• Adaptive Control of Feed rate, Avoid Stalls in LinuxCNC
    Adaptive control of feed rate helps avoid crashes by slowing down or stopping the feed of an CNC program when the spindle is overloaded. The load of a DMM DYN4 servo drive and DMM 750W servo are monitored by a custom LinuxCNC module that instructs LinuxCNC to adjust the feed rate to keep the spindle […]
  • Programming Tutorial: Nextion and ELS
    To help with more technical parts of my version of the Clough42 ELS that adds support for a Nextion touchscreen, I posted a couple of additional videos. The first video is simply to demonstrate to people new to the TI Code Composer, how to build the ELS code. The second video is more of a […]
  • Touchscreen for Clough42 Electronic Leadscrew
    A touchscreen adds arbitrary feed rate and thread pitches to a @Clough42 electronic leadscrew. This work completes the addition of a Nextion touchscreen and a feed-stop switch to the ELS. All changes are available in three stages as branches on GitHub. For more details, I recommend reading the project notes. Availability Touchscreen-only interface Touchscreen interface […]
  • Tool Length Probe Error Analysis
    Automatic tool length probing avoids manual measurements and touch offs and helps verify lengths already in the tool table. Probing tool-length offsets is done into LinuxCNC with an automatic tool length sensor. The sensor has two electrical connections to a Mesa 7i76e board for detecting the tool and for protecting against over travel, and an […]
  • KvvCreates Shop Highlights and Trailer
    Highlights from the shop of the last four years. Thank you to everyone who checked out my work. Special thank you to those who contributed with suggestions. When a project is not going well, it’s easy to get down, but just look at all that’s been accomplished, and be proud of our efforts. Small efforts […]
  • Upgrading a California Air Tools 10020C Compressor
    The California Air Tools 10020 compressor is marketed as a quiet compressor, but as stuff wears out, the compressor gets loud. To improve it, safety couplers replace the originals and the unloader valve is muffled. Empty to full cycle times reduces to 123s from 330s. Sound levels reduce so that it’s practical to work in […]
  • Nextion Touchscreen for Clough42 Electronic Leadscrew
    Summary A Clough42 electronic leadscrew is enhanced with a Nextion touchscreen and a carriage mounted feed-stop switch. The original functionality is maintained including the seven-segment display. The improvements are demoed, the Clough42 ELS hardware is reviewed, and the software changes are summarized. The Nextion changes are available on GitHub and will become a pull request […]
  • Add Home Switches to CNC Mill Retrofit
    Justification Home switches get your CNC retrofit ready sooner after a applying power. Home switches define reference points along each axis, from which, axes can be moved to a convenient starting position or origin. LinuxCNC saves it position, but the machine has moved while not powered, for instance the head drifted down, the restored positions […]
  • Classic machining patents
    Below are a few of the machining patents that are relevant to my work and I’ll add to them as I encounter others. I would like to include foundational patents on which machining has been built, especially those that have expired, and perhaps more recent ones that have created fundamental change, but are not exotic. […]
  • PCB Photography for Reverse Engineering
    Reverse engineering a printed circuit board may begin with a high resolution image of the PCB. In this video I show my setup for photographing a PCB that I’m reversing, use of Photoshop for stitching and aligning the images of each side of the board, and muse about how software may improve the process. Amazon […]
  • Nextion Arduino Temperature Monitor Fan Controller
    Introduction In a search for extra spindle speed, I replaced the original spindle motor on this mill with a servo motor. This is a 750W servo and after running an hour its temperature can reach 100 C. The first motor mounts I made had some cork to isolate vibrations, but I removed that. There are […]
  • AC servo motor for CNC mill spindle: Questions and answers
    What’s worked and what’s not about using an AC servo motor (DMM Tech DYN4) on a LinuxCNC CNC retrofitted Precision Matthews PM-25MV milling machine. Many of these questions came from viewers and I hope this summary video will help the next person. I’ve tried to be very factual but mistakes are likely about the cause […]
  • Saving Excel charts for publications
