Know How... 141 (Transcript)
Father Robert Ballecer: This episode of Know-How is brought to you by Braintree. If you are working on a mobile app and searching for the right payments API, check out Braintree v.zero SDK. With one simple integration you get every way to pay. Learn more and to try out the sandbox go to .
And by Casper. An online retailer of premium mattresses for a fraction of the price. Because everyone deserves a good night sleep. To get $50 off any mattress purchased by visiting out and enter the code know-how.
Today on Know How we have augmented reality for your car, a thrust tester for your quad copter, and a Game Boy mod, and don’t forget your questions our answers. Know How is next.
Welcome to Know How, the Twit show where we build, bend, break and upgrade. I’m father Robert Ballecer.
Bryan Burnett: And I’m Bryan Burnett.
Fr. Robert: For the next 45 to 80 minutes, we are going to be taking you through some of the projects that we have been doing so that you can take them home and geek out all on your own.
Bryan: That’s right to cut as we are pretty big geeks and there are a few stories that pique our interest during the week and this one is pretty cool. Because I’m a big fan of augmented reality, I’ve played with the Samsung VR goggles, but this one applies to cars.
Fr. Robert: This one is specifically to cars. We’ve seen more and more AR technology which is augmented reality versus VR. People are more familiar with VR. Because that is the original. The Nintendo? Was that the original Game Boy? It was horrible. It was in no way VR.
Bryan: Yeah, I had a headache for about two hours after that.
Fr. Robert: But it is actually interesting technology. Especially since some companies have stepped it up on what kind of 360 video you can take. But, whereas I see virtual reality is more games stuff.
Bryan: More of an immersive world. You get into it. Where AR is more like an overlay of the existing surroundings.
Fr. Robert: We’ve seen this when Microsoft made their big announcement with the Windows 10 and the glasses. And this is the whole idea. Overlays staff onto the actual world. Not digitally composited, not recorded and played back, but for example I could have glasses on and it is looking at you and saying Cranky_hippo with your twitter address, your Facebook address. What BMW announced this last week is that they our showing off the prototype of a mini that uses AR glasses to give you a plethora of information. For example, not just the speed of your car and give you the vital statistics like your RPM and gas consumption but also you look around and as you look around it will overlay the speed of the cars that are near you. So you know how fast they are going.
Bryan: So if you are going on the freeway you wait to see that person that is going just a little bit faster than you and they will be the buffer.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. The CHP folk. But then it gets more useful when you start combining it with GPS. So you can actually see a line that shows you where you should be driving. Or, they showed this off on the demo. I really like this. The idea of putting the business names on buildings so you know what they are as they pass. And finding open parking spots. It is like lighting them up. This would actually fit in your car. It is a cool system.
Bryan: This is all really cool. And I think you covered this earlier on the radio. The amount of information that can be pushed to you, there may have to be some limiting factors because you wouldn’t want to be driving by and eyes cream shop and then all of a sudden think ice cream shop over here, here’s our advertisement. There is so much data that could be presented.
Fr. Robert: The systems are great and they work really well. They are very cool. They are ought inspiring but you are absolutely right. You don't look nerdy at all. But you can get too much information. And people are getting overwhelmed as it is right now with the modern car, the data screen.
Bryan: In the watches that we have now. Giving us notifications.
Fr. Robert: That it might actually be a generational thing, I think people are starting to get a little bit better at least with the younger generation. The millennial’s. With filtering out and fixing their interfaces so that they get just the right amount of information. So maybe I don’t need my text messages popping up on my AR glasses. Maybe I don’t need the speed of the cars around me, but having a GPS would be very helpful. Without having to look down at a screen. Or helping me to find a parking spot. It would cut down frustration. Or, like in this case, this is a art glass that would allow you to see a view from your quad copter so that you don’t have to have glasses blocking out your peripheral vision.
Bryan: You have described to me that it is a lot easier for you to be able to see footage from the quad copter but also have one I available to see the quad copter from where you are standing so that you can move around objects and things more freely. It is certainly a direction that I am excited about. I think coming from a generation that played a lot of video games, the first thing I imagine is a heads-up display where may be if I am on a track or something like that it shows me where the apex and the turn is, it shows me how hard I should be breaking or what my corner speed should be before I hit the apex. That sort of thing I love that idea.
Fr. Robert: I think what I can say and I am pretty confident in this, is that AR is coming. You can’t stop it. It is too good of a technology and it is too useful to say it is a fad, it is going to fall out. It is actually a useful piece. The question is whether or not you are going to find a company that will find the proper interface/balance between too much information and not enough information.
Bryan: It is going to be… we are if the very cusp of this new technology so there is definitely going to be some growing pains and there is going to be some trial and error of figuring out the best way to implement these technologies. But, having something that without having to look away and just focus on the road but be able the like I need to turn at this intersection instead of trying to see street signs and things like that. It is good. It is going to be cool.
Fr. Robert: In the future you will have AR. The only question is whether or not you will be able to process the data.
Bryan: Oh man. Processing.
Fr. Robert: Speaking of processing. You have been learning a project the last couple of weeks. I have seen you down in the Know Hole and you have been super dedicated on this. Last time, we took a look at your Game Boy project where you actually fixed a screen because you were getting the lines down the screen. But you decided to go one step further and fix something that the original Game Boy owners always kind of dreaded. And that is, without it back light you either had to have some ambient light or you had a little LED that hooked up to the game port.
Bryan: Oh yeah, the little warm light? That was bad. And actually is that, who is thankfully covering for Alex today, he sent me a perfect gift for this. It was a little comic and it was the children of the past will never know the pain of writing in the backseat of the car and having to wait for streetlights to go by in order to move on the screen.
Fr. Robert: Our portable devices didn’t have backlights folks. And they didn’t have nice bright screens and we didn’t even have a color screen. That, you’ve figured out a way to actually upgrade an original Game Boy or one of the many versions of it, so that it does.
Bryan: This is one of the things I was geeking out about. It is definitely not new technology that you get a really cheap LED panel and you are able to place it right behind the original panel and then you have the backlit screen and you don’t have to worry about having direct sunlight and playing. It scratches that nostalgic itch. But, instead of talking about it I will show you the video of that right now.
