March News


The MIG welding curve was not as steep as SolidWorks. We have managed to make two welding tables, the start of a kitchen unit, a water tank frame, table top supports, plus a mobile frame for tools.

Welding table

It is a lot easier to show progress with welding than writing software. Also a lot more fun. Not sure what it would be like as your day job, but very useful. Next step is TIG.

Digital Signage

Last year at ElectroneX, we heard about a $200 Freescale i.MX6 board in development. We received a quote this month. The board is about US$150, however, the kit to actually take out the necessary interfaces pushes the price over $700, or $800 if you want it delivered after having done an international transfer.

Is it better or smaller than our Apple MiniMac? Not sure that customers would go out on a limb with panel beating Linux on a deeply embedded target without decent online documentation — we certainly were not, so that side will remain with normal desktop units for now. There are some other quad core ARM devices that we cover in the April news.

Tales from the Woods

Bird seed sprouting

The bird feeder plastic top (bought in the UK at great expense, imported from China ...) did not last long. At first it did not matter, but in March we had a bit of rain, and the seeds started to sprout. Another one of those designs that could be improved upon. The advantage of this over placing the seeds on the ground is that the pigeons can't stop the smaller birds from getting their share.

Phone cameras are pretty handy. I popped it against the opening with the seed packet in the other hand, pressed the button — all auto focused at close up.