New Youtube Channel for a new time

I’ve decided to start a new Youtube channel simply because I feel as though adding my projects and the things that I like to a video channel will drive me in ways I hadn’t had before. Thus far, I have 0 subscribers (aside from myself) and I’m genuinely curious to see how well I can make a Youtube channel work out. I believe I have some interesting things to share and some boring but popular things to share as well and a new Youtube channel that explores all those things.

Here’s a link to the channel

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwxvlEKdkh9eV9qLXHBh3fw

Not the most graceful URL but I will get a better one once I get some subscribers and I’ve been around for a while. I will explore things that I do such as electronics, gaming, machining, photography and whatever else I come across.

Here’s a video detailing something mundane, my calculator collection.

So, feel free to look at my channel, subscribe and like a video or two. 🙂

Attitude = 100%

I saw on my feed today a post which was reposted by my cousin. The post was basically if you enumerate all the characters of the alphabet and give them the numbers 1-26 the word Attitude = 100. While yes, the word attitude does in fact add up to 100, so do many many other words. Here is a list I made with a quick program I wrote.

abatements, abettors, abrogative, absconders, acclimation, accounter, accumulate, acknowledge, acolytes, acquitted, acromegaly, activates, addressing, adiabatically, adulthood, advantaging, adverting, aerofoils, aerometer, affectation, afghanistan, aggresses, agrology, airdrops, alertest, alienation, alkalinize, allottable, alpinist, alternated, ambulating, amiableness, amortise, amphiboles, amputees, amusedly, analysis, anchoritic, aneurism, anginous, anglophobia, animaters, annually, answerable, anterior, anvilling, aphrodisia, apoplectic, apostacy, appeasers, appertain, applying, appointed, apropos, aquamarine, arbitrages, archdiocesan, archenemies, arrests, arrivals, arrowy, asbestos, assafoetida, atonally, attitude, attunes, auctorial, audiophile, augments, autoclave, automated, avocation, avouching, awfully, azurite, backswept, backtracking, backwardly, baguettes, balletomane, bandwagons, barkeepers, barytone, baulkiest, bedazzles, bedposts, beetroot, beginnings, benediction, bergamots, besmircher, bespangles, bespreading, bestirred, bestridden, bettering, bevellers, bewitching, biathlons, bioassayed, bipartite, birthmark, biweeklies, blasphemes, blastoffs, blazoning, blighters, blissful, blowtube, bluegums, bolstered, bonhomies, bonneting, boohooing, boondoggled, bootblacks, bootery, boozers, borrowed, boskiest, botanist, bouillon, boulevard, boundary, bowerlike, bowknot, boycott, brachiation, bractlets, breviary, brezhnev, bronchus, bronzy, browser, bruiting, brushier, bulgurs, bullnose, burnished, byplays, cacophony, calvities, camphorate, candidature, cannibalized, cantrips, captaincies, carboxyl, cardiograph, carotenes, carouser, carpenter, carroty, caryatids, catechisms, causeries, cavitates, censurable, centipedes, centupled, ceramicist, chaplaincies, charwomen, chastening, chattery, chemurgy, cherishing, chimpanzee, chippewas, chirpily, choiceness, chondrule, choppers, chortles, chromium, chucklers, chutist, clangoring, clangoured, clarifiers, classily, cleanliest, clerkdoms, clinically, clockwise, clotting, clumsier, coarsest, coasters, coatroom, coattails, coauthered, colleagues, collecting, colonials, cometary, commandeered, commercing, companion, comport, condensate, confabulate, confederated, congeners, congenital, congress, conjoint, conjugated, conjunct, connivance, conniver, consigns, contented, cooingly, cookeries, cookout, coonskin, coplots, coquets, corkiest, cornmeals, corridor, coryzal, cossets, costumed, cotillon, cotters, coulombs, courses, courter, cousins, coverlet, coverup, coyness, crankiest, cravenly, credentialed, creepiest, creosote, crimsoned, crudity, cruising, crummier, crusados, crusts, culture, culvers, cumulated, curdlers, curettage, curlily, cutdown, cutesier, cutlases, cutlets, cutout, cuttles, cutups, danewort, debarkation, debaucheries, decalcomanias, declarative, declension, decorous, decrypted, deescalating, defections, defeminized, deflators, degausses, deliberates, delineating, deliquesce, delivery, delouses, demobilize, demodulate, dempster, denominate, denounces, depletion, deploring, derivers, derogating, descriers, desegregated, desiccative, designers, desolates, despatches, deterring, dewberry, diagonally, dialyzer, digestive, dilatants, dilatator, dinginess, diphtheric, disarranged, discernible, discipline, disclaiming, discommode, discredited, disjoint, disjunct, dislodging, dispraise, dissuader, distancing, distrait, divinely, diviners, divorcees, dockyards, dominates, dooryard, doubleheader, doughty, draftsmen, drawlers, driveling, drizzle, droopier, droshky, drossy, dryrot, dualities, ducklings, ducktails, duetting, dumpily, duologue, durative, dyslectic, earwigging, ebullient, ecstasies, egoistical, ejections, electives, electorial, elephants, elsewhere, emasculate, embodiment, emboldening, embowers, emendation, empathetic, emptily, encapsuled, enclasping, encrust, encumbers, enlivens, ensorceled, ensurer, entrains, envoys, eponymic, equalized, equipages, erasions, espouse, estopped, etherized, ethylated, eugenist, eulogize, eunuchoid, euphenics, eventual, everting, evolves, excavates, excellent, excerpted, excoriate, execrates, exhibiter, exigencies, explains, explodes, exserted, extendible, extracted, fairyism, falseness, falsities, fantasts, farriery, farrows, fatalisms, fatalistic, fatherhood, fattiest, feldspars, felinity, ferments, ferrites, ferrums, ferryman, filtering, finitely, firebombing, firebricks, fishnets, fissioned, fivepins, flaccidities, flagellates, fleawort, flockiest, floosies, fluorine, flurry, fondlings, footpaces, forebearing, foredoomed, forefoot, foresides, forewarn, forgiver, forsaking, fountain, fraughts, freshest, freshets, friendlier, frisson, frogeyes, fuehrers, fumeless, furcular, furless, furuncle, garnishes, gauntlet, gauntly, gemsbucks, generating, geographer, germanely, gladiolus, glimpses, glissando, glittered, glorifies, glowfly, glutamate, glycogenic, gobbledegook, godparent, goldbricks, golliwog, gooneys, governs, grandaunt, grappling, graybeards, greatening, greenflies, grenadiers, grillers, grimiest, grindery, groggily, groover, grouper, grouts, grovelled, growly, grumpy, guarantied, gullibly, gusseted, guttered, guttier, gypsies, halftones, hammerers, haranguing, harmonics, harrying, headhunts, healthily, heelpost, hegemonies, hematites, hemoglobin, heritably, hexarchies, highways, hinderers, hiroshima, hirsute, hitchhikes, hobbyist, hoboisms, hollandaise, hollering, holograph, honduras, honeycomb, honoring, honoured, hoofbound, hooligans, hooters, hospital, hotblooded, hotness, housemen, howlers, humblest, hungrier, hurrayed, hussies, hutzpah, hydrates, hypoxic, hyraxes, hysons, identifies, ideologies, idolisms, ignifying, imbroglio, immature, immitigable, impaction, impaneling, imparter, impellor, imported, impotence, imprest, impugnable, inadequacy, inanities, inapplicable, incubating, inductees, inefficient, infernos, inferring, inflation, infringer, ingroup, ingrown, inkiness, innately, innovate, inoculate, insecticide, inshrined, intellect, interbreed, interfaces, interfere, intrenched, ioniums, irritate, isolates, jailhouse, jillions, jimmying, jostles, judiciary, jumblers, jumbucks, junkets, jurassic, justing, keyboards, keyholes, kibitzer, kissers, knappers, knockoffs, knothole, knouts, knowledged, kohlrabies, lacquerer, lagniappes, lambskins, laminating, landholding, landscaping, languished, largeness, latinized, lavenders, lazulis, lazyish, leaderless, leaseholds, legumins, leveraging, liberalism, liberator, ligaments, lightest, lightning, likelihood, liminess, limpidly, lodicules, loginess, logrolled, longship, loopers, lowlands, lubricant, luckiest, lumpens, lunchers, luniest, lunkers, machismos, macrocosm, magistral, magnetize, mailboxes, maintains, mamelukes, mantises, marauders, margarins, marinates, marshalcy, martinet, martingale, masochism, mastoids, matchless, matchmaking, matrons, mattedly, maximize, mealworm, measurer, meetness, mercantile, mercurial, merganser, merrily, mezuzah, microbus, midpoint, milwaukee, mimickers, minuses, minuter, mirrored, misbiassed, miscopy, misdirect, miseducate, mismanager, missus, mitoses, mittens, moderates, molecular, mollifies, mongolian, montaging, moodiest, moralism, morphemic, motors, moults, mourns, mousier, moussaka, mouther, mufflers, mullers, mummify, murkly, mutagens, mutedly, mythos, nastily, negotiated, neoclassic, nesters, nestling, neuronal, nextly, nighters, nihilist, ninepins, nonbreakable, noncasual, noncausal, nondairy, nonhuman, nosebleeds, nostalgic, notating, notional, novellas, nucleates, nutty, obliques, obscenely, obtuser, oceanarium, offhandedly, oilheating, omittance, omniarchs, opaquing, operetta, orality, ordures, orients, ornament, oscillated, osculated, ossifier, osteitic, outflank, outlier, outlined, outpaces, outrank, outreached, outset, ovately, overboard, overbore, ovulated, oxcarts, oxtails, pakistani, palpitate, panderers, panhandling, papists, paramecium, parleyer, pasteur, pastiches, pasture, pathless, pedagogues, pederastic, pedicures, pelleting, penchants, penlites, percents, performed, perilune, permits, peroxided, personage, personal, perturb, pesthole, phagocyte, phalanxes, pharisees, phlebitis, photogs, photonic, physicked, picarooned, piggybacks, pilaster, pilloried, pinecones, pistachio, pitying, plaiters, plastered, plateaux, playgirl, playoffs, plebiscite, plenties, plenums, plummet, plummy, plunging, plushes, pocketing, poetized, ponying, poorish, portland, postdate, posting, postpaid