Archive February, 2014

The Sleep-over Machine

08 February, 15:24, by Simon Clark

So this little project came about because my younger daughter was having trouble with the concept of sleeping over at her grandparents house. We were at Diyode one Saturday morning, discussing what we could do about it.  We decided to make a machine that would imbue her with the super power of Sleepover. Scrounging through the spare parts bins there, we pulled together the above machine. It has a colour-fade ambient light LED and a 1W luxeon star reading light. Oh, and lots of hot-melt glue.


A pair of rechargeable batteries, so far, has lasted about 2 weeks, and still going strong.

Pokémon Shiny Charm and Friend Safari – preliminary data

06 February, 16:39, by Dahlia Clark

When I earned my shiny charm, my daughter and I were discussing how useful it would be to know if it changes the shiny rate in friend safaris.  We wanted to see if we could collect enough data to have an answer.  We knew we needed an automated solution though, because we aren’t that dedicated.

We had looked at the Poke-O-Matic made by dekuNukem on reddit, but since neither of us can afford to replace our 3DS, we didn’t want a solution that required taking the units apart and soldering to it.  So on to plan B.  We asked my husband if he could build a machine that would work with an intact 3DS.

Between us, we built and tested 2 Safari Hunters ( ), and have been using them to collect data for several days.


We collected the data by first running around in each other’s safaris at the same time, then switched to running around in 3rd person safaris (we both ran around in the same safari at the same time).

I’m not a very good statistician, but looking at the data we have so far, it seems that:
1. the Shiny Charm does not improve the rate in Friend Safaris
2. the Friend Safari shiny rate is likely in the range of 1/600 to 1/1000
3. given the default shiny rate in xy  of 1/4096 (according to serebii ) , my guess is that the Safari rate is specifically 5/4096 (1/819, 0.00122%)

We are going to keep testing and see how the numbers settle out, but this is what we have found so far!

/u/dahlialia and /u/iheartfennikin

Introduction to Glass Fusing in the Kiln

06 February, 10:58, by EvaB

Glass has been a fascinating medium for both practical and artistic works for millennia.  Imagine our delight when Annie  joined Diyode and brought her glass kiln with her!

Last Sunday, she showed us  some projects and helped us understand how to use her kiln.           

group1 72



” Fusing” glass is melting layers of  glass into a single flat piece.

Pieces to be fused have to be put on a shelf which has a primer layer brushed on to prevent the melting glass from sticking.  Annie is holding this shelf here.



She prepared many examples of before and after pieces to show what happens after a fuse.

example 2

On the left is an after fuse -before fuse example, where a white rectangle of glass was overlaid at one end with a piece of red glass.  We can see that odd curling and puckering occurred.  On the right is an example of a rectangle of white that has a smaller rectangle of white, and a small square of red laid on top.  When fused, the surface is smooth and even.

example 1








Here are some more examples.  The before fusing examples all look like they have layers of glass on top of each other, and the smooth pieces are those same examples after fusing.


example 3

In this example, we see how much the glass rounds out and shrinks down after fusing.  We were told that it naturally likes to be at 1/4 inch thickness once liquefied.





frit sandwich


Another option is to put a layer of “frit” in between a base layer and a top layer, to add interesting effects.  Frit is granulated glass.








It’s possible to make formed pieces using molds.  Here, Annie is holding some bowl molds.




To make a bowl, the pattern of the glass has to be prepared first.

bowl prepTo prepare a two-toned bowl, a layer of black glass is put down, then a white layer is put on top.  Then, for decoration, glass “stringers”  – little glass spaghettis – get placed on top.  These layers are then fused together.











The final bowl is made by “slumping” the glass into the bowl molds.



Bottles can be flattened in the kiln, then slumped in a mold for a small serving bowl.







Into the kiln!







There are a number of ways to prepare the glass for so many different results.  Learn how to do your own projects in future workshops, and be dazzled!

Thank you, Annie, for a very interesting workshop!

The Bucket System

05 February, 17:26, by Simon Clark

Tubs2Over the last year or so, we’ve been putting a lot of effort into sorting what we have, rather than acquiring more stuff. A large part of this has been sorting out all our various resources using free buckets from a local coffee pub.  The system has been successful enough that I feel compelled to share it.

The buckets we get are roughly 10 litre square plastic buckets. They come from Williams Coffee Pub here in Guelph. Williams gets muffin mix in them, and generate 2 or 3 a day. We just wonder in on a semi-random basis, ask if they have any muffin buckets, and usually waltz out with six to ten of them. They often need a good wash, and the handles and lids removed, then they are good to go.

We have seven or eight areas in the workshop where buckets go.  They are roughly sorted into different themes, like ‘basic electronic components’,  ‘electronics tools’, ‘hardware (bolts, nails, etc)’, ‘project storage’, ‘general supplies (paint brushes, pens, tape)’, and ‘odd stuff’.

Each bucket storage area is designated  by a specific colour. To mark the buckets, we got coloured duct tape, and did a half width wrap around the top of each bucket.

We are currently are in the process of marking each position with a letter/number combo, so that not only do the buckets go back to the same area, they also go back to the same spot.


Shelves for the buckets are made out of scrap wood, usually 3/4″ plywood scraps. The horizontal slats are glued and air-nailed on. They are really quick to make, and can be attached almost anywhere.


We found that the colour coding system makes a great difference to the rate at which the buckets get put back where they came from. I think people instinctively follow order, if you make it dead easy for them.

The biggest cost associated with this project was the duct tape, and even that, we got during a 65% off sale, so it was about $2.50 a roll. All-in-all, a fantastic success, as far as organizing the shop goes.