Routers, Trigonometry and Laser Cutters

making a router baseYou probably asked all of your math teachers “when and I’m going to use this stuff?”. Well that day is today. NESIT has a hand router that is missing the base plate. The base plate allows the router to smoothly slide across a piece of wood without getting hung up while also providing a sturdy base for the user to hold the router. NESIT has the technology available to make a replacement. Here’s how it’s done… and guess what, it includes some fun math!

We’ll need a few dimensions to make the router base plate. The diameter of the base is easily measured, the screw hole size is easy to determine and for the inner diameter, 2 inches was picked just because it seemed right. The only think left was to determine the spacing of the mounting holes for the screws. There are 3, making it difficult to directly measure the bolt hole circle diameter. The bolt hole pattern is the size of the circle the screw holes are spaced on.

Although we can’t measure the bolt hole pattern directly, we can do it in-directly using our friend Math. We start by measuring the distance between two of 3 screw holes that are in the base of the router. You could use a ruler to eye-ball the spacing but that is quite inaccurate. Using a caliper to eye-ball the distance between the holes is also kinda sketchy. There’s a trick you can do with a digital caliper to measure the center-to-center distance between two holes. Screw in screws to each hole. Then, instead of setting the digital caliper to zero with the jaws closed, set the caliper to zero with the jaws tightened on the screw diameter. Then use the calipers to measure the outside of one screw to the outside of the other. The value displayed on the digital caliper will be the center-to-center distance which is the value we need for our math equation later. trig-caliper1


To help illustrate our situation, let’s draw a representation of the screw holes and their locations. It doesn’t necessarily have to be to scale or dimensionally accurate. Drawing some lines between the center of the bolt hole circle and each screw and another line between the two screws we measured creates a few triangles. These triangles will simplify our calculations, even if the high-level task seems a bit daunting. Such a drawing would look like this:


Our goal is to determine the bolt hole circle radius. We need that value in order to draw the hole position accurately in Corel Draw because the plate will be cut out using the Epilog laser. Looking at the triangles that we just drew, we notice that the radius of the bolt hole circle is one of the sides of one of the triangles (highlighted orange). We know one of the angles is 60 degrees and also know the length of one of the sides (because we just measured the screw center-to-center distance using digital calipers). The center-to-center distance turned out to be 4.642 inches, and our triangle side is half of that: 2.321 inches.

If you think back hard to good ole Geometry class from high school, you’ll remember the trigonometric mnemonic device: SOH CAH TOA. That saying reminds us how to use the trigonometric functions Sine, Cosine and Tangent. We’ll use one of these to calculate the bolt hole circle radius of the Router’s base.

Using the SOH from SOH CAH TOA, we recall that Sine of an angle equals the length of the Opposite side divided by the length of the Hypotenuse. So…


Sinθ = O/H

Sin60 = 2.321 / H

Sin60 * H = 2.321

H = 2.321 / Sin60

H = 2.680 inches

See, easy! We now know that the radius of the bolt hole circle is 2.680 inches. We use that dimension to position the center of the screw hole 2.680 inches above the center of the Outside Diameter of the plate. Copy that top hole 2 times and rotate those 120 degrees left and right and we have our plate mounting pattern. Before using up some valuable acrylic, a cardboard template was made to test the fit. It was dead on! After the plate was cut out on the laser cutter, the screw holes were countersunk on the drill press. The following photos are of the final product.

making a router base

making a router base

making a router base

Recycled Laptop Becomes Linux Media Server

I cut my cable service quite a while ago. I have no regrets for sure. There are a few shows that I dig so I just download those, throw them on a flash drive and walk that drive over to plug it into my WDTV media streamer. It works but it’s annoying. I could stream it from my computer but even though the WDTV is connected via ethernet, my laptop isn’t and the resulting video is not smooth at all. I decided it was time to create a stand alone media server that would be responsible for both the downloading and storage of the TV shows and movies, keeping my main computer free to do other stuff. The WDTV would then stream content directly off the media server and Bob’s your uncle. The plan was also to have the media server tucked out of the way and I’d remote desktop in to do any maintenance or what evs.