Bryan: So it wasn’t enough just to fix the screen on our Game Boy, but we need to improve the Game Boy. And there is no better way to do that then adding a backlight to it. Because these screens are notoriously hard to see unless you are in direct light. So the kit that I purchased came with just the LCD panel, a resistor, and a polarization shield. We will get into what each of those do as we go along. But of course, the first thing to do is going to be to disassemble your Game Boy. In the back there will be four tri-wing bits, we will remove those along with batteries underneath the battery cover. And then it is time to remove the circuit board. Once you have all of those Philips screws taken out, we can un-attach the front panel from the back panel from the little ribbon. Once you have the front panel disassembled and taken off you are going to want to focus on the two screws here on the front by the screen. Underneath this is where we are going to be able to detach the screen from the board. Also on the back of this board there are three little clips that hold in the plastic piece that the LCD panel sits in. You are going to want to detach those clips once you pop the frame out. If you are lucky enough to have an iFixit kit like I do, you can use one of the plastic sponge or is to pry the screen up. But it should come up with very little effort or force. Underneath you can see there are a couple of pads that help push the LCD screen up from the board. And here is where we are going to have to be pretty delicate. You are going to need a razor blade or something like tweezers or something like that to get underneath the reflective panel that is behind the LCD screen. Now, the first time I did this I did not have a problem with tearing. But the second time I did have a little bit of a tear, so be careful and take your time. Definitely try not to scratch the glass, which fortunately I didn’t. Work your way underneath the reflective panel and just kind of pry it back a little bit at a time. What I had to end up doing with the screen is try the other corner down below and pry from there. Because I had already torn it at the top. So just take your time, pull the back. These reflective screens are on there pretty good. But once you have it completely removed, you will want to get a hold of some alcohol or some other cleaning solution. Really make sure to clean off any leftover glue that could be on the back of the panel. Because anything that is left there is going to show up through your screen. If you are like me it is going to piss you off. Definitely clean off the screen as best you can. Get a chamois to kind of breath out any fingerprints or anything on the back of the screen. The next step is going to be getting your needle nose pliers and we are going to have to cut a little trough in the little plastic holster for the LCD. So that the wires for the backlit screen can flow through and will have easier access soldering them to the board. We need to make enough room so that the wires don’t get bunched up along the frame. The next step is going to be installing the LCD panel. So before you take off the protective tape, I would recommend placing it underneath and making sure everything fits properly. Once you do, make sure the wires stick down below. Remove the protective tape on the panel and then place it underneath the LCD. The next thing you’re going to want to do is take out the polarization shield. What this does it polarizes the LCD screen so it will give you contrast. There is actually something we will be doing later that will improve this. But for the time being if you are just doing the backlight place the polarization so that the concave side is facing up. You don’t want it to touch or press against the glass because then you will have little places where it is pressing against the glass and it won’t look as clean. You want to have it so that the concave is facing up. Place it underneath so that if you see that it is dark, that means the polarization is not correct. You will want to rotate it 90° until it looks clear and not like you are looking for sunglasses. Once you have done that, and made sure that everything fits in there properly you can clean the screen a little bit making sure you don’t have any dust back there. Once you do, that will really anger people. The next thing we are going to need to do is warm up the soldering iron because we will be soldering the red and black wire to the board. Now if your Game Boy board is anything like mine, it had a little bit of a soldering overflow here just from the factory. So I am going to clean up the tips so that I don’t get my soldering contacts mixed up. Make sure they are definitely separated. The black wire will go to the right of the capacitor and the red wire will go to the left. The first thing you want to do is get a little solder on the end of the wire and what this will allow you to do is when you have a little bit of solder on the end of the wire you can then use tweezers or something like that to hold it against the soldering point on the board and then with just one hand use the solder in the other hand and that is kind of a trick that you can do to get it to stick to the board the way you want. So next I will be doing the red wire which will be going on the left of the capacitor. I will strip the outer coating with this pair of strippers and I have cut the wire that to the appropriately that I want. You don’t what extra wire hanging out and touching the pad were getting underneath the buttons. Should’ve done that with the black wire. I could always go back and do that later if I want. Same thing applies here with putting solder on the red wire, but we are also going to be attaching a resistor. You are going to want to put the resistor on there, it will help give longer life to your LED panel and if you are playing a game with multiple contrast, the problem I was having without putting the resistor on there was that certain games just would not load. Not really sure what that was about. Tin the tip of the red wire and then attach the resistor to the red wire and then once you have that, measure out the resistor to the length of the resistor wire to the next soldering point which is just above the capacitor. Now I have my capacitor attached to the red wire and I can cut the link that I need it to be to go to the other soldering joint. I have added a little bit of solder to the joints so that I can get the resistor to stick to it. And there we go. Now we have the resistor in-place with the red wire on the left and the black wire is soldered straight to the joint soldering point on the board. Make sure you your wires are neatly tucked away and not going out over where the buttons might be. Now it is time to test sub but the batteries back into the back panel of the Game Boy and if you have done everything right, which she should have if you followed the steps, it will have a colored backlit screen. You can choose from a variety of colors but for this one I was doing it for my brother Greg and he wanted green. I have to say it looks pretty cool. Definitely improves on the original Game Boy. And now that we have made sure everything worked properly we are going to put it back together. Make sure to clean the screen and definitely double check if there is anything behind it. But the two screws back in the front that were holding that brown piece of plastic. And, reassemble. Same steps as when you took it apart, and you should be good to go. For all of these parts and other accessories I will have links in the show notes so check out our show page that you can get the LCD screen for pretty cheap and you can also get new replacement cover screens because those tend to be very scratched up from the old days. Those are really cheap to replace and you can attach them very easily.
Fr. Robert: That is actually not As hard as I thought it was going to be.
Bryan: Yeah. One resistor and very minimal soldering, and as long as you take your time and are a little bit delicate. If you have an iFixit kit, it makes the whole process a lot easier.
