NOTICE : I’m learning more about WordPress right now on Lynda.com and am overhauling my site. Pardon the mess. It might take a while
Hello! I’m Mike Thompson. This site will allow you to get to know me a bit better. I think you’ll find this website informative and hopefully somewhat entertaining. Hopefully you will find a solution to one of your project problems. Be sure to visit often for project updates.
So browse around, and e-mail me to chat. I love meeting new people and collaborating on interesting projects.
“Move fast, adapt quickly.Don’t do anything half fast. Constantly Innovate. Maintain a positive attitude. Find solutions, not problems. Market outrageously. Provide excellent service. Look for opportunities, not obstacles. Do everything possible to make things happen.”
Updates & Information
4/27/16 -I’ve been spending a lot of time on Lynda.com learning softwares, programming, and photography & videography. It’s a lot more fun than updating a website all the time. I’m still devoting most of my attention to my YouTube Channel , simply because a video is worth 30,000 words per second. Learning more advanced website stuff is still on my radar, just not as much anymore.
– Where did all my updates in here go? – Grrrr…. Hulk Angry
9/15/15 – I’m working on my YouTube Channel a lot lately. It’s more fun, and I understand it all better than I do websites. I’m learning After Effects on Lynda.com too, so that I can create a custom channel intro and make it all look better. I’ve got a long way to go, but what I’ve had a great time learning all this new stuff. I’ve always been a movie buff, so learning about, and making my own videos is nearly my favorite thing. I’ll get around to updating this site soon. I’m also working on my own custom WordPress theme for this site so I can realize my vision for it. Stay tuned & go ahead and Subscribe to my Youtube Channel while you’re at it.
9/1/15 – What a morning! Our A/C quit last night and we spent the night at my in-laws’. Luckily, it was a simple fix. The capacitor for the condenser fan outside had gone bad. It was easy to remove everything, and it was a simple $33 fix and took less than 15 minutes. Way better than calling a “professional”. I’ve never messed with A/C stuff before, and I must say it was a feel-good outcome. It only set me back 2 hrs from work. I can make that up over the next few days no problem. I’m impressed.
8/28/15 – I’m going to try and update my site more often once I get it redone. It should be easier that way. I’ve been spending all my time on my Youtube Channel lately. I think it’s more fun and easier than doing a site. Anyway, check it out & subscribe. There’s a lot on there that’s not on here yet.
8/27/15 – I’m learning about WordPress and redoing my site. I discovered a malicious link that had been inserted, so I’ve gone through the files, deleted it, changed passwords an all. I’ve decided to learn to make my site more friendly and mobile. It might take a while, but I’ll enjoy the challenge of learning something new. I’m also going to transition to more of a post-style site instead of a page-style site. Apparently it’s better for what I’m doing anyway. Who knew?
8/17/15 – Vacation’s over. Back to work. Actually, I think I’d really like to have an ROV. I went diving in the Indian river to try and find my GoPro to no avail. I’d really rather have sat on the surface than struggle to find my way through extremely low visibility conditions. I also have an idea about that issue too. I’m currently working to see if it’s worth developing (It’s now 8/28/15).
8/8/15 – Day 3 of Florida vacation and I lost my GoPro in the Indian river due to hard fall off a SeaDoo. Bummer. Thinking of maybe creating some sort of locating system, but there are many obstacles, and it’s probably not a large enough market with a big enough problem.
6/27/15 – The races are over. This year’s turnout was low, and it was a bit disappointing. I won the 1&2 man and team events, but there weren’t very many boats in each event, so it didn’t feel all that great. Meeting lots of new people, and chatting with some old ones from last year was really great. I’m glad people come back every year. It’s just a great crowd of spectators and participants. I’ll see you guys again next year. I’m so proud of my team. (The Mrs. & Kevin) They put in a lot of prep time for a 95 second race. The course was shortened at the last minute and required a turn around a point. This was different than years past, and my designs would have been different knowing this. My boats were not meant to turn around, but they did ok. It was a lot of fun, and everyone should enter next year. I’d also like to know if there are any other boat races within 2 hours or so of Oklahoma City.