This project started off with a desktop PC (and with the help of Chris B) got a fresh dose of Ubuntu Server and some SSH and VNC software. Everything worked great at NESIT. When I got home it quickly because clear the setup wasn’t going to fly (read: I’m Linux illiterate). Without my own personal live-in Linux expert, I was going to be up a creek without a paddle. And the PC was way louder at my house than at NESIT, go figure.

So I was thinking, my current computer is a Dell laptop and it is dead silent. The light bulb went off and I decided to change the course of my project, ditching Ubuntu Server and roar of the PC and replacing it with an lower-power-consumption Dell laptop. This puppy already had a 500gb drive. After reading how to build the perfect media server, I decided Ubuntu Desktop would be the way to go on the older laptop I was using.

So what’s the point of this article? Not to blab but to share the hurdles I faced with the project.

Sharing files between Windows(or Media Streamer) and Linux isn’t super straight forward.

My main personal computer is running Windows 7. You may expect that with both a Windows and Ubuntu computer plugged into the same network that each computer could see the other. Wrong assumption.

With a fresh install of Ubuntu, you need to go to the folder that will be shared. Right click on its icon and select ‘Local Network Share’. A dialog box will appear where you can check off ‘Share this folder’. Do that and press ‘Create Share’. Since this was a fresh Ubuntu install, a message pops up and asks if you want to install a program (samba) that will allow the Windows and Ubuntu computers to talk to each other. Ubuntu walks you through the install process.

Next, still on the Ubuntu machine, you need to modify a file. In the terminal, type: sudo gedit /etc/samba/smb.conf   Right in the beginning of the file you’ll see this: workgroup = WORKGROUP  The uppercase ‘workgroup’ name needs to match the workgroup of your Windows machine. You can find this by going to the Windows 7 start menu, in the search area type ‘workgroup‘, then select ‘show which workgroup this computer is on‘. For example, if the workgroup on the Windows 7 machine is NESIT, you would change smb.conf to workgroup = NESIT .

Ubuntu has a firewall installed by default, I had to disable it to in order to get the file sharing to work, to do this type: sudo ufw disable 

After this, the Ubuntu machine could see the Windows machine, but not vice versa. A restart of the Windows machine fixed it. Now, from the Windows machine, I could see the folder I shared on the Ubuntu machine. By ‘see’, I mean in Windows Explorer, clicking on Network, then the Ubuntu computer’s name. After moving a video file in the shared Ubuntu folder, I did a test stream of that file to my Windows computer. It worked well.

Remote Desktopping into Ubuntu from Windows

I can say I learned a bunch with this project. It wasn’t fun. Keep in mind I’ve never done any remote desktop or VNC stuff before. After trying a bunch of software, I found a combo that worked well. I won’t bore you with what didn’t work with my pea-sized brain.

On the Ubuntu computer, I installed X11VNC Server using the Ubuntu Software Center. In Windows, TightVNC seems to be the winner for VNC clients. Now begin hours of research to set these up. In X11VNC, you’ll need to create a config file: /etc/init/x11vnc.conf   This file does a bunch of good stuff: 1. Auto-starts X11VNC when Ubuntu starts up, 2. Allows multiple login’s and logoffs (otherwise you can log in and off once and X11VNC shuts down), and 3. saves the X11VNC password. The file’s contents should be as follows:

start on login-session-start
x11vnc -shared -display :0 -auth /var/run/lightdm/root/:0 -forever -bg -o /var/log/x11vnc.log -rfbauth /etc/x11vnc.pass -rfbport 5900
end script

Save that file. There are about a billion different customizable commands for X11VNC. Check them out here: X11VNC Command Line Options. The above script worked for me.

