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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:40 am
Posts: 123
Real Name: Robert
Here's what I am working on:

Still learning about RepRap stuff. Will probably start putting something together before too long.

Decided to try to CNC my mill. Will use digital readout scales, see if I can reverse engineer the interface (which now plugs into the DRO output). Discovered two of the scales wont fit on my mill... uhh, gotta figure that out...

My home control died. It runs off of a USB drive, which appears to have gotten corrupted. Going to try a replacement maybe this afternoon. Need to start working on the kitchen HA display panel board.

I got my logic analyzer connector wired. I had a real kludge before that kept breaking, so I made some metal brackets for strain relief, after some mistakes, got something that works pretty well. I've been redesigning the FPGA to accept the voice control serial data, about ready to try that out.

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Bob


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Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:21 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:26 pm
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Real Name: Sol
this project is looking interesting! So, you are trying to convert your mill to CNC?


Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:53 pm
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:54 pm
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What kind of mill? I'd like to CNC my own, which is a HF gearhead, unfortunately round-column.

Gary


Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:58 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:40 am
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Real Name: Robert
I got a Grizzly G3103 knee type mill (yes, it's a cheap chinese knockoff, but has been reviewed pretty well and seems to work fine so far) about 3 months ago--I've made crummy panels for my projects with a hacksaw and a file for a long time and finally decided the time had come to try to do a better job. I'm still learning, I am no expert at all on using a mill, but it has already made panel cutouts go quicker. As I practice, I hope to get better at quality of cuts. It is obvious that the DRO is needed, and that doing computer control of table movement would be much easier.

I was inspired by all your 3D printer projects to consider converting to CNC and am researching how. I am looking at direct coupling steppers of the NEMA 23/34 size, I'm assuming something of the 500 oz/in would be sufficient, but I'm still doing a lot of research. I am no expert and expect to waste some money before I get something that works, so anyone with experience preventing obvious pitfalls will be appreciated.

Bob


Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:17 am
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:40 am
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Real Name: Robert
Update on the homecontrol project (it's at hcs-morrison.com), it's back up and running! The HCS main board connects to a netbook for a web server, communicating via RS232 to USB on the netbook. To keep the netbook disk inactive as possible, the host interface program, web pages, images, etc all are stored on a USB flash drive, which had gotten corrupted. I was able to (painfully) extract files from it one at a time, and discovered that the log files were still intact. Looking at these I was able to determine exactly what the home control was doing when it died, and got the picture images from cameras just before it died (the home control system archives pictures from around the house for about a year on the flash drive). I created a new flash drive, restored all of the files onto it, and am back up and running! Yaay! I had to get this working because it controls all our sprinklers, the doorbell, lighting, etc, and we are about to turn on sprinklers for the summer.

One of the projects on my long list is to get many of the webpages working. I used to have network support on the HA main board, but switched to the netbook so I could get hard disk and USB connectivity. I have yet to switch over many of the webpages, so a lot of them don't work right yet.

And I got all the FPGA updates for voice control of the analyzer in, and got the connectors wired and the voice recognition module connected. I did some power-on tests and am ready to go. I really need voice control because when using the analyzer I often am holding probes and typing on the computer, so need voice to act as a "third hand" to control the analyzer. Now all I have to do is write software to talk to the voice module.

Bob


Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:31 am
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Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:26 pm
Posts: 378
Wow man,

Looking absolutely awesome!


Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:01 pm
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:54 pm
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I had a Grizzly dovetail-column on backorder for more than six months before I gave up and got what I have off of Craig's list. I can't believe the years of hacksawing and grinding and cursing and skinned knuckles that I wasted before I got the mill; any mill is better than nothing.

I'm putting a DRO on mine. Shumatec DRO-550 kit, with iGaging (cheap, low-end) scales. Haven't tried to power the board up yet or program it.

Gary


Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:21 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:40 am
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Real Name: Robert
What a great three-day weekend! I was very lucky and picked up a new toy from Alex Crane--made quick work of making brackets for installing my Grizzly DRO as well as some fixture tooling customized for the router. Next big step is to CNC the milling machine--after seeing what CNC can do on a router, there's no way I'm not going to do that! It's not clear how big I need for direct drive stepper motors--I can experimentally determine the torque required to turn the mill wheels, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are accepted ways to figure that out.

I would have liked to stop by the hackerspace but it's a long trip for me if there's nobody there. Can I suggest official meeting times, even if it changes every week? I still haven't figured out how to make use of my time there other than bothering everybody and getting in the way! Open to suggestions.

Another newbie thought I had is running some friendly competitions with some low key rewards (plaque, filament, maybe, etc). I think you might find that a great way to stimulate maker and public interest in your group. There's a zillion possibilities--best use of 3D printing, rocket launch, artsy metal/wood/plastic contest, any number of robot contests, etc..

Bob


Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:49 am
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Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:26 pm
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Quote:
Can I suggest official meeting times, even if it changes every week?


We usually post these in the Weekly Meetups thread or on Events. This month's big meetup is the screenprinting workshop.

Quote:
I still haven't figured out how to make use of my time there other than bothering everybody and getting in the way! Open to suggestions.


I suggest getting in the way as much as possible, so far that's been my tactic... :lol:


Mon Apr 23, 2012 2:49 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:40 am
Posts: 123
Real Name: Robert
Not nearly as exciting as 3D printing, but kind of fun anyway--I got the voice recognition module talking to my analyzer FPGA (ha ha ha ha! that was funny!) Anyway, then I put together some mounting HW and got it all installed in the analyzer.

And, my superPID for the CNC router came. I discovered that it needs a bigger enclosure than I had planned (needs a big heatsink that is safely enclosed (120VAC, so metal chassis is a bad idea). I was going to rout out a bigger enclosure but don't have a big enough piece of machinable plastic. Either another trip to the reuseum, or maybe I need to stock up from one of the online supply houses...

Enjoying my kewl Tshirt...

Bob


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Tue May 01, 2012 7:22 pm
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