, potbellied, pothook, potpies, pounding, pouring, powders, practicing, preachings, preadapts, precambrian, precising, predawns, predeceases, predicates, preeners, preformed, preludes, preordain, prepacking, prepays, presley, presser, prevent, primary, printer, prisoned, problems, procured, producer, profaning, profiles, profuse, progeny, promisee, pronging, proofing, propjet, proscenia, prosier, ptomainic, publicly, pumpkin, pursue, pussy, putter, pyritic, pyrogen, quadrangle, qualmish, quarry, quarter, quicklime, quietened, quintar, quints, radarscope, radiocarbon, raillery, raincoats, ransomable, rasters, rattails, ravelers, ravelling, ravisher, reaccusing, reapplier, rearguing, reattaches, receptor, reciprocal, recompiled, recreating, redeploy, redesigns, redounds, redrying, reenclosed, reexhibit, referring, refinancing, refinery, refuting, regalement, regimented, regionals, regressed, regroup, regrown, reimpose, reissued, remedying, remigrated, renovate, repaginated, repress, reprint, reprobate, repulsed, reputable, reradiates, reschedule, researcher, resents, resewing, reshipped, reshuffle, residues, resolved, responded, restaging, restocked, restore, resumes, resurfaced, retaught, retiring, retrenched, retroact, reversal, revives, rewound, rewraps, ricochets, ridicules, ringnecks, riptides, rituals, riverbank, riverine, roadblocks, roadster, rockiest, roomful, roommate, rootier, rosery, rosiny, ruddiest, rufous, rulings, sagebrush, saintly, salacious, sapiencies, satiating, satrapy, savory, scannings, schematics, scholium, scoreboard, scorepads, scotchmen, scrapbook, screwier, sculpted, scuttle, seafowls, seamster, seashells, seatless, secreting, seignorage, selective, semaphore, semitone, sennits, sensoria, septicemia, services, session, setout, settles, setups, shadowing, shakedown, shakeout, shakeups, sharpens, shattered, sheeneys, shibboleth, shipyard, shivers, shoofly, shooter, shopboy, shortcake, shovels, shredders, shrewder, shrieking, shrives, sicklily, sightly, signiori, silicons, simulate, sinewing, siphons, skatings, skewers, skiddiest, skimpier, skirter, slaverer, sleepyhead, slenderer, slithered, slumps, slyest, smirching, smirking, smitten, smokers, sneerful, sniffily, snipers, snivels, snobbery, snubbers, socialism, socrates, sodiums, sodomite, soother, soughing, sourball, sources, soybeans, spacewalked, sparkler, spavins, specificated, spenders, spiciest, spirited, splashy, splining, spondaics, spooler, spouted, sprucer, spunks, squares, squaws, squinched, squint, staggerer, stagiest, stalemated, standards, standers, stanzas, starers, starfish, starling, status, steadiers, steamers, stemming, steppes, stockier, stockmen, stonier, stooges, stools, stoves, strains, strangled, straws, stress, striding, striker, stubbles, stuccos, stupes, styles, subcranial, sublethal, sublimes, subsume, succour, sucrose, suffocated, sunders, sunnier, sunward, superceded, surcharge, surely, suttas, suzanne, swankier, swashing, sweatier, sweepier, sweetened, sweptback, swifter, swimmer, swirls, swollen, syndicate, syrens, tabernacles, taborets, tailcoats, tailgating, tailspin, tallying, tangents, tanzanian, tattooed, taurus, tautens, taxless, taxying, teardown, teethers, telegrams, telephone, telescope, telluric, temperance, temperer, temporal, tensely, tetanus, tetragon, tetrahedra, tetryl, thalidomide, theists, therefore, thickening, thievish, thirty, thorny, threatened, thrifts, thriver, thumbnail, tidemarks, tiderips, tinkerer, tinselled, tipless, tiredest, toasty, toboggans, toilets, tolerated, tooting, toroids, torqued, towards, towers, traction, tramells, transect, transom, travelog, trembling, triplet, triply, troller, tropics, troppo, troths, trounced, trudging, truism, tsarevna, tsunamic, tubules, tularemia, tummies, tumoral, tuneably, tuppence, turkey, turnoff, turtled, tussled, twangler, twisted, typefaces, unaltered, unavailable, unbeholden, unbeloved, unbounded, unbridgeable, unbroken, unchaining, uncombined, underdone, undergird, underlay, undress, unequaled, unfasten, unfreeze, unhorse, unironed, unitive, unkempt, unlighted, unlinks, unmanly, unmodified, unmown, unprimed, unrelated, unrisen, unrobing, unshelled, unthreaded, untidier, unwarned, unwilled, unwove, upsets, urbanest, urbanized, urologic, urticaria, useless, utensil, uxorial, vacuolate, vacuums, variety, varnished, vehemency, venation, venially, verbalize, verdancies, verdicts, vibists, vinous, violins, vivifier, volleyed, vortical, vouchsafe, voyaging, vulgars, wanters, warpers, washdays, washings, watchdogs, watergate, wattles, weariest, wednesday, weeniest, whenever, whinnier, whirling, whiskey, whisking, whistled, wholely, wholesale, whooper, whorish, whumps, wigglers, willets, windfalls, wirehaired, wizards, woeness, woodblock, wrathing, wreakers, wreathy, wriggles, writing, wronger, xylose, yappers, yardbirds, yarrow, yeasting, yelpers, zesting, zincifies, zinkify, zithern

