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16
Oct

FrisBeer Drinking Game

Someone introduced me to this game. And it is HELLA fun! FrisBeer also known as “Polish Horseshoes”. Basically 2 teams take turns throwing a frisbee at opposite teams beer bottle sitting on a pole. Has lots of fun rules, or you can make your own “house rules”. The guys who showed it to me had a 3d printed bottle, with a harbor freight flash light inside. We also used a lighted frisbee. But the bottles he made were not very bright…. so I made my own with a custom LED PCB.

I downloaded a 3D file for a beer bottle, made it 2 sections to house the LEDs and battery. Made the battery compartment for a 9v, with a working battery door and on/off switch! Printed out 2 complete sets with a translucent ABS. The 2 sections are a slip fit male and female. I used some hot glue to keep them together. The main part of the bottle was the absolute max my printer height could do.

I had the PCBs made by expresspcb.com, using their CAD software. It was the fastest turn around I could get, I was going on a trip and wanted to take this with me. Since they do not offer routing with the bare boards level, I centered a .250″ hole and chucked it up in my mini lathe and cut them round with a carbide bit.

Quick trip to Lowes and made the stands out of PVC pipe. I did not glue them together, this way it could be adjusted is the ground is not level.

6
Aug

Yukon Cornelius Halloween Ax Prop

I dressed up as Yukon Cornelius for a Halloween party, since I have red beard. I had everything I needed for the costume except for the Ax. I went all over town looking for one that was close to the show. Couldn’t find anything!

So I 3D printed one! Simple layout in sketchup. Used a 1/2″ PVC pipe for the handle. Then some brown spray paint for the handle and some silver hammered spray paint for the ax head.

12
Dec

Sketchup PlugIn: “Dimensions Info” – Displays the Model Dimensions for X Y Z

This plugin is based on the work of Jim F!

His plugin worked fine, but I wanted to tweak it a little bit for my need. He used an “Alert Box”. Therefor the text of the model dimensions were not copyable to the clipboard.

So I modified the plugin for use a HTML Box to display the dimensions. I also color coordinated the axis measurements for there respective colors (R,G,B)

screenshot-2016-12-09-15-08-54

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download the file from my GitHub

17
Jun

DIY DeWalt Flashlight LED Upgrade

My trusty 18V DeWalt DW919 gooseneck flash light is quite dated by today’s standards. It still has the OEM bulb.

I went to use it the other day and WOW…was it dim. The battery was fully charged, so I know it wasn’t that.

So off to the internet to find a way to make it LED, and bright! After searching for a while I couldn’t find anything good and low cost. So I dropped the idea.

While laying in bed one night, not being able to sleep, it came to me!!

USE A OLD LED POD AS THE LED SOURCE!

The next day I dug through the shop and found a single LED pod. Took it apart and the flashlight…then BOOM!!! Hella bright LED Dewalt flashlight!

The LED board is aluminum, so I mounted it to a 1/4″ thick chunk of scrap I had. I drilled and tapped the aluminum to match the mounting holes in the LED board. This should be good enough for cooling. The LED pod works off voltage from 12v-24v. So the 18V DeWalt is perfect. Had to trim the corners of the reflector to fit inside the flashlight housing. The soldered the leads to the bulb contacts.

The whole thing took about 20 mins to put together.

I am going to cut some acrylic and use some LED collimators. to make a new lens, and make it even better!

11
Jun

DIY Drain Clog Cleaning Stick

You have most likely seen these on TV or at a hardware store. It’s a stick with barbs to clean your sink drain.

They cost about $3+. And the instructions tell you to throw it away when you are done. I hate throwing money away! :(

I have cleaned them in the past, but it is a real pain.

I went to the hardware store to grab one, needed it that day. Took one off the rack and had an brilliant idea! Use a long zip tie as the stick, and save a TON of money!! $$$ WINNING $$$!! It take about 2 mins to make barbs down the sides of the wire tie. I used a smaller wire tie as a loop handle at the top.

WORKS LIKE A CHAMP!!!

The cost of 24″ long zip ties are $6.50 for 15pcs. That works out to be $.43 EACH. Now for $.43 I will throw it away! :)

Plus you have the added bonus of having the zip ties for other uses/projects!

