Quick tile generator for games.

I found I kept making and drawing tile sets for little games I wanted to make and I found it time consuming. some engines require a bit of padding around each tile so that when the drawing is scaled, the next pixel isn’t shown from an adjacent tile.

I quickly wrote it in freebasic in under an hour, there’s an EXE in there too if you don’t want to use freebasic or look at the source. very little to it and everything is straightforward. The program will generate a blank tileset with both borders and internal padding indicators. I may write a program sometime that will automatically pad the tiles as needed from an existing set.

Getย GenTiles zipย here

Here are some png files that are generated by the program, you could use them directly if you want…

A Quick Series of Videos on Making a Pong Game

In my time making things for my YouTube channel, I’ve made a little series of videos detailing my creation of a crummy pong game. Fact of the matter is that I haven’t done some serious programming in some time so I needed to wet my whistle so to speak. You can play this game here. Quickie Pong!

A screenie of Quickie Pong. a very simple game indeed but I detailed my fumbling method of making it.
A screenie of Quickie Pong. a very simple game indeed but I detailed my fumbling method of making it.

So, for anyone who wants to view them, here are the videos for anyone’s perusal. Oct 1, 2016 is when the 3rd video is published so, if anyone cares, that’s when it is available.

Anyways, hopefully somebody enjoyed that. If not, you;re welcome to like and subscribe anyways!!! Again, go to my channel ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

What a coincidence… The Remote indicator is alive!

Well, I was looking at my site and noticed that my last entry was November and it was the very project I’m starting to finish right now.

remoteacator

This is my Remote indicator. It’s a tool I developed after having found that standard indicators are a pain in the ass in some circumstances. While you can bash something together with off the shelf parts like say, ย a Mitutoyo digital dial and a SPC box, that option can be pretty expensive.

Now I’m going to start developing the next version while I test out this one. The next one will be slimmer, more efficient and more attractive. There will be an optional Infrared communication port for it so when it’s sitting inside a deep bore or whatever ,it can still be read.

My new office and projects I’m working on

My office in September my office in October

My new office is filling up, now I need to move some of my test equipment in and start developing. Truth be told though, I have been developing some interesting things and soon I will post them here on the blog again. It’s been a while since I’ve felt like posting about the things I make but it’s always a good time to keep a good record of the things you do.

๐Ÿ™‚indicator

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.

Testing out my HTML5 compiler with a game, Flarpy!

It has been a long time since I wrote a game. This one just took me by surprise as I was playing Flappy Birds for the first time. Having heard that the author pulled it. I wanted to make my own version but different.

Pulling from Super Mario Bros. and Flappy, I came up with this. I started writing it at work today and am now finishing up the levels. Hell, I even made a little title graphic.

flarpy

Well, it took me about a day to write the game but the levels are another thing. I will update the game as I finish the levels and hopefully someone, somewhere enjoys this game.

Link to HTML5 game here

Link to small project page here

 

3D printing, some thoughts and a potential design

Some recent developments, whether they are fruitful or not, have got me thinking seriously about the design of 3D printers, their use and some of their current drawbacks.

Additive manufacturing has come a long way even in the last 15 years when it was just a novelty and not useful for much more than rough prototypes. While 3D printing will probably never supplant ‘subtractive’ methods such as turning and milling for most things, I believe it will be a real boon for strange, esoteric and one-off parts with limited mechanical demands.

This got me thinking about my own design and what I perceive to be some of the issues with current machines all the way up to commercial machines. A couple of those issues are of concern when making a upper-tier hobbyist grade machines for making prototype parts.

These two things are, the effects of gravity on the part when heated or produced, and the effects of uneven heating throughout the process of printing a given part. This will not only increase accuracy but reduce the need for support structures while printing.

