Jan 31

2021 Obtainable Goals

Hey All,

So, I’ve been reflecting on the past year and the past month, the things I’ve made and the things I haven’t. I’ve come to the conclusion that for this year I only want to put my energy into projects I know how to complete or have the capability to do.

I know that sounds wishy washy but I have a TON of unfinished projects on my backburners, and I needed to tell myself I will NEVER finish those. So it’s time to move on, clear the clutter, and finish the projects I can finish, and start the projects I can complete ūüėÄ

On Deck To Complete

My First Order Stormtrooper helmet. I’ve been working on this thing since 2017. I love the look of the helmet, and I’ve printed about 4 different complete ones but they always never felt good enough. The finish wasn’t good. I didn’t know how to sand well enough, etc. Excuses.

Primed, badly sanded, sitting on my shelf…

I’ve had this dude sitting on my shelf for 6 months. I started this when the pandemic started, and then got discouraged after I saw the imperfections and mess ups. So this weekend I said screw it. I’m going to finish it, imperfections or not. I will use what I gain from this one to make the next helmet even better!

Here’s how the weekend went:

First coat of black spray paint!
Second coat!
Lots of trial and error with masking.
First coat of white over the masked elements.

I think I got pretty far! Painted black as a first coat, masked, then painted over white. I’m going to do the second coat tomorrow then expose the masked area.

My masking attempt is not great, but I can only just touch it up. Perfect is the enemy of good here. I also saw an awesome technique on how to make the eyes: Document folders! They are a great source of dark see through plastic. You cut it out and tape it to the inside of the helmet and BAM! Instant visor!

Stepmania Raspberry Pi Dance Pad.

This is something I have no idea how to finish yet, BUT I have an idea on where to start. Using FSRs works. The prototype works. But I want to build something nice. I think I am going to try to make some custom FSR PCBs and install them into 2020/1515 aluminum extrusion.

IKEA Lack Table Server Rack

I have an old xServe Mac 1U server, and a bunch of home lab equipment sitting in my garage. I’ve wanted to revamp my home network and move everything outside a shelf in my closet and “properly” set it all up.

I’m thinking of using the IKEA Lack Rack project as my base.

While this is definitely low priority for me, it would make me feel better having it all in some semblance of an organized mess.

2021 Maker Faire

I’m currently going through some thoughts and idea for what will hopefully be Maker Faire Orlando 2021. 2020 got shelved due to COVID, but I’m hopeful 2021 will be on.

I’m looking forward to tackling my projects this year, and hey, actually completing things.

Have a good week all!

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!

Nov 17

StepMania on the Raspberry Pi 4!

For anyone that knows me, Dance Dance Revolution and StepMania were a large part of my life years ago. It’s how I lost a ton of weight.

6 years ago was my first attempt to get StepMania running on a Raspberry Pi…and it was a horrible experience.

Today I’m proud to say that StepMania runs GREAT on the Raspberry Pi 4!

I’ve hosted the shell script / step by step instructions on how to compile and run StepMania on your own Pi4 as a GitHub Gist:

Just run these commands in a terminal on the Desktop GUI version of Raspberry Pi OS and you will be up and playing StepMania in about an hour.

Enjoy!

-Shea

Jan 07

Friday Post: 2017! New Year New Stuff!

Hey All!

Happy New Year! Less than 99 days till the baby is due. I’m building stuff for the nursery, getting stuff ready. Feels more like demolition because it was our game / media room and most of the week was spent moving stuff out.

I installed my first ceiling fan today! Feels good, feels accomplished.

I am also working on a homemade DDR pad for Stepmania. It’s still not great on the Pi2/Pi3. I can get it running at 30FPS, but the audio is too choppy. I want to try to offload the audio to a USB sound card and just output it via HDMI, but I don’t know if that will help.

Found an awesome Mario mushroom power up beanie. ¬†This kid is going to be a geek ūüėÄ

The PiPlay Advance board is coming along! ¬†I am super happy with it and it’s almost ready to release!

Feb 12

Friday Post: StepMania on Raspberry Pi2

Hey All!

So this week the Raspberry Pi Foundation released a new version of Raspbian that includes experimental support for OpenGL. ¬†This is a big leap from OpenGL ES. ¬†This is real OpenGL that tons of games and software use. ¬†No mobile versions required anymore. ¬†That being said, its super experimental. ¬†It basically breaks the official screen and the camera doesn’t work. ¬†It also only works in xwindows and not on the command line.

BUT! One of my favorite games (and the way I lost 50lbs) is now available on the Pi!  StepMania!  The Dance Dance Revolution simulation game!

Here’s how to compile it:

First clone the StepMania repo:

git clone https://github.com/stepmania/stepmania stepmania
cd stepmania

Install the dependancies:

sudo apt-get install cmake gcc g++ libmad0-dev libgtk2.0-dev binutils-dev git-core make libasound2-dev yasm libc6-dev libogg-dev libvorbis-dev libbz2-dev zlib1g-dev libjpeg8-dev libpng12-dev libxtst-dev libxrandr-dev libglew-dev libglu1-mesa-dev mesa-common-dev automake autoconf libva-dev

A lot of these you will probably already have installed.

Now cd into the Build directory and start the configuration process (and run it one more time afterwards)

cd Build
cmake ..
cmake ..

Now you will want to edit the CMakeCache.txt which has some of the configuration options.

nano CMakeCache.txt
Look for CRASH_HANDLER and set it to OFF, SSE2 should be set to OFF, and Full Release should be set to ON.
press ctrl-x then y to save.

Now lets compile StepMania!

make

Let that run until it is done, should take about 3 or 4 hours. ¬†When it’s complete run

cd .. 
./stepmania

and you should now be playing StepMania!

All of your configurations  will be under ~/.stepmania, and your songs and stages go under ~/stepmania

Have Fun!

Also, GO SEE DEADPOOL (if you are 18 and older!!)

-Shea