Brainwagon Radio: Sans Wife, Robots, Junk and Books

Well, my wife is in San Antonio for her niece’s wedding, so I’m back to my normal nerd talk. I spent yesterday in Sunnyvale/San Jose looking for junk to help with my robotics project, and picked up a couple of books.

Robot Motor Test

Robot MotorsWell, yesterday’s voyage to various Silicon Valley surplus locations didn’t yield many very many good buys, so my robot project is still proceeding rather slowly. I did pick up some alligator clips and scavenged the batteries out of my maglight, and gave them a test. Voila!, and and in reverse. Somewhere I heard that these motors were asymmetric, and ran at a different speed in one direction compared to the other, but as you can see, it’s pretty close. I don’t think I’m going to worry about it.

At 4.5 volts, the motors run somewhere around 40 rpms and pull about 1.5-1.7 amps. They also run pretty quiet, so I don’t think I’ll have many problems with noise.


Well, the wife is off to San Antonio this weekend (miss ya honey!) so I decided to go catch a movie. After mulling the choices at my local omniplex, I chose Constantine starring Keanu Reeves.

Reeves plays John Constantine, a man who has literally been to hell and back. Having glimpsed his fate, he now works to try to get rid our plane of demons by acting as an exorcist.

Comparisons between this movie and The Matrix would seem to be inevitable. It has that “something is going on behind the scenes that only those who have taken the right pill can see” aspect of it. But despite that, I think it’s actually pretty well done. It shares certain attitudes with Dogma, but works less hard to be clever. In the end, it’s not a bad movie, nor a particularly great one. Yahoo! Movies says that the critics average a C+ for it, I’d say that’s probably about right.

The movie also showed the trailer for the upcoming Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Lots of people have been raving about how good it looked, but I must admit, I was neither favorably or unfavorably impressed. Could be good, could suck.

If you have a craving for Douglas Adams, consider picking up a copy of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency as an audiobook, read by the late Douglas Adams himself. His reading is brilliant.