Quick Hack/Tip: Socket Wrench

Real quick tip that I just figured out and you may already know. Either way, I’m sharing.

Socket_wrench_and_sockets

While working on my car I sometimes come across certain bolts and nuts that I need to unbolt blindly. Typically, I can figure out a solution for getting off the certain pain in the rear. I usually find, though,  that if it getting it off is hard, then getting it back on is even harder.

If ¬†the space is not visible or ¬†too small to easily screw something on with your hand because the nut constantly gets twisted, turned around, or dropped, use a socket without the driver attached to guide the nut on the post. I know, obvious. Just put the nut inside the socket. Super easy. But that’s not the tip.

Here’s the tip:

I find that many of the threaded posts in ¬†my car are very short. This means that if I put the nut inside the socket, the nut will never reach the tip of the post because it’s sitting at the very bottom of the socket. The socket is too deep. My solution is to shove a punch of paper inside the socket to pad the bottom of it to make the nut sit right at the top of the socket. Then, you screw the nut on using the socket. Easy peasy.

How do you get the paper out? You stick a screw driver through the back hole of the socket and it comes right out the front.

Hillsong United – Avalanche

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOJhJWZNQyU&w=420&h=315]

My Hope for a Full Phone Future

My hope is that my phone becomes my personal computer, my work computer, and my car stereo What? My phone? Yes!!! My phone and I think it may be possible to hack together. Driving in this morning I was thinking about NFC Stickers, Wireless Power, Airplay, Bluetooth, and how powerful phones are now-a-days. What would I use for a desktop computer? I would use my phone. I come home with my phone in my pocket. I set it down on a wireless power pad that has an NFC sticker on it. It will then begin to recharge, and the NFC sticker will trigger the phone to turn-on Airplay/Bluetooth that will connect to an external display, speakers, keyboard and mouse are now connected. The phone would also trigger a different the desktop to act similar to OS X¬†and not iOS. How would this work when I drive? It would work almost the exact same way. I would set the phone in a compartment or holder that is enabled with wireless power and a NFC sticker. The only difference would be the external display is a small 7-10″ touchscreen that is mounted to the dash. The phones Airplay would mirror to the screen/speakers and the phone is triggered to switch to a vehicle version of iOS that makes the maps, phone, and music apps the most prominent apps. That’s it. You can see where this is going, and I think it’s a very realistic future. Android seem to be closer to accomplish what I hope happens to my phone, but with my experience of Android it’s going to be wonky and work only some of the time. ¬†Let’s just say we were not impressed at all with our HTC Sensation. Is this even possible? Yeah, lets just look at the difference between my laptop and the most current iPhone.

MacBook Air – 1.8 GHz i5, 4GB 1600 MHz DDR3 vs¬†Iphone 5 –¬†Dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9,¬†1 GB RAM

So so so close. Oh but wait, that sweet looking aluminum case on your iPhone 5 made it impossible for Apple to utilize the NFC technology and it was dropped…boo. What do you think? Music to let it sink in….

STRFKR –¬†Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z8oYH_bhnA&w=560&h=315]

Fix it yourself

I’ve been fascinated with projection technology since I was kid. A family friend had one of the ¬†sweet looking front projection TV’s at their house. It baffled me how 3 color guns could create a picture, it wasn’t the best picture, but even still it worked.

When I had my first apartment all I dreamed of was playing Halo on a 90+ inch diagonal screen. Ugh, but projectors were thousands of dollars back in 2004. Well in 2010 they became significantly less and I could finally afford one. I went out and bought my setup (Optoma HD66). Called a few buddies and installed the greatest entertainment center that ever lived. Then I had to move:(

A year later I finally figured out how to install everything in a small spare bedroom. It’s 12′ x 11′ and it has my 100″ screen on one wall ūüėÄ It took some planning and convincing of the little lady (Thanks pretty lady ;), but it’s in there.

I had it for 1 month and then I noticed a dead pixel. No big deal right? Just 1 dead pixel.

Until the next day, there was 2 and then day after 6 and then 15. WTF!? This thing isn’t that old. How? What? Why???!!! OH NO.

We don’t have a regular TV. The projector is our sole source of television so we found ourselves watching a not so pretty picture:

Dead DMD chip Optoma HD66

It was a sad sad day. I started to give up hope. I thought, “Well. I had my fun. Time to get an actual TV.” Then I said screw it. It’s already broken. I bet it can be fixed. I did some research and found out the DMD chip goes bad quite often on projectors. So, I went out and bought what I needed and went on my way. Watched this very very helpful YouTube video that helped me get past some parts and actually locate the part that I needed to replace. Now, it’s all good and I can go back to watching way too much Seinfeld. Here are some pics of the parts I had to take out. It was scary at first, but turned out to be pretty easy. Hopefully this helps somebody.

