Friday, June 21, 2013

how to gather fabric

gatherfabric.JPGGathering fabric is really simple on a sewing machine! Much easier than doing it by hand with a running stitch, and also easier to control.

I guarantee you'll know how to gather fabric in no time! :D

IMG_0041.JPGa sewing machinea piece of fabrica ruler (if you're wanting to gather it to a certain size)You can do this on any sewing machine because all you need is a straight stitch! I am using my slightly terrible Brother than I have worked nearly to death. You will notice the tension is not quite right in the photos.

At the beginning of this year it decided it didn't want to do much of anything right, especially when it involves sewing through a single sheet of fabric. ;)

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Gold Cobra (wax Cord)

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Canon Remote Shutter for R/C

- A Canon camera. Any camera, but it must be a Canon, so we can hack it with CHDK

- Mini USB male connector. I cut the end of the chord for my old mp3 player.

- Arduino. I used a Pro Mini because I need it to be as light as possible, but any Arduino will do.

- Insulated electrical wire. I used pieces that have the female headers on them so they easily connect to the R/C receiver pins.

- Heat shrink

- Soldering iron + solder

- R/C Tx + Rx. I have an 8 channel Flysky 9x pair, but any set with a spare channel will work.

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Gigabyte Shows Off Upcoming Intel Z87 Motherboards

Legit Motherboard Reviews


Gigabyte recently invited Legit Reviews to come out and take a look at some of their upcoming Intel Z87 motherboards and that is an offer that we could not resist. Gigabyte has roughly 30 Intel 7 series motherboards and expects to have about the same number of boards for the Intel 8 series. Gigabyte expects to have around 15 boards at launch, which is too many for any one site to cover. Today we'll be covering a handful of their upcoming Intel Z87 motherboards and going over some of the key features of those boards. 


When it comes to the gaming focused boards we were happy to see the G1.Sniper product line is still alive and well. Gigabyte will be carrying the G1.Sniper 5 and G1.Sniper M5 motherboards and these are considered fairly high-end boards with a ton of interesting features. As you can see from the image above the G1.Sniper 5 is a full sized ATX motherboard that features four PCIe x16 3.0 slots, which can be configured a number of ways since Gigabyte is using the PLX PEX8747 48-lane PCI-Express 3.0 bridge chip. This means you can run it x16/-/x16/- or x16/-/x8/x8 or x8/x8/x16/- or x8/x8/x8/x8. This means you can do 4-way NVIDIA SLI or AMD CrossFireX.


When you take a closer look around the Intel LGA socket you can see that this board has the option to be liquid cool the driver-MOSFETs, which is nice to see. The G1.Sniper 5 features 16-phase VRM and ferrite-core chokes.


When it comes to the rear IO panel there are all the usual connectors. The highlights are the Qualcomm/Bigfoot Killer K2000 and Realtek RTL8111F gigabit Ethernet interfaces, six USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, dual-HDMI and DisplayPort display outputs, and legacy PS/2 keyboard/mouse combo connector.


Gigabyte uses all solid-state black capacitors on the entire board with the exception of the audio components where higher-end audio parts were sourced. The black capacitors look nice and we have a feeling that this is going to become the standard on enthusiast DIY boards from this point on.


Gigabyte has put a ton of time and effort into the audio on some of the Intel Z87 series boards that they will be offering. The Gigabyte G1.Sniper 5 and G1.Sniper M5 motherboards both feature Creative Sound Core 3D chips, but also removable operational amplifiers that allow you to customize the boards audio characteristics.


The Creative audio solution features a gold-coated cover for shielding, Nichicon high-end audio capacitors, audio noise guard with path lighting and gold plated connectors for HDMI, Coax, Displayport, and the analogue 7.1 audio ports. Directly in the middle of this image you can also see the Op-Amp socket.


Here is a closer look at a Op-Amp socket with the OPA2134 Burr-Brown standard Op Amp removed. Gigabyte will be including two amplifiers with boards that have this audio feature, but you can also purchase more on your own. The other one that will likely be included is the AD827 by Analog Devices.


Gigabyte will be offering an upgrade kit for the op-amps which includes an LM4562NA op-amp and an IC extractor. This optional kit isn't priced just yet, but you can take a look at it above.


