walk through SketchUp large models in ARKit – perfect for home remodels and projects

I did it!

Take a SketchUp model into the new iOS ARKit. Using my SketchUp home remodel and Apple’s ARKit (beta) for augmented reality.

Goal: import a model (in this case, a remodel) to overlay onto existing real world that you can walk around and ‘experience’ and compare.

You can see the results in the youtube video as I step through the trickier setup parts and things that took the longest to sort out.

Overview, info, and more for ARKit:
https://developer.apple.com/arkit/

house remodel SketchUp 3D VR model visualized on sketchfab

here’s the model I’ll be using for ARKit and augmented reality.
it works very nicely now in google cardboard and viewers (head movements change view — “virtual button” teleports you around inside of the house!) — but also in modern web browsers (mouse movements to change view and move through).

ARKit beta excitement building

ARKit app idea beginning

I’m quite excited to have figured out so far how to:

  • update home machine to Sierra to run xCode 9 beta
  • start playing with xCode
  • borrow iPhone 7 with iOS 11 beta running on it
  • setup free provisioning for testing app
  • start with ARKit “hello world” type app demo from the amazing folks at Apple

ARKit possibilities are blowing me away!

(That’s the spaceship hoving in my office to left of my desk 😉

Now!  On to hacking and trying out my app idea…. 😀 😀 😀

“Save the Decaf!” — rebuilding and renewing the engine of 1978 CB400A Honda motorcycle (named Decaf)

Saving my 1978 Honda CB400A “Decaf” bike from a near fatal blow — lower gasket blowout and huge oil leak! (like, dumped a quart+ of oil in minutes while riding fast on highway at high temps). It was inadvertently overfilled with oil (my bad) and driven too hard (twin brother’s not so good) combination that killed the Beast!

Work with my twin brother (a very gifted self-and-internets-taught car and motorcycle moonlighting mechanic!), I as assistant especially for the entire reassembly and much of the cleaning work.

We had to take the top 3 layers off the engine stack (AKA “complete top-end rebuild”),
remove the pistons, and strip all the way down to the gearbox.
Layers: [valve cover] gasket [valves] gasket [cylinders and pistons] gasket [gearbox and crankcase]
Very neatly Honda makes them all stacked and connected via 8 super long screws that compress, when properly torqued, the entire set under the valve cover.

We:

  • replaced the piston rings (very thin split rings circling the pistons that make them “float” up/down the cylinders),
  • re-honed the cylinders (you use a “flexible hone tool” to clean, slightly resurface, polish and add a light “cross-hatching pattern” to them),
  • cleaned the pistons completely (lots of carbon buildup after decades!) and installed 3 new gaskets — especially paying attention to the lowest gasket that tore and blew oil using some “gasgacinch” sticky product around the oil jets).

Then we did a full valve job (gets the valves ideally aligned to the 4-stroke engine stages),
timing belt adjustment, oil change, and more.

In addition, the air filter was trashed, so replaced that and fashioned an air filter custom holder to keep it from slipping back into the air box.

Bonus points: exhaust and carbeurator gasket replacements.

About $150 in parts (piston rings alone were OEM Honda and $75+), but probably the equivalent of $800-1000+ in labor.

A challenging and very educational labor of love!

Fixing 1978 Honda CB400A always on neutral light — “decaf” project bike

I’m about to sell, with some sadness, my 1978 Honda CB400A “Hondamatic” motorcycle.
I have one last problem with it — that’s been baffling me for over a year.

When I consolidated the speedometer and “idiot lights” to a svelte new cafe racer style chrome LED-based single instrument, I found that its neutral light was always on, no matter what gear.

So I finally figured out a clever (if I may say so) way through research to use the “proverbial $7 part” from in-stock Radioshack — a RELAY switch!

Here, I describe and show the problem, step through a bit of the bike’s electrical system, and show you how I used a relay to fix the problem.

I’ll be sad to see you go, little Decaf!

The *awesome* video learning tutorials I used on Youtube to determine relays were for me!:
RELAYS – How to wire and how they work TUTORIAL !!
How An Automotive Relay Works and How to Wire ‘Em up
(thanks, guys!)

hacking Apple Watch to a cuff bracelet custom watch

OK, so here’s the problem.  I think the Apple Watch is too small (but it’s weight is “just right”!) and I dislike the bands.  In fact, I never wear “normal” watches anymore — I greatly prefer nice and wide uniform width leather cuffs.

