Download and watch the episode here:
Know How... 99
NetCasts you love, from people you trust. This is Twit!
This episode of Know-How is brought to you by shutterstock.com. With over 35 million high quality stock photos, illustrations, vectors and video clips, Shutter Stock helps you to take your creative projects to the next level. For 20% off any image file on your new account, go to shutterstock.com and use the offer code know-how614.
And by SquareSpace. The all-in-one platform that makes it fast and easy to create your own professional website or online portfolio. For a free two-week trial, and 10% off, go to and use the offer code know-how.
Have you ever wanted to fully immerse your PC? We talk about some stupid android tricks and it is the first on our RC Bonanza.
Father Robert Ballecer: Welcome to know how. It is the twit show where we bend, build, break and upgrade. I’m Father Robert Ballecer.
Bryan Burnett: And I’m Bryan Burnett.
Fr. Robert: For the next 40 minutes or so we are going to be taking some of the projects that we’ve been working on the last few weeks to maybe give you some ideas about what you want to do in your own peak time. Now we have been gone for a while right?
Bryan: Yeah, for a couple weeks. It went by fast.
Fr. Robert: You have seen our pre-records but in reality we have been gone three weeks. So we may be a tiny bit rusty. We ask you to stay with us as we get back into our…
Bryan: Our Know-How groove. You look a little tanner and I think my beard grew a little bit longer.
Fr. Robert: You were up in the cabin.
Bryan: A cabin in the woods.
Fr. Robert: For a bachelor party.
Bryan: With a bunch of dudes. It was a good time.
Fr. Robert: All right. Do you know what is not a bunch of dudes in a cabin, by themselves having a bachelor party? Full immersion cooling. That is so not a cabin in the woods. I know that when you were younger, when you were geeing out with our superb TD Alex, you were into full water cooling. Right?
Bryan: Yes, because it looks really cool. It had the piping everywhere and stuff. Is seem like this is the best idea for cooling your PC. Until it starts leaking.
Fr. Robert: And then you realize, oh that’s right liquid and electricity don’t really…
Bryan: And it is just a huge pain in the…
Fr. Robert: The tookus. I think that is what most people who have done water cooling would think. But it is fun. The first time you put it in you think this is so awesome, there are no fans, the radiator is far away. But the maintenance really does kind of kill you. It does corrode and the worst part is if you get algae inside the system.
Bryan: I didn’t even know that could happen.
Fr. Robert: It is disgusting. So, some people decided to skip the whole let’s put some water blocks on the CPU and the GPU and the chipset and the memory…
Bryan: Let’s just go all in and submerge that.
Fr. Robert: Full immersion cooling. This is something that was popular when I was kicking out about 10 years ago. The idea was that you would take the entire PC, you would strip it of all the things that might possibly dissolve into a sticky mess like stickers, you made sure to clean out the motherboard and then you would tip it into something like Fluorinert or mineral oil. Now Fluorinert is great because it has really great heat transfer properties. It is what they used to use in supercomputing. There is a problem though and that is that Fluorinert is something like $1500 a gallon.
Bryan: Oh, yeah, no problem. Especially when you want to immerse your gaming PC. What is another $1500?
Fr. Robert: And that is only a gallon. You probably need about 5 gallons. The other solution, and this is what most of us did, was we used mineral oil. Mineral oil is great because it is dielectric which means it is not going to conduct electricity. So you can dump your entire PC, moving parts in all, into mineral oil and it will short out.
Bryan: Okay. But it sounds kind of messy.
Fr. Robert: It sounds messy but the cool thing is that it does conduct heat away…
Bryan: That you still need fans and stuff right to circulate the oil?
Fr. Robert: You’ve got to circulate the oil and the other problem is that the oil actually has a very high heat index. It can store a lot of heat. So, unless you have a good way of pulling the heat away from the oil itself…
Bryan: The heat can just cook it. Throw some French fries in there?
Fr. Robert: Good stuff. With a really high temperatures what will happen is that stuff that doesn’t normally breakdown will start to break down. So, we've got a little something else. Instead of crazy expensive Fluorinet or crazy mineral oil, some of these guys have been teaming up with SGI to give us sort of the adult version of full immersion. They have created a new substance called Novek by 3M and the fluid is dielectric, it is just like mineral oil and Fluorinet, it is significantly less expensive, but it is still going to run a couple hundred dollars for a gallon.
