The tree inside the leaf

The tree inside the leaf Imagine winter with all the bare trees in the landscape. Autumn has done it's job and ripped off those golden brown leafs. I found this large leaf in the Autumn of 2010, more then a year back. I pressed it between a few newspapers and let it dry for more then a year. Recently i took the leaf out of it's hidding place and carved the image. Leaving just the veins a tree stands out.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 31/12/2011

Winter activities

Winter activities Winter is a time that allows you to do those small things that will give you much pleasure in the remaining part of the year. One of those things is preparing some new birdhouses. I made this one in about 45 minutes from some scrap materials. Just for the fun of it i added a nice 'shingle' style roof to it.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 30/12/2011

Cupcake frenzy

Cupcake frenzy For Christmas dinner the family came together to have a nice afternoon. But before we started the dinner the host suprised use with a cupcake decoration session. It was a surprisingly funny thing to do. These are some of the results of a nice afternoon.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 26/12/2011

Christmas card

Cristmas card Every year around Christmas I make a special Christmas card just for my wife. This year i made this hardcover popup card. It folds completely flat in closed and open position. I specially like the way how Santa raise out of the chimney when opening the card. Merry Christmas every one!

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 22/12/2011

Retro headset

Retro headset The radioset i mentioned in the previous article was shouting for a retro style headset. Since i didn't had a matching headset it was of to the shed again and make one my own. I took with me two plastic cups, an end cap for a 30cm PVC pipe, soft foam and two caps of a custard suit.

Retro headset This is how the headset looks like in it's natural enviroment. Adjustable, stylish and very retro. A job done nicely.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 11/12/2011

Solar powered tube radio

Solar powered tube radio Finaly i made one. An AM tube radio that's able to run on solar energy. For this design i use a value that only consumes 10mA for the filament which is easily supplied by a solar cell. For more detail"s on this radio follow this link

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 11/12/2011

Weatherbird

Weatherbird Pine cones. As kid did I collect them already. They come in a great variety of shapes and sizes. Did you know that they also react with the weather conditions. To be more precise, with the air humidity. Pine cones open up when the air is dry and closing again when the moisture level of the air raises. This make them suitable as a weather bird. They raise their feathers when the air get dryer. Aren't they cute?

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 14/11/2011

Lizard cube

Lizard cube This nice piece of paper art i found here.
It's made of twelve indentical formed lizards. Each printed on a single sheet of paper, cut and glued together. When putting the twelve individual pieces together it forms a cube.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 08/10/2011

Roadtrip

Mont Saint Michel I've been on a big roadtrip the last couple of weeks. There where some nice encounters and some not so nice. Visiting this place, Mont Saint Michel was definitely a nice encounter. I took this picture just after sunset with lot's of Japanese tourists around me and a massive amount of mosquito's.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 07/10/2011

Massive machine

Just rocking The annual village festival was a nice oppertunity to find out where all that horsepower is coming from.







 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 15/09/2011

New old bicycle

Old bike These are the remains of the bicycle of my late father. The bicycle was a very sound model. The make is Gazelle, a Dutch bicycle company. Since it was the bicycle of my late father i have some emotional binding with it.
I took it completly apart and de-rust it thoroughly. Sadly i lost most of the decals on the frame in the process. Because of that it made my descision easier to repaint the frame again.
New bike The result is very pleasing. It isn't a very smooth paint job however that only add to the fact that this is an old bicycle. I was able to reuse all the parts except the tires. Hopefully this bike will be in service again for another few decades.



 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 10/09/2011

Card ball

Ball made from 30 playing cards I stumbled upon this site and saw i nice picture of a ball made with 30 playing cards. After studying the image better i was able to make one my one.










