And We’re Back!

So here we are, another year is finally upon us, and I am already behind the ball on posting! Where did the time GO? How is it already October?

Nevertheless, it isn’t too late to show you what I have been working on throughout the summer, so here we go!

Auto-Garden (Open for suggestions on the name).

So, this summer a fellow co-worker approached me with a new project. His idea came from a post I had previously made about FarmBot IO.

He wanted to make a self-watering garden plot that could easily sustain itself for a specific amount of time. I naturally agreed to do this without fully thinking it through. We did a Google search and stumbled upon some really great soil moisture sensors that will work with Arduino and Raspberry Pi. img_0044For this project, we chose to use a Raspberry Pi over the Arduino. For those of you who don’t know the difference, get your knowledge up HERE!

We plotted some very rudimentary blueprints for our garden structure. The construction of the frame will be the easiest part of this build. We are simply using wood to build the frame and lining the inside with plastic.

Next, we did soil moisture calibration. Yep, we had to determine the saturation point. This was fun, a little messy for my office but we rolled with it. Here are a few snaps of this process. 2

After that, it was figuring out how to get the moisture sensor and the raspberry pi to send us e-mails, and text messages when we needed to water our plants or when the plants had enough water.

We had a little too much fun testing this with different people’s numbers…  Once that was done, it was time to figure out how to program 6 sensors. And that is where we are frozen. Not that we can’t figure this out but we just ran out of time.

We are hoping to pick this project back up in the coming weeks. 

DaVinci 1.0 Pro, a.k.a. My Arch Nemesis:

I have written about this 3D printer previously, and I figured I would take a brief moment to update you on our relationship status.

It is, A W E F U L … I hate it!





Okay, in all honesty, I kind of like this printer. But the relationship does not go beyond like if something bigger and better came my way I would ditch this thing so fast Ali’s light switch would have a hard time keeping up.

When it works it works. But when it doesn’t it really doesn’t! I mean I tried calibrating this thing all Summer with no luck! I tried every troubleshooting technique XYZprinting had to offer, nothing.

I literally had to get a whole new table to calibrate it. Even after a switch to a sturdier table, it took forever to calibrate. Once I finally got the printer to perfect level, I printed one object, removed the object from the print bed and the calibration is now off and fails every time I try to fix it.

That ends my interactions with this printer for the entirety of the past three months. 

Repair Shop 2.0

Over the Summer we got some new tools and learned some new tricks in the Technology department.

We now have the capability to open any Apple computer. No seriously, we finally got an awesome toolkit that allows us to work on Apple’s entire lineup.

I have some other cool projects I would love to tell you about but the timing isn’t quite correct. I will certainly let you all know when it is.


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