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121  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: mm verses inches on: August 23, 2010, 01:28:38 pm
Machinists work in tenths (and thousandths) of an inch every day!  Try using a Caliper or a Micrometer and measuring in fractions of an inch instead of decimals.

And yes, when your eyes start to go, you cheat and use digital readouts.

(bad example because it's in metric and worked out to a simple fraction, but you get the idea... just throw the switch from MM to Inches and there you go)

and 1/10 != 1/64
122  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: mm verses inches on: August 22, 2010, 02:42:47 pm
The Good Ol' Boy in me says American Standard.  I grew up in metal shops and EVERYTHING was American Standard... drill bits were fractions and numbers.  I really can't remember the last I was ever forced to work with the metric system; maybe assembling kit furniture or a barbecue that came from China?

If this is aimed at American first timers, then you might want to choose one system and stick with it instead of bouncing back and forth between two different measurement systems, and I think most Americans would think it's odd to see a book written in metric.

All that said, I have zero idea what they're teaching kids these days in school.  They've been talking about switching to metric ever since I was a kid... maybe they've started?  (although I don't think they ever will)
123  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Sensor Suggestion Request on: September 08, 2010, 06:28:45 pm
Not to double post, but today's Daily Deal at Parallax is their X-Band Motion Decector;
http://www.parallax.com/Store/Sensors/ObjectDetection/tabid/176/ProductID/606/List/0/Default.aspx?SortField=ProductName,ProductName

In the write up is says it can see through walls... never used this sensor so I can't attest to that, but if your lexan isn't clear, then this should work still.
124  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Sensor Suggestion Request on: September 07, 2010, 10:04:55 pm
As I was reading this the first thing that came to mind was RFID, but then I read cheaper is better... womp womp.  So the next best thing I thought of was a QTI.  This one has a daylight filter and it's analog output that you can play with until you find the threshold you like, then set it up at that point like a digital sensor for easy programming.

QTI Sensor ($6USD):
http://www.parallax.com/Store/Sensors/ObjectDetection/tabid/176/CategoryID/51/List/0/SortField/0/Level/a/ProductID/100/Default.aspx
Data sheet at bottom right of page.

*****EDIT*****
Beat to the punch by cr0sh... My suggestion is assuming the lexan is clear and there's enough room under it to place sensors.  By the way, the QTI is an infrared emitter/detector one a breakout board so we were on the same page.
125  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Post Your Venting (Letting Out Your Anger) Here! on: August 22, 2010, 09:58:58 pm
I shot two over par playing disc golf this morning... because I couldn't see a tractor parked behind a tree on a blind left hand hole and ended up parked behind it.

Seriously, who parks a tractor on a frisbee golf course?!

Oh well... not really worth getting upset over; it's a game that makes me happy, but it's the closest to being upset I've been in a long time.
126  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Ouch... :( on: August 21, 2010, 06:34:18 pm
I don't know much, but I do know that water will oxidize just about every heavy medal [that a soldering iron tip might be made out of].  Take water out of the cleaning process and you should increase the life of your tips.
127  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Ouch... :( on: August 18, 2010, 06:32:58 pm
Sawed off a finger fabricating custom orders at a bike shop.  Three years later broke my left collar bone in the military... straight through the shoulder joint and they couldn't do anything for me other than medicate for pain.  
128  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Where do you buy your stuff? on: August 13, 2010, 10:41:56 pm
cr0sh:  When I was stationed in San Diego there was a warehouse that had scrap electronics, mostly military stuff.  It was really cool, never in my life have I ever seen so many vacuum tubes in one place!  Really old stuff, like giant fireproof resistors (darn near the size of your pinkie).  It was really neat, but I never had the heart to rip apart any of the old gear.
129  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Bar Sport / Re: Where do you buy your stuff? on: August 10, 2010, 10:06:25 pm
Sometimes I'll order Arduino stuff from the Maker Shed if I'm ordering a copy of Make magazine and want to make it worth the shipping.
http://www.makershed.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=43

If I want to buy a shield, the first place I look is Adafruit.
http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=17&zenid=057a9d0f72900afcaab5ed5bc884ea6a
(stock up on the shield stacking headers too... they come in SOOOOooOOo handy)
http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=17&products_id=85

And I know I'm going to get hate for this, but Parallax has the best sensors anywhere AND datasheets for everything!
http://www.parallax.com/Store/Sensors/tabid/86/Default.aspx
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