Jan 09

KANO Computing DIY Mouse and Webcam

Hey All,

I’ve been a big supporter of Kano Computing since they did their original Kickstarter for the build it yourself computer kit featuring the Raspberry Pi and awesome wireless keyboard (that I use on almost every project. That thing has been a lifesaver at every Maker Faire I’ve participated in!)

Amazon.com: Kano Computer Kit ‚Äď A Computer Anyone Can Make: Toys & Games

One of the Christmas gifts my wife bought me this year was a Kano Computing webcam and build-it-yourself mouse!

I’m going to be brutally honest: There is no way I can use the Kano mouse as my daily driver. It is way too small for my normal sized hands. I can also see it being a tad too difficult for a kid to put together by themselves due to one step in the instructions.

You have to route the USB cable inside the case and around some plastic pegs, but the cable is just a tad too thick to make it a non-frustrating experience. Once it’s pushed down the rest of the process is pretty straight forward.

The idea to make the top shell magnetic is also super cool. I find myself pulling the top off just to hear the magnetic click over and over again.

All in all – An excellent first attempt. If I was a kid again I would be loving this mouse. I remember taking apart one my favorite mice years ago and switching out the LED to be blue so it would glow throughout. Having a DIY mouse kit brings a smile to my face. I hope the next version is made to grow with the users – hopefully with some hardware hacks available along the way!

The next piece of kit I got was the Kano Webcam! Who would’ve thought I would be excited by a webcam… but this is what 2020 has made of me lol. With the shortage of webcams last year, and both my wife and I working in the education sector, seeing an inexpensive and new take on the webcam made me quite happy.

Two cool features of the webcam include a “macro lens” (really just a magnifying glass) and a flexible but fixable position cord. You can position the webcam in any direction and it will just stay there!

Now, to be perfectly realistic, this is a 2.1mp fixed focus lens and only costs $29.99. I am not expecting the picture quality to be impressive. It is 100% adequate for Zoom use, whether it’s in a classroom or a meeting.

The feature that does make it shine is it’s “macro mode” though. Simply move the lens cover over and you are ready to take close ups.

I am going to really enjoy the macro mode for my electronics projects, and the flexible cord for my Octoprint 3D printer time-lapse videos.

That’s it for this week! Happy New Year! Hope it’s treated everyone great so far!

Jan 01

Happy New Year! Hi 2021! Go Away 2020…

Hey all.

Happy New Year!

This year I resolve to blog once a week again. Every Friday I will post what I’m working on. I’ve become creative again (I think…) and I want to put out to the world what I’m working on.

Raspberry Pi StepMania Dance Pad

Right now I’m working on a CNC’d StepMania dance pad for the Raspberry Pi. I can’t wait to get it complete but so far we have the FSR’s working with the Arduino connected to the Pi.

LEGO

I’ve been building a few LEGO sets with my toddler these past few months. Mainly I build them and he does QA I should say ūüôā It’s so much fun watching him get better and better at putting stuff together. I love it!

3D Printing

Last print of 2020 was of course a Bulbasaur. My favorite starter Pokémon!

Image may contain: indoor

I backed Naomi Wu’s 3D PrintMill “infinite Z” printer on Kickstarter which should hopefully arrive in a few months. I know how many 3D printers have failed on Kickstarter before, but this is a collaboration between Naomi and Creality, and they already have the printer built, this is more of a way to how many they need to make for their factory. And I get that. It’s a great use of Kickstarter. I’m excited to buy vast amounts of filament for this thing!

Conveyor Belt 3D Printers : Creality CR-30 3DPrintMill

That’s it from me for this week. Here’s to an amazing 2021!

See ya next Friday!

May 26

Friday Post: PiPlay Portable funded :D

Hey All,

Thank you, to my backers, and supporters, for helping to fund the PiPlay Portable. I’m so excited to get to make this.

We just got the latest prototype boards in, as well as our stickers from StickerMule.  We were also able to get some polybags for real cheap (they are in beta, so why not!)

Also MegaCon is this weekend!  I finished making my Nintendo Switch Arcade Machine and made it an Ultra SF2 Machine.

Have a great weekend all!

-Shea

Apr 28

Friday Post: PiPlay Portable is fully funded! And meet the newest member of the PiPlay Team!

Hey All,

The PiPlay Portable Kickstarter is fully funded!!!  Thank you to all of you.  We are super humbled and excited that we get to see this kit succeed.

In even more incredible news….

I’m super excited to introduce our son, Sam, born Monday April 24th.

