Category Archives: Ramblings From the Sanctum

Project Update 11/6/19: The Scratchening

The Scratchening:

This last weekend I was attempting to “improve” my keytar case paint job.  There were some blobs of paint from how I had painted the first couple coats.  I thought I was following the advice of some other people (particularly the Cyberdeck discord, yes, it’s a thing).

Apparently I failed.

I sanded the case and parts, and put another coat of paint on… and now there are visible scratches.  I’ll have to sand it again… much more carefully, and then repaint.  I’m not sure how well it will show up in the photos.

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These are apparently not what was meant by “use coarse, medium, and fine sandpaper”.

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I’m still annoyed at myself, and per further elaborated advice, I’m going to re-sand the thing again with a series of finer grains of sandpaper on a proper sanding block.  “When you think you’re done, keep sanding.”

 

In other news:

Over the weekend I had to clean/lube/recalibrate my printer.  I had been noticing some layer shifts in some prints, and this was the easiest possibility for me to address.

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Seems to have worked, as my prints since then have been good so far.  I needed something to test a long print time on something with verticality to make it obvious if these shifts occurred again.  I decided to look for an appropriate Benchy, and someone had my back!

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Benchy-209 on Thingiverse

Optimus Prime!  As a no assembly required print!  I was in the mood for printing a robot, and thought to look him up.  He transforms!

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Optimus Prime on Thingiverse

COM|POST: Quick Project Weekend in Review 10/28/19

So, I’ve apparently got a lot to log this week, which is both awesome (yay, stuff was accomplished!) and annoying (shards, I’ve gotta log all this stuff).

I’ll try got go through it pretty quickly, since it’s multiple projects, and not a lot of focus on any one project.

Keytar Progress:

I finally found time to epoxy and prime my keytar.  I’m gonna need to get some sand paper to smooth out some parts I messed up on (I’m new to spraypainting).  Later I’ll put on another layer (I missed some stuff) or more.  Then it’s back to maybe sanding a bit, stickering, clear coating, and matte coating.  Here are a few images of where things stand now.

Keytar Parts.jpg

Keytar Whole.jpg

I’m still debating how I want to paint these greeblies.  Maybe a metallic color of some kind?

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Greeblie2.jpg

And here is what I’m thinking of for stickers at the moment.  I’ve got a bunch of other random stickers from a Ready Player One bundle that I’m considering layering under these, but I wonder whether I should do that, or if it might cause problems.  Also might cause these top stickers to not stand out as much.

Proposed Stickers.jpg

 

 

Costume Update:

I’ve been updating my Ghostbusters costume this year.  I’m able to fit into an actual jumpsuit this year, so I got one.  And it’s a bit too big on me (yaaaay for weight loss, but boooo, I was hoping for a good fit).  Still, at least I can wear it!  And I can (kinda) use one web belt instead of needing two.

Anyway, new jumpsuit means I need to sew patches again… or if you are lazy like me (and know that you are gonna get another suit later) you attach them to Velcro for easy transfer.  Still had to sew the name patch onto the Velcro strip that came on the uniform, but just had to attach the adhesive Velcro panels for the logo patch.

Ghostbusters Patch.jpg

I also decided since I suddenly had free time to work on projects that I’d go a bit further, and make the connectors and tube that hang off the left side of the uniform.  3D models were available on Thingiverse here:

Ghostbusters Leg Hose Connector on Thingiverse

I printed that sucker out, ordered some magnets that I superglued in, and attempted to dye the hose.

Hose and connector.jpg

connector-magnets.jpg

The dyeing didn’t go too well, but at least it is slightly greenish, which was kinda my intent.  Yes, per the first movie they are supposed to be yellowish… but I didn’t like the catheter explanation for the tube that the color implies.  I went with the video game option that implies it has something to do with slime, and tried to dye it neon green.  I think I didn’t account for some things in the process.

Also, on the printer right now is the LifeGard II monitor that the Ghostbusters wear on their belts.  Apparently it was a thing firemen would wear that would alert people if the wearer wasn’t moving for an extended period of time.  Mine is nonfunctional, just a shell, but I like adding detail.  I’m having to do it at 80% scale because anything larger wouldn’t fit on my tiny printer.

