I comissioned a Field Notes leather notebook cover

Field Notes notebooks are among the best notebooks currently made. Good quality paper, fits in my pocket very well and are just a pleasure to write on. Sadly, the paper cover doesn't stand up well to minor abuse. A cover is needed to give some protection.

Field Notes make a couple of leather products to fufill this requirement but given that they are at the \$80+ price point I decided against one of those. Far too much money for a few bits of leather stitched together. Ebay was the same.

My buddy Drayygon has been doing a few bits of leatherwork for a couple years now so I asked about the possibility of commissioning him to make a cover. For the princely sum of £15 I am pleased.

It is a simple affair with 3 leather panels stitched together to hold the cover to the notebook. No faff, no extra guff.

wpid-wp-1399714689637.jpg wpid-wp-1399714703967.jpg wpid-wp-1399714718500.jpgEven still fits in the slot pockets on my TAD trousers. Little tight but will get in. Cheers Drayygon!



Outside!

A few days ago my friend Scott and I made a couple of videos.

This one is about stoves and whatnot.

This one is about the fire kit I threw together the night before.

This will hopefully be a semi-intermittent thing, especially now that we have 2 cameras for capture. Recorded some stuff today so expect that in the near future.


Oh yes, I do like this book

Teacher - Dr. Vohlman - has rolled an archaic test bench in; it looks like a couple of Tesla coils fucking a Wheatstone bridge next to what I swear is a distributor hub nicked from an old Morris Minor.


When geeks and occultism collide

Yes, its a pentacle. Yes, he's using a fifty kilovolt HT power supply and some mucking great capacitors to drive the laser. Yes, that's a flayed goatskin on the coat rack and a half-eaten pizza whirling round at 33 rpm on the Linn Sondek turntable. This is what you get when you live with Pinky and the Brain: I said it was a geek house and we all work in the Laundry, so we are talking about geek houses for very esoteric - indeed, occult - values of geek.

-- Charles Stross - The Atrocity Archives

I think I'm gonna like this book.


Bike Power

A good year ago I bought a cheap dynamo from eBay. The lights that came with it were utter garbage and I chucked them. The dynamo got installed and left to linger on the bike.

Over the past couple weeks, I have been tinkering around with the idea of getting the dynamo running and producing useful power for when I'm riding. The first generation system was simply a bridge rectifier and the largest capacitor I had in my parts crate. Pedalling by hand produced a healthy 20+ volts with no load attached.

Yesterday, my buddy Scott and I had a day off and it was decided that this project would step up a gear. We decided that the best course of action would be to get a proper power supply setup rather than a cobbled together mish-mash amalgamation of random components. There are a number of things suitable for power generation but nothing really suited 100%. We decided that a kit from Maplin was the best route to go down. It provides for potential expansion in the future, just need to swap out the regulator. Currently it is capped at 1 amp at 5 volts. If I decide I want more amps, it will cost about £2 to upgrade. Not bad.

IMG_20140403_140058We opted to alter the configuration of the components from the kit defaults. The large capacitor is moved off to the side so that it will fit in the project box and the regulator is now fitted outside the box with a heatsink for better cooling.

After fiddling with the adjustment potentiometer (tiny movements are needed to get to the right voltage) and testing with a sacrificial device, we test rode the setup.

Need to get the box fastened down properly and everything tidied up, as well as get a proper mount for my phone but for all intents and purposes, job done! Not bad for an afternoon's work.


2014 is the year of vagabonding

Lots of travelling going on this year. First up, I'm camping in Galloway forest for a week in May. Then in August I'm headed to Illinois to meet up with some folks to head down to Indiana for Gencon. The week after that is Electromagnetic Field 2014. Then if I can get the time off from work, I will be going to the next Chaos Communications Congress in Germany.

Good times.