2019-10-04 (F) Weekly Summary

When I am at work, I occasionally have a repetitive task but enough spare time that I can tinker to find a better way. This time, I had a lot of black plastic wingnuts that I needed to remove and later replace. The solution used a 1/2" socket adapter, a medium paper binder, and a rubber band. It sounds like a MacGuyver supply list, and it was about that flimsy, but in a pinch, it worked. This could qualify as a losing time gamble since I lost time, but I kept my sanity by replacing a tedious task with a creative one. Ultimately, I think it was a win.
My makeshift tool for wingnuts

Old video games did not have much in the way of resources, so, in the case of this maze game, levels were generated on-the-fly. The light-weight algorithm that did the heavy lifting was a bit of a mystery. It created solvable mazes every time, but pseudo-random choices kept things fresh. The programmer reported that the reference table for the maze generating was written by a stoner and couldn't remember how he did it due to chemical impedance.
Entombed Secrets Partially Unearthed as Researchers Dissect Clever Maze-Generating Algorithm

The PillarClock portion of the PillarGame project drew to a close. I made a short (1:12) video with narration to describe the form and function, while a time-lapse image showed smooth motor operation and digit display.
(1:12) Narrated PillarClock video

Months ago, I finished the first version of the Electronic Wind Chimes, but I never used it because it was cumbersome. Since it was sturdy, I wanted to mount it in a usable position and get some use out of it. I combined an old computer monitor stand and picture hanging hardware to make a vertical display.
Display for Electronic Wind Chimes

A new iteration of the Electronic Wind Chimes began with a significantly smaller footprint. Rather than an item with buttons, knobs, and displays, I went minimalist for a build with three buttons and two potentiometers. Instead of every factor of sound generation being under exact control, this would pseudo-randomly select those factors and since they could be generated anew with another button press, the user would just rely on luck to find a sound they wanted. Each press would be a gamble.
Switches and potentiometers installed

The container was a plastic chewing gum case with a hinged lid. Only one narrow openening was accessible so some of the wires had to be lengthy to reach a junction board. A processor and sound generating board would connect to the tidy wires of that board.
Breakout board installed

The rest of the summary posts have been arranged by date.

First time here?

Completed projects from year 1
Completed projects from year 2
Completed projects from year 3
Completed projects from year 4
Completed projects from year 5
Completed projects from year 6

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