Bryan: So Novek is already being used for certain applications?
Fr. Robert: So what they are doing is like these racks of servers, one of the biggest problems with servers is cooling. If you can't call it enough, if you can’t really packet together because you will melt thinks, so what they can do now is they can just fully immerse blades. You can have really tightly packed blades of servers, way more than you ever would before in the data center. And you just circulate Fluorinet through it and it pulls all the heat out, and then you exhausted in the radiator.
Bryan: It sounds really smart.
Fr. Robert: So I actually contacted 3M and I said…
Bryan: Can we get like an oil drum or something?
Fr. Robert: I would love to play with this. But I haven’t heard back yet. So if anyone from 3M is watching this we would love to play with some Novek. Send it to 140 Keller St., Twit TV, Petaluma, CA. if not, we are going to do full immersion but we will probably have to do it with mineral oil.
Bryan: I guess we can find mineral oil. That’s not a big deal. Oh, you seem very disappointed with that prospect.
Fr. Robert: And that is what it sounds like.
Bryan: But it smells delicious.
Fr. Robert: Is smells absolutely fantastic.
Bryan: The problem with doing that with the mineral oil is that you start to get hungry when you are playing the games.
Fr. Robert: Actually mineral oil oil wouldn’t heat it up.
Bryan: Oh, never mind then. Forget it.
Fr. Robert: You keep that vegetable oil in there it will short out.
Bryan: So don’t use the vegetable oil. So I should’ve told Burke about that first?
Fr. Robert: Now let’s get past the mineral oil, let’s get past the Fluorinert, let’s get past the Novek and maybe take a little time to talk about our first sponsor. What do you think?
Bryan: Oh yeah. They are one of my favorite sponsors because I just like looking through all the pictures.
Fr. Robert: I am a big fan of pictures, which is why we are so happy to have on the show, Shutter Stock. Now if you are looking for assets to use in your website and your video projects, and your rendering projects there is no better place to go. Shutter Stock is the one-stop shop on the Internet to find the highest quality vectors, illustrations, images, anything you may need to fulfill your creative hole. That is a thing right? Creative hole?
Bryan: Certainly. You can’t believe the size of my creative hole.
Fr. Robert: Now at Shutter Stock you are going to find the perfect image or video for your next creative project. Whether it is for your website, a publication, advertisement, a video or any other type of project, Shutter Stock lets you choose from over 35 million high quality stock photos, illustrations, vectors and video clips. Now Shutter Stock sources images from around the world and puts them at your fingertips. Many contributors to shutter stock are professional photographers and artists. Shutter Stock reviews each image individually for content and quality before adding it to its library. So are you are not going to get a bunch of junk. You are going to get high quality content. Shutter Stock adds 20,000 images each day, so every time you visit you will find something new. Shutter Stock also has flexible pricing, you can use individual image packs or monthly subscription for the best deal. You can also download 25 images a day with this standard subscription. And you can download any image, in any size and pay only wants. This is not one of those sites that is going to make you pay three times for the same image because you need three types, three different renderers and three different sizes. Set her stock is going to give you that one shot deal. They also give you the images that you need to bring your creative projects to the next level and they make it easy. They have sophisticated search tools, so you can search and drill down by subject, color, file type, gender, emotion and more. In fact, Alex, could you do me favor? Do you think they may have something for liquid cooling. Give me liquid cooling and see what it does. Their search engine is going to allow you to drill down and find the type of liquid cooling that you are looking for. But this is what Shutter Stock lets you do. This is not just a search engine. This is part of the creative process. Because as you start searching through here…
Bryan: It gives you more ideas.
Fr. Robert: Yeah, and I love that. Any service that helps me come up with a better way to express myself, I’m all for it. Now Shutter Stock is also a global marketplace. They have multilingual customer service in more than a dozen countries and full-time customer support throughout the week. And with shareable light boxes and award-winning iPad app, you will be able to find images anytime, anywhere, from any device and store it for your own use. It is just pure win. So here is what we would like you to do. We want you to try Shutter Stock today by signing up for a free account. There is no credit card needed. You just need to start an account and begin using Shutter Stock to help imagine what your next project to be like. And save favorite images to a lightbox to review later. Once you decide to purchase, use the offer code know-how614 and new accounts will receive 20% off any image file. That is and for 20% off any image file on new accounts use the offer code knowhow614 and we thank Shutter Stock for their support of Know How.
