Samthetechie log

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day month ??, 2016



Friday Feb 19, 2016



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Friday Jan 29, 2016


  • Request from Marcin: "infobox templates for the wiki. We need to use this for every module."
  • I googled / looked for some sample code. Found this:
  • Waiting for requirements / specification from Marcin


Thursday Dec 19, 2013


  • Need to go to Radioshack in Cameron first thing tomorrow to get a Solder Sucker!


Wednesday Dec 18, 2013



Tuesday Dec 17, 2013



Ose-cnc-torch-table-endstop-y-min-orientated.png Ose-cnc-torch-table-endstop-y-min.png

  • This endstop mount slots onto and then clamps against the 10mm precision rails on which the CNC Torch Table Axes move.
  • Two #8-32 'captive nuts', need to be fitted into the slots and pushed downwards until their threaded centres align with the teardrop-shaped bolt holes
  • Here is an example of a captive nut:


Monday Dec 16, 2013

  • Working/reliable actuator/motor/output from Python code on Pi, time to focus on the height sensor/input


Capacitive Height Sensor

The Ramps 1.4 board contains an unused I2C connector with pullup resistors. This will interface nicely with the AD7747 capacitive sense chip which also has an I2C interface. Pinout for the I2C connector on the Ramps 1.4 board is:I2C.png.

The capacitive sensor board will need to be mounted on or near the torch with the capacitive sensor pickup ring surrounding the torch tip. A long 4 conductor flat flex cable extends from the I2C connector J1 on the capacitive sensor board to the I2C connector on the Ramps 1.4 board. A short (~6 in.) low capacitance shielded cable (RG6U Cable) extends from the capacitive sense input to the sensor ring. The shield of this cable connects to the Shield terminal of J2 pin 1 or 3, the inner conductor connects to the CapSense terminal of J2 pin 2. This board has been designed to withstand considerable noise. For plasma cutting additional ferrite will have to be added to the cables and to the entrance and exit of the metal board housing. Board dimensions 0.7" x 1.675". Mounting 2 times 4-40 nylon screws. PCB price estimate from AP Circuits $37 for 3 boards, $21 for 1 board (31 July 2013).

Capacitive Sensor board Schematic:CapSenseV1.png Top Copper Board Layer:CapSenseV1Brd.png Bom:CapSenseV1Bom.png


Sunday Dec 15, 2013



  • Soldered up 3 Opto Endstop Kits:
  • Calibrated TAZ
  • Printed parts on Lulzbot, TAZ and Hydrafabber.
  • Setup Octoprint on Raspberry Pi.
  • Evaluated Octoprint and conluded that whilst cool it is not sophisticated enough to manage the whole workflow and therefore does not save operator time or reduce complexity
  • Better results can be achieved by running Repetier Host on hal9000 and controlling the printers from there.
  • Optimised Repetier Host's Slic3r config using Lulzbot TAZ User Manual.
  • Setup Repetier Host on hal9000 and printed a doorstop on TAZ
  • Tried to print a doorstop on Hydrafabber, extrusion was ok but needs light mechanical calibration / checking.
  • Attempted Repair of Ultimaker. Partial rebuild of bowden extruder and adjusted the filament tensioner. Still appears to have a nozzle blockage or other problem at the other end (i.e. the hot end)! Further Repair / Maintenance Required.
  • Results at the end of the day: 3/4 of our printers extrude (Lulzbot, TAZ, Hydrafabber), 2/4 are printing well (Lulzbot, TAZ), 1/4 is printing very well (Lulzbot).

Saturday Dec 14, 2013


  • Hanging out in Hammerspace
  • Advice on woodstove in Hablab due to Pyrolysis which means that wood near the stove or the flue may become pyrolised to the point where spontaneous combustion can occur far below the normal 'flash point' for wood.

Specs are available via NFPA 211. Stove clearances, flue pipe design and height, insulating boards underneath and against the wall. We should, ideally put a spacer in with

Osage orange fruit.jpg Osage orange identification.gif


Friday Dec 13, 2013



Height motor test rig.jpg

Thursday Dec 12, 2013



File:Wiring and pinouts for table stepper motor testing (rasp pi).odt

A table showing how to connect:

  • NEMA 23 Stepper Motor (Model 57BYGH317)
  • Stepper Motor Controller
  • via a Ribbon Cable to a
  • Raspberry Pi (Model B, Revision 2.0). Pinout: File:Rasp v3.pdf

