House of Hacks

Friday, May 10, 2019

How To Find A Lost Digital Camera - Unique color codes (Part 4)


Description

Ever lost a camera or other photo gear? Looking for ideas for how to find lost camera (digital)? This is the fourth in a series where Harley shows ideas that can help a lost camera find its way back home. These travel tips and hacks can help someone who has found a lost camera return it to you.

Buy online (Affiliate links):

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How To Find A Lost Digital Camera - Unique color codes (Part 4)

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

Ever lost camera gear before?

Looking for ideas for how to recover camera gear if it's been lost?

Today at the House of Hacks, I'm going to show you a strategy to help your lost camera gear find its way home.

I belong to a local photography Facebook group where sometimes somebody will find photography gear that was accidentally left at popular shooting locations.

Generally, a post goes out to alert people that gear has been found and who to contact to retrieve it.

Many times the gear can be reunited with its owner.

Inspired by these posts, this is the fourth in a series of ideas to help your gear find its way home if it gets lost.

The other videos in the series can be found in this playlist.

The previous ideas help if your gear is found by a random stranger.

Today's idea helps your gear stand out from the rest, that may be very similar, when you're in a group.

Hi! If we're just meeting, welcome!

I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we do things related to the workshop like metal, wood and electronics projects and other things of that nature.

Today we're talking about photography gear.

When you're with a group of photographers, many times people have either the same or very similar gear and if things get jumbled up, sometimes it's hard to figure out who's is who's.

To help in this situation, select a three or four color combination and get paint or tape in these colors.

Multi-packs of electrical tape and model paint kits are great sources to get multiple colors of each.

Electrical tape can be found at home improvement stores and model paint kits can be found at craft stores.

Or, they're both available on Amazon. I'll leave affiliate links to searches for multiple products of each down below.

Using tape or paint, depending on the equipment and your preference, put your color code on all your equipment.

This makes it easy to identify your equipment when it's combined with the same equipment from other photographers.

If you have friends that do the same thing, be sure to coordinate with them so you don't use the same or similar color combinations.

I'd love to hear in the comments below if you have any strategies for identifying your equipment.

And remember, it's a good idea to have a multi-pronged approach and identify your equipment in multiple ways.

I'll see you in one of these videos that YouTube thinks you'll enjoy.

And when making things, remember...

Perfection's not required.

Fun is!

Friday, April 26, 2019

How To Make Gardening Tools At Home: Long Dibber


Description

Interested in how to make gardening tools at home? Need a seedling planter for your garden? Want to make a simple DIY project for your gardening enthusiast? In this episode in the House of Hacks series' on DIY gardening tools, Harley shows how to make a long dibber, also known as a dibbler.

Springtime is upon us and making homemade gardening tools can be an easy workshop project for either yourself or a loved one. The dibber is an especially easy-to-make DIY tool to help plant seeds and seedlings that requires minimal tools and time and is particularly suited for kids and beginners. These simple tools make great gifts for the gardener in your life.

Inspired by this Charles Dowding video and his website.

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How To Make Gardening Tools At Home: Long Dibber

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"
Incidental: "The Whip"

Transcript

Need a dibber to plant seedlings in your garden?

Want to make a simple DIY for your gardening enthusiast?

With spring coming upon us, we're going to make a long dibber out of this rake handle.

The dibber is an ancient tool that's been around since Roman times. It's also called a dibbler, with an L in it and it's used to plant seeds and seedlings.

It's a simple tool to make and we're just going to be using a belt sander primarily, after sawing off a piece of this wood for another project.

Hi and Welcome! If we're just meeting, I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we use our God-given creative skills, talents and interests to make things here in the shop out of materials like metal, electronics, photography and in this case, wood.

In a future episode, I'm going to make another gardening tool out of this cut off that I just took from the longer rake handle.

If you're interested in something like that, hit the Subscribe button and then hit the bell notification icon and YouTube will let you know next time that video is released.

I've got the rake handle here with the end cut off for a future project and I'm just going to mark about a hand width's circle all the way around this piece to give me a guide line to work from.

And now I'm going to use the belt sander to just grind down to the line and make a rounded point on the end.

This was about 10 minutes worth of grinding on the belt sander here and I'm going to put a coat of oil on it to kind of seal it and that can be reapplied each year as needed to kind of keep the toxicity down rather than trying to use Varathane or some other synthetic material like that.

Well that's a simple tool that should be useful for years to come.

I've got some veggies to plant and while I do that, YouTube has some videos over here that it thinks you'll enjoy.

And remember when making things...

Perfection's not required.

Fun is!

Friday, April 12, 2019

How To Find Lost Camera (Digital) - Use pet tags (Part 3)


Description

Ever lost a camera or other photo gear? Looking for ideas for how to find lost camera (digital)? This is the third in a series where Harley shows ideas that can help a lost camera find its way back home. These travel tips and hacks can help someone who has found a lost camera return it to you.

Engraved pet tags on Amazon (Affiliate link)

Other videos in this series.