Fr. Robert: Especially when you get into electronics kits like this one. You’ve got to have the right tools. If you go in there with the wrong size driver you are going to start prying off components.
Bryan: And you don’t want to start stripping the tri-wing screws. But it is kind of fun to take something apart that is 25 years old and it is a circuit board from a time when you could take it apart and individually solder the things yourself if you wanted.
Fr. Robert: Isn’t that weird? Because if you open up a Game Boy, tech from the 80s and 90s, you’ve got individual resistors and everything looks like the old timey resistors. Now if you open up electronics it is all surface mount and unless you are really good, you can’t really de-solder or re-solder or anything.
Bryan: It is possible, I tried to take apart a more recent DS. I had a cracked screen or something I try to take it apart and it was a real pain.
Fr. Robert: It is gone now.
Bryan: It is gone now because I never finished it. I couldn’t get at the little bits that I needed.
Fr. Robert: So what is next? Now that you have got the screen replaced and you have a backlight, where else do you want to go with the Nintendo/gaming world?
Bryan: So, the nice thing about these old Nintendo’s is there is a lot of nostalgia. A lot of people still like playing with these. And there is this whole music that has grown from it called chip tunes. So, I will be getting into loading your own chip tune ROM on a custom cartridge but also we have added a back light that there is another little chip that you can solder to the board that is called a Viber and it will invert the contrast of the screen and when you flip the polarization on it, it actually gives you more contrast. So the screen is nice. It is a lot better than it was, but you can get even more contrast out of it. So it is just making this little guy even better. And you can add a pro sound kit. So it bypasses the original audio stuff.
Fr. Robert: Which is not great.
Bryan: Yeah, it has some issues.
Fr. Robert: So this project got some life.
Bryan: It is fun to play with this old piece of tech and the whole reason I started playing with this is because I wanted to put a Raspberry Pi inside of a Game Boy. I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want to destroy my old Game Boy. I like it too much. So I was like I want to make the game way better that you know what I’m going to do next now that I have the 3-D printer? I want to print a Game Boy-esque case and put a Raspberry Pi inside.
Fr. Robert: We are toying around with this idea of a Rasp Pi Game Boy for a while. But you were going to have to destroy the thing.
Bryan: And we did that with the NES and the NES was a great project that was a lot of fun. But I feel a little bad about gutting the NES. It was broken, I didn’t even have any of the parts. But using a dremel tool on the back of a NES case, I was like this hurts. But, it was a fun project.
Fr. Robert: We’ve got plenty more Game Boy action coming for you. So stay tuned for that. We come back we are going to come back and take a little of this. This is the thrust tester that we have been playing with. Remember we looked at this two weeks ago. This was a way to figure out how much thrust your motors were generating so you can better design your quad copters. We are going to give you an upgrade for this to make it a super duper advanced thrust tester. But before we do that let’s go ahead and take a break because we want to thank the first sponsor of this episode of Know How.
Fr. Robert: Now, Bryan, you know putting payments onto your website is not always easy. We talk about this in Coding 101 it is one thing to be a good developer on code, but when it comes to actually handling people’s financials, you can’t have a mistake.
Bryan: For that sort of thing I want to just to be able to focus on my project and leave the finance stuff to something else.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. Which is why we are proud to have Braintree as a sponsor of Know How. Now what is Braintree? Braintree is the way to accept payments on your website. Pretty much any web based property without having to worry about coding it yourself. You take a couple of lines of code from their site and boom you are ready to accept it. Now Braintree is recognized in the industry as one of the leaders of offering payments and online solutions. They offer you code for easy online payments and if you are building a mobile app and searching for simple payment solutions, Braintree is a no-brainer. The Braintree v.zero SDK makes it easy to offer multiple mobile payment types. And start accepting PayPal, Apple, BitCoin, Vimo, cards and more. All with a single integration. These are the things that I like about Braintree. It is simple, it has secure payments, code that you can integrate in minutes not hours or days. If you are a developer, they’ve got your back. Don’t worry about taking days to integrate your payments. With the system that you have already created with Braintree, it is done in minutes. And, you can even give them a call and they will handle the integration for you and walk you through it to make sure you get it right the first time. They also have the sandbox so you can test your code before it goes live, before it actually puts people’s financials at risk. The Braintree code supports android, iOS and Java scripts clients. The SDK is in seven different languages, .net, java, .js. ruby and python. They’ve got elegant code and clear documentation. I’m a code monkey and I just like how elegant and simple they had made it. 10 lines of code and you are done. No one else can make you that kind of offer. Braintree gives you an easy way to accept multiple payment types with one integration, quick and knowledgeable developers on board if you have any questions and you can start accepting Apple PayPal, BitCoin, Vimo, cards and whatever is next. All with that single integration and that is what we want you to do. With that Braintree v.zero SDK you are going to have the future on your website in less than 10 minutes. To learn more, and for your first $50,000 in transactions free, go to . And we thank Braintree for their support of Know How.
Fr. Robert: Bryan, super-duper thrust tester. So we were playing around with this, this is just basically a Turnigy thrust tester you can buy this right off of the Hobby King website in fact we have a link for this. This was under $50, I think I got it for $48.75.
Bryan: It feels really solid.
Fr. Robert: All it is, is a scale that will measure how hard an engine is pulling. So as it generates more thrust that number is going to go up and tell us it is creating more grams of thrust. Now, you’ve also got a Turnigy power meter that I am going to add here. What this will allow you to do is it will allow you to get more information than just dressed. Remember when we last covered this we said that was a drawback. Thrust is great but what is it doing to your power system?
Bryan: Right. And you want to see how many amps, and what the wattage is.
Fr. Robert: Right because it doesn’t matter if you’ve got super powerful motors that can give you a lot of thrust if you’re ES sees aren’t going to be able to handle it. You want that kind of information. There are a couple of other things you are going to want. This would be old hat if you built any of our projects for quad copters. You are going to want an electronic speed controller and in this case I am using Ready To Fly Quads red controller. Which are about $10 a pop. Very inexpensive but they have a very nice overhead and they scale up beautifully. That is why I have been using them for all my quad copter projects. And also you are going to want 4 mm, 3.5 mm, and 2 mm bullet connectors. You will see in the project why I want you to have all those different types.
