Saturday, October 5, 2013

Earth in the Foreground: Building the Pan/Tilt Time-lapse Platform

Before heading up to Alaska to film the Sun up above the Arctic Circle, I made a device to slowly move the camera in pitch and yaw using some of Joseph's stepper motors and scrap metal around CSAIL. 

Electric Stater System Troubleshooting Part 2: Yes, Small Wires Limit Current

After reading and talking with some friends, I realized my earlier conclusion that the starter motor had a short is not the case. Because it turned slightly, the current is providing some torque. Therefore, it isn't shorted. If the starter motor did have a short, it would not have turned at all when I hooked the battery straight to the motor.

With that, I went out, found some containers that looked like they would do the job, and drained the engine oil and the coolant system. (Afterwards, I learned my lesson on how to find appropriate hazardous waste containers and dispose of them properly).

Repairing a 42" Plasma LG TV

A couple days after the end of 2.00 Gokart there was a huge supply of electric vehicle goodies. Unfortunately, I was at the final performance of Roadkill Buffet, "MIT's premier improv comedy troupe", while most of the good cruft got crufted. Some of the earlier crufters got their hands on a 42" plasma LG TV and tried fixing it on the spot (thinking it was just a blown fuse). By the time I got there, they were giving up on it. So, being the naive and ambitious person I am, I decided to carry it back to EC and learn a bit about how plasma televisions work. Thankfully Ed Moriarty was there cleaning out the 2.007 Underwater Vehicle section's materials, and was able to drive the TV over to East Campus. After some debugging and replacing some parts, I ended up with a pretty big monitor.