    We’ll discuss two ways to save a high resolution graph from Excel: without a plug-in and with a plugin. Using only standard tools it’s possible to copy the graph in Excel and paste the graph as a graphic and that the graphic will have 150 DPI. To verify the DPI, set the size of the […]
  • Preparing serial C code for parallelization
    High performance software requires some amount of multi-threading. Threading allows parallel execution of code where data is shared between the threads. In C/C++ global variables are shared. Updating source code to support multi-threading will require analysis of data flow, isolation, and thought out sharing. Many applications were written without multi-threading in mind and there is […]
  • Annin Robotics AR2 AR3 robotic arm bill of materials (BOM) with direct links
    Bill of materials (BOM) for Annin Robotcs AR2 and AR3 robotic arms. The AR3 robotic arm is impressive work by the talented engineer Chris Annin who can be found on YouTube and GitHub. To build theĀ Annin RoboticsĀ AR3, one can purchase milled aluminum parts as a kit or 3D print the the STL files. The hardware […]
  • Make AC Servo Motor Mounts For CNC Mill Spindle (DMM DYN4)
    Aluminum motor mounts are created for an AC servo motor while the motor is held with 3D printed parts. The AC servo (DMM Tech DYN4) replaces the stock BLDC spindle motor on a LinuxCNC CNC retrofitted Precision Matthews PM-25MV milling machine. Next video will describe integration with LinuxCNC.   Previous article.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSFcV2C455U
  • AC Servo Spindle for PM25 Mill, DMM DYN4, Initial Mounting
    An AC servo motor (DMM Tech DYN4) replaces the stock BLDC spindle motor on a LinuxCNC retrofitted Precision Matthews PM-25MV milling machine. Video shows 3D printed motor mount, keyway broaching on a lathe, and initial testing. Second video will be of the aluminum mount, timing belt and pulleys, and the electrical. 3D printing motor mounts […]
  • How to measure drilling thrust force
    Thrust force or feed force of a CNC mill is measured to predict the maximum chisel point drill bit that that the mill can support. Software commands LinuxCNC to advance the mill into a scale until following-error from the z-axis servo motor exceeds a threshold. A viewer warned of column deflection. All deflections were tilting […]
  • LinuxCNC hole probing with machine vision
    Goal Find the dimensions (position and size) of each hole in a plate mounted in the vise of a milling machine. Summary Use a camera and machine vision to identity holes and drive LinuxCNC to probe each hole with a Haimer 3D Sensor. A second camera reads the mechanical gauge of the Haimer 3D Sensor, […]
  • Electronic Haimer probe for LinuxCNC, machine vision for reading mechanical gauges
    Electronic Haimer probe for LinuxCNC (using machine vision) Computer vision is used to read the mechanical gauge of a Haimer 3D Sensor and Python sends commands to LinuxCNC to perform touch-off operations automatically, similar to a standard electronic probe. GitHub page Cliff Hall’s (ThreadExpress) probe What is a Haimer 3D-Sensor?
  • Wide milling vise jaws replacement
    Vise jaws replacement: a set of simple to make 12″ milling vise jaw plates are made to hold large parts in a 4″ Kurt vise on a DIY CNC mill. CNC Umbau’s mill table vise.https://www.youtube.com/embed/s_TlCitAwmg
  • Solid tool post mount for SB1001 CNC lathe conversion
    A solid tool post mount is made to replace the compound on a SouthBend SB1001 lathe CNC conversion. This done to improve rigidity and range of tool sizes available on an Aloris AXA quick change tool post. Since converting the lathe to CNC, the compound is rarely used and it’s lack of rigidity has created […]
  • PM25 BLDC spindle drive replacement from Anaheim Automation
    A BLDC drive from Anaheim Automation is tested as a replacement to stock spindle drive of the PM25 mill. The stock drive is not documented, lacks a fault signal, and responses slowly to direction and speed changes limiting rigid tapping. The Anaheim Automation MDC300-120151 drive has advantages but with the stock PM25 spindle motor, there […]
  • Rigid tapping and thread milling on a PM25 LinuxCNC mill
    Rigid tapping and threading milling are attempted on a Precision Matthews PM25 LinuxCNC CNC conversion. To allow rigid tapping, a spindle encoder is added by attaching a rotary encoder to the top of the drawbar. The differential signals from the encoder are converted to single-ended and then passed to the fourth axis encoder input of […]