 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 24/08/2011

Sunflower

Sunflower This cute little sunflower i made from some plastic beads, paper, wood, cotton and a spring
If you press the underside in then the tension in the wire gets lower en de sunflower drops. Just release the spring located in the red wooden stand again and the sunflower will go straight up again













 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 24/08/2011

ZMC v2.0

Schematic Zoelen Media Center v2.0 is operational. The system consists of 4 amplified stereo channels and 4 amplified mono channels with volume control. In addition to that it have also 4 switched stereo channels and 4 switched mono channels (not amplified and no volume control). All is controlled by motion sensors, a domotica system and a Velleman K8000 IO board. The system can switch between 2 audio source so each location can have it's pick. The system is able to place announcements to any single location or combination of locations without corrupting the audio stream to the other locations.
More info here and here

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 6/08/2011

Planked!

Planked ! No words needed here.














 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 6/08/2011

Floorpump control

Floorpump control I have two pumps in my house to circulate the water in my floorheating system. At the lowest setting each pump pump uses 31 Watt, 24 hours each day. To lower energy costs i could turn them off in summertime but then dirt can build up in the pump and tubing what in time will lead to malfunctioning of the system. To prefent this you could let the pump run for only 15 minutes each day. Another issue is that if you turn the pump off by hand it won't start when heat is needed, so it needs to be aware that hot water is coming and that it should be pumped around into the floor. Both issues are solved with this clever pump switch kit.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 5/08/2011

Sented paper

Paper An easy experiment this time. I just wanted to try out the art of paper making.
I made two A4 sized frames. To one frame i added mosquito netting to be able to scoop up the pulp. I took a large bowl, added shredded old paper and a blender to mix everything to a fine pulp.
Then i added some colorful flowers and a teaspoon of thyme. One quick touch with the blender again is the mixture is ready to to be poured into then mosquito netted frame.
First place the netted frame into a large container, net side up. I used a sink for it.
Home control Then place the bare frame on top of it. Now fill the container with water just enough to submerge the mosquito netting. Now pour in the pulp mixture and move it a bit around to make it equally spread. Lift both frames slowly and let the excess water drip away. Remove the bare frame and turn the other frame up side down on a dry towel. Use a sponge to remove as much water as possible before removing the netted frame. You can just leave the paper this way or you press dry it further or iron it for a smoother finish.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 5/08/2011

A new roommate

Swallow The weather was terrible, heavy rain and a considerable amount of wind. I was walking to my car when i heard a splash behind me. At first i thought i dropped something so i looked back. There it was, a young swallow floating in a puddle. The nest that was high up hanging underneath our roof was partly collapsed and the other young swallow was struggling to stay in what was leftover of the nest. Unable to place the bird back I am now feeding it bugs and other insects now and hopefully it will be able to fly on its own in a week or two.
Swallow
Update (23/7/11)
The young swallow is able to fly on its own. However if i let him loose now then he will starve because he isn't able to find food. In fact, young swallows that fly out are still fed by their parents for a consideral time. I found out that the bird shelter nearby (http://www.vrczundert.nl) has a group of young swallows that are about the same age and the young one would fit in nicely. There it will be able to learn the last things before they will take off to Africa as a group.
Mission completed.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 16/07/2011

De nacht van Achtmaal



The rally called 'The night of Achtmaal' is considered one of the toughest rally in The Netherlands. It starts at daylight and continues till 12:00 in the night. This crash happend at the start of the rally

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 09/07/2011

Lorentz made visible



It's done many times before. There are many YouTube clips around and this is my contribution to the public.
Some notes about this experiment.
The form of the wire isn't crucial as can be seen in the second clip and after a short display the wire and the battery got considerably hot so be aware of that!

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 08/07/2011

ZMC v2.0

Home control With the succes of my first audio system in mind i wanted to improve things a bit more. ZMC stands for Zoelen Media Center and it is becomming that more and more. Where the previous version only had ON/OFF control for a few rooms and only master volume control this new version is much better. I've equiped every room with speaker(s), including the garden. The whole system have 2 inputs, 12 amplified outputs each with source and vulome control. The whole system is controlled via a domotica system. For the control i wrote a Homeseer plugin.


