Jun 17

Long Time No See!


Long time since I last posted…. 3 years….
Can’t say a lot has happened but there have been a few major and minor events.

Some of the notables have been selling the old car and buying a new one, doing so has added on repayments but has also saved me a lot on fuel, registration and insurance costs. Fuel economy has gone from around 12L/100km in the old car to around 7L/100km. Overall a better cost. The new car is a VW Polo “Beats” edition, middle range in the Polo series it’s still quite zippy being a small car and IMHO actually handles better on the road than the old one even tho that was more of a sports car. But the best thing about the new car is the sound, “Beats” edition features a factory sound system designed with Dr Dre and the Beats branding. Main feature being the spare wheel has been replaced with a decent Sub Woofer. Full smart head unit with SD card and DVD drive for storing music on as well as android/iphone integration and sat-nav. How good is the sound? Well since getting this car we had to completely re-do our music collection, the audio is so clear and wide range that all our old MP3 files now sounded flat and you could hear the compression. So we have now re-encoded all out CD’s into FLAC format (“Free Lossless Audio Codec”) and WOW, Awesome sound! We now go for long drives just to hear the music! 😀

Other majors has been a few project on my list getting completed:

  • The Workshed was completed as a place for me to do Man-Cave things and build projects.
  • Enclosed Veranda had finally been completed, something I’ve wanted since moving into here.
  • Web server machine had been updated and is due for another move.
  • My local NAS storage is now on a newer DELL server, I now get all 7TB of storage. ( need to move the websites over here as well but that’s still to-do.

Other minors have been done and forgotten over the years, nothing particularly notable other than ongoing studies in Unity3D and C# programming.

Why have I not posted for so long? Well, many reasons, mostly lack of self-confidence, depression and all that. I don’t do social very well. Machines, computers, animals, etc I handle fine, I’m very logical in my thinking. People I don’t handle well, some I’m fine with but most just come across to me as illogical and frustrating. Its an issue I’ve had pretty much all my life and its fed other issues such as anger management and depression. Late 2016 this anger and poor stress management led to a chain of health issues and resulted in my blood pressure reaching over 220/150… ended up in hospital 3 times while they tried to figure out why. Even aver a years worth of testing we still don’t have a medical cause.  So mostly I’ve been hiding in my shell, trying to ignore the world and just do what I have to do. Not a great solution but has worked for keeping me calm. My BP has been kept “ok” by mainly diet, mental changes and BP medication, although the latter has recently been less effective. Seems I’m sensitive to Salt, too much and up the BP goes, my limit seems to be about 1-2 grams per day. Other things are drinking enough water and avoiding alcohol, too much sugar and the like.
So yeah, not a great life but won’t complain as there other out there that have it much worse. I’m still alive, have a home to live in, a great partner and all my toys. Sure I only earn around $30k/year despite what I know and can do, but I don’t really have much in debt either so is money that important? I don’t think so. 

Starting to pull myself out of the rut now with the help of some wins building my positivity, but it’s going to be a long road. One of these wins have been the Pergola build being a big success. I’ve also been invited into a D&D group with a few friends and this has been helping the social side of my complicated persona. The Workshed got completely cluttered up over the last few years so I’ve been getting that cleaned out and part of the clean-out is to actually THROW OUT junk that has no use. I do suffer hoarding tendencies, with a lot of thought like “I could use that for something”. Yeah well no, if It does not have an immediate use or a direct use with a project on the short-list then out it goes. Clean up like this is hard but does help the mental state too, clutter is never healthy!

So probably enough mental gibberish for one post here, I have started to build up drafts for some of the projects in the workshed so those will be appearing here soon as well. I also have promised a friend that I’ll do a post on techniques for 3D-printing centered around printing small figurines, so keep and eye out for that. Coming soon ™.

As always, Thanks for reading!

  • Radan.
Apr 24

Projects… Too Many Projects.

I don’t know if anyone reads this blog of mine except googlebots and the like, but anyone who might would know I don’t post much. Anyone who knows me personally may or may not know why. I’m a very quiet person, I rarely say anything and pretty much never call anyone. This is not because I don’t like them and certainly not because I don’t care about them. Even my poor family rarely hear from me and whether or not they know it I do care a great deal about them. The reason is I never feel like I have anything good or interesting to say. For some reason I feel I need to have something REALLY important in order to tell anyone about it. Just how I am. Even making this post is a huge step out for me, I’m doing it because I’m starting to feel like I need to get myself out there more. I’m 42 and still working low-end jobs because I’m no good at talking myself up or “Selling” myself for exactly the same reasons.

