3D Printer Photos

I recently built a “Mendel90” 3D Printer!  I purchased it as a kit from the original designer.  It took about 1 week to put together and calibrate.  It now prints parts out of PLA or ABS plastics (available in various colors).

Photos of the printer and sample prints:


Homemade Speakers

I designed two sets of computer/general TV speakers using the affordable Tang Band W3-881SI from Parts Express (no longer available!).

Using the parameters listed in the driver datasheet and the design equations found in “Introduction to Electroacoustics & Audio Amplifier Design”, I selected the size of the enclosure with the ratio 0.6×1.0x1.6.

My internal enclosure size is 7.75″ x 5″ x 3″.  This gives outside dimensions of 9.25″ x 6.5″ x 4.5″.  I decided to use 3/4″ MDF to build the speakers.  This leads to the boards that need cut:

  • Top & Bottom (2): 6.5″ x 4.5″
  • Right & Left (2): 7.75″ x 3″
  • Front & Back (2): 7.75″ x 6.5″

I cut a hole for the driver in the center of the front piece.  The small driver’s holes were too small to use a router.  A Forstner bit would have worked best, but they are pricey.  I just out the circles on a scroll saw.  Holes were cut in the back for speaker terminal plates.

I veneered the sides, top, and bottom of the speaker using Red Oak veneer.  I used the iron & wood glue method to apply the pieces, then trimmed them down to size with a router.  A simple grill was made with 1/4″ MDF cut out as a frame, then grill cloth was stretched over it and stapled.  I held these onto the speaker with simple velcro.

For the price of the drivers, these speakers sound decent!


Arcade Cabinet – Photo Gallery

Here is a collection of photos of my Arcade Cabinet during construction.

Click here for technical notes on the project.

Arcade Cabinet – Technical Details & Hints

Materials Used:

Note: I am not affiliated with any of the merchants listed in this post.

Software on the Raspberry Pi:

Here are some assorted design notes that some may find useful:

  • I wired my “digital” joysticks to pushbutton inputs instead of the axis inputs on the GP-Wiz40, since they register as buttons when the joystick moves around.
  • To use GP-Wiz40 with AdvMAME, configure /home/pi/.advance/advmame.rc with the line “device_joystick raw” (otherwise some buttons will not register).
  • Command for enabling analog audio out: amixer cset numid=3 1
  • I changed the AdvMenu colors in /home/pi/.advance/advmenu.rc
    • 512888 replaced 247ef0
    • 8f5dd0 replaced afffff
  • The cabinet was painted with Sherwin-Williams color SW6559


Speaker Stands

I needed some simple speaker stands for my surround speakers that didn’t take up much space. After doing a quick search online, I decided to make my own!

My design was mainly based on this how-to article with a few tweaks.

I joined lengths of 1×3 oak boards to form the square boards. For a pair of stands, I made four 7.5 inch squares and two 10 inch squares. One 7.5 inch square formed the top portion of the speaker stand and was rounded-over on both the top and bottom for a nice beveled edge. The four remaining squares were only rounded-over on their top edges, as they will be on the ground. The 10 inch square forms the base, with the 7.5 inch square centered and glued on top.

Once all the glue dried, a hole was drilled in the center of all of the squares to allow a length of threaded rod to run the height of the stand. A hole was then drilled in bottom side of the base and the top side of the top part way into the board to allow a nut and washer to be countersunk; thus allowing the speaker to sit flush on top.

A length of 3″ PVC pipe was then used in between the top and bottom planks. Cutting the PVC flush was tricky without the proper tools. A hack saw resulted in a messy cut, but by drawing a line around the circumference of the pipe and starting the cut with the hack saw, our short jig saw blade was able to cut straight around the circumference. The threaded rod then goes through the center of the pipe and the nuts on each side tighten the whole thing together.

Stain and paint made this project complete. Stain (Minwax Early American) and three coats of polyurethane (semi-gloss) was used on the base and top. Plastic spray paint was used on the PVC pipe pieces. I used black to match my black speakers.

I decided to add some small plastic adhesive feet to the base and some no-slip gripping material under the speaker. If used in an area where this stand would be prone to being knocked around, some more weight should probably be added to the base (inside the PVC pipe if possible) to prevent tipping.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are pictures:

Clearing Foggy/Cloudy Headlights

I cleared up my foggy/cloudy headlights using this method. I used 800, 1500, and then 2000 grit sandpapers for the wet sanding. It worked quite well!

See below for before and after pictures.

1949 Kansas Driving Handbook

While I am not always a fan of antique stores and such, comparing the past and present can be cool. I found a Kansas Driving Handbook and accompanying the Drivers License test form 1949 and thought I would put it online to share.

[These files are in PDF format. I do not claim copyright of these files.]
1949 Handbook
1949 Test

2011 Fireworks!

Photos from Independence Day 2011. July 4, 2011 Fireworks!