$3 Space Telescope array

Yeah right… I hate titles like that.

But really, someone gave me a telescope years ago, and I recently took a super cheap webcam and stuck it on the eyepiece with some clear tape.


Using Cheese Webcam Booth and Video4Linux Control Panel I was actually able to take some pretty good pictures.


This picture of the moon was actually taken just a few minutes before the one of the full setup above, while the sun was up. I was able to adjust the contrast and exposure time to make the moon show up nicely as if it were night time.


Here is a picture of the “Y” from my house, taken through some trees, with some people visible.


A better camera will give better results, but this one was already in pieces.

The Haunted Jail

An update to the ongoing story of the Jail.

On July 29th at 3:00PM Provo will allow inspections of the Jail property. Bring respirators, cameras, and a sense of adventure. We’ll be going in.

Provo has also released pictures of the inside as part of the request for proposals. My suspicions are partially confirmed. There is very little structural damage visible in the pictures. Most of the damage is to drywall, drop ceiling tiles, and windows. These are easily fixed, and I’ve personally dealt with much worse. But you can see for yourself.

Proposals are due on August 10th at 5:00pm.

A Second Chance at Greatness

Recently the Provo City Council voted to sell the old security center in south Provo to DR Horton who intended to tear it down to build town-homes. ProVolt filed suit to stop the sale. We asked for the building to be opened for inspections, and that the bidding process be re-started.

I’m happy to tell you that the Mayor’s office agreed to those terms, and we will have a second chance at being able to make something amazing happen in Provo!


The building will need extensive renovation, but at 65,800 Square feet, this building could be the largest makerspace in the world. There would be enough room for prototyping equipment, exhibits, offices, classrooms, labs, workshops, and a commercial kitchen. Having equipment and tools in a space like this that is open to everyone could have incalculable benefits for the entire community.

Check out our Previous Proposal, and let us know what you’d like to see there.

A Fusion reactor?

Yes, small Fusion reactors are possible. Some friends of mine recently built a Fusor and it’s pretty awesome.


A Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor uses a negatively charged electrode to pull Deuterium ions into the center of the device at high speed. When Deuterium ions collide, there is a small chance that they will fuse into either Helium 3, or Tritium, and release a high energy Neutron.

I have recently been working on my own fusion reactor. It uses a variant of an existing style of ion containment called a Penning Trap, but activates ions and controls their movement to guide them on self intersecting orbits. The closest device I have found so far is the MIGMA reactor invented by Bogdan Maglich more than 40 years ago.

If you are interested in Fusion, you should come down to ProVolt sometime.

Many ideas

I’ve got a few interests and I’m trying to make a little progress on each thing.

I’d like to have a more secure area to put stuff. Could we have one of the locker blocks inside? I see we could fit the small locker block inside the middle room between the two windows and then it would be easy to lock up the google fiber box, UPS, and an always-on server. The projector could sit on top maybe. It makes sense to have these a little harder to interrupt and also lower the temptation for someone looking in the windows to try a break-in.

Is there an ethernet cable reaching the roof mount or did that get taken down? Do we know the diameter of that PVC up top? I’d like to get parts together to do a single trek on the roof to put up an omnidirectional antenna, weather proof box, and POE powered wrt54g running broadband-hamnet. In theory we should put a solar panel up to make it a resilient node but we can start with UPS-backed.

I’ve got a 14-50r outdoor box & receptacle that I’d love to use for charging my car but I’m out of my depth with high-voltage electrical work. I’ve got the 50-amp fuse and I’ll bring this down to the space and put out a plea for help (maybe on a Saturday) to install it next to our service box.

Does anyone have an extra vacuum or broom? We should also clean the carpets and figure out how to have some air circulation going on. I see the windows all have limiters and if it doesn’t present a problem for the printer, we could have a tiny opening on the window in the entry and the window behind the sink maybe.

Birds are going into the roof on the East side. We should find out if they live in the attic and shut that whole thing down. 🙂

2 Amazing Things!

ProVolt is now an official 501(c)3 public charity registered with the IRS. That means we can take donations, qualify for numerous programs, and a bunch of other stuff. Hooray!!

Also, I’m here at ProVolt right now unboxing a Project Tango device!


If you don’t get excited about that, watch this video:


This Saturday we will be moving to our new location! Come down and help decide how to set up the new place. From about 10:00am onward we’ll be going back and forth between the spaces that are just a few blocks away from each other.

The new location is at 341 South 100 East, Provo.