The results were great. It’s been about a week or so and no problems. Hopefully it doesn’t get jacked up again.

2013-03-17 14.26.51

25% are brilliant ideas

The title of this post is a quote from the same person that gave me the nickname “Anthony Has Ideas”.¬†I named it this to lure that person to actually read the blog they instigated.

I’m proud that I have any ideas, let alone 25% being brilliant. I don’t believe him though, I want to see analytical backup. Can I put that on my resume?

Anyway, back to the real reason you’re reading this. Stupid ass ideas. I’m still in old project mode, so this is another rehash project post. I’m not sure if it’s in the 25% or 75% range of ideas. Either way I had a lot of fun building it. I almost died from the fiberglass fumes, but the reason for that was EASILY in 75% range.

I called the post “The Ole’ Tranny”

This is the car computer (carputer). ¬†This was done way back in 2006-7 so don’t judge. I wish the iPad would of been around to solve all the issues I had with this. I ran Windows XP on it…yeah that’s right!!! I could use MS Paint whenever I wanted.

You can check the full build here: http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/show-off-your-project/90342-2000-firebird-trans-am-whord.html

I ended up upgrading a lot on the computer end of this project. I changed my motherboard to an Epia 1.3ghz w/ 512mb ram. I removed the pci card for usb (the new motherboard has it taken care of) and I put in a 2.5″ harddrive (Thanks Mike!)

Check it out!!! This is a set of pictures of my trunk space with my amp, computer, faceplate, custom touchscreen (that I modified), and the subbox I fiberglassed. I was so excited when this was all done.

Problems that I ran into:

  • I didn’t want to loose my normal radio so I had to solve for that.
  • I had to move my AC controls and it involved cutting actual¬†plastic air¬†tubes that was frightening.
  • Bumps in the road ruined almost all of my hard drives. I went through about 3 in a year. That’s quite a bit.
  • I should of put in a manual override power/reset button.
  • The day I was selling the car the computer acted up and I couldn’t get it to reboot properly so lots of software issues.

Ok that’s it. Thanks for checking it out.

I lost my marbles…revisited

I wrote this blog post about 4 years ago on an old service (cough…Myspace…cough) and it was time for me to repost. It’s one of my favorite projects.

For years I would go to ¬†Disney’s Hollywood Studios, fka MGM Studios, and ride the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. It’s easily one of the best rides at Disney. While waiting in line there was a certain section that I was obsessed about, an amazing set of doors made of marbles that I LOVED!! Seeeeeee. Anyway, one day I got the nerve to try and make this myself, and I did it… and for not a¬†ridiculous¬†amount of money either, which was exciting. Most of the time invested in this project was planning and the help of my great friend Matt was absolutely necessary, but we kicked this projects butt. The marbles even roll when you run your hands across just like the original. The key to the whole thing was finding the metal.

So let me show you what we did.

It’s a 3’0″x 6’8″ solid core exterior door. It took just over 3,200 marbles (80lbs) and over 100 1/8″ rivets to complete. The total weight of the door is around 150lbs and is supported by 4 barrel hinges. We lucked out on the metal plating that is holding the marbles, the average marble is 5/8″ in diameter and I happen to find a person selling large pieces of 3 gauge perforated metal with 1/2″ round holes. I asked the supplier to cut 2 identical pieces of metal, I then¬†sandwiched¬†the marbles between them, and riveted the pieces together. I’m still in shock that I was able to find the metal. Securing the slab of metal and marbles in place was also a bit of a challenge. This is where Matt came in. We used a table saw, a router, and made a jig to create a wood railing/trim that the slab sat in. Once we framed everything out, we prayed, and then slid everything into place. A few nails later we were golden.

There are a few things that are different from the original.

  • Disney uses square holes for their metal. It looks awesome, but it’s custom which makes it very high dollar. It would of added many hundreds of dollars to my overhead and I figured Disney can have this one detail.
  • Disney also uses a sheet of plexiglass on the back of the door that you’re not able to see because the doors are propped open against a wall. I’m guessing this is for insulation.
  • Disney also does not use a pattern for the marbles. This would of made things easier, but I wanted to have fun with a pattern. ¬†I made a grid using MS Paint (yeah that’s right!) and was able to overlay a pattern. I was then able to count out how the marbles should lay on the metal.

