Saturday, November 22, 2014

Back in the Saddle

So, a tremendous length of time since I got some of my projects documented. I feel that I need to shift more from a consumer of awesome internet ideas and projects and start producing some documentation that could be useful to others. Here are a few of the projects I've been working on that I'll start pulling pictures and thoughts together for - so quick, easy and useless and other more of a labor of love that I hope will help others with problems that I've had to solve.
  1.  Raspberry Pi Garden Control - complete with PyScripts to monitor the temperature (via Weather Underground API) to push through algorithm to determine that level of water needed for the day.  Also dabbled in a web-service and web-interface.  Resulted in these awesome guys:

  2. As part of my upgade of my son's power wheel - I destroyed a 12V battery pack for my Milwaukee tools... but not to worry, found the cell that was bad, replaced for $4 and we're back up and running - with different batteries for the power wheel.  I'll show you what I did and the inside of the 12V pack which uses 3 18650 batteries - which are slowly becoming my favorite form factor.

  3. Remodeled the pantry/laundry room so we could have a bit more space - the wife loves the results (it was a moth's day gift) - I'll talk about the design and how (surprise!) the room wasn't square! #kbhomes

  4. As usual, I cannot help but bend Microsoft Excel to my will for various tasks - I do believe that 1 piece of software has been and will continue to be one of the most important software tool sets in the history of computing (right up there with PhotoShop & AutoCAD).  I think it is amazing that you can use the same software to manage your finances, compute complex tax calculations, create 2D woodworking plans, track car maintenance and power the logic!  I'll start posting about that stuff too.  In the mean time - I've submitted an entry to the 2014 Excel Dashboard Contest over at - winners will be announced next week and I've been notified that mine should be up on before too long.
Those are just a few categories I'm going to get documented and up here.

Let the contribution begin!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Been on hold for the Texas summer - so hard to get out in that garage when it is 105 F out there... but I did recently acquire my very own drill press so things are moving along better. This is a total spam post - selling the phone that started it all: eBay listing for phone... It was a good ride.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Well after a few long evenings in the garage redesigning the Z axis and working through various problems I finally got back into CAMBAM to generate some 2D tests - I'm a very pleased with the results thus far.  Precision seems to pretty good without much tweaking and all axisis are functioning properly!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

X, Y .... Z?

Been a while, but I'm finally getting motivated again to keep the project moving - had to take care of a few "honey-dos" prior to moving forward.

Found a older computer (c.2004, Celeron 2.6ghz put a clean copy of XP) to push the GCode - will probably do the designing one of  my non-garage machines since this is just barely fast enough that I don't take my sledge hammer to it.

Got the power supply (Goodwill, thank you!) all wired up to the GRBL shield, flashed Arduino with 0.8 GRBL and have the X & Y axisis running great.  No binding or hang-ups.  Only issue thus far is with the anti-backlash springs, which I don't think are quite big enough.  They are getting hung-up on the treads, so I left them out for now.

Put some good time in last night with the Z axis - the more I work with this particular design, the more I realize that it is extremely easy for the small errors to add up into a machine that may not have the accuracy I'd like, especially when I don't have a lot of precision tools to build.  A learning experience before moving on to bigger and better.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Progress Check

Have the X axis all wrapped up and the Y axis all set as well - just working on the carriage supports, which, are a royal pain to get all lined up and the holes accurate.  Also, having some trouble finding all the necessary hardware (Homedepot doesn't seem to know that M3 screws are actually produced).

Very excited to actually get a motor mounted (this week?)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Progress Check

Got some good time to get the holes all drilled for most of the major parts.  Time to get square.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Word-a-bot is Getting Some Upgrades

With some new (to me) NEMA 17 steppers, some updated GRBL and a few ideas from MYDIYCNC.COM, Wordabot is about to get some vital upgrades. More to come!