Next we need to create the referenced password file. In the terminal, type: x11vnc -storepasswd YOUR_PASSWARD ~/etc/x11vnc.pass    Make sure to change “YOUR_PASSWORD” to what you actually want your password to be. Remember this password because you’ll need it when VNCing into the Ubuntu computer from Windows 7. If that command string doesn’t work, try just x11vnc -storepasswd per these instructions.

Find out the Ubuntu IP Address by typing ifconfig in terminal. The IP Address will be up near the top in the ‘eth1’ block right after ‘inet addr:’. It would look something like inet addr:

Now, back on the Windows 7 computer, open up TightVNC Viewer and in the ‘Remote Host’ area, type the IP Address of the Ubuntu computer and the port number. For example, it could look something like this  Notice the IP Address and port number are separated by to colons “::”. Press “Connect” to remote desktop into the Ubuntu computer, you’ll be prompted for that X11VNC password you just created. The 5900 port came from the x11vnc.conf file we created. See, it’s listed after “-rfbport”.

Laptop Lid Shenanigans

The plan was to have this laptop tucked away out of site, and that means having the lid closed. Unlike Windows, Ubuntu doesn’t have a good GUI-based option for telling Ubuntu what to do when the lid is closed. Ubuntu defaults to ‘hibernate’. To change this setting, logind.conf needs to be edited by typing:

Open the /etc/systemd/logind.conf file in a text editor as root by typing:
sudo -H gedit /etc/systemd/logind.conf

Then add the line HandleLidSwitch=ignore . Then restart the systemd daemon with this command:
sudo restart systemd-logind

SickBeard, CouchPotato and SABNZBD

LaptopMediaServerSickBeard is a program that searches for and facilitates downloading of your favorite TV shows. When a new episode is available, SickBeard will download it. CouchPotato is a similar program but for movies. Another program called SABNZBD does the actual downloading. Over at there is a great tutorial on how to set these programs up. The process is not easy or intuitive but the tutorial makes setup a manageable task.  Although the post was written towards Ubuntu 11.10, it was totally fine with Ubuntu 14.04. SickBeard and CouchPotato were set up to save the video files in the /home/user/video folder, the same folder that was made ‘network shared’ at the beginning of this post. That way, my media streamer will be able to see the newly downloaded content.


So now I’m considering my media server done… for the time being. The re-purposed old laptop has found a new life as my media server. It is tucked away out of site and consumes much less energy than desktop tower. I can remote-in if some sort of maintenance is required. And the best part is that my WDTV can play files located on the laptop and stream them to my TV.

An update before even posting this…

I was having a 50% success rate with my WDTV media streamer connecting to the Ubuntu laptop shared folders. This Linux noob doesn’t know why. In my search for a solution, I tried media server software Serviio, and installed it using these instructions. Those instructions left out an important part, Serviio needs Java 8 installed to run on Ubuntu. To install the needed packages, I did the following:

Install Java 8:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java -y
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer

Serviio is a great software. The WDTV connects every time. Serviio has a bunch of ways to browse your media. You can go browse by file name, show/movie name and(but not limited to) my favorite: new unwatched additions.

Dual Monitor Setup Goes Vertical

Sometimes my pal John and I get together to kick butt on a project at his place. The one problem with bringing my laptop over is that I suffer without my dual monitor setup. I could bring a second monitor but Johnny doesn’t have the desk space available for it. Today I had an idea: Don’t put the extra monitor on the side of my laptop, put it overhead! It’ll take up less space and I’ll be able to have dual monitors. That’s a win-win situation.