  • IMTS 2018 Chicago (International Manufacturing Technology Show)
    IMTS 2018 Chicago, the International Manufacturing Technology Show, is an amazing biannual manufacturing show in Chicago, IL, USA. Nearly 130,000 attendees and 32 acres of exhibits. Dad and I had three days in Chicago, attended the show half of that, and could easily have filled twice that time. Thank you to Misumi for the tickets […]
  • XY positioning stage for a camera
    An XY CNC positioning stage is designed, machined, assembled and tested. A CNC positioning stage is simply a machine for moving an object under computer control accurately. This stage moves a camera along two axes and is part of a larger plant imaging system. Researchers use information collected from this machine to rank treatments that […]
  • Improving toolpaths of spindle lock
    CNC toolpaths of spindle lock for the Precision Matthews PM25MV milling machine are improved in Fusion 360, reducing milling time while making a few copies for others. This is an update to this video. https://www.youtube.com/embed/N3u1j7b4hao
  • Spindle lock for PM25 CNC milling machine (improved)
    An improved spindle lock is added to the Precision Matthews PM25MV milling machine to safely and quickly change the tool. The improvements include a switch to tell LinuxCNC when the spindle is locked, preventing attempts at motion while locked, and a change that hastens operation. The spindle lock is installed inside of the head to […]
  • Full Extension Drawer Slides Installation Onto Aluminum Extrusion
    Full extension drawer slides are installed onto aluminum extrusion framing at a right angle to create a sliding tray. Full extension slides or telescoping drawer slides improve the access and ergonomics of lifting from the tray. The drawer slides and extrusions are from Misumi (similar to 80/20.) Aluminum extrusion brackets are used to attach the […]
  • Evolution Rage2 vs DeWalt DW872 for cutting aluminum
    The Evolution Rage2 and DeWalt DW872 MultiCutter cold cut saws are compared. The DeWalt easily wins the aluminum cutting competition. An aluminum specific replacement blade is available for the Rage2 saw, but given the cost of the blade, one is better off starting with a saw that will work out of the box. For my […]
  • Manual Pulse Generator Control Panel for CNC Lathe
    A control panel is added to a CNC lathe to retain the feel of a manual lathe for the times when you just want to quickly get a simple part done without programming. Two MPG wheels, e-stop, and run, stop, feed-pause buttons are also added to a DIY CNC conversion of a SouthBend lathe controlled […]
  • Make a Bulkhead Main Power Connector IEC C13 C14
    A bulkhead connector is made, to deliver main power safer, without exposed terminals. Starting with a Tripp Lite extension, the IEC C13 C14 connectors are scanned and parts designed for CNC machining. The bulkhead connector is installed into Misumi steel clad foam panels and installed in Confluence R&D’s plant imaging and phenotyping machine. Power cables […]
  • Improve milling performance of magnetic door catch sensor bracket
    Using improved milling parameters from the last video, a magnetic door catch is machining and required time is compared to previous work. Performance is improved and required time drops from 60 to 9.5 minutes. The magnetic door catch is from Misumi and has a sensor which attaches to an AutomationDirect CLIK PLC, which will disable […]
  • Improve milling performance of magnetic door catch sensor bracket
    Using improved milling parameters from the last video, a magnetic door catch is machining and required time is compared to previous work. Performance is improved and required time drops from 60 to 9.5 minutes. The magnetic door catch is from Misumi and has a sensor which attaches to an AutomationDirect CLIK PLC, which will disable […]
  • CNC Milling Tools, Spindle Load, and Performance
    Various tools are tested on a CNC mill to create the same part using similar operations. Machine performance is monitored for each tool to begin building a catalog of tool parameters for Autodesk Fusion 360 to control a converted PM25MV milling machine. https://www.youtube.com/embed/QFaXcLZJD48
  • Panel PC Installation – Logic Supply Cincoze P2002
    A panel PC is an industrial computer that is installed into a cover panel, often is fanless, and typically has a number of useful I/O interfaces. Here I install a Cincoze P2002 panel PC from Logic Supply into a new plant phenotyping machine. The machine will help researchers measure plant performance and predict which plants […]