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How to Subtract In Binary Using 2'S Complement

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

Have you ever lost your camera gear?

Are you looking for ideas about how to recover your camera gear if it ever does get lost?

Today at the House of Hacks, I'm going to show you a strategy to help your camera gear find its way home if it gets lost.

I belong to a local photography Facebook group and occasionally people in that group will find camera gear that was left at popular shooting locations. Generally what happens is the person that finds the gear will post where it was found and who to contact to get the gear back. And many times the owner is a member of the group, sees the post and is able to get their equipment back.

Inspired by these posts this is the third in a series of ideas to help you get your camera gear back if it ever gets lost. The other ideas can be found in the videos in this playlist.

Hi! If we're just meeting, welcome I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we talk about workshop related items. Things made out of wood metal electronics and other things of that nature.

Today we're talking about photography gear.

The previous two tips were a bit on the technical side and required knowledge of the finder to go look for the information and they only worked for your camera and memory cards.

Today's tip is less technical and more obvious for the finder.

And it's this: go get pet tags for your gear.

You can go down to your local pet store and they have engraving machines where you can have anything engraved on little tags. You can then put these tags on your camera gear. At a minimum you probably want one for your camera and your bag but you can get one for any gear that you want to put it on. However you can't put much information on them. Just your name, phone number and maybe an email address.

Another place to get them is on Amazon they have a bunch of different vendors with a bunch of different styles. I'll leave an affiliate link below to a search query showing those different options.

I'd love to hear in the comments below if you have any strategies you use for identifying your equipment.

And remember it's a great idea to use a multi-pronged approach to identifying your gear. For example this way, while it helps for a lot of your gear, doesn't work for memory cards.

I'll see you in one of these videos that YouTube thinks you'll enjoy.

And when making things, remember, perfection's not required. Fun is!

Saturday, April 6, 2019

How Computers Work: Binary And Data


Description

In the Bits of Binary twos-complement video, Christopher Mast asked "what do you do about the fact that all the binary numbers you're listing in the negative are assigned to trigger special characters and foreign letters?" That's a great question and today at the House of Hacks, Harley will talk about how computers work binary and data.

References:

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How Computers Work: Binary And Data

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

In the comments on the recent video about subtraction using twos complement, Christopher Mast asked a great question:

"what do you do about the fact that all the binary numbers you're listing in the negative are assigned to trigger special characters and foreign letters?"

This is a great question!

I gave a brief answer but wasn’t terribly satisfied with it.

So in this video, I’m going to dive a bit on how computers use numbers to represent all the different types of data that they work with.

By the way, Christopher has a great channel called “Legion of Weirdos” where he covers topics for your party time conversation so you don’t have to talk about your day job. Check it out.

At their core, computers just work with binary numbers.

As we saw in the Bits of Binary series, we went from 0 to 255 with 8 bits and that's all zeros to all ones with only 8 zeros or ones.

As computers got newer and more bits were added, each time they doubled the number of bits, from 8 in the old computers to 16 on some newer ones and they can count all the way up to 65535.

Adding more bits to 32 bit, again doubling, it can count all the way to 4 billion.

And with 64 bits it can count all the way to 16 billion billion, or an exabyte.

But in the end, they're all just positive integer numbers from zero to all ones, depending on how many ones there are.

So, how does the computer deal with characters?

Or negative numbers?

Floating point numbers?

Or any kind of data for that matter?

This is the topic for this video.

But first, if we’re just meeting, I’m Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we use our God-given skills, interests and talents to make things in the workshop out of things like wood, metal and electronics.

Part of making new things is understanding how old things work and so that’s why we’re looking at computers so we can have better understanding for future projects.

The most basic answer to Christopher’s question is: everything in a computer is just a positive number and we use those positive integers in different ways, with different mappings, depending on context.

Let’s get into some examples.

As we've discussed, computers only deal with binary numbers, in this case 8 bits, from 0 to 255, all zeros to all ones.

When a programmer wants to use numbers in this range, they just define the memory as unsigned and when they do that, the computer will treat 0 as 0, 1 as 1, all the way up to all 1s as 255.

When a programmer needs negative numbers, then they define the memory as being signed, and when they do that, the computer will treat all binary numbers that start with 0 as positive integers from 0 to 127 and it will treat all numbers starting with 1 as negative numbers from -1 to -128.

And as long as the programmer maintains this context of treating these numbers as signed then everything works out just fine.

Now, let’s look at characters.

In the early days of computers, there were a number of different ways of treating characters inside the computer.

At the end of the day, the one that ultimately won out is something called ASCII.

And it breaks down the numbers into groups of 32.

0 to 31 are what are called control characters and these were used in the early mechanical input devices to physically control the input. Things like moving the carriage to the beginning of the line and ringing a bell for the operator notification. Things of this nature. They start out with 0 as null and continue down to 31 for special characters.

The next group of 32 was for special characters and numbers. It started with space being defined to 32, exclamation point, quote, hashtag, the numbers were in the middle here, and at the end at 63 was a question mark.