Picking the Best PC Monitor

The NESIT stockpile of LCD monitors puts any Best Buy to shame. There were several LCD screen monitors to choose from. None of them were tall enough to put the second screen over my laptop screen so making an extension adapter would be necessary. Some of the Dell monitors had a funky stand mount and that’ll require more effort than I want to put into this project. There was an HP LA1751G 4:3 monitor with a standard VESA mount on both the monitor stand and the monitor itself. Perfect! The base of the monitor stand was also nice and big, a large base is necessary for an extra tall structure. Another benefit is that  the new monitor is about the same width of the laptop monitor. They line up nicely. Dual monitor setup, here I come…

Making the Dual Monitor Stand

Dual Monitor Stand Adapter PlateDual Monitor Stand Adapter PlateAfter taking a couple measurements of the current monitor stand and my laptop LCD, I figured 4 inches would be a good amount to extend the new monitor. The VESA mount screw holes were spaced 100mm, and since 100mm is pretty dang close to 4 inches, I went with a 100mm spacing. In doing so, the bottom mounting holes of the monitor will now align with the top holes of the monitor stand. Even so, an adapter plate will still need to be made to fully support the monitor’s new position. The adapter plate was drawn up in 3 pieces in a CAD software and imported into Corel Draw for use with the Epilog laser cutter. The old tenant of NESIT’s current space left a bunch of 1/8th inch mirror plexiglass behind. The mount was designed around that material because there was such an abundance of it. One 1/8th inch piece of plexi wouldn’t be strong enough to hold a monitor, hence the 3 pieces that will be super glued together after a quick sanding and wipe-down to remove any leftover dust.
Vertical Dual Monitor BackVertical Dual Monitor Front

Here is a shot of the final product, sans some ideal 4mm hardware. Notice the ‘custom’ power cable that splits off to both the laptop power supply and the second monitor that results in only having to plug one cord into the wall. The power supply is also secured to the monitor stand in an effort to keep this thing as portable as possible. And the cherry on top is that the monitor actually has a handle for easy transport of the rig, which is the primary reason it was made.

Setting up Dual Monitors in Windows 7

It is easy to set up Windows for using dual monitors. First, plug in the monitor to the laptops VGA port and turn on the monitor. Windows will probably make the new monitor a duplicate of the laptop screen. That can be changed…

In the search area in the Start Menu, type in ‘display’. In the search results, click on ‘connect to an external display’. In the next dialog box, there will be a handful of settings to change. Start by pressing the ‘identify’ button. This will show you which monitor is which in the dialog box. Then, adjust the monitor orientation in the dialog box to mimic that of your physical monitors. Then change ‘Multiple Displays’ to ‘extend these displays’ to allow your mouse to move between monitors and double your desktop area. Done deal! Check out this ling for a more in-depth instructions on setting up Windows 7.

dual monitor setup windows 7

Finding and Duplicating Awkward Angles

How to find Roof AngleNothing beats having the right tool for the job. If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail… and that can be hazardous to your project’s health! The word ‘tool’ doesn’t have to mean things like hammers and screw drivers, it can also include Measuring Tools. Measuring Tools are often overlooked but extremely useful and using the right tool for the job is extremely important. For example, you wouldn’t measure the thickness of a piece of paper with a ruler, or determine the weight of a car using a bathroom scale.

I found myself needing to measure the angle of a roof line then cut a piece of wood to match that angle. How would you do it? Protractors are used for measuring angles but one from your days of elementary school won’t cut the mustard here. Well, I ended up making a tool that will mimic the roof angle and allow me to transfer that angle to my work piece. And the best part may just be that it cost $0 and made completely from some scrap wood and a bit of hardware kicking around the NESIT shop.

Angle Finder PartsThe pieces you see here are made from 3/4 inch plywood. They were already ripped to about 2 inches wide, although the wood width for this angle finder project is not important. Actually, no dimensions are really that important! We are only interested in an roof angle measurement. Notice the two holes, those will be used as a pivot point for this angle measuring tool. The pieces were cut to length on the power miter saw and the one radius was created via the sander.

Angle Finder AssembledThe hardware in the photo consists of a 1/4 inch carriage bolt, washer, lock washer and a wing nut.