57bygh317.jpg HY-DIV268N-5A.jpg Ribbon.png Rasp pinout.png

Gardenbot-2.jpg OEM system.png Pyfolia.png

Wednesday Dec 4, 2013

Tuesday Dec 3, 2013

  • Looked at the new controller electronics that arrived in the post from Lasersaur
  • Looked at the current wiring / config of the torch table.
  • Made some fresh mesurements on the table and cleaned up my initial Sketchup/CAD models, first version ready for publishing to wiki (note still quite crude, lacks z axis detail): File:CNCTorchTable.skp

CNCTorchTable top.png CNCTorchTable.png CNCTorchTable bottom.png CNCTorchTable iso bottom.png

Monday Dec 2, 2013

Sunday Dec 1, 2013

StoveFront.jpg StoveIso.jpg StoveIsoSectionView.jpg StoveSideView.jpg StoveCoil.jpg

  • Must be able to fail open atmosphere i.e. no valve to vent to atmosphere (pop off valve)
  • attach the coil/mounting to a bolt-on plate to aid maintenance of the coils.
  • Idea: multiple taps for multiple water temperatures

Saturday Nov 30, 2013

Friday Nov ??, 2013

Community Video Review

Thursday Nov 28, 2013

 * Amazon Wishlist for Electronics Workshop / Video ConferenceiHackerspace Setup:

There are items in here for settings up an electronics workbench, core dev of the torch table and setting up the 3d printers other items (like an apple keyboard for the mac mini- note: will use the current keyboard/mouse on the mac mini for the lasersaur dev board):

Note: all items have been compared with reviews and I have gone for the best cost/functionality but also with a very slight lean towards "buy once" on some occasions.

Item breakdown by project, totals ~ $1000

  • Electronic Workbench Setup
    • PanaVise Model 201 "Junior" Miniature Vise
    • TRENDnet USB to RS-232 Serial Converter TU-S9 (White)
    • Rigol DS1052E 50MHz Digital Oscilloscope Offered by Technopark.
    • Aoyue 968A+ SMD Digital Hot Air Rework Station
    • Anytime Tools 127 pc Heat Shrink Wire Wrap Cable Sleeve Tubing Sets Assorted Size e/Case Offered by Anytime Tools.
    • SE MZ101B Helping Hands with Magnifying Glass
    • Amico 13cm Length Black Anti-static Straight Curved Tweezers 2 Pcs
    • ESDProduct Rubber Mat Kit with Wrist Strap and 15' Ground Cord, 1/16" Thick, 3' Length, 2' Width
    • Pittsburgh 6" Digital Caliper with Metric and SAE Fractional Readings
    • CBConcept Brand Halogen Light Bulb JC 12V 50W G6.35 - Frosted - 10 Bulbs
    • Professional Jeweler's Lighted Magnifier Visor - 5 Lenses 1.0X to 3.5X
    • AmazonBasics AAA Alkaline Batteries (Pack of 20)
  • CnC Torch Table Development
    • EasyAcc® 12000mAh Power Bank 4 USB 3.5A Output
    • EasyAcc US 5V 2A Universal Travel AC Micro USB Wall Charger
    • TP-LINK TL-WR702N Wireless N150 Travel Router,Nano Size
    • Edimax EW-7811Un 150 Mbps Wireless 11n Nano Size USB Adapter
  • Video Conferencing Setup
    • Logitech HD Portable 1080p Webcam C615 with Autofocus
    • MXL AC404 USB Conference Microphone Offered by
    • USB 2.0 A-Male to A-Female Extension Cable (9.8 Feet/3.0 Meters) Offered by
    • Apple Wireless Keyboard MC184LL/B
  • 3d printer server Setup
    • RASPBERRY PI MODEL B 700Mhz; 512Mb RAM
    • Transcend 8 GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card (TS8GSDHC10E)
    • Kingston Digital DataTraveler SE9 32GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive (DTSE9H/32GBZE​T)
    • Kingston Digital 16 GB Class 4 microSDHC Flash Card with SD Adapter (SDC4/16GBET)
    • Belkin USB 2.0 4-Port Ultra-Mini Hub
    • Micro USB to USB OTG Adapter Cable
    • USB 2.0 A-Male to A-Female Extension Cable (9.8 Feet/3.0 Meters)
    • C&E USB to Micro-USB Cable - 6 Ft Offered by WellGoal.
    • ScotchBlue Painter's Tape, Multi-Use, 1.88-Inch by 60-Yard, 1-Roll Offered by

Building Energy Monitoring

Building thermal performance monitoring and modelling

link title

    • Context**

Measuring building thermal performance:

Lulzbot Tuning

  • Every time a print started the z-axis motors were trying to turn faster than they actually could so following I set a limiter using m-code: M203
  • Setting max Z speed in Slic3r? is it possible?

