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Old School BBSes
Posted by Krux on Sunday July 8, 2018 @ 02:55am
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So this past Toorcamp my friend Pinguino invited me to the Drink and Draw, which is a collaborative ANSI creation, and consumption of beverages of choice. It was a lot of fun to play around with ANSI again. And while I was working on some leet fonts, I learned about a BBS they had called

Undercurrents use to be an old Renegade/Telegard board, much like my old BBS The Hotel California, but is now accessible via the internet and running on modern BBS software, but features the ANSI goodness we've come to expect in the 90s.

So that got me feeling some nostalga, and I fired up dosbox, and decided to fire up the old BBS to take a look at The Hotel California.

So some images after the break...
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Bay Area Maker Faire
Posted by Krux on Tuesday May 16, 2017 @ 06:19pm
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So this weekend I'll be demoing Project: Hathor at the Bay Area Maker Faire.

If you are in the area, stop by and say hi.
Project Hathor - 2000 Volt Test Firing
Posted by Krux on Saturday February 27, 2016 @ 11:54pm
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More fun with the ring launcher, Project Hathor.

After the catastrophic failure of the first coil plate, we made a new one out of sturdier material, which hopefully should hold up better.

After the 2000 volt firing, we had yet another hard drive platter which now lives on the roof. And had to restring the coil, since firing it at those voltages caused enough force to break most of the wire ties holding the 10 gauge wire in place. Since the backing plate stayed in tack, it was quick to repair. And the rest of the night was spent with some lower powered tests under 1200 volts.
Project Hathor - Ramping Up
Posted by Krux on Thursday February 25, 2016 @ 11:25am
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Last night I shot some video of some of the testing of Project Hathor.

As you can see the project has been a great success, and after some minor repairs, will be ready for the Las Vegas Mini Maker Faire this Sunday, February 28th.
Ring Launcher Coil Failure
Posted by Krux on Wednesday February 24, 2016 @ 11:26pm
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Failure is not bad. It's how we learn. Today I learned that there are significant forces required to launch a 3.5" hard drive platter higher than a building that has 35 foot ceilings. These forces happen to be more than can be with stood by a 1/4" piece of acrylic, such as that used to hold the coil of the ring launcher. To be fair, it did take several higher powered launches before it was well and truly pooched.

The above started as a crack, and then completely shattering. This part will be replaced with something stronger before the Mini Maker Faire this Sunday. However I did successfully test the ring launcher up to a bit over 1700 volts so far. At the show, due to ceiling height restrictions, I'll have to keep it to a little over 400 volt launches. Though I'll likely take the launcher outside at some point for a larger powered firing.
Final stretch, Ring launcher build complete
Posted by Krux on Tuesday February 23, 2016 @ 02:05am
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I've been working on Project Hathor, my 2KV ring launcher. Since my last update I've been spending a lot of time finalizing the design, ordering any critical parts, as well as 3D printing most of what I was going to need for assembly. However this past weekend was the last weekend I was going to have available to finish the project on time for the Las Vegas Mini Maker Faire, which is taking place next Sunday, so it was time to finish the build.

So this past weekend I spent assembling all the pieces and parts I have been making and otherwise collecting into a working ring launcher. I started this project ages ago, so with my four day weekend I spent the time lasering, 3D printing, machining, soldering, and wiring.

With everything designed in Sketchup, I turned this:

Into this:

The end result looks absolutely gorgeous. The case is made from 1/2 laser cut acrylic. I used my 3D printer to make all the connecting pieces, as well as the parts for the custom designed high voltage contactor.

Video of the first test is here. I ran a low power test at 400 volts, and it performed exactly as designed.

The pictures of the build are located here:

And the project details are here:
So hey about that Ring Launcher...
Posted by Krux on Wednesday January 20, 2016 @ 01:29am
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Hooo boy, over a year since my last update. I've been bad about update my site with my project updates, so here is a step toward fixing that.

We have the Las Vegas Mini Maker Faire coming up on February 28th. Details can be found over at . So for this I want to finally finish work on my ring launcher, Project Hathor. I had built the capacitor bank awhile ago, but the project has been gathering dust, and being moved back and forth from SYN Shop in the hopes of working on it. Though more just gathering more dust from new and interesting places. Well nothing like a deadline to motivate you, so here we go.

I even had time to make a quick video update on the project.

Details on the capacitor bank and contactor build are here:

Project Hathor - Capacitor Bank and Contactor

I'm really happy with how the contactor turned out. Next steps are to wire up the charge and fire control circuitry, and of course building the actual coil, and putting it all in a case.