Nothing much to see here! ….About Bleugh

I’m a parent of two primary schoolers and for fun, sponsored the publication to do my bit to raise money for the local schools.

If you’ve read the advert and wondered WTF?, just know that there’s a Middle Aged bloke, sat at his work desk, giggling like a schoolboy just thinking about how many people are somewhat puzzled right now!

I mean, who hasn’t wanted to write a silly word in large text, (Verdana, Bold) in a slightly posh publication that gets read by several thousand individuals in Cheshire :-p

The word ‘Bleugh’ originated from my reading of the Beano comics back in my youth.

It’s something Dennis the Menace (and others) said regularly, for various reasons, one of which was disliking fish fingers in school dinners!

I’d no idea how it was pronounced, thought it was funny and have used it ever since.

Though, do note, a few of the websites out there have cybersquatted various domains and are nowt to do with me! Bleugh.biz and Bleugh.co.uk are mine.

That’s it, the story of ‘Bleugh’ used by me as a written pseudonym for around 35 years!

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As for its current use, it’s a bit of a blog. I’m making and selling small keyboards and various, mostly retro computer related stuff. Maybe one day I’ll grow it into something larger , for now it provides ‘beer money’ and a focus for various hobbies and learning how to ‘make stuff’.

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If you’re a bit of a nerd, have fond memories of the Compdore 64, Sinclair ZX spectrum, and live nearby, get in touch!

P.s. Thankyou for the teams for putting on a superb School ball, apologies for my terrible dancing!

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Also, join in, help out your sons / daughters schools, they all need more volunteers and hands on to help with all the special activities that your kids do in school. It would be lovely to see new faces dragging tables, serving burgers, cleaning up!

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Wanna buy a Bleugh?

Dodgy Laptop Hinges – Lenovo Ideapad 5 15″Model 15ARE05

Nearly two years ago, I purchased a rather nice laptop – https://www.lenovo.com/gb/en/laptops/ideapad/500-series/IdeaPad-5-15ARE05/p/88IPS501393

A Nice Lenovo 15″ beastie, with a Ryzen 4800U

I blogged a bit about it right – HERE

Just after Christmas, one of the screen hinges snapped – I had a quick google, then really did nothing – I found thhis bloke –

It’s Binh Repaired & Reviewed

and, this video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQ3YShJosio

and, as the laptop was functioning ok-ish, I dismissed it – it was robust enough to use, and wasn’t properly broken….

…Until it was – (properly broke

A couple of weeks ago, both hinges just failed, leaving my laptop screen ‘dangling’

So, I googled again, discovered that I’m not alone. Most people seem to jab a bit of JBweld in and hope for the best

https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/General-Discussion/Broken-Hinge-on-IdeaPad-5-15IIL05-Laptop-Type-81YK/m-p/5063546?page=4

https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=369644

I didn’t have any JBweld.

I Did however have the following items, which, after years of desperately needing a project to justify the purchase have Finally come in useful and saved some cash

Ingredients

……. a Portable Dremel thingy,

a wide collection of tiny drill bits

boxes of tiny screws and nuts.

A ridiculously small adjustable spanner on my car keys

Now My laptop no longer has a non-functional Hinge

Have a small Montage of pictures

To Be fair to Lenevo – they’re extremely responsive for customer support. I can not fault their technical team, nor their customer support team, pro-active calls, checkups and emails, all in, a 5* Lenovo response…..

with one caveat, My laptop’s out of warranty. Still, for most, a quick hundred quid ain’t too bad a price to fix a £500 laptop properly!

CR-Scan 01 – cheap 3D scanner

Only a quick one – I backed this thingy

Have followed it for a while before the public launch and I’m damned impressed with the quality of the scans at the price.

There’s a load of YouTube videos showing independent reviews and capabilities of the device, which has me extremely reassured

I’m gonna use it to scan the children in and create custom Heroquest miniatures!

Gonna try scanning a room, maybe a car, who knows what else 🙂 . it’s not designed for scanning 28mm miniatures, but a few people have videos up on youtube that suggests it can give a low detail scan ideal for a ‘starter’ form to add your own custom detail – which makes me very happy as i’m crap at organic modelling 🙂 also, now whilst I type, I realise I can scan KEYBOARDS in! – it’s detailed enough to get those pesky curves correct and allow me to model properly the C64 keyboard!! wooooo.

