Gyroscopic Precession Robot (Version 2)

Gyroscopic Precession Robot (Version 2)

Radio controlled gyroscopic robot using precession make walking motions. Based on John W. Jameson’s Walking Gyro robot.

More details found on my blog at Let’s Make Robots here:

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Jim’s Diet

In January I weighed 104 kilograms and even though I am 193 centimeters tall there was a lot of fat in there and I didn’t feel good, rather heavy and sluggish so I took a month and went to Sanya, Hainan (South China Sea). I holed up in a cheap hotel, bought a bicycle and proceeded to change my figure. I ate one meal every two days and the rest of the time I ate fruits and nuts only. I rode my bicycle or walked at least two to three hours a day for one month. At the end of the month I was down to about 96 kilograms. When I got back to the school where I teach I maintained my diet by eating one meal a day and fruit and nuts. I also cut out sweetened coffee packets and do just plain instant. This morning (two months later) I weighed 94.5 kilos and the weight just slowly keeps coming off. Now and then I eat a big meal for fun but always go back to my diet which is really not a diet anymore.

I have lost my craving for food. Before my diet I was constantly nibbling carbs. Now that food lust is gone. I though I would be hungry all the time but Im not – I tell my university kids about my diet and they cringe but it seems very normal now to me.

I try to do something everyday outside, either bicycle or walk and I always use the stairs in my teaching building. Also I do one or two 5 minute rides on my indoor bike each day.

This is really working for me and I feel fantastic.

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Super Octopus RockMite 40 Meter radio

Super Octopus RockMite 40 Meter radio

Super Octopus RockMite 40 Meter radio – almost finished. Kit cost $15 and case $8. Just lacking 5 resistors that I got shorted in the kit and then debug. Soldering in a couple places is pretty shoddy but overall I think I did a good job.

Well, I failed. I got it all together and it worked but no volume from amplifier and had vicious voltage leak I could never find. Tore it all apart trying to find it. So ordered another kit but fully assembled from seller – didnt want to waste a perfectly good case and I really like the radio, nice sidetone and can cannot to pc. Live and learn. Making some lowpass filters now.


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I am probably a pretty weird duck, I like to build simple HAM equipment and radios and kits that I cannot use because I don’t have a license and I currently live in a country where, even if I was certified, still could not have a radio station. But I want to post some about my toys anyway. It is very satisfying to build a little radio from some schematic or solder up a kit and see it work.

Michigan Mighty Mite 40 meter radio for cw

Michigan Mighty Mite 40 meter radio for cw

Here is my Michigan Mighty Mite 40 meter transmitter that puts out about 500 mW on an 11.1 volt lipo. I bought the key in an antique store in Harbin, China. Recently I was playing with it (with the antenna going into a 50 ohm resistor) when a chunk of solder fell out of the bottom of the circuit board. So it stopped working. Then I discovered about 4 problems with the board and was amazed it worked at all. Fortunately I have an rf probe I built so tracked down all the issues and now it works great waiting for a day when I can really use it.

HAM CW keyer - chinese from 1950s I suppose.

HAM CW keyer – chinese from 1950s I suppose.

Closeup photo of my chinese keyer from the 1950s I suppose.

QRP manual days antenna tuner

QRP manual days antenna tuner

Here is an antenna tuner kit I put together which is interesting in that it cannot possibly work because the circuit board is wrong. This kit is known as the “manual days” QRP antenna tuner. The circuit board has a capacitor with one of the leads connected to the wrong side of the diode so it dumps any RF to ground and never reaches the LED to indicate VSWR. You can verify this for yourself by looking at the online schematic and online closeup of the board. I got it working but probably wont use it with my little QRP radios as it steals too much power from my 500 mW radios, probably better to just use an appropriate length of antenna wire.

HAM Pixie 2 40 meter transceiver

HAM Pixie 2 40 meter transceiver

Here is my Pixie 2 40 meter transciever. I built two kits because I wanted the practice before attempting my RockMite and because the kits only cost 3 dollars here in china (cheaper than buying the parts separately. On one of the kits I inadvertently bent one of the LM386 pins under and missed the hole in the circuit board. Then I compounded the problem by trying to drill a hole through and soldering directly which in effect grounded that pin to the board. So had to hard wire to that pin and cut a trace, what a mess but lesson learned – I check all socket pins before I solder them.

HAM Octopus RockMite

HAM Octopus RockMite

Pictured above is my latest project, the Octopus RockMite kit I bought for about 15 dollars and a nice aluminum case for another 8 dollars – electronic stuff is really cheap here on

Already made mistake on soldering this board, I was using an old version schematic with a new version circuit board. Had to pull out 5 capacitors and start again. Now I have the right schematic. Didn’t come with kit, had to find it myself on internet. Put all the 104 caps in today and IC sockets.

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I refuse to enroll in Obamacare

I am choosing to not enroll in ACA system based on my religious conviction that God is my insurer, not the US government.

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More Strange Weather

Heavy smog closes schools, airport in northeast China

I have lived in Harbin for 7 years now but never seen this which is following on a 100 year flood last month.

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More signs of the times

More reports from scientists that are convinced humans are changing weather patterns. Also more reports of antibiotic resistant bacteria and insects that are invading the world’s countries.
Also escalating Arab and Israeli tensions especially surrounding Temple Mount.

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