Friday, February 05, 2016

Recap of the first Month of 2016

After a short trip to San Diego, for work related reason, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather in Tahoe right and test the jeeps offroad/snow performance.

After all since selling the Pathfinder we did not have any chance to go off-roading anymore and the Jeep is not really made for it, since it just a has an all wheel drive and is sadly no real 4x4.


there must be some snow squirrels

After our return we also attempted to make a classic dish, called beef wellington and do everything from scratch. Which I would have never tried, if I had known that Puff Pastry, is the translation for Blaetterteig.

odd to have no real sides, since the main side is integrated into the dish

came out absolutely perfect and couldn't have hope for a better grade

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Adventure 3,

so after the last camping trip, which was kind of a drama with all the trouble with the hitch and the trailer.  We decided togo to Lake Camanche

Which kind of checks all our boxes, it's close by and easy to get too.
So looks good.

After reserving a pull through camping space, since we are still not so happy with backing the camper into narrow short spots, we thought all was perfect.

Well guess the people online gave us the wrong spot, which turned out rather different than expected. Apparently it was a tent campground with a car parking lot for 2 cars.

it was a bit tight, but basic geometry allowed us to fit into 2 spots somehow
Once we parked, and have everything setup, we started with our default tasks of making tasty food for dinner. I mean just because you are camping doesn't mean you can't have tasty food.

Meanwhile Rosie decided to be a queen bee and take over the camping chairs, while basil decided to be a spoiled brat and claim one of the beds, when no one was looking.

Sadly do to the drought, the lake was a bit dryer than expected.  Apparently lake Camanche lost over 60% of it's capacity in the last 2 years and the picture you see is supposed to be lake view.

all you are supposed to see is water, but sadly this seems to be missing due to ongoing drought conditions.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

adventures with rocky

So after close to 2 years of researching trailers, campers and possibilities. We decided to buy a medium size popup camper.

Since it's a 2015 Rockwood Premier, we decided to call it Rocky. It seemed a bit fitting after all.

playing a bit with light painting, after setting everything up

a nice orange tint to the picture, do to the wildfires a couple of miles away

puppy swimming

2 puppies swimming

playing some more with light painting

one deer

one deer and a baby deer

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Adventures in April

Latest adventures and stuff happening here in April/late March

found an efficient way cutting circuit boards after etching

started building a rose garden

realizing that my saw is just a bit small for 6" wide boards

visiting hog islands oyster farm

ordered more oysters than we could shuck. 100 were maybe a bit much

slowly starting to figure out how to shuck oysters and making progresss

enjoying the California country side a bit, but guess need another set of tires soon again.

basil is still adorable

finished the rose garden, now time to wait 10 years for roses and grapes to grow

Monday, March 02, 2015

first quarter of the year is over and what happened so

getting better with my circuit design and down to 0603 components. Sadly we got beaten by someone else to the market and I'm trying now to come up with some new ideas

managed to replace the screen on our iDrop 2, gladly it's now so old that new screens are literally 12$ a drop, so it's not that big of a deal anymore

basil is still trying to get away with being a puppy, never mind that he just turned 3. Rosie was not willing to have her picture posted. Apparently she is becoming a bit self conscious about her weight these days...

managed to spend a couple of days at my in-laws cabin

learned to make tuna tartar, which is rather delicious

our latest cider is finally ready for consumption, only took about 4 month for it to become clear

starting to become spring in our backyard

our 3 year old roomba, got some needed help in form of a little roomba who now mop's our floors once a day

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Break and playing with our new Nikon D7000

Just a couple of pictures taken during our christmas break, of christmas trees, christmas dinner, puppies and the traditional feuerzangen bowle.

German Christmas Pyramid

Christmas dinner appetizer

Wifey and me + a basil bee

things left by santa and highly appreciated by us

metaxa, while reading in front of the tree

the mentioned tree

basil taking over the couch yet again

traditional feuerzangen bowle

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

PCB prototyping research...

over the last month we spend an ungodly amount of time trying to figure out how to make double sided PCB's in a decent speed at home...


1. CNC
  • works great for through hole soldering
  • not so good for small SMD connectors and it was just to much hit and miss
  • 2 working boards out of 30 attempted are not acceptable, 0805 and SOT-23 package size mostly with some JST-PH 6 connectors
  • breaking to many mill bit's
Toner Transfer Method:

1. H2O2 + CH3COOH etching
  • 1h in the tank -> 2 bubbles
  • 24h later, still not done
  • problem are these 3% H2O2 solutions you can get locally
2. HCL + H2O2
  • about 3 hours a board, but this causes some serious under cutting and a lot of destroyed traces.
  • again 16.5% HCL is the strongest I can locally get
  • again 3% H2O2 is the main culprit for super slow etching speed
  • lot's of nasty fumes, causing rust on stuff around it, not good in a machine shop
  • but might be the only way right now
3. FeCL2
  • not tested yet, since rather messy and expensive
Combination of Toner Transfer and Milling

The really big advantage of the CNC is right now that it will drill all our VIAS and mounting holes for sockets, etc. Which makes it lot easier and it's rather fast. I do wish that I could find a decent free G-CODE optimizer