Category Archives: #research

DropBOB Upgrades to “Real-Boy” Status!

So as I hinted from my last post. I have decided to delve right into the world of professional software development. I have started using “Eclipse” as my development platform for my IoT chip – ESP32 by Sparkfun.

To be fair, I didn’t really have a choice. Not all of the features that I need this chip to do have been ported over into the “Arduino” platform yet. I’m sure it eventually will (possibly more than a year, as seen on the prior chip). So, I’m pulling up my big boy pants and learning all the things!

I will be keeping my software open-source. But it will be via the official ESP-IDF. Once I program for this (in C language) I won’t be porting it back into Arduino (Sorry arduino fans).

Continue reading DropBOB Upgrades to “Real-Boy” Status!

DropBOB Designs: learning a new skill!

So I’ve been wanting to do this for a few years now, but I’ve never had the patience to really devote some time to it … Until now.

Rendering of partially designed board (top view)

I’ve been learning circuit board design and component selection. I’m hoping to not only simplify the entire wiring design for my cold brewer. I’m trying to expand its capabilities tenfold.

Continue reading DropBOB Designs: learning a new skill!

Cold Drip Coffee Extraction – Idea & Proof of concept

So I’ve been wanting to make a cold drip coffee machine for a long time now. I got hooked when I first tried it at Parallel 49 Coffee Shop.

So as my list of tasks for the week dwindled (now complete, save for side tables), I started my cold brew design with a good old trip to home depot (just to see what they have). It turns out that they have pretty much everything I needed to get started on my proof of concept.

Now, I know this “cold coffee” shit has been done many times. So why a proof of concept? Well from what I read online, Its an “unstable design”. You can’t really get the dripping just right … and even when you do … an hour later, it will be either no longer dripping, or dripping too fast.

So, I decided to start with the basics. Here is my home depot parts list:

1x wine bottle (from home)
1x carafe (from home)
Here’s what it looks like all setup:

Now, lessons learned. Since the wine bottle at the top does not let air back in, the air must come up from the tube … which it does, but not as predictably as I’d hoped. The result is an erratic drip, that needs to be adjusted every few hours. At the end I opened up both valves all the way … it still only dripped a little due to the back flow of air.

So I don’t like the original design … even though it made great coffee.

So today, I took apart an old Halloween Costume from 2011 to make my second “more commonly seen” version of the cold drip coffee maker.

I mostly just wanted to test out a system with no back-flow of air and I wanted to see the adjust-ability and repeat-ability of the 1/4″ needle valve.

So far, I’ve tried as slow as 11 drops/min and it stopped functioning after about 1-hr … (sticktion maybe?) So, I’ve increased it to about 40 dpm.

What I am working towards is a design that I can accurately control the flow (needle valve or Solenoid valve? … maybe even servo controlled needle valve). I’ve toyed with the idea of using a servo controlled valve but I think that would be too noisy.

I’m leaning towards a closed loop servo controlled needle valve (via arduino) with piezo electric drop detection (via sound). This has not yet been attempted by the internet (by my searching).

Once I can get this part working I will try to also control the pressure & oxygen content using NO2 cartridges. Not sure how I would fabricate a container for that though … food for thought.

Halloween 2014 … the time has come

So, this year, as every year. The time has come to spend way too much time on a Halloween costume.

If any of you know me, I hate to follow the masses and purchase a pre-cooked costume from the evil companies overcharging for costumes because they know the general population is too lazy to work hard for a costume.

Here are some old costumes of mine from the years past:


 So what can I possibly do this year? Seriously … Its already Oct 2nd … I’m way behind schedule … I only right now decided what I will be and I’m only picking up some of the material staring tomorrow …

Do you think I can do it?

I have a work function Halloween party … so this year I will have added pressure for the deadline.

Here’s a hint at what I’ve got so far:

Next Major project! — Peg Board Organizer

So I feel like its been too long since my last major project. So today I decided to pull the plug on a project that has been bugging me for a long time.

Since I have accumulated a large set of tools, you know with all the projects I’ve done, I have recently run out of space in my tool chest that I used to use to store this massive collection. This is a great tool chest by the way, if you are planning to store a few small tools this is definitely the one you should get.

Now that I have a full room that I can use to work, I feel that the best way to store many of my tools will be on a peg board system.

Here is my idea:

I’ve recently purchased a heavy duty 20-gauge rust & scratch resistant black metal peg board system called WALMP. This thing looks nice! It comes in MANY colors … I picked black to accentuate my tools … but total jizz factor here. Guys are like women when it comes to organizing their workshop. We like that our things match.

And I love that its on … I can get it next day if I wanted too. I probably would have if the hooks I wanted were also available on here. BUT, all the hooks on amazon are make for the wimpy 1/8″ peg system … I’m looking for the heavier duty 1/4″ peg system stuff … you know, I have man toys … heavy man toys. Not the stuff the little wimpy men play with.

So I did some searching around on the interwebs and fell upon this very nice looking company that ships to Canada from the US called DiamondLife. They make really cool stuff for your mancave/workshop … They have their website really well organized so that its easy to pick exactly what you want … and they use only the best 1/4″ hooks just like I wanted. They even have bins, shelves, baskets, etc … I was able to customize my order just the way I wanted my pegboard system to look.

In a few week, I’ll give you guys an update.

for now, time to enjoy a cold brew in front of a fire after a refreshing hike up a local mountain with Brad.

Actually, this was last Wednesday, but I couldn’t find any other way to include this into my story