HOW TO COLOUR YOUR KEYCAPS…and to contact me

Firstly, if you’re interested in a kit, reach out via email

KEYBOARDS AT BLEUGH.BIZ

you can also find me lurking around facebook, reddit, twitter!

Two brands have been successfully used to colour your keycaps

1 – Milliput Epoxy Putty – (Thansk DAN) Available here – amazon.co.uk/dp/B002CNEWAM

2 – Stucco K2 – (Thanks Vinz)
available in Italy.

For you English, This translates to “paste for interiors”….amusing that PASTA=PASTE…no wonder some stuff we ordered a few years ago in venice came a bit squdgy 😛

Use a damp cotton bud or similar type of thing to poke a bit in at a time and not get it everywhere!…leave to dry. clean up, then coat with some type of laquer or conformal coating if you really want!

Add Epoxy, then your mini can look like this

Blinkenator – Slow going

Just a quick photo of me holding my Next up against a snowy scene!

And aaaaanother Beta!. Doing significantly more testing this time round

Still not quite over the roadblock for the solderless BETA, but have kinda proven that the ‘programminator’ idea doesn’t really work as well as hoped. BUT, i have proven that a simple 9 pin JST-PH connector – 1.27mm pitch will work – also known as a molex picoblade style.

Going forward, this will be the way someone programs up the Blinkenator. I’ll have another board – possibly included with every blinkenator to convert this to a standard USBASP style header, unsure yet, depends on just how easy I can make the 6 pin header up on the top right to access. would be nice if people can program it up with their case closed….we’ll see

I’m hoping to double down on the blinkenator over the coming weeks, still quite a bit to finalise with the code and the LED inserts!….fun fun.

and, yes, my small digression with the 90’s miniatures is actually a disguised learning excercise. My LED inserts have some fantastically small detail. i’m now learning how to use supports properly….which will dramatically speed up development time on 3D printed inserts. and, also provide a proper path / workflow to being able to get them injection moulded….IF the budget and interest allows. My early experiments however suggest, I may just about be able to achieve an injection moulding style ‘gloss’ finish with 3D printing….keep tuned in!

Batch 21 posted! – up to date with ALL orders

Phew, what a mad few weeks.

If you’ve paid for a kit or just keycaps or waiting on spare parts, it’s now posted.

Missed the Saturday run to the post office so sorry about that.

I’ve now a small amount of stock of keycaps and plenty of kits so I can relax a little and have fun printing other stuff for a change! Can you believe that I’ve run at least 6L of resin through the printer …JUST developing and then selling these keycaps, I’ve never printed anything else on it 🙂

C64 Mini keyboard kits! Some stock!

Have finally received the switches. Couldn’t find my multimeter so quickly tested the orientation was correct with a battery and LED.

Have now bagged them and have enough kits ready to fulfil those on the waiting list.

I’ll email everyone tonight and wait a week before I make kits fully available

Thanks for your patience everyone!

Quick test

Bit of Monday Commodore Bling!

Switches will be here in a day or two!, i’ll email everyone about kits shortly.

Purchased some ‘old gold’ pigment from https://www.resin8.co.uk/ and tried it with the keycaps for something different. Came out ‘ok’ – nice and gold on the top, but lacking in gold on the sides. I suspect the particles weren’t being agitated sufficiently and sank to the bottom.

I’ll try again soon with a higher concentration of pigment and see how that goes before considering offering these as a product!

Kits coming soon – Tracking number updated!

Was just about to order another 4000 switches and take the hit…Decided to check the tracking number and FINALLY, after a month in Limbo, the switches have been released from Liege, the infamously slow sorting centre in Brussels.

SO, should be here next week and i can Finally get sending kits out!

Sorry again about the delays, I’ve now bought excessive stock so, should be able to turn around things quite quickly.

also built up a little stock of the keycaps which can be included in the kits at no additional postage cost

Kits, soon…delays in receiving components

I’ve now shipped 1/2 the back orders but as always, ‘stuff’ happens.

I should have received another 4000 switches here a month ago.

They’ve been stuck somewhere , now for 3 weeks! As soon as they arrive, I’ll be shipping more kits out!

In better news, I’ve gotten through a few liters of resin, so have started printing keycaps again!

Keycaps! C64 mini stuff

Doing some sideways progress now.

When planning something, always allow time for ‘unseen’ stuff, or even anticipated issues that probably show up but you hope they don’t.

Is that a banana in your c64 mini or are you just happy to see me?

I’ve had two partially failed prints now, one fully expected and designed deliberately to see just how far I can remove supports or just how many I need to add

And, the one you see above. A large part of the bed failed to adhere so I stopped at 65%, just enough to recover the space bar…should have waited to 70% so I could grab a few of the bottom row also.

I’ve noticed slight warping in all prints but haven’t been that concerned till this failure.

On the plus side though, my new pigment colours arrived !

Yes, it’s reddy. So, it’s not ready.

I now have a grip on how the colours mix and can iterate a little closer to the original brown now! It doesn’t help that I’m red/green colourblind so, matching brown, in the evenings , in the conservatory in non optimal lighting is probably a worst case scenario for me :-p

But, I can get close now and can get the wife to tweak the formula

One thing I’ve noted is that it can get expensive iterating colors in resin prints! I’m mixing 100ml at a time now, to start a new colour I’m dumping the old 100ml into my grey bottle! Can’t wait to see what colour that comes out as.

now, back to the print fails

First – Levelling. Seems my bed has become unlevel a little, so, I’ll need to re-level. This seems to be an excellent tutorial which i’ll follow.

Now, the warping. It’s something that I didn’t really experience much with my standard Filament printer, but now I clearly can see that it’s a common, but surmountable issue with Resin printers.

So, some research

I’ll need to re-design the space bar at least!.

https://www.3dhubs.com/knowledge-base/how-design-parts-sla-3d-printing/

And

https://www.3dhubs.com/knowledge-base/how-design-parts-sla-3d-printing/

I’d put a small re-enforcement bar all along the space bar which seems to have been an error and may well be causing more warping!

I’ll do another post with the re-design!

JLCPCB – A small gushing appraisal

I know i’ve already made one blog post about these guys, but they really do seem to go over and above! why i’m posting again is at the bottom

https://jlcpcb.com/

How I found them….

Me, I’m a early 40’s bloke with a wife, two young kids and a passion for gadgety stuff that’s not really that mainstream. I really don’t get as much time as i’d like for tinkering, but when I do, I tend to be lazy and take the easy route to making things overly complicated 😛

Back 3 years ago, I purchased a lovely reproduction case from Retro Radionics for an old Sinclair Spectrum 48k . It was limited edition, fully chrome. I just had to buy it…..

Continue reading “JLCPCB – A small gushing appraisal”

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