Alan Baker, a good friend and co-worker has decided that it’s time to build a Bar Monkey.

What’s a Bar Monkey? Well the idea comes from the guys at BarMonkey.net. Basically the idea is to have some computer controlled hardware (relays and pumps or valves) that pour precisely measured amounts of liquors and mixers to make your favorite drinks.

Among all the different variations on the Bar Monkey there are really two ways to deliver the mixers from bottle to glass. The first is to use pumps to carry the liquid. The major problem with this is that food-grade pumps are very expensive ($50 and up). Others have used cheaper windshield wiper fluid pumps but Alan and I were concerned about the safety of the materials used being in direct contact with consumables.

That led us to the other option which involves pressurizing the line (either with compressed gas or gravity) and using shut off valves from a refrigerator to control flow. Alan has chosen to pressurize with CO2. Originally we were going to use a CO2 canister from a paint ball gun. The small size and low price of these is ideal, however we are having trouble finding proper threaded fittings.

Flow control will be accomplished with refrigerator ice maker valves. Alan found these valves for $15/each at WaterFilterMart.com however they seem to have gone up to $22 almost immediately after Alan bought them.

The brains of this operation are the Kit 108 Serial Relay Kit from ElectronicKits.com. Each kit can control 8 relays capable of running the shut-off valves. The kits are connected by the serial module upgrade kit which allows you to join two of the controllers together to control 16 valves.

So the purchasing phase is nearly done and we hope to start assembly soon. Click here to view the complete shopping list and check back frequently for updates on our progress!

drinks, cocktails, alcohol, bar, bar monkey, electronics, drink, cocktail, alan baker

v$views


The Warning Label Generator allows you to choose from a variety of labels and symbols and free-form your text in to create your own warning labels. Lots of fun! Thanks to the Make Magazine blog for pointing this one out!

warning label, label, fun, entertainment, humor, funny

Finally on DVD and ready for preorder on Amazon, the video of Pink Floyd’s final concert tour, “Pulse”. I wrote about this before, but at that time it was not available to pre-order at most sites. Due for release on December 6th, this is certainly a must-have for the Floyd fan on your Christmas list.

Here’s the rumored track list and extras. This was a fantastic concert and my VHS is long overdue for replacement. The DVD extras and Dolby Digital soundtrack are just icing on the cake.

PULSEDisc 1

Concert Part 1:
Shine On
Learning To Fly
High Hopes
Take It Back
Coming Back To Life
Sorrow
Keep Talking
Another Brick In The Wall (part 2)
One of These Days

Screen Films:
Shine On
High Hopes
Learning to Fly

Bootlegging the Bootleggers:
What Do You Want From Me
On The Turning Way
Poles Apart
Marooned

Shorts:
Time (Eames)
Money (Alien)
Speak To Me 1987
Pulse TV Advert

Videos:
Learning To Fly
Take It Back

Disc 2

Concert Part 2:
Speak To Me
Breathe
On The Run
Time
The Great Gig In The Sky
Money
Us And Them
Brain Damage
Eclipse
Wish You Were Here
Comfortably Numb
Run Like Hell

Screen Films:
Speak To Me (graphic)
On The Run
Time 1994
The Great Gig in the Sky (wave)
Money
Us And Them 1987
Brain Damage
Eclipse

Alternate Screen Films:
The Great Gig In The Sky (animation)
Us And Them 1994

Behind the Scenes Footage:
Goodbye to Life As We Know It

Wish You Were Here:
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Photo Gallery

Make Magazine’s weblog has an article today on Nasa’s Blue Marble.

It seems Nasa has taken it upon themselves to provide a season-changing flyover of the world. Watch this video (my favorite) cycle through the equivalent of 4 years seasons while you fly from the Gulf of Mexico to New England. This short video must be the coolest thing since Google Earth.

Even more dramatic is the video of the Alps, but the video that will change how you picture our planet is the main tour, which pans over a major portion of the globe over several years worth of seasons.

Check out NASA’s page on The Blue Marble for more info, some high resolution satellite photos, and more.

What next? I’d like to see Google Earth offer the ability to dial a season when flying around.

Thanks to Make Magazine for posting this.

blue marble, satellite images, satellite photography, modis, terra, terra satellite, earth, google earth, nasa

PULSEPink Floyd “Pulse” tour soon to be available on DVD!

Arguably the greatest live rock performance ever (though you won’t get any argument from me), Pink Floyd’s final tour has been available on VHS since 1995. According to a Reuters.com article it will be available on DVD this December.

Scheduled for North American release on December 6, I’m afraid I won’t be waiting until Christmas for this one.

This is not yet listed on Amazon for pre-order, but I’ll keep an eye on it and post an update here when it is available.

pink floyd, music, rock, entertainment, classic rock, david gilmour, roger waters, nick mason, richard wright, pulse

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