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Showing posts from 2016

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Router table with power lift, built around Ikea BEKVÄM and parts from old drafting machine

This is my (quite) completed router table built around IKEA kitchen cart BEKVÄM and a precise drafting machine cannibalized.










Router is a Bosch POF 1200.
Router table is equipped with power lift feature (missing only router support in the photos).

IOT RECIPE: 04 Headless Raspberry Pi programming

How many monitor you need to have to program a Raspberry Pi. 
No one, as you now: with ssh is possible to interact with Raspberry Pi from a remote machine. The majority of distributions enable SSH by default, so you can access it once connected to your local network with command ssh username@rpiname.local and replace rpiname with raspberry host name.
With text-only Nano editor is also always possible to develop directly on ssh interface. 

Is possible otherwise to develop a complex project like IOT Energy Monitor Webserver using a combination of SFTP, your favourite Text Editor and of course Terminal to run WebServer and debug.

SFTP Mac OSx Drive Mount

Cyberduck.io"Cyberduck is a libre FTP, SFTP, WebDAV, S3, Backblaze B2, Azure & OpenStack Swift browser for Mac and Windows."





ExpanDrive"Map or Mount Amazon Cloud Drive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, SFTP, WebDAV, S3 and more as a Network Drive. Seamless access to files without sync."ExpanDrive is not free.



Extrem…

OUTSIDE: Dead bug prototyping and Freeform circuitry

Dead bug prototyping and freeform circuitry is the way to create circuits without a pcb. Requiring a magnifiyng glass, lot of patience, enables 3d circuits making and custom electronic devices packed in acrylic (maybe little dangerous with caps!).
Check out this collection of incredible examples from the web.


Electro-Music forum is a great source of freeform circuitry Freeformed 40106 + LDR Light Globe Synth 

OUTSIDE: Automata with Tom Haney

Before robot was automata. Ancient romans and before greeks, used the word Automata to describe machines, movements, stunts.
In our times Tom Haney from Atlanta, is an artist who express himself and his art with automata.


He says about himself:
"Having never wanted to be pigeonholed as an artist, I’ve sought to do unique works that combined many varied methods. Initially, I started with woodcarving - practically a lost art in our world­ - a tradition people have been using for centuries to tell their stories. Since any kind of mechanical movement has always been a fascination of mine, to combine this with figurative carvings became irresistibly compelling. Eventually I learned about automata, “a moving mechanical device made in imitation of a human being”, an ancient pursuit more thoroughly developed in the 13th – 19th centuries mostly in Europe but also in Asia. The work I create today is a modern offshoot of the time-honored Old World tradition of automata."

Check out his work…

IOT RECIPE 03: Pellet / Wood chips level sensors

In this post i'll cover actual sensor setup for pellet and wood chips bulk level monitoring.
Pellet bulk level sensorsHow to monitor pellet bulk level if you can't access to warehouse?
My warehouse is a room covered by wood, with sloped floor and a moving reclaimer on the center. The total volume is approximately 12 cubic meters and once filled i've no access to the room.



Obviously i need to know residual pellet level, so a pellet bulk sensor is needed. While googling i've found few examples, all of them related to water level in tank and using ultrasonic distance sensor approach.

The room is more or less 2 by 3 meters: in this configuration, pellet or wood chips forms non uniform piles in the room, with lower point just above the reclaimer area, so is needed to use an array of sensors averaged to find the level: 9 ultrasonic sensors are arranged in a matrix configuration.
Ultrasonic sensorsFor the project i've selected HC-SR04: the sensor is a low cost complete ultraso…

RC SERVO ROBOT ARM: Weekend project

This is our weekend project: a simple RC servo robot arm. 


Host controller is Mac using Python scripting, while servo controller is a spare Fubarino SD.




I tried with MSP430 Launchpad, but Serial + 3 servos was over the capability of this little Mac-hated board. Fubarino is a cherry plenty of power, and the ported SoftwareServo library from ChipKit is stable and effective.
Fubarino accepts directly joint angle in ms. Python script uses a simple Inverse Kinematics (Updated versione: math credits to COŞKUN YETİM):

def ik(self, position):
#ARM LENGHTS
l1 = self.arm1
l2 = self.arm2

#END EFFECTOR POSITION IN RESPECT OF ORIGIN NODE
x = position.x - self.home_position.x
y = position.y - self.home_position.y

#TO LIMIT END POSITION WITHIN ARM REACHABLE CIRCLE
dist = min(l1+l2, sqrt(x*x + y*y))
dub = sqrt(x*x + y*y) / dist
x /= dub
y /= dub

#SIMPLE, NO?
thetar = acos(x/dist)
theta1 = acos((l1*l1 + x*x + y*y - l2*l2) / (2*l1*dist)) + thetar
theta2 = pi - acos((l1*l1 + l2*l2 - (x*x + y*y))/(2*l1*l2))

self.set(180-deg…

IOT RECIPE: 02 Energy Monitor

In this post i'll cover actual sensor setup for energy monitor.
Energy monitorTo evaluate power consumption i've routed main cable coming from utility energy monitor in a new electrical panel. In this panel i've installed:
3 three-phase energy meter (16 kW of maximum power)1 single-phase energy meterThis is an internal view of my setup inside an ABB electrical panel (upper part, with two of these energy monitor) after thermal-magnetic circuit breaker and surge protector.
For this duty i preferred to go with an industrial solution, because i was not confident with DIY solutions on main power side.
My solution is a products from Italian manufacturer LOVATO:
LOVATO DMED300T2 is a compact (four modules) energy meter. The main advantage is the presence of two programmable pulse output (up to 1000 pulses/1kWh or programmable threshold).
The output is an open collector, in which each pulse has a duration of 60ms: an open collector is a transistor based output that can be read by an ext…

IOT RECIPE: 01 Introduction - Sensor web interface

I'll start a new series of posts on IOT matter from the end.
This is the web interface running on my local area network.