Home control Every room/speaker can be controlled apart from the rest. Each have it's own volume control and the output can come from one or the others audio source. One channel is used mainly to stream internet radio and the other channel is used for announcements. However if you want you can have any other audio source in that room too.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 08/07/2011

Solar power

Home control Due to the very good experiences when using solar power in my garden i looked into the investment of scaling things up and adding solar power to my house. I've installed 2 groups of 3 panels 185Wp each. I use one small inverter for each group. The inverter is the weakest link in the system and a smaller inverter is much cheaper to replace than one big one. And an extra bonus is that not your whole system goes down when one inverter stops working. Naturaly there is a downside in this. Using two inverters is slightly less efficient.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 11/06/2011

Solar garden

Home control Last year i installed a small solar panel to charge a car battery to power all the LED lights i have in the garden. I included also a dark/light sensor underneath the panel. When it become dark then the garden lights will turn on for about 2 hours. The system worked flawlessly throughout the whole dark winter. Now i don't mind anymore to leave on the garden lights at night, not even when we aren't in the garden.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 09/06/2011

Garden 2011

Home control The garden is doing very well this year. I am very pleased with the groups of digitalis that i left in place last year. They form a few nice accents with all the other colors.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 30/05/2011

Ceiling lights

Home control Home control This project took a bit more preparation to get it finished. For the light i used a LED tubing that is used for Christmas. Just after Christmas these items will have a discount up to 60% and so was this eight meters long LED tubing.

I have made 32 U-shaped holders where the tubing is fixed in between and to hold the cover. For the cover i used two pieces of plinth. The plinth is of the same material as the rest of the ceiling so they mix well

The plinth pieces are fixed in position with a decorative washer and a screw. The screwhead itself is covered with a small platic tip.














 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 22/05/2011

Scallops

Home control Nothing better then to have a good meal. Scallops are delicous and their shells look marvelous so why throw them away when you can make something nice with it.


 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 22/05/2011

Obi-Bram Kenobi


Soon after the succes of the lightning demo as seen here below i made another demo. My friends refer to this one as the Obi-Bram Kenobi demo. I wonder why?

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 21/05/2011

Lighting style


An early atempt to do movie style special effects. I made this one back in July 2005

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 20/05/2011

Restoration

Home control This beautifull oak table was in a terrible state when i bought it. It really took some elbow grease to get it back in it's prevoius glory. I made it water and weather proof with yacht varnish and look how it shines again.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 17/04/2011

Home control

Home control Home control is quiet useless if you don't have an easy access to some way to control all the devices in your home. To do so i use a 10" android tablet, a cheap Chinese one. Now i could make an interace consisting of just many buttons on a row, lots of data everywhere and using many bright colors. However that wouldn't look really appropriate in our living room. I also think technology is nice to have but it shouldn't take up a prominent place but just blend in. This image on the left is the main control display from where all other screens are accessed from.






Home control This image looks like a lot of clutter but it isn't. I pasted several screens into the main screens to give an impression what is shown without posting many meaningless images. The arrows showing which part of the main screen is pressed to get there. For example if you press the clock (btw, that tells the actual time) a screen is opened where you can enter, change, remove and isplay all kind of timers like cooking timers, reminders to be spoken and much more.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 23/01/2011

Sweet distraction

Tube radio While working on an all room controlled audio system i needed an audio source as input to check various settings and volume levels. Searching through various boxes for an old radio or such i found an old radio valve. An left over from a experiment many, many moons ago.


Tube radio The distraction hit me as soon as i touched that valve. I would make a radio with this one.

