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What to do during lockdown??  


Noble Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1007
2020-03-18 10:33 am  

With Italy under total lockdown and Germany and other countries, under partial lockdown, how can you break the boredom?

I am, among other things, looking for some statistics on new cases per day and country! John Hopkins has an interesting dashboard on the net.

This, unfortunately, is just an overview. I was thinking about dusting off those old math textbooks I have in the attic, which haven't been used in over forty years and do my own delta-x/delta-t curves with the humble hope of seeing a possible tipping point. Which is all we can hope for at the moment.

I must already be going "stir crazy" on Day 2 of the lockdown. But I must admit, I am already getting sick of hearing the word "Coronavirus" and the blanket reporting of how inept our political leaders really are! It is always the case of "too little, too late".

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Robo Pi
Robotics Engineer Moderator
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 1794
2020-03-18 4:40 pm  

Social isolation is the norm for me.  So I'll hardly notice any difference.   What I will miss is the flea markets and yard sales this summer.  I imagine there won't be many of those, and even if people were having them I'd be afraid to stop in.  

I'm actually looking at possibly buying another metal lathe.  I found a really good deal on one.  The problem is that it's about 200 miles from my home and I'm not sure if I want to drive that far to get it with the current health risks.  Plus I would need to interact to some degree with the people I'm buying it from.  Although it's a business and they would load it on my trailer with a forklift.   So I might not need to need to interact with anyone directly.   It would already be paid for so I wouldn't even need to deal with paperwork.  Just drive in, let them load it on the trailer, and then leave.  Although I would need to get out at some point to chain it down to the trailer.  But other than that I should be able to pick it up without really interacting with anyone.

The biggest fear would be to break down on the trip.  Then I'd be stuck with having to interact with a repair crew, or whatever.   Worst case scenario I'd need to abandon my truck and find public transportation home.  That could be disastrous. 

So I'll probably pass on this lathe, even though it's a STEAL!   It's only $99.  It's not very often that you can find a metal lathe for $99.  It's worth that much in scrap metal.

Look at the bright side.  We have this forum and our Raspberry pies!   That's hard to beat. 😎 

If you get too lonely teach your Raspberry Pi to talk to you.  That's what I'll be doing. 🤣 


DroneBot Workshop Robotics Engineer

Estimable Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 136
2020-03-19 12:37 am  
Posted by: @pugwash

I must already be going "stir crazy" on Day 2 of the lockdown. But I must admit, I am already getting sick of hearing the word "Coronavirus" and the blanket reporting of how inept our political leaders really are! It is always the case of "too little, too late".

The best thing to do is keep busy and try to avoid all the disinformation and misinformation (there’s a difference and I had to look it up.)

I am fine tuning a project that I’d normally post when it was good enough. I typically follow Voltaire’s advice, “Perfection is the enemy of ‘good enough’,” but I am finding ways to incrementally tweak it. Electronics and programming is a great distraction.  I’m a homebody anyway so this self isolation isn’t a hardship for me. As long as we have electricity and TV I can survive indefinitely. Every couple of weeks I need to make a 20- minute run for supplies so my wife and I won’t starve, but that’s it. I haven’t been outside in about 10 days. I can put up with this until at least the end of 2020!

I used to follow the news all the time, but 15-20 years ago I came to realize incessant watching things I had no control over, trying to predict which one of the infinite number of futures might unfold, and lamenting about the past was a stressful waste of time, and futile. So it’s one day at a time.  This too shall pass. 

Paul VE1DX 

Eminent Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 28
2020-04-09 5:40 pm  

Hi I am just learning about the programmable LEDs and controlling them with a Nano....

Estimable Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 169
2020-04-09 5:49 pm  

I'm making quite a bit of progress on my DB1 during the lock down. I hope to soon start a thread on what I have accomplished and how.


Pat Wicker (Portland, OR, USA)

Prominent Member
Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 835
2020-04-10 7:44 am  

I've got a few projects I'm working on. Work has slowed quite a bit on the toolcart (DB1) due to my having no access to it (cuz it's at work), so I've started on what I guess is DB2 (the Omnibot project) which I don't actually have a name for yet

I've got my wizard's staff, which I still need to get more tree bark for, and a few little crawler/grabber bots which I can't seem to find a functional web remote control for (if anybody has any suggestions for that, let me know) All the ones I've found online either need a jason or a googleapi, which is no good cuz that would require actual internet. I need this to be controlled by a local net only, preferably using the bot as the wifi access point

I've found a bit of ROS that can sorta do that, but, it requires a desktop link cuz it needs ROS installed as a MASTER to the bot's SLAVE. I may pursue that for the DB2, which isn't ready to be assembled yet. I'm still working on the arms, and printing the risers, and each level of riser is split into 4 sections so it fits on my printer, and each section takes about 20 hours to print (I'm using very low speed and high detail as the parts have to fit EXACTLY together)

So, there's a call for HELP here in that I need a web interface for remote control of a crawler bot with an arm and tracks

I have numerous drivers and controllers and things that I could swap out in case it's needed, and I'm willing to order more parts, although Amazon shipping has prioritized shipping, so, motor drivers and things like that take a bit longer to ship

Eminent Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 20
2020-05-10 10:34 pm  

Ive been ordering from amazon lately and even tho they are giving a 6-10 week lead time, Im still seeing things come in within 1-2.5 weeks from China. Guess it depends on what it is and if its in stock on their end. I ordered some 9mmX600mm slide rails and expected delivery is 07-25, but the 8mmX600mm threaded rod ( for  a Z position stepper on my 3D printer) was expected to deliver for 07-25 also, it arrived just 11 days after placing the order.  I cant figure out thier shipping methods/priorities and probably wont...

Eminent Member
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 20
2020-05-10 10:52 pm  

my stay at home time has been dealing with upgrading a 3D printer, new frame, new board, new screen, new drivers, new low friction travel, the addition of some add on supports for Laser and Milling capacities and ( what made me do this?) a triple feed single nozzle color mixing extruder, coding this is gonna be more than fun. But, I have come across a situation that has got me totally befuddled...

the steppers motors are all the same, the drivers...all the same, the wiring harnesses... all the same. But yet, the Z motors run perfectly and the X and Y motors just sit there grinding away chattering and vibrating and not moving in the proper manner. I can take the X and Y motors and hook them up to the Z output and they  work fine, so we mark them (X,Y motors) off the list of being bad/broken. about the only thing different that I know of is the feed rate between the Z and the X and Y motors...  the Z motor has a low feed rate ( 5 as compared to the 80 for X,Y)...  guess the 80 is too much but adjusting it down to 50 they still behave poorly... I am at a loss on this one.

Hopefully I will get this done before it gets too late..