From Hack Manhattan Wiki
< User:Beadsland
Revision as of 19:02, 4 September 2019 by Beadsland (Talk | contribs) (Roomba Repair)

Jump to: navigation, search


Various DIY/smarthome and other projects about (or related to) the domicile.


Paperwork Backlog

Have been sorely derelict on a heap of household and client bookkeeping and filing, while immersed in other recent making projects. This includes scheduling of long-overdue appointments and restocking our household pantry. Made some significant headway on this, might as well keep ball rolling.

Roomba Repair

Cliff sensors have been successfully disabled, and original left wheel reinstalled. Still unhappy with side brush performance—and will return to this eventually—but presently just glad to have this robot back in service.

Darn Socks

They're actually quite nice socks, but yeah, they've got holes. Quite a few of them do, darnit.

Organizing Craft Donations

Donated materials have been coming in faster than we've been able to sort and store them. Need to set aside some time to review quite a few months of gifted materials. Also, want to deal with getting a broken bin lid replaced. The annual flea market is coming in September, so will also want to spend time pricing out donated materials that aren't going to be used for crafts.


Clean Air Conditioner Vents

Did this last year and AC worked a lot better. Haven't done it yet this year. Ought to.

Astronomical Device

One of our members has a telescope rig powered by a Raspberry Pi, but wants to do tweak the UI running on the Raspbian desktop. Have promised to help them figure out what needs reconfiguring next time we're both in the space.

Office Chair Repair

Having already repaired three other office chairs of various designs and defects, another chair presents itself for fixing. This time, it's an old brown chair that is already an heirloom hack. A some time in the past, the bottom of the seat has been replaced/augmented with a wooden construction that appears to secure the seat cushion to the caster-base column. Since that time, the bolts holding this wooden bottom to the cushion have come loose on the front corners. A user who naively reached under the front of the chair to lift and move it, can accidentally catch their hand between the cushion and the wooden bottom.

The chair currently has the word "NO" inscribed in blue tape across the top of the cushion seat, to warn users, if not that they might get bitten by the chair, then at least that they ought to exercise caution.

On best examination, it appears the repair will involve removing the wooden bottom from the cushion, and then resecuring or replacing nuts that had previously held the wooden base bolted to the cushion seat.

Steelcase Leap Chair

The cylinder button began getting depressed unintentionally again (after 4 months or so). Dug out the old spacer and replaced with one at 70% infill and .2mm deeper. Latest replacement has used PLA+ (courtesy of Tarek's printer at home.) Rising is a bit stiff and requires multiple pulls on lever, but does then stay up until released. Will monitor. (as of 4/17/18) (as of 8/24/19)

Member Storage Audit

Planning to go through our member storage shelves, identifying left-overs from former members, and moving less actively used bins to higher shelves, to better facilitate storage needs of new members in the future.

Roommmate Tech/Organizing Consult

  • electronic birthday calendaring
  • charitable giving analysis
  • pruning their electronic task list
  • research piano instruction apps for android
  • getting them up and running to learn the ins and outs of using video conferencing tools
  • organizing teaching materials filing system
  • substitute teaching go pack strategy
  • prepping unique favor packs for Halloweens


Dashboard Door Buzzer Integration

Wanting to wire a single-board device in to the building intercom system to detect the door buzzer. This will allow us to use the dashboard real-estate for other displays than the door camera, while still switching back to the camera swiftly when someone is buzzing for entry.

Household Repairs

Various small and large projects have been waiting in the wings, including:

  • Appliances
    • replace wrights on lampshade of a standing lamp
    • repair of a glitchy flat-screen monitor
    • retouching nylon on dishwasher racks
  • Space
    • repairing vinyl floor in kitchen
    • securing a set of shoe holder mounts
    • refurbishing an old hammer drill
  • Sewing
    • darning/patching bedsheets
    • hem favorite scarf

Installing Storage

Once repairs are out of the way, a number of household storage projects are on the agenda, including: a corner bar for hanging clothes and installing rack shelving in our kitchen

Completed: Bathroom storage tower has been cut to accommodate shut off valves, urethane and fresh paint applied, and installed in its new home.

