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Corky's Projects

Corky Mork lives in Tuftonboro with his wife, Diane and cat, Fatima. He's been a Maker of electronic and mechanical things long before the term was popular. He also works on and offstage at the local community theater, plays tuba in the summer band, and sings in a small a capella chorus.        
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Here is a collection of his projects which include electronic mods, furniture, and outdoor toys.











Backyard Railroad
featured at the Dover Mini Maker Faire, 2014



ChromaCane
Seen at the 2014 World Maker Faire
A cane made of translucent pipe containing 45 RGB LEDs controlled by an Arduino pro micro. Powered by 3 AAA batteries in a modified flashlight housing. A button allows the selection of sequences.
More information coming




Featured at the 2013 Dover, NH Mini Maker Faire:
RailbikeClick HERE for more infoA bicycle you can ride on railroad tracks. My design is based on Richard Bentley's design. Plans for his design available here: http://rrbike.freeservers.com/
   

Riding my railbike (Bentley design)



Coroplast Boat
A boat folded from Coroplast sign material, built from Paul Elkins' plans: http://www.elkinsdiy.com/plans-2/

My Corokayak



LED Hat
An easy to make dazzling LED display on a hat Uses color changing LEDs (fast) wired in parallel (with resistors) to a 6 volt battery pack.
I wear this hat at our Wednesday night summer band concerts in Wolfeboro while I lead a parade of kids around the bandstand playing the tuba.

 

LED hat in a parade!


 I bought  fast color changing LEDs on eBay. They came with 470 ohm resistors. I used a Sharpie to mark where I wanted the LEDs, then I cut off the ends of the LED leads at an angle, leaving a point. I poked the sharpened LEDs into the marks, with the anodes (longer, positive lead) towards the top of the hat, and bent the leads up and down to hold the LEDs in place. I carefully turned the hat inside out, and soldered a resistor to each anode lead, then I used thin bare wire to connect all the unconnected resistor leads in each row together, and did the same for the LED cathodes. I used insulated wire to connect the rows together in parallel, and to a power cord salvaged from a dead wall wart. That cord luckily fit the jack on a battery case I had. Next I used hot glue to tack don all the bare wires so the wouldn't short and turned the hat right side out. A piece of poster board rolled up inside keeps the hat from drooping..
 



Bucket Baby Swing
A baby swing made from a 5 gallon bucket The little ones love it!
        
     

Bucket swing


Start by marking leg holes and upper front as seen in the photo with a Sharpie, then carefully cut out with a utility knife or saber saw.
I used a small nail plate form Home Depot folded in half and pop riveted to the bucket as a rope attachment point. Holes drilled through the plates mate with hooks on the ropes, so I can switch over to a Big Boy swing for big brother.


Stud Chair
A chair made from a single 8 foot 2x4. Featured in Make magazine, volume 27.
   
Video of Stud Chair build by Kenneth Finnegan



Click for build instructions: stud chair illustrated.pdf

LED Spire.
 Charlieplexed  LED spires with twelve LEDs controlled with a Pic microcontroller.
Programmed with Pic Basic Pro on a 12F629. Powered by two LA44 cells


Two versions: one with four RGB LEDs flashing and fading randomly, and an "icicle" of twelve white LEDs randomly dirpping and fading.

More info to come
 


Garden light
A super cheap color changing solar light

I have a bunch of color changing solar lights in my garden and I like the look of it, but I want MORE! They're fairly expensive so i looked for a cheaper alternative. I found small white solar lights at Walmart for less than a dollar, so I figured that I could swap the white LED for a color changing one. I got slow color change LEDs from eBay, and tried the substitution. It lit up OK, but was stuck on red; no color change. I realized that most solar light have a boost circuit (Joule Thief) to power LEDs that need about 3 volts from a 1.2 volt nicad cell. These circuits pulse the LED very fast, which is resetting the driver chip in the LED. So i added a capacitor to smooth out the pulses. That didn't work either, because the diode effect of the LED is required for the converter to work. So I added a small diode, and finally success!
 

 For this mod, disassemble the solar light and take note of how the LED is connected.
Use a 1N4148 or similar diode and a teeny 0.1 uF cap wired as shown
The key making it fit is to make a form factor similar to the original LED so that it will fit. Replace the white LED with the color changing assembly, make sure it works, and button it up.
 I put a piece of index card in the solar light's lens to reflect and diffuse the light.  .Cheery garden lights!
   
  
Musical Toaster
A toaster modified to play "Pop Goes the Weasel". Programmed with a Picaxe 08M.

Remember those sitcoms from the 60's where Mom was rushing to get everyone fed and off to school / work? There was always a scene where someone raced by the toaster as it popped, snagging the toast mid-air.
I want that toaster
   I decided to make my own. Making the toast fly into the air is fairly easy: just replace the spring with a stronger one. The hard part has to do with timing: it's easy to catch your toast if you know when it's coming. I thought about a countdown display' but then I thought of a jack-in-the-box. What could be more fun?
Turns out that modern toasters have electronic timers. Just replace it with a microcontroller to do the timing and play music.
I ended up using a Picaxe 08M, which is cheap and easy to program. I had to reverse engineer the toaster in order to replace the timer circuit, make sure the shade dial still worked, and deal with other unexpected challenges.

I will be documenting this mod in full detail at a future date. Check back here for updates.

Musical Toaster

 



Game Timer
A tick tock game timer which uses a Picaxe 08 microcontroller. Built using the Cyberpet board, an inexpensive pc board kit from Picaxe.
You can set it from 30 seconds to 3 minutes in 30 second increments. It has a tick tock sound when running, a suspense theme (think Jeopardy!) in the last 15 seconds, and a buzzer when time is up. Replaces those sand timers that come with games.
 
 More information on my Tick Tock timer coming soon.
Information on Picaxe here: http://www.picaxe.com/


Plungerooka

 A wacky musical (?) instrument I made from a plunger. I play this sometimes at Wednesday night band concerts. Occasionally I'll stick it to my (bald) head!
It has two bulb horns, a police whistle, siren, duck call, bicycle bell, Pan whistle, and cow bell. 
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Other Projects

Christmas Display


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