The next group of 32 were the capital letters. It started with an "at" sign at 64, capital A was 65, capital B was 66, capital C was 67 and so forth down to 95 which was the underscore character.

And the final group of 32 were the lowercase characters. It started with a back accent character, "a," "b," "c" being defined as 97, 98 and 99, continuing on down to 127 which was treated as a delete character.

Now to get to Christopher’s point, the extended character set came in later and it defined numbers from 128 to 255, which happens to correspond to the negative numbers that we saw in the twos-complement video.

These characters are things like an "a" with an umlaut over it or "u" with an umlaut over it for foreign languages and special line drawing things on CRT screens.

The way the computer differentiates between whether it should treat it as these special extended ASCII characters or a negative number is basically just the context of what the computer programmer has told that memory should be treated as.

Whether it should be treated as a signed number, in which case they're negative numbers, or whether it should be treated as a character in which case they're part of the extended ASCII sequence.

So it's really just the context that defines how these numbers are being defined and mapped, and how they're ultimately being used.

And any kind of data in your computer really is treated the same way.

Floating points are just ultimately numbers that have special meaning assigned to them when they're told that the context is floating point numbers.

And any other data is the same way.

For example, this video that you're watching, the audio and the video that you're seeing are just numbers inside your computer that are being displayed on your screen and output through your audio devices.

If this sounds confusing, occasionally it is, but generally it’s not too bad. Context is a real good indicator of what's going on.

And it’s not completely without precedence. Consider spoken language.

Here's a combination of letters in English that has two meanings, the same spelling and different pronunciations.

It could be "minute" meaning a unit of time or "minute" meaning a small amount.

And here's another combination of symbols. The same three letters.

But if you're in English it means one thing.

If you're speaking Spanish it means something else.

And if you're in trig and math, it means yet a third thing.

Same symbols, different meanings, different contexts.

Thanks again Christopher for the great question and don’t forget to check out his channel up here in the cards.

Also up there in the cards is a link to the Bits of Binary playlist if you're interested in a deeper dive into binary number systems and over here are some videos that YouTube thinks you'll be interested in.

I'll see you there and in the mean time, remember when making things...

Perfection's not required. Fun is!

Friday, March 22, 2019

How to Subtract In Binary Using 2'S Complement


Description

Interested in subtracting in binary using 2's complement? In this final episode in the Bits of Binary series, Harley begins with what we know about subtracting in decimal and applies that to binary. Along the way way he introduces 2's complement and shows how it makes subtracting binary numbers a matter of simple addition.

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How to Subtract In Binary Using 2'S Complement

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

This is an elegant but non-intuitive way to represent negative numbers.

On this episode of Bits of Binary, I'll explain how it works, here at the House of Hacks.

Hi Makers, Builders and Do-It-Yourselfers. Harley here.

This is the last planned episode in the Bits of Binary series.

Previous episodes explored the concept of alternate number systems and how to do various mathematical operations in binary.

If you missed any of these episodes or want a refresher, they're all in this playlist.

In this past episode, I explained how to subtract a smaller number from a larger one.

It introduced subtraction and related it with how you know how to do it in decimal.

But by limiting the scope to smaller numbers subtracted from larger ones, I avoided the topic of how to deal with negative numbers.

Let's look at negative numbers and how computers represent them.

When learning decimal in grade school, we started with only positive numbers.

Once we got that under our belt, we were introduced to negative numbers, where the number line just mirrored the positive side with a negative sign in front of the number.

We could do the same thing with binary; just add a negative sign in front.

And if humans were the primary users of binary math, this would probably be sufficient, just like it is in decimal.

But we have to remember that the most common use of binary numbers is inside computers.

In the digital electronic environment of voltages, currents and electrons, we don't have the luxury of introducing another abstract symbol like a minus sign.

Ultimately, everything has to reduce to an on or off value.

Further, because of the physicality of the equipment, representing numbers of arbitrary length is hard.

So, two things are done to simplify the problem for computers to use.

First, there are already two symbols, 0 and 1 represented by no voltage and a voltage.

Rather than introducing a third symbol like a minus sign, a 1 is used to represent a minus and a 0 is used to represent a plus.

Second, instead of allowing an arbitrary number of digits, a fixed number of digits is defined.

Typically the number of digits are a power of two: 4, 8, 16 and so forth.

For the purposes of example, we'll assume 8 digits.

If we assume an unsigned number, 8 digits gives us a range of 0 to 255, or all zeros to all ones.

If we use a 1 in the most significant bit to represent a negative number and a 0 to represent a positive number, we reduce the number of bits for the number by one to 7.

This gives us a range of 0 to 127. With the last bit for a sign, the total range is 0 to +/- 127.

This introduces some interesting problems.

In this scenario, you have 0 to 127 in the positive range and then you add a 1 to the front for negative numbers.

Look what happens here at 0.

You have both a positive zero and a negative zero.

