Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Kickstarter is LIVE!

Great news! The Open Source Gemini Project is now live on Kickstarter!
The project is a 30 day project, and I will be posting updates throughout the Kickstarter process.  I sure have learned a lot already with my first Kickstarter project, and it has only just gone live.  When it is all finished, I will be sharing my experiences here.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Kickstarter Stickers and Swizzle Sticks

The Kickstarter for the Open Source Gemini Simulator is so close to being launched.  Final details always take longer than expected, though it should be live within 24 hours *fingers crossed*.

There will be two physical rewards available for Kickstarter backers, both are 6"x 3" bumper stickers.

The first design (see below) shows a blueprint of the Gemini spacecraft launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida.  Along the trajectory reaching up from the Cape are line drawings of the first and second stages of the Titan II missile used to launch Gemini into orbit.

"I Build Spaceships" Reward Sticker for Kickstarter Backers

The second sticker pays homage to what is perhaps the greatest of all pieces of space hardware: the Swizzle Stick.  The swizzle stick was an extendable stick first introduced aboard the Mercury spacecraft and still used to this day by astronauts for reaching switches and buttons beyond their reach in the cabin.
"Ask Me About My Swizzle Stick" Reward Sticker for Kickstarter Backers

This was particularly important aboard the Gemini spacecraft because if one of the crew members became incapacitated, this was the only way the other crew member could actuate some of the switches on the opposite side of the cabin.  In Gemini, the swizzle stick was located on the right hand side of the overhead center console.
Gemini Instrument Panels (http://www.ibiblio.org/apollo/Gemini.htp)
Notice the swizzle stick on part "A" of the above image in the upper left.  A brilliantly simple solution to a potentially serious problem.

Keep checking back for updates here on my blog.  Once the Kickstarter launches I'll be refocusing my efforts on actually building the capsule and not preparing for the Kickstarter launch

Thursday, July 13, 2017

New Project: Open Source Gemini Simulator

Today I want to announce a new project I am starting: The Open Source Gemini Simulator.

This project will be to create a 1:1 scale replica of the Gemini Capsule, adapted for playing Kerbal Space Program.  The capsule is designed to be made from readily available materials (Home Depot, Lowes, etc...) and can be made with general woodworking tools by anyone with a maker spirit!  And since everything, the documentation, CAD files, drawings, software, and schematics, will all be Open Source anyone can make it!  The project will be designed to be disassembled quickly into manageable components that can be transported and shown at events such as MakerFaire and Gaming Cons.

Below are a couple of graphics showing the finished structural design for the capsule:

The skin is not shown in these pictures to give a better view of all of the structural elements.  I still need to layout all of the controls going into it.  This will include mechanical 3 axis navballs, mechanical panel meters, and over 50 toggle switches.  Almost every possible function of Kerbal Space Program will be controlled from this capsule.  I'll be using kRPC to interface with Kerbal Space Program, and using Teensy 3.5 for the embedded electronics interface.

I'll be launching a Kickstarter in a couple days to raise funds for the project, check back soon to see when that gets launched!  Once the project gets seriously underway, I'll be posting regular updates about the design work that has already been done and the future work as it progresses.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Welcome to my Maker Blog!

Welcome to venturesinmaking.com, the blog where I document my trials, tribulations, successes, and failures in my quest to make cool stuff.  Check back often to see updates on various projects and their progress!