For a while I really wanted to upgrade my ancient iPhone 5SE to one that has lidar / time of flight sensors on board (iPhone 11 plus or higher) But the quality those devices produce is mediocre compared to dedicated scanners.

Don’t get me wrong, the iPhone ones are a massive enabler for all sorts of fantastic 3D mapping (caves!! It’s a paradigm shift in capabilities and accessibility, that’s just one example)

Put simply, cube capabilities of this scanner (and software package) exceed anything available at the price, and quite a lot available at the 4 digits in price.

So, if you’ve ever fancied scanning stuff and can’t be bothered with photogrammetry , get this!

Generic link below, zero referral or cash back from this link 🙂 I’m just that impressed with the company openness on this one, check the comments if you’re unsure! and the number of updates

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/3dprintmill/creality-cr-scan-lizard-capturing-fine-details-of-view

Something a little different – V-Bucks

My Son asked could he have some V-Bucks for that ridiculously addictive Fortnite – it’s totally free to play, but to be ‘cool’ you’ve gotta spend real life ££ on skins . As he’s done quite well at school, I’ve decided to reward him with some, but rather than just hand over a string of characters on some paper, I’ve spent a little more time being creative

If you fancy playing with this yourself or editing it – I’ve uploaded the Fusion360 f3d file to Google Drive – Here

And, also the STL files to Prusaprinters – Here

It’s all eyeballed, but seems close enough to the original. It’s quite a simple item to do, the hardest part to figure out is the tapered top of the coin – which is a simple ‘side profile’ then revolve to create the coin. The rest is a circular pattern to create the curved lit up pieces, then a handful of extrudes and fillets

Amiga 500 Mini – conceptual

1/2 scale Amiga Keyboard – the keys might just fit!
Schematic with who knows how many errors 😛

Had a little play, using some SMT buttons i’m using in another project. These switches aren’t quite correct for this project – I need ‘square’ button-y bits and preferably ones with a small sticky-outy or inny bit that’ll let it capture a keycap straight.

Assuming the A500 Mini is 1/2 scale, like the C64Mini was then it’s looking good for keyboardification.

This keyboard is about 225mm x 56mm which is about 1/2 the size of the original membrane – I ‘think’ – based losely on numbers from here which says

Full sized Amiga is about 470mm wide by 325 deep.

Half that gives about 235 x 162. take a bit off the 235 for the case thickness bit – gives 225. then height is set roughly by the number of keys ‘down’ and eyeballing the various membranes i’ve found!

However – I don’t know the internal space availability of the A500 yet – so plan going forward for now is to prototype as a 2 part PCB.

One design part of the C64 Mini keyboard kit I never really liked is the standalone Arduino Pro Micro mounted on the rear due to being no space. Adding it to the main PCB was also out of the question as the separate components would have been at least double that of a ‘cheap’ arduino.

I’ll keep a 31 way (ish) connector on the main keyboard part, so it essentially acts like a traditional Amiga Keyboard. I’ll then have a ‘special’ RP2040 based PCB that converts the Amiga matrix into USB for the A500.

Amiga 500 Mini – Keyboardifying

Very early days yet – But, this is the first start for making the Commodore Amiga Mini working keyboard kit! About 1/2 way done on the matrix, then the peripheral components to go.

Then i’ll ditch it all and start over as the above is a bit of a mess ;-P

The New mini is coming from https://retrogames.biz/thea500-mini at some point in the next few months

I plan to use PRK Firmware now i’ve got it working with the C64Mini

and, Now RP2040 AKA Raspberry Pi Pico Chips are widely available, and ‘cheap’, I’ll be using one as the basis for the Mini

The BIG unknown right now is ‘switches’ – in the C64 Mini I was able to use 5.8mm ‘square’ switches – something like these – https://www.sunrom.com/p/push-onoff-switch-58mm

I’m currently working on a design assuming I can use the same again. There’s very few switches on the market with a ‘square’ style centre part that can capture keycaps. I have leads on a few others, but plan this time is to find surface mount versions and try to get a batch ‘mass produced’ – i.e. little to no soldering needed for you lot!