This doesn't make too much sense from a mathematical perspective.

The other problem is how to simply handle negative numbers?

First let's look at a decimal example to remember how borrowing works.

Let's take 2002 - 3.

We have 2 - 3, we can't do this so we try to borrow 1 from the previous column.

The previous column is already 0 so we have to borrow from its previous column.

Well this is also 0 so we do it again.

This means the two changes to a 1 and the third column is 10.

Now we borrow the 1 making the third column 9 and the second column 10.

Now we can borrow the original 1 we needed leaving the second column 9 and the first column 12.

Now the subtraction can occur with a final value of 1999.

Remember how this borrowing against 0 columns causes them to become 9s.

We'll come back to this.

Let's look at another example of 1 minus 2.

According to our earlier rule, we can't take a larger number from a smaller number.

So we make a new rule that says if we have a larger number from a smaller number, then swap the order and and add a minus sign to the result.

We could in theory do this in electronics.

Do a comparison, swap the order if needed and add the minus sign.

While it can be done, it's pretty complicated circuitry.

Let's look at what happens if we try doing some borrowing.

Using our example of 1 - 2, in binary we have 1 - 10, we can't do this so we have to borrow from a previous column.

But since the previous column is 0 so we go to the next column.

We do this until we run out of columns.

So we set the negative sign and make this last column 10, or the value 2.

Now we borrow one from that column, leaving 1 and shift to the next column.

This borrowing propagates all the way back leaving 1s in each column, just like we had 9s in our earlier decimal example.

Finally back to the first column, with the borrow, the subtraction can be done, leaving 1.

Because we have 0s in all the remaining columns, the borrows drop down, like the 9s did in our first decimal example.

This gives us a final value of 11111111.

If we wanted to make this look like the original idea of using the last bit for a sign and the remaining bits look just like their positive counterparts, somehow we need to make this look like 10000001.

We need to figure out how those 1s that are a result of borrowing get changed back to zeros.

It turns out this is a pretty complicated problem too.

But what happens if we just assign the result of all ones to mean -1?

Ultimately numbers are just arbitrary symbols with assigned values.

There's nothing stopping us from just saying this symbol represented by all 1s has the value -1.

If we do this, it really simplifies the electronic circuitry for the computer designers.

Let's take look at a couple other examples.

Let's take 1 - 3.

In binary this is 1 - 11.

Going through the process we used for 1 - 2, we end up with a final result of 11111110 which we assign the value of -2.

Now let's take 1 - 4. In binary this is 1 - 100.

Going through the process again, we end with a final result of 11111101 which we assign the meaning of -3.

Doing this again for 1 - 5 gives us 11111100 meaning -4.

Is there a pattern emerging?

If we change all the 1s to 0s and 0s to 1s we see this.

And this is the positive values offset by 1.

So there is a pattern and it's pretty logical.

And it turns out doing this offset by one and change of 0s to 1s and 1s to 0s is relatively easy to do in electronic circuitry.

It's called two's complement and has become the standard way of representing negative numbers.

Going back to our school days learning decimal numbers, once we learned about negative numbers, we then learned that all subtraction problems can be transformed into problems where we add the opposite.

So 2 - 1 becomes 2 + -1 and 1 - 2 becomes 1 + -2.

Well the same thing happens in binary using two's complement notation for negative numbers.

2 - 1 becomes 2 + -1.

Working through this, 0 + 1 is 1.

1 + 1 is 0 carrying a 1.

This 1 + 1 continues until we run out of digits leaving us with 00000001, the expected answer.

If we switch the operands, we have 1 - 2.

Converting this to adding the opposite gives us this.

Working through this 1 + 0 is 1.

The remaining columns are all 0 + 1 giving us 1s for a final result of 11111111 or -1.

Again the expected answer.

And it turns out this works for any combination of numbers.

Let's look at this on a number line.

And remember that weird case we had before with a positive zero and negative zero?

Well, it turns out with two's complement math, what used to be that hard to deal with negative zero just becomes -128.

Here at House of Hacks, I hope to inspire, educate and encourage people with a bent towards making technical and mechanical things out of wood, metal, cameras and electronics.

Binary is the basis for many things related to digital electronics, as well as Boolean algebra, which I'll cover in a future series.

If topics such as these are interesting to you, be sure to subscribe and click the bell notification icon to have YouTube alert you when future videos are uploaded.

Thanks for joining me on our creative journey.

Until next time, go make something. Perfection's not required. Fun is!

Friday, March 8, 2019

How to find lost camera gear - Set contact file (part 2)


Description

Ever lost a camera or other photo gear? Looking for ideas for how to find lost camera (digital)? This is the second in a series where Harley shows ideas that can help a lost camera find its way back home. These travel tips and hacks can help someone who has found a lost camera return it to you.

Other videos in this series: How to Find My Lost Camera
Photography videos: Photography Tutorials

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How to find lost camera gear - Set contact file (part 2)

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

Have you ever lost camera gear?

Are you looking for ideas to recover your camera gear if it ever does get lost?