A couple things to keep in mind. If you’re doing a pattern, make sure the grid is backlit. The marble colors are the same when light isn’t openly shining through them. Also, try and find an average door size. I went with a beefy exterior door because of where I was using it, but now I don’t know where to put it. It currently resides in my parents garage which I’m sure they love.

Ok that’s it. Pictures below. Please keep in mind that we¬†had just returned from the beach….so Matt is wet from swimming not sweating. And I was wearing my favorite Millencolin t-shirt…goodbye poor shirt…goodbye ūüôĀ

DIY YouTube

The internet and all these new apps are cool, but by far my favorite thing about technology is the ability for people make instructional videos on how to do pretty much anything via sites like YouTube. It’s helped me at repairing major problems in multiple vehicles, it’s helped deter me from taking on certain repairs because it was out of my league, and most recently it helped me replace a chip deep inside my projector that saved me from purchasing a new TV. (http://wp.me/p1kGkg-jb)

It’s awesome that people are sharing their knowledge in open forums and asking for nothing in return. So, a big thank you goes out to all the contributors that are helping out somebody. I’m hoping one of my next posts will be how-to on the repair I just did and which video’s helped me. If you have some knowledge, go share it. Someone’s is probably looking for it.

The Tron Bachelor Party Video

Once again I have committed another one of my projects to be Daft Punk centric.

A few months ago, I was “knighted” to be best-man in my friend’s wedding in October of this year in Siesta Key. Let the unruliness begin.

I needed a way to kick-things off right. I needed a way to hype up my semi-dork friends and prepare them for a good time.

This is what I came up with. I had MUCH help from the folks at MindBendStudios. I really appreciate it!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Knd6KRJBd9I]

My Motorcycle for Sale – Suzuki Bandit – SOLD

THIS POST IS NO LONGER VALID – BUT I’M KEEPING IT…BECAUSE

Well I have had Yvette,¬†my motorcycle, for just about 3 years and it’s time to let her roam free to the next owner. In that time I haven’t received any major injuries and I’ve learned quite a bit about engines and myself. I can now mark this off my list of accomplishments/things I did in my life. I’m glad I did it. I absolutely loved it. I still truly love it.

You may wonder why I named my moto Yvette. Well, the movie Clue is one of my favorites and Colleen Camp’s character, Yvette, ¬†is quite….awesome. Yeah, lets just say awesome again…Awesome!

I’m selling the bike for the sole reason that I’m just done with motorcycles all together. I wanted to end on a high note and just completed a 4 day 1,000 mile ride to the Great Smoky Mountains. It was incredible but I have taken as much of a chance as I want to take with it. Nothing is owed on the bike, it’s not a financial burden, it runs like a champ, and requires very little maintenance.

History/Description of the Bike:
The motorcycle¬†is a 1996 Suzuki Bandit GSF600. It’s a very deep, dark green color that almost looks black. I purchased the bike on December 23, 2007 from a Student at the University of Southern Florida.¬†He purchased it from a dealership in Tampa where the original owner traded it in.

When I purchased the bike it had it’s original tires, and just over 4,000 (original) miles on it. The previous owner only rode it around campus to class. He was an exchange student and didn’t want a scooter.¬†I personally have done all the oil changes and maintenance myself except the most recent oil change. The bike currently has around 8,500 miles on it. When I first purchased the bike I took the carbs out and cleaned each one. I put on a pair of Metzeler Sportec tires and¬†they now have close to 3, 000 miles on them. I also changed the spark plugs, and at that time checked¬†each cylinders pressure with a pressure test¬†gauge. Everything is nice and sealed.

Since I have owned the bike, 2007, it has been garage kept.

Cosmetic Changes
I took the front fairing off the bike and replaced it with a 7″ round chrome headlight.¬† I have also installed a fender eliminator on the rear end, as well as low-profile LED blinkers on the front and rear. This updated the look of the bike and (improved?) the ride.

Recent Work:
On October 16 of this year I took the bike to Beach Blvd. Motorsports. They made sure everything was in tip top shape, changed the oil, and did a full safety inspection.

Recent Trip:
On October 21-24 I drove the bike over 1,000 miles from Jacksonville, FL to Gatlinburg, TN with varying speeds of 20-96 mph through cold, mountains, heat and I didn’t have a single mechanical problem. I took the bike on the Tail of the Dragon and had a blast doing it. It’s not a sport racing bike, but it handles much better than a cruiser. It was the most fun I’ve ever had.

