Emergency Stop ButtonI’m continuing to work on the 3rd installment of the EMC2 and Servo tutorial, but I realized that I hadn’t seen any great treatments out there for simple e-stop implementations with EMC2 or otherwise in the hobby CNC realms. This is the solution I’ll be using as part of the tutorial apparatus.

Safety systems aren’t sexy and so from what I’ve seen in the community those who know what they’re doing quietly implement them on their own systems but then the rest of the hobbyists and newbies may not even be aware of the need for such things and in the rush to get a machine running and doing the sexy stuff leave themselves open to more risk than is strictly necessary.

Click to continue reading “An Emergency Stop Circuit with EMC2″

20120126-151857.jpgSo I’ve been looking into this Zigbee technology that I’d seen around on various sites. I didn’t really know what it was for but it seemed to be some kind of wireless communication technology for use with microcontrollers and such.

Wow did I ever underestimate that!!! I have another project that I’m contemplating and Zigbee could be an ideal solution for it!

Here are a few links I found.

http://www.controlanything.com/Relay/Device/A0004

Circuit Celler – Zigbee Basics

Wikipedia’s Zigbee Article (for good measure).

20120119-000551.jpgHey all! Well it’s been a busy past few months for me due to staffing changes at work, Bahamas vacation, holidays, etc.  I just wanted to let you all know that I’m gearing up to get on with things here. I’ve had some really nice feedback from a number of you on the Servo Tutorial so that’ll be first on the list to get finished, then on to what I hope to be bigger and even better things.
Thanks to everyone who’ve been patiently waiting.

 

Stripped Inkjet Printer

Printer Carcass Ready For Use

So you’d like to play with servo motor control would you? Well hopefully you’ve come to the right place and we’ll actually be able to learn you a thing or two. In this next segment we’re going to learn about some of the internals of an old inkjet printer and how to recycle it to serve our purposes. This is obviously part 2 of the series, where you’ll strip down the printer and prepare it for integration with EMC2.

Click to continue reading “Tutorial: Use an Old Inkjet Printer to Learn Servo Motor Control With EMC2 – Part 2″

Toronto Hydro Outage Map

Outages Early on 2011/06/09

Earlier this week our area was hit by a couple severe thunderstorms.  Of course this resulted in many areas having their power knocked out including my office.  During the follow up to having all our servers taken offline when the UPS batteries were exhausted I was following the progress of Toronto Hydro with this nifty outage tracker.

Along a similar vein, over at EISO you can follow energy generation and consumption in Ontario in pseudo real-time.

Also of course when the weather looks suspicious I have to check in with the local doppler radar.

Galvin over at On Shoulders has started his new season with OpenSCAD for 3D printing.  While historically I’m a SolidWorks user myself, I look forward to this offering and trying it for myself.

Stock lock key, tumber and 3d printed keyNirav Patel looks like he likes to play with some diverse toys and has shared much at his blog.  Lately it seems he’s taken to 3D printing and offers a some useful tidbits in Physical Keygen: Duplicating House Keys on a 3D Printer.

 

Also, WeatherSpark.com is something I’ve been looking for a long time.  Thank you StumbleUpon!  It’s an easy to navigate way to have a look at historic weather data.  I don’t know how much it covers, but in my area it goes all the way back to 1980!  Looking at temperature, precipitation, cloud cover, thunderstorms and more!

Geo01005′s RepRap Ideas details some of his work around running a repstrap using EMC2 from a couple years ago. He’s documented some of his work around the hot-He also has a YouTube channel.

Andrew Angellotti is founder of spingarage LLC has a new blog that’s looking pretty interesting.  Here’s the first part of a tutorial on brushless motor control.

Tim has a great collection of posts on repstrapping over at BotHacker.

So again I wanted to work on putting together the next piece in the EMC2 Servo lab series tonight only to thwart myself.  I shot a bunch of pictures last night with my newly rehabilitated camera. When I sat down today my iPhoto library was kinda corrupted so I decided to rebuild it.  Well right there I lost about 3 hours of access to my pics so I decided to play around a bit with iMovie instead as I know I’ll want to include some video later on, so here’s a quick demo of my apparatus cycling.

Solarbotics Compact L298 Motor Driver

Assembled Kit (screw hardware not included)

Based on the venerable L298 Dual H-Bridge , Solarbotics has put together a really nice little kit for low-mid voltage level motor control applications.

You trade a little sweat equity for the few bucks you save over other offerings by fully assembling the kit yourself.

One of the nice bits about this kit is that it includes a 5V regulator to supply the logic portion of the L298 natively instead of relying on a 2nd supply voltage to the board.  This helps to make it very easy to drive either 2 DC motors or a single stepper motor from a microcontroller or other control device. 

Click to continue reading “Review: Solarbotics Compact L298 Motor Driver”

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