Getting the electrons from my drill into my phone.

I enjoy camping up with My girlfriend and all of our friends.  We very much enjoy listening to Music while up at camp.  I don't want to steal music, and I can't justify buying music that just isn't that good.    I like Podcasts, Matt Paxton of Hoarders is one of my favorite ones to listen to these days.  He has a very honest show, but it is adult content that some knee high campers should not listen to.  So we always end up with Pandora which is great and we can all enjoy the variety of music and find new things to share and enjoy.  For like 4 hours till my phone dies.  Droid Razr with a tiny Battery it comes with a 3.8 volt 1750mA battery pack which is 6.7 Watts.  That means I am using up about 1.5 watts per hour to listen to the smooth vocal styling of Nina Simone.  I Picked up two portable Power Packs on Woot which were great, but with similar power densities I am trying to refill a leaking 1 gallon jug from another one gallon jug.  The best I will ever get is two gallons (14.25 watts) of Music.  

We set up a 12 volt battery with an inverter last time, but it was heavy and I don't like having open battery terminals with the little campers around.  So I started to figure out how to make my 19.2 volt (20 volt) Drill batteries plug into my phone.  The phone will work directly off a usb power supply which is nominally about 5 volts and the drill battery is either a 4 or 5 cell lipo pack.  Around 16-20 volts depending on the cell count.  I am guessing the pack is around 3AH based on weight so I have about 60 watts of power, or 10 times the power in my drill pack if I can get it from efficiently from the Big battery to the little battery.  I immediately went back to my Battlebots days 7812 +12V Voltage Regulator and 7805 +5V Voltage Regulator I used to make receiver battery eliminators.  They worked fine when I was drawing 50mW for 5 minutes of duty cycle.  I checked the input voltage max and it was 35 volts. I started thinking I would just get the 7805 and go from the battery to the 7805 to the usb plug.  Paul saw my idea and immediately pointed out it would overheat. Not like I would listen to that gibberish.  I went out to find my trusty 7805 regulator so I could charge USB devices and 7812 so I could charge things that run off a 12 volt accessory outlet in a car.  We hit Radio Shack and they still had both in stock. They did not have a usb outlet and it would be a minimum of 20 bucks for anything with a female usb connector.  We went to target, I was hoping I could find something cheaper or a hub or something.  I found a power block for the car that would do 12 volt sockets and two usb sockets for 15 bucks.  I thought I may have lucked out and found a setup with a 5 volt regulator I could use.  It was, but it had a 15 volt max input.  Since I could have up to 22 volts coming in, I would need to regulate down more.   

Pulled apart the 12 volt in would need a 12 volt regulator to operate most cell phone chargers and the usb adapter board.
"Use only for original intended use.  No user serviceable parts inside.  Altering or tampering with the product or any of it's components may result in shock, fire, product damage, and or vehicle damage."

Craftsman C3 light being disassembled.  It already has the power connections for the battery and a switch.  Why re invent the wheel.  

Circuit all built up and being tested on a power supply.  works great on the single led USB light.

Beta packaging.  I want to test it before I 3d Print a better housing.  
And it did not work.  I took it up to camp with me and tested both halves of the system.  the 12 volt output to a phone charger and the 5 volt output via usb.  Both registered as the proper voltage output, but could not dissipate the heat enough to charge my phone.  I got home today and took everything to Make It Labs to try and figure out what to fix.  As soon as I opened the case, I could see the shrink wrap had failed and torn from over heat.  Paul helped me find a to220 heat sink and I cut some components out of the system so it went Battery > fuse > 7812 regulator > on board 5 volt regulator. I got this all put together and hooked it up for a test ride.  The battery charged at a rate above 1 amp with a darn warm heat sink.  Now I just need to package it better.  For longer term use, I will need to find a better way to disiapate heat and possibly got to a more efficient (looking at a buck regulator)

Electrons flowing.  