IMG_2051
finished product

So I found (and ordered) this cute cheapie < $20 adapter (which as I thought, comes direct from China).  The black can chip/flake a little (it’s not anodized into the metal well), which they know/cop to — but it’s so cheap so who cares?  😉

Next I ordered a few different bands from my *favorite* watch (and fun!  also cheap!) store (I’ve rocked their watches for years now, and have fun getting different styles.  Their website is a bit slow, but they have great selection).   I settled on this (crazy cheap clearance!) item black tattoo-like watch cuff band (which nicely didn’t come with a watch I didn’t need).

My thinking was to get something at least as wide as the watch (1.5″ wide band) but would set off/partially incognito the black aluminum 42mm watch casing.  The other two bands were an even wider brown one (but it just was a bit more plain than I’d hope for, less “me”) and a 3″+ *really* wide black one (but it looked a little too S&M or something — again not really “me”).  Thankfully Nemesis was great about letting me return them in exchange for another band and watch I wanted (since I was about two weeks past the return deadline!)

So you:

  • center the watch (charger is easiest) on the back of the band (those rivets you see below hold the “snap parts” for this particular cuff — that’s a more ideal setup than a looped kind of other way to secure the watch w/ a single snap underneath — because we’re going to need to cut out a hole so the watch can touch (and basically “see” your skin)
  • trace the charger with a pen
  • cut the circle out with an xacto knife or similar
  • slide out the old watch band
  • assemble the new watch adapter (you can see it in pictures below slid and locked into the watch)
  • snap in in!

Now you can charge it through the hole nicely, and it should make good skin contact and thus stay unlocked once it’s on.

IMG_2045
pretty simple, trace charger with pen, then cut carefully w/ xacto knife
IMG_2048
showing the new hole and where the watch will snap in. you can see more closely the watch adapter very small pieces and bars locked into the watch
IMG_2052
charging happily through the back and new circle hole through the leather band

 

[ I happen to like also wearing the watch on my left wrist, but face on my underside of the wrist (also makes the watch more innocuous / disappears — and more of a “surprise” when you “wrist up and twist” to others 8-).  So I made my settings say the watch was on my right wrist (since the “bend up arm and twist” motion is more like the other side when you wear the watch this way. ]

“slide-responsively” — minimal standalone HTM/CSS/JS inspired by “sliding-door” from Wayne Connor

I made new “slide-responsively” for image menus, which is minimal standalone HTM/CSS/JS inspired by “sliding-door” from Wayne Connor

I’ve just kept the sliding door idea, and made it independent of a WordPress theme so it can be added to a site using another theme
(example site).

Try shrinking the width of the browser or rotating your mobile device.

View Source to see the minimal elements needed.

Just replace the 7 images and links and go!

my github repo of this plugin.

made my own heat duct “reducer” today — for $25 in only two hours!

IMG_1392
custom heat duct reducer

 

Using a 24″ x 36″ sheet of (intended for ducting) sheet metal (~$10) and rivet tool + rivets (~$15) I was able to take a 14″ x 8″ opening and create a 4″ deep reducer down to a 14″ x 4″ opening.

This way, this can be an insert into an existing duct and “boot”/box that takes an 8″ pipe of heat into a 4″ deep 14″ x 8″ box.  It can then exhale the heat into a 14″ x 4” vent.

Why the insert you ask?  Hint: house was built in 1960.  Guess what the most common way to insulate ductwork *and* boxes/registers/boots was back then?   ASBESTOS, YAY!

So while we don’t know it is for sure, it sure looks like it (inspectors clued us in, t00).   So we not gonna mess w/ the box/ductwork that is in relatively good shape and not cut it, etc.

This is all part of a Bigger Project of redecoration we are doing at the bunny fort…

 

 

new “php-htm-mode” for emacs — intermixed PHP, HTML, JS, and CSS using multi-modes

I finally formalized, cleaned up, and packaged up my current emacs editing setup for files with intermixed PHP, HTML, JS/javascript, and CSS code all in the same file.  It uses an existing but rarely used technique called “multi-mode” and sets “trigger points” for switching the “major mode” of the buffer as your cursor moves through the code.

A nice thing about this approach is that you can always glance down anytime you are editing to see which mode you are in (or the emacs lisp code *thinks* you are in).  You can also fork/edit the single “.el” lisp file to add/update the triggers for various modes.

https://github.com/traceypooh/php-htm-mode

Screenshot:

screenshot of php-htm-mode
screenshot of php-htm-mode