Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Sugru: So, what to do with it?

Some time ago I decided that I'll need to look and test this relatively new material called Sugru. In simplified terms, it's yet another kind of moldable plastic. I would say it is kinda like self curing silicone, freshly out from the bag it's soft to handle and sticks well to various materials. During some hours at the room temperate, it will dry and Sugru become rubbery like material. There are no resellers at this part of the world so I ordered my first 12 minipacks directly from manufacturer.

Packing is functional, and in a way these aluminium bags do look kinda stylishly futuristic and flashy. Outermost was the normal brown envelope (with address label), inside it a single bigger aluminium bag with ziplock. Inside this bag were twelve 5gram packages of Sugru (assorted colours) and short instruction and inspiration booklet for helping one to get started.

I really like their slogan "hacking things better", it tells a lot about the attitude this startup company works. Their website has plenty of user posted pictures and stories how this new material has helped these people. 

For myself, I have not yet decided what to build/hack with this first, but I allready have some ideas so I'm quite sure I'll be able to use all these packs while the material is fresh. Even though the Surgru is well packed to those individually sealed aluminium foil packs, it will stay fresh only about six months. So, expect to see something more interesting coming with Sugru on it.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Living in Freezer, or Got the package, 2032 batteries and other neat things.

Sorry.. It's been way too long time without updates, I'll try to be more punctual. Freezer related stuff will be At the end.. Just have to put one picture for a teaser.

The parts I ordered at the end of December have finally arrived. I'm sure I could have sourced most of them locally, but the price of projects could have raised a lot. The most important was the 20-pack of 3032  lithium batteries (under  3€) and single lens sunglasses  ... (these links open sellers page on new window, go see them. I'll wait here).

I'm sure someone clever reading this post may well guess what's I'm building, but if you'll comment this project, please don't spoil until I have the prototype made. I will then shoot a video of it, though I may need to find someone volunteering to be front of the camera :-)

According the feedback on sellers page, there can be some duds amongst those 3032 batteries. So I checked the voltages with a multimeter and they seem to varies between 3.1 to 3.4 volts. According the typical data sheet (pdf file) these voltage levels indicates these batteries are essentially new. The first voltage drop at the begin is really sharp and the nominal battery voltage is 3 volts.

During the use the battery voltage will keep  relatively steady around 2.9V until at the end voltage sinks rapidly towards 2.0V which is the official cutoff voltage. So, these batteries are just perfect to use with low power microcontrollers without need of any voltage regulation. And with low enough static power drain, there's not even need to add any kind of power switch at the circuit.

--- And Back to Freezer part.. These photos are taken with my trusty old E-510 digital SLR with Zuiko 14-54 lens. That does not sound like worth mentioning, until I remind that lately we have been having temperatures between -20 to -29 Celsius (-4 to -20 Farenheit) and I spend 2 hours finding the right shots. These images are Straight-from-camera Jpegs, with no post processing (website does scaling).

First two pictures are from University campus area and the last one from city harbour.