Bryan: We’ve gone over bullet connectors and they are pretty handy to have.
Fr. Robert: And also there is silicone wire. I didn’t put a link for this just because people are going to have their own source. I typically get it off of eBay but I also buy in bulk because I know that I am going to be using it. As for tools, you are going to need a wire cutter, wire stripper, soldering kit, and that should be pretty much it. It is a very easy mod but instead of talking about it why don’t we go ahead and show them.
Fr. Robert: The Turnegy Thrust Measuring stand is a great way to learn how much thrust a motor prop, battery combo can generate. But hobbyists know that it is a bit more than how much power you can deliver. You will also need to know how many amps will be drawn, what is the sweet spot of a combo, and what is safe. We are going to build a grid that cannot only give you all that information but is flexible enough to do it across a variety of motors, batteries and props. You need a few things for this build. On the tool site you will need wired’s and insulation strippers, can’t shrink tubing and a heat source, a soldering kit and some helping hands. As for raw materials you will want four sets of 4 mm bullet connectors, three sets of 3.5 mm bullet connectors, three female 2 mm connectors, a female XT connector, and lengths of black and red 14 and 18gauge silicon wire. You will also need a brushless speed controller preferably something in the 30 amp range. A servo tester and a high amperage power source. Like this Turnigy 4S 5000 Ml amp hour 20c. If you are going to use an ESC that doesn’t include a battery eliminator circuit then you will also need a separate unit BEC to provide power to the servo tester. The heart of our system is a Turnigy two in one power and servo meter. Connected between our power source and our ESC it is 1.5 inch screen can give the information about voltage, amperage, wattage and power. We could just solder everything together but we want a flexible kit. One that can use a variety of power sources and motors so the following instructions will show you how to make the various connectors and adapters that give our thrust bench flexibility. The first step is to attach four millimeter bullets to both the input and output leads of the two in one tester. The tester can handle up to 100 A of current and the 12gauge wire is rated for the same so we need a connector that can handle that much juice. Therefore, 4 mm bullets. First slip the connector over the power needs, this can be a little tricky because every 4 mm connector uses a male and female bullet. But they have to be swapped on either end. Just remember that if it is a source of power than the female bullet which which needs the larger side of the cover goes on the positive lead. If it is a device that needs to be supplied power, also known as load, then the female bullet goes on the negative lead. Double check this and make sure you get it right because if you slide the cover on wrong and start soldering, you are going to have to de-solder or snip the wires to swap sides. Soldering a 4 mm bullet connector is the same as soldering smaller sizes. Except that the solder Is much larger. Heat the connector until it flows solder and then fill it about halfway. Insert your lead and keep applying heat until you see the solder on the lead start to flow. Then remove heat and hold the wires still until the solder hardens repeat the process three more times, remembering that on the source side of the tester you are going to want the female connector on the negative lead and the male connector on the positively. While on the load side you will want the female connector on the positive lead and the male connector on the negative. I’m going to repeat this a few more times just because it is super frustrating if you get it wrong. The 4 mm leads are perfect for high current batteries but we want to be able to use XT 60 equipped to batteries without having to snip and solder. So we are going to make up a 4mm XT 60 adapter. Start by cutting about 4 inches of 14gauge silicon wire. We are using 14gauge instead of 12gauge because 12guage doesn’t easily fit into a XT 60 connector. And XT60 batteries don’t require a 12 gauge wire. strip about 8 mm from the side of the wires that will connect to the 4 mm connector and 10 mm from the side that will connect to the XT 60. Then tin both ends of your wire. We want to first solder a female XT 60 connector onto the wires. This can get tricky because XT 60 connectors will deform and melt if too much heat is applied. So I use a loose smell connects her to hold shape and put the entire assembly into my helping hands. The lead on to the conductor with a short application of heat and solder. Then apply heat directly to the lead. One solder begins to flow, apply enough solder to fill the cup and secure the lead. You want to spend as little time as possible applying heat, never more than a few seconds at a time. And when you are done with one lead weight until the connector cools before soldering the second. Once both leads have been soldered onto the XT 60 use 3/8th inch heat shrink tubing to insulate the conductors and wires. Now let’s take care of the other side of the adapter. We want to solder the female 4 mm bullet connector to the positive lead and the male 4mm connector to the negative lead. Make sure you slip on the cover with a larger side on the positive lead for you start soldering. Solder the bullets as before then slip the cover onto the conductors. You now have the ability to use either 4mm or XT60 equipped batteries on the source side of the tester, but we need to assemble the load side in a similar fashion. I’m using a red series 30 amp ESC from Ready To Fly Quads. It comes with no connectors and pre-tinned leads so it is a simple matter of soldering 4mm bullet connectors onto the power leads with the female connector on the negative power lead and the male connector on the positive lead. And 3.5 mm bullets on each of the three motor leads. Once the female 3.5 mm connectors are soldered to make sure to insulate the connector with wire and 3/8th inch heat shrink tubing. The control lead from the ESC connects to one of the sets of out pens on the servo tester. Just make sure to match at the positive, negative and signal leads as shown on the casing. Once it is connected we can do a quick test. Connect the motor with 3.5 mm bullets then connect power to the ESC. First making sure that the black will be going to black and red to red. Connect the battery to the ESC, turning the knob on the servo tester should increase and decrease speed of the connected motor. Connecting the two in one tester between the battery and the ESC should let you see some power readings. If you are using a brand-new ESC make sure to calibrated by turning it on with the servo tester turn to fool until you hear the beep then turn it down to minimum until you hear the beep. The setup as is will allow us to test motors with 3.5 mm power leads and up to 30 A of power draw from batteries with 4 mm or XT 60 connectors. But let’s go one step further and make adapters for testing motors with 2 mm bullets. We need three male 3.5 mm connectors, three female 2 mm connectors, and three 2 inch lengths of 18gauge wire. Strip 4 mm of insulation from each end and tin your wires. Then solder one side into a male 3.5 mm connector and the other end into a 2 mm connector. Heat shrink the conductors and now you have a way to connect 2 mm motors into your testing system. Using the system is simple. Mount your motor onto the thrust end, connect your ESC using the appropriate bullet connector, connect the ESC to the servo tester and the two in one tester and then supply power to the two in one tester. Manipulating the servo tester will throttle the motor up and down. And now you are seeing not only thrust numbers but amperage, voltage and wattage values as well. Your thrust bench will work with any XT 60 or 4 mm equipped battery and can deliver up to 30 A to any 3.5 or 2 mm equipped motor. Happy testing.
