Category Archives: #update

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!

DropBOB PRO – Preliminary design update


Some of you may be wondering what I’ve been up to over the last little while. I haven’t posted anything, nor have I put my “Star-Lord” Costume up for sale. Well, it’s because something has been bugging me. I’m unsettled about one of my designs … and its preventing me from focusing on other things. 

As you can see from the above image, I’m working on a PRO version (i.e something you’d see in a coffeeshop or a coffee enthusiast kitchen). All, while improving on the DropBOB control mechanism.

You see I’m no longer just happy with having the most accurate and flexible cold brewing drop control on the market. I want more! … I’ve added temperature control as well now. With a little bit of testing, I’d like to not only be able to have my drops colder, but also hotter, all at the slide of a finger on your smartphone.
I’ve also added a second photo-interrupter for a drop anticipation feature. And I’m getting rid of the Long neck that hung below the water (that was a standard plumbing parts restriction) … I’m also designing my own valve … And making the glass custom. Oh, and making dishwasher friendly.
Ya, I know … this is ambitious. Here’s to 2017 being the year “DropBOB Designs” takes off. I hope.
Cheers,
-D.B.

Project Industrial pipe shelf – Upgrade, Level UP!


Puny shelf … I will destroy you!
Remember that old industrial pipe shelf project from a while back … I combines a few 3/4″ pipe fittings and some pine wood planks into a 4 layer shelf (all for about $170 … download the CAD model here). Well, this shelf started getting a little crowded over the last few months. My wife asked how easy it would be to add another layer … Well my wonderful Jelly-Jube as long as you don’t mind me making some noise …

A pre-cut 12″ x 36″ Pine Wood … About $60 later …
When I first made this shelf, I had some incredible difficulty placing the pipes in the wood. There’s actually a great picture of me (mostly my behind) trying to insert these little pipe nipples … oh the agony … and the noises I made. That was actually Jenn’s first comment … “hey, I didn’t hear you struggle … did you use a tool this time?” … “ya honey, this tool … with 2x thumbs!”
Ya well, this time i learnt. I’m using my vise grip to just press them into the too-tight-holes … I could have made the holes oversized … I really wanted to … but something in me said, “no”. I have to make it just like the other ones. Well, that was dumb. Next time make them oversized.

Removing the top of the old shelf was quite easy. Especially with the help on my favorite hammer: the Dead On Annihilator. This thing is a beast of a hammer and I try to use in in as many projects as I can. Just feeling its destructive power in my hands makes me want to DESTROY. ok, calm down, I’m building, not destroying …

Now I have a super tall shelf. Not only does it have more room for things like books, and pictures, and portal guns … but it also towers over my 5′-X” wife … he he he (oh and if you like the little boxes advent calendar, check it out here)

Bye for now
-DropBOB Designs!

GIANT Lego Secret Stash!


A long long time ago, Jenn & I make a lego spice rack. You can read about the making of the block on her blog. It was her idea and I only helped a little … 

So, after we decided to get rid of the old spices, we needed to upgrade this lego project and make more realistic legos … with a little secret … 
I decided to make this post into a GIF party … all the cool kids are doing it. And, having lots of repetitive motion hakes this the perfect post to GIFIFY!
Drill all six caps from a 2″x4″. I would actually recommend just using a 2″x6″ since that’s what the base is made from. A 2-1/4″ hole saw is what I used.
Now that the holes are partially through (the hole saw won’t go through a whole 2×4), drill the pilot hole all the way through. This will help locate the center on the other side of the 2×4.

With a smaller hole saw (using 2″ hole saw here to make a nice lip) start drilling on the other side by using the pilot holes you just made.
Now, here I’m using my drill press, but you can also do this one by hand drill with a vise … The key here is since this piece is now round, you don’t want to hold it while doing this cut. I prepared by Drill press with a 1-3/4″ hole saw, to make the lip on the piece a tad bigger.

Now that all 6 pieces are cut to size, a little sanding and filing is needed.
Sanding is more fun when you build stacks.

Now, adding some foam with a hot glue gun makes the pieces fit perfectly tight, but not too hard that I have trouble taking them out.

two GIANT legos stacked!
two GIANT legos stacked!
And the best part is that now I have 12 little tiny holes that I can hide my secret stuff … like cash … or candy … or diamonds … or other legal/illegal things you may or may not like to hide.
Let me know if you like it.
Here are a few more photos. (These I had to do in HDR … sorry).

Cheers!

-DropBOB(tm) Designs Out

Closed loop drop-BOB: the only cold drip coffee maker you can count on!


