Project: Battery pack

I recently rediscovered my air rifle and as such have been thinking about how to improve it. I have already made one small addition to keep a small amount of ammunition handy whenever I grab the gun.

When I first bought the gun I also went out and bought a cheap gunlight to use for lamping/ratting at night (I bought a second hand version of this). This search should yield something useful. the particular torch I bought came with a normal torch cap and a momentary remote switch. which was great because I could use it as a nnormal torch when i wasnt out hunting. the only proble is is that it only takes two CR123A batteries which are extremely expensive considering that they only last about 6 hours before the light starts to fade and flicker.

So I hit ebay for a quick shopping spree and after some searching and comparing (every little helps šŸ˜‰ ) I found these battery holders to be the best value for money. Although you could try this search instead: battery holders.

Because rechargeable AA batteries only put out 1.2 v instead of 1.5 I will have to conduct some prelimiary test on the birghtness of the torch runnign at 4.8v (4×1.2). the chances are that it will work just not be as bright(single battery holders are on the way as I write and I will test at a full 6v too).

The plan is to connect a 4 cell holder and a 1 cell in series, and then test the duration, then as necessary add more of these combos in parallel, until a sensible amount of battery life is reached or the pack gets too heavy.

I you’re interested this is where I get my pellets from as my gun is very fussy about which pellets I force down it…:

The ebay store where I get my pellets from although at the time of posting they seam to be all out. (they shipped 2000 RWS superdomes for around Ā£30 which I thought was pretty good value for money)

Using rescue time to keep track of: a review

I recently discovered a great little gem of a pc program(and app), that helps me keep track of where me time on the pc and phone actually goes.

Their blurb is: find your ideal work-life balance, and it does this with style and decourum. (the application stay in the background and does not get in the way or require much attention at all. and i forget that it even exists. all the while it is mining data which is then output to a new and beautifully styled website.

The PC app is tiny and uses very few resources. and requires next to no input from the user.

windows app

windows app

The web front end looks and handles very well both on mobile and PC. There are an almost infinite ways of viewing your data, by hour, day or week. or by category, or by application/website directly.

it also keep track of when your ‘best’ and ‘worst’ days were, which can be usefull for motivational purposes.

There is also a new (to me) feature which allows users to create targets which are prominently displayed on the home page. this is great and i immediately set up two (less than 4 hours distracting time per day, and more than 4 hours per day of productive time). I would like to point out that i meet these targets most days although my worst day I did log a shocking 11:59 or distracting time, and that doesn’t include this summers insane AC:BR splurge that I went through while off college, in which i spent about 18 hours in game each day for a week.

Because rescue time manages to slip into the background so effectively the most used feature i think is the weekly summary email that is sent to my inbox. this allows me to quickly and easily see how much productive time I logged during that week.

while I Primarily use rescue time to log what i do in the background there seem to be someĀ  new features in the android app that allows you to start a certain type of offline activity (such as meeting,food, family or excercise) and start recording time as this activity, but personally i prefer to simply monitor my screen time with very little input from myself.



DIY Air Rifle Pellet Holder

After coming back from a quick stroll in the woods with the trusty springer I realised that there has to be a better way to carry pellets while out hunting. So I did a quick google image search which showed two basic ideas first some form of pouch or container for pellet: these have several disadvantages, firstly they rattle unless well padded, and secondly they damage the pellets by rattling. Also this isnā€™t much better than a pocket.
The other idea was some kind of foam used to hold each pellet separately. This ensured that the pellets cannot rattle and reduced potential for damage to pellets.
Being the neigh on compulsive hoarder that I am I realised that I probably have some suitable foam somewhere in my room. The material I found is a firm black foam used to hold electronics in position in a case (in this case a laser pointer/memory stick/ remote/receiver combo thingy). The foam is about Ā¾ as high as an rws superdome pellet (available here).