  • BDTools South Bend SB1001 Lathe CNC Conversion and LinuxCNC Configuration
    A South Bend SB1001 (8k) 8×18 lathe is converted to CNC using a CNC conversion kit from Billy Dirks of BDTools. Electronics are added, LinuxCNC is installed and configured to use a parallel port, and test cuts with the CNC lathe are made. Other resources South Bend SB1001 lathe Billy Dirks’ BDTools website Billy Dirks’ […]
  • Spectrometer Introduction, Tear-down, and Data Analysis for Plant Phenotyping
    Spectrometers decompose light into a rainbow of colors and then measure each color accurately. In this video I tear-down a spectrometer, describe the theory, and use of a spectrometer. A recent leaf clip spectrometer is used to for a plant phenotyping application to predict tree lead species. Finally, I demo software that I’ve written for […]
  • Shop chat #1
    Delirious from lack of sleep, I talk about potential next videos. These include: 1) Reverse engineering the serial diagnostics protocol of Leadshine Easy Servo closed loop stepper motors; 2) Discussion of the Anaheim Automation BLDC for the PM25 mill to increase spindle speed; 3) Evolution Rage2 saw review; 4) Installation of the SouthBend CNC lathe […]
  • Chronos high-speed camera, YouTube compression, and AC/DC lighting discussion
    The best our eyes sample the action in the world is roughly 30 frames per second. In contrast, a new camera from Kron Technology samples up to nearly 39,000 FPS. This video is a discussion of discoveries since the unboxing such as the difference between the color and greyscale cameras including explanation of of Bayer […]
  • Closed-loop stepper motor following-error monitoring
    A program is presented for extracting and plotting following-error of Leadshine Easy Servo closed-loop stepper motors. This building-block will help us explore if integrating machine status into LinuxCNC might help performance of a CNC milling machine. This is video is part of a series. Other resources: Leadshine following-error plotting software https://www.youtube.com/embed/YY4mv6HgKcU
  • KronTech Chronos 1.4 high-speed camera unboxing
    The best our eyes sample the action in the world is roughly 30 frames per second. In contrast, a new camera from Kron Technology samples up to 38,500 FPS. In this video we unbox one of the cameras from the successful Kickstarter campaign and make a few slow motion videos. The Kron Technology Chronos 1.4 […]
  • Flashing Light Prize 2017 Contest Entries
    Entries for the Flashing Light Prize 2017 contest to honor the most ridiculous Rube Goldberg like light flasher. @FlashingSystems Kvv Creates
  • Optimize Keyword Phrases, Playlists, and Subscriptions with YouTube API
    Three YouTube tools are presented to help YouTube viewers organize large subscription lists, and to help YouTube creators optimize keyword phrases and playlists to improve their discovery and extend watch time. The creator tools may complement TubeBuddy to help creators trigger the YouTube algorithm. These tools are examples of the data only available from the […]
  • Import Misumi Parts Into Autodesk Fusion 360
    Learn how to import Misumi parts into Fusion 360, assign joints, and performing scripting. Misumi is a worldwide provider of part for industrial automation, with millions of configurable parts. Misumi’s downloadable CAD models and Fusion 360 with as-built joints help an engineer to quickly design new machines. Kvv Creates Github https://www.youtube.com/embed/UwdhAP0OXD0
  • Simplify3D and Fusion360 control 3D print material placement
    Controlling the placement and use of material is important for optimizing 3D prints for rapid prototyping and structural rigidity. Using Simplify3D and Autodesk Fusion360 we explore ways to specify areas of greater infill to improve strength of 3D printed parts in areas requiring mechanical strength while minimizing material in other areas that are mainly cosmetic […]
  • Perfect Misumi Cover Plate Holes
    Steel clad foam panels from Misumi are great for machine covers, but the options for holes are limited. In this video we explore cutting holes into the panels for grommets and cables. https://www.youtube.com/embed/C0yKOylTmSk
  • Abrasive Blasting With Small Air Compressor
    Abrasive blasting with a small air compressor is practical with the right equipment and patience to improve the equipment and to finish at a slower rate. As a follow-up to a previous review of a 5CFM quiet air compressor, we look at the Cyclone Manufacturing bench-top blast cabinet, make improvements, test its performance, and then […]