Close up of the scavenged usb board and 12 volt regulator.
I am now looking for a better regulator that will be able to operate cooler with more power throughput.   I want 8 amos at 5 volts and 5 amps at 13.8 volts.  Please comment if you have any recommendations.


3 ways not to cut curved rafters.

This week we had grand plans to get a bunch of rafters cut out.  I took Wednesday Thursday and Friday off of work to get some work done, then we were going to go camp and do some construction.  Well, so far everything has basically gone to plan and schedule up to this point.   In this post I will talk about three ways not to make round rafters.

We started out by taking apart a giant pallet.  it had about 60 boards worth of 1 x5.5 pine planks.  We pulled out all of the nails and ripped a 3rd of them in half so they made gluing up all of the boards.

Test fitting boards to make sure the rafters would all have enough material.

Libby stands with our other test fit stack.  We were able to get 20 rafters out of the material we recovered.  

Testing out the assembly bench.  In theory, we will be able to put a bunch of beams together in an afternoon. 

Glue, glue, glue.  Screw, screw, screw.  

Eric preps for an ariel attack.

Stacks of glued up beams.  20 of them.  This was a long Wednesday afternoon.
Thursday, Libby and I went down to Boston to have a picnic in the park with my little sister.   We then stopped by and saw Joe, Marry and the girls.  We had a good day and I found out no one else was going camping over the weekend.  We ditched our plans and decided to go see Libby's folks and the new plot of land they got on the lake.   I ended up working on Friday, a customer had an emergency.  We went to dinner with Libby's friends and got no work done on the cabin again.  The reason for building the cabin is to enjoy time with other people at camp.  We will take as long as it takes to enjoy our friends and family.  We got to Saturday morning and made our first trip to home depot.  We picked up material for the last four small rafters and some Giant circle cutting fixture material.

This is what A giant radius cutting fixture might look like if we had a working band saw.  

This is how the band saw would cut a giant radius if the band saw was running.  It just did not have the gumption to keep cutting.  

It was a neat set up.  We used two pivot points and the straps kept it balanced and elevated.  it would have worked great in theory.  Communism also worked in theory.  

Giant radius cutting fixture take two.  This time we made a giant triangle and the cutter would move.  It is robot approved.  We went to home depot to grab a new blade for the porta band and the second hinge to allow our giant triangle to work.  

JB and Betty check out the Makita Porta band mounted to the arm.  This should work....

It is a pretty level and stiff set up.  

And failure.  The blade does not have enough clearance to allow us to cut off the radius scraps without banging back into the saw.  

JB and Betty work on cord management.  No matter what cutting tool we use we will need to have a power cord..  

Plan C Sawzall mount is go for failure.  

I spaced up so we could have the clearance to cut out the rafters.  This looks secure....

So the vibration has enough umph to shift the entire bench.  When we swung the assembly back to the beginning of the cut, we saw that the entire work bench had shifted.  Our solution was to put a bunch of car batteries and bucket of bolts to try and hold it down.  

At the end of the cut, it was still close to cutting the part.   

Off to home depot for trip number three.  Lets try and get a better sawzall  blade.  

Time to cut some 38 degree angles for the rafters.    We did not have to cut all  the way through.  The curve should intersect and lop off the corners.

Holey blade deflection Batman!  This would not be a finish cut.  

The blade was cutting at an angle deluxe.  We cleaned up for the night and went to watch the Global Rally cross at Uno's.    
So that's three ways not to cut a big circle in beams.  Next we will try a ROTO ZIP and see if this will get the arc done in one cut. if anyone has any ideas on how to cut this, I am all ears.  Please leave your ideas in the comments.   


The wall erection shuffle.

