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Audi Project Progress

Some while back, I bought a 1997 Audi A8 Quattro with a bunch of problems for a little too much money, let's just not talk about how much. Not a lot, but still too much. I've worked through most of them problems, but then had an electrical issue that sent me back to looking for a front-end harness. Long story short, I wound up buying a parts car for $300 and then driving it home in limp mode over the Hopland Grade, like a boss. And since it's nicer than my car, I'm just going ahead and swapping the long-ago-warranty-replaced transmission which I've had fitted with the Transgo main pressure valve fix into the newer, nicer, lower-mileage car. And yesterday, I actually managed to extract the motor and trans from the 1997.

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Making Assassins Creed: Unity Play OK

Assassins Creed is a really nifty psuedohistorical series of parcourt assassination games, and Assassins Creed: Unity is one of the recent entries in the series — which was included in a Humble Bundle of most of the titles. This post is not a news flash. It is a summary I'm writing because I don't want to have to track this information down again, distilled from a couple of pages I found googling.

Hackery Pokery

Today I used Kapton (okay, Koptan) tape for one of its common purposes for the first time, I used it to stop insulation melting and disappearing while I was tinning leads. I got the leads out of an old parallel cable, and they probably weren't meant to be soldered at all. Old computer cables are bar none the cheapest source of highly multi-colored, small-gauge finely-stranded wire I know of. If you pick them up from thrift store warehouses or flea markets you can get them for less than a dollar, and get yourself a meter of 20+ different colors of wire.

SK450 - it's Dead Cat Time

About this time last year, I built myself a SK450 quadcopter to cheaply familiarize myself with the hobby and gain a fun new toy. That project came off very well, and I was pleased with the results for the money spent. This time, I'm upgrading that copter into a "dead cat" configuration, using some new parts and some old ones — but mostly new.

Wooden Gantry Crane

When I was offered a $300 1998 A8 Quattro parts car (for my 1997) I leapt at the chance. By the time I got it home, though, I thought better of my plan to swap the electrical harness from that car to my car, and decided that I would swap the transmission from the old car into the "parts" car because it was in such better shape. But this presented a problem — how do I pull the engine and transmission out of one car, and put it into the next, given my lack of a perfectly flat and level place to work? The answer as I see it is to build an A-Frame or a gantry.

Arduino Fan Temp Speed Control

I decided that I would like to have a programmable temperature-based fan speed controller for a fume extractor I am building from scrap parts, and the logical thing to do seemed to be to use an Arduino Nano as modern fans use a 5 volt PWM signal to control their speed, and also report back their speed with another 5 volt signal. They are also wicked cheap if you are willing to use clones.

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Walkera Devo 7e Modding

A little while ago I acquired a Walkera Devo 7e from a friend, for use with my assorted R/C aircraft. This is a pretty dandy little radio in its own right, which speaks the Walkera Devo radio protocol. By doing nothing but reflashing it with Deviation firmware, you can add support for the Spektrum DSM2 and DSMX protocols. But if you're willing to pick up a soldering iron, you can accomplish a whole lot more for not too much money.

Ambilight Clones, Windows, and Arduino

Long, long ago, when I first heard of Philips Ambilight, I thought it was one of the coolest silly things I'd ever heard of. Today, much later, I finally have gotten around to rolling my own Ambilight clone using an Arduino Nano and WS2812B strips. I did not have to write any code, because other people have already done it for me. Figuring out which people had done what properly took me the better part of a day, so I will now share my knowledge with you here. This should be a cross-platform (Win/Lin/Mac) solution, but I have only tested on Windows.

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