Bryan: All I can think about is bacon. And Emerson. You know, I didn’t have breakfast.
Fr. Robert: I’m a little bacon-y right now too. I could use a little.
Bryan: You were telling me you have some Android tricks for us?
Fr. Robert: You know I think in honor of Google I/O which is going on right now…
Bryan: Which we’re totally not jealous of. I don’t need a watch. That’s not normal.
Fr. Robert: I didn’t need to go to an awesome after party. It’s cool that you took away my invitation after giving it to me and letting me have hope for six weeks.
Bryan: Let's talk about android.
Fr. Robert: Let’s talk about Android tricks. So we all know that there are different codes that you can put into your phone in order to get the information out, right? I thought that maybe I wanted to share a few of the lesser-known codes that actually are a lot of fun. this is just a Samsung Galaxy S4, this is nothing particularly special or new. It is an older device. There are a lot of codes on the Internet that won’t work for all of the devices. The ones that I’m going to give you are pretty good about working on everything. If it is Android, it is going to work. The first thing I am going to show you is this. If you go into your phone type *#06*# and hit call, it will run a code and what it will do is it will give you the IME number. I’m not getting a connection to T-Mobile. Normally this actually works. we are in a weird connection area.
Bryan: So it will work on any android phone?
Fr. Robert: It should work on any android. *#06*# . Go ahead and try it on yours. This will only work if your phone is associating with the network. So unless it is on a network it’s not going to get that.
Bryan: Let my Moto X save the day.
Alex: That is *# what?
Fr. Robert: *#06*#
Bryan: It is calling something, but does it do anything?
Fr. Robert: You’re doing it wrong.
Bryan: How my doing it wrong? I did exactly what you told me.
Fr. Robert: Actually, I think we are having a problem in this corner here. What I will actually do is film this over there. The next one that I want to give you and hopefully this will work even though I don’t have connectivity. I put this in here so it would work. The software and hardware information. This is what is called a hardware and software information dump. This one is kind of involved. It is *#12580*369# And when you type that Dan is going to give you this information. This is a dump of some of the information that you might need if you ever start hacking your phone. These are the individual hardware IDs that let you know what is running in the front and how to access them.
Bryan: That is great. It feels like you are putting in secret codes.
Fr. Robert: It is kind of secret codes. It is kind of fun like that. The other one I really like, and this one is kind of geeky. This one is *#9900# and what this will do is it will give you a system dump menu. This is all the information on your phone that you may not need. It will give you things like your modem number, what your stats from the log. What kind of errors have you had? It will tell you whether or not it has been working properly and has been copying all its logs to the SD card this is the debugging menu. Now, I will make one quick acknowledgment here and that is that you could screw up your phone.
Bryan: If you don’t know what you’re doing can you mess up?
Fr. Robert: You can mess stuff up. This, technically, will only give you information that there is a sequence that you can access that information that will cause some of the information to be overwritten.
Fr. Robert: So once again that is *$9900# and that will get you into the system menu. This one is my personal favorite. I love this one. Because it is kind of fun to play with. Go *#0*# and this gets you into this. This is like the system test menu. It gives you access to everything that you have on your phone. So for example, let’s say I want to go to touch. So when it is doing that it is giving you a calibration screen so that I can find out whether or not the touch sensor is working properly. Now, I will say if you entered the screen some of you are going to freak out because it looks like there is not a good way to get out of it. The way to get out of it is that you finish the calibration.
Bryan: So once you are in you have to finish it.
Fr. Robert: You have to finish the calibration before it will let you back. But you can do everything from turning on and off, playing with the front and rear camera, you can play with the low-frequency center. Literally it turns on all the red pixels, all the green pixels, and all the blue pixels. So if you ever want to find out exactly how red, how green, how blue your phone would get that is how. You can also play with any sensor that the phone has. This is actually really cool information. This shows you what that accelerometer is feeling, what the proximity sensor is feeling, what that barometric pressure is. So if your phone has a barometric pressure sensor and there you will see the information. It will also tell you what kind of light sensing is peeling from outside the phone, and the gyroscope. One of the fascinating things about this is that you will notice that the gyroscope is always moving, that will tell you how sensitive the sensor is inside your phone. I tried this on one of my older phones and that they never moved. You had to slam it against the wall before the gyroscope would twitch. Not necessarily the best thing to do. This is a very cool menu to play with. If you’ve got time, go ahead and jump on in.
