Saturday, January 15, 2005

Simple tips of the day

Hey, two tips I've recently learned that I'd like to share:

  • Silicone Sealant is your friend.

  • The GE Silicone II sealant you can find at your local hardware store is waterproof, a great insulator, withstands up to 400°F, dries in 30 minutes, goes on cold, and withstands vibration pretty well. This is a great alternative to hot melt when you need to seal or add vibration resistance to something. For instance, the DC to PC power converter I purchased looked like it would work great for a car but many of its components looked like they would shake loose when run in outdoor terrain on my monster truck chassis. I didn't want to use hot melt because some of the components (5V power regulator for instance) would get hot in operation and I didn't want the hot melt becoming viscous.

  • If you're a software developer who wants to work on robots, ask your sister-in-law to marry a machinist

  • Over the holidays, my sister-in-law and her new husband, Gene McDonald, came over and visited for a couple of days. Since I write code for a living, I've always struggled with my tools, from which solder to buy to how to make a really good hole with my drill press to how to cut plastic without melting it. Gene, who does amazing things with tools for a day job, was able to clear up a lot of little, stupid things I was doing and show me a lot of cool tricks in the space of a few days. On a personal note, as an only child it felt pretty cool to have a brother (inlaw or not) who could come by, slap me upside the head, and show me the right way to do things.