Today at the House of Hacks, I'm going to talk about two such strategies.

Hi. If we're just meeting, welcome!

I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we do projects related to the workshop, things made out of wood, metal, electronics and other related types of materials.

Today, it's photography gear.

I belong to a local photography Facebook group where occasionally somebody will run across some camera gear that was accidentally left at a popular shooting location.

Generally what will happen is a post will go out describing where it was found and who to contact for more information.

Often times the owner is a member of the group and gets their gear back.

Inspired by these posts, this is the second in a series to help reunite you and your gear if it does get lost.

There's a link to the series right up here.

Our cameras use SD or CF cards to store images on. These are really nothing more than solid state disks that can store any kind of information, not just images.

With this in mind, today's tip is to add a file that contains your contact information in it.

I'm going to show you two ways of doing this.

The first way is to create a text file.

To do this, open a text editor.

On Windows, hit the WIndows key, type "notepad" and hit enter.

On a Mac, hit Command-space and type "textedit" and then hit enter.

Once you're in the editor, put in your contact information. Things like your name, address, phone number, e-mail and website.

Then, save this information on your computer. It can be anywhere you'll remember where it is. Your desktop or documents folders are great locations.

Call the file something that makes the contents obvious. Something like "contact info" or "read me." If you start the name with an underscore character, it'll be at the top of the file list when sorted by name in Windows Explorer or the Mac Finder.

Next, plug your memory card into your computer using a card reader.

The operating system should detect the new drive. Using either Windows Explorer or the Finder, open the card's drive and copy the new file into it.

And you're done!

Do you have any strategies for helping your camera gear find its way home?

Leave a comment below. I'd love to hear it.

And the second way is to create an image with your contact information in it.

To do this, grab a blank sheet of paper. A sheet from your nearest printer will work great.

And then get a marker pen. One with a thick tip is best.

Just write your contact information on the paper and make sure it's legible.

Then take a picture of that page and you're done.

You can keep the paper in your camera bag and then whenever you reformat your card, it's really handy to just grab it and take a picture so that card is now ready to find it's way back home if it ever gets lost.

With either of these tips, if someone finds your camera or your card, all they have to do is take a look at it and they'll be able to find your contact information.

Like the tips in the last video, this is a great first step but it only works for your camera or memory cards. And it requires a bit of thought on the person finding your gear. They have to go look for the information.

And if you ever format the card, you have to put the information back, either copying it off the computer or taking another picture.

In the next tips, I'll give ideas for identifying your equipment that's less technical and doesn't require as much thought on the part of the person finding it. And it'll work for pretty much any item in your camera bag, not just cameras and memory cards.

I'll see you in one of these videos that YouTube thinks you'll enjoy.

And while making things, remember, perfection's not required. Fun is!

Friday, February 22, 2019

How to make a portable air hose reel cart


Description

Wondering about how to build a portable air hose reel cart? In this episode of House of Hacks, Harley shows an install method for his new air hose reel that's portable and uses a new-to-him construction material: SteelTek. There are many ways of mounting an air hose reel but sometimes you don't want it in a permanent location. This option will allow you to move the reel around. This is a small test to see the applicability of this product for future SteelTek projects.

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How to make a portable air hose reel cart

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"
Incidental: "The Whip Theme", "Pump", "There It Is", "Guiton Sketch", "Cool Rock"

Transcript

There's got to be a better way.

Hi. If we're just meeting, I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we use our God-given creative talents in the workshop to make things out of wood, metal, electronics and other things like that.

Today we're going to be working on a storage system for this compressor hose.

As part of the car project, I picked up a new air compressor. And along with that came a number of new things that are related to the air compressor itself. Things like the air hose and other miscellaneous bits and bobs that are used to connect hoses together and things like that. And eventually I expect I'll be getting some more air tools and I need a place to store those. To help keep the garage organized and less cluttered, I need a place to store some of this new stuff.

I got a ReelWorks hose reel to store the hose on but now I need a place to mount this and I don't want to mount it permanently to the wall anywhere in the garage because I don't really have a good place for it in there and I don't know exactly how I'm going to be using it, where I'm going to be using it, so I wanted a portable solution.

So today I'm going to look at making a cart that this hose reel will mount to and then will also have additional storage that possibly in the future might be expandable to store additional air tools and things like that in that I purchase in the future.

Let's open this up, get some basic dimensions on it because it will be kind of the core around which everything else will be built.

[Unboxing ReelWorks hose reel]

This is what came in the box: the reel, a manual, a strain-relief spring, a connector fitting and the handle.

A little tiny bit of assembly required.

When I ordered the air hose, I also ordered an air filter and a three foot section of hose.

The idea was I will mount the air filter close to the hose reel and that will filter out any contaminants that are in the air line.

I'll get another hose, probably in the 20 foot range, that will go from the air filter to the air compressor.

From my research online, that's a good length to have between the air compressor and the air filter in order to allow time for anything that's suspended in the air flow to condense out and for the air filter to actually be able to be effective.