  • Make a Heatsink for Stepper-Servo Motor Drives
    While organizing the electronics for a CNC conversion, plates are made to hold functional units that can be moved along DIN rails. One of these is a plate to hold all the drives for the stepper-servo motors (Leadshine ES-D508 Easy Servo drives). A plate that also serves as a heatsink is designed, machined, and tested. […]
  • Motorized Camera Track Dolly Slider
    To accurately position a Canon 70D DSLR camera under computer control, a motorized camera track dolly slider (or CNC linear camera stage), is built from machined parts and parts from Misumi, Schneider Electric, and Canon. The linear motion portion is built using a ball screw and linear rail. In this first video, the design is […]
  • Machining Socket for Ball Screw Retainer
    A custom socket is designed in Fusion360 and machined on a manual lathe and CNC mill from 1215 steel. The socket is used to tighten the retaining nut of a Misumi ball screw support block. The socket enabled torquing to the recommended specifications. I did not find an available tool that does this same function. […]
  • 2016 CNC Machining Outtakes
    Mistakes are some of the best teachers despite a common desire to forget them quickly. This video is a collection of machining outtakes recorded during 2016 and what I learned. Mostly CNC milling and 3d printing. Thank you to everyone for there support in 2016 and continuing support into 2017. I’ve greatly enjoyed all the […]
  • Drilling Surface Plate for TTS Tool Length Measurement
    Measuring tool length offset for CNC operations requires a convenient and accurate method. Here we drill a granite surface plate to help measure Tormach TTS tool holders with a height gauge. This replaces a small specialized surface plate from Tormach with a larger and more useful surface plate. We also look at how to perform […]
  • DeWalt DW872 Cold Saw Lubrication
    The DeWalt DW872 Metal Cutting Saw cuts steel, aluminum, and a variety of other materials. Following the advice of a viewer, we test what effect using lubrication and air to clear the chips has on the surface finish of cuts in aluminum. Using lubricant improves the surface finish and cutting time. This video is an […]
  • Mysteriously Faulting Stepper Motor, Closed-loop
    The cause of an occasionally faulting closed-loop stepper motor is identified and repaired. I hope this short video will help others to avoid the same problem. The problem was inconsistent but after a Haimer problem was crushed, had to be solved. (All Haimer probes are doing well today.) #CNC, #KvvCreates, #StepperMotor, #PM25MV The stepper motor […]
  • FloLight BladeLight aluminum extrusion mounts
    The FloLight BladeLight is a linear LED light that provides great illumination. In this video we replace the standard multi-axis pivot with one that allows easy mounting to extruded aluminum. There are two CNC machined parts and one standard shaft per BladeLight. Great fastening guide from Stanley The FloLight BladeLight More information on socket head […]
  • R8 Drawbar Upgrade For PM25 Mill
    The drawbar on the Precision Matthews PM25 mill is difficult to torque properly with its unusual 8mm square head. In this video we replace the standard drawbar with a new one with a 3/4″ hex head, similar to those used on Bridgeport mills. This work was done to ensure proper torquing of the Tormach TTS […]
  • DeWalt DW872 metal cutting saw review and demo
    The DeWalt DW872 Metal Cutting Saw cuts steel, aluminum, and a variety of other materials. Unlike an abrasive chop-saw, the cuts are relatively cool helping you to move on to the next machining step and avoid hardening of the material. While just as loud as an abrasive saw, the DW872 produces essentially no sparks when […]
  • Spindle lock for PM25 milling machine
    The PM-25 is a great mill, but the one that I received lacks flats on the spindle. All the methods I could think of to perform tool changes, essentially require three hands and then generally one hand gets cut. What is greatly missing is a way to lock the spindle to free the operator hands […]
  • Kvv Creates channel introduction
    If you are also fascinated by CNC conversions, turning, milling, 3D printing, programming, scientific instruments, SolidWorks, Fusion360, machine design, tool reviews, reverse engineering, and Arduino for education, join the conversation and subscribe. I left a full-time programming job to pursue learning machining and electronics, and I’m not looking back. I’m not an expert but I […]
