Since this is our February break, and yesterday was my birthday, I decided to treat myself and go flying with Carl from our club. Wanted to get some approaches in and get back in the air, since it was December 21st when I last flew. We had a solid day of flying planned – first we headed to Nantucket and flew an approach there, while on the ground we did a VOR check so we could do some VOR approaches into Hyannis and then Chatham. We had lunch at Chatham and then flew back to Marshfield to pick up another passenger and fly them to Hyannis to pick up the other club plane which was receiving maintenance. We then flew back to Marshfield, which allowed me to get 6 approaches done in one day! All in all it was a fun day, but I need some flying time where I don’t spend the duration of the flight under the hood. Some photos below.
Well, today was my birthday. 43 times around our star Sun. I spent the day working the Mustang Camp – teaching elementary and middle school students how to code and do CAD. Actually, the middle school students did not show up, so just taught the 3rd graders in the morning. In the evening I went home, worked out, and hung out with the chihuahuas on the couch. Ash and I have plans to go to dinner at the Grand Tour on Friday evening, so we just laid low tonight. Important birthday photos below.
Today I needed to work on a lasercut project for the Camp Mustang that will be happening next week at the high school. Camp Mustang is a 2 day in school event for elementary and secondary school students within the Medford school district. I will be offering students CAD lessons, lasercutting, and some basic electronics. Several years ago, at my previous teaching job, I created a lasercut bug that could be assembled and then an LED and battery press fit into it so it lit up. I’ve created something similar for students but more of a robot shape. I’m still waiting on some material to cut each one out on, hoping that arrives today – otherwise I will be rushing around next week to get these cut for the students to assemble. For now, you can see the image that is used to lasercut on our Epilog Fusion Pro lasercutter.
The Stop Light project continues with Junior Clark B. ’23 working fastidiously each day. Clark had the code working on a breadboard, and has spent time using Eagle to create a custom PCB on our Bantam Tools PCB mill. The process of learning how to create a pcb in a CAD/CAM software such as Eagle is very difficult, so kudos to Clark for working through it. As we have found, however, the first attempt at creating a board is usually not the final board – as it tends to take a few efforts before the final working prototype is complete.
When the pcb was coupled together with the relay for high voltage and the light, everything turns on, just now exactly when we want it to. There is probably an error in the code, so Clark needs to spend some time debugging. Still, it’s very close to working properly, ie. following our school schedule, and we have found a stand for it, having repurposed a rolling TV stand that was being thrown away by the Media Tech shop. Hopefully we will be able to present the final version soon. A few in process photos below.
Today one of my senior students, Myles, began cutting a 5 piece metal sign on the waterjet. Myles has taken it upon himself to become an expert in operating our OMAX waterjet. The machine is a bit old, and has some hiccups from time to time, but he has learned how to make it work consistently, and he is getting really good results from his cuts. It’s great to see him excel in working with this machine, and to see him understand the workflow of drawing his designs into CAD, and bringing them over to the OMAX software and setting up the CAM files for cutting. It’s been a long learning process, but he has really learned a lot. A few photos and video of him below operating the machine today.