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DIY Clays (Skeet/Trap) Wireless Puller

Commercial versions that allow a single shooter to shoot skeet or trap, voice controlled, wireless, cost more than $300. This project was spawned to see if I could build my own…

I have a draft Instructable that explains the materials and steps to build this tool, using a Raspberry Pi Zero-W and a Relay. I will post the link to that site and project as soon as it is posted.

Disassembly & Assembly for a Savage 24S-E combination gun

Savage 24S-E Disassembly & Assembly

Landscape Fountain Project…

In an effort to make the gravel area surrounding the Purgela and hardscape patio in our backyard more natural, I was determined to add a more natural looking dry creek bed, and a bubbler. We don’t have many outside outlets, so I was interested in powering a bubbler/fountain using solar energy and battery power. I found a solar powered + rechargerable battery fountain pump kit on Amazon, went to Lowes and purchased river rock and other supplies, and got to work.

Our “green” outboard

My old 1983 Haines-Hunter “Tramp“, a 19.5′ trimaran, has been powered by an equally old 1985 Suzuki 4HP outboard. That old motor has worked flawlessly until last season. After failures to start, and noticing a fuel leak, I was determined to fix the old girl myself. She lived in my garage, on my workbench, with her prop in a garbage can of water as I analyzed, troubleshot, and ordered fuel pump and carburetor gaskets, replaced same, and pulled and pulled the starter rope… all to no avail. Local outboard mechanics would have nothing to do with this old motor, and there is only one place to get parts online. So, frustrated but determined to move on, I placed the old outboard for sale on eBay as non-operational or for parts, and started research for a replacement.

The results of my personal desire for a lightweight, low maintenance, solution led me to investigate electric motor alternatives to the old gas solutions. And now, to be delivered by FedEx today, is my new Torqeedo 1003L electric outboard! It weighs in at 29lbs with lithium battery, is self-contained (no marine batteries to deal with), and should push my Tramp at hull speed without any problems. I’ll let you know how the plan works in practice…


Hacking my home security system: Part 1

Having setup my Raspberry Pi 2 for wifi remote headless operations, I needed to connect it to a breadboard and test some rudimentary Python code, to see if I could access the GPIO pins and simulate some door switches. I wrote a simple script to monitor three simulated doors (front, back, and garage), and detect when a connection was broken using a wires from three GPIO pins, leading to a common ground.

With my script results showing when I “opened” doors by pulling appropriate wires off and back on to ground.

Before I hook the breadboard up to “real” door sensors, I will need to determine which leads to connect to the current DSC system strip┬áto which house sensors.

In the meantime I will switch gears and work on my “Ruby on Rails” (RoR) system interface, which will be running on a separate Debian based server. The plan is to have the Pi based system continually monitoring the state of available house security sensors, and reporting the state to the RoR based server for alerting via the GUI web interface, and emails/texts to my iOS devices. Here is a preliminary view of the home screen for that GUI interface.

In the next post I will show status of the GUI development, communication between the pi and the server, and preliminary connections between the breadboard and the DSC sensors.

Hacking my home security system

I am starting a project for the winter, where I plan to re-use the wired security features in my house, and connect them to a raspberry pi based monitoring system. The existing security system is not being monitored by a security company, and I am locked out of it since I do not have user or admin keys.

When complete, the new system will feature email or text alerts to me, custom settings, and a GUI to manage and monitor system status. That web based app will probably be a Ruby on Rails (ROR) based system, while the programming on the Pi will be in Python.

More to follow…

Building a Range Box…

I joined a local gun club to return to a sport of my youth – bullseye target shooting. Since I was not willing to part with $250 for a range box, a gun and “stuff” box that all the serious shooters seemed to have, I decided to build one. Following are pictures of my rendition of a bullseye range box.