The other reason people don’t see me much is that most of my spare time is consumed in many little projects and that too is something I need to focus on, not the projects themselves but the number of them and their priorities. I basically have so many in my head right now that it causing issues in itself. Part of writing this post is to start getting myself to communicate better and more often, to get my project listed and managed into priorities, to track them and their progress better as well as show and record all the things I can do. Purely for myself and my own reasons but if anyone else gets something out of it then even better.

So I’m going to attempt to make some lists of Projects I’m working on and also have completed over the recent time. I want to document their progress, make available where possible any hardware or software references as well. I’d like to see if there are any WordPress plugins that may provide some sort of Project Tracker or the like as well. Have to see what’s out there.

Off the top of my head right now, and this list will need fleshing out:

  • Current priority one: The work shed – aka Man Cave or Geek Shed. (Will explain in another post) (in Progress)
  • Version 3 of the Automated Tracking Telescope. (will also need its own post)
  • Private coding project involving embedded android – specifically U-Boot coding. (in Progress)
  • Hardware camera and image processor for the telescope using an FPGA.
  • Rebuild my home web-server that hosts this and other Blogs.
  • Design and build a Pick-n-Place machine – possibly based on the OpenPnP Project. (in Progress)
  • Design and build Version 2 of my own 3D-Printer.
  • “The Game” MMORPG game I was working on previously (on Hold)
  • Sort, clean and recode my large collection of videos/photos/music/e-books.
  • Build a pergola onto this house – then build it into a “Qld room”.
  • More TBA…

Some projects I’ve completed – some need to be documented:

  • The Chook Cage & Coup.
  • A portable chook pen.
  • Version 1 of my 3D Printer. (and lots of prints…)
  • Versions 1 & 2 of a tracking telescope.
  • Rebuilt the controlling hardware and software inside a “cheap” 40W CO2 Laser cutter. (still have more ideas in plan but it is working enough that I could leave it as is).
  • Back end work for various WordPress Blogs and Forums for my partner and some of her groups.
  • other various things

That will do for now. More will come later.

Thanks for reading.

— Radan.

Jan 04

M31 – The Andromeda Galaxy

On a recent trip to Hawaii I went to a star party hosted on the northern part of Hawaii at the Dillingers Air Base.

One of the main astronomical items I wanted to see while in the northern hemisphere was the Andromeda Galaxy. Since it is very low on the horizon where I live and unless I find a tall viewing point with clear views north I don’t get the chance to see it yet alone take images.

At the star party I did get to see it, along with a fantastic view of the night sky, it was so clear the number of stars visible was amazing.

As for imaging it, all I had was my DSLR (Canon 550D) with a 50mm f1.8 lens on a basic tripod. I took quite a few images but many had star trails from too long exposure with no tracking so I managed to pick about 16 reasonable frames, cropped them down and stacked them. The result was pretty ok considering:

M31 Andromeda Galaxy

M31 Andromeda Galaxy

If I’d known it’d work so well I’d have taken lots more and stacked for a better result.

Still inspiring for me.

Need to process all the other photos from the trip and add them to a gallery…



Apr 16

New Project

Hi all,

Yet another project on my current list, or two….

Been building a CNC machine for a hardware project I’ll be working on with a friend. Currently a 3-axis machine controlled by LinuxCNC system, eventually it will accommodate a machining tool, a pick and place tool and an extruder (for 3D Printing). I’ll also be building an embedded stand-alone controller so it can operate independent of the computer.

It will machine parts for me.

it will print parts for me (like new gears for the telescope mount).

and it will build circuit boards for me!

Speaking of the telescope, yes it needs better gears, current ones were hacked together so its not smooth or linear enough for me, also I plan to re-do parts of the code to improve its handling.

I really have too much to do in my spare time, need to win the Lotto so I can work on them full-time… 😛

Anyways, here’s some pretty pictures of the machine until next update 😉
20130401_214949 20130403_215924