All kits posted! (Except for 1 assembled)

If you’ve purchased a kit this past couple of weeks, it’s now been posted.

I’ve only 1 remaining kit to post, but first I have to solder it (Mr L D from Italy, I’ll start it this weekend)

I’m doubling down on keycap development now, hoping to have those ready in time for new stock

Let’s say March 1st to be safe, hopefully a little sooner if parts arrive quicker 🙂

Quick post to thank JLCPCB

JLCPCB have a fairly nice facebook group , and along with their EASYEDA group have done quite a bit to really get hobbyists producing PCB’s

Recently they reached out to me, having read through a lot of the waffle on these here pages and offered a small gesture of thanks for giving them a mention in the past, and, right now also.

so, in return, i’ll write even more about them 🙂 and, how I discovered them!

Back a couple of years ago, when wanting to make my first PCB for couple of decades, I tried KICAD, EAGLE, and a few other ‘free’ software packages. nothing was quite as easy as PROTEUS and , back then , LISA that I used in the mid 90’s in University. I’d resigned myself to a fairly intimidating hill to climb to get back into things…..

Then I found EASYEDA !. I knocked out my first ever PCB – the SpeccyPi, i’ll find it and post about it at some point.

EASYEDA seems to be a tool developed by both JLCPCB and LCSC to help people to purchase their products. i.e. both websites are quite well tied in for a simple ‘design, click, order’ solution. For us hobbyists, it really is a combination of ‘dream come true’ enablers.

Haven’t looked back since. I’m still using EASYEDA, because, like me, it’s quite simple and really works well.

JLCPCB have made almost all of my hobby PCB’s, have done a fantastic job with SMT assembly on my later PCB’s – with their partner site – LCSC , they offer an unmatched value for someone who’s a bit lazy and just wants a ‘1 click’ solution to ordering SMT populated PCB’s.

Really, if you are still using breadboard for your ‘production’ hackery, fire up EASYEDA quickly, bung a few components in, wait a week or two and marvel at your professionally looking PCB inside your widget. it’s shockingly addictive.

if you’re even slightly intimidated by SMT stuff – Fire up the JLCPCB website

do a quick search for resistor

select library type, basic

https://jlcpcb.com/parts/componentSearch?searchTxt=resistor

and see what’s avaialable!

That’s enough gushing!, give them a go!

I’m using them for my C64 mini keyboard kit, the Super LED Blinkenator 2000 and the Djordie’s joystick upgradenator!.

Something Old, Something new. Joystick Upgrade!

Some time ago, I ordered a Joystick from Retroradionics.

In Transparent Black! Has a few nice features, such as Autofire on two buttons, and togglable mode for C64 or Atari for example.

Inside, there’s a PCB that looks quite bare

So, I did gone glitz it up a little.
I figured that a joystick could do with some LED’s, there’s plenty of space inside for big ones!

and, maybe it could have some extra functionality

I started here – Knocking up a schematic – this is maybe rev 20!

So, after knocking up a schematic, I measured up and drew a PCB , well, had a little help from the developer of the joystick who sent me some dimensions of his PCB to get started with!

Always print 1:1 before ordering!
Continue reading “Something Old, Something new. Joystick Upgrade!”

£40 well spent and a happy Hamster, a Wheely good use for a 3D Printer

Back a couple of years ago, I lucked out on a facebook marketplace post. Someone was selling an unassembled 3D printer kit, that was tatty and had missing parts………Woo!

I did a 30 mile detour on my voyage home from Wales and grabbed it. excitedly pulling all the bits out of the oversized, filthy box and….Putting them into a rather smaller, cleaner box for a couple of years whilst not doing much with it.

Well, today, that £40 investment paid off.

by hacking a chunk off the 8mm threaded rod, using a few bolts and washers, and a quick mod using a spare Hama-beads square that we had lying around, I was able to fix the broken hamster wheel!

or, in other words, I’ve massively over-engineered a fix by butchering a 3D printer (kit).

On the plus side, I’ve a happy hamster AND saved £2.87 by not needing to buy a new one!

Also, It’s gotten me thinking….HAMSTER STATISTICS.

How fast can they go?, how far do they run?

I’ve just picked up some of these – Hall effect sensors

i’ve already a handful of Arduinos and Raspberry pi’s. ………..

Something Different – a New laptop – Ryzen 4800U – A BEAST

I gone and got me one of these…..

