Thompson Machine Gun mod for Ruger 10/22

In, 2012, a buddy of mine built one of these and when I saw it I had to have one too.I started collecting the parts.

The first thing I ordered was the conversion kit from

It’s also available from Brownells

I got mine from for $320.00. I see that they are sold out until the end of Feb. 2013.

I bought the Ruger Compact 10/22 just before Christmas in 2012 from a local gun dealer.

The drum magazines (2) arrived at Cabellas where I had ordered them online.

I had all the parts by Christmas so I built it Christmas day. It was really easy.

Take the stock off of the Ruger by removing one screw.


Inline image 1
The Ruger Compact Rifle.

Inline image 2
All the parts.

Inline image 3
Ready to be assembled.

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All assembled.

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With drum magazine.

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Ain’t she pretty?



Setting up a home weather station and putting it on the Internet.

Eight years ago I had an Internet connected weather station on my roof. It was great because not only could I see the weather outside my house when I was away,  it also told me what the temperature and humidity was inside the house too. After three years of the station being online and the Windows PC that ran the weather software being on continuously, the hard drive failed. I previously had an incident where I lost all my backup disks and so I didn’t have a backup of the Internet weather program. On top of that, Cox Cable who hosted the my weather station stopped giving their customers a small free amount of access to a web server. The web space was available at “”.  So by the time I decided to repurchase the Internet interfacing software for the station I didn’t have anywhere to serve it to the Internet. I remembered that Apple offered the same service with their paid .mac accounts so I looked into that. It seems Apple decided to do the same thing Cox did and they discontinued that service also. A few years ago I decided I wanted to explore having a “real” web site and I bought “”. The first thing I did was set up my email but the email didn’t work well. It generated mail client errors because of the email site certificate. So I just kind of dropped the whole project. When the hosting contract came up for renewal I decided to change my hosting company to FatCow. I heard good things about them and they, as it turns out, are a local company. I love doing business with local companies. When I moved, FatCow ask if I would be interested in “”. So I picked that domain up too and here it is. FatCow does have amazing customer service. I was having problems in my head trying to figure out how to separate the two domains. I called FatCow at 5:15 AM the other night and talked to Casey. He has amazing. He was able to explain everything and I would now recommend FatCow to anyone. Great customer service. Anyway, It has been running around 110 degrees here lately and the idea of resurrecting the weather station hit me. What a great use for the .org site. So this entry is going to be about the process of re-installing my weather station and connecting it to the Internet.

I had my house painted and a new roof put on last year so the old weather station on the roof was pretty much destroyed by the construction folks. So this will be like starting from scratch… again. At this time I have a dedicated PC I’m going to use, an eMachines PC that I bought from Frys Electronics to replace the ancient PC that gave it’s all running the old weather station. We’ll see how long this one lasts. This 15″ MacBook Pro that I’m writing this on was bought in 2007 and has been powered up and running for all of that time. I sleep it at night but I use it continually during the day, every day. I sure hope that eMachines PC has the same fortitude.

The contents of the box.

The parts.

Friday, July 6th, 2012, the Davis Vantage Vue weather station arrived along with the optional WeatherLink® Software with data logging feature. The weather monitoring head requires minor assembly. I needed to mount the anemometer cups, the wind vane, the rain measuring spoon and the battery. After that, I installed the batteries and powered up the console. The The console led me through the setup procedure. Metric vs English units etc.

The desk console for the Davis Vantage Vue system.

The Davis Vantage Vue monitoring console.

The two devices are communicating through their spread spectrum radio. There appears to be plenty of range. I have tested all the functions and everything works. I will need to make minor adjustments to the mount on the chimney. Specifically, raise the mount by 18 inches because the wind vane id mounted on the bottom of the unit. My mounting post is a 1″ heavy duty PVC pipe screwed to the chimney. You are pretty much denied the use of a fireplace here in Phoenix during the winter because of air quality restrictions.Mine hasn’t seen a fire in a decade. I’ll remove the remnants of the old La Crosse 2310 and mount the new Davis Vantage Vue tomorrow.

The sensor head mounted on it's pole.

The La Crosse 2310 served me for several years without a single problem. The PC died and by the time I got around to replacing it, Cox had stopped giving web space to customers so I had no Internet server to put it on line. I have a .Mac account but Apple removed that capability also. So It just sat there unused.The only problem with the La Crosse unit was that there is a separate module for monitoring temperature, humidity, the batteries and the radio for wireless communication with the console. It came with a four conductor telephone type cord type cable to connect the module to the weather sensor. I had mounted the module under the eves on the north side of the house to shielld it from the sun. However, I still needed to run the cable over the edge of the roof, exposing it to sunlight. The wire ultimately rotted in the sun and even the protected wire under the eves dried out and became brittle and cracked. This new Davis station has no wires. That should solve that problem.

I spent the evening installing the software and configuring the computer. I like the software put out by Ambient Weather to put my station on line. It’s what I used with the La Crosse and I was familiar with it. The way it works is it requires that the program from the station manufacturer be running and it gets it’s data from that program. Therefore I have to install, configure and run the Davis “WeatherLink” software first. Then Install the Ambient Weather software and run them both concurrently. When that was done the only thing left to configure was the connection to my website server. I own two domains, “” and “”. This blog is on the ,net site so I decided to install the weather station on the .org station. The weather monitoring program and the original data exist on my PC here in Phoenix. The Ambient Weather program converts that data on my local PC into a series of jpg images and web pages. The local PC then sends the images and the web page HTML files to the server at FatCow to have them displayed on “”.  It’s a tad bit complicated. The Ambient Weather program uses a protocol called FTP to send the pages and the graphics to the site. FTP is an Internet protocol called “File Transfer Protocol”. It logs onto the remote site with a log-on name and password, transfers that data and then logs off. I have it set for five minute updates. That’s why the site clock never exactly matches the local clock exactly. There can be up to five minutes difference. The time lag is due to the process of formatting the data from the weather station into jpg files and then transferring those images to the server via FTP. My local PC has to act as middle man and hand the data off.