You can set the firmware max speed with an M code:

  X axis: 11,500 mm/min (192 mm/sec)
  Y axis: 12,500 mm/min (208 mm/sec)
  Z axis: 250 mm/min (4 mm/sec)
  • Then just send the following command to the firmware:
  M203 X192 Y208 Z4

...and now the machine will never move faster than those settings, even if the g-code or printer host software commands it to. The same will probably apply to the TAZ and the HydraFabber printers.

Tuesday Nov 26, 2013



Spare time

Monday Nov 25, 2013

  • Setup table for 3 3D printers in preparation for them all being repaired and networked via hal9000 laptop/server using
  • Currently the Lulzbot is online and 100% operational.
  • The Hydrafabber is untested, the TAZ needs some reassembly and then testing.
  • The makerbot needs a new thermistor on the nozzle- error message to that effect. Needs testing before ordering parts.

Sunday Nov 24, 2013



Epic: upgrade Hal9000 to latest debian + reinstall fileserver, printerserver, timelapse webcam scripts, 3d printerserver

Saturday Nov 23, 2013

  • Took the day off to hang out with Mike and Scott!
  • Took out the recycling (photos + guide to follow).
  • 3D Printed some widgets for the Hablab: 2 x classic reprap coathooks (need to print 2 more!), a mason jar handle (need to print 5 more) and a toothbrush head cover for Mike.

Friday Nov 22, 2013


7:30 am

9am meeting

  • Marcin asked DPVs: would you update facebook if you were invited. There was a general aye in response.
  • Marcin request for me to update my log

Feedback on meeting

  • beginning 15mins of morning meeting was productive: storytelling and task assignment.
  • Very little Interaction with remote participants, tech issues, mic problems, echo/feedback.
  • Meeting became less productive for Rob, Katie, Audrey and Sam when the discussion turned to prototyping the workshop stove which is out of scope for all of us except Mike, Scott and Marcin (signal/noise ratio decreased!).
  • There were no introductions made for Mike, and little to no onobarding took place, morning plan: he will be shadowing Marcin and Scott in the workshop to install the stove and then mabe looking at roads / surfacing.
  • Reminder: essential to upoload ~9:10am Friday 22nd November 2013 videos / stories to youtube and link from Logs! Source: Stories from this morning are on Marcin's Tablet and Sam's G3.
  • Key Takeaways:
  1. story telling good
  2. task assignment good
  3. need to stay focused on torch table, process efficiency and general team wellbeing
  4. bail on future meetings at the point when the signal to noise ratio goes down w.r.t. CnC Torch Table (reason: not in scope) i.e. a prototyping meeting style on a module / project I am not working on, this will prevent frustration and save about 50mins of peak concentration/working time / day.

10am to 1pm: Morning work session

  • Getting distracted by having to answer the telephone and the cat going nuts / running around.

1pm to 2pm

  • Lunch!

2pm to 5pm: Afternoon work session

5pm: Free time


  • Printed out Chris_Reinhart_Log#Longwinded_Debrief_on_FeF_Procedures_after_November_Visit:_On-Boarding_Ideas.2C_Meeting_Titles.2C_and_the_Dinner_Bell to the notice board.
  • Personally Adopted Chris' Proposed Schedule to maximise personal productivity, thanks Chris!
  • Updated log from today, pending backlog to update log entries from 19th November to 21st November.
  • Created a backlog: upload as many stories as possible and link from personal logs.
  • Started Next task from Scrumy board: "Sketchup of Y Axis Drive"
  • Went on a scavenger hunt in the OSE workshop for electronics parts, brough box of stuff back to hablad in order to make a little nest / electronics desk/woskbench.
  • Created a list of electronics workshop items to be purchased from Adafruit and Amazon
  • Fixed Lulzbot 3D Printer: installed new PSU, took off old extruder due to failed resistive heating element and installed new one.