Just thought it was interesting.

Edmonton – Postcards from the past – Part 1

For the last year or so I have been collecting various postcards and images from Edmonton’s past. My collection isn’t that wonderful or anything but I have some neat pictures nonetheless. Since my favorite thing is to do a comparison between then and now, I will also include some Google Earth or Streetview images.

This is an aerial view looking at what was the Edmonton Auto Court. The postcard doesn't specify a year but I can only assume it's sometime before 1953. What we are looking at is 104st southbound going left to right. Where the subject is, the auto court is now where a part of the Scona High School sits. Scona High School was built in 1955 so this was quite some time ago. The little road on the left hand side is 70th Ave. Many of the houses are still there.
This is an aerial view looking at what was the Edmonton Auto Court. The postcard doesn’t specify a year but I can only assume it’s sometime before 1953. What we are looking at is 104st southbound going left to right. Where the subject is, the auto court is now where a part of the Scona High School sits. Scona High School was built in 1955 so this was quite some time ago. The little road on the left hand side is 70th Ave. Many of the houses are still there.
I tried to get the view as close as possible but it's not always possible to change the  field of view to match. As you can see, most of the buildings have been torn down except  what appears to be an old shack in the bottom left hand corner of the original. It's interesting to me because I used to work for the company that grew out of that building. It was called Micro Machine. Also, many of the houses in that area are exactly as they were from that time but the colors have faded significantly. Also, you can spot the remnants of the train tracks that used to run along that path. As far as I know they were moved in the late 70's.
I tried to get the view as close as possible but it’s not always possible to change the field of view to match. As you can see, most of the buildings have been torn down except what appears to be an old shack in the bottom left hand corner of the original. It’s interesting to me because I used to work for the company that grew out of that building. It was called Micro Machine. Also, many of the houses in that area are exactly as they were from that time but the colors have faded significantly. Also, you can spot the remnants of the train tracks that used to run along that path. As far as I know they were moved in the late 70’s.