  • Magnetic door catch – machining, theory, and assembly
    Aluminum extrusion material is a great and fast way to construct enclosures and doors. To hold a door closed a magnetic door catch is useful, but how to mount them? In this video we’ll look at how does a magnetic door catch work, how to support them, and how to install them on extruded aluminum […]
  • FogBuster to NOGA Adaptor, how to make and use
    Coolant improves tool life and work finish, but what to do if flood coolant is not an option (expense, mess, etc.), mist coolant is worth considering. The air forces chips out, so they are not recut, and a small stream of coolant quickly evaporates carrying heat away from the tool and work piece. The FogBuster […]
  • Python control of LinuxCNC for prototyping machines and scientific instruments
    Often with with new devices and scientific instruments there is some need to move items, take measurements, and possibly react to those measurements. If the measurements are fed back into the control software a control system is created. This requires programming and mechanics and for a prototype instrument can slow the idea generation down. Better […]
  • PM25MV Mill CNC Conversion Testing
    CNC mills may seem more intimidating than 3D printers, but the two will co-exist for a long time. The accuracy possible and the materials that can be machined by a CNC mill are currently inaccessible to all but the highest end 3D printers. Instead of purchasing a bulky industrial CNC mill, many hobbyist choose to […]
  • CNC Machining NEMA 17 Stepper Motor Mounts
    Inexpensive stepper motors are a staple of the Maker community. With boards like Arduino easily able to control small stepper motors, the difficulty of programming and electronics are reduced. This leaves the mechanics to be considered. While readily and inexpensively available, instead of purchasing three NEMA 17 stepper motor mounts, let’s make our own. Fusion360 […]
  • LinuxCNC pendants – VistaCNC, ShuttleXpress, Keypad
    An intuitive interface is important for safe and efficient operator-machine interaction. Hand wheels on milling machines and lathes give the operator control and feedback from the machine. It’s possible to “feel” the cut through the hand wheels. CNC controllers remove much of the that control, and as smart as they are, controllers do exactly what […]
  • Fusion360 – How to create stock from simulation and STL files
    Autodesk Fusion360 is an amazing program, with CAD, Simulation, and CAM built into one program. The power of the modeling environment allows parts to be created that are tricky to machine without multiple setups. A setup could correspond to re-positioning the part in a vise. A common example is machining one side of a part, […]
  • CNC spindle and stepper power load meter
    A load meter is a great accessory for machinery to get a sense of how near capacity a task is bringing the machine. In a previous post, a load meter was built for a CNC milling machine using a ammeter and a voltmeter. This approach is not ideal because apparent power is being measured instead […]
  • CNC Lathe, 3D Printed Parts, Arduino Controlled, South Bend SB1001 8k 8×18
    The South Bend SB1001 8×18 (8k) lathe is a quality bench top lathe. It would seem a great lathe as a base for a CNC lathe conversion. Reasons include minimal parts to discard following the conversion, a nice camlock spindle, and a variable speed DC motor. The conversion is difficult because the small crossfeed channel […]
  • FFmpeg video compression – decrease size, maintain quality
    To decrease video upload time, re-encode videos with FFmpeg, trying lower quality settings until no longer acceptable. Here a 20 GB file was compressed to 500 MB with minimal loss of quality. To give the best information possible to FFmpeg, first export from your video rendering software at high quality. I use Sony Vegas 13 […]
  • How to fix leaky CAT-10020C Ultra Quiet air compressor
    Airline quick disconnects are made by several manufacturers and it’s not always clear if they are compatible. The ones that come installed on the California Air Tools CAT-10020C air compressor have an outer ring design that’s different from perhaps more standard Milton quick disconnects. The CAT quick disconnects may be more susceptible to damage. This […]
  • A quiet air compressor? CAT-10020C vs. DeWalt D55155
    Air compressors are noisy and in a home workshop, air compressors can be the loudest second only to some air tools. Air-less air compressors are typically the louder than the air-filled alternatives. However, the California Air Tools Ultra Quiet CAT-10020C (oil-less) is amazingly quiet compared to the DeWalt D55155 (oil-filled) that is being replaced. The […]