Numerous Op-Amps are available for purchase online and all of them cause the motherboards audio characteristics to sound different. We have been told they range in price from a few dollars all the way up to around forty bucks, so you can spend some money if you really wanted to.


The Gigabyte G1.Sniper M5 micro-ATX motherboard is very similar, but is obviously smaller and has some of the features removed. This board measures 240mm by 240mm and features an 8-phase CPU VRM, four DDR3 DIMM slots, two PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots (x16/NC or x8/x8), one PCI-Express 2.0 x16 (electrical x4), and a PCI-Express 2.0 x1 slot. You get six SATA 6Gbps ports that are all thanks to the Intel Z87 chipset and it looks like all the toasty components will be getting passive cooling solutions.


The rear IP panel has two USB 2.0 ports, four USB 3.0 ports, a PS2 port, dual-link DVI, two HDMI, DisplayPort, Intel Gigabit Ethernet and all the audio ports.


Here is a look at the Creative Sound Blaster chip that makes up the Sound Core 3D technology possible. The metal shield easily pops off, so we thought we'd give you an up close look. As you can see this board has most of the critical features of the G1.Sniper 5, but in a micro-ATX form factor and likely less money. Let's take a look at some of the other boards.

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Bottle cutting: some thoughts

I'm going to proceed with the idea that whoever is reading this either has a bottle cutting jig, or knows how to get one.  For those interested in using one like mine, or who want to see what I did and improve upon it, I'm showing what I use here.  As you'll see from my pictures, mine is pretty primitive.  It consists of a vertical board, a board at a 45° angle and a base post.  In the pictures that follow, I had removed the base post, and instead had the entire cutter positioned vertically on the garage floor.  I'll explain why in a moment.  

I just did an Autodesk 123d mockup (this is my first time using the tool, and I literally just did this moments ago, so be gentle - it is a pretty damn cool tool though) of my jig.  To hold the bottle cutter in place, I cut notches into the vertical board as I need them.  This set-up has allowed me a fair amount of versatility over the size of the bottle I cut and where I make the cut.  I would not call it a precision instrument.  The scoring tool is a basic glass cutter from a hardware store.  They run about $3.

(However, the lumber for the jig was entirely free: Big box stores (like Lowes and Home Depot) cut wood to their customers' specifications.  The customers then take what they want and the big box store worker throws the "waste" into a scrap pile or bucket.  I've found that if you ask nicely, and don't take more than a couple of boards, they will give these to you for free.  Don't be greedy!  Don't make them feel like they're giving you stuff they could otherwise sell to you!  It probably helps if you approach the worker with a cart containing other stuff you are (or appear to be) buying.)

Edit: A quick note on the jig design.  A reader below suggested a wheeled design, which I like, but in the end didn't go with.  My reasons for this are flexibility, simplicity and security.  The wedge shaped slot here can accommodate a wide variety of bottle/jar diameters without any moving parts.  With the base peg in place, the bottle is supported/secured in virtually all directions except up.  It is far from a perfect design, but it is easy to build and fairly efficient.  However, for those who will be cutting only beer and wine bottles, the wheeled version of jig may be more efficient than the one I show here.  Here are a couple of alternative designs:

Mine could be called a variation on the last of these.  I wanted it to be able to cut at many different heights, hence the wedge with an unfixed cutter/scorer.  I cut slots in the vertical board to hold the cutter at the place I want to make the cut.  Step 3 will show this in greater detail.  I'm also including a picture of a small San Pellegrino bottle and a large mayonnaise jar I recently cut.  The former has a 2 inch diameter, the latter, a 4 inch diameter.  A wine bottle falls in between these two, at about 3 inches diameter.  This flexibility is one of the advantages of this style of jig.

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Adding machine planter

What can you possibly do with an old vintage adding machine that no longer works?  Well, you can toss it in the trash, or you can make an interesting planter from it!

I found an old broken adding machine at a flea market -- the machine didn't work (and was not worth fixing), but the plastic housing was in really good shape.

I began by removing all the inside parts (and saved a few of the parts for a future project). 

Next, I made panels from some scrap black plastic to cover all the holes and glued them on the inside using a waterproof silicone adhesive.

The final step was fill it with potting soil, and select an appropriately sized plant.  Since I planned to put this under a covered patio, I picked one that does well in the shade.

This was an easy project, and makes for an interesting planter!

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