Fr. Robert: I am going to have to make this pretty. This has all the functions that I want including the really cool screen so I can figure out wattage and amperage and voltage.
Bryan: This is coming from an engineer standpoint.
Fr. Robert: This is not very pretty. But the nice thing about this system is that if you follow the instructions that I gave in the video, you will literally have adapters for everything. So this will work with these larger capacity batteries that have the big 4 mm plugs on them. It will work with the XT 60 batteries which is what you are used to. And it will work with the 3.5 or the 2 mm equipped motors. So this really is a universal tester if you are building a quad copter. We saw last week how important it is for you to know exactly how much performance you are getting out of your motors.
Bryan: It seems like a very versatile setup. And if you are planning on doing a few different builds and you are not really sure which kind you want to do, this is probably something you want to set up. So you have a pretty good idea of what your engines are doing.
Fr. Robert: Right. Because anyone can put numbers on a box. But you really need to know if those numbers are real. I do want to do one thing before we move on. And that is, last time we did a thrust tester we looked at two different motorists and they were hovering near the 800 g range. That is how much thrust they can generate. Well, this motor I told you was more impressive because this also supported 4 amps. It is more voltage which means it is going to turn faster. We also upgraded our ESC, the Ready To Fly verses that little hobby thing that we had. This will support four SP batteries and it doesn’t sap as much performance. So what I want to show you very quickly is our pull, again it is hard to see on the camera. So, watch that number. Let’s see how much I can get off of a full burn on this. So…
Bryan: Before, we had somewhere in the 800 range.
Fr. Robert: With a full battery this could pull 1200 to 1300. That is a lot of power. So, put this into perspective. This one motor with this set up generates twice as much thrust as all of the motors on that little 250 that we built.
Bryan: And have you flown this set up with this much thrust?
Fr. Robert: It is scary. That is kind of what it is when you are building these things. You play with something until you are comfortable and then when you are comfortable you move up to something that scares you again. And when you lose the fear then you build something else.
Bryan: I don’t know. I feel that this is kind of a level where the fear would just stay.
Fr. Robert: Now, this scary thing about this is that I actually could go with a higher battery. My understanding is that you could push this motor to 2 kg before the windings actually start to melt. But that is not good. The other thing is, the motor will actually start to heat up. So you kind of have to balance it. For example this peaked out at 1200 g, but at 1200 grams if you held that for two minutes you will cook the motor. There is so much heat generated. Now, we will be bringing you more testing projects for quad copters. Because I don’t know about you but for me I love flying quad copters that I enjoy building them more.
Bryan: I have noticed that. And I enjoy flying them and letting you build them.
Fr. Robert: This is a good combo. So I will build them, you fly them. And then crash and I will rebuild them. Now when we come back we are going to be jumping into your questions. You’ve had some really good questions the last couple of weeks so we want to give you a couple of minutes to make sure that we can provide you with some insight. But before we do that let’s thank the second sponsor of this episode of Know How.
Fr. Robert: Bryan, do you sleep at night?
Bryan: It is one of the few things that I am good at.
Fr. Robert: I would put my stuff on the pro level for good sleeping.
Bryan: I’ve seen the example that you provided in the Know Hole.
Fr. Robert: That is actually a very good thing. That happens because my bed right now is not great. It is actually kind of bad.
Bryan: But if it was better you may not fall asleep at work?
Fr. Robert: How many times have we read studies that correlate bad sleep with poor performance? It is not just I am tired and I need to take a nap, it is bad decision-making. Bad productivity. It means that you are staring at your screen and you are just kind of zoning out. That is what ill-sleep does for you because it is strange how many of us will spend a lot of money on our computer, will spend a lot of money on our tools, will spend a lot of money on our toys but when it comes to sleep we buy the cheapest thing.
Bryan: And you spend a third of your life sleeping.
Fr. Robert: More like a half. Half of my life sleeping, why don’t I take it more and seriously. Well folks, you can if you use Casper. Casper is a sponsor for this episode of Know How and Casper is a way to get a comfortable, good bed. With good sleep and great characteristics without having to go through the rigmarole of buying a traditional mattress. When you buy a traditional mattress you go to a store, and they have a couple of demo unit. What can you really tell from 60 seconds of laying on something?
Bryan: I want to use it before I go to work the next day.
Fr. Robert: Precisely. And that is what you get with Casper. Casper actually gives you more than three months to take home one of these mattresses, use that, see if it actually does everything it says it’s going to do and then at the end you get to decide whether or not you are going to keep it.
Bryan: But I live in an apartment and it is really hard to get a mattress up some stairs and stuff.
Fr. Robert: You can get it delivered. You know what, you’ve got to show them what it’s like to get one of these things in your house. Leo Laporte uses a Casper mattress and you know that Leo only likes the finest things, which is why he uses Casper. Now it is obsessively engineered and it is at a fair price because they do cut out the showroom, they cut out the middleman said they can give you a factory direct price. It uses two different types of technology. It uses late tax and memory foam. Latex is what gives you that support and memory foam is what gives you that sort of thinking and feeling. And when you combine the two it means you will get a mattress that is soft but also gives you support. It feels good but is not going to make you all sweaty in the middle of the night. This is what Casper is good at and that is why we love having them on Know How. We’ve already explained that you can buy it online, you can have it delivered completely risk free. You can try it for over three months so that you don’t have to lie down for a couple of seconds in a showroom, you can actually try it and see if it is right for you. These mattresses are made in the US which is something that we personally like. Here is what we want you to do. We want you to take your sleep seriously. Get a Casper mattress, $500 for twin size and $950 for queen-size. Compared to industry averages that is actually really really good. And you can save an additional $50 as one of our audience members by going to an entering the promo code KnowHow. What are you waiting for? go ahead and get a Casper mattress, try it for three months and tell me if it is not the best investment you’ve ever made. And we thank Casper for their support of Know How.
