SafeDuino – Part 04: Further Afield – A Complete Redesign?

After having not had much time to work on this project in the past few months, with a major half-million dollar project going on at one of my clients, which was/is the implantation of a new computer system of my own design that will be serving them for the next 20 years or more (well the physical infrastructure will be, the PC’s wireless, network, servers etc won’t they are replaced on a 3 year cycle, again on my insistence) and with one of the suppliers delivering critical components in excess of week late it has pushed back the final deployment for a couple of months as now I can only do core works on weekends and after hours, I have not had much time for this project.

What I have been doing/contemplating is two things however, firstly is whether I need an LCD screen/buttons interface, and I have decided that I do need one, this has become evident so that I can set up the system “in place” when it is finally deployed.

The other thing I want to do is be able to deploy some sensors and control circuits remotely, including some in hard to access places, well ones that once they are in they will not be easily accessible. To this end I have come up with the idea of using network cable for limited power (5VDC for system power) and command and control signals, and where required I will use Flat-Flex Cables’ (FFC’s)  to get into those tight spots that I cannot otherwise support sensors in. 

 What this leaves me with is a system that is essentially divided into three distinct parts, the main controller (the Freeduino EtherMega) the distribution node which is connected to the EtherMega via network cable, and the sensors and control points are connected to the distribution nodes via CAT3 (telephone) cabling or via FFC’s (which are limited to 18″) where required.

This now leaves me of working out how to select which pins go to which distribution point via the network cabling, this I am still trying to solve, however jumper wires are looking like the best option at this point

HangGoose: The Evolution of a Design?

I am a SCUBA diver, licensed for 40Meters (~130 Feet) with IANTD Advanced Nitrox endorsements, and ultimately I aim to get up to Trimix rebreathers, but that is still a ways off. Anyway, with SCUBA, it is imperative you keep your gear in top condition and more so with mixed gas and technical diving as a failure at depth can easily be fatal.

Wetsuits, drysuits and the other protective equipment such as the booties, hoods and gloves retain water, (drysuit as the name suggests, doesn’t but it still is wet externally) are central to the safe (and comfortable) diving in the area I live, and for maintenance it is imperative to dry these out properly to maximise the life of them it does this by helping prevent mould or other nasties growing inside the equipment.

Most people put their wetsuits on a normal coat hanger style device to dry them out. This, however is not so good for the equipment as the added weight of the water, in the case of some wetsuits is quite a bit (in my case its about 5KG of water is retained by the suit) and this puts extra strain on the shoulders of the suit where it is hung on a conventional hanger, leading over time to weakening and degradation, and over time failure of the materials in this area of the wetsuit.

This is where the HangGoose comes in, hangs the wetsuit at its waistline putting the area of support for the suit over a larger area thereby causing less strain on any one section of the suit. This is evident through simple logic as if a suit hung by its shoulders at lets say 10KG (weight of the suit plus the weight of the water) then all 10KG is hanging below (and on) the shoulders with all the weight pulling in one direction. Conversely if we hang it at its midpoint then whilst the 10KG is still putting downward strain on the wetsuit, due to it having two downward points there is only half the strain and weight of the suit on any one point as they are balanced on the HangGoose, thereby reducing the amount of strain experienced by the suit which in turn extends its useful life. The other benefit of the midpoint hanging is that you have two “low points” allowing the water to drain (under gravity) from both the upper and lower half of the suits simultaneously, and with only having half the distance to travel the water drains quicker, drying the suit quicker.

The HangGoose, as shown below this is really nothing more than a fancy coat hanger, but this one is designed for surfers mainly. However many people are using it for SCUBA wetsuits as well, as the wetsuits involved are similar enough (generally they are just thicker) that it suits that purpose.

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Now Recently I was sent an email stating that the price of the HangGoose would go up at the end of that month, considering that with the falling Australian Dollar, and the fact I was looking at getting a Drysuit so I could dive a little more comfortably during the winter period, I decided to grab one before the price went up, nothing unusual there. What did catch me by surprise though was the fact that when it arrived a week or so later, the design had changed considerably.

This is what I first saw when I got it out of the box;

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A bit of a change in this version hey…


Now as shown in the first set of pictures the design for the HangGoose was and is purely functional, some pieces of reclaimed teak, or at least the original was claimed that it was (something about floorboards if I recall correctly), the site now claims that it is heirloom quality teak. The new design has changed from this “chunky” original design, to a new design on the suit hanging area that is more rounded, I was taken a bit aback by this considering that the original design as above is still predominantly featured on their home page, and yes whilst the new design is in the photo gallery I did not look at that, as I had no need to see it being used as I had one.

Below is a side by side comparison of the two HangGoose wetsuit areas:

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As you can see the design has changed to a more “elegant” rounded one, and whilst I like the original, I do believe that the new design will provide a better support to the wetsuit or drysuit hung off it, all in all I am happy with the new design.

All in All I love both my HangGoose’s (HangGeese?) and I highly recommend them

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