Coffee, we love our coffee, and our KRUPS Bean to Cup.

A few years ago when visiting the company office in Munich Germany I was introduced to this “Bean to Cup” concept that wasn’t a vending machine.  They literally had the same coffee maker.  While I thought the maintenance, and extra work seemed like a little too much to have to deal with every time you wanted a cup of coffee.  I quickly got over it.

Krups bean to cup

When I returned home I started looking at them.

Krups Espresseria  (< $600 now)

$900, $700, are you kidding me? So I turned to ebay, and bought a ‘barely used’ like new model for about $300.  When I told Claudine I had purchased a $300 coffee maker she gave me that look.

The look I had seen once before, when we were first married, over 27 years ago, when I had to explain to her that I spent the rent money on a new camera body. It was not a good look.

Needless to say it didn’t take long to convert her.  This thing makes excellent coffee.  Is it worth over $600? (These are now under that new, because they are a little long in the tooth).  I’d say yes.  Hard to believe but yes.

The red one in the photos is the original used unit that I purchased about 3 years ago.  It has been back to the factory for repairs, twice.  Once for the grinder, and then when we got it back it wasn’t right so we sent it back and the put new brains in it.  It has over 4400 coffee cycles today and had over 3600 when that event happened.

We drink a lot of coffee.  There are at least 4 of us that have multiple cups per day.  Word on the street is that they really only last about 3,000 cycles.  But we’re going strong at over 4400 after the last rebuild.

It is not perfect though, and there are things I’d change and be willing to pay money for.  So if you know of a similar sized unit that has some of these features for less than $2000 let me know.

  • This is a single bean unit.  Which means you can have any flavor coffee you want as long as it’s the kind that’s in the hopper.
    • I’d love a unit that would let me side-load decaf now and then (for guests of course).
    • Or some other flavor, or even pre-ground coffee.
  • The ability to brew more than 10 ounces (a double) in a single button push (actually two button pushes but who’s counting?).
  • Ideally a larger used coffee hopper, since most of the folks in my family are doing double or long coffee’s and you have to empty the thing about every 4 or 5 cups.  (both the drip tray and the grind hopper).
  • Would be nice to have a larger cup area so you could put a tall travel cup.  Today we have to make 2 or 3 coffee’s and dump them in.  Not a deal breaker but would be a nice to have.

This thing get’s two thumbs up from the disher household.


Naze32 Tri-Copter from

It’s been a while since I’ve done anything with my “Drones” or rather my multi-rotors.    I got pretty darn frustrated with the APM line of flight controllers as well as the PixHawk so I put it all down for a while and am slowly getting back in.

A few months ago I stumbled across a Tri-Copter frame with a Naze32 built in.  The two things I’ve liked most about this hobby, the Naze flight controller, and a tri-copter.

So dumped a TBS Discovery frame with DJI Flight controller on ebay and ordered one up.

It took almost a week to get here from Sweden and I assembled it today with left over parts I had had laying around.   16A ESCs (probably too small), and 3 of my eMax 2213 935kv 2212 Motors.

Ideally, you can run all the cords inside the carbon fiber arms, but I had trouble getting stuff to fit, these carbon fiber arms are literally 1/2 as thick as the wood arms of my simple copter.  I also was at a loss for longer cables for the controller so I ran everything outside for now.   I’ll address that when I get new ESCs.

So basically, no, it’s not as clean as I’d like.

$137 for the tricopter-v3-kit, with Power Distribution board and Naze32 board is a pretty good deal.  I ended up buying some spare arms and a few other bits because I know I’m going to crash, including the server that David sells and recommends.

I already had: 3x Motors, 3x ESC’s, 3x Props, and a Spektrum Receiver, as well as the bits to make the power cord for the battery.

All in all it took about 4 hours from start to finish.   A bit longer because I did a lot of stuff twice trying to figure out how to extend things and what not.

David, the guy at RCExplorer who put this together has a couple GREAT Videos to walk you through the assembly.   Admittedly, setting up Naze isn’t easy for a noob.   But David makes it almost bullet proof to get off the ground.    I flew it for about 3 batteries today tuning it, and it flies GREAT.   Can’t wait to strap the GoPro to it and add some lights for orientation.


There is a purpose built firmware for this board, and an optimized version for tri-copters in general on a standard naze32 using cleanflight (instead of baseflight) and David gets you started with all the right settings.  His walkthrough video is very, very thorough.

Updated with some video of the first 2 camera enabled flights.

DIY PS4 Scuf Controller Mod

First if you don’t know what a Scuf controller is, check out their site:  Basically they mod a controller by moving some buttons to the back.  This essentially allows you to press X, O, Triangle or Square without the need to remove your thumb from the aim stick.   Greatly speeding things up in games like Call of Duty, where there is lots of jumping, or if you use O for your knife button, not having to take your thumb off the stick to knife someone.

So, why would you make your own?