Here is a rough pic of my idea for a 3D printer:

A rough mockup of the 3D printer
A rough mockup of the 3D printer

Having a heated suspension fluid eliminates the wow caused by uneven heating and the droop generated from gravity when the part is properly heated. By keeping the liquid level slightly lower than the workpiece you can still generate lattices without the fear of them filling in. The inflow and outflow should be computer controlled via electric pumps and valves, this way the fluid can remain hot without having to heat the whole enclosure. Draining from the bottom will partially help ensure that the cooler fluid is drained first. You could even add a filter to remove detritus.

For the fluid height sensor, I would probably try to tie it in with the nozzle height somehow without interfering with the work envelope. The level would need to be maintained very accurately in order to ensure maximum efficiency. For this sensor I would probably use my old design for a viscometer with the two Piezo discs, instead of measuring viscosity, I would just check for fluid contact, for this purpose it proved to be very accurate and resistant to fouling.

For the fluid, it should match the density of ABS fairly closely. Mineral oil or Propylene Glycol might be good candidates. The idea is to have a fluid that is non-toxic, non-flammable, somewhat viscous and chemically inert with plastics.

Some drawbacks

  • Fragile hollow objects with no holes (a ball) may become deformed due to fluid pressure. though this would require quite a bit of depth to achieve. Not to mention that the item would want to float.
  • Structure needs to be very rigid and acceleration and deceleration needs to be toned down as to not allow the fluid to slosh around which could shake the part loose during printing.
  • potentially messy with fluid being added to the mix.
  • mechanically more complicated and motion components need to be at least resistant to fluid being used.
  • Fluid would probably need to be changed with different materials. A fluid denser than the plastic being laid down may cause issues.
  • Stronger binding to the table is required especially with lattice heavy designs, floating will occur.

Anyways, that’s my idea, posted for posterity. Maybe someone will find it interesting or foolish.

VariGage moving along nicely

The ugly prototype of the Varigage Circuitry.
The ugly prototype of the Varigage Circuitry.

Well, things are proceeding, slowly but well. I’ve been busy with Christmas and general work and relaxing but it’s time to carry on with the device.

This prototype currently has the following features:

  • An Arduino Mega (will be replaced with a PIC)
  • HD44780 display module, may replace it with a nice flat transflective LCD
  • an ugly keypad
  • Input for quadrature from linear scale
  • Output to DC motor
  • Switching 12v to 5v supply
  • rs485 transciever for communication to the anvil

All of the parts are made but not entirely finished. Going to finish them soon. I was able to assemble them and the actuation is smooth as silk.

Anyways, gonna try to finish the mechanical soon so I can have the ungly prototype up and running. Hopefully I’ll be able to get a finished version ready for the oil show.

Enough fucking around… The VariGage

Well, After some time thinking about it, it’s time to take things into my own hands and design what I want, the way I want it. Since it’s shortly after my 34th birthday I’ve realized that time is getting short and I have to forge ahead.

Hence, the VariGage. I’ll change the name later but it suits it just fine for now.

The prototype VariGage. Not much to it right now but the implications of a miniaturized version are great.
The prototype VariGage. Not much to it right now but the implications of a miniaturized version are great.

This device will allow for a multitude of gaging options with full communication between the anvils and expansibility. Gagemaker makes something quite similar however, mine differs in a number of ways in both design and use.

  • Affordability, the average machinist should be able to afford a unit to fit in their repetoire. While it’ll be a very expensive tool, it’d be nowhere near the 12,000 bucks or so of the GageMaker device.
  • Anvil communication. The device will communicate with the anvils allowing for future use of anvils that weren’t available upon first creation of the device. also this allows for cheaper calibration of anvils rather than the device itself.
  • The device is motorized. It will position itself to the desired location and hunt when the user is pressing and calibrating a gage on the device. The final version will involve a clutch to allow rapid hand positioning
  • Light weight with modular display design.

These are a few of the differences. The market is completely different from what GageMaker sells. I’m not even completely sure it’s sell able but I simply have to build it. I have a few other ideas and designs I have to get done but this is the first in the line and I think it’ll be very interesting when done. Heck, it’ll be nice to have if I go to another shop even, who knows. ๐Ÿ™‚