Cosmetic Issues:
There are some small scratches on the ends¬†of the¬†mirrors, bar ends, and the left rear passenger handle. All pieces are very functional, but the bike has fallen over 2 or 3 times while I have owned it. The bike is typically parked on its center stand. In my previous apartment my neighbor, who I shared a garage with, nudged the rear tire with his car. The bike fell off of the stand, and the neighbor just left it claiming he just saw it like that. I was at work at the time, and gasoline leaked from the gas cap down the side of the tank.¬† The gasoline sat on the clear coat for almost 6 hours causing a 3″¬†x 1″ weird spot (in the clear coat) on the right side of the tank. The color is still perfect, but the clear coat on the tank could be touched up. This happened 1.5 years ago and I have not had any¬†mechanical issues from this, only the clear coat flaw.

For Sale Details:
I’m offering just the bike, but also offering a “Starter Kit” for anybody purchasing their first bike, in need of all the extras…this “Starter Kit” will include every single thing I have for the motorcycle.

Just bike:
1996 Suzuki Bandit GSF600 Unfaired with 8,500 miles. $1,800.

Everything (Starter Kit): $2,000

  • 1996 Suzuki Bandit GSF600 Unfaired with 8,500 miles
  • Large Armored Icon Pursuit Jacket with no flaws and rain liner. (Retail: $200)
  • 2 large Airoh Helmets straight from Germany (Retail $300 each with shipping: flat black Mathisse RS and shiny black TR1)
  • Armored Icon Pursuit Summer Gloves (Retail: $50)
  • Armored Speed and Strength Hell N Back Winter Gauntlets (used these in the mountains in 40 degree weather, super warm!) (Retail: $70)
  • Balaclava (Face/Neck Cover for Winter)
  • lubricants, oil filter, cylinder pressure test¬†gauge ($50)
  • GSF600 Mechanics E-Manual

Daft Punk Thomas Helmet for Sale – Update: It is Sold

UPDATE: The whole outfit has been sold.

I’m thinking about selling my Daft Punk helmet. If you haven’t seen it click here.

As a note, this project is not complete anymore: I have resanded down the helmet and I’ve started going through and fixing all the little divets and holes that I didn’t have a chance to before halloween last year. The visor had to be removed because it cracked, but a new one can be put in. I’m not going to lie…it’s pretty much a shell now that will need a thin layer of bondo, sanding, and paint. The speakers are intact along with the leds, but they need to have the leads run back to a power source and audio source which would be provided.

I love the jacket, but if I get somebody who just really wants to do this outfit then I could sell them as a combo.

If anybody is interested just let me know by commenting on this post. If I don’t sell it by mid-august then I’m going to rework the whole outfit and just keep it for myself.

Daft Punk Helmet and Jacket

My Helmet and Jacket are NO longer for sale: Click Here

Daft Punk

After many months of working on this project I finally finished. It took forever and I got about 2.5 hours of full use out of it. I wore this as I checked ID’s at the bar I worked at.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1djmfozYIo]

As the drunken crowd of people continued to slap the helmet (out of excitement that they thought I was RoboCop) they screwed up some of the electronics, and due to the wonderful weather of Jacksonville that doesn’t like jackets….I had to take it off, but I’m proud that I actually finished it.

This was started with Pepakura, fiberglassed and then bondo. I used a chrome spray paint, but I suggest to try something else because it didn’t hold up at all.

Thomas Bangalter – Pepakura Files

Daft Punk Helmt Build - Pepakura

Daft Punk Helmt Build - Fiberglassed and Bondo - 1st Layer3 - Daft Punk Helmt Build - Fiberglassed and Bondo - 1st Layer4 - Daft Punk Helmt Build - Fiberglassed and Bondo - 2nd layer and primed5 - Daft Punk Helmt Build - Fiberglassed and Bondo - 2nd layer and primed6 - Daft Punk Helmt Build - Fiberglassed and Bondo - 2nd layer and primed7 - Daft Punk Helmt Build - Fiberglassed and Bondo - 2nd layer and primed8 - Daft Punk Helmt Build - First try at the chromeDaft Punk Helmt Build - Visor10  - Daft Punk Helmt Build - Getting Super Excited!11 - Daft Punk Helmt Build - Ears and WiringDaft Punk Helmt Build - Ears and Wiring - First TestJacket Lettering in ProgressDaft Punk Jacket - Backlit with EL WireDaft Gloves - Not perfect, but it worked for the evening on short noticeDaft Punk Helmt Build - LEDs and EL Wire17 - Daft Punk Helmt Build - Done and Done