Weekly Wins 9-30-2022

So, who has some stuff to celebrate this week? Anything cool? Even if you’re just happy you woke up on time today, it counts. If you’re happy about it we want to hear about it.

I did a thing and bought a small cnc. That alone would be a bit of a win but the toolchest under it didn’t fit in my car, a nice stranger walking by noticed this and not just offered to help me load it but when it wouldn’t fit he and his wife quite literally drove out of their way to help me get it home. Very nice people.


A different part of the project that worked last week worked properly for the first time this week… and the whole thing is currently set up pending final test before “showing off”.

Let’s hope that next week is “it worked right”.


Took the robot to the Homecoming parade. Unfortunantly it fell off the cart and we had to lug it all the way back to school behind the school royalty and everyone else.

We did learn that we either dont take the robot, or make a dedicated parade bot.


Pretty excited about this.


Software project at work which has involved like a week and a half of trying to figure out how to make it work (what we’re asking of this library is tricky) is finally making progress and we’re making commits to an actual branch.

FTC teams are starting to make design decisions and should start building tomorrow.

I’ve gotten some good practice at using Onshape the last couple weeks (but still miss distance and width mates from Solidworks).

On the recreational mathematics hobby side, I was able to construct a glider synthesis of the 120P34 oscillator in Conway’s Game of Life. Scratches a similar puzzle-solving / engineering itch as robots and programming.


What CNC did you buy?

Appears to be a Carbide Nomad 3 in HDPE. I had a first gen Nomad 883 (serial number 00004) around for a while and even that pile of garbage was pretty nifty. They’ve since upgraded from belts(!) to acme screws, better spindle motor, actual safety interlocks, etc. Seems like a lovely machine if you’re tight on space, or to supplement a router.


Got a good deal on a used nomad 3

It ain’t the biggest but it’ll do aluminum slowly as well as a lot of plastics.

With this I am very well equipped for ftc scale bots. Couple printers, a small laser cutter, and now this. Not that I do ftc…


I got a phone with a camera capable of taking actual night photos, so I’m wicked excited about that. I’ve never been happy with my previous night photos - this is a game changer for me.

Metrobüs loading at night

Skyline and the highway and the Metrobüs at night

It can actually catch the moon, which is also really exciting, it’s not just a blur in the corner, it looks good :slight_smile:

Downtown as I was leaving the Gym

This was taken in the middle of the night, with only the light from my TV. My previous phone this would have been basically a black rectangle. I don’t even know how this worked. But its great, and the TV lighting looks fantastic on Düğme the cat.



I have a new job! I’ll be operating CNCs!


The machanical team completed their general machining training project today. It’s a picture frame which trains the following skills:

  • Vertical bandsaw
  • Drill press
  • Box and pan brake (bent kickstand not pictured)
  • Riveting
  • Measuring
  • Laying out holes
  • Sick sketching skillz

New CAD students have completed a number of simple gearboxes which train:

2023 swerve drive chassis prototype design is coming along, working on a new prototype bumper latch:



Bonus dog pic


She’s happy to see me after a week of travel


We’ve finalized plans for bringing a robot to the homecoming parade!

On a personal note, I’ve also been drastically improving my swerve code and have had great results thus far.


We started a new sooper sekret subteam “Wheel Team 6” to design our first new swerve drive since 2012.


Had a bit of fun once we got the swerve going.

Our swerve sponsor is doing a K-12 STEM night so we had to spice up the demo a bit.


Took an SAT. We’ll see if that’s a win in a few weeks.

I haven’t been in robotics this week because I’m practicing for my school play.
Hopefully I can get back into the lab soon.

We broke a drivetrain belt when we were pulling 5 people on rolling chairs (was fun)
We fixed that this week and tested it driving.

We started organizing and inventorying our stuff.


And today’s “let’s test half of the system” went poorly…

Until we corrected the ID10T Eric and got things working again. (Wrong button–hands up if you’ve done something similar!)


Plants did doth dance this week! Woop woop! Now to expand to 3 dimensions instead of one. No one wants to sell me another two rev through bore encoders, do they? :crazy_face:


I wrote up instructions for a bumper mounting scheme that should be secure, allow easy access for quick changes and would be easy for team members with limited experience to manufacture in a repeatable way and sent it to the other mentors. If it works, we will use it next season.

I went on my first vacation in 3 years and visited my family in Vancouver B.C.

Starting from right after being picked up from the airport, I was treated to lots of great food.

Went on a date night with my wife athe Portuguese Club in the Little Italy area and finished the evening with some very nice Gelato

I noticed there were a lot of walking and cycling trails so I picked up an antique mountain bike for my next visit.

Now waiting for my flight back to Houston with a last minute snack.


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