  • PM25MV milling machine spindle sound level
    Machinery can be loud and a milling machine is no exception. Even worse is a CNC milling machine where an operator may need to stand nearby for hours. If the constant sound can be tiring and ultimately damaging. In this video, the sound level of the Precision Matthews PM25MV milling machine (similar to the Grizzly […]
  • Linux support for the Mastech MS6701 sound level meter
    The Mastech MS6701 Sound Level Meter comes with software, but only for Windows (v2.1 works on Windows 10). The meter is attached to the computer via an RS232 cable although a USB-to-serial adapter worked well. The serial communication can be intercepted and decoded on an Agilent MSO-X 2024A oscilloscope. The observations are used to create […]
  • Spindle load meter for a CNC milling machine
    A load meter is a great accessory for machinery to get a sense of how near capacity a task is bringing the machine. Here a load meter is built for a CNC milling machine using a ammeter and a voltmeter. This approach measures apparent power instead of actual power so there is some error. While […]
  • LinuxCNC, G61 vs G64 and part collisions, Exact Path vs. Path Blending
    LinuxCNC is a great CNC controller, but I’ve encountered a few gotchas that I didn’t with Mach3. While the behavior is well documented by LinuxCNC, there is a lot of material to go through, I’m sure that I would not have understand what I was reading without first encountering some of the gotchas. One of […]
  • Saylorville Dam – Slices of turbulence (Beauty in Nature)
    The water outlet of the Saylorville Dam (Saylorville Iowa) looks like a big tube. The water leaving it is moving fast and with a lot of force. The distance between the outlet and where the water has the normal smooth flow of a river is short. However, capturing and cropping regions emphasis the beauty of […]
  • Synology SSD Cache
    Like Fox Mulder, I wanted to believe… that using an SSD cache on an eight bay NAS would make a noticeable difference in performance. I received the NAS shortly after it’s release and immediately installed the additional memory. I used an assortment of hard drives of various sizes that I had on hand, and replaced […]
  • RPi camera lens – lost in translation
    The Raspberry Pi camera is often more powerful than a webcam because of the great PiCamera API. However, the camera is a bit farsighted, and needs ~60cm minimum distance to the subject to be able to focus. If that much space is not available, an inexpensive cell phone macro lens can be used, often sold […]
  • 3D printed belt sander dust collector
    Belt sanders remove a lot of material fast, and a lot of that material goes into the air unless captured. DeWalt did make a great belt sander with the typical dust capture bag, which would quickly fill up. A vacuum attachment is greatly preferred. While DeWalt offered a clever vacuum attachment that made use of […]
  • Measuring light flicker
    Flickering lights are distracting, but not everyone notices flicker near 30Hz, and may debate if the flicker exists. We recently got a “torchiere floor lamp” to light a room corner. The lamp has two intensities and when set to the low setting there is a flicker, which is exacerbated by faster responding LED bulbs. But […]
  • Refrigerator thermograms
    Here are thermograms of Kenmore 363-9554720 kitchen refrigerator from a Flir E5. The first one shows the left freezer side slightly cooler than the right refrigerator side. It also shows an unexpected heat load in the lower right created by a furnace duct diffuser directing heated air towards the fridge. Even more unexpected is the […]
  • Replace the refrigerator?
    Our Kenmore 363-9554720 kitchen refrigerator “runs all the time.” Since this is a standard no frills side-by-side kitchen fridge, could it be inefficient enough to justify replacing with a new one? The label indicates R134a coolant and 115VAC 60HZ 11.6A rating (USA), without indication of actual manufacturing date. Measuring the interior, the capacity is roughly […]
  • Remove refrigerator icemaker
    We did make a modification to the fridge to create more space. The unused ice maker was removed, the ice port filled with insulation, the water port plugged, the circulation fan covered with a guard, and a wood shelf installed with large drilled holes where the ice maker was located. The holes allow proper circulation.