6/20/15 – “The Flash” team boat is repaired. No big deal at all actually. I have a video tutorial in the works on how to easily repair a cardboard boat.
6/16/15 – Cardboard boats for this year successfully completed their open water trials on the lake. The team boat is 60% faster than I expected, because I didn’t factor in additional rowers initially. The solo boat is 9% faster, so everything looks good for the races. Except for the hole I ripped in the bow and the bottom side when I backed into a garage with it on the top of my truck.
4/1/15 – I’m not going to be updating this site anymore. April Fools. I’ll keep updating it, but I’ll be spending most of my time doing YouTube Channel stuff. It’s easier and more fun. I’m a bit frustrated by website building and updating. I’m not sure how to optimize it, and I’d rather be doing other things right now.
Quick list of current projects:
YouTube videos, cardboard boat 2015, RC cardboard concept airplane, shed building, book writing, spring house projects, inventions and such. You know, typical things.
Lately I’ve been learning Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premier. Since I started the YouTube thing, I’ve had to do some editing, and I’d really like to learn how to do it better. I’m going to build a camera stabilizer soon. That’ll be fun.
3/30/14 – Finished cardboard boat for 2015 solo event. 5 calendar days, and about 8 hours of work! Woo hoo. Youtube video of the build coming eventually.
3/24/14 – Begin first cardboard boat for 2015 solo event.
12/14/14 – In the past 3 weeks I’ve not been able to do a lot. The weather has been bad and it’s getting dark too early. I’ve almost finished the siding on my shed. It’s been slow going though.
11/21/14 – Nearly finished with my CNC plotter for my whiteboard. Some of it is on my YouTube Channel. I’m working on lots of things. I’ve moved into my shed, but I’m still finishing it. It’ll probably never be “finished”. I’m working on all sorts of things with cardboard, some of which involve my Arduino. Lots of new house projects… This list goes on and on. I get really projecty in the fall.
11/14/14 – Been shooting lots of videos lately for my channel. Go check them out.
10/17/14 – Youtube channel is live.
I’ve also made significant progress on my shed. I finished the shingles today and the walls are up. Time for paneling and finishing touches.
10/16/14- I cleared the garage and began moving things into my shed!
10/15/14 – Patent Pending! I now need to do some research on my MVP to find out if there is actually a need for this. I’d hate tp spend a bunch of money next year on a conversion if no one needs this thing. If you tinker in the shop, and use some sort of vacuum system, go ahead, ask me what it is.
10/10/14 – Tilting HWFC is finished. Starting to shoot videos for my YouTube Channel.
10/3/14 – The tilting HWFC base is completed and the frame is finished as well. All that’s left is the table, which requires making the honeycomb center portion with my dado blade. I’ll do that tomorrow. I also got all the studs cut for one of the long walls of my shed. I promise I’ll get the pictures and videos up soon.
10/2/14 – The tilting foam cutter is coming along nicely. The weather was perfect and I got the back wall section of my shed up. I’ve been shooting and editing lots of project videos, and I hope to have them posted soon.
9/30/14 – Floor of the shed is down! I got all studs today and will start putting the walls up tomorrow if the rain holds off.
9/29/14 – The floor was trimmed to length, the support blocks for my lathe were installed, and the other side of the floor was weather sealed. I also made a few improvements to my foam cutter during lunch, and I’ll post some videos soon. I’m working on a few instructional videos, because I’m sure that a video says a million words.
9/28/14 – My wife and I got a few hours to ourselves and she helped me lay the subfloor of my shed. She’s such a great wife! She did a lot of sawing and nailgunning, and got good enough that I didn’t have to check her. We test fit the floor and I weather sealed it.