Bryan: I love being able to dig down and see these settings. Even if there is nothing that I can do with them. It is cool to see that stuff.
Fr. Robert: I will say that you can find yourself getting kind of stuck. It is not always the best about jumping back out once you’ve jumped in. But, worst case scenario just reset your phone and you are good to go.
Bryan: So let’s try *#0*#
Fr. Robert: So he is getting access to his carrier and so when he puts *#06*# he actually gets his IME. The reason why I am exploring and showing you all this is so that you have your IME number.
Bryan: So what can you do with it?
Fr. Robert: They could listen in on your conversation.
Bryan: Oh thanks. I’m glad you showed that off.
Fr. Robert: Congratulations on your engagement and stuff.
Bryan: Thanks. Now everybody will hear about it.
Fr. Robert: So that is what you’ve got to do. That’s what you’ve got to play with. And that is our stupid Android tricks. There is one other thing I wanted to do before we move away from the segment. Alex, do you have pictures of you and him in a motel room at a wedding or somewhere?
Bryan: Yeah, we were on the road. We were roughing it.
Fr. Robert: It was fantastic and you decided you wanted to do, as Alex tweeted..
Bryan: Yeah, we were watching futuramas.
Fr. Robert: Which is awesome. You’ve go that tiny screen.
Bryan: What’s the problem?
Fr. Robert: The issue with this of course is that a lot of people have problems connecting to hotel television, right? They are a pain in the butt.
Bryan: A lot of times they have it locked away underneath the table.
Fr. Robert: It is locked away and you can’t get to it. But there is actually a really easy way to connect any device to a hotel television as long as it has HDMI. The first thing you are going to do of course, you need cables. I always carry a bunch of cables that I can stick adaptors on to. I like to have cable bundles that also have little adaptors so that I can adapt it for the different devices that I might have. I always make sure I have HDMI, mini HDMI just because those are the different types of devices I am going to be carrying right? The problem is that even though you plug it into the TV, the TV doesn’t switch. The input doesn’t work. That is easy to fix. This is the TV that I saw on the cruise ship. The old standard, the smart port. They build these things in. The problem is that when you plug something in there it locks it to an HDMI input. So believe it or not, you can switch to any HDMI input just by removing the smart plug. Just pull that out and suddenly the input will switch.
Bryan: And it doesn’t disable anything? You just can’t order room service?
Fr. Robert: You can’t order anything. I will say I’ve had a couple of instances when you have to reset the entire thing when you leave because the smart box becomes unsynced from the TV and then they are like freaking out that someone is trying to hack it. But I don’t care because the TV works. I just want to watch my stuff.
Bryan: Or watch Daffy Duck.
Fr. Robert: Yeah.
Bryan: Yeah, I posted that and there is that giant TV behind my MacBook Air screen, but you’re do tired I didn’t want to figure it out. But now that I know I’ll bring cables with me when I go to a wedding and stay in a hotel room and my feet sticking out of the covers.
Fr. Robert: Not sure why Alex was showing that.
Bryan: Why not? Why not?
Fr. Robert: When we come back we are going to show you a little bit about the RC stuff that we are going to be building on a few episodes here on Know How. But before that I thought maybe we would take a little visit over to Maker Faire 2014 and show them what it takes to build a quad copter.
Fr. Robert: I’m Father Robert Ballecer and I’m here at the Fab Lab Booth at Maker Faire 2014. I’m standing next to Tyrone was going to tell us a little about this. What is this?
Tyrone: This is the mobile Fab Lab that is on loan to us from MIT. What the mobile lab does is that it travels around the country and the world, if I am correct, going to many of the locations that are affiliated with the MIT Fab Lab program. So the Fab Lab program was started a few years ago as a way to get better community outreach with the technologies that are becoming more ubiquitous throughout today’s maker spaces and those types of things. And the thing that you don’t see when you come to the lab until you have been there for a while, is the community that you become a part of. And that is something that I really like to touch on because we have collected a group of really passionate, and all labs do this, but the community culture of the labs really can’t be spoken highly enough. It is through the contact with other people that have a little bit of information and knowledge in this field and these guys have knowledge in this field and you combine these things and suddenly you’ve got this group of people that can really go and tackle a big problem. All in one place.