My first new laptop in over a DECADE…

https://www.lenovo.com/gb/en/laptops/ideapad/s-series/IdeaPad-5-15ARE05/p/88IPS501393

A Lenovo Ideapad 5 15″

and it cost me pretty much bang on £500 GBP after discounts and cashback! (Thanks to HotUKDeals – Link here, well expired by the way)

What’s special you ask?, Why now, why not let my perfectly servicable ASUS Republic of Gamers Original I5 based laptop keep ticking for another few years?

Well, A Processor / APU Called the Ryzen 4000 series, codename Renoir by AMD caught my eye back late last year

IT’S A BEAST

I purchased a variant of the laptop with the Ryzen 4800U processor inside.

One of the first things I did was to run a Benchmark – This one

The result – Just a shade under 20,000 CPUMARKS

…………a laptop, costing just £500 outperforming Desktop processors that cost more!

This £500 laptop benchmarks in the top 11% of processors globally! it’s faster than almost 90% of other computers out there……..

And, here’s the Cinebench Benchmark. Note that it’s just above the Xeon E5-2697 v2 which still costs £200 on eBay

The i7-7700K is an interesting one though. This processor’s been a ‘gaming go-to’ for performance and overclockability for a few years now , that’s another £200 eBay processor

Something more modern to compare to?

This one’s 488 in single core and 3925 in multi-core

Go over to the Cinebench website and see –

Sort by Single score – sort by benchmark

The closest intel processors are the

i5-9600K (about £200) at 481

and the

i7-10700k (about £400-£450) at 497

Now for the Multi-core

The closest intel processors are the

i7-8700K (about £300-£400) at 3793

and the

i9-9900K (at least £420 ) at 4914

now, one more set of benchmarks – Here – (CPUBENCHMARK.NET)

Scroll down to 19884 – See just what processors are sitting in the same area – what their retail price was! – this processor sits at exactly the same position as the intel i7-10700KF

A 125W DESKTOP processor that costs £400 on its own on ebay right now. Add all the other stuff needed to make a fully functional PC and you’re getting close to a GRAND on a DESKTOP!

In summary – I’m besotted….This laptop’s happily rendering in REAL TIME what my old laptop took tens of minutes in Fusion360

if you’ve been holding off buying a laptop, you really can’t go wrong with the Renoir series of processors.

and, for games – seems to run Fortnight,Starcraft 2, and a few others just fine at maximum settings! performance apparently is about the same as the Geforce MX250 which isn’t sloppy considering this is integrated graphics and has just a 25W TDP when under extreme performance. The MX250 graphics card has a 25W TDP on its own for this benchmark!

Fawning over, normal service will resume shortly 🙂 – in the meanwhile, ask away any questions, happy to answer them

Speaker enclosure dimensions – oops

Folded - Oops

The pipe with the new 53mm straight lengths comes a little short of the planned box enclosure end……

I’d calculated the ‘missing’ 57.5mm length based upon the centre path of the diameter  having a diameter of 95mm……

The pipe itself has a diameter of 85mm

So, the actual pipe itself will need an additional 42.5mm either side of the path it follows………..

Which means, a new sketch………Something like this.

 

folded6

  • R47.5 is the 95mm diameter of the centre of the pipe
  • R90 is the outer diameter of the 85mm diameter pipe
  • 10 is the thickness of the speaker enclosure

Finally, we have at least one outer enclosure dimension sorted! – 200mm – Err, that’s a bit bigger than planned! – The speaker itself is only 98.2mm diameter……Looks like some more iterating needed, BUT, now I understand the dimensions, I can experiment a little with the Tube’s cross sectional area and therfore diameter…….

In hindsight, the speaker enclosure dimension was fairly obvious…….

  • enclosure thickness ( 10mm ) +
  • Transmission Line Diameter ( 85mm ) +
  • enclosure thickness ( 10mm ) +
  • Transmission Line Diameter ( 85mm ) +
  • enclosure thickness ( 10mm ) +

= 200mm!

The smallest enclosure possible has a Transmission Line area the same as the speaker – i.e.

  • SD of 28.3 gives a Diameter of 6cm….
  • 10mm + 60mm + 10mm + 60mm + 10mm

Smallest possible size = 150mm

More fun to follow………..

Lets look

 

Something new backed! LEGO sorting :-)

Piqabrick

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/piqabrick/piqabrick

Sorry no updates of late, real life’s taken over, haven’t used the printer in some time.