Lifegard II 3D Model on Thingiverse

 

Random Printing:

I can’t remember why or how I came across this box on Thingiverse, but I found it interesting, so I printed it.

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Inro Top.jpg

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I also thought I could use a screw tray with all the screws I’ve been taking out of the keytar prior to painting, so I printed this one (after running it through the customizer) and used some of my extra magnets on it.  I was too frustrated with superglue at the moment (I forgot that it kinda spews when it’s first opened) so I just have painter’s tape holding it in the slots right now.

Screw Tray.jpg

Customizable Magnetic Screw Tray/Box (with optional lid) on Thingiverse

 

Gaming:

The Outer Worlds came out last Friday.  This game is AMAZING, and I’m already getting ideas of costume props that I would like to either find or create models for.  There are a lot of cool technological bits on the outfits in that game.

I think I may have to do a review of this at some point because I LOVE THIS GAME.  Briefly:  companion social interactions are believable and contribute to the narrative, I’m not constantly chasing weapon upgrades, and I’m not bogged down in junk collection.

Downtown Columbia Mini Maker Faire

I went to the maker faire today.  Definitely a different environment from one of the bigger maker faires, and felt more casual (and comfortable).  Also kinda nice that with it being outside I got to enjoy some fresh autumn air.

Here are some of the people I came across and chatted with while I was there:

Tech Changers  www.techchangers.org

  • As I recall they teach various tech-related subjects in schools.

Sayakat Cosplay www.sayakatcosplay.com

  • A cosplayer who demonstrated some of the techniques for making cosplay armor with foam and a heat gun.

Turta LLC turta.io

  • A group that was showing a variety of Raspberry Pi hats.

ChocolateFrogs ChocolateFrogs Flickr

  • LEGO designs!  I particularly enjoyed the Stargate gateroom with Jaffa fighting SG-1.  Also, the 11th Doctor with Finn’s face, from Adventure Time.  And THE DREAD GAZEEBO!

Digital Harbor Foundation’s 3D Print Shop www.digitalharbor.org/printshop

  • A youth operated 3d printing shop.  Neat.

Rebel Legion www.rebellegion.com

  • Star Wars cosplayers.  There was a woman dressed in a well-made Rey costume, multiple lightsabers, and a guy in a really elaborate cosplay of Baze Malbus, complete with 3d printed heavy repeater cannon!

MoCo Makers www.mocomakers.com

  • These guys had some interesting stuff, including a few kickstarters they were running.  Some things that caught my attention were that they had some chips made at one point, and they had a cool display program running that changed live camera footage into outlines in an image.

Circuit Breaker Labs CircuitBreakerLabs Etsy

  • This shop makes jewelry from circuit boards.  I thought this one was particularly appropriate for the technomancer theme.
  • I got this cool necklace from this group.20191013_204010

Project Update 09/30/19: Keytar Tray

This past weekend I finally drilled the holes and test fit the screws into the nuts hidden inside the backs of all the tray mount pieces.  Here’s how I have those concealed.

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Retaining nuts

The screw hole is premade into the model, and there is a corresponding slot for the nut to slide into.  The slot is shaped to prevent it from turning.  With all these bits installed, here’s the keyboard held in it’s tray for ease of access to the inside of the case.

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Keyboard in tray… finally

For reference, here’s what the backside of some of the pieces look like.  The groove at the bottom is to match the screws that punch through for the hinges.  You can also see a couple of the screw holes.  I was gonna show more… but I really don’t feel like disassembling the whole tray right now.

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A couple of these holes weren’t centered quite correctly, but conveniently I was able to gently carve out the holes in the direction I needed to shift them with my 3D printing chisels.  Well… except apparently I misaligned one of the holes within a 3D printed component with the retaining nut slot, but the piece seems on solidly enough without it.  If I care enough to later I will fix the model and replace the component.  The way I’ve designed it I can replace individual parts later.

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The back of the tray with my adjustment marks.

Turns out I was still missing some screws earlier this week, and I got fed up with getting screws piecemeal when I’m always using #6-32 machine screws.  So, through great technomancy (Amazon) I summoned this kit.  It’s got everything I could possibly need in #6-32 machine screws.