Fr. Robert: actually, that is one of the things I really wanted to touch on because there are some people who would love to be a maker that they feel a little daunted. They look around and they see the technology and they don’t know how it all works. They don’t even know where to start a project. A maker lab is not just a combination of equipment it is, like you said a community and that expertise which can make things like this. What is this drone thing I see sitting on the table?
Tyrone: Okay, so this is an early-stage prototype of a drone that one of the members of our local lab is putting together. From design to what you see here was a five-day process. So we can do things really quickly if we have a good understanding of what it is that someone is trying to take on.
Fr. Robert: I’m standing next to Chance, the drone guy from the fab lab in San Diego who is going to explain to us what it takes to build a drone. Chance, thank you so much for talking to us.
Chance: Thanks for having me.
Fr. Robert: Now here on our program we have had a lot of drones. We love drones. But most of them are the ones that you buy from DJI, they are not the ones that they build themselves. What do you need to build a drone?
Chance: Well there is quite a bit that goes into building a drone. First of all you have to know the components, a flight computer and controller, PSA’s, motors, frame, batteries. There is a lot of different components that you have to master, or at least know a good amount about, to figure out how to assemble at all.
Fr. Robert: Now the flight computer is really the brains of the beast because you’ve got four propellers all pointing upwards and you need something to balance out the thrust. How does that work? Is it open source? Do you have to program it yourself?
Chance: The ones we use our multi-way, and that is an open source project. Essentially what happens is that when a drone lifts one way, there are accelerometers and gyroscopes inside the drone that if it is going to the left it turns the motors that are on the left up a little bit and the ones that are on the right down a little bit. It is constantly doing that hundreds of times a second to compensate for attitude position.
Fr. Robert: It is not just electronics and 3-D printing, there is actually some aeronautical know how that goes into making the drone right? You can’t just put propellers on a rock. So how did you come up with this design and let’s say that our audience wants to make their own drone, what things should they have in the back of their mind?
Chance: Actually, you can make a lot of things that you wouldn’t think, even when it’s not so aerodynamic. Basically it is for fans, and a computer in the middle. As long as it knows how to compensate for the accelerometer inside can make it level, then it can potentially fly. We’ve seen all types of things like a dead cat. They call it a dead But it is really a drone that is in the dead cat position. Just a bunch of different kinds of interesting shapes and things like that. So you can make things that are not aerodynamic into a drone.
Fr. Robert: Oh hey, so one last piece of secret sauce. If our people wanted to go out and start making their own drone can you mentioned some of the parts that they should pick up? Of course they’re going to need the brain, some motors, some propellers, but where should they really begin if they wanted to design and build their own drone?
Chance: Probably the most popular one is DYI Drones. I’m actually coming out with a new website soon called makerdrones.com and we are going to be trying to cover a lot of that. DIY Drones is more on the technical side and we are trying to bring it to the masses.
Fr. Robert: Chance, thank you very much for talking to us. And thank you for showing off your drone and stay tuned because we are probably going to be rising.
Fr. Robert: Now Bryan, Both of us have been geeing out over drones for the last coule of months right?
Bryan: I mean what’s not to like?
Fr. Robert: It is fun, they are fun to fly, although as you learned they are not always the easiest things.
Bryan: I got some bad advice one time and, “all you have to do is give it full throttle”.
Fr. Robert: Give it full throttle and not let it run into the buildings on either side of it.
Bryan: That was my first mistake.
Fr. Robert: That was a bad, bad thing. What we want to do is we want to start giving the folks at home the knowledge to start building their stuff. Of course drones are probably not going to be the first thing that you build just because you probably want to practice on something a little closer to the ground.
Bryan: Expensive, easy to break, easy to hurt other people with. And, yeah I have scared a few people with my flying. It is hard to learn to fly. I want to learn how to do it on the ground first.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. So that is why we are going to be bringing the folks and to all of the ground, the terrestrial-based RC. But first I thought this might be a good time to think the second sponsor of the show. If you are in the drone, if you like building things, you are probably point to want to create a project page. I mean you do it right? Anytime I want to show stuff off, I want a new webpage, I want a new blog site.
Bryan: I just wanted to be easy. The focus on putting that stuff up on the web.