Here’s how the parts are assembled. The square portion of the carriage bolt is hammered into the wood to keep the carriage bolt from spinning. The wing nut is used to tighten or loosen the assembly. However, it is best to leave the wing nut tight enough so that the pieces can pivot with a firm force.

You may be wondering what that radius is for. If there was a corner present, it could stick out past the outside edge of one of the legs which would prevent the leg from lining up against a piece of trim on the house. This phenomenon can be seen in the next photo where the corner of the board is poking out below the bottom edge when the angle finder is closed. Luckily though, the tool wouldn’t typically be used in such a closed orientation.

Angle Finder Closed

The below photo shows how the assembly opens, pivoting on the carriage bolt. The angle measuring tool still wouldn’t be used in such a closed orientation. This photo shows the tool open about 45°. The intent is to hold the long leg up to the trim on the the side of the house, then adjust the shorter leg to match the roof angle. The wing nut is then tightened to lock the angle. The tool is then aligned to the piece of wood to be cut, a line traced using a standard pencil, then the board can be cut with a saw… following the line.


Angle Finder Open

With this tool, there’s certainly a chance that the angle could change between taking the measurement and tracing it to the work piece. For that reason, I made some protractor reference marks on one of the legs. When the corner of the other piece is lined up with an angle mark, the outside edges of the tool are at the corresponding angle. The intent isn’t for this to be precise, but a general ball park for the user to understand if the angle changed between measuring and marking.

Roof Angle Finder Protractor

So how did I know where to make those angle indication marks? That is a great question and it has a simple answer: I used the trusty rafter square. No doubt you’ve used one to make a 45 or 90° mark on a piece of wood but it is much more useful than that! It can be used to find a bunch of angles. There is a corner of the square marked ‘pivot’. Line this point up with the edge of the wood. Then pivot the square so that the same edge of the wood lines up with a number on the scale. That indicates the square’s edge is at the corresponding angle in relation to the wood’s edge. See below, lining up the pivot point and the ’20 line’ with same edge of the wood creates a 20° angle. I used the rafter square to set the angle of my new tool, then marked the angle with a pencil.

Rafter Square



Casting Aluminum with Mini-Foundry

The goal for our casting experiment is to expand the number of materials our space is capable of working with and creating more durable parts. And at a price of under $20 , this project was perfect. Charcoal foundries can reach temperatures in excess of 1,000ºC which is plenty for us to melt aluminum. It’s melting point is only 660.3°C

Roughly following the instructions from the King of Random, we created a form consisting of two plastic buckets and pouring in conventional quick-drying cement.
casting - Form
After trimming down the excess, we created a steel crucible out of an expired fire extinguisher. Using a hacksaw to cut the top off, it left for a nice smooth steel cup.


The burner is a Reil burner design and propane fed. Our first experiment was melting down a small collection of CPU heatsinks and casting ingots in a steel muffin pan. We were going to use our recycled soda cans but they have thin walls that oxidize quickly and the plastic coatings on the cans add impurities.
Casting - PouringCasting - Ingot

In retrospect, we should have used a cardboard form that would be more easily removed and line the interior of the furnace with replaceable fire bricks. Going forward, we now have conventional casting sand and will be trying to cast 3D printed components.

Temp sensors with Raspberry Pi and PHP

As part of the cheap home automation project I am currently working on, I needed to get some temperature sensor info to my webserver. For the brain of my project I’ll be using a Raspberry Pi.
I had ordered a 5pk of DS18B20 temperature sensors so i can visualize monthly temperatures and eventually control my thermostat. In order to get the sensors working on the Pi, I needed to do a few things:

First I had to setup the pi to add OneWire support. I started by editing the boot config file with nano by running sudo nano /boot/config.txt , I scrolled to the bottom and added the following line:


then pressed ctrl+x and y to confirm, then sudo nano /etc/modules add the following 2 lines to the bottom:


I again press ctrl+x and y to confirm , then shutdown my pi.