Fr. Robert: Bryan, we’ve got some questions.
Bryan: Are these from our Google Plus community?
Fr. Robert: This is all from the Google plus community. Remember, we are going to tell you this at the end that we will mention it now. Go to Google plus and look for the Know How group. We are over 8300 members and it is a great place to ask us questions, if you ask a good question we will try to get it into the show. Here is the first one.
Bryan: First question comes from Cameron. He would like to know if he put LEDs on his Alien X it could connect him directly to the power or distribution board. “If I want to connect them using a switch on the transmitter, what do I need”?
Fr. Robert: This is a good question. He wants the lights. This is something that we play with. At the very beginning, one of the very first mods I made, is I added LEDs. Now LEDs are cheap. These are some red and blue LEDs that you can buy in a roll. The nice thing about this is that this whole roll was seven dollars. These are all surface mount. They have adhesive on the back so that you can just stick it to the frame. These will actually just solder straight into your power distribution system. Which is what I did because it is the simplest way to do it and it keeps the weight down. That is blue, these are read and I think I have some old bright whites. It is a really cool way to add a little bit of splash to your quad. Especially at night.
Bryan: I would add them, now only for splash but just so you know which is the front and which is the back.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. That is something that a lot of the pre-manufactured quads will have. They will have different lights on the front in the back so that you know which way it is facing.
Bryan: It helps a lot. The colored propellers will only do so much from a distance.
Fr. Robert: Especially if it is dark.
Bryan: Yeah, if it is dark…
Fr. Robert: Forget it. You definitely want to have LEDs. I know you have found this before, if you get far enough away and you can’t really tell you kind of give this stick a little jiggle to see which way it goes and then you try to correct and hope you correct the right way. I've seen people crash because they just keep getting further and further away.
Bryan: What I like to do is have a color in the back and a different color in the front and maybe a landing strip with the white light so that if you are landing in a dark field you can kind of see what is going on below you.
Fr. Robert: Which is why we’ve got this. We’ve got blue, we’ve got red and now we’ve got white. These are all weatherized so these are a little bit heavier duty. It will give you a nice view of what orientation your quad is in without having to actually jiggle it. But, what the poster wanted was a way to turn them on and off. Because in this way the only way to turn them on and off is to unplug them. I put a plug so we could go into the harness.
Bryan: And he wants them on his transmitters.
Fr. Robert: That is actually kind of cool. Well all you need is one of these. This is a Turnigy receiver, this is a radio controlled on and off switch. It looks like a tiny little electronic speed controller. It has one lead that goes into the receiver so I can turn it on and off and then this is just a switch. So when it is on, power goes through and when it is off power doesn’t go through.
Bryan: That is awesome. You could use it for something other than LEDs too right?
Fr. Robert: This specific one was actually designed to run a smoke machine. So that you can say turn on smoke.
Bryan: And spell out something in the sky?
Fr. Robert: Exactly. But that is all this is. A fancy switch. Now, the cool thing about a project like this is I’m going to use this to turn my lights on and off. But as you've figured out, I could do pretty much anything. So if I want to control a winch, if I want to control the smoke machine.
Bryan: Or if you had a smaller quad attached to the bottom of the quad that you wanted to deploy in midair.
Fr. Robert: Or if maybe one of us tried and experimented with putting a Airsoft gun on a quad?
Bryan: Whatever you need a switch for. Pretty cool. How much is that?
Fr. Robert: This I got on eBay for a think seven dollars.
Bryan: It doesn't look like you would be adding any weight.
Fr. Robert: It is not a lot of weight.
Bryan: The hardest part would be threading the wire.
Fr. Robert: This will add a tiny bit of weight, but not a lot. You were talking about maybe for the entire assembly 50 g. So for a 250 you might fill it a tiny bit but probably not. In a 450 class you wouldn’t feel it. It doesn’t matter. All right so that is getting lights, what else do we have?
Bryan: This one comes from Terry Henderson. I stole your picture off of twitter and I have one question. How would you ever troubleshoot for a broken patch cable?
Fr. Robert: This is a very good question. Actually, that is why I brought out a little something something. Go ahead and show that picture. It is a beautiful picture. I don’t think I have ever seen anything that pretty. It is kind of mesmerizing. And there are a couple of things here that I really like. I love the fact that it is so neat and clean. I don’t like using zip ties into racks like that because it can make it kind of troublesome. But, this is a work of art. But the poster, Terry, has a very good question. Which is, if one of these broke how would you know? If one of them got detach from one end how would you find it?
Bryan: I would just cry. I’m out.
Fr. Robert: We actually showed you the tool already when we showed you this. Unfortunately I may have broken this since the last time I had it.
Bryan: How would you have done now? What were you doing?
Fr. Robert: A bottle of Coke. I cleaned it up but it is not working quite right.
Bryan: Did you use your three tap system before you opened it?
Fr. Robert: No. It wasn't my soda. Someone put a bottle of soda in my gig bag and it blew up. It got too hot. I was sabotaged. remember we used this when we were doing premise wiring because it would tell you whether or not you did a right patch.
Bryan: And we played with the cable that I made.
Fr. Robert: It was very unhappy.
Bryan: Yeah I didn’t like that. So this one in your right hand is the one we could use a radio signal to?
Fr. Robert: This is a probe. And this will actually send signal. So what I can do if I set this to that musical thing, I can actually put this into one of the wires. I find one end of the cable that I am having issues with and hopefully it will work, if I turn on the probe. That is coming off the cable so if I go to the other end of the trunk here, ideally this would be far away. If I get close to the trunk it gets louder and louder. So when it gets really loud this goes up to eight and it tells me that is the cable that is wrong. This is a very common tool. It is a nice way to figure out what goes where if you haven’t labeled things properly.