Then I'll have the longer hose that will wrap onto the hose reel to move around for actual use of the compressed air.

So, let's assemble this, make some drawings and see what we come up with.

[Hose reel assembly]

[Drawing cart elevations]

OK. Here's the concept.

We've got elevation drawings for the front, the top and the side.

The hose reel goes right here and we've got castors on the bottom.

It's 19 inches from the edge of this handle to where this curves up and it's 13 inches tall from the base here where it mounts to the outside edge and it's 11 inches around in this direction.

So the idea is to build a square base that has castors on it depicted by the circles down there so that'll allow it to roll around and have a plate on the bottom that the reel will mount to and then also have two supports that come up and that are joined at the top and it's going to be offset from the center.

It'll be behind the reel.

And that will be what the air filter connects to and then there will be a hose that runs from here down around into the bottom of where it mounts to to connect the incoming air from the air filter into the hose reel.

And I may think about putting some sort of storage media on top here somewhere.

I need to be careful about how big this is though because I don't want it to go above the handle, so it might look like something along these lines where it covers a portion of that space to hold odds and ends and nick-naks.

I don't want it to get all the way to the edge though otherwise it'll make it hard to spin the handle.

So that's the general idea. Let's go see if we can find some parts to build this with.

[Parts shopping]

[Parts cutting]

I was walking through Lowe's the other day in the plumbing department and noticed this really cool material that I hadn't seen in there before.

It's a whole system for making things with. It doesn't really belong in the plumbing aisle as far as I'm concerned other than it has these tubes that kind of looks like plumbing but it's not a plumbing system at all.

It's really a, basically a, Tinkertoys for adults.

They have all kinds of different connectors. These happen to be Ls and I also got some intersection connectors that have one pipe go through on the one direction and has another connector attach something in.

But they have all kinds of different connectors for Ts and multiple intersections coming together in pretty much all the different configurations you can think of of pipes coming together.

They also have adjustable connectors where you can have set screws and put the pipe in and adjust it to different angles depending on the purposes for whatever it is you're building.

It seems like a really cool system.

According to the web site, it comes in 3/8, 3/4 and 1-1/4 inch sizes and in galvanized and in black.

Now my local Lowe's only had it in 3/4 and 1-1/4 sizes and only in galvanized so I haven't seen the smaller size or the black.

For this particular project, the 3/4 is what I got because that was the smallest size they had but it's really overkill.

3/8 probably would have been way more than sufficient.

Each of the connectors have set screws in them that are tightened with an Allen wrench that tighten down onto the pipe and hold it in place.

It seems to be a really solid, robust system and I have a number of projects that I think it'll work really well for but I wanted to use it on this smaller project just for testing things out.

It is not a very cheap system.

These eight connectors and a 10 foot section of pipe ran me about $70 so compared to like copper or PVC that you might use for a similar application from the plumbing aisle where the connectors are in the cents to dollar range, it's much more pricey but it also is much more robust, rigid system.

The pipe comes pre-cut in various lengths from about I think 4 inches was the smallest in I think 2 inch increments up to a certain size and then it started going in foot increments.

The pipe was pretty expensive when purchased in the smaller sections so I ended up getting a 10 foot section which was the longest I could get and the cheapest per foot and then just cut it up to what I needed for this project.

I cut three 20 inch sections for the cross members and four 15 inch sections for the width and the height and now it's just a matter of connecting everything together with the Allen wrench.

Let's put it together.

[Frame assembly]

OK, that's all there is to it. This is a real sturdy system. I'm real impressed. Like I said, this is way overkill for this particular project, but don't have to worry about the hose reel going anywhere.

The next step is to cut some plates to mount things to.

A buddy of mine gave me some of these surplus moving dollies that his company built.

It's basically a piece of heavy duty sheet metal with a bunch of castors on the bottom.

The castors are a little gummed up, a little worn out possibly, possibly just dirty.

So, I'm going to tear these apart, clean them up and cut the metal down to fit in here and use a couple of the castors for the four corners of the hose reel.

[Moving dolly disassembly and cleaning]

OK, that worked really well.

I first started by trying to spray some WD-40 in one of them and realized that was going to take a lot of WD-40 and a lot of fiddling with things so I had the idea to take it upstairs and run them under some water and within seconds of putting them under water they immediately freed up.

That tells me that the thing that was really keeping these things from moving freely was dirt and probably soda.

These things were used to move soda vending machines around and my guess is they just got a lot of soda in there that kind of caked the dirt in there and made everything really gummy because, like I said, within seconds of putting it under the water they were moving freely.

I did use some soap and tried to clean things up pretty well. Had a lot of dirt come out of it as I was running it through the water and now I've kind of soaked them in WD-40 to drive all that moisture out, to lubricate them a little bit and to protect the surfaces from rust.

WD-40 makes a great solvent and water displacer. It does a little bit of surface protection and lubrication but that's not really it's strength.