Screw Case.jpg

I’m sorry Home Depot, but we’re not exclusive

I also tried yet again to fix the underpower issue with the Pi itself.  I ordered this battery, and a cable with inline switch that is specifically supposed to be for a Raspberry Pi.  For a little while it seemed to work… and then I started seeing that annoying lightning bolt again.  This battery is supposed to have smart output of 5V and up to 3.1A (depending on what is attached), but it still showed a power warning.  For reference, a Pi is supposed to use 5V and 2.5A.  It may be because I had another peripheral (a thumb drive) installed at the time.

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New Battery

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New Cable

In the middle of editing this, while taking photos, I noticed this on the back.

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D’oh!  This appears to have a 2.4A limit per port like some of the others.

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Anywaaay, I’m gonna keep tweaking this thing, and see if it has something to do with a USB drive being plugged in or a change I made in the OS a while back that was supposed to use more onboard memory on the Pi rather than on the SD card.

Wish me luck!  Or, better yet, if you have any suggestions on mobile power supplies for Raspberry Pis (that don’t involve adding a hat inside the semi-sealed case of the Pi), please let me know.

 

In other news:

Still playing through Borderlands 3 as Moze.  Kinda hard to say no to having my own mech.  I bet you can guess my main in Overwatch back when I played.

I think my filament spool had a couple discontinuities in it.  I was trying to do a long print overnight this week, and this was the result.

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No power of Greyskull.  I am le sad.

I assumed that the filament had tangled and snapped.  When I went to unsnag the spool of filament… I found this:

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A segment of filament that was disconnected on both ends.  Makes me wonder if I had a faulty spool and just hadn’t come across the break in the section yet.

 

Side lessons:

Don’t ever get attached to a character in Dungeon Crawl Classics, they will die unexpectedly.  And I’m not just talking the level 0s you would expect to die.  I think I’m gonna adopt the Goblin Slayer Abridged method in the future.

NO NAMES

COM|POST: Weekly Update 8/11/19

Here’s another non-post this week.  Not a specific topic or update on a project… due to lack of progress on the project this week.  My 3D printer has stopped working, and I’m waiting for tech support to get back to me.  The Z-axis stop is constantly reporting that the Z-axis travel is at the bottom… when it’s at the top instead.  Really frustrating, as I had about two more print runs before I can progress further on the project.  If it were my Colido DIY I’d tinker with it… but I don’t recall if there is a warranty on the Monoprice Select Mini Pro, and I would not want to void that if there is one.

Anyway, in the meantime, I’ve been looking around my site a bit, and decided to update the following two pages:

Welcome to the Sanctum

Tools of the Trade

I realized that the Tools of the Trade page hadn’t been updated in about a year, as I had some tools that I have used about that long that weren’t on the page.

FNAF Movie

So, I was chatting with some people earlier today, and remembered that every so often we hear about a Five Nights at Freddy’s movie.  We’ve probably all seen movie adaptations of games where they lost the essence of the game, but I think that FNAF could be good if done right.

I don’t know a way to communicate this to Scott Cawthon or anyone else who would be involved in such a project, but here is my outline of what I think would be a decent start for a Five Nights at Freddy’s movie.  Yes, it’s rough, but I think an outline similar to this could make a pretty good movie.  Preferably PG-13.  Also, yes, I know I’m not a screenwriter or movie producer, so obviously stuff would change, I just felt like including some of the details that I could visualize clearly.  This would not be fully canonical to the games (lots of details are wrong according to later games), but it should get across a simplified version of the story, before much more of the lore was added.

 

Start with the protagonist (let’s call him Mike Schmidt) as a child.

Introduce their friends.  The introduction should include some recognizable quirk (example: Mike gets a catch phrase that he says in front of their friends, possibly while play fighting a certain way)

The group goes to a large birthday party at Freddy Fazbear’s.

The friends disappear one by one over the party.

Mike looks for them, and sees a back room, just as the front plate of one of the animatronic suits is closed by a guy in the night security guard uniform.  The guy turns towards the kid (face cut out of the frame) and starts moving towards him, maybe trying to lure him back too.  Before the guard gets there, one of the parents whisks Mike away, telling him it’s time to go, not seeing the menacing man.