Running the site is a mini flask web server running on a Raspberry PI. In the screenshot, charts are provided by highcharts.com and Justgage javascript library.

In this series of posts i'll cover all the ingredients of my recipe:
- Sensors overview (DHT22, Energy, Light, Barometric pressure, Pellet height)
- Raspberry Pi data acquisition with Arduino
- Launchpad Tiva CC3200 with WiFi
- Node Red Engine
- MQTT, Mosquitto, Paho
- Rrdtool, circular timeseries database
- Flask server
- Charting with javascript
- Debian unit files
- Telegram Bot Api

OUTSIDE: Dan Gelbart, marvellous craftman

Check out a series of 18 videos on prototypes by Dan Gelbart.

With simple language and real examples Dan will capture you as nobody did before; his videos are not only about prototypes or machinery: each time i look at Dan's videos, he says to me that if you really believe in yourself, you can spend all your life doing what you like and be proud to share your achievement with others like you.

My favourite one is #5 on spot welding.




Check out Dan Gelbart Youtube channel for other videos

PEATOL/TAIG: Milling attachment 1220

Milling attachment Part # 1220
From Taig: The milling attachment is used to hold the workpiece while the cutting tool is held in the headstock spindle. The attachment provides vertical travel of approximately 1 3/4 inches. The dial provides travel in .001 inch increments.
The cutters (end mills) are held in the spindle with collets to provide maximum rigidity. Miniature end mills come with 3/16 inch diameter shanks and various size cutting diameters. The end mills will cut all materials steel, aluminum, brass, plastic and wood.








Milling on a lathe? If you already have a mill, you will find are needed more passesand lighter cut with this attachment.
The attachment may also be used for gear cutting. Check out this video by xynudu on youtube:





OUTSIDE: Making gears at home

Making gears at home is quite difficult and a lot of tools and machinery are needed.

At least you need a rotary attachment for a mill or lathe with a specialized tool (involute gear cutter).
Another drawback is that to cut a specific gear you need a specific size of involute gear cutter, so a complete set (normally 8 pieces, around 100 bucks) is needed.

Chet out this great video by Tubalcain:

Another option is to build a small spur gear hobber machine (project already in the wishlist) like this beautiful one by Jack Hayes:

Also in this case, only the hobber, quite difficult to find, at least requires 80 bucks.
Solution? Not for helical or spur gears, but there is a particular set of gears, called worm gears you can machine at home. 

From wikipedia: "Worm-and-gear sets are a simple and compact way to achieve a high torque, low speed gear ratio. For example, helical gears are normally limited to gear ratios of less than 10:1 while worm-and-gear sets vary from 10:1 to 500:1"
Is possibl…

ELECTROMAGNETIC CLOCK: Kundo (Germany) clock

A vintage Germany clock from manufacturer Kundo, around 1960's.




This particular and clever kind of clock keep time as mechanical watches do, with a swinging pendulum. But there is no mechanical winding: instead a magnetic force applied by the solenoid inside brass cylinder to the pendulum arm, gives to the pendulum a momentum maintaining pulses during time.







The solenoid is mechanically activated by a micro switch linked to the pendulum on the upper side.

Accuracy is provided by the brass bell, which is screwed on the pendulum. Each turn right raise the bell on the pendulum linkage, keeping the period shorter. On the other side, each turn left lower the bell, keeping the period longer.






I've replaced original battery (visible in the photo) with two AA size 1.5V batteries, and i've never replaced them in 4 years now.


PEATOL/TAIG: Radius turner 1210

Radius turner Part # 1210
From Taig: The round nose tool bit can machine a radius at the end of the workpiece by swinging around the material. The bearing's inner race on the radius attachment bolts to the crosslide and then the entire base can rotate with the bearing. The rotation is done by hand.



If you want to see a radius turner in action, check out this video from ElationProduction on custom built ball turner for taig.


COIN-OP: mini arcade cabinet update

Just finished an update to the COIN-OP






I've replaced the switch plate covers with a metal one. The metal plate is a thick (20 gauge) stainless steel, cutted with Air sheet metal cutter and bended with Sheet metal bender.

On the bottom side i've completed the small window to recover coins.


Actually i've programmed the coin op with old 500 lire (out-of-course). I was surprised to realize the coin acceptor can recognize this kind of bimetal coin (bronzital - acmonital).

The girl on the coin obverse depict Republic: this kind of coin was common until Italy switched to euro on January 2001. In fact the coin acceptor is an educative trick to limit the children time spent into the game.

Next step: T-mold all over the laminated wood (not so easy to find here).

PEATOL/TAIG: Steady rest 1190

A photo review of the Peatol Taig Steady Rest (Part #1190). Capacity: 3/32" to 1 1/2 " - 2.38 mm to 38.10 mm
From Taig: The Steady Rest is used to support long workpieces that extend out from the spindle. The support is needed so that the cutting tool does not deflect the workpiece as the carriage is traversed away from the spindle.




If the standard steady rest does not suit your needs, check this awesome work by Joe D Link to homemodelenginemachinist.com
If you want to modify this steady rest to use roller bearing, check out the encyclopedicCartertools blog:
Finally check out the original PEATOL/TAIG lathe post back to 2014 on this blog.