So, once this WD-40 kind of evaporates out and displaces all the water, I'll get some oil, 3-in-1 oil or something similar to that, and just kind of lubricate this up for long term lubrication and protection.

The next step is to take those metal plates and cut it down to try to make it fit for the frame that I made earlier.

[Metal cutting, filing and drilling]

[Final assembly]

Well, that's a lot more compact and I think it's going to be easier to use. I don't have to unroll the whole hose in order to use things and we've got the filter on it now.

I didn't get it as far done as I would have liked. I would have liked to have painted the wood and gotten the storage system on top but I just have other projects I need to get to and ran out of time.

So, I'm going to call this good for now. Eventually I can do those as future upgrades.

Over here are some videos that YouTube thinks you're going to enjoy and remember when making things, as this demonstrates...

Perfection's not required. Fun is!

Friday, February 8, 2019

How to find lost camera gear - Set Metadata (part 1)


Description

Ever lost a camera or other photo gear? Looking for ideas for how to find lost camera (digital)? This is the first in a series where Harley shows ideas that can help a lost camera find its way back home. These travel tips and hacks can help someone who has found a lost camera return it to you.

Other videos in this series: How to Find My Lost Camera
Photography videos: Photography Tutorials

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How to find lost camera gear - Set Metadata (part 1)

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

Ever lost photography gear?

Looking for ideas for how to recover camera gear after it's been lost?

Today at the House of Hacks, I'm going to show you a strategy to help your lost gear find its way home.

Hi! If we're just meeting, I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we work with things related to the workshop. Things like wood, metal, electronics and things of that nature.

Today we're talking about photography gear.

I belong to a local photographers Facebook group where occasionally somebody will find some camera gear that has been accidentally left at a popular shooting location.

Generally, what will happen is a post will go out on the group describing the gear, where it was found and who to contact to retrieve it.

Often times the person is a member of the group and sees that post and is able to get their gear back.

Inspired by these posts, this is the first of several tips to help reunite you and your gear if it ever gets lost.

And today's tip is to update the metadata in your camera.

This information will get saved into every photo that's taken with that camera.

All the Canon camera's I've owned have come with a program called the EOS Utility.

Inside this utility is a Camera Settings section and inside this section is a place for you to enter your name and other contact information.

When this data is uploaded to your camera, it will be added to every photo that's taken by that camera.

This helps in two ways.

Every image you take with that camera has your information in it that can help resolve any copyright disputes.

And if your camera or memory card is ever found, someone can look at your photos and find your contact information to get a hold of you.

And if you find a camera or memory card, look at the card in either Windows Explorer or the Mac Finder.

Any information the user has stored in the metadata will be shown in the information panel.

This way of identifying your gear is a great first step but only works for your body and memory cards and it's not intuitively obvious to anybody that finds it that it's there.

They have to know to go look for it.

I'd love to hear in the comments below if you've done this.

I'd also love to hear if you know how to do this for other camera brands.

In future videos, I'll give additional ideas for identifying your gear.

I'll see you in one of these videos that YouTube thinks you'll enjoy.

And when making things, remember, perfection's not required. Fun is!

Friday, January 25, 2019

How To Hang Moving Blankets For Sound Absorption


Description

Need to easily hang your moving blankets for sound absorption? In this episode of the House of Hacks, Harley shows an fast hack to make moving blankets easy to hang for acoustic treatment.

Referenced videos:
Using moving blankets for sound absorption

Spring clamp hack

Finishing paracord ends

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to How To Hang Moving Blankets For Sound Absorption

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

Want to see how to make it easier to hang cheap moving blankets to absorb sound? Today at the House of Hacks, we're going to do exactly that.

Hi. If we're just meeting, I'm Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we use our God-given creative talents to make things in the workshop out of wood, metal, electronics, photos and other things of this nature.

In this earlier video, I looked at how surprisingly effective cheap moving blankets were for an acoustic treatment for a room. I measured the echo in my workshop before hanging them and then hung them and then measured it again and found that it worked really, really well.

Now I need a way to easily hang them, move them around and put them to use.

In that video, I used some spring clamps to hold the blankets to some overhead joists here in the workshop. It worked well enough but it was kind of cumbersome since the blanket was held in place by the jaws of the clamps.

As I showed in this other video, I put 1/4-20 bolts on spring clamps in order to hold photography accessories.

One such accessory are these. They're studs that are a couple cents apiece when bought in bulk and are designed to hold studio lights. But of course we don't need to use them for that.

At the hardware store, I picked up a grommet installation kit with some large grommets and some paracord. We'll use this to hang the moving blankets.

The installation kit is designed for two sizes of grommets and so it comes with two cutters for material to make holes the right size and a piece of wood to back those cutters up when cutting the material. To install the grommets, the kit comes with an anvil for one side of the grommet. This is two sided. One for the large size and one for the small size.

And it comes with two punch heads. These are used to crimp the two halves of the grommets together.

To be able to hang these blankets, I'm going to put three grommets on one edge of each blanket.