So I’ve completed my design. I’ve converted my 3d printable files to STL files and have sent them off to the printer: www.3dhubs.com. fingers crossed that everything comes back nice … you never know with these types of “compact” housings… Plus this is my first functional 3d print … Everything else I’ve done in the past was not as critical.

With this initial beta release, I can control my coffee maker from anywhere. I can check the progress of how it is doing. and I can adjust the flavor profile depending on how many drops per minute (DPM) & grind type I use. And I can know that it is always exactly where I want it because it’s a closed loop system with constant feedback.

Features:

  •  real-time drip-rate monitoring
  •  drip rate selection using micro servo
  •  fully functional wifi-enabled controller (hackable arduino) files shared on Github … 
  •  LiPO 850mAh battery for anywhere brewing
  •  5VDC battery charger (micro-USB same as your phone)
  •  fully customizable monitoring display (it’s your phone) Server & app run by Blynk
  •  use any of your favorite glasses or mugs.
  •  industrial pipe design
  • (planned feature) ETA
  • (planned feature) battery monitor

Drop-BOB – a better coffee maker – Cold Drip


I’ve been working on my software today. I think I have a good base that I will call this version V0.1 … an alpha release, since I know there are a few crashes and more bugs than I would allow in my beta software.
But overall, I’m happy with the result. I have my Arduino code working well with the Blynk platform. From top to bottom & left to right I can: 

  – monitor network connection
  – visually see the servo position
  – monitor up-time
  – see the real time DPM (drops per minute)
  – automatically tweet about making Coffee
  – see the desired drip rate (Set-point)
  – count drops
  – see a history of DPM
  – modify desired drip rate (set-point)
  – Manually adjust the servo position
  – restart when finished
  – simulate a drop
  – and pause the system
All while using a smaller package than when I was using an arduino with an LCD … remember that?
The next step right now is to CAD this “THING” (that’s the real name) … And then place it nicely into my drop-BOB (3d printed design to hold all these components) … It counts drops … and it just bob’s under the water holding thing … kinda sounds cute.

Oh, and also, since my idea is to eventually release this into the world with huge potential for modifications and improvements, I’ve shared my code on my GitHUB. Feel free to make improvements. make comments, or even suggestions that I can implement (note, I’m not a software guy … I juts do this for fun. So go easy on my code).

Hack-on!

(1st Weekend) – Progress on Bobby’s Halloween costume. Seriously, what is this thing!!


So … can you tell now what I’m working on? … Maybe you need to get back in touch with your inner 90’s-kid-playing-playstation-2 … I used to play this game with my brothers in the dark basement at night … It’s always stuck with me since.

photocredit: Wikipedia page
photocredit: TOM PARKER (Character artist) This guy is good!

This year, I’m going for an actual horror movie character. If you haven’t seen the “Silent Hill” movies or played the games, don’t sweat it. The game was fun (as I remember it), the movies were ok. I liked it because I played the games. The character’s name is “Pyramid head” … dunno why …

So, I started with the best part. The head:

To begin with, I purchased a sheet of 1/4″ thick plywood at the “Depot”. You’ll need at least 2 sheets of 24″ x 48″ (that’s what I got). This stuff is ridiculously useful so feel free to splurge.

Now the tricky part. How the donkey do I get the right shapes? I’ve looked online and found nothing decent! a few simple attempts but nothing that will give me a decent looking shape. So I decided to take matters into my own hands. Design it myself on CAD and keep it flexible enough to mold it into the exact shape I want using the images online as a guide. Simple right?

We’ll yes, maybe for me. But I think it would be nice for me to share my work so that you don’t have to waste your time doing the same thing if you wanted to attempt this. Here’s My Solidworks 3D CAD model uploaded to GrabCAD. Feel free to download it.

Here are the simple shapes you’ll need if you don’t want to mess around with the CAD stuff:

Now, here’s something useful I’ve used on many projects. Remember how my worktable is made of full on 2×4’s. I used another piece of lumber and I drill it right into the table for extra support. I love this table.

After you draw the shapes you want on the wood, the Best tool for this Job is a tiny little saw that could! This Dremel Max is really the perfect tool for this job. I bought it from Home Depot for under $100 CAD.

Hard to see here, but I actually modified the guide a little to make the cuts even more flush! This tool advertised flush cuts! But I wanted super flush cuts! so I trimmed back the plastic guides to make that work.
And I also wanted to point out one of my new favorite tools … a digital angle ruler. accurate up to 0.1-degree. Couldn’t have done these shapes without it. Got this one from Canadian tire.
Here’s what you get after all the cuts.