Well, I bought a scuf controller, and for me it sucks.  I know a lot of guys swear by them but I cannot, for the life of me invoke the buttons they put on the back, they are too stiff, even with the paddles.   Also the darn thing costs $225, or at least it cost me and that was the cheapest way to get all the options.   One thing it does have is remappable buttons, something that this mod doesn’t have.   A basic scuff which is what this mod gives you is $123.90 and a 7-11 day wait.

Of course they can also install options like taller sticks.  You want a taller stick on the right for more aiming range of motion.  That’s how I ordered mine and the fine folks at Scuf installed them backwards.  (Meaning my left one was taller).  They did offer to fix it but that would have been ~2 weeks to get fixed with round trip slow shipping so they can bite me.

Enter KontrolFreaks…   I simply put one on the right stick to fix my problem.

Update While the KontrolFreaks did sort of solve my problem, I eventually ended up opening up the controller and putting a stock stick on the left.  Tall on the left and super-tall on the right just didn’t work for me.   Also, those knuckle heads put a tamper proof screw in your PS4 when they mod it.  They don’t want you to take it apart, so you’ll need to hit that screw with a dremmel and make it a flat screw so you can remove it.   If you’re like me and savaging parts from other broken controllers you’ll have a replacement screw.

So if you already have a $60 PS4 controller for roughly $10 for KontrolFreaks (shop around), and $4 for a couple switches, about an hour of your time, you can have a scuf too.

Get ready, here we go.

First, watch a youtube video on how to take your controller apart, I’m not going to explain that here.   4 Screws (don’t lose them) and a plastic spudge thing and you’re in like flynn.   Separate the two halves, disconnect the charging connector (allowing you to take the back off the top).  Take the battery out and you’ll be set.

While you’re on Youtube watch a couple vids on doing this mod.  You better know how to solder, this is not the time or place to learn.  The solder points on this board are fickin small.  I’m good at it and it still caused me issues.

Get your stuff in order, these are the buttons I used from Radio Shack:IMG_3739

They are only $99 online at Radio Shack right now. Here:

Second, locate the pads you need to scrub off the material to solder too.  I had this motherboard and used this picture from somewhere on the web.:


In my world, I’m adding buttons for X and O, so the orange and blue dots are the one’s I’ll scrape the green circuit board cover off and solder too.

I’ll drill holes in the bottom and put the switches in (removing the rumble packs).


I drilled the holes in the bottom shell, using my best guess at location.  I’d actually like them higher and will try that on the next mod.   I used a drill bit just a tad smaller than the switches and actually screwed the switches into the plastic.  Then hot glued them so they’d be reinforced.


Then carefully scraped my pads and soldered wires to the board in the right spots.  I had some leads from arduino projects so I used color coded wires.    You’ll pick up the grounds from the bottom.


Then before putting soldering the leads to the switches I temp installed it and plugged it in to my PC to test it.

Windows 7, type ‘usb con’ and choose ‘Set up a USB game Controller’, plug it into your PC and you can check the bottons.



Button Two lighting up is ‘X’.

My first shot had O shorted out so I had to remove it and resolder it and re-test.  It is a small PITA.

Once tested I soldered the wires to the switches, and reassembled it.

Re-tested and was good to go.

Here’s the finished product:

O Button:


Controller Front and Back:


This controller has a butt load of hours on it and is actually quite sloppy around the sticks.  I did the mod on this controller first as a test and it works like a champ.   I will soon be that drop-shot SOB’s that everyone hates because I can Drop w/o taking my hands off the controller, and don’t have to use tactical layout either so R3 is still melee.



So after modding this one successfully I thought I’d do another one.  FAIL.  I bricked a $60 controller.  I still might be able to save it but right now X button doesn’t work at all.  These solder points are so small, it’s really hard to do.  I have found and ordered a couple of these from ebay: Remap Boards. If the link is bad, search for ‘PS4 Remap board’.  This is a nifty ribon cable like board that goes between the main board and daughter board, and hijacks the connections giving you a reasonable pad to solder too.   Also, most of my newer controllers have a JDM-020 main board and there’s no published pin out for those and it sure isn’t obvious.   So this is required.   mYaJ_ihpx9qVHb84AxheQFQYMMV…


More Tri-Copter 06/24/2014

After a hard days work, prepping the property for the ‘Hen Fest 2014’, I got to get the Tri Copter out for some fun after a little storm blew through.


More Tri-Copter goodness.

Tri-Copter Fun Flying.

Tossed the legacy Contour HD camera on the Tri-Copter today.   Keep in mind this is pretty much hard mounted and there is no gimbal so it’s not nearly as smooth as previous Dead-Cat, or Hex Gimbal videos.

photo 1

Details of the build are here in Part 1 and Part 2

Some video from two different batteries.

SimpleCopter Tri-Copter 2.0


Hanging where it rests…

photo 3

I would most definitely FPV this thing.  It flies that well… A smidge under powered with the Contour HD but that’s a heavy camera.   FVP gear is next up on the list, that and finishing the micro 3D Printed quad that I have almost all the parts for.