Author Archives: Pneumatic

Notes for GrueBox 2 rotary mechanism wiring

This is the wiring block from the rotary mechanism: The connections are as follows with the dial facing down with the wiring lugs at the top, from left to right they are yellow, blue, white, and red. Blue, white, and red are open when the dial is at rest, and closed when the dial is […]

Miracle cure

There’s an old engineering meme about wd40 and duct tape. It’s really true. The dial mechanism on the rotary gruebox was slow and balky–running maybe 1/4 the speed it was supposed to, and one shot of wd40 and it’s running right as rain. Contrary to popular myth, wd40 isn’t a lubricant exactly. It’s mostly a […]

Gutting GrueBox 2

I’ve gutted the rotary chest-phone that I am going to make into the third gruephone. What’s amazing to me is how little there actually is to them: Other than the bell, it’s just a dozen or so discrete components on a simple circuit board, mostly capacitors and resistors, with one transformer thrown in. The rotary […]

Getting the keypad working.

So, if I’m going to have 3 working phones for the Maker faire, I better get to building them. Today’s project is to get the keypad working. Oringally this keypad used a touch-tone signaling mechanism, but that wasn’t necessary for my purposes, so I just cut out all the DTMF hardware to get at the […]

Maker Faire again

I’ll be presenting at the Bay Area Maker Faire again this year. I’ll have a little more to show this year. My hope is to have at least 3 phones working, as well as a fourth under construction at the faire. This is an ambitious goal, and I’m not sure I’ll make it, but I’m going […]

Monitoring the phone

My day job is basically a DevOps/SRE type role, so it’s unsurprising that I’ve built a lot of monitoring into the phone.  Here’s a sample of a discharge/charge cycle of the battery: You can see that heat dissipation during charging is something I still have to work on.  57 degrees C isn’t fatal, but it’s […]

Goodbye Nextthing.co

This is only tangentially about the GruePhone.  It appears that NextThing computer company has folded (probably actually ceased operation months ago)… apparently it has closed up shop and left a lot of people with outstanding (paid-for) orders unfulfilled.  This is sad on many levels.  It certainly sucks for people who are out the cash, but […]

Wumpus

In a flurry of activity, I’ve added yet another game.  This time the classic “Hunt the Wumpus‘.  It’s fairly faithful to the basic version, though the numbering of the rooms is different (still a dodecahedron though.)  For those not familiar with the game, you are an intrepid explorer in a cave with 20 interconnected rooms.  […]

New games

I’ve gotta be better with these updates.  It’s been about 10 months since my last post. Work on the new phones is slow to non-existent, but I finally spent some time getting the old phone in better shape, both hardware and software. First, the phone is now back in one piece after sitting disassembled for […]