A third of the way into January, the rains have returned to Texas.
Those couple of weeks rounding-out December, were nothing more than sucker-punches for the unwary.
From the outside project table, under the off-square rannygaboo (Americanized from the more proper rannygazoo) rain cover, there were projects lined up as far are the eye could see:
The highly organized pile on the left is some field wire while the metal barrels are awaiting the “master’s touch” with the plasma cutter. Two will become burn barrels, while the third metal barrel will be fashioned onto a barrel stove kit. Plastic barrels will be serviced (remnants used to start spring brush piles) and then refilled with stabilizer and 55-gallons of diesel each.
Fortunately, that’s not our topic today.
The real story this morning is about Artist-in-Chief Elaine’s artistic eye. Which saw that there might be some shortcomings to my Grow Room project. One of which is rain screwing up the view of trees through the roof:
Still, accepting the visual obfuscation (along with some of my own donations) the roofline is complete now:
Unfortunately, even though I managed to get this project underway and half-way to completion, she spied the storage room. Oh boy! Another project.
This one began by whacking down all the yaupon trees around it:
The Artiste wants this to match the house color, as well. Shouldn’t be too much of an issue, however. As soon as the rest of the stumps are cut and the new trim work in place.
Rain and a sore right shoulder (rotator cuff, feels like) from lifting overhead has slowed the frantic good weather day work pace a bit. Rain works for me.
Shop Sound Systems
If you remember, the main workbench in the middle of our shop, has a 2-by-4 overhead which holds more crap than you can shake a stick at.
On the far side is the screwdriver rack, hammer rack, and to the left of this view are the power tool racks with two each impact drives (Skil, Hitachi) and their mating drills. Somehow a battery power circ saw and a zip saw made it onto that rack, as well.
Focus now, if you please, on the central portion of said 2-by-4 to scale this morning’s class project:
That brown area is a 1/4 inch ply light shade so the light goes on the work, not in my eyes so much. Above that is a police scanner (for the genuinely full-time paranoid) along with an Alexa Echo box. Burglar alarms aren’t shown. (Do I have idiot written on my forehead?)
Also, into the mix, let’s now toss an old stereo that works fine – bought on our sailboating honeymoon up in Nanaimo, B.C. back in 2000.
Off in a corner are (yet another) pair of reliable old Bose/Interaudio’s that sound acceptable, unless you’re running seismic shock testing with your subs.
Since we didn’t have any success bending space-time with sound (lack of persistence, I suspect, since the math and logic is good) I have a total of six or eight of these bad boys sitting around.
Now the Design Parameters
Here is my project list, from lightweight quickies all the way up to IPO’s.
- Lightweight: Hook up four speakers only to the stereo, turn on the low power FM transmitter in the recording studio at the house and play my own playlist off the MP3 collection and using ZaraStudio – Radio automation software to roll the right tunes along. Maybe set it up for time, news, weather, and such off the internet, as well.
- Medium weight: This version would skip the Zara work but would add in Bluetooth devices to pipe the music source (Amazon Music) over to the (old) stereo and thence to the speakers. This might sound like the lightweight version, but my luck with Bluetooth (except in our airplane for some reason) has been terrible. Worse? The BT devices would not be used but 2-5 times a week. And now we’re talking battery life, or outlets and switching with another Smart Switch on the home automation network which has already sprawled onto our three wireless networks here. Which might just push me over the edge into mesh networking and now we’re completely losing track of the “working with hands” and back into computers and virtual shit which obviates the whole point of a shop. EXCEPT that with two 3D printers and the CNC machine (with laser), doesn’t that sound sort of like building The Holodeck? Without the advantage of a Star Fleet Academy degree in computers, however…
- Heavyweight version: I take a leftover computer (we have a couple) and a leftover monitor (there’s a 40 inch, NOT UHD, and hardwire everything into a kind of “shop central control.” If you’ve been around broadcast facilities, picture a cross between a video editing suite and audio production room. Except here, it would be part audio production space, part CNC control center, and piping my choice of Alexa, Zara, or iHeart around. But, doing this, I want to maintain the audio levels under voice command so not sure if I can jigger that together under Win10, or whether Alexa still has to be wired or BT’ed in.
- Ultra-weight leading to an IPO version: We figure out how to build a shop sound canceling system into the center of all this. It would feature:
- Multiple sound sources (Alexa, Zara, iHeart)
- CNC and 3D printers under voice control.
- Auto-muting of machines when the phone rings (on Alexa or on the landline…)
- And when nothing is on the entertainment channel, counter-waves of sound are generated by a half dozen mics around the shop to neutralize machine noise. Similar to the panels of active noise cancellation but dialed in for the big central shop vac and for the table saw, shaper, sanders are being used.
- Oh, and a $139.00 price point and 10-wire installation…
OK, I gotta swear off, change brands, or buy some more power tools!
If you don’t know BRG is British Racing Green, then Ray’s overnight gem of a post at the bottom of our Tool-Slut/Maker’s “Hot Deals” tip sheet won’t be of interest. But if you know your Wentworths from you Whitworths, then bottom of Hot Deals – UrbanSurvival is of extreme interest.
On the other hand, if your interests are more domestic, might try one of these: Lotos Supreme LTP5500D Non-Touch Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter, Dual Voltage 110V/220V, 3/5 inch Clean Cut, Brown (55AMP Digital). Yes, that’s right: Cut up and haul off. Then get something worthy of your time, money, and attentions. (I did a partial on a ’39 Chevy, which ended up going to a lawyer when that 30-year ago nuclear event went off; me, bitter?)
BTW, notice how cheap stick welders have gotten on the ‘Zon? Amazon.com : hot start welders…,(For those of us who are wire and gas fans and have terrible eyesight… Artists run stick…)
Write when you get rich,