Starting with the large cutter and the wood, I used a hammer to drive the cutter through the blanket and into the wood. This gives me a hole the right size for the grommet.

The grommets come in two halves. The first half is designed to go through the hole and the second half goes over the top of this with the material sandwiched in between and then it's crimped together.

Place the grommet that goes through the hole on the bottom anvil and then place that under the blanket through the hole.

Place the other half of the grommet on top with the curved side up.

Use the punch head and a hammer to round over the center part of the grommet, crimping the two halves tightly together.

Once the grommets were in place, I then cut the rope into nine inch long segments and sealed the ends. I show in this video how I like to seal the ends of kernmantle rope and paracord.

The rope is looped through the grommets and held with a knot. I used a square knot but you can use whatever you like.

The loops of rope can now slip over the studs on the spring clamps and I can hang a blanket where ever the clamps can be placed... On shelves... On equipment... And it's easier to use on the joists too.

Thanks for joining me on this creative journey that we're on.

I'll see you over here in this video that YouTube thinks you'll like.

And while making things, remember: Perfections not required. Fun is!

[Beep]

OK! We got the audio running this time.

Last take I did the entire video and didn't have the audio on.

Isn't that fabulous?!?!

We'll call it a practice.

Friday, January 11, 2019

DIY Camera Gear: Spring Clamp Hack


Description

Need some inexpensive camera gear? In this episode of House of Hacks, we're going to take a look at an inexpensive but super useful DIY camera gear hack: the spring clamp. Also known as A-clamps, spring clamps are cheap but essential camera gear for beginners that should be part of every camera bag.

Spring clamps at Amazon. (Affiliate link)

Here at House of Hacks we do tutorials, project overviews, tool reviews and more related to making things around the home and shop. Generally this involves wood and metal working, electronics, photography and other similar things. If this sounds interesting to you, you may subscribe here.

If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Hacks' values, here’s a playlist for you.

And here’s the most recent video.

For a written transcript, go to DIY Camera Gear: Spring Clamp Hack

Music under Creative Commons License By Attribution 3.0 by Kevin MacLeod at http://incompetech.com.
Intro/Exit: "Hot Swing"

Transcript

Besides a camera, today at the House of Hacks we’re going to look at one of the most essential, and cheapest, tools for a photographer’s camera bag: the spring clamp!

Hi! If we’re just meeting, I’m Harley and this is the House of Hacks where we talk about things workshop related. Things like metal working, wood working, electronics, photography and making things in general.

The spring clamp, also known as an A-clamp, is super useful on photo shoots. Today we’re going to talk about a modification that makes it even more useful for photography purposes and then we're going to talk about a number of ways it can be used.

Spring clamps come in a variety of sizes from huge, giant things to these medium sized ones, these happen to be 2 inch, to these smaller guys. I think these are 1 inch. Personally I find the medium sized ones the most useful, followed by the smaller ones. I've haven't ever found a need for the really big ones.

They cost a couple bucks apiece and can be found at most large home improvement stores. I’ve also left a link below to where you can get them on Amazon. This will save you a trip , I get a small commission and it won't cost you anything extra.

To make them even more useful for photography applications, I like to add a 1/4-20 bolt with a nut on it to allow you to mount things like cameras and other photography accessories lights.

To add this hack, for each clamp, get a 1/4-20 1 inch long bolt. I like to use a star lock washer. They seem to work a bit better than say the split ring lock washers. A nyloc 1/4-20 nut. A 1/4-20 flange nut. This is a nut that has a flange on with a wider section on one side. And a large washer where the hole in the middle is large enough for the nut part of the flange nut to go through but not large enough for the flange to go through.

And also some two-part epoxy.

Mix up a bit of epoxy and use it to glue the flange nut to the inside of the washer. The flange itself should be exposed and keep the nut from going through the washer.

While that’s setting, check your clamps to see if they have a hole between the hinge and the tip of the clamp. If they don't, you'll need to drill one. Some brands have a hole here. Some brands don't. These don't, so I'll have to drill a hole. And I'm going to drill that hole just below where the plastic part of the tip ends.

Then, with the star lock washer next to the bolt head, place the bolt through the hole from the inside so the threads are poking out. Use the nyloc nut to hold it securely in place.

Once the epoxy is set, thread that assembly onto the bolt with the flange part of the assembly pointing out.

This gives you a place to mount standard 1/4-20 threaded items onto. The flange nut works as a jam nut to tighten the item down and the washer gives you a little handle to be able to loosen and tighten it.

So, how can you use this?

You can hold backdrops or reflectors to stands…
tighten loose clothing on models…
manage cables and cords…
hold gels on lights…
keep gobos in place...
mount cameras or lights in awkward places…
hang sound absorbing material to deaden room echos…
or whatever you can think of.

If you have clamps like these, leave a comment below and tell me how you've used them.

I’ll see you in this video over here that YouTube thinks you'll find interesting.

And remember when making things: perfection's not required. Fun is!

[John 4:14]