Fr. Robert: That used to be difficult. It used to be that if you were a creator and you wanted to start a blog, you want to start a website, you had to hire somebody else. You had to worry about the back end and maybe the hosting and maybe your domain registration. It was a pain in the butt especially for people who weren’t into that check. If you just want to get your creation out there into the world so people can see it you need a one-stop shop. Which is why I am so happy that we got SquareSpace. Now SquareSpace is your one-stop shop for all your hosting needs. It is a great way to share a weekend project, blog, where provides the ability to jumpstart the site startup project with a professional looking site and the ability to quickly and easily take orders and sell creations. Now here are some of the reasons why you’ll love SquareSpace. The first being is that they are always improving their platform. They are not content to just sit back and say, well I guess it’s okay. They are always adding new features, new designs, and better support. For example, flexibility for DIYers, there are a set of tools to create your own website without code. You don’t have to be a code monkey to create something beautiful on the web. From the design tools like the layout engine to the logo Creator, a platform for customization especially if you know enough code to get under the hood since the developer platform is a super robust creation tool. They also have beautiful designs, 25 templates for you to start with. They recently added a logo Creator tool. It is a basic tool for individuals and small businesses with limited resources who want to create an online identity for themselves. It is also very easy to use. If you want some help, SquareSpace has live chat and email support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But you are not going to need them. Plus there is a completely redesigned customer help site for easier at access to the self-help and video workshops. They also provide support for e-commerce. If you want to sell your creations, or charge people to come in and look at sure where it is now available for all subscription plan levels. Including the ability to accept donations, which is great for nonprofits, cash wedding registries, and school fundraisers. SquareSpace is also inexpensive. I think this is something that is very important to people. It starts at eight dollars a month and it includes a free domain name if you sign up for a year. And it is mobile ready. The new SquareSpace metric For iPhone and iPad allows you to check site stats like page views, unique visitors and social media followers. And with the blog app you can make text updates, tap and drag images to change layouts, and monitor comments on the go no matter where you are. Even their code is beautiful. We all know that SquareSpace looks nice on the outside but what is amazing is that the code is incredibly clean and well designed. SquareSpaces takes just as much pride in their backend code as they do in their front end design. What I really like is that it is that one stop shop, including hosting. They take care of the hosting so that you don’t have to. So here is what we want you to do. If you’ve got a new project, and new club, a new blog why not start with SquareSpace? start a free two week trial with no credit card required and start building your website today. When you decide to sign up for SquareSpace make sure to use the offer code KnowHow to get 10% off into show your support for Know How. We thank SquareSpace for their support of Know How. A better web awaits and it starts with your new SquareSpace website. Thank you SquareSpace.
Bryan: I love using them.
Fr. Robert: I like easy. Good and easy. Speaking of easy, I thought the first place we should start is the remote control. Because this is what people like. They hold these things. I’ve got two examples right here. This is what I like. I know a lot of people aren’t big in this, the old stick design. There is something about this that just feels like joy sticks.
Bryan: Right, so would one be your throttle and the other one be how you turn and stuff?
Fr. Robert: We’ll talk a little bit about that, about how it translates each of these into an action on the remote control model. Now I know the one that you like, the one that you wanted to play with is this. This is a standard pistol grip right? This has become popular within the last ten years or so. You’ve got a throttle, you’ve got a knob wheel on the top but they both work the exact same way. This is more toy level. This is just one step up. the tech knowledge he behind them is identical. So when we are talking about a transmitter and a receiver what we are talking about is a system of crystals.
Fr. Robert: I knew that would get you. Crystals All vibrate at a particular frequency. So what you can do for example let me pull a crystal from this one and hopefully I don’t destroy it. This is one of these store-bought, ready to run remote control models. It is still a really good example of what remote control model is. I pulled this, this is the crystal that goes inside that model. This vibrates at a particular frequency. Now there is another crystal also in this pistol remote and it is on the same frequency. What it means is that the RF energy that it’s sending out is vibrating at the same frequency from the transmitter to the receiver.
Bryan: You know that almost sounds just like magic.
Fr. Robert: It does sound like magic. It is sympathetic vibration. So imagine this. You know sometimes when you turn the speakers up on your stereo there is materials across the house that start to vibrate? That is because at some point you are hitting the frequency that…
Fr. Robert: That actually resonates. so you are doing the same thing. You are sending out waves from one crystal that are going to resonate the other crystal because they vibrate at the same frequency.
Bryan: And that is the input that it gets.