I find those kinds of comparisons pretty cool. Here’s another comparison from another postcard from the 50’s

This is a view of the Legislature grounds from some time in the 50's. As you can see there is a large building in the bottom right that has been torn down and the auxiliary building that sits on the Legislature grounds is substantially shorter than it is today. There have been a huge number of changes to this area in the last 60 years.
This is a view of the Legislature grounds from some time in the 50’s. As you can see there is a large building in the bottom right that has been torn down and the auxiliary building that sits on the Legislature grounds is substantially shorter than it is today. There have been a huge number of changes to this area in the last 60 years.
A Google earth view from 2014. Tons of changes. As you can see we have a great many more trees, or older larger ones at that but we have ripped up the tracks that used to run along 109st and there are more government buildings.
A Google earth view from 2014. Tons of changes. As you can see we have a great many more trees, or older larger ones at that but we have ripped up the tracks that used to run along 109st and there are more government buildings.

And now, I’ll simply post some images from Edmonton’s past that I have a bit of history on

This is the Hotel MacDonald as drawn in 1915. In the 50's they added an auxiliary building which didn't match the style or grandeur of the original building. It was called 'The MacDonald Hotel and the box it came in'
This is the Hotel MacDonald as drawn in 1915. In the 50’s they added an auxiliary building which didn’t match the style or grandeur of the original building. It was called ‘The MacDonald Hotel and the box it came in’. They later demolished the extra building and restored the hotel to its former glory.
This is from a postcard from the late 1980's as far as I can tell. You can tell simply by the super saturation of the photo. Also, there was a truck stop on the south side of Edmonton on Calgary Trail called 'Mr Johns'. I believe it closed down in the late 2000's due to the construction of a bypass route which decimated the businesses in that location.
This is from a postcard from the late 1980’s as far as I can tell. You can tell simply by the super saturation of the photo. Also, there was a truck stop on the south side of Edmonton on Calgary Trail called ‘Mr Johns’. I believe it closed down in the late 2000’s due to the construction of a bypass route which decimated the businesses in that location.

Anyways, I hope people enjoy these as I have many, many more to post. I may try to research the images a bit more closely and give some history on them.

A quick post, Basic program for day length

Just wrote a little FreeBASIC program for calculating the length of the day and the difference from each. Just enter your latitude and it’ll output a text file for the length of the day and difference from the previous day.

Anyways, it’s not well programmed or anything but the function could be useful for somebody out there. Who knows

daylight download

As a side note, time is in hours.

Dingoo A380 Review

Having bought a bunch of different emulator consoles I have decided to review them for people who may be curious about whether they should buy them or not. In my collection I have the Dingoo A380, JXD S5110, JXD s602 and soo to have the JXD a1000 and a JXD ripoff. I will start with the Dingoo A380 since it is similar to my first one (being the A320) and since it is by far the most popular.

Dingoo a380

The A380 is a mixed bag of features. It plays old console games such as Genesis, Arcade, NES, SNES, Sega Master system, Neo Geo, CPS1 and 2 and various others if you get the modern firmware. It will receive radio and play videos. It will play MP3s and other formats of audio. You can also read E-books and various other things. As with most of these Chinese devices, they try to be everything and do very few things well. But playing games well is something it does well. Here is a Pro-Con list of my impressions of the Dingo A380.

Pros:

  • Small form factor, fits well in pocket.
  • Simple interface, usable rather quickly. Most sellers will have games already installed but they’re usually in Chinese.
  • Plays GB, GBC, CPS, Genesis, SMS and other custom emulators reasonably well.
  • TF card slot allows up to 32GB, good for MAME roms
  • Allows use of wireless controllers, of course they are proprietary.
  • Nicer aspect ratio of screen for movies. playing old games though the filled screen becomes quite squat.
  • For most things this is the best hand-held emulator out there.
  • No touchscreen. It may be a con for most but I hate touchscreens, I like the nice sturdy screen on the Dingoo.