Early days yet, it’s been quite hard to ‘get back into the grove’ . here’s hoping I get this finished in 2022!

C64 Mini Keyboard Kit – Newer Firmware!

Loads fixed with this – and it should hopefully be on Github soon also

Google Drive Link Here

The Hex File is above

There are only a couple of extremely tricky issues remaining now! they may need macros, and may not even be possible

Note with this firmware – It works perfectly with ENGLISH Language and UK Keyboard layout set in the firmware…

I hope to eventually be able to create more localised keymaps to change behaviour on boot so every language in the mini works well. IF there’s any pressing issues, please contact me, I should now be able to quickly and easily tweak a couple of keys for you.

Also, the Firmware will be part of the QMK Github soon, so you can download and tweak away yourselves!

To Upgrade your Keyboard, I’m finding QMK ToolBox to work brilliantly

Most older fimrwares out there will need to have B held down whilst shorting the reset jumper at the top of the keyboard inside , for whatever reason though t

I’ve found this a little flaky for whatever reason, sometimes mashing down every key whilst hitting reset does the trick

To make that more professional…….I now have configured the Bootmagic Lite.

To Update the firmware after this update, simply fire up QMK TOOLBOX, connect your keyboard to a Laptop. Hit ‘auto flash’, select the MCU (see picture above)…then Hold 1 and short the reset jumper inside the keyboard.

I’m still learning how configure all this, so bear with me, it’ll be slick just like those professional Mechanical Keyboards in no time*

*by ‘no tiime’ I mean potentially months and months as i’m tinkering in my limited spare time to add this extra functionality

C64 Mini Keyboard Kit – The Code and the Schematic!

Hi All – here goes

I’ve submitted a Pull request to the QMK Github to add the Mini !

https://github.com/qmk/qmk_firmware/pull/14159

And, here’s the firmware in a ZIP file to help

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1WVuZMWLF9_7ZtnlxLih7IebWrD0SbX_b/view?usp=sharing

That’s the QMK Code For the Arduino used inside the C64 Mini

How To Compile

Download QMK – I recommend QMK MSYS. Get it installed

There’s plenty of tutorials around

BUt, quick and easy – Unzip the above file to the KEYBOARDS folder

C:\Users\YOURCOMPUTERNAME\qmk_firmware\keyboards\

Then fire up a command prompt (Start, search, CMD, run)

and navigate to the the above folder

then run

qmk compile -kb c64 -km default

You’ll get a c64_default.hex file appear in

C:\Users\YOURCOMPUTERNAME\qmk_firmware\builds\

Now to flash –

Download QMK TOOLBOX

Arduino leonardo’s can be a little tricky to flash hex files to – be persistant – there’s two Tools that help

QMK TOOLBOX – that shows the keyboard enumerating when you plug in

Set it to ‘auto flash’ and you can try pressing / holding b and space (it’s configured as a magickey in QMK) to get the bootoader to kick in and flash the chip

If anyone knows a quicker way – shout!

And, if it helps

Here’s the Schematic

No PCB gerbers are public yet – play away! any suggestions, happy to look at incorporating them

I’ll follow in the future with more insight in how this lot works, and also modifications needed to get it going better… There’s a LOT to it as the Keycodes – https://sta.c64.org/cbm64pet.html

Don’t map to the HID codes used by USB…so, without some super customisation, certain combinations may never be possible

Some useful resources

https://www.c64-wiki.com/wiki/Keyboard

https://msys.qmk.fm/

https://github.com/qmk/qmk_firmware

https://github.com/qmk/qmk_toolbox

https://thec64community.online/thread/688/c64-keyboard-mapping

and a few other C64 USB firmware’s i’ve found – these may have the bits needed to be able to get mine working much better – But, merging things is currently beyond my skillset – I’ll figure it out eventually

https://symlink.dk/projects/c64key/ – Has seemingly sorted out shifting, etc with custom codes. I can’t quite figure it out though

And, this awesome public project! – If you want a ready made USB interface – This looks great. Has some quite complex QMK mapping that i’ve not been able to understand – maybe it can be modded for my PCB!.

Flashing .Hex Files – ‘painful’ – a solution

Wow, What a few weeks this has been.

