Makers Facing Spring Crunch!

After a long winter to plan, dream, bid-snipe, and over-buy, we find ourselves in the middle of “crunch time” this week. What Happens in Crunch? This is the time of year when living in one of the in-city “coops” is actually a much better deal than trying to build a resilient backwoods enclave for yourself in retirement. All those winter plans have to get done. A quick walk through and some before and after views …

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Holiday Weekend Shop Notes

It’s a good time – with my 75th birthday now here – to review some of the projects, ideas, learnings, and what’s ahead in the spring.  This is what both living in the woods, doing some backwoods hydroponics and solar power, plus writing and trying to be retired is all about. So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s do a walk-around, OK? Power Center Done – For Now Last week, we did the open …

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The Electronic Detective: Case #136

When I published the first “Case #1 of The Electronic Detective” long before branching off the Ultra-Make site, the idea was – in our first episode, we will tackle a medium-complexity problem in electronics – there have been dozens of additional cases which might be of interest to an electronics aficionado. But unfortunately there is only so much time and so much energy to write up highly specialized learnings. But to be sure, a review …

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Solar System Upgrades

A few scratches on the hands this weekend from spending a couple of days rewiring the “aisle 3” solar array.  There’s some experimenting going on, some changes to system design, and a couple of useful hints to share. Ham radio and drone-lifted ham antenna adventures are on hold this week as other, more pressing work of Life has come to the foreground. Oh, and the #22 AWG wire was mis-shipped, so maybe that will show …

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Design of Dronetenna #1

[Part 2 of our exploration of drone-lifted antennas for Ham Radio use.  See last week’s article “Goodbye Radio Towers, Hello Drones.”] Drone s– particularly used for lifting things – is an incredibly cool technology. Already, commercially available fishing drones operating up to with up to 8-pound loads are available.  Not cheap, but out there. $1,500 class and up.  Dandy if you like surf fishing and you’re not right off the end of a beachfront runway. …

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