One way I would make the next one is to heat the razor a little to bend the barb out a more.

Be Careful not to slip and cut yourself!!!

 

18
Dec

UPDATE: 3D Printed Yoda Bust

Here is the finished product. I had a good friend of mine painted it.

If I had to do it again, I would sweat the bust with a acetone vapor. Just to make it a little smoother.

15
Dec

Troubleshoot LEDs With Multimeter

We put up some Christmas lights on our house. These were some cheap LED icicle lights. That night I noticed some of them were not working. So I grabbed a few of the LEDs and notices that one was bad. As I jiggled it, others came on. I pulled out that LED, and it had a broken leg. I thought I would just solder a new leg on. But upon closer inspection of the bulb, it had NO cathode or anode marking. The only way to tell would have been that one leg would be longer then the other… but one was broken off. DOH! So, I was not sure what direction to put it back into the holder. I can up with a way to test almost any LED with a multimeter!

My Fluke multimeter has a “Continuity Test”. It makes a BEEP when the 2 probes are a dead short. Is this mode the probes have a small amount of voltage on them. So if you take the black probe and touch it to one leg of the LED and the red probe to the other leg, the LED will light up. If it does not, swap the probes. If the LED lights up, then you can see what leg is cathode or anode by the red (anode) or black (cathode). Since the voltage is very low on the probes, there is almost no likelihood of destroying the led with reversed probes.

This works great for small SMD LEDs too. I had a mixed up pile of re, blue, and white 1206 SMD LEDs. Using this method, I was able to sort them very quickly. Also works for testing LEDs in circuit.

5
Dec

3D Printed Yoda Bust

It seems in the 3D printing community that a good print on the Yoda bust is the “gold standard”. It has a good amount of detail and lots of over hangs. I have been putting off printing one for years, just never had the time. Always something more important to print.

Recently I wanted to give a Yoda bust to a friend of mine, as a gift. So it looks like it was time to test the limits of my printer!

This was printing on my homemade Kossel Legacy Delta printer with ABS. Using Cura 15 and a layer height of 0.05mm.

I have got to say it turned out fantastic!

 

I have a good friend of mine doing a custom paint job on it. I will post photos when it’s done.

 

 

 

4
Dec

OpenFeeder Now Live on GitHub!

My open source Pick and Place feeder is not live on GitHub! You can download the source files there.

Here is a quick overview: http://portfolioabout.me/openfeeder-open-source-smd-part-feeder-for-openpnp/

https://github.com/xboxhacker/OpenFeeder

Discussion about the feeder can be found at OpenPNP Google Group

 

 

 

 

13
Nov

K40-SmoothieLaser Breakout Board

I have a cheap Ebay China 40W CO2 laser. Commonly known as the K40. The software it comes with is, “OK”. But I want to do more with it. I read online that there are some RAMPS 1.4 upgrades with Marlin firmware. But I HATE compiling and flashing the Mega 2560. It is a real PIA! Then I came upon SmoothieBoard. Its a 32Bit control board for lasers, 3D printers and CNC. And it you need to make a change to the settings, you just enter edit a config file on an SD card and reboot…. NO RECOMPILE AND RE-FLASHING!!

I need to connect the SmoothieBoard to my laser, replacing the OEM  control board. But the laser has a 12pin flat ribbon cable (FFC). So I made a breakout board! The board accepts the machine FFC and make its usable pins for the SmoothieBoard.

I went with the MKS Sbase Smoothie compatible board. It was a lot less money then the original Smoothieboard.

IMG_20151113_171835SmoothieLaser

 

There is another board out there called the Middle Man Board. It does the same thing. I removed some of the outputs that were not needed, and made it much simpler.

 

 

Here are the Eagle Cad files for the board.

BOM:

  • 1 PCB
  • 1 FFC 12pin Female (PN A100331-ND Digikey.com)
  • 1 4pin Terminal Bock (PN 277-1806-ND Dgikey.com
  • 2 2Pin jumper header

Might want to pick up some JST connectors if you are going to use a knockoff Smoothieboard.

 

I will be selling board in my store if anyone needs one.