Terry Signature

Flagpole light with burned out bulb sensor.

As you can see by my banner I am a Veteran. I’m proud to have served my country. When I purchased this house it was the last “spec house” in the development. The developer was anxious to sell. As added incentives I was offered an automatic garage door opener, a seeded back lawn, a fireplace and a refrigerator. I suggested that I had always wanted a flagpole so the developer told me that they could add a flagpole. Therefore I have the only 25 foot commercial flagpole in the development. Some of my neighbors refer to me as the “Flagpole Guy”. I’m not always home at sunrise and sunset so instead of raising and lowering my flag daily I have it illuminated at night as required by protocol. The light the developer installed was installed in the ground with the switch inside the front door. I automated the light with a X-10 light switch module to go on at sunset and off at sunrise daily. This turns on the 110 volt to 12 volt transformer that powers the light. The light the developer installed in front of the pole was damaged several times by vandals. Here in Arizona many of us have desert landscaping in the front with stones and rocks. They would use the rocks to break the glass and the bulb. This year I bought a new light system that mounts on the corner of the garage roof. It’s a 12 volt, 50 watt quartz-iodine bulb floodlight. Within two weeks of installing it the bulb burned out. I didn’t know how long my flag was un-illuminated and that embarrassed me. So I decided to build a monitoring system with an indicator LED inside, to tell me if the light was powered and if the bulb was burning. I used a dual color red and green LED where green meant the light was powered and the flag was illuminated and the red LED to tell me the light was powered but the bulb was burned out. Next to the inside door to the garage I have a control to open and close the garage door. I have a large green LED mounted on it to tell me if the garage door is open or closed. I decided to mount the flagpole sensor on the same housing. I glance at it when I go to bed and two green LEDs mean the garage door is closed and the flagpole is lighted.

Remote indicator - Green.

Both LEDs are green.


Remote indicator - Red.

Light is powered on but bulb is burned out..

To just tell if the flagpole light was turned on would be simple enough. Just rectify the AC from the 12 volt transformer powering the light and light a green LED. The flaw is that it won’t tell me if the bulb has burned out. I needed a circuit that monitored the current going to the bulb. Burned out bulb, open circuit, no current flow. Insteon makes a nice module for Home Automation called the I/O Module.

Insteon I/O Module.

Insteon I/O Module.

The module integrates the burned out bulb sensor with my home automation system. It makes the status of the flagpole light available on the home automation system where I can use it to to control other devices if I want. For instance I could make a failure of the bulb cause the home automation system to flash a house light. For now I’m content with it operating a LED. The module contains a form “C” contact, that consists of a common lead with a normally closed contact and a normally open contact. The contacts can be operated in either of two ways. You can address the module through the power line of the house and remotely turn it on or off or you can apply either a ground or 5 volts to the sense contacts on the module to switch the form C contact. I decided to effectively apply a ground to the sensing input by way of an opto-isolator. The opto-isolator has an internal LED which shines on a photo transistor. The light turns the transistor on and that transistor effectively shorts the sense terminal to ground. The voltage to energize the opto-isolator LED is derived from the .75 ohm shunt in series with the floodlight illuminating the flag. A 50 watt bulb powered by 12 volts creates a  4 amp current flow. I put a .75 ohm resistor in series with the floodlamp and this would generate a 3 volt drop across the .75 ohm resistor. The power dissipated by the .75 ohm resistor will be 3 volts times 4 amps or 12 watts. That’s pretty hot. I bought some .5  ohm, 5 watt resistors on eBay. By wiring six of them in series parallel I got the equivalent of .75 ohms with a wattage rating of 30 watts.


The six physical resistors that constitute R1.

Six 5v watt resistors mean 30 watts of dissipation.

To increase power dissipation six 5 watt resistors are wired in series parallel.

Now I have a source of 3 volts when the light is turned on and the bulb is not burned out. I also want to know if the light is turned on. For that I will need additional circuitry. This is where the Insteon I/O module comes in. We will use the form C contact in the module to control the red and green LED. This is a two color LED. The LED has three leads, the common anode and a cathode lead for the red and another for the green.

The Insteon module has three states:

1) X-10 off so no power to the transformer and everything is off.

2) X-10 on and the transformer is energized. The bulb is not burned out. The opto-isolator sees the 3 volt sense input and turns on the photo transistor. The Module sense terminal sees the ground causing the I/O module to close the normally open contact, lighting the green LED.

3) X-10 0n and the transformer is energized. The bulb is burned out so there is no voltage to the opto-isolator. The photo transistor is off so there is no I/O module sense input and the I/O module normally closed contact lights the red LED.Schematic of the Flagpole light monitoring system.


Schematic of Flagpole Light Sensor

Schematic of Flagpole Light Sensor

The schematic is also available as a pdf.

Sorry, I did not document the build so I have no photos of the circuit I built. I do not want to tear it apart at this time. Suffice it to say that all the parts except for the shunt current sensing resistor array, R1 are wired on a piece of perf board. The resistors are mounted outside the box to allow them to dissipate heat. It has been working for  over a year now without any problems. Perhaps the resistors in series with the bulb and the resulting lower voltage to the light bulb gives me longer life for the bulb. The first bulb only lasted two weeks.

Terry Signature