Custom Craft Material Dollies

Our community crafts group has accumulated more donations than could every easily fit in our existing carts. We've resorted to lugging surplus around in oversize retail shopping bags. Moreover, the carts we do have aren't for outdoors use. They're fine for moving materials from our apartment to the community room the same building, but if we want (or need) to set up for an event in another building, the casters are not equipped for even well-maintained sidewalks, and we tend to see drawers slide open or and containers slide off shelves and topple to the ground as we trundle along on sloped grades. Finally, we've got some craft materials, namely yarn, fabrics and collage materials, that really need to be in larger containers that display their contents in an inviting way without having to unpack and repack those materials for each session.

Thus, there are three goals. First, to design a pair of dollies with custom, quick-assemble cage frameworks. The idea is that our existing craft carts could be lifted onto the dollies, providing heavy duty casters to get around outdoors, and then hemmed in by bars or slats that would keep drawers and shelf contents secure pending arrival at a destination. Providing for cover against rain or other weather would be a bonus. Second, to design a similar dolly for stacking larger containers than we currently aren't using, but would serve for bulk craft materials. Third, to design containers for bulk craft materials that quickly deploy as inviting displays of those same materials on site.


Data Processing Tower

The Tellurium project is proving very CPU-intensive. Generating a batch of 99 one-of-a-kind bespoke handbills easily takes six hours for my current computer to generate, plus another hour of post-processing, and then two hours of printer time. Further, the new toolchain (once gdp spelunking resolves current segfaults) will rely heavily on NLP processing, where parsing for word counts is already proving computation intensive.

Going to explore building out a custom box to handle chugging through these processes. In addition to building the toolchain to leverage multi-threading and multi-process techniques, as appropriate, am also considering the possibility of pushing some computations to GPU. The actual assembly of each word cloud (placing objects on a two-dimensional field) seems especially suited to GPU-based computation. This, of course, would require learning something about GPU-based solutions and figuring out what libraries exist or could be rewritten for GPU before specing out the new machine build.

Network Management

The various electronic components on the table-level of my IKEA-built standing desk have become an unmanageable tangle. The plan is to build a pair of LackRack component mounts under the standing desk and transfer various Ethernet and power connected devices thereto. As part of this process, will build out a heat ducting system to channel air from below the desk to the intake vent of the convector a few feet away — taking advantage of the chiller cooled pipes that feed the convector in the summer.

Also want to run Ethernet to the back of our apartment, rather than rely on spotty performance of EoP extender currently in use. This will support the development of audio notification relays planned throughout the apartment for telephony and other applications listed below. Also, gonna set up a Pi as a wifi router for our wifi-only printer, as it has become a nuisance rebooting the main router every time the printer loses connectivity with the network.

Sleep-Hygenic Lighting

Intending to replace current lighting fixtures with programmable smart bulbs and a custom driver that will adjust the level of blue light throughout the day, in accordance with my 2nd/graveyard-shift work cycle. This includes the appliance bulb in the refrigerator, so that one isn't treated to a blast of bright white light when scrounging a "midnight" snack. Also part of this project will be running motion-detector activated red LEDs along the hallways, to allow my roommate to get around early morning without disturbing my sleep by flipping on room lighting.

The first step will be to set up a dedicated console-cable managed wifi router and management hub that will allow for control of smart bulbs without exposing those devices to the Internet.

Audio Computing


  • integrated caller ID announcer
  • mode-switchable caller ID blacklist/whitelist


  • whistle-activated battery-powered nebulizer
  • whistle/tone detector/alterter network for hearing impaired
  • rice cooker setup detector
  • no-brainer portable stereo media player


  • multi-output audio stream relay
  • nighttime noise machine lashup
  • research hearing loop tech


  • mezzanine rack for a compact dishwasher
  • DIY kitchen counter LED hydroponics enclosure
  • intensive file cabinet purge
  • paint apartment
  • empty storage unit
  • guinea pig hutch with integrated hydroponic garden