Fr. Robert: From transmitter to receiver. So it uses a technology called PCM, pulse code modulation. It is a lot like what you would expect out of a CD. So when I turn this wheel or when I adjust the sticks here I’m changing the position. And it is going to sample the position, it is going to say it is at position 233, and it is going to send that because they are vibrating at the same frequency, this can talk to that. It is going to say use position 233. The receiver is going to receive that PCM signal and it will know to make the servo operate at position 233.
Bryan: That is cool.
Fr. Robert: okay let’s talk a little bit about servos. Because servos are what turn controls into work.
Bryan: Okay, you've got a couple of examples here? I've seen these before, you programmed a servo using Arduino.
Fr. Robert: It’s alive Bryan. What this is, these are called servo magnets. They are simple devices. They have three leaves coming out of them right? Power and positioning. It uses what is called negative feedback. A negative feedback system constantly checks the position of the servo mechanism. It reports back to the receiver that this is what my position is. The receiver’s job, this little box right here, you can see that this higher end receiver kind of looks like that. These servos are interchangeable. As the servo is sending back that negative feedback to the receiver, the receiver keeps saying no, no, no, I told you to be at 233 and you are at 236 you are going to have to advance. And the next time it comes it says, you’re still at 200 I need you at 233. And that is what the negative feedback means. When it finally gets to position 233 the receiver says, good stay there. And that is why I've got this really fine control.
Bryan: There is not a switch. It is a gradual increase.
Fr. Robert: Like those janky children’s toys. They always have left or right.
Bryan: And you send it right into the wall.
Fr. Robert: This gives me really fine control over where the servo is going to be.
Bryan: That is what you need when you are trying to fly a quad copter. Like this little monster truck thing you’ve got here it has a full suspension and stuff. This is super cool.
Fr. Robert: This is nothing like what we are going to build. It is the same basic structure but what we are going to build is a lot bigger and is going to hold a lot more. This is the basic technology that goes into with RC cars.
Bryan: Basic? We are talking about crystals, this is super cool.
Fr. Robert: But without the remote control, the RC model is just a model. It just sits on your desk and looks good. This actually lets you control it.
Bryan: Okay, but you know that DJI quad copter that we have does that use the crystals?
Fr. Robert: Anything that is transmitting via RF at some point needs a way to communicate at a particular frequency. Some really expensive devices will use a slightly different technology in order to lock it into a different frequency. Or they will be frequency agile. Like the DGI copters are using 244 GHz but at some point they need a way to lock in at that frequency.
Bryan: Because I was thinking we try to fight here in the studio but because of all the RF frequencies with the Wi-Fi and everything it just went straight into one of the cameras. I know these cameras don’t have crystal than them.
Fr. Robert: Someone in the chat room said these are transceivers? They are not transceivers. Because transceivers allow bidirectional transfer.
Bryan: And this is just one direction.
Fr. Robert: There is nothing coming back from that receiver. It is all this transmitter talking to that telling it were to be.
Bryan: Okay let’s play with it.
Fr. Robert: No we are not going to do that because we want to build our model first. You’ve got to earn your supper before you eat it.
Bryan: I just want to play with it.
Fr. Robert: I know you do but were not going to do that yet. Now, so in English what this means is that we can finally control where our model is going to turn. By connecting a servo mechanism to the steering mechanism we can connect a top servo mechanism to this steering mechanism of our vehicle and it allows us to control where the wheels go. Now here is that toy model, that ready to run. There is a servo here. I might actually blow this up. I am pretty sure that I should be able to pull the servo mechanism out of here and if this is electrically compatible that I might blow something up. Wait a minute I plugged in the wrong one. I may have actually just destroyed that.
Bryan: That’s okay. We break it so you don’t have to.
Fr. Robert: You do need to get servos that are mechanically and electrically compatible. I just didn’t know what they used on this model.
Bryan: Testing it on the fly.
Fr. Robert: I know. This servo is connected to the steering linkage and so when the servo moves, the steering action moves. It is kind of tight here but what you can do is, when you actuate the servo, see how it actually the wheels? Imagine that inside the bigger servos and the bigger servos can do more force, right? The bigger the servo, the more force it can exert. Which means it can turn larger wheels. We are going to be assembling what is called a lunchbox. A big model.
Bryan: We have it again but then realized that we got the wrong one so we had to send it back.