Have found a new way to procrastinate though whilst actually doing something useful….And plan a future build of a fully automated LEGO sorter!!

(Gotta use up them spare 3D printer bits somehow!)

SKR v1.3 and TFT35…

Still playing with the new toy, picked up a small TFT2.4 also.

This TFT2.4 is quite an innovative product! It can emulate an LCD12864 AND also be a touch TFT…

Plan is to get this running together then shove them in one of the printers….

Haven’t really done much with the printers this past few months, kinda overwhelmed with other stuff in life …slowly starting to tinker again,

More 3D printing…New toy – Creality Ender 3

Well, after endless weeks of frustration with the D9 and extrusion issues, I’ve gone and done a few things

img_7258

Purchased a silly amount of ‘spare parts’ at ridiculous prices from random chinese websites – it’s like Christmas! every day!, there’s steady stream of small boxes and packages arriving. I’ll have enough bits to build a couple of spare printers soon…….

img_7256

Continue reading “More 3D printing…New toy – Creality Ender 3”

Wanhao Duplicator 9 – New X Axis parts coming – Part 2

My printer / PC should be back up and running on the weekend, based on some feedback from a trial tester, I’ve modded the brackets a little – namely to improve the ease of removing of the supports in the stepper motor part , and increasing the height a little for the idler mount on the right…

Some more tweaks will happen before I get to properly print and test, then I’ll upload

 

left X V2

Above shows the lines inserted in the NEMA17 stepper motor mount. This should negate any need to use supports

 

Continue reading “Wanhao Duplicator 9 – New X Axis parts coming – Part 2”

Wanhao Duplicator 9 – New X Axis parts coming

It’s been a busy personal and work life for the past few weeks so it’s been difficult to ‘tinker’……….I have however made something new!………….. Continue reading “Wanhao Duplicator 9 – New X Axis parts coming”

Aluminium beds – some thoughts on levelling

The Wanhao printer bed is made of Aluminium, below this is a flexible heating element.

It’s been widely reported that the D9 doesn’t level very easilly, Here’s why people are having issues….

Aluminium expands when heated!

If you’re having ‘levelling issues’ ensure to do the electronic bed levelling whilst the bed is hot! – (pre-heat to typical printing temperature first)

 

Anyways, some math.

Here’s a datasheet for the Aluminium I purchased for my carriage upgrade

Two things I note here –

Physical Property Value
Density 2.71 g/cm³
Thermal Expansion 24 x10^-6 /K

Density – Steel (which the carriage is made of) is generally around the 7 – 8 g/cm³ – or Three times that of Aluminium! – win there, I can use a sheet of aluminium Three times thicker than the steel on the carriage and have the same weight (in theory)

Thermal Expansion – Translated this means that Aluminium expands by 24 micrometers per millikelvin. Also known as 0.000024 meters per degree

 

How does this affect the D9 Printbed?

When heated, the 325 x 325 x 2mm thick aluminium bed  becomes a bit larger

………How large?

 

Here follows some very rough calcuations……..

Continue reading “Aluminium beds – some thoughts on levelling”

Wanhao D9 Bed upgrade

The Wanhao Y axis ‘bed’ is known to be a little flimsy,

It’s made from pressed, welded steel sheet just under 1mm thick and notably flexes when adjusting the levelling springs

Some closeups below….

My new plan – Create a new Bed / Carriage with some suitably cut Aluminium from this bloke on ebay – 4mm thick and 325 x 325mm for just over £13, bargain!.

Once cut, this should be stiffer and more importantly, lighter than the existing carriage as shown below…….

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Aluminium-Sheet-1mm-1-2mm-1-5mm-2mm-3mm-4mm-1050H14-S1BH4-Various-Sizes/271210657802

1 bed

2bed
When tightning, this black part can often bend, it’s only 1mm thick!
img_1175
Exposed bed – it looks ‘deep’ from the front, but the ‘wings’ on the sides are flimsy and flex with levelling

It’s alive! – kind of. MGN12 Rails update

Well, the MGN12H linear rail carriages fit into the new carriage adaptors I quickly knocked up in Tinkercad perfectly!

And, don’t they look lovely in Purple (great filament from 3D Filaprint)

Now, to dismantle the printer and see if the print bed tray fits…………

That’s the problem with printing stuff to upgrade a printer, iterating takes time and stuff gets dismantled waaay too much! I need a second printer :-p

MGN12H crappy linear rail bearing blocks

What’s more sensible than spending $9USD on a basic, possibly non working chinese no-name bearing block?

