Last weekend was great!

Kate and I went to visit out friends Aaron, Alison and their daughter Charlotte in Edmonds Washington.

They recently (a year ago) moved to Edmunds so it was exciting to see there new house and location. It didn’t disappoint, the house is great, the town is great, the view is great, the weather is so so. It was fantastic! It makes Kate and I wonder why we’ve stayed on the East Coast so long.

The big day was the last day. We went out on the boat! Aaron dry docks the boat at the marina that is a 3 minute drive from the house. In under 5 min the marina gets the boat off the rack and into the water. It is the best! Once on the boat, both Kate and I were quite concerned that we might get sea sick. Lucky for us the bay/sound was super calm and we had no trouble at all! Unfortunately the same can’t be said for the boat. Once we got across the sound the engine started to smoke and we lost a substantial amount of power from the engine. Sadly we had to turn around and putter back. That said, Kate and I still had a great time crusing across the sound and we’re just happy to have had the chance. The rest of our time was spent hanging out doing Easter stuff and enjoying the company.

Super big thanks to the Shurt’s for hosting, hope we can go back soon.

Charlotte moments before the Easter egg hunt!

Everyone I hope you’re ready for a solid nerd post. No, it’s not about Game of Thrones…… I don’t watch that shit! Plz

This is a project I have been working with my “best friend” John Schulman. As you may or may not know I have a Vanagon Westfalia. I keep said Vanagon in my subterranean grarage as it needs to be protected from the elements. The problem is the garage gets very damp after a rain storm. I keep a dehumidifier in there running 24-7. The issue is I sometimes forget to emty it. It then shuts off and the water begins to pool up on the floor.

John and I figured this might be a great opportunity to use an Arduino to send me a notification on my phone when the tank for the dehumidifier is full and the unit has shut off. John got to work using a Wifi enabled Feather Board. The board has a water sensor on it. Along with a servo arm that moves when the device is trying to connect to the internet. My end of the project is the 3D printed housing for it so it can be attached to the dehumidifier.

John sent me the board last week and the little bugger worked right out of the box. I spent the weekend testing it and designing a housing. As expected we found a few issues.

  1. The wifi in the house didn’t extend to the gararge. I got a wifi extender and that seemed to do the trick.
  2. The notifications aren’t working constantly. We are using ifttt to run the text messages and it is un-relyable at best.
  3. We will use Pushbullet for the notifications going forward.
  4. We are changing the sensor to a floating water sensor as it is a simpler input method.

It pretty exciting as it is 90% there as a little device. Still some tweaks to make but all in all it been a super fun project!

I will be sending the board back to John for code and wireing updates. I will keep you all posted on the progress.

Thanks John!

Feather Board and parts

Housing design 1.0

This is the dehumidifier I have. See tank on the bottom.

I missed a couple of weeks.

Here’s what’s been happening.

1: My parents came to visit and we had a lovely time. It was opening weekend for Hudson Yards so we went into see what that was all about. They had heard about the Vessel by Thomas Heatherwick so we went to see it. As I mentioned it as opening day so Hudson Yards was bananas! On Sunday we stayed around NJ and I showed off the van.

I did a test install of a new part I designed for the van. It’s a little vent cover in the back seat that now houses some power outlets, a light switch and dimmer. The red switch on the right is for the shower. Once I have that working I’ll do a post.

2. Last weekend we went to went back to Hudson Yards because we had tickets to acctually walk on the vessel. I didn’t think it would be as interesting as it was. From the ground it’s quite an impressive structure and sculpture so I thought that was kinda it. Turns out it’s actually quite a lovely experience. We got to Hudson Yards earlier in the day so we had a chance to walk around the shopping center. Much of it is a disappointing mall, but on the 4th floor there are some very interesting concept type stores that are much more interesting. We went to lunch at Queen’s Kitchen and had an amazing view of the vessel. Almost too close.

We spent the rest of the day hanging out in Brooklyn with our friend J-bone. He told me about how that old newspaper comic strip Nancy has been taken over by a young writer and what a sensation it’s become. Sluggo is lit indeed.

Lastly we went to see Better Oblivion Community Center, a band Kate is into. Their main draw is Phoebe Bridgers who appears to be the coolest thing ever. It was good, she seem lovely.