Later that evening Mike hears his parents talking with the frantic parents of his friends, not knowing where their kids are.  The next day his parents move out of town in a panic, not wanting their son to disappear like the other kids did.  Mike gets an ominous glimpse of the security guard.

Jump years forward, to Mike having grown up and moved back to town (my ideal casting would be Chris Pratt, but I doubt they’d get him).  He’s gone to therapy and possibly repressed some of the memories.  He’s desperate for money, so he accepts a job as a night security guard at a new Freddy’s location, reopened years after closing after the missing children incident.

He needs to have a moment of doubt when he sees the uniform, but not know why.

The new location has both new and old animatronics in it.  The first night or two should be terrifying for him, and needs to include some of the phone guy tapes.  This section should be very reminiscent of the early games in the series.

After a few nights of learning things, and getting past the horror and panic, he’s mastered the job to the point of enjoying it, similar to Night at the Museum after the new guard figured out what to do to keep everything together.

Make a montage of scenes like these:

Note: Some of these don’t work at every FNAF location, so it might require hybridizing locations 1 and 2.

“Bad dog!”  as he flashes the flashlight at Mangle to get him to back off.

“Not today!” as he shuts the electric doors in the face of an animatronic.

Spinning around in the chair with the Freddy mask on, shooing the animatronics away.

Tossing batteries to balloon boy so he doesn’t drain the flashlight’s batteries.

He gets to one night (probably night 4), though, where his carefully prepped defenses are messed up.  Someone else has been in the restaurant in his areas, and messed with his tricks and traps.

The animatronics start to get to him, and in the process his badge gets ripped off.  A bit later he gets cornered by Freddy himself, backed up by the other original electronics.  In a last ditch attempt, Mike attempts to fight, using the ridiculous move and catchphrase from earlier in the movie, but bounces off in pain.

The animatronics stop, and Freddy whispers Mike’s name, questioningly, then backs off, and Mike gets away.

At some point (probably night 5) Mike finds out that the killer is back in the building, and another kid has disappeared (maybe her mother called the restaurant, frantically looking for her).  He frees her from where she has been locked into a suit in a back room, and he ends up having to fight the killer, maybe dodging him around the building.

At some point Mike pieces the clues together that the original suits are possessed by the ghosts of the original missing children.  The killer is aware of this as well, and wants to try to create more, having learned of this crazy supernatural power.

The killer tries to engineer a situation where the suits kill Mike… but Mike is able to get them to remember him, and realize that the other guy is the one who killed them.

In his terror, the killer runs back to the Springtrap suit, trying to use it to disguise himself from the robots.  Once he does so, he might start disabling the other suits.

Mike, recalling the training tapes about springlock suits, gets Springtrap to be exposed to water, triggering the springlocks to release, killing Springtrap just before he can kill Mike (off-screen, while Mike flinches).

Mike shoves Springtrap’s corpse into a hidden section of the building.  The place gets shut down again, and abandoned.  As the owner turns off lights and closes the building up, the camera pulls off from following him and looks into a gap in the wall, where the Springtrap suit is stashed.  The eyes of the animatronic flash purple as the scene fades.

COM|POST 04/19/19: D&D Homebrew Prepping

So, yeah, I was hoping to have some normal content today.  This week has been weird, and today I’ve been trying to prep for a D&D homebrew game as a DM.  For a game tomorrow.  Oh, crap.

I am going to have to learn to plan better and manage my own expectations.  Especially when I’m throwing these games together somewhat ad-hoc as I and my players have time for occasional games.  In my head I hear: “I haven’t read through the DMG yet” and “this was supposed to be a tightly woven and cohesive story you’ve worked on for years,” but I’m gonna have to wing it somewhat.  Hopefully things will turn out well, and the players will enjoy themselves.

I have thought about this campaign setting off and on for 10 years or so, and occasionally beef up the world when I think about it.  I want to give the party freedom to explore, which will help me sharpen my improv skills if I don’t flounder too much.  At the same time, I have general ideas of some concepts and story threads I want to work in, but I don’t have them pinned down.  Some of it is a mystery, and I’m afraid it’s not going to connect well if I don’t plan it well in advance, but I don’t have much time now.

Ugh.

Maybe I’ll be able to sketch out more of it in time for the game.

Wish me luck!