The radio is powered by only 9 Volt and 6 volt for the filament. If it wasn't for the filament that drains about 200mA i would be able to make it completly solar powered because the 9 volt anode only drains 13mA

Tube radio For the other parts i used mostly old items. The only part bought later on is a 100K potmeter used for volume control. It's amazing how few parts you need to make a radio with a tube and the abuse it can take will experimenting with different component values, shortages and wiring parts incorrectly. Don't try that with modern transistors!

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 23/01/2011

Analog opto coupler

This time an item from the present.

Optocoupler I am working on a new audio configuration for my domotica system. To control the volume in each room i need a voltage controlled resistor. While this part is available they are expensive and hard to find. I made one from two descreet parts. A LED and a photoresistor paired together and wrapped in heat shrink tubing.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 06/01/2011

Boardgame

It is 1998 when i made this boardgame. It is a game that use sliding tiles that change the layout constantly. You have to bring passengers to all kind of strange location.
Have a look at the original page. Rail boardgame

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 06/01/2011

Z-Bridge

In the same period that i was working with BEAM robotics i had a niffty idea to minimalize to number of parts to construct a motor driver called a H-Bridge. This idea was to use a IC that was designed to do completly different as a motor driver. At that time i had some conversation with Mark Tilden (at present the CEO of WooWee robots)
Follow the link to the original page for more details Z-Bridge details

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 06/01/2011

Hitchhiker's guide to a 4-legged walker

Book It is the year 1999. I was very into robotics these days. BEAM robotics to be precise. This design is low cost and low power. They often just run on solar energy. Have a look at the old page for more detailed information about the Z-Walker mk III


 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 05/01/2011

Back in time 6

Book Do you remember my previous post about Zelda?
Making those books was really fun so i descided to do more with it in 2005. I had written a few short stories before that where published in magazines. I thought that i would be a nice idea to bundle them into a book. Obviously i didn't have enough material to fill a descent book so i had to write a few more first. There are 13 short stories are in this book. I did all the work on this book on my own including writting, illustrating, printing, binding and publishing This was a very limited editon of only nineteen books. Each specialy made for the customer, added a personal note for the owner, numbered and signed. The books aren't available so the persons that have one realy have a collecters item. anymore

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 05/01/2011

Back in time 5

Gear What could i say about this?
This i an attempt of me to make a gear like you find in old Dutch mills. The gear is made from some scrap PCB and brass pins






 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 05/01/2011

Back in time 4

Zelda Comics.
I am a big fan of Zelda (Nintendo). In 1999 i got my hands on five files. These files where scans from Zelda comics that where published in Japan and where translated to English. The stories where all from the released games in the past years. I printed then and bundled then into five books. And with this realy nice cover the look great on the shelf.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 05/01/2011

Back in time 3

Gecko Tessalating tiles.
It seemed to me a very nice idea to make a pavement out of tesselating tiles. This type of tiles will interlock to each other and due to this they stay in place. I made a mold and started to pour in different kind of mixtures to see which one will have the mechanical strenght to hold a person walking over it. In the end none of the mixtures proved to be good enough so the pavement never came.

Garden Now the garden hold everywhere gecko's in different sizes at hidden places.













 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 04/01/2011

Back in time 2

Garden In the winter of 2009 is started to work on the garden. The house was nearly finished and the rumble called a garden was annoying me more and more. As can be seen on this picture you can see why. Everywhere wild bushed, grass that raised everywhere and a rock hard gorund that didn't let rainwater through.











Garden new This is the result after four months hard labor. A long pond of about 14 meter long is connecting the waterwheel in the back of the garden with a small dock at the front. A small winding path connects the well cultivated front of the garden with the more rural garden at the end

Garden













 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 04/01/2011

Back in time 1

Crossbow The next few items that will be posted are about things i made a few years ago or even way back in the 20th centry.
This crossbow i made in about 1985 when i was a scholar of a weaponmaster. The blade is made from the blade of a bandsaw, cut to pieces and attached on top of each other.

 

  • By: A.A. van Zoelen
  • On: 04/01/2011
Postings in 2010