Breadboard jumper wire reference

Used an Adafruit Perma-Proto board to make this reference guide for the breadboard jumper wires I’ve acquired recently.

Jumper wire reference
Jumper wire reference

The bottom one has wires from sets that I bought before my local Radio Shack stores closed, and the top ones are from the 700 piece kit from Sparkfun. Since they each used different colours for the various lengths, I thought it would be useful to have a reference guide for what length each colour was.

Podcast: Charleston Time Machine

If you’ve lived in Charleston for any length of time, it’s almost impossible not to develop at least a passing interest into the history of the area. Wandering around Charleston’s Downtown peninsula, you’ll see historic markers, plaques and buildings all over the place.  Driving around the Charleston area, historic markers are more plentiful than Starbucks.

If you want to scratch that itch, the Charleston County Public Library has a relatively new podcast that started in January 2017 called Charleston Time Machine.

The Charleston Time Machine is an imaginary time-travel device created by historian Dr. Nic Butler. It uses stories and facts from the rich, deep, colorful history of Charleston, South Carolina, as a means to educate, inspire, amuse, and even amaze the minds of our community. By exploring the stories of our shared past, we can better understand our present world and plan more effectively for the future.

Did you know in 1706, the French and Spanish invaded the relatively new town of Charleston to force the English colonial settlers out? You’ll learn all about it in the first episode: Invasion 1706!

You can see a list of all the topics covered by the podcast so far (68 episodes so far) here. The episodes are around 15-30 minutes long, so they’re nice bite-sized bits of history to listen to during the commute to work or when you’re taking a break.

Subscribe to the Charleston Time Machine using the podcast software of your choice, listen via the library’s website, or on Soundcloud.

Fry’s Electronics in Houston

There are three Fry’s Electronics stores in the Houston area. I’m so jealous. I have to go all the way to Atlanta for the one closest to me.

We visited two of them last weekend. A lot of Fry’s Electronics stores are themed, and the two we went to were suitably Houston-themed.

On the north side of Houston, we saw an oil themed Fry’s driving in from the airport and made an impromptu stop to check it out. Oil derrick structures flank the main entrance, and inside are oil pumps and more oil derricks.

On the southeast-ish side of Houston in Webster, not far from Space Center Houston, is another Fry’s. This one naturally is space themed and has a replica of the ISS inside.



Drill pressing

One of the things I’ve been wanting for the workbench for a while now is a bench top drill press so that I can put holes into things with a little more precision than I can with a hand drill.

At my local Habitat For Humanity Restore today, I came across one that looked in pretty decent condition and just the size that I was looking for. Price was pretty reasonable ($50), so I bought it.

Drill press
Drill press

It’s an older model Delta 11-950 8″ drill press with 1/4 hp motor and 5 cm travel range. There are 5 available speeds, and changing speeds is done by opening up the top cover and moving the drive belt up or down to different levels on the drive pulleys.

Drill press speed adjustment
Drill press speed adjustment

The drill press is a lot quieter than I expected, and works really well. The drive belt seems to be in pretty good shape without any obvious cracks or flaws in it. The work platform is smallish, but should be adequate for the projects that I have in mind. The 1/2″ chuck is plenty large enough to handle the bits that I have.

Quite pleased with this acquisition for the workbench. Now I’ll be able to up my building game a bit.