Thursday Nov 21, 2013

  • Met Mike, our new DPV.
  • Full day of errands and shopping: car parts, tools, essentials, groceries
  • Had lunch with Mike and Scott at the Red Barn, later on we went for a beer in Cameron

Monday Nov 18, 2013




  • Physics I: Classical Mechanics (will play videos in hablab in background as a refresher because this is such an awesome course- the teacher is so charismatic :)


Sunday Nov 17, 2013


  • Sat in on morning standup / scrum. Mostly the discussion was about the Trencher because this was, in fact, a prototyping meeting and not a scrum meeting. Thanks to


  • Handed scrum master role to Chris for the morning.
  • Suggested a new process intended to maintain internal narrative / story telling and also external narrative / storytelling: each member of the scrum to tell a story for 2mins, recorded on a smartphone and uploaded to youtube.
  • Started to make a technology check spreadsheet: to *actually* get a realistic staus check and then target + offer help to teammates that did not install / use the software/process listed here:
  • Went to hide and do background reading on CNC Torch Table ready to start working on it while the others went to the workshop
  • Katie arrived with the keyboard for the Mac Mini, I installed it ASAP so it is ready for the guys to use during next brainstorm or hangout in the hablab (priority because this was so frustrating yesterday, nobody could connect their laptop to the main screen and it wasted a *lot* of meeting time and energy- thanks again for the keyboard and mouse Katie!) :p
  • Setup mac mini, named skynet:
  • Found a load more cables and consolidated into the cable storage at the back of the fablab
  • Needed to print something for information but could not so I switched back to infrastructure
  • Plugged the 2D (normal) printer into hal9000 and enabled printer sharing, printer status: working
  • Plugged the Ultimakers into hal9000
  • Tested uploading a file to new OwnCloud file server on hal9000

Status on Checklist for DPV Orientation



Saturday Nov 16, 2013



  • Setup kanban board in the hablab
  • facillitated a scrum at 9am as Scrum Master
  • Brainstormed with the guys about spool / cable feeding for the trencher
  • Did a walk around in the hablab to identify things to repair and get to know where things are
  • Did a walk around the site to get to know the site layout a bit better. Need a guided tour from user:Marcin, will request.
  • Had a look at the
  • Helped to pack away the new nuts, bolts and washers that were delivered
  • Took a ride into town with Katie to look at what was there and get a little bit of local information / orientation
  • Shadowed and helped Marcin in the workshop a bit, moving metal parts, finding tools, removing
  • Used the compressed air machine with pnematic parts to assist in cleaning dusty storage boxes.
  • Reorganised the bolts and nuts and washers by size, type and made it consistent between the shelves
  • Moved the rollable tool drawers back to their position in terms of the Workshop map.
  • Hacked the (forgotten) root pw of marcin's oldthinkpad / ubuntu and updated it to Ubuntu 10.0.4
  • Installed OwnCloud on hal9000
  • Setup account for our 3 3D printers
  • hostname: hal9000 (after Hal 9000 from ’2001: A Space Odyssey’)
  • video:

Friday Nov 15, 2013

20131116 033945.jpg A *really* terrible selfie of me after a very long flight - Day 0 of my DPV!

Sat, Oct 19, 2013

Sun, Jun 16, 2013


Backhoe pivot.PNG

Sat, Jun 15, 2013

Stick range.jpg



3x30x1.50 DIA CYL.jpg 3x30x1.50 DIA CYL Photo.jpg


Read Updates from:

Sat, Jun 1, 2013

  • Reviewing Wiki recent changes to get up to speed for this weekend's design sprint.
  • First Draft of the Hyrdaulic Cylinders:

File:Hydraulic Cylinder 2.5 inch bore 36 inch stroke.skp

Hydraulic Cylinder 2.5 inch bore 36 inch stroke.jpg

Sat, May 25, 2013




Articulated Pivot.jpg



Note in the discussion that the modelling is done with 1" x 1" by 2mm thick SHS (Square Hollow Section). It is quite likely that the modelling parameters can be altered to allow analysis of 4" x 4" by 1/2" thick SHS:



Reinforced Backhoe With Articulated Pivot.jpg

Backhoe With Articulated Pivot.jpg

  • Wrote a quick guide for Sketchup_on_Linux
  • Note: quick way to grab all the .skp files that have been uploaded onto the wiki.

Go to Special:ListFiles&limit=500&ilsearch=.skp and then using the down them all plugin for firefox and 'fast filtering' with /(.skp)$/

 "A second method for ensuring your edges are aligned to axes is to temporarily change the colors of your 
 edges to reflect their alignment to one of the axis. To change edge colors to reflect axes colors."

Tues, May 21, 2013


To generate a CAM file for 3D printing, one must consider the 3" tubing and print out a 3" hole, not a 4.875" hole and ensure hole is correct for 3d printed files.

Stock Pivot Plate 3 inch hole.jpg

Note: the above is used to generate a CAM file for 3D printing, one must consider the 3" tubing and print out a 3" hole


Sat, May 18, 2013





    • note 5/21/13 - then to 3" pivot hole for rapid prototyping / 3d printing rather than 4.875" as per explanation on Stock_Pivot_Plate