9/26/14 – I got a current clamp and confirmed that my foam cutter uses about 1.6A when I’m using it on the 1″ foam setting. I also used my long, hand-held hot wire and cut a pair of tapered wings 32″ long. The second one’s trailing edge tip came out a big odd because I tried cutting a bit too fast and didn’t wait for the wire to catch up. I’ll just cut 3″ off each tip and fix it. I plan to make something that flies, but I’m not sure what just yet. Check back soon.
9/23/14 – I’ve added the adjustment screws to my cardboard foam cutter. They work really well, but the angular limits are about a degree in each direction, which is plenty for minor corrections. I also finished my PVC handheld 8″ cutter, and begun my proof-of-concept router copier. (Made from Cardboard, of course) The pantograph arms are really neat. Stay tuned on that one. I also finished my workbench for the garage tonight.
9/18/14 – I’ve been getting better with my foam cutter. I’m working on some adjustment mechanisms for the wire. I’ll post pictures once it’s done. I need a way to adjust the tilt of the wire front/back and left/right. I found that the wire is out of plumb by about 2 degrees. I also built a larger 30″ hand-held bow from cardboard and a small 8in bow from PVC. It’s really hard to get accurate cuts, so I’m really considering a 2 axis CNC setup with my Arduino. It’s going to be really hard to do, so if any of you have done this before, I’d love it if you’d share your code. I’d really rather not start from scratch. 😉 I want to be able to put two parameters into a series of functions that simply tell either how far to move in each direction from the last point, or what point to move to next. Thanks in advance.
9/15/14 – I finished my prototype hot wire foam cutter. It looks like a scroll saw, and cuts like a hot knife through expanded polystyrene. Everything but the wire and its supports is made from cardboard. (No surprise right?). I will make one from wood or metal someday, but this one works great for my office. The wire is .43mm guitar string and it’s attached to the cardboard with paperclips.
9/14/14 – It’s been really hot lately, but today was nice. I finally got all the rocks in place for my shed foundation. Hopefully sometime soon I’ll be able to begin the subfloor.
9/3/14 – I tried to bring an old UPS back to life that I got from my parents house, but it didn’t seem to work. My voltmeter said that one of the SLA batteries wasn’t fully charged. This UPS runs on 24v apparently, so there are two batteries hooked up in series inside the case. I put one of them on my charger and put it back inside the UPS, and it seems to be working now. The power panel on the front of the UPS says I only have about 6 minutes of backup time though. Disappointing, but that’s to be expected I suppose from a 7Ah battery set that’s trying to run a big Tv and cable box. I think I’ll hook up bigger batteries someday.
8/28/14 – The ATX power supply I had doesn’t have enough room inside the case for the wires, and there is nowhere on the outside that allows me to mount binding posts. I’ll have to find another power supply.
8/26/14 – I want to make a hot wire foam cutter and I need a bench top power supply for my Arduino projects. I think I’ll convert an old ATX power supply.
8/23/14 – Have a couple of ideas and began drafting provisional patent applications for them. I hope to have them filed by the end of September. I’ll disclose them here once they’re filed.
8/18/14 – Back from a week in Florida. It had been 3 years since I’d had a real vacation. I now remember how much I like them. Anyway, I’ve started working on settling the debate as to whether it is better to drive with the tailgate up or down. My data for TG up spans a year and hundreds of data points, so I’m confident in it. I’ve now gathered 70 data points for the TG down, and it’s inconclusive so far. I have no idea how the fuel efficiency will be affected, so I’ll see what the data says in a few months and let you all know.
8/8/14 – I now have my shed border finished and 4 yards of rocks in it. Sadly, that’s not going to be enough. I didn’t realize just how much my yard sloped when I was planning. I measured the depth each corner and calculated the volume of the resulting shape, but the area in the middle is doing something weird. I’ll get one more yard and call that good.
