments of spontaneity, I was fixing some Frito pie and was chopping an onion and decided to try to regrow the onion for chives and eventually the onion back, in less than a week it’s root system is developing rather nicely. I’m giving it plenty of light and once the roots start really developing, I will cut the center part and plant them in soil pods and given the beneficial fungi treatment. Best of luck to it!

3D printers are amazing machines to have and use, that being said, you can find what your current limits on designing objects and just being patient while waiting for it make an object is not the only test of your patience that you will find. It takes patience and skill to design objects that are worth your time, money for electricity and consumables such as filament that are not just functional, worth using a lot and joyfully claiming that you made it. Which why I’m probably on my 5th maybe 7th version of the connectors before finally printing them. Anything worth doing, is worth doing well.

Cyclone PCB, a Mini Update

Going to have to find new suppliers for the smooth rods and threaded rod for the Cyclone PCB cloner, but the good news is that a complete refund for all that was not delivered. I do try to go with U.S. based sellers if possible, but quite a few have shut down or on staycation. I have been researching different modifications and upgrades, but really want to get it working first. From personal experience, it’s easier to start with a basic and functional project to build off of, than it is to troubleshoot something that should work in theory. I’m going to be printing the rest of the parts and assembling what I can by the end of this weekend

Robot Tracks and Power Management

I haven’t been printing at night, mainly due to the frequent storms that we have been having, therefore there have been power outages and brown outs. Since filament is neither easy nor cheap to procure, I’ve been playing it safe in order to not waste filament. There are still lots of tracks to print and assemble before the fun parts of this particular project can have a chance at having it’s own posts in the robotics category. I have purchased a smallish battery back up to put between the surge protector and the electrical outlet that they are on, so over night printing may continue.

I was planning out and procuring the basic parts for the power subsystem such as charging circuit boards, battery springs, etc. The springs might come in next week, or next month. I’m not entirely sure of how I am going to do power management, so I’m not going to solder bars of metal across the battery terminals just, yet. Power management is a big challenge, because a robot can only go as far as it’s batteries can take it and hopefully there is a plan for it to be able to recharge.

Some Goals for This Weekend

Goals for this weekend;

  • Print all connectors for the hydroponics and assemble
  • Separate the mint and start their rooting process
  • Solve and implement how to hang the Mylar sheets
  • Monitor the onion and decide when to take it to the next stage
  • Get as much as the PCB Cyclone built as I can
  • Print and assemble at least 40 treads

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