Year in review 2014

This year there has been a mix of projects, the main one was the Topsy Turvy Clock which was a combination of electronics, mechanics, software and some upcycling. Given that it had a lot of promotion it was not surprising that it was the most popular post of the year. It was also entered in the Atmel SimplyAVR challenge and got quite a few votes so thanks everyone who voted for the project.

It looks pretty simple from the front but was quite a challenging build with most of the components going through several iterations.

Another big project for me (if not for the blog) was a shower room refit. There had been issues with a leak and basically the whole shower cubicle was removed, tiles, plaster board and floor to be replaced with new. That did give me a chance to build a materials rack, sealant beading tool and try some stainless steel welding.

In the spring, I got out into the garden and worked on a couple of projects. The garden gate was modified to be taller with the addition of a frame and willow screening, and a concrete planter was made from some offcuts from the bathroom.

A quick indoor project was the replacement of box lid the original was a thin piece of low quality ply which was supposed to slot into spaces in the box. This kept falling into the box rendering it useless. It was replaced with another offcut, this time from the bathroom floor, 19mm ply with some pine edging and two sets of small hinges.

2014 was a good year for new equipment too, I received a few metal working tools as a long service award including some sheetmetal shears which I promptly broke and repaired. Hopefully in 2015 there will be a chance to use some more of these tools in projects. Most of them also require some adapters to mount them on the bench / in the vice so that will be some mini projects too.

Following the Arduino I was sent from Element14 back in 2012, I’ve been selected this year to roadtest a couple of devices. Firstly some capacitive switches from Cypress which I believe will make good front panel controls so will hopefully be making some boards with those in 2015. It was via this board that I was encourage to re-learn some of my PCB creating skills and I got myself the free copy of CadSoft Eagle and built some practice boards.

I was also selected to roadtest the Cel Robox 3D Printer and I’m sure that will come in handy once the roadtesting has completed.

Along with some more metal working in 2015 my main project is to built a small Stirling engine, a project that the very talented Metal Designer Charles Marlen has been helping me out with. I’ve been collecting parts for this over the last couple of years and it’s about time I started putting them together.

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