My previous QMK on my small dev laptop worked great. However, moving the directories over to my new laptop (after the kids smashed the old one) – Not working so great

I was now stuck with a handful of ‘blank’ arduinos and no way to update the firmware code, nor any easy way to flash the .hex files to them

Long story short – a friend familiar with programming Arduinos found me this

https://github.com/p1ne/arduino-leonardo-uploader

It didn’t work!….BUT playing aroudn. it at least did pickup something

So….Digging further…I found

https://github.com/p1ne/arduino-leonardo-uploader/issues/5#issuecomment-407583517

I tried the code, didn’t work

Tried again and………Woooo!

  • C:\1leo\arduino-leonardo-uploader-master\windows>testu
    Upgrade procedure starting.
    Missing parameter or file, you should provide the full filename of an existing .hex file you want to use.
  • C:\1leo\arduino-leonardo-uploader-master\windows>testu C64_default.hex
    Upgrade procedure starting.
    Com Port for Arduino device is detected as COM7.
    Reset Arduino into bootloader
    Com Port for Arduino bootloader device is detected as COM6.
  • Starting AVR Downloader/UploaDEr…..
  • Connecting to programmer: .
    Found programmer: Id = “CATERIN”; type = S
    Software Version = 1.0; No Hardware Version given.
    Programmer supports auto addr increment.
    Programmer supports buffered memory access with buffersize=128 bytes.
  • Programmer supports the following devices:
    Device code: 0x44
  • avrdude: AVR device initialized and ready to accept instructions
  • Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.00s
  • avrdude: Device signature = 0x1e9587 (probably m32u4)
    avrdude: reading input file “C64_default.hex”
    avrdude: input file C64_default.hex auto detected as Intel Hex
    avrdude: writing flash (22924 bytes):
  • Writing | ################################################## | 100% 2.09s
  • avrdude: 22924 bytes of flash written
    avrdude: verifying flash memory against C64_default.hex:
    avrdude: load data flash data from input file C64_default.hex:
    avrdude: input file C64_default.hex auto detected as Intel Hex
    avrdude: input file C64_default.hex contains 22924 bytes
    avrdude: reading on-chip flash data:
  • Reading | ################################################## | 100% 0.46s
  • avrdude: verifying …
    avrdude: 22924 bytes of flash verified
  • avrdude: safemode: Fuses OK (E:CB, H:D8, L:FF)
  • avrdude done. Thank you.
  • Upgrade done!
    C:\1leo\arduino-leonardo-uploader-master\windows>

So, where i’m at now……

I can actually program up arduinos for Mini keyboard kits!

The printer actually seems to be functioning

I’m back in Business

What’s next though

Figure out QMK, I’ve found a lovely chap who’s helping out a bit to compile my keyboard into the new version of QMK being used….then I can finally start doing some development again!

and, more importantly, get this C64Mini keyboard listed in QMK for you guys to be able to easily play with the firmware….

Errors!, Errors!

Having some fun with the printer this past few weeks. many, many fails

Lightly used, honest

Some possible lessons learned….

1 – Don’t mix Resin brands and pigments in untested combinations

I’d ordered a bunch of ‘expired’ Elegoo translucent green resin, going ridiculously cheap, (like 1/3rd the price it should be) it prints FANTASTICALLY…BUT

….I normally use Anycubic Clear, just because it’s what i started with, and it works.

I also add various pigments from http://resin8.co.uk

Mixing in an old batch of C64 Brown with the new Elegoo didn’t really work. I had 6 failures in a row – which i’d assumed was the FEP or me doing something silly / bad levelling . The 7th failure punctured the FEP! At that point i’d realised what i’d done (mixing all the stuff together) so, ordered some new Clear resin. I got a perfect print straight away!

The thing you see above is me, changing the supports (finally) after having issues with the old base layer being too thick and seperating from the build plate. I’d gotten around this by using longer base exposures, but still, had more failures than I’d like.

Hopefully now i’ve new FEP, new resin, and spent a couple of hours doing the supports properly, I’ll get a fresh print tomorrow!

anyone good with QMK?

My next issue – as you can see above…QMK. I spent weeks learning how to, and setting up QMK on my old laptop, which the kids smashed.