Bryan: Okay. So say that we have the situation with all those cables would you have to plug that into every one?
Fr. Robert: No because ideally what would happen is something would break and you would lose service on one of your devices. You take the cable out of that device.
Bryan: You know which cable it was, they’re just trying to figure out where that cable went wrong.
Fr. Robert: Right. So for example let’s say a computer uses connectivity. I can plug this into the cable connector of that computer and go down and then start waving my wand around to find where it is.
Bryan: Okay, that makes sense.
Fr. Robert: There we go. It is not the best, especially when you spill soda. But it is a good way to do it.
Bryan: We have another question. This one is about 3-D printing. Actually two questions. This comes from Donald. “Has anyone ever bought from shapeways.com? It seems to be some sort of 3-D print on demand service”. Have you, Padre?
Fr. Robert: Yes.
Bryan: Okay. So?
Fr. Robert: So, Shapeways is interesting. This was before people could buy inexpensive 3-D printers. It is also a place where you can get much higher 3-D print quality items. So, you send them your design, it is the same design you would use on your 3-D printer, but they have much higher machinery which means they can give you a lot of details. It is absolutely gorgeous. They use top-notch materials and you can get superfine details. Essentially it is a fast prototyping shop. Send them what you want and they will build it for you.
Bryan: Because you may or may not have a 3-D printer on premises but you want something to try out.
Fr. Robert: And this is also a market place. So if you make something that you think people might want to buy you can market it there.
Bryan: That is so cool. I never thought about train stuff.
Fr. Robert: this is the thing about the 3-D printing revolution. Which is, it is now anything. Really anything you can think of you can print. I used shape ways before because I needed to make some objects with a really fine tolerances. And even a good 3-D printer is going to give you some birth. It is not always the nicest print that you can possibly get. I just got delivered.. just this second. Wait hold on My notebook is really sharp. Can I use your razor thin MacBook air? That actually worked. So this is something that Zach ordered from Shapeways. I have no idea what this is.
Bryan: Can we open it, Zach?
Zach: Yes you can open it. I will tell you guys what it is.
Fr. Robert: What is this that?
Zach: You won’t be able to recognize it.
Bryan: I know exactly what this is.
Zach: Well Bryan knows what it is.
Fr. Robert: I know that that part goes into this part.
Bryan: I think it is something to go into your Nerf gun.
Zach: Yes. These are custom printed parts to modify this Nerf guns so that I can take out this rotating chamber it and attach three more onto it.
Fr. Robert: Let me grab a demonstration of the 3-D print that we got from our machine. Our machine is pretty dang good.
Bryan: These things that you ordered Zach, look like they were printed from a mold. They don’t look like the things we created.
Fr. Robert: This is actually pretty good. That, you can see it. Right off the bat you can see how much nicer the surface is on Shapeways parts than on the 3D printed parts.
Bryan: You can’t see any… it just looks like it was from a mold. It is awesome.
Fr. Robert: I actually think this is using their other machine so it is not 3-D prints it is a laser that goes into a VAT of emulsion and it actually just pulls the printout. It just builds that there and pulls it out.
Bryan: That is incredible.
Fr. Robert: It gives you super fine detail. This will get you down to .1 mm and I think this will get you down to something like .001 mm.
Bryan: That is pretty cool. I can see where Shapeways would be pretty useful.
Fr. Robert: Actually, what a lot of people will do is they will use a 3-D printer to come up with something that they want and they will make sure it is right. Because, Shapeways is a little expensive and once they have the design exactly the way they want it, they will send it to Shapeways.
Zach: Just to show you guys real quick this is what the….
Bryan: Jeez, man that looks like overkill.
Fr. Robert: All right. We had a two pointer right?
Bryan: The second part of the question was, “What you recommend for a good starter 3-D printer for a guy on a budget? I see that Padre is really into da Vinci Junior and at $350 that is the price point that is reasonable for my budget. However, I heard somewhat negative things about them, that they are very proprietary/not open, etc. Comments and suggestions”?
Fr. Robert: Okay, so here is what I would say. Yes they got proprietary on the filament. I will also say I have already busted the DRM on that. I don’t think I can actually show people. I was checking this and I think it actually would be a violation. So, but. It might leak out at some point. On a blog or host.
Bryan: Were not like into hacking.
Fr. Robert: We only use things for their intended purpose.
Bryan: I think the da Vinci Junior, the way they went about it was great, the price is terrific, the print head is great, the way that you are able to just print the file on an SD card and plug it into the device is great, it is just that one thing. It left a bad taste in my mouth.
Fr. Robert: It is like the Kuerig 2.0 machines. Where it is actually a pretty good machine. The day DRM’d the coffee pods, and it’s like why would you do that? You are just going to take us off.
Bryan: You know there is something like 80’s guy in the corporate office…
Fr. Robert: This idea has never been used. I will say this. Someone pointed out the fact that you can now get a da Vinci 1.0 for about the same price as a da Vinci Junior. Just because prices are going to drop. It is not as advanced in some aspects but the da Vinci 1.0 will actually print out ABS and PLA. So you can get both types of material. ABS tends to have a bit more flexibility to it so it acts more like plastic. It is not as advanced in terms of the head and the feeding system, but those are both pretty good options. And you can defeat the DRM. Don’t be too concerned about that.
Bryan: Don't let that would you back. I guess for the other da Vinci if you really needed something with the ABS. PLA seems pretty solid.
Fr. Robert: It seems pretty solid. One of the things that people don’t like about PLA is that unlike ABS it doesn’t flex it, it breaks. But it is super strong but it will just snap. Versus ABS. ABS acts like what you would expect plastic to act like but it will flex before it breaks.
Bryan: We were going to try to print in 3-D props.
Fr. Robert: You probably want to do that in ABS. You probably don’t want to do that in PLA. Actually, I just wouldn’t do it. They are so cheap.
Bryan: It is just a question I’ve had.
Fr. Robert: Oh my gosh. You are going to save yourself $.10.
