Electronics

DIY CO2 Laser Cutter – more test cuts…

October 11, 2011
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I re-aligned the bounce mirrors, added an air-assist, and did some test cuts on acrylic, plywood and hardwood. Slowing the feedrate seems more effective than increasing the power. Need to spend some time with different materials, figuring out the cut parameters for each one. Oooh shiny!

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…555 timer “Ball Whacker”

October 10, 2011
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As another Radio Shack “Great Create” challenge I put together this fun project. A 555 timer and simple optical feedback loop creates a simple cybernetic control system. The photocell in the tip of the arm responds to the light pattern falling across it – this in turn controls the position of the arm. Resulting in […]

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…making some initial cuts with the CO2 Laser

October 4, 2011
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Yes! Finally, after several iterations we have the installed, aligned and focused CO2 laser wreaking some serious havoc on a piece of MDO. There are still many tests to run and various safety mechanisms to install, but the system works, and is aligned over a 24″ x 24″ area (at least). I can think of […]

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…building my Destructor(tm) beam

September 25, 2011
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More progress in the laser/CNC saga. I built a cage from steel and MDO for the laser tube – fits really nicely. Next step is to add the first bounce mirror which will turn the beam straight up – into a PVC tube attached with plumbing flanges (The sales assistant at Menard’s asked me what […]

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…fixing up a Roland Juno 60 synthesizer

September 18, 2011
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A couple of years ago I bought a Roland Juno 60 from eBay. It was in “fairly good” condition but was very dirty and the faders did not work properly. There also seemed to be a sticky (beer?) substance on all the keys that was less than attractive. Additionally the programs weren’t being saved correctly […]

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…quite possible the most complex thing I’ve ever built.

August 24, 2011
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As part of the “Great Create” I was challenged by my buddies at Make magazine to complete a set of projects only using parts from Radio Shack. For my first project they tasked me with reproducing the rather excellent 555-timer “Whack-a-Mole” game created by Jim Chen. This one was tough… oh yes… very tough. Eventually […]

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At the Maker Faire in Detroit

July 31, 2011
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Spending the weekend up at the Maker Faire in Detroit. Check out the Maker Faire Daily stream for more info. UPDATE : Just got back from the Faire – always a pleasure to go to these, and nice that they’re more local than San Francisco now… Wow lot’s of stuff to see and do. The […]

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The Clock Of The Long Weekend…

July 25, 2011

I’ve spent a lot of time on the “The Long Now” website lately – I would urge you to check it out if you’ve not seen it – one of the things that caught my attention was the 10,000 year clock they are trying to build in Texas. Inspired by the design, I thought I […]

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Jarre at the royal wedding : 1, laser harp : 0

July 5, 2011
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I got an email from Dan Wilson about the recent Jarre gig for the Monaco royal wedding. Looks like an excellent concert, although the laser harp had some issues – and JMJ didn’t look too happy about it. I found this video on Dailymotion (with apologies in advance for all the ads they make you […]

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The Arduino controlled Electromagnetic Pendulum Clock

June 5, 2011

OK, only about 100 years too late – but I finally managed to assemble the clock works for the electromagnet-driven pendulum clock. The primary drive is a 15-tooth ratchet. This is connected to two 60 tooth gears that creates the second hand drive. A 60:1 reduction gearing comprising 10:108 +18:100 (the largest gears) creates the […]

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