Cons:

  • The aforementioned small form factor is also a pain if you have large hands. Playing this can become painful especially with the square corners.
  • L and R buttons are too small and set too far to the outside (for adult hands anyways).
  • There is no button(s) for volume control, this must be done with the software.
  • NES emulation isn’t quite fast enough. Kirby’s Adventure in Dreamland is sluggish but SMB is the same as always
  • SNES emulation is atrocious, even with a updated firmware. Mode 7 games absolutely decimate its performance.
  • TV out is PAL. Not so good if you need NTSC (At least I haven’t seen a setting for it)
  • Very little to configure. changing some stuff that’s bothersome can be impossible.
  • In some emulators, they removed the ability to hotkey savestates.
  • Power button is flimsy, it’ll probably break relatively soon.

Anyways, that is simply my opinion. As of Dec, 2012 the average price on Ebay is about $130 which is what you can get a JXD 7100 for. Mind you, this is probably the best emulator for the older games that you like and it have reasonable battery life. That said, the battery life of about 4 hours pales in comparison to the A320 which seemed to have better emulation and you could get it with Dingux. The new firmware (not from dingoo) is also a must if you like some of the more obscure emulators.

If you like emulators and aren’t scared of the price, I heartily recommend.

What the hell you been up to?

It’s been a few months since I’ve posted anything. That is since I’ve become obsessed with my new hobby. Oddly enough my new hobby is RC planes and helicopters. I have a wide variety of them now and the collection is only growing. Now I’ve been flying a variety of little vehicles, here is a list of some of them

  • WLToys V911
  • Cox SkyCruiser
  • Nine Eagle Sky Surfer
  • Cox Extra 300
  • Nine Eagles Solo Pro
  • Nine Eagles Bravo II
  • Syma S107G
  • Syma S105G
  • Avatar 3Ch
  • Floater AXN
  • HobbyKing Atom
  • HubSan Spyhawk
  • A variety of other 3ch helicopters

So yeah, in thew last few months, I’ve been busy with my hobby and getting more and more enamoured with FPV

Here are some videos from my planes

And there we have it, perhaps some updates in due time, but I figured I’d at least show what I’ve been up to. 🙂

It should also be noted that the % year anniversary of this site passed in May. 5 years is both a long and short time it seems. A lot can happen and it can fly by so fast. Now that I have so many electronic devices kicking aorund, perhapsw I’ll actually do something with them sometime lol.

 

Life keeps a changin’!

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve updated (which seems to be the standard intro for my posts) and I’;ve decided to state a little bit of what I’ve been doing as of late.

LED colored vases as centerpieces

Pretty self explanatory. Since I’m getting married later next year, I decided it’d be cool to have the centerpieces light up with the colors of our wedding, which are pink and orange. I’ve ordered a huge number of LED’s for this occasion for relatively cheap. I did a test a while back with a prototype board (the colors were purple and orange) and the result was very nice. I was going to make the light respond wirelessly with a module but that’s not going to happen since people bring them home and stuff, I want to keep the modules.

Playing with the chipkit

the chipkit is an arduino clone that runs a pic32 mcu on it. very fast!!!. Only problem I have with the unit is that it’s not really 5v compatible. I suppose 3.3 is quite high considering the speeds that these run. It also has more pinouts than the arduino UNO.

Very neat device

Burning with copper

Well, I just thought it’d be neat to post how we’re burning an almost impossible to machine thread into a set of master jaws. it’s not terribly impressive but I thought it could be interesting to some

the unfinished thread
the edm'ed thread
Burning with copper

I think it’s neat anyways. Anyways, there’s more to come in terms of neato projects, I just don’t feel like documenting them until they get to a certain point of completion.

It’s been 4 years!

Yay! this site has been around and updated semi-regularly for four years now. Having just paid the bill for another 2 years, hopefully it’ll be around for a while longer.

Looking back through this site I can see some of the things I’ve worked on and recall the state of my life at each of those times. I’ve gone through three jobs and one period of pseudo-unemployement. Some tough times and some good ones. I’ve learned a lot both professionally and personally.

Here’s to another 4 years of half-finished but fun projects. 🙂

One last kick at the can, Viscometer Style!

Well, since funding for the viscometer has fallen through for various, understandable reasons, I have decided to take one last kick at the can before I shift my focus on to other ventures. The last kick at the can? Two similar viscometer heads, two very different purposes.