The idea is to cut a small rectangle from the foam and punch small holes about 1/3 the diameter of the pellet into the foam (a leather punch would work great) but I just used a micro screw driver to punch the 4 sides of the hole out and remove the core of foam. This allows the pellets to be pushed into the foam as well as easily removed with the fingertips.
The holes do not have to line up although it does look neater if it is reasonable regular.
I then used electrical tape to attach this patch of foam to the side of my gun stock. So that now when I go out I always have 44 pellets right where I need them, right next to the breach.

Here is a shot of the final product in its simplicity.

DIY Pellet holder


Some illustrator doodles

I was lucky enough to get a bamboo graphics table for christmas so over the last few days ive started doodling a bit.

The idea behind these was to create some really simple graphics that clearly ID the speciesĀ  (im hoping to put together a poster at some point).

So if any of you can guess what type they are meant to be.#1

#2 (a little trickier)

Guess in the comments

YouTube Remote: a review

This little known free app by google is great, and adds some really useful features to youtube.

I discoverd youtube remote recently while browsing googles own apps on the play store.Ā what this does is allow you to control an instance of youtube in chrome or firefox (on pc/mac untested) from your phone and build playlists from your mobile device. This is similar to chromecast except that you dont need a dongle. simply pointĀ  browser to and select the gear icon (top left) and pair device. I believe this also works with smart tvs that have a built in youtube app.

adding a screen

Youtube Remote: adding a screen

This is great as it allows you to sit back and watch youtube videos in even more comfort. and it alos utilises the new(ish YT tv interface which has a larger video screen and less white areas which reduces eye fatigue). this works great in conjunction with “f11” (full screen) for an even better experience.

you dont even need to log in for this to work although this helps with finding relevant videos through subscriptions and the “videos for you” feature.



While this app still feels rough round the edges i still think that it is well worth getting.

For those that still dont think this is tv enough for you. theres always XBMC.

Gtasks: a review

I thought I would write a quick review for Gtasks (paid, free one here) android todo manager. I have been using this app for a well over a year now and have been very satisfied indeed with its performance. While it is not the be all and end all of to do managers, I prefer it to the likes of wunderlist (which I also run as people I collaborate with use it and it make sharing lists much simpler).


Once logged in using your Google account. You are greeted with an overview of your tasks ( if you already have some). Notice pink checkboxes for high priority tasks. In the top left is a drop down list to select a specific tasks list. When viewing a specific list tasks can be dragged into each other to form sub lists. Master tasks can be checked off and all sub tasks will be marked as done (greyed out and struck through).


Gtasks list view


On the top right is the standard menu key, this this allows you to edit tasks list, search as well as adjust setting and batch add tasks (limited in free version). At the top there are also buttons to refresh your lists and add a new task. Swiping left and right allows seamless switching between lists.


Gtasks Menu

Note: when viewing all tasks no tasks are indented.


Widgets: one of my favourite features are the widgets, which include various sizes, scrollable list views, and an undone tasks counter. These are great as they allow a quick view of any one (or all lists) without launching the main app. They even include an add tasks button right there (which wunderlist does not include). Also when viewing through a widget sub tasks are not indented, I have just noticed that when viewing all task lists through a widget there is a narrow bar on the side that represents the colour of the list that task belongs to.


gtasks widgets

widget selection

Creating lists.


Creating listsĀ  is rally simple. Press the menu key, or tap the menu button in the top right corner and tap on edit task lists. Then tap on the plus in the top right corner. This Ā brings up an interface with a text box for the name, and a colour picker underneath. There is also a check box to show all unchecking this means that any tasks in this list are not displayed in the all lists view. At the top of the window are three options. Ok, delete and cancel. Gtasks also has a couple cool shortcuts, such as quick add and list view, (great for crouded homescreens where there isnā€™t enough space for a fully blown list widget).


List Creation



Overall i think this is a great app, lightweight fast and feature rich.

The free version limits some aspects such as the batch add tool. But this shouldnt get in the way of a normal user on a regular basis.

Personally, as a power user i would love to see programmic interface to allow tasker or similar to add tasks.