I then hooked my sensors up to a 4.7k pullup resistor using the following diagram:


I booted my Pi back up and tested to see that my sensors were detected by typing the following command into the terminal:

cd /sys/bus/w1/devices
cd 28-xxxx (change this to match what serial number pops up)
cat w1_slave

if all goes well you shouldnt have seen any errors and it should have outputted some gibberish like this:
The temperature is shown in the last five digits on the second line. (You need to divide this number by 1000 to get the temperature in degrees Celcius).

You finally need to have Apache2 and PHP5 installed on your Pi.

I had looked online for php code that had outputted the temperature from sensors and found that everyone had hardcoded the sensor ID’s in their code , since I wanted my automation to be as painless as possible, I wrote my own php script to automatically get all the sensor ID’s and then convert the output to Celsius and Fahrenheit. I have this on my Github ::HERE::

Add temp.php to /var/www/ then visit

Page output should look similar to this:

Sensor ID#: 28-0214640d18ff = 26 °C / 79 °F
Sensor ID#: 28-02146409b9ff = 25 °C / 77 °F

And that’s it! I will be added more posts as i finish each portion of my home automation project. My goal is trying to get it all done for less than $150.

FireTV with Arcade Emulator and Qi Rechargeable Bluetooth SNES Controller

So a few weeks ago I saw a post on Hackaday of a project from Pat, who managed to stuff a bluetooth controller into an old SNES controller. He was using it to play games on his Amazon Fire stick. I had purchased a Firestick when they first came out for $19. I honestly didn’t use it much because I had a Roku already that I used heavily for streaming etc. But I love old school emulators so I wanted to do this project. Unfortunately if you look at Pat’s site, he did not document his journey building his controller, fortunately for you readers I did. I did have a few hurdles along the way. First I went to Gamestop right away to get the bluetooth controller that was on sale. They had 2 left so I bought them both. I wanted to get a SNES controller cheap. I found someone on craigslist out of New York that was selling the original controller, an aftermarket one and a AC adapter for $10 bucks i jumped at it even though I only needed the OEM controller. After getting him to mail them to me for an additional $4 they arrived a few days later. unfortunately the OEM controller has a broken right trigger button and some of the screw posts inside were broken. After haggling with him I was able to get $5 back from him. (even the aftermarket controller’s right trigger was busted :/ ) So after getting my $3.99 Qi charger receiver I was ready to dig in.











I took down the controllers to their bare circuit boards.
On the bluetooth controller I went to our resident electronics guru Cobey to figure out tracing the buttons. The controller made it simple because it already had testing pads on it, so we just had to match the pads to the buttons. I found a picture online for the pinout of the SNES chip so it was easier to solder all the wires right to those pins.
After mapping the bluetooth pads all out and creating a Photoshopped image we were ready to start soldering wires from the OEM controller to the pads on the bluetooth one.












Getting everything stuffed into the tight space was a challenge , I think in the course of doing so I may have screwed up one of the bluetooth controllers, it would turn on but I couldn’t get the bluetooth LED to light, in effect the controller was not seen if scanned for. So instead of trying to figure out the issue I bit the bullet and started tearing down the second controller i bought for it’s board. I resoldered the new board in and kept tested it along the way to make sure it lit up properly. Success! Almost. I was able to get the board working and connected it to the Firestick but the buttons were jumping all over the place when pressed. I tried emailing Pat for a little help and he recommended unsoldering everything from the original SNES board. It worked better but a few buttons I must have mistakenly swapped when resoldering. So i reswapped them and It was good to go.

Next was getting the LEDs switched from the tiny onboard ones to bigger ones and the Qi charger mounted to the SNES case

If you noticed in the pic there’s also a momentary switch glued into place. I used a bit of hackery to make the button long enough to stick through the case by cutting a small circle into some green acrylic using the laser cutter we have at the space. I used some really super strong glue to glue it to the top of the button and then drill a hole big enough to fit it through.