7/17/14 – I started digging the trenches for the shed border. Man that’s tough. I bought a small pickaxe from Harborfreight, and it works really well, but it’s just hard work to dig 72′ of trench by hand. I’m using a bed of rocks to level the ground and provide a foundation for the shed to sit on. No permits are required this way, because there is nothing permanent. The rocks will be contained by lumber (essentially a giant flower box), and the trenches serve to prevent the borders from migrating outward over time.
7/9/14 – We had a great 4th of July weekend. Lots of fireworks, really, really close. Still working on getting all moved in. It’ll be a while before we’re all done. I finally got approval from the HOA to build my workshop. It’s only going to be 10′ high instead of 12′, but that won’t affect me too much. I was planning on housing my compressor in the rafters, but I’ll figure out something else.
6/28/14 – Well, the race is finally all over. Go to this page to see all the details. Today is our house party. There’s a lot to do and it’s raining really hard.
6/27/14- Today is the day! The race is at Edmond Park, Arcadia Lake (2nd/US66) and Midwest Blvd. 6:30 start time.
6/26/14 – Getting more stuff moved out of the house. Didn’t do any boat work for once.
6/25/14 – BOATS FINISHED! I got up at 5 again and started at 5:15. One hour later, everything was varnished and ready to race! I used about half a gallon of varnish and half a gallon of bright red paint in total. Not too bad really. That means the unit cost is less than I expected. Now what am I going to do with 64 oz of bright red paint?
I also got to participate in some product testing for one of our technology spinoffs, Levate. It’s designed to make life easier for those in wheelchairs.
6/24/14 – I started working on painting all the final boat pieces at 5:20 this morning, and I got it all done. I picked up two new paddles for my crew at Wal-Mart during lunch.
6/23/14 – I stayed outside in the garage of the new house working on the last few boat pieces. I worked until the sun was gone.
6/22/14 – We got mostly moved in to our new house. It’s been a long and busy day.
6/18/14 – Boat Race Registration Officially In. I will be competing in the One/Two man event, Youth, and Team race with my nieces and nephew.
6/17/14 – Bravo Boat test fit with occupants. It actually does hold 3 people fairly comfortably. Also did a lot of house moving.
6/16/14 – I’m trying to catch up with everything. I have been working on many things, just not updating this site. I have enough going on with my family and job. I’m trying to transition into a more blog-type sort of homepage, because it’s better than what I’m doing now. I have many projects going on and will upload them shortly.
6/14/14 – Charlie is finished and wet. Man, that thing is like a rocket! Its draft is exactly as calculated, but it’s surprisingly more stable than I expected. I will release pictures as soon as the race is over.
6/4/14 – I spent a day with the Edmond SWAT team doing SWAT things. Man that was fun.
6/3/14 – We Closed on our new house today! Exciting.
5/9/14 – Began building another boat, which I will call Charlie. This means that the others will be Alpha and Bravo. Bravo will be designed larger than Alpha, but with the same overall shape. It will also be designed to fit 3 people. Charlie will only hold me.
5/5/14 – I finished the cockpit for my boat and just realized that I built it too small. I started building the inner skin, then mistakenly built another skin inside that one. I should have put a skin on the outside. Big Mistake. Big. Huge. I have to build another one now.
5/1/14- We Bought a House! I will finally have space to put in a workshop, and I’ll be able to park inside!
4/15/14 – I’m starting my cardboard boat for this year’s race which is on June 27th at 6:30. It will be at Arcadia Lake in Edmond. You can find out a few details on the City of Edmond site here.
4/1/14 – I’m rearranging my office and built a credenza out of cardboard so I have more desk space.
2/26/14 – I finally got an Arduino. I’m excited to learn programming in C. I plan to do it over lunch for several months until I have to start building a boat.
2/18/14 – I started building Alex’s new jet engine table. This time I will have a foam/fiberglass nacelle that covers & supports the fan so he can’t snap it off.
I’m also trying to figure out how to archive all this older stuff…
Ahh, Ha! Go Here. This works for now.