Bryan: Okay the frame. If you are going to 3-D print the frame.
Fr. Robert: Which I actually have already done. I crashed a few. By the way, there are a couple of people in our group who are crashing a lot. You should probably use a 3-D printer frame because you crash a lot. Which is good.
Bryan: Or play with the Styma if you are feeling a little bit rusty. Fly that around for 15 minutes before you go out and fly your expensive 250. Final question. Card charging my batteries. “ I got the IMAX B6 charger but I would like to be able to plug it into the car. Is there an adapter for that?”
Fr. Robert: The answer to that is yes. Absolutely. This is the charger that most of us have. This is an official IMAX B6 and you can tell because it actually has a code on the back that you can verify against their server to tell you it is an official and not a counterfeit. I only buy the official ones because the counterfeit ones burnout.
Bryan: Is that a really big problem? Counterfeits?
Fr. Robert: That is a very big problem. Counterfeits are just not as good.
Bryan: I understand the counterfeits would be a problem, but there are a lot of counterfeits of these sort of things?
Fr. Robert: There are fa more counterfeits than there are originals. That, it accepts 12 V which is actually the voltage you are going to get out of your car. So all you need is something like this. I just had this lying around my lab because I’ve got everything. But, if you were to go into a RadioShack and they still exist, and say you are just looking for something that goes into this same power port and I can plug it straight into my car. There is one caveat and that is how much power you can actually draw from your cars accessory port. Now, it is safe at one amp. So if you set this for 1C charging no problem. But that is kind of slow. What you might actually want to do is look at your cars manual, it may tell you how much Juice you can pull through your accessory port. If it doesn’t tell you that, look in your manual to tell you which cues in the fuse box is tied to the accessory port. Because you can look at that and say if it is a 10 amp that means I can pull 120 W because it is 12 old’s, through my system before I blow that pews. And the fuse is always set lower than the cabling because you don’t want the cabling to blow. You want to fuse to burnout. Now that is not the pure number because most cars will also route other things through that assessor report. But I would say if you got a 10 amp service on your accessory port, you should be able to pull half of that, like 5 A or 60 W before you overload your car system.
Bryan: Charging on the go.
Fr. Robert: Now we do want to part with a parting shot. This is something that I found and it is disgusting. What you are looking at is a picture, a little video from the sewers of West London. Bryan, what do you think they might have in the sewers?
Bryan: I’m going to guess the things that you normally find in a sewer. But maybe minus the alligators that we typically see.
Fr. Robert: This is very indicative. We have this problem. Wet naps. Wet naps are deadly to sewer. They called this thing a monster thing. This is 10 tons of wet naps and fat. Wet naps are the enemy of all sewers because they don’t fall apart and they attract whales. So basically they become roadblocks and then they glom onto things. This particular roadblock became 40 m long. It was so heavy it actually broke apart a multi meter 70-year-old sewer pipe. And it is going to cost them about half 1,000,000 pounds and two months to repair. Oh by the way we should probably tell people please don’t watch this while you are eating.
Bryan: If you are planning on eating anytime in the next week, don’t watch this video. Do they eat a lot a barbecue wings? Something that you need wet naps around for?
Fr. Robert: The funny part is we have been told wet naps are nice and sanitary. They are demons spawn for sewer. They don’t fall apart, they don’t biodegrade and they are strong enough so that they will start to attach to one another and then they just form this big monster.
Bryan: A grave mine from Halo or something.
Fr. Robert: Give me a moment. Okay now that we have left you with that.
Bryan: The poor drone has to go down there.
Fr. Robert: I hope it was a robot.
Bryan: There is no way they would send a person down there is there? No.
Fr. Robert: Stop. Stop. Stop. Okay folks know that you are completely grossed out that is the end of the show. We know that this was a lot of material, actually this was a particularly long show. If you want to find out what we covered, if you want to see the instructions for putting together his Game Boy, my thrust tester, or if you want to look at the questions that we covered in the feedback, you’ve got to go to our show notes which is where?
Bryan: At twit.tv/KH and not only can you find our show notes but you can find handy links to subscribe to which ever audio or video, you should probably subscribe to video, that you prefer but not only that If we are doing and over arcing project like we have been doing with these quad copters you will definitely want to go back and make sure you didn’t miss an episode. And that is not the only place you can find us.
Fr. Robert: No, you are going to find us on our Google plus group. Go to Google plus and look for Know How, we’ve got It is a lot of quad copters right now but we also get a lot of networking questions. If you have got questions, if you have a project that you want to show off that you have done or if you want to ask for emergency help for a project that is falling apart. This is a great community to belong to.
Bryan: Or if you're like Michael Hertz who happens to keep breaking his quad a lot, we actually like to see this so keep posting those. But we do feel a little bad.
Fr. Robert: We do feel bad but we do say that crashing is learning. Now, Google plus isn't the only place you can find us you can also find us on Twitter. @PadreSJ.
Bryan: I’m @cranky_hippo and since We don’t have Alex tonight we should definitely introduce Zach.
Fr. Robert: Zach do you have a camera on yourself? But could you please tell the folks were they could find you on twitter?
Zach: Oh you know I have a camera on myself. And you can find me on Twitter @eskimozach. Thanks guys for the fun show today.
Fr. Robert: Now one last bit. And that is in two days, so this Saturday, May 2, we are going to have the premiere episode of the new screensaver. And you are going to love it. With Leo Laporte and friends. We will be Contributing on and off and you will see us as cohosts and segment contributors. If you watched any of the goodness back in the old tech TV days, we are bringing it back. I am so excited about this I just want to talk about it.
Bryan: Me had a lot of fun making the opening to the show. it is a very strange feeling. I watched Screensavers when I was in high school and now I'm participating in it.
Fr. Robert: I remember I was so happy because I got tickets to go watch it on a live taping.
Bryan: It is cool and it is going to be a lot of fun. We hope you tune in, watch it and subscribe.
Fr. Robert: And until next time I’m Father Robert Ballecer.
Bryan: And I’m Bryan Burnett.
Fr. Robert: And now that you know how…
Bryan: Go do it!