I ended up using an android app called “Gamepad Tester” on my tablet to check the button presses to make sure they all were mapped correctly. Once it was I had to jam both halves of the controller together and put the screws back in.

Now was the fun part, getting the emulator on the Firestick. I found a tutorial online and started off. (I dont recommend downloading rogue .apks so go to the source to get them) In order to get the emulator to your Firestick, you need Android Debug Bridge (adb) to talk to it to transfer files etc… I was on Win8 so I grabbed a simple adb installer ::here:: instead of installing the whole devkit.

After installing it I downloaded the RetroArcade.apk then I went into settings of the Firestick to get it’s IP address (it was already connected to wifi)

1. Go to Firestick Settings
2. Then System
3. Then Developer Options
4. Enable ‘ADB Debugging’


1. Open a Command Prompt (cmd.exe)
2. Type in,
adb connect IPADDRESS
and hit Enter. Type in the Fire TV’s IP address (from earlier) instead of IPADDRESS. ‘Connected to IPADDRESS:5555′ will appear upon successful connection.
3. Download the RetroArcade .APK file and remember it’s location within your computer. Type in,
adb install C:filepathfilepathfilename.apk
and hit enter. The installation may take some time depending on the file size.(be patient)

Next go to Settings and Applications, you should see RetroArch installed, launch it and make sure it opens

Yes it sucks because you have to go into settings everytime you want to launch it, (Amazon doesn’t allow the apps on the homescreen) Luckily there’s a workaround for that, you can use a program called LLama that will allow you to launch a valid app from the homescreen but execute your emulator. I used the instructions ::here::. I ended up using “ikono TV” to help launch the emulator which worked, but had its ugly icon on the homescreen. So again I photoshopped a RetroArch icon to overwrite the ugly IkonoTv one, you can get both files these files and make sure to keep the same filename so its easier to overwrite in adb.




I used these commands in a cmd prompt to overwrite the icons with my own:
adb push C:firestickthumbnail_bfc0289736b3b0fbd3e32dec9d5d44c9dbe7cef5a082645ab0af157c6f3f600b.png

adb push C:firestickpreview_bfc0289736b3b0fbd3e32dec9d5d44c9dbe7cef5a082645ab0af157c6f3f600b.png

Now that you have it installed get some Roms (not hard to find SNES roms on google) and play!!!
Here’s some pics of Cobey playing Mario Cart on our projector @ NESIT

Halloween Project


Using all the variety of equipment @ NESIT (3D printer, laser cutter, woodshop, electronics) to make a quick little project for a friend for Halloween. Basically just snagged a pumpkin .stl from and printed it on our Makerbot. Whipped up a quick vector drawing in coreldraw and cut it on our Epilog laser cutter. Cut out a block of scrap wood. Wiring up some flickering leds to a 5v wall wart. Hot glued it together and it was all finished. Took about 4hrs or so with print times.

Katie Jackson Woodworks

One of the great features of NESIT’s new space is the 2000sq ft. workshop.
I am in the process of writing a book for Timber Press on garden furniture that anyone can build.

I am using the woodshop at the NESIT to take step-by-step photos of my building process. Ellen Rose Photography is styling and photographing the final project images.

The book’s first section has woodworking instructions and tips for every step of a project: what tools you need to get started in woodworking (it’s fewer than you think!), confidently shopping for lumber and materials, safely and effectively using woodworking tools and machines, and using paint, finish, and varnish.

The second section of the book has twenty outdoor furniture projects, all build-able in one weekend with a small collection of basic, inexpensive tools. The projects are designed in a variety of styles, including rustic, contemporary, mid-century modern, Shaker, and American colonial.

I am currently looking for colorful locations for garden photo shoots in central Connecticut. Photo shoots will be taking place September 7, October 11, and November 15. If you are interested in having your garden or outdoor space featured in my book, please contact me! Most of the finished items will also be offered for sale soon, so contact me if you are interested in any of them.

Below is a small preview of the projects you will find in the book: click on images to enlarge.