Lego Dimensions Organizer

Matej received Lego Dimensions for his birthday and needed a place to store everything.  His Skylander collection in taking up all the space in the coffee table so I made him (me) this organizer.  With all the character swapping during the game this worked out perfect!  And it will look good in a month when he’s done playing the game.

The board came from the scrap pile, cut to size and Lego character spots were cut on the drill press with a forstner bit and I chiseled out a spot for the portal/base.  The bottom half of the edge was beveled 45 degrees to make it easier to pick up.  Should have cut a little storage area under the portal to keep the little bits and pieces that were left over.


Surfboard Racks!

I laid out a pattern on a sheet of 1/2″ plywood so that I could cut out eight supports.  It ended up a little short and flimsy but it is just enough to keep the boards organized and up off the ground.

I picked up some 6′ threaded rod and cut sections of PVC as separators.  Threaded everything together and covered the PVC with some pipe insulation.  Awesome weekend project and room for one more board that’s under construction! Woo Hoo!


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3d Printed Surfboard Gen 2

Working on a new board.  Design completed.  Printing has begun.  WooHoo!  I am planning to glass this by wetting out the glass on a table then transferring to the board.  I’ll be using a Sun Cure/ Solarez resin this time around so that I can work slowly and hopefully get a better finish.  Stay tuned for updates and another project log.

New Board Design - 6'6"x22"x2.25" Fishy

New Board Design – 6’6″x22″x2.25″ Fishy

First Homebrew PCB

I finally etched my first board!  I bought my first 2 layer copper clad and some peel-n-stick traces more than 20 years ago.  They’ve been sitting in my projects box since then.  So it’s about time to try it out.  It was not without some problems but I’m real happy with the way it came out.  I used a laser to burn the design into copper clad covered in flat black paint.  And used a Hydrogen Peroxide(2 parts)/Muriatic Acid(1 part) solution for the etch. It took about 10 minutes with some gentle rubbing to finish the etch and about 2 days to learn Eagle CAD and design a board.

Now off to find those drill bits I bought last year…


1st Attempt (above) was destroyed with a large guillotine paper cutter. You tube made it look so easy. The 2nd Attempt (below) turned out much better by scoring the copper on both sides and snapping it loose. Also changed the layout with thicker traces just to be sure.


Half the second board was ruined when the razor slipped into the copper on one side. I could probably have masked it off and repainted since this was before the etch, but I wanted to get this thing rolling.


I noticed that areas where the paint was not entirely burned away still etched very well, the paint came off where the laser had heated it but not anywhere else.


2nd attempt is a success!


PCB Quality

I went back and etched the board I thought was ruined. Turns out half was in decent shape and etched really well. Problem is there are no pads left on the right side due to using the wrong template.

ESP8266 WiFi Module Experimentation

ESP8266I received two WiFi modules today from  These are the newly found and very cheap boards discussed on I thought they might work better than the NRF24L01+ modules I’ve been testing for my IoT RaspiBadger side project.  Here’s my initial notes to get started:

I’m using the Arduino UNO with this module.  The 3.3v/Gnd/Rx/Tx pins of the WiFi Module are directly attached to the same pins on the UNO.  I believe I have the Revision 1 (using cmd AT+GMR gives 01000800), the Rev 2 has additional IO pins as well as a reset and ?Enable? pin.  Rev 2 will likely not work the way I will describe below for the Rev 1.  I tried connecting the WiFi to a pair of AAA batteries at 2.95V and I didn’t get consistent results.  I’ll have to explore this further as my end goal is to run this off batteries.

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