I’ve had to just make a choice, and go with the RPI, apparently my use case isn’t in the wheel house of anyone I know, since I got no real usable strategy comparison. With the delays I am going to have to come up with a placeholder solution till I have the time to dig into the details of how to make all the detectors and what not work with the RPI, but the basic concept is this:

silly poll 

I have to buy a new jack. I know it's silly, but being indecisive on the color.
Which should I buy:

mower deck upgrade (long post) 

Desperately needed emergency mower upgrade is now complete, the original frame (pic 1) was designed peace-meal, main objective was deck-motor alignment, wheels and tractor mount were patched in later. After I got injured it went from being an experimental mower to being experimental in the same sense as the space shuttle. After over a year of production use, its weaknesses as a prototype design showed (pic2) the frame extensions mount point was a critical weakness, as you can see it bending there. The upgrade (pic3) not only involved a new one piece frame, but also the 8" solid rubber wheels were replaced with 8" pneumatic wheels nearly twice as wide, less ground pressure, easier rolling and less dig-in.

I've not really done updates on my most recent project, but It's done, here's a shot of test fitting things before final assembly, and a shot of it in place in use. Despite being made of badly warped and out of true wood, it turned out -ok- and works acceptably well.

Spent the bulk of the rest of the day hanging out with my wife while she went through her paperwork from 2021. We had some potatoes in the pantry that were about to become garbage, they had started to sprout a while ago, were getting soft-ish, so we planted them :) plus since I wasn't really physically doing anything most of the day, I did my nails for the first time in like 6 months while I was there for paperwork moral support :)

today was a pretty good day, started off by making up an expansion module for my storinator in CAD, then a bit of restoration of this bathroom fan:

Blower is finally done! Initial testing went really well too, it actually worked exactly as I had envisioned!! I'm very happy. Now on to figuring out how to replace a smartphone battery that's glued in...

Today went well, I got to work on the blower a bit, the frame is basically done, a few things like alignment pins for the front wheel are left. It has no real structural integrity of it’s own, but that’s by design, it doesn’t need it, as the blower chassis will provide all the strength needed. This also provides needed weight savings, as this thing is getting heavy.

With the basic chassis/mount done, I focused on the frame & wheels. Our old gas lawn mower donated the wheels / mounts and a nice 3 position folding handle :) If you look carefully you can see the proposed front wheel, white rim w/ knobby tire. We will see if it works as I imagine it will.

After replacing the original 240V motor in my blower with a 120V one, and testing the concept (strapping it to a board and aiming it at some leaves in the yard), the first task was making the shape more manageable. I made a mount / chassis that matched the curve of the blower for it to mount into, a few small screws are all that is needed to lock it into place.

My current project: making one of these out of a furnace blower

The saga of my leg injury continues, however, I got to do tractor stuff recently

Generator conversion and upgrade is finally completed. Like the mower deck it was started right around covid, so it's nice to -finally- check it off. Mods include LP conversion, addition of a tach & hour meter, and dedicated 100A charge wiring.

Now that I am starting to be able to work more and more, I've gotten a few long term list items checked off. This is the pile of ballasts from my recent partial LED lighting conversion. By my estimation, this should get me ~ $200 yearly electric bill savings, which means the $150 cost of the bulbs is recovered in the first year.

All of this worked well, except the video quality quickly dropped to stupid low, no settings changes seemed to make a difference, I was perplexed, briefly. Turned out the action cam was, as the tend to do, overheating. It was -massively- resolution throttling in an attempt to save itself! Poor little cam! Looking on-line this is a common issue, even with actual go-pro cameras, but I didn’t see people having actual solutions to it. I found (and modified to fit) a metal after market case for a gopro, and I combined that with a Pentium 1 heat-sink. It worked! Not only did the cam no longer throttle, it was room temp after well over an hour! I needed that win! Felt good, and my camera will live a long healthy life too!

I found a third case! I guess there is some upside to having too much stuff around... This case has a bit more room between the back of the tape drive and the power supply, so I can made a shroud/fan assembly to suck air through the drive as needed. You can see in the picture I also added a fan blowing air on the SAS card, I remember reading in an article on how to use LTO in Linux, the writer had an issue with his SAS card needing more air flow, so mine has it now. The PSU fan runs full speed all the time, so lots of case flow, I covered alot of the intakes, forcing the air in around the CPU, SAS, HDD, and through the tape drive. I -think- that will cool the drive enough, but I have backup plans if it's not the case.

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been dealing with a ton of random issues, including having my cable modem burn up (literally), realized it was a while since I did any updates. Mower deck needs a locking mechanism, then its ready for load testing. The tractor cover is all done, pictured with the alignment marks, got the idea from an expensive car cover I saw once. The cover had a center line stripe with an arrow pointing forward, I also added an alignment mark where the cover hangs over the back of the seat, makes getting the cover centered front - rear a snap, which makes sure the reinforcements are in place over the 3pt lever and the hood ornament.

success this afternoon too! Got the tractor cover about 90% done, still want to put the alignment marks on it, the old one I didn’t have marks, was a PITA to get it on ride side out, and front on front etc. All in all today was a pretty good day. Thermography will eat up the morning tomorrow, but maybe the afternoon will prove fruitful.

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