This is the rough mockup of the new head, it is the same for both designs
This is the rough mockup of the new head, it is the same for both designs

The hand-held stormer
 
  This device is designed to work in the field and provide readings in KU, Grams and perhaps Centipoise. The device itself doesn’t feature any communications of any kind. Also, there is no LCD display, instead a 7 Segment x 4 LED display is used since it’s a bit cheaper and more visible in various lighting conditions. Also, since it will be use tables of values rather than calculating it on the fly, I can use some slimmer hardware such as the PIC18F2620 Microcontroller or an ATMEGA8.
 
  Also of note is the fact that everything is fairly cheap to build, these low-cost viscometers could be used in paint shops in any size container. I am building one to go to Cold Lake where they’re going to try one out since they’ve been having trouble getting decent consistency using only a mixing stick to test viscosity. 🙂
 
  Here’s a rough mockup of what it will look like. Of course none of the boards or covers are shown, also the display isn’t visible, I haven’t decided the best location for it yet. I may actually put it inside of a separate enclosure to make the unit lighter since it requires 12 volts.
 

Mockup of the handheld viscometer
Mockup of the handheld viscometer

 
  This is probably the most marketable device thus far.
 
The Super-Visc
 
  Over the last 9 months or so I have developed a number of interesting methods for determining error and correcting for it, I have also develop methods for calibration and symbolic parsing. Since I would hate to come away empty handed and waste all the of knowledge accumulated over the course of 2+ years, this is the coup de grace of rotational viscometers.
 
  To my knowledge, most other rotational viscometers use a beryllium copper torsion spring to provide a fixed, known spring rate, or torque on the sensing shaft. The cheap ones like the stormer viscometer base it on time and run a fixed speed AC synchronous motor, whereas the more expensive ones use a variable drive and encoders on the top and bottom to determine the difference from top to bottom. My viscometer uses the cheaper method of determining difference and RPM by using the timing via ether opto-interrupters or hall effect sensors. By using a a very high sampling rate, I can get very precise measurements of the rotation, though some differences may occur during rotation. Accuracy is achieved through error correction in the form of running averages, temperature and friction compensation and angular displacement compensation. While this is places a heavy burden on the software side of things, it is extremely effective.
 
  This viscometer works on three key concepts: Variables, Equations and Test Programs.
 

  • Variables – These are variables that are calculated dynamically before any other calculations have taken place. These include ambient temperature, fluid temperature, angular displacement, spring length, time from test start, time from last sample and other mathematical constants such as PI and E.
  • Equations – These are the equations that determine the units. You may (and for basic units, must) include variables in order to calibrate the device. These equations are completely configurable by the user and includes every standard mathematical function such as Cos(), Sin(), Cosh(), Powers, Square Roots and many others, perhaps even logical equivalents say to multiply by 1 or 0, could be useful. While developing this I had a choice, either computationally expensive or memory intensive, I chose memory intensive symbolic storage in order to improve performance. This also allows one to develop any unit with any paddle one wishes!
  • Test Patterns – These are the patterns that develop the test. For example, let’s say you want to test for KU. You place the appropriate spindle in the machine and select the KU test run. KU test runs would appear as follows (200 RPM Fixed, Equation KUPU, Out->FLTP, Out->KU) or for Centipoise vs RPM (50-220 RPM variable, Equation CNTP, Out->CNTP, Out->RPM, Out->FLTP). These are a boon for the experimentor.

 
  One key disadvantage of this device is the initial difficulty of calibration. However, if done en masse in the factory, it wouldn’t be an issue. One of the major advantages of this device is for the experimenter. You could put a hotdog on a stick, put it in a fluid, create a relationship via an equation and call it whatever you want. The device is very configurable and would probably be well suited to materials engineers and chemists who need either standard or non standard tests with a large amount of automation in terms of data collection.
 
Here’s a mockup of the finished laboratory device.
 


Potential mockup of finished device
Potential mockup of finished device

 
The device will feature an RS485/232 output along with perhaps a touch screen or simply a keypad and 20×4 LCD display. The processor will either be a DSPIC33F or PIC32, I may stray towards Atmel since they have great throughput. My current prototype board however has a PIC18F4680, it’s enough to test on but its limits on RAM are starting to bother me.
 
Well, this was a long post… Whew 🙂
 
As always, anyone who has any questions can leave a comment or E-mail me.