  • SouthBend SB1001 Spindle Bearing Wear
    The SouthBend SB1001 lathe manual contains a warning not to grease the spindle bearings. Unfortunately, a people have received their lathes packed with grease. The result is higher operating temperatures and premature wear. With a new SB1001, flushing the spindle bearings with WD40 followed by a light oil is probably best, simply as a precaution. […]
  • Comparison of Edison screw bulbs
    Despite having a simple design of few unique materials, and desirable electrical properties, there is a push to replace incandescent bulbs. However, the replacement needs to be convenient for consumers, where replacement of the fixture is impractical. Most lights in homes have an Edison screw base. Compact florescent lights (CFLs) made a real attempt, but […]
  • Arduino Due SAM3X8E DAC Sine Frequency
    The only Arduino at this time with a hardware DAC is the Arduino Due, based on the Atmel SAM3X8E, which has two 12-bit DAC channels. The main clock is 84 MHz and The DAC output range is 1/6 to 5/6 of the AREF pin, which on the Due board tied to the 3.3VDC line through […]
  • Breadboard jumper wires
    Breadboards and jumper wires are so inexpensive today that they get tossed into orders as freebies. The modern jumper wires are so nice to handle with rugged ends. There’s a downside to these products. The cheap breadboards don’t grip as well (increasing resistance), lack a ground plane, may have other dodgy electrical properties, and simply […]
  • SouthBend SB1001 Lathe CNC Conversion
    Motors The steppers motors are from Oriental Motors and came with a matching driver (model AR46AA-3). These are small motors with only 42 oz-in holding torque, just barely enough for this application, but they are industrial quality hardware and I had the chance to test them. These particular stepper motors have encoders which the drivers […]
  • SouthBend SB1468 Four Jaw Chuck Setup
    The four jaw chuck for the SouthBend SB1001 lathe is sold separately as the SB1468. However, the camlock adapter still requires machining before it can attach to the chuck. While performing this machining on the lathe where adapter plate will be used, matches the two, minimizing run out, the work can be intimidating. However, the […]
  • Hard drive data recovery
    Here are notes from a recent project to recover data from a failing hard drive. The exact recovery procedure will depend upon the type, severity, and location of the error. These notes may provide some hints to an alternative to high fees charged by the local repair store. Proceed at your own risk. Only software […]
  • Google location history
    While it’s probably in the Google TOS (terms of service), and while I knew my Nexus kept track of its location, viewimg my motions for any particular day produces an uneasy feeling. If Google is tracking your location, your data may be available to you. On the one hand, I like the introspection possibility of […]
  • Nextrox parallel breakout and LinuxCNC
    For a CNC project, a parallel port breakout board is used to simplify the connection of the parallel port to motor drivers, limit switches, etc. Here I describe a bit about the Nextrox breakout board, an inexpensive option for up to five axes. For a new CNC project, I need the freedom to alter the […]
  • Linux parallel port cards
    Once upon a time, every computer came with a parallel port. No longer, and in a Windows dominated world, USB to parallel port adapters are often suggested. Even if a card based parallel port can be found, it’s going to be even rarer to find one that guarantees Linux support. The parallel port still has […]
  • Agilent MSO-X 2024A Easter Eggs
    The presence of Easter eggs on the Agilent equipment is not new, but want to summarize how to trigger them on the MSO-X 2024A. These were tested with firmware 2.35. With the o-scope on, press the Utility key followed by the Options soft key. For an animation of the developer names, press the sixth (rightmost) […]
  • Agilent software license sale
    If you are considering Agilent oscilloscope software licenses, on April 1st 2014, Agilent is apparently offering all available software unlock keys bundled as DSOX2APPBNDL. For instance, an MSO-X 2024A can be upgraded, with all serial decode licenses (and mask limit testing, segmented memory, waveform generator, more memory, etc.), for the price of a single serial […]
  • Timing Arduino Due digitalWrite and analogWrite
    analogWrite  analogWriteResolution  digitalWrite SAM3X pin mapping Triggered off the digital input line into segmented memory. First four segments captured of a single shot run. Run begins and then reset is pressed. The first two segments are part of the reset cycle and are ignored. void setup() {   analogWriteResolution(12); // bits of resolution   pinMode(31, […]
  • MakerBot ToM code and schematic links
    The MakerBot Thing-O-Matic source code and schematics are inconvenient to find. Much of the original material on Makerbot has been archived. RepRap has links to much of the material, but several links are stale. What follows are links to the board schematics and firmware source code. MakerBot did sell other versions of the boards, but […]
  • G0463 CNC conversion
    This the mill I’m considering http://www.grizzly.com/products/G0463 I also considered the http://www.grizzly.com/products/G0704, but after visiting Grizzly and comparing both, the deciding features were the standard bolting of the column to the top of the base and the more rigid appearing column of G0463, apparent in greater weight. The G0704 bolts the column to the back of […]
  • Spindle spider for South Bend SB1001 lathe
    A spindle spider is used to add another support for long shafts that extend through the bore of a lathe. Without a spindle spider, the there is no support left of the chuck and the work piece can flop around inside of the bore, and this motion may transmit and impact the machining. Not all […]