The closest one was about 60 mm long, with plenty of growing ahead in the next few months:
A few days later, I spotted a smaller one, maybe 40 mm from eyes to cerci, hiding much deeper in the decorative grass clump. Given their overall ferocity, it was likely hiding from its larger sibs.
They have also been stilting their way across the window glass and screens in search of better hunting grounds. My affixing their oothecae to another bush may have disoriented them at first, but they definitely know where their next meal comes from!
Perhaps as a bonus, a Katydid appeared inside the garage, stuck to the side of a trash can that Came With The House™ long ago:
I deported it outside, in hopes of increasing the world’s net happiness.
The stickers covering the can say “WPDH: A Decade of Rock ‘n’ Roll”, suggesting they date back to 1986, ten years after (Wikipedia tells me) WPDH switched from country to rock. Neither genre did much for me, so I never noticed.
My favorite half-teaspoon measure hit the floor with a surprising sproing:
The weld lasted far longer than anyone should own a spoon, I suppose, but it wasn’t much to begin with:
Having had much the same thing happen to a measuring cup from the same set, I cleaned the back of the spoon and the front of the handle with a stainless steel wire brush in the Dremel and gingerly re-bent the handle to remove any inclination it might have to break free again:
Some 60% silver solder (the formula evidently changed in the last few decades), nasty flux, and propane torch work produced a decent fillet:
It looks a bit worse on the far side, but I’ll never tell.
Rinse off the flux, wire-brush the joint, wash again, and it’s all good.
I thought about excavating the resistance soldering gadget, but the torch was closer to hand and a bigger fillet seemed in order.
Back in the beginning of July, I replaced the NP-BX1 battery in the RGB Piranha astable multivibrator with a 18650 lithium cell and a USB charge controller, then watched it blink for the next two weeks on the first charge:
However, the blinks looked … odd and some poking around with a Tek current probe showed the red and blue astables had locked together, so they blinked in quick succession. Alas, I don’t have a scope shot to prove it.
I built all three astables with the same parts, figuring the normal tolerance of electrolytic caps would make the astables run at slightly different rates, which they did at first.
This being a prototype, I just soldered a 1 µF cap onto the blue channel’s existing 10 µF cap:
You can barely make out the top of the additional 2.2 µF cap on the red channel, through the maze of components; now, they definitely have different periods.
Aaaand the scope shot to prove it:
The bottom trace shows the battery current at 10 mA/div. The first pulse, over on the left, has the red and blue LEDs firing in quick succession with some overlap, but they separate cleanly for their next pulses.
You don’t want to build a battery-powered astable from NPN transistors, because the 8 mA current between blinks is murderously high. In round numbers, each of the three LEDs blinks twice a second for 30 ms at 20 mA, so they average 3.6 mA, less than half the current required to keep the astables running between blinks. Over the course of 14 days, the circuit drew 11.6 mA × 336 hr = 3900 mA·h until the protection circuit shut it down.
I must conjure a holder with contacts for an 18650 cell, support for a trio of 2N7000 MOSFET astables, and some kind of weird spider with the RGB Piranha LED on the top. Even a harvested 18650 cell should last a couple of months with a much longer blink period (500 ms is much too fast), less LED current (this one is shatteringly bright), and a lower average current.
And, yeah, I’ve been misspelling “Piranha” for a while.
Not the most challenging solid model I’ve ever conjured from the vasty digital deep, but 3D printing is really good for stuff like this.
The OEM pegs have a hollow center, most likely to simplify stripping them from the injection mold, which I dutifully duplicated:
It turns out the additional perimeter length inside the pegs requires 50% more printing time, far offsetting the reduced 10% infill. Given that each solid set takes just under an hour, I decided to lose half an hour of verisimilitude.
I plunked a nice round cap atop the OEM peg’s flat end, but stopped short of printing & installing a round plug for the butt end.
While the 3D printer’s hot, ya may as well make a bunch:
Mary took on the task of finishing a hexagonal quilt from pieced strips, only to discover she’ll need several more strips and the myriad triangles required to turn hexagons into strips. The as-built strips do not match any of the standard pattern sizes, which meant ordinary templates were unavailing. I offered to build a template matching the (average) as-built hexagons, plus a triangle template based on those dimensions.
Quilters measure hexes based on their finished side length, so a “1 inch hex” has sides measuring 1 inch, with the seam allowance extending ¼ inch beyond the sides. It’s difficult to measure finished sides with sufficient accuracy, so we averaged the side-to-side distance across several hexes.
Some thrashing around produced a quick-and-dirty check piece that matched (most of) the stack of un-sewn hexes:
That one came from a knockoff of the circle template, after some cleanup & tweakage, but failed user testing for not withstanding the side force from the rotary cutter blade. The inside and outside dimensions were correct, however, so I could proceed with some confidence I understood the geometry.
Both the pattern width (the side-to-side distance across the inside of the hex) and the seam allowance appearing in the Customizer appear in inches, because that’s how things get measured outside the Basement Laboratory & Fabrication Facility:
You feed in one side-to-side measurement and all other hex dimensions get calculated from that number; quilters default to a ¼ inch seam allowance. Remember, standard quilt hexes are measured by their side length, so just buy some standard templates.
Both templates have non-skid strips to keep the fabric in place while cutting:
I should have embossed the size on each template, but this feels like a one-off project and YAGNI. Of course, that’s how I felt about the circle templates, so maybe next time I’ll get it right.
As it turned out, Mary realized she needed a template for the two half-triangles at the end of each row:
It’s half of the finished size of the equilateral triangle on the right, with seam allowance added all around. The test scrap of fabric on the left shows the stitching along the hypotenuse of the half-triangle, where it joins to the end-of-row hexagon. Ideally, you need two half-triangle templates, but Mary says it’s easier to cut the fabric from the back side than to keep track of two templates.
A surprisingly heavy stainless steel pan lid from the local ReStore has only one fault: when placed upside-down on the counter while we’re tending the pan contents, it will rock back and forth for nearly a minute. The lid has a rubberized insert for finger protection:
However, the inserts cover only the side of the handle, so the metal arch rests on the counter. Setting it up in the shop let me scuff up the handle contact points:
Then some Dremel grinding wheel work recessed the handle just barely below the inserts and changed the arch enough to keep it off the counter:
The lid now stops rocking after a few seconds and is much quieter while doing so. It may require a bit more grinding, but it’s much better after this small intervention.