……..Spending hours and a few quid trying to do ’em up!

Parts I’ll need…

  • 3/32 Drill Bit (or possibly 2.4mm if it needs some play) …………..[edit, turns out a 2.4mm is too small! Looks like 2.5 is the go]
  • 3/32 Ball bearings (bound to loose a few)
  • Something to drill with
  • something to clamp down the carriage without damaging it

After a few minutes with the calipers and Tinkercad, I give you………. Continue reading “MGN12H crappy linear rail bearing blocks”

Chinese ‘cheap’ clone linear rails MGN12 Beware and a teardown

The Cheapy ‘Hiwin’ clone rails and blocks arrived a while back and they haven’t really dissapointed. By that, I mean, I kinda got what I was expecting. Still, only a small premium paid and 3 workable carriages / rails……

Continue reading “Chinese ‘cheap’ clone linear rails MGN12 Beware and a teardown”

3D Printer Firmware – Support the Author

Wow,

In my research of 3D printers, it seems that just one bloke is responsible for the massive explosion in popularity in recent years……

This bloke develops and releases for FREE the firmware / software that drives YOUR printer

Sign up for Patreon and donate just once, or just a dollar or two a month….I’ve just signed up for $2 a month….Not much, just imagine how much he’d get if he had just $1 a month off everyone who had a cheap 3D printer

Scott Lahteine

https://www.patreon.com/thinkyhead/

 

Marlin is used on over 90% of printers worldwide. The lead developer Scott sometimes has trouble making ends meet. This should NOT be happening. Please consider becoming a Patreon at his Patreon page below even if you can only commit for a month it is better than nothing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tightening Belt To Mitigate Vibration Artifacts on Monoprice Maker Select (Wanhao Duplicator i3)

Great piece about why us tinkerers purchase 3D printers and what we expect from them!….it’s small but steady steps that allow you to make great prints

New Screwdriver

Now that my open-box Monoprice Maker Select (Wanhao Duplicator i3) is up and running, it’s time to take a closer look at the less than perfect print output. This was totally expected at this terrifically low price point, and part of the point of this exercise was to learn how to analyze 3D printer problems and how to address them. This printer is not just a tool – it is a project in and of itself!

The first (and as it turns out, a recurring) issue is a vibration artifact in the print after a sharp movement. After some web searches, I’ve learned this was called “ringing” because it’s the after effect of a sharp impulse, like ringing a bell. Looking at the printer, I thought the obvious culprit would be the Y-axis movement. It has to move the build platform so it would have more inertia to overcome and…

View original post 283 more words

Copycats! – upcycling ikea tables for enclosure

Having two kids really means that you get almost Zero time to tinker, I can ponder many ideas, but often can’t carry them out in a reasonable time

Referring back to my post here – https://bleughbleugh.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/where-to-put-the-mill/

I’ve just googled someone that’s done just that!….

Sean's Ikea Lack Tables Enclosure
Sean’s Ikea Lack Tables Enclosure

http://3dprint.com/84409/ikea-3d-printer-enclosure/

Off to watch Mach 3 tutorial videos, mayaswell get some theory practice in!

It’s Alive, ALL 4 axis…..

It’s been a few weeks now, still haven’t actually cut anything proper like,

however, a BIG occasion, I can now JOG all 4 axis quite happily in Mach3!

for those looking everywhere (and I did), no-where really quite states obviously or easily the pins on the connector needed to control the 4th Axis, it’s pins 8 & 9

Axis Step Pin# Dir Pin#
X Axis 2 3
Y Axis 4 5
Z Axis 6 7
A Axis 8 9

And Also – another setting needed,

Under CONFIG – Homing / Limits.

Set Soft MAX and Soft MIN on A axis to ZERO, that’ll allow it to rotate forever.

Now, one plus side of getting the A axis to work, it uses the same stepper motors as the X,Y,Z. it should help me to be able to accuratley calibrate the system now as many websites suggest that the 400 steps per rotation is ‘off a bit’….

Here goes. Need to figure out ‘homing’ and how exactly the G-Code relates to the position on the table. most ‘dry runs’ so far have pushed the CNC past its limits…..which is annoying as i don’t have limit switches yet!

