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Posts from the ‘Electronics’ Category

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.

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!

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.

5
Nov

OpenFeeder – Open source SMD part feeder for OpenPNP

I owned some great Pick and Place equipment about 15+ years ago. My contract ran out for SMD manufacturing, so I sold all my machine. Now I have need for SMD PNP again. So I looked toward some opensource alternatives to the commercial machines. I can across OpsnPNP.org. The software so far seems great. But it is still in the BETA stages.

I gathered up a part list of thing I will need. Like motors, drivers, wire, t-slot…etc. I did some more research and started coming up with a design for my machine. But it seemed like there was not a great SMD tape feeder. Thus the OpenFeeder was born!

I wanted a feeder that could do lots of things, expandable and adaptable.

Here are some features:
-Simply made form .250″ acrylic sheet on a laser cutter (3d printable too).
-Easily accessed and cheap components for the drive system.
-Easily changed over to different size tapes, 8mm 10mm 12mm etc.
-Adjustable tape height, from paper resistor tape to tape with electrolytic caps.
-Designed to work with 20mm T-slot.
-“Almost” infinite feeding distance. Able to feed tape form .05mm at a time to 5mm at a time.
-Very smooth feeding, even at a very high speed.
-Most likely over engineered! 🙂


It is still in the testing stages, I will be releasing the files soon.


IMG_20151025_141420 IMG_20151025_141410



 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

20
May

DIY Hot Knife Gun

I needed a hot knife to cut some polypro webbing. Looked on Ebay, couldn’t find anything for a good price. The target was VERY LOW!!

SO, yep … I made my own!

I went to Harbor Freight and grabbed a 200W soldering gun, for about $13.

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I had some 1/8″ brass rod laying around. Where the soldering tip would go, I used a 1/8″ drill to drill out the contacts. So the brass rod would fit inside them. The OEM tip was much smaller then 1/8″.

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Bent the brass rod into a basic U shape, to get the width I wanted for the cut.

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Then bent the legs back to match the opening of the soldering gun.

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Here was the tricky part! I smashed it flat on a vise with a hammer. But it didn’t work. The brass fell apart. So I made a new one. This time I put the cutter in the gun, pulled the trigger, heated up the brass. Then smashed it flat. IT WORKED!

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This thing works GREAT!! I cut on a piece of glass to keep from melting the table.

13
Mar

Modded Chinese 50″ LED Light Bar

A very good friend of mine came to me with an idea. He wanted a 50″ LED light bar for his Jeep, but he wanted it 100% UNIQUE!!!

Challenge accepted!

He was used to running diesel trucks with 3 amber marker lights above the cab. And that’s what he wanted this light bar to do.

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I took apart the Chinese 50″ light bar, and came up with a design for a “add-on piggy-back” board. This board would have the new amber LEDs and the drivers for them. The design was such that I needed to remove a few of the OEM LEDs to make room for my new board. It was also designed so that the new amber LEDs would line up with the OEM lens. Here is the gang board from a board house I use. There are 8 boards on this one PCB.

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Bench test of the board design with the light bar optics. I used 5050 amber LEDs.

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This is one of the 3 boards installed into the light bar. The little yellow things are the OEM LEDs. I took 2 of them out in this section. I just still 12VDC from the + rail.

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This is all three add-on boards installed.

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Another view.

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This is how it looks installed on the jeep, all sealed up (MUCH better then the OEM Chinese had done)

He LOVED IT!!

 

7
Jan

Birth of a 3D printer – Part2

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This is the CPU mounted on the bottom of the printer.

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The hot bed is installed. The hot bed keeps the parts inplace while printing.

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Mocking up the towers before making the wooden frame.

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ALMOST DONE!!

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First running of the firmware for the CPU.

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I had to modify the switches to work with my printed parts.

Its all coming along nicely!!