Sorry to report the anti-Alzheimer’s light project (designed to flick at 40 Hz to potentially improve cognition) didn’t get completely finished this week. Too little time and too much else going on.
But we did make a good start on assembly, so let’s go from there.
We begin with the pile of parts. (See last Sunday’s column for details).
Next, we piece things together as they may fit in the box. Little details matter here – like is the power supply set-off from one end far enough so that you’ll be able to see the connector board when assembling?
Little things like that genuinely matter. I have no idea how many radio modifications have been made over the last 50-years, but there’s really nothing wrong with pasting a revised schematic of some radio inside the covers where it won’t be visible from the outside now, but when someone else tries to figure out “What gives?” there will be help at hand. Even on small DIY projects like this one.
A little too Rorschach for you? OK, to my point: If you save a schematic or diagram of something, make sure it will make sense to a stranger in 5-years.
Measuring and Fastening
This step is where the end quality of the project is defined. Accuracy in measuring (since things being squared off and strack is somehow pleasing to monkey-mind) is necessary.
The first decision on every project is how are you going to fasten things together? On this project, my choices are screws or hot glue.
The reason for the fastening decision first is that it will then determine how you are laying out your parts.
There are two main approaches to screwing things together. One is to meticulously and perfectly measure the hell out of everything with intricate cuts and lots of arithmetic.
The SECOND and usually much faster is to make a template. One-time drilling is template on printer paper:
In this instance, the typing paper was held stable and a ball-end Allan wrench was then used to ream out the screw holes.
The other way is to get out the calipers and take your time because that kind of layout takes forever compared to a simple template.
For more than one-off, do the paper template and transfer the drill holes to more durable materials: Manilla folder stock for simple dozen-times use. Or 1/4 inch plywood on up to 1/4-inch steel in industrial settings.
Hot Glue Magic
No idea why I was so skeptical of hot glue for so long, but my impression used to be that it was weak and a poor substitute for real workmanship.
Now, though, with a big battery on a portable hot glue gun and a pocket full of sticks, you can get into all kinds of mischief.
Obviously, a hole for the power switch (*and some refurb work because this is a recycled part from the bin) needs to be figures. Being a proto and test unit, no need to do the truss head small metric power supply screws.
Tomorrow morning, after the column, plan is to get the unit’s flasher set to 40 Hz. Then it will be time to use it and notice (if any) effects.
If you do work on this “flashing light modulate energy” work, you’ll want to be aware of something called flicker vertigo. Per Wikipedia:
“Flicker vertigo, sometimes called the Bucha effect, is “an imbalance in brain-cell activity caused by exposure to low-frequency flickering (or flashing) of a relatively bright light.” It is a disorientation-, vertigo-, and nausea-inducing effect of a strobe light flashing at 1 Hz to 20 Hz, approximately the frequency of human brainwaves. The effects are similar to seizures caused by epilepsy (in particular photosensitive epilepsy), but are not restricted to people with histories of epilepsy.”
I would run into it, now and then when landing, the engine back to idle power and sun behind at sunrise or sunset. The technique is also used on some tactical lighting mounted on your gun’s rail. Depending on maker, it’s the “disorient flashing” setting.
Another Safety Focus
…this week was getting set up to put a small (5.5 watt) laser into the 4030 CNC machine.
Spending a lot of time trying to get the absolute best software setup I can – but with one restriction: Has to be 100 percent offline. Some of the products out there are great but web bound. Even with maybe another step (using FlatCam and the conversion software, then putting it in a feed program (like Candle), at least everything here is…off grid capable.
Speaking of Which:
MellowPine.com and their CNC pages (and articles) have reminded us of how good the web can be in capable hands. The site is set up in two broad categories. The DIY section which is over here. And the CNC section over this-a-way.
Normally, I wouldn’t get excited about such a site but their sign-up for free courses (they email some out once a day for a week) on a dandy variety of topics from this page.
Back to the Weekend
Much to do and only a few scribbles tomorrow. This 7-day a week habit should have been popped long ago. But slave to the language, I guess…
Write when you get rich,