QMK has moved on a little it seems as now there’s a dedicated QMK MSYS32 installation…BUT, it doesn’t compile my old keyboard layout. if there’s anyone good with QMK out there, give me a shout!. I’ve no doubt I can get things working again to work on the code a little, just pressed for time for the next month or two and, i’m getting the coding itch this past few days 😛

Quick trick for supports for resin

Who knows if it’ll work yet, but whilst trying to support a large, flat, thin surface for printing, I found that the slicing software didn’t really seem to ‘get it’

So, I tricked it a little by adding the seeds for supports inside Fusion360

Essentially this is just creating a grid of ‘support tips’ and merging them with the wanted body.

The slicer software sees these tiny sticky-outy bits and has no choice other than to add supports to them

alternatley, they can serve as a grid for you to add some manual ‘heavy duty’ supports and surround with more medium duty ones

This is a large flat lower part of a case.

Angle it by 45 degrees. This makes it short enough to print, and easy to support and add some ‘zits’ on a grid

Closeup of zits on a grid

By adding an easy ‘pattern’ of 0.5mm high by 0.1mm diameter zits, I trick Lychee into supporting those areas.

The End result – Evenly spaced ‘starter’ supports that can be manually supplemented. This ensures that no points of the model will be droopy.

I’ve started with a grid around 10x10mm. no reason why this grid can’t be a bit smaller, just some experimenting needed

Always distractions….paddling Pool Pump, solar heating

When you buy a 3D printer, sometimes you search for ages to find ‘anything’ to print, just to actually use the printer.

Other times, you spend ages searching for a suitable coupling device to mount a pool pump with a roughly 1/2 inch inner bore and 20mm ish unknown thread to a 31ish mm diameter INTEX style corrugated hose……..

I’ve done both.

I bought some solar pool heating mats to make the small 8 foot paddling pool a little toastier and less ‘my nipples are so stiff , they could cut glass’ cold……

They work fine – But, the flow rate is quite slow using the 330 Gallon pump that came with our larger, but rodent damaged 12 foot Bestway pool

A few months ago, I purchased a cheap pump from Aliexpress – and after a few hours trying to find and purchase a fiting to hook it to the paddling pool and my Intex solar mats.. I realised I have a 3D printer! (well, many of them actually)..

So, Quickly knocked up this oddity in Fusion

Fits well, one is already attached

I’ve no idea what the thread is….So decided to set the inner hole just big enough to catch the thread…To screw it on, I use my hot air gun to heat up the inner hole so that it gets soft, then screw on the adaptor. leave it to go cold, then unscrew, add PTFE Tape to the threads, screw it back on and, voila, a nice, waterproof adaptor.

I’ll test the thing soon (it’s warm here)………But, during typing this, I’ve noted that the Bestway pump is 330 Gallons per hour – approximatley 1500 Liters per hour

The Aliexpress pump is about half that, D’oh!….

BUT – where i’m hoping to create an efficiency – the Bestway pump has a filter built in, which quite severely restricts the flow, this pump willl either boost that, or i’ll split the 4 mats into two circuits!

sUPER LeD bLInkENAtor 2000 Jun20 Edition

Got me a little tweakin’ time today –

Step 1, Export a PDF from EASYEDA. Print out paper templates, test roughly for fit and alignment
Step 2 – Export DXF from EASYEDA and IMPORT into Fusion360, Tidy up and extrude. Here i’m trying a 1.6mm thick PCB

Step 3 – PRINT. Draft mode is just fine, 2.5 hours later, i’ll have a ‘PCB’!

Have spent a few hours fine tuning alignments – with the new ‘underneath’ mounting of the solderless Blinkenator trial, some of the alignment changes.

The J15 Connector shifts away from the edge about 3/4 mm due to the curvature of the next case, which also needs the larger pillar holes to be moved and increased in size a little.

Step 4 – Printed
Step 5 – Test fit

The print fitted almost perfectly, slight misalignment with J15, I’ll probably make the two locating holes a little larger to allow a little play. The 3D print won’t be the exact same dimensions as the manufactured PCB but it’s close enough to see what tweaks are needed.

And, finally an update on the new next is at Kickstarter!!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/spectrumnext/zx-spectrum-next-issue-2/posts/3224494

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!”