Mother and Baby are doing great. ¬†We came home from the hospital yesterday. ¬†I’m so excited for this new chapter in our lives.

Have a great weekend all,

-Shea

Apr 15

Arcades! Arcades! Arcades!

Hey All,

This weekend is Star Wars Celebrations! ¬†While I’m not able to go, for the past week I’ve been helping Free Play Florida finish their 10 foot Star Wars arcade cabinet for the convention. ¬†This thing is awesome! ¬†And MASSIVE!

This machine will be at Free Play Florida and Orlando Maker Faire this year ūüėÄ

SwitchCade

The Nintendo Switch has come out, and I have put a ton of hours into The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild already. ¬†This is one of my favorite consoles so far. ¬†The eShop already has Neo Geo games and a new Street Fighter game is coming out ( Ultra Street Fighter II ) so of course I had to make a Nintendo Switch Arcade Machine ūüėÄ ¬†The files to make your own are on Thingiverse: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2235516/#files¬†

Have a great weekend all!

-Shea

Mar 24

Friday Post: Politics

Politics (or how I bought trumpsucks.gop and you can too).

To those who may not have guessed, I am not a big Trump supporter.  I am a Bernie Sanders fan.  I am an independent progressive who thinks science and technology are the way forward.

This week the Republicans tried to bring their Trumpcare bill to the House¬†which would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), and… they failed. ¬†One thing I noticed in the GOPs marketing is that they kept touting this new site called readthebill.gop. ¬†It’s a slick site, showing off their failed bill and how great it will¬†be, but what really intrigued me was the top level domain: .gop.

I wanted to know more about this.  My google-fu led me to www.join.gop which incredibly enough allows you to search and register for domain names under the GOP brand.  WTF?!

OK, naturally I tried donaldtrump.gop and various others, but they were all unavailable. ¬†But of course, the GOP must have disabled anything that says anything negative about themselves….right?

Well here we go. ¬†And it’s only $20.16. ¬†Surely they wont let it through.

Ok, so I bought it, but surely someone must confirm these orders manually right?

Yeah, someone’s looking at it and this will be bounced back.

WAT?

I actually own trumpsucks.gop now. ¬†This can’t backfire at all.

-Shea

Feb 11

Friday Post: Simplify3D customer service is the best!

Hey All,

Not much to report on this week. ¬†I was having issues with really bad stringing on my prints from my SeeMeCNC ERIS 3D printer. ¬†On fully enclosed prints, it’s been great, but on anything with overhangs or open spaces, the stringing has been incredibly bad.

I use Simplify3D as my slicer, and it’s been worth every penny. ¬†This past week I get fed up with making the adjustments myself, so I emailed Simplify my settings file, pictures of the issues, and within a day they sent me back a new settings file, for a printer they don’t even officially support, and it’s now working 100% better.

Prints are more dimensionally accurate and I have almost zero stringing!

CURA and Slic3r are really good free open source slicers, but it’s been totally worthwhile to pay for Simplify!

I also bought ANOTHER new 3D Printer, which should arrive in a week or two, and I’m excited to see it in action. ¬†I will be doing a review of it so be on the look out!

The model is a surprise for now.

Feb 03

Friday Post: No broken foot and open source software is awesome!

Hey All,

Got some great news. ¬†My wife didn’t actually break her foot. ¬†We went to a orthopedist who specializes in feet injuries, and he says it’s only a MAJOR sprain. ¬†She’s still in pain, but at least it is a lot less serious. ¬†The brace only needs to be worn during the day, she can walk around again, and best of all she can drive and go to work.

Baby is also doing well.  We are in the third trimester and he is kicking up a storm!

Also, open source software is amazing, and I am so proud to be able to make software that is open.  My campaign donation software is now being used in a city council race!  This is not an endorsement, but Scott Casey is using it for his race: https://www.scottcaseycitycouncil.com/

Have a good weekend all!

Jan 20

Friday Post: Broken Foot

Hey All,

It’s so weird to realize it was my birthday, and it passed by this year with little fanfare from me. ¬†Knowing I’m having a baby in less than 3 months kinda takes your mind off those things. ¬†What is on my mind is my wife broke her foot this week and I am now taking care of my pregnant immobilized love. ¬†Luckily the baby is perfectly fine. ¬†I feel so bad for my wife. ¬†I have broken both arms, and both legs (at separate times), and I can tell you this is no walk in the park.

Everything is still being worked on, just going slow and steady.

Have a good weekend everyone.  Stay safe out there.

-Shea