Now that you have the wood cut, It’s time to attach them together. To do that, I use a flat wood joining plate Using my self made bending Jig (2 angle iron’s drilled together) placed in my vice.

And then I use my angle tool again to eye-ball the bend. I get the angles from the CAD file I built. But If you don’t want to get into the file to get the angles, here they are: 5x 71.5deg, 6x 122.1deg, 4x 134.2deg, & 3x 163.6deg (going from front to back … I’m sure you can figure out which ones).

Here’s a few up close pics of the build.

Oh, I almost forgot. I picked up 2x boxes of 100x #6 x 1/2″ long flat socket head particle board screws. I’m running low … you should probably get 300x at least.

Next step, Make it fit well, make it look good, add the mesh & foam. I’m happy with progress so far. And this thing is sturdy as a horse!

Side Table Project – 75% complete


Finally starting to look like something. I’ve got it on a carpet dolly, so its a little higher than normal, but you can finally tell (& use) it is a side table now.

I attached the 3rd wall. This time, I actually put some force into the bending. so it turned out a little different. No more cracking of the steel, But I had to fillet the wood so that the bend radius in the steel could be accommodated.

I then drilled out all the holes needed for the heavy duty 1/2″ bolts.

Then I used 6″ long “torks” wood screws to attach the base on. This worked very well.

Then came the fun part. Cutting my 4″x6″ wood to fit the top perfectly well. I love how strong and heavy duty this thing will be. It is designed to last at least 1000 years.

Historians will uncover this in thousands of years and finally have proof that intelligent life did in fact exist in the 21st century.

Cold Drip Coffee Maker – New & Improved looks


Just a quick update. Not much to it, I had to tear the old design apart to take some steel I need to use for the side tables. But I really missed my cold coffee. So I gave it a much needed re-design. Now its much more compact & simple.

 Next step will be to upgrade the soda bottle to a glass bottle … but for me to do that, I’ll need a few new tools:

 – Glass scoring bit mounted to score a bottle around its base
 – diamond dremel bit … to drill small holes in glass

I may also work on a 3d printed structure to hold the servo & photo-interupter.

For now, I look forward to cold drip coffee tomorrow with the famillia. Happy family day.

Side Table Project – Update


I know I haven’t blogged in a while, Here is where I left you guys off last time: Side Table Project. I haven’t had as much progress on my project that I would have hoped. There are a few reasons for this. The biggest being the noise I need to make to get this done. I need to sand the wood, hammer the wood, cut the wood, grind the steel, bend the steel, etc. etc. All in a 3rd story condo building.
Now our Coquitlam city bylaw prohibits me from working before 7am or after 11pm … (9am and 6pm on Sunday & holiday). Our own buisding bylaw is vague and just prohibits “unreasonable noise” … (who’s to say what reasonable). But the most strict and vocal noise bylaw is the Jenny-By-Law … This is the most important bylaw of all.
So I’ve restricted my work during the week from the time I get home, 4:30pm, to the time Jenn gets home, 5:30pm, and Saturdays from around noon to 5 or 6pm … I think thats reasonable.

So I managed to take the wood apart and prepare it for general usage. This involved cutting a GIANT crate from work …
… So that the wood would fit in my car … and the elevator …
… Then taking it apart and sanding it like crazy …
But after about 2-3 days of sanding, I finally got most of the pieces to a workable state. After this, I screwed together the base with some spare 2″x4″ that I had lying around. This step is very important to make sure that the base structure is strong enough to keep the base from self-destructing.

Once I was happy with the base, I realized that I could not easily, nor acceptably, cut my wood to proper lengths and angles … plus I was due for another tool. So I got myself a DW745 from Home Depot. I’ve never owned a table saw before but I really like this one. Only one small thing I’d change is the miter gauge on it. Here’s the one I’ve been eye-ing: INCRA MITER1000SE from Amazon.ca.

Now comes the frustrating part … See, I knew I didn’t have this part though out, but I figured it wouldn’t be so hard.

 The cutting of the steel, while very loud, was not too bad. Now, I love the smell of burnt steel but Jenn clearly hates it, and so does our smoke alarm.

But once the steel was cut, I used the grinder to score the part of the steel I want to bend at 90 degrees. I had thought scoring it to about half of the thickness of the metal (3/16″ sheet of steel) would be enough to bend it with some leverage … but no.

After some long and hard though, I think I will purchase a Torch and a cheater-bar from Home depot to continue with my progress …

… I’ll keep you posted.