Fr. Robert: We didn’t get the wrong one. They sent us the wrong one.
Bryan: I blame Tony.
Fr. Robert: I blame Tony.
Bryan: I never heard of the lunchbox. It’s like this tall in this wide. It looks like it can handle some serious off-road stuff.
Fr. Robert: I built one of those when I was a kid. We are going to spend the next couple of episodes, every other episode, bringing you an RC build. We are going to be taking you on the land, the sea…
Bryan: And eventually the air. Once I get better motor skills.
Fr. Robert: You’ll have to practice on this thing before you get to take up the copter.
Bryan: And make sure there is no small children near me when it happens.
Fr. Robert: Now folks we were going to run a story here about how Sinology got dodged, but we are actually going to bypass that for now because we’re running out of time. I don’t know what that was all about. But I thought instead we would leave you with a little parting shot. I was a Boy Scout and they taught us how to un-capsize a boat.
Bryan: I have never seen this before. It is completely submerged.
Fr. Robert: I did not know you could do this. as long as you've got a little bit of buoyancy in the boat itself…
Bryan: And you have incredible balance. That is so cool. I wish I had known that when I fell into the lake.
Fr. Robert: I’m pretty sure if I ever did that to a modern boat I would just break it.
Bryan: I think it would just sink.
Alex: This is how they could’ve saved the Titanic.
Bryan: We are going to need a bigger boat. If only they had known.
Robert: I’m sure
they’re going to be some people in the chat room who are going to say, “Oh I
learned that a long time ago”. I didn't know that. I just thought it was cool.
Bryan: But to be able to do that. Props to that little girl for her balance. Let’s bring the pool in and we’re going to give this a shot.
Fr. Robert: Bryan, this has been a long episode And it has been nice coming back. Get the rest out. I know we covered a couple of things. We covered the codes, we covered a little bit about the RC technology which we are going to be using. The reason we want to do this is we wanted to give you the introductory technology.
Bryan: We are going to build our way up.
Fr. Robert: What you may want to do if you want to participate with us and follow along is go ahead and get yourself a transmitter. These are actually inexpensive. You can buy either style of these for about $50. You can get a much more advanced remote control for way more, but start with something easy.
Bryan: See if you like it. See if you're good at it. Because, I’m going to have to practice.
Fr. Robert: And the next episode we are going to actually show you the model that we chose and you can choose the one that you want.
Bryan: And then we can have races.
Fr. Robert: We can race. And we are so going to win. Because I cheat. Also, if you need to know about any information from the show, be sure to drop by our Show Notes. We’ve been kind of not doing our job the last couple of episodes. But we are totally going to do it on this one. Drop by twit.tv/kh and you’ll be able to find all of our episodes And if you jump in you will see all the information that goes into a particular project. It is a really good way to have that step-by-step instructions. In case you wanted to follow us on a particular project.
Bryan: In case you missed something or there is a product that we talked about. But also if you want to follow along and show off your project, especially if you are going to follow along with this RC project that we are doing, and go to Google Plus and follow the Know How community. 6500 people or more right now.
Fr. Robert: It is popular. What I like about the Know How community is that it's not just us. We will jump in every once in a while but most of the time it is all the other DIYers, the other know it all’s, who have their own ideas of any project that you might be running. It is a great place to get advice and a great place to find a new project.
Bryan: Absolutely. So, if you didn’t do Google Plus where else would you find us?
Fr. Robert: Twitter. You could write us at but we don’t answer that email. We actually send those emails to Jeffrey and he just deletes them. So try to get us on Twitter. If you follow me at that is @PadreSJ you will find what goes into every episode of Know How and you’ll see what else I’m doing here.
Bryan: And a little bit more.
Fr. Robert: Where will they find you?
Bryan: You can find me on twitter @Cranky_Hippo.
Fr. Robert: Please don’t forget our super TD, Alex. You can follow him on Twitter @Anelf3.
Alex: If you follow me you get great pictures like this.
Bryan: That’s right. Where else are you going to see feet like that?
Fr. Robert: Surprisingly this is where I find out…
Bryan: This is how you come up with ideas for shows.
Alex: That is why I don’t endorse following.
Fr. Robert: Follow Alex, he will insult you when you do it. Until next time I’m Father Robert Ballecer.
Bryan: And I’m Bryan Burnett.
Fr. Robert: And now that you know…
Bryan: Go do it!