Desktop PCB Mill

After many delays and set backs I’ve finally gotten a working, reliable PCB mill. In the first post I did of this, I used V bit’s to get better resolution of the tracks. The height issues remained and I was unable to get the auto bed leveling working on the Marlin firmware. What I did to fix the multiple issues: I found the X and Y couplers were a poor choice, as they were acting like large springs. I added lock nuts to the far ends of the X and Y axis, on the outer edges to pull the couplers Continue Reading →

Cheap Pickups

Some more cheapies from the weekend – although not hugely successful, provided hours of interest. Solidoodle Press Ubiquiti Nanostation HFW5200-IRA camera Solidoodle Press This was a nostalgic purchase, I originally purchased a Solidoodle 2 as my first printer and it was kinda cool to have one of their production models. I purchased it with the intent of buying spare parts and priced accordingly. It didn’t come with a power supply so I soldered a PC PSU to provide the 12v. I have since found that it’s a 24v system, and by using a 20v 4amp laptop charger, I’ve been able Continue Reading →

Desktop CNC – Work In Progress

To make my projects smaller and more durable, it would be better to make custom PCB’s rather than jamming a wad of wires into already small cases. To make this possible, I’ve made a desktop CNC. To keep the costs down, it will be made using mostly surplus parts. To cut back on costs further the sides and 3D printed parts where redesigned to fit 8mm smooth rods, rather than 12mm, which are considerably more expensive and harder to find. There are many revisions of the CNC design I chose and I had to piece together parts from 2 or Continue Reading →

MP3DP v2

After rebuilding the center of my MPCNC, buying another router and converting it to dual axis independent motors, I wanted to test it’s alignment by making the MP3DP v2 – another V1 Engineering project. Some of the core components came from my aging Prusa i2, which had significantly less build volume (20x20x7) There was a small issue with the parts being CNC’d using the new firmware. rounded corners seemed to be randomly hit and miss – I found out that the firmware didn’t cut arc’s very well, so they had to be removed from the g-code Core components removed: stepper Continue Reading →

Arduino CDP Revisited

During some down time I’ve decided to revisit the Arduino CDP sniffer and add extra features. This will be a running post and will be updated periodically. As mentioned in the comments of the other post I will be looking at adding LLDP support and an export feature to a mobile/laptop. The export or “history” addition will allow a log to be saved to an external device as easy as possible. As a prototype, it’s had an ESP8266 added to it with a web server running showing modified serial output. Initial results work, but I’m again getting plagued with power Continue Reading →

Amp’d For Profit

I bought a Boss car audio amp (BA-4800) for a staggering $2. There was noticeable physical damage, but it’s worth a gamble for a quick, cheap fix. The damage looked localized to two RCA connectors. The remaining pins from the connector looked undamaged. Without changing anything it was powered with a PC PSU. Volume was good from both the remaining RCA connectors. Desoldered the pins and replaced the RCA connectors with an additional through-hole quad RCA connector. Connected power again: Now all 4 channels were working well. For what started as $2 for 2 working channels is now $6 for Continue Reading →

Offset Smoker

This was done a few months ago, I just didn’t think to add it till now. I’ve wanted to make an offset smoker since I found out that my hot water system would need replacing. I got a fair way through the project when I couldn’t get accurate information on weather it was safe to leave the glass lining on the inside. After a quick email to the original manufacturer it was confirmed it needed to be removed. It was too thick to remove with a flappy disk and grinder so it was abandoned. I saw an advert online for Continue Reading →

Mini Virtual Pinball Cabinet

While smoking some meat in the drum smoker, I had some time to kill, so I decided to build a smaller desktop virtual pinball cabinet. Hopefully one that would be portable, but still big enough to provide a similar experience to a full size cabinet. The base cabinet was cut and monitors fitted during this time, the rest was done over the following few weekends. Similar to the other one I built, this too would be mainly build from recycled/cheap parts: The laptop inside has a smashed screen and no battery, which would have other wise been thrown out, but Continue Reading →

Ugly Drum Smoker (UDS)

This project started when I was doing a pork leg and it was too big (and tall) to fit in my old charcoal BBQ (18″ Eurochef kindly donated by a good mate). Old bricks ¬†and clamps where to hold the lid down. After some research I found a DIY smoker called a UDS (Ugly Drum Smoker). After much thought and research, I opted for a food safe drum (stupid move) from a chocolate factory, formally it was full of sucrose. So far I’ve invested $5. . Checked the local fire laws – unfortunately our shire does not allow burn off’s,incinerators Continue Reading →

Virtual Pinball Machine

Virtual pinball tables consist of the same basic elements as regular pinball machines with a few replacements; The playfield and backglass are replaced with monitors and controlled by a PC. The buttons (and sometimes the plunger) are replaced by buttons and a game controller or keyboard emulator. In more advanced tables the LED dot matrix display replaced with a compatible replacement or a 3rd monitor. This previous project was the perfect test bed to see if the PC I was planning on using was good enough to run the games¬†smoothly. The first test run was running Future Pinball with a Continue Reading →