Hanging out in the lean to, everyone enjoys some afternoon shade.  This will become a fire at some point.  It will be where we will read a book to the kids, sing songs and retell stories we have told fifty times.  
Been a busy week.  We had all hands on deck up at camp this weekend.  Eric, Kirsten, Joe, Mary, kids and Randyll.  We had all the material dropped off for Friday night and everyone started to get in around 10 pm.  We had a fire and caught up on life.  This is really the reason for building the cabin, the camp fire and the people we choose to surround ourselves with around it.  We end our night together and start our mornings around it.  We don't have this during our day to day life.  I think it is something special to have this good a friendship.  We all got to sleep by 2 am and shut off our alarms.  All of camp was awake by the crack of 10 am.  I put in the last pillar and finished up all of the supports.  I moved onto laying out the pre cut plywood and Libby made sure it all went in the right place and was tacked into place.  H kid brought up all the Foam insulation for the next layer of our floor.  We laid it out and started to trim it to fit.  Randal started to put in deck screws while I set up boards and we got a pretty good system going for most of the floor.  
Randyll multitasks with a smoke and an impact gun.  We got a good pace going.  

We started to get to the larger section when we had to change players and H kid plus Libby finished off the floor.

Eric and I talk about working while Randyll works.  

We had all of the floor down by 2 in the afternoon.  A sandwich of 1/2 inch plywood, 2 inch foam and then 2X boards from pallets.  It looked good, but we needed to do some quality checks.  We brought in our best inspectors for dynamic load testing.

The girls test to make sure the floor is Dance ready.  O kid rocks out like it's her job.  
From this point on we started putting up walls .

Just kidding, we have some Party Rocking to not apologize for.

Two window sections up and laying out the third.  

Eric tries to drink His Drill and put in a screw with his bourbon.  Results were mixed.

Eric figured out which one screws and which one booze.  Time for wall three.

Impact guns and Lipo made this cabin possible.  Without them, I think I would be a few weekends behind.

Libby helps level the wall and window unit.  

Most of these photos are from Joe and Kirstin.  I always get busy doing and forget to document what we are doing.  without them, you would have no in process photos.

Checking over our work, talking about grilled cheese.  We have the three window sections up, and the fourth assembled.  We had to assemble it on top of the other wall section before we erected it.  otherwise we would not have had the room to use a screw gun to fasten it together.  We stored it in the vertical position while we put up more of the pre fabricated sections.

Small wall section being aligned.  All of the wall sections were designed to locate via flats on the surface so no measuring would be needed.  
Getting the door panel to be in the right place before we lift it up.  

Next up door section raising.  Libby went beast mode while Eric fastened it into place.  Joe and I helped line everything up from the bottom.

The thought bubble over my head "please don't fall". 

Almost in position.

And touch down.  pretty much all the wall sections went up in a similar manor.  This is just the breakout of what they all looked like.  

Libby stands in the doorway where she wants it to be.  The shape is starting to come together.

one panel connects to the last.  I am doing some kind of hand talking, or wiping the sweat from my brow.  
Libby does a sprinkler dance while we install a wall section upside down.  

putting in the last window section, only one thing to do.

Dance party!

O kid does the Charleston.

Eric does moves that are illegal in 7 states.

Yes this is where I want the door.  
Once we had all the wall sections up, we squared them up and screwed them down.  everything ended up within .25 inches, good for what we were working with.  We were able to have 9 folks dancing and party rocking.  I think that meets camp standards.

Cabin camouflage.  You can't see it.

Sunday morning did some QC noticed a few things, some of the top plates were cut a bit off.  I chose giving up and going to breakfast instead of fixing it and finishing the work this week.  

Walls with big windows and a great view of the woods.

Libby stands in front of the section we put in upside down.  We will have to flip it over next time.  before we tie everything down

Our QC team always have safety glasses on.  
Progress was not quick enough for my inspection crew.  H kid Built O kid a cabin out of the box from the new bed mattress.  

Libby and I will never look this cute sticking our heads out of the window on our cabin.  
That's a bunch of photos of the weekend construction.  Libby has High hopes for next weekends progress.  The Jim's will be up.  We will try and get in windows and the door.  If we get up wall sheathing, I think we will be in good shape.  she thinks we can get the rafters constructed and ready to go up.  Time will tell.