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Posts from the ‘Electronics’ Category

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!!

 

20
Dec

3D Printed Case For Quadcopter Flight Board

On www.thingiverse.com I found a protective case for the flight board I used for my quadcopter. It’s the MultiWii PRO board from HobbyKing. So I printed off a copy … and away we go!

The GPS tower was not part of the case, it was a different “thing”. But they work well together. I had to mod the files a little to use some aluminum rod to hold up the GPS pod.

 

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28
Nov

Birth of a 3D printer – Part 1

I have been looking into DIY 3d printing for some time now. I have even went as far as to gather a few parts here and there over the past year. But now I have a real need for one, so I have decided to pull the trigger and get it done!

Originally I was looking into making a ORD BOT style of printer. The cost of the wheel bearings and the MakerSlide t-slot materials was going to cost to much. That’s why I have been putting off the project for this long.

In mid 2012 the Rostock Delta Printer was developed. http://reprap.org/wiki/Rostock The printer featured high speed printing and a very low part count for building it, lower then ORD BOT. Thus I decided to make the Rostock instead.

To save on the overall cost, I sourced all the parts over the internet, rather then buying a complete kit. The only downside to this is that all the part will show up over a 2 week period, and not all at once. I will show case the build in parts, starting with  the parts I have on hand.

 

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I ordered the main parts kit on EBay.
I have already installed the metric screws and one of the motors.

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I went with the 8MM sliding bearings, but instead of using precision rod, I used 5/16″ cold rolled rod.
The kit came with a printed Nylon bearing. But it seemed to bind up when it was sliding.

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The yoke ends need a rod to connect the 2 together. Some people use wooden dowels, or fiberglass rods from the RC store. I used some 1/4″ aluminum rod I had laying around. It was to big to fit in the yoke, so I had to turn down each end of the rod to fit it on to the yokes.

 

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After gluing the rods to the yokes, I needed a way to keep ALL the lengths the same while it was drying. I layed out some nails on a board, to keep them inline.

 

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Since I am useing printed parts, the holes are a little off form the true size. I dont have metric drill bits, so i can up with a quick fix. Take the metric screw i am going to use, chuck it up in my drill. Put a washer on it, and drill it into the hole. Let the threads do the cutting. It worked great!

 

 

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After looking at the rods, having the plane aluminum look, and pure board-um, I thought it wold be cool to buff them to make them shine. This should also help reduce wind resistance. LOL

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I should have done this BEFORE gluing the yoke ends on -__-

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The Rostock is belt driven. I needed a idler pulley for the take up of the belt. I made one from a bearing and a fender washer. I chucked it up in my lathe, and turned down the face of the washer to create the step for the bearing to move.

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Here is the step in the washer.

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The electronics kit I ordered did not come with ANY instructions, not even on their site :/
So in an effort to figure it out myself, I toasted the 5v regulator on the Arduino 2560 board, you know… the board that controls the entire printer -__-
I had to order a new one form Digikey, but I did learn how to look up the limit switches.

 

 

9
Sep

Bluetooth Module Breakout Board

This is just a simple breakout board for the RN-42 Bluetooth Module. I designed it with Eagle CAD, and made it on my CNC PCB machine.

 

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27
Jun

DIY LED Light Bar REV.#2

After finishing my original light bar project here. I decided that it would be much brighter, not that its not bright….just can be brighter. One of the main goals of the original light bar was VERY low amp draw. I got that with only 3Amp from the entire bar! So the goal of the next bar will be VERY bright, and to hell with the amps!!

So enter the LED Light Bar REV.#2 🙂

The new LEDs are over 400lm each!!!

The original LEDs from the first one are about 90-100lm.

 

18
Apr

LED light bar update: COMPLETED!

I have finally finished the LED light bar! It’s installed and works!! 🙂

This project has gone through TONs of changes over the months, even in the last few days I have changed things.

6
Jan

LED light bar update:

This is a update for my LED light bar project here.

I did some quick and dirty tests to help me get an idea if its even worth finishing. here are some photos of a night time test.

  • No light at all
  • Head lights
  • LED Bar
  • Both LED and Head lights.

Now the bar only had about 80% of the lenses installed, and of the 80%, only about 85% of them had the right focus degree…The wall was about 30-35 feet away.

6
Jan

3D Printing and more coming SOON!

I have some great projects on the horizon!

-3D printing

-1 axis expansion board for a standard CNC to make it a 3d printer. I think i may make it open source!!

-My own 3d printer design, with unlimited expandability for X-Y-Z axises!

-Finish the LED light bar! (I need the 3d printer first) DONE!

-Put MORE crap on here!!! LOL

This new year is going to be GREAT!!!!!