JP-1482 Spindle Board

Noting some of the ‘stuff’ on the board, we can see that it’s quite simple really, it’s a small microprocessor controlled, dual sided PCB Two voltages – 18V AC and 36V AC from the secondaries of the transformers, 18V dropped down to 5V to feed the processor electrics….. 36V rectified to DC, then passed to the spindle somehow the micro takes in the variable resistance from the POT at the front of the box and converts it to DC, PWM at whatever voltage the 36V AC is converted down to. Not sure what the extra plugs do yet though, i’ll keep adding to this board STC 15W408AS –

  • SOP16 – Single Chip Micro – 8051 based – 8-12 times faster than standard 8051
  • 8K RAM,
  • 512 Bytes SRAM,
  • 3 Channel PWM,
  • 10 Bit ADC,
  • 5K EEPROM
  • UART
  • SPI
  • 5 external interrupts
  • 2 timers
  • comparator
  • internal clock
  • encryption
  • RS485 Control

Page 68 onwards of the english PDF datasheet covers this IC, LNK 306DN –  AC TO DC CONVERTOR – DATASHEET HERE – 8 PIN IC WITH PIN 3 MISSING IRF 640N – IOR P447D – 5TH Generation power Hexfet MOSFET – DATASHEET HERE KBJ 1510 – Bridge Rectifiers – DATA SHEET HERE 78M05  – 5V Voltage regulator – DATASHEET HERE EL817 X 4 4 PIN DIP PHOTOCOUPLER – AKA OPTOISOLATOR – DATASHEETS HERE ES1J X 3 – 1A Ultra fast recovery rectidier – DATASHEET HERE

Spindle Board
Spindle Board

Spindle Board - Top
Spindle Board – Top

There is a few versions of this board around, one older one seems similarly laid out but based upon a 555 timer! Theres a fellow Aussie doing much more digging than I at this time, ill pinch some wording from his page on how my board works. The spindle speed control works by passing the PWM through a low pass filter, then reading the DC voltage produced on an analog pin of a PIC micro. The micro then reads the value (most significant 7-bit’s of 10 bits), and sends it to a digital pot. The digital pot contains an 8-bit data register (16-bit really with command byte) and is 10K and we need 5K, so that’s why we are grabbing 7 bits (need 8 bits and grabbing 7-bits divides the value in half). The last log explains why I need to convert PWM to a resistive value (voltage divider). I’ve also added a feature for the Z auto level probe on the board. The issue there is, my system has been configured to work with Normally Closed limit switches and the act of probing, is a Normally Open operation.    Have look at his projects on Hackaday.io Here

Another new gadget purchsed – Android TV Box

Thanks to Ozbargain on this one, a $50USD android TV Box

Just picked up one of these Tronsmart R68’s at http://www.geekbuying.com, youtube unboxing here

geekbuying-c8f4d2e5-4d3b-4bf9-9cda-2700556f1d33

Tronsmart-R68-Exclusive-Private-Mould

Some thoughts as to why I purchased

TinyG and G2 – an idea for the future!?

Have been reading up on control methods for the CNC (yep, too much reading, not enough actual do-ing),

Stumbled across something called GRBL, which to summise,is, “an arduino CNC controller”

There’s a shedload of websites regarding GRBL…..so……

I actually own various quantities of each of the following microcontroller boads that i’ve acquired over the years, a few more modern ones include

And, given my recent discovery of GRBL,and a penchant for hoarding un-used demo boards,

I’ve purchased one of these………

an arduino CNC Shield

SKU198457a(3) SKU198457aa

It’s a blatant clone of a couple of other shields out there, at under eight AUD though, it was worth a punt

it uses the standard Polulu style driver modules – that use the A4988 Stepper Driver from Allegro MicroSystems

I picked up five of them also….for just under $14 AUD, three for now, a fourth if I ever figure out 4 axis machining and a fifth as i’ll probably blow something up

a4988 2 A4988 1

so, for a grand sum of $13.81 Plus $7.63 = $21.44 delivered, I have a nice CNC Shield for my Arduino

Possible Z axis adjustment / improvement?

Specifications for the CNC suggest that the maximum working area is

  • Max.workpiece dimension:200mm*300mm<65mm

Z axis dimensions are <65mm

Measuring the total Z axis travel, there’s only 56mm of travel available….

it does look like I can slacken off the screws on the spindle a little to move it upwards to gain some workspace back,

great for using a sacrifical piece of wood orsomething on th ebase and maintain the full movement