15 years, a bit of a retrospective

Over the years I’ve posted things to this site as a bit of a reminder to myself about the kinds of things I’ve done over the years. It has now been about 15 years since I started the site and that prompted me to go through old photos, back some stuff up and reminisce about days gone by. I’m going to post a number of photos that I’ve found that are purely of interest to me but, hey, maybe somebody else might enjoy them too.

My work area circa 2008 or so. I don’t miss the 4:3 aspect ration monitors but I sure seem to have had a lot of them
A panoramic view of Edmonton in the Year 2007, September to be exact. This was taken near the river bank at the Old Timer’s cabin.
My first real bike that I had bought as an adult. I didn’t drive at the time so I rode this sorry bastard of a bike all over the city with me. I still have it and it works fine.
The result of some layup molds I had made for an intake cover. I made the molds but the other guys did the actual hard work of laying up the fiber and making it look like a finished product.
My desk at Endura. As you can see I’ve tried to set up a small electronics lab on my desk there and the area is a mess. This trend will not be going away in 2022.
My first real attempt at making a functioning product. In this case it’s an inline viscometer in a form that would roughly emulate a krebs viscometer. It worked eventually…. somewhat. I truly suffered from a distinct case of hubris but it helped me force my way along to learning what I’ve learned to this day.
The inside of the maintenance shop of Endura MFG. I learned so much here in my 2-3 years, more than almost any other place. Despite being bitter about the place for years, I now understand and appreciate my time here.
Another picture of that inline krebs viscometer. In retrospect, had I known what I know now, I could’ve made this viable. I remember that at the time I was reluctant to test it because I was scared of what would happen if it didn’t work. Would months of work be down the drain? Would I look like a fool? (Hint: it didn’t work very well at all)
A more complete version of the electronics in the previous picture. An interesting example of an attempt at big TTL Quad-half H-bridge and some other shit I don’t remember.
So what was supposed to be a gentle walk down memory lane is now a look at the iterations of a single project. This version is now closer to the one that works. As I write this I’m genuinely surprised how much I did in such a short period of time while doing other things at the same time. This one as you can tell is rotary with a sealing area kept lightly pressurized with a small air pump. This one is still intended to run in-line along a pipe or side of a tank.
Here’s a look down the legislature grounds in September 2008. Is it different now? I don’t know
This is from when I moved myself from the maintenance building over to the lab building. I don’t remember why or how, I just remember that I did.
Another prototype! This one appears to be the one where it’s intended to merely hang on the top of a tank. For reference we’re in March of 2009 here.
Here’s something from June of 2009 that’s kinda fun. I may have an older post about it but this is something that actually works. it’s meant to make a point cloud with 3 linear potentiometers and by using a button you can put the high-res ADC input into a file or whatever and create a point cloud from known values about the analog values. This was neat.
Here we go, the final version of this project. It worked surprisingly well. That said I probably wouldn’t use Phenolic to make the frame but it does look nice. Odlly enough, I even like the smell of phenolic being cut.
Here it is with the protective tube cut. Merely wave your hand over the top and it’ll start up. I had to angle the viewing window in order to allow the infrared sensor to detect objects. In retrospect I wouldn’t have done it this way. The window would be either scuffed or covered in paint and therefore useless. If I recall correctly I had another version of this with a large external perfboard version of what’s inside. This machine never made it past this stage, I was going to implement MODBUS on it and whatever else but didn’t get to that point. The recession had hit hard and that was that.

Well, there we go. Thanks for walking through 2007 to 2009 with me. I was expecting to be enthralled with my pictures of Edmonton but I guess work was, as always, more interesting to me.