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Random projects and posts - page 6

18 MAY 2014

Projects and Work News

Things have been very busy with both work and hobbies and there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get all the planned projects finished and keep the blog up to date. At the start of May my sole...

23 MARCH 2014

Railway Sky LED Controller

Alongside our electronic projects another long term hobby has been model making and more specifically model railways.  We have had a model railway in our loft workshop for many years and it has always been a way of...

18 MARCH 2014

SolarStorm X2 LED Bike Lights Mount Modifications

I am trying to get fit again after a long wet winter of not using my bike and I decided it was time to replace my old halogen bike lights with a modern LED system so we can go out for night time rides after work. My old...

15 MARCH 2014

GoPro Hero 2 Handlebar mount

On our Virtual Swanage website we have a section with cycle routes in our local area. We purchased a GoPro Hero 2 camera with a bike mount with the intention to use this to record videos of the cycle routes and then put...

04 MARCH 2014

Pick and Place Picker Software Upgrade

Since building the DIY Pick and Place machine we have had a problem with the Atmel processor powered component selector which was using the AccelStepper library which would randomly push the selector ram down...

27 FEBRUARY 2014

PSU Temperature Monitor

For a few years now we have been using a GW Instek GPC-1850D power supply in our workshop and while it has served us well over that time there has always been one issue that has annoyed us, the loud cooling fan in the back...

24 FEBRUARY 2014

The end of the Google Adsense and YouTube adverts

I have decided that I will no longer have any google adsense adverts on my blog or my virtual-swanage.co.uk website or on my YouTube videos via their monetise system. In the past I have never had any complains about...

20 FEBRUARY 2014

Atmel AVR Dragon Programmer Case

To program the Atmel chips in our recent PNP controller board and for our planned expansion boards for the solar power data logger we needed to be able to program the Atmel chips used on the boards. After looking at various...

08 FEBRUARY 2014

Pick and Place USB Control Software

After completing our DIY Pick and Place machine USB Controller Board  we needed to rewrite the controller software to drive the pick and place machine. The new Pick and Place software is written in C# and we used...

28 JANUARY 2014

DIY Pick and Place USB Controller Board

After completing our DIY Pick and Place machine  we soon found a limitation with the SmoothStepper Ethernet board when using it to switch the various relays and select components from the Arduino Mini controlled component...

16 JANUARY 2014

Variable RF Signal Sampler

One of my hobbies is Amateur (Ham) radio and it is useful to be able to check the outputs on the radios transmitters to check that the signal is transmitting on the correct frequency and not causing spurious frequency...

14 JANUARY 2014

Metcal SP200 Soldering Station Repair

While soldering boards today one of our Metcal SP200 solder stations stopped working with a quiet pop and some magic smoke* came from the case. We removed the case of the power unit and found that the internal fuse had...

23 DECEMBER 2013

Canon Camera Wireless Remote Control

When using our high level photography mast we have always used a series of USB expansion cables to make up a 20m long cable to remote control the camera and view the live video feed from the camera in real-time on an Android...

05 DECEMBER 2013

Manual Pick and Place V2

After finishing the automatic pick and place project we soon found that we needed to be able to place components manually when working on prototype and very short production runs of pcb boards. As the space in the...

25 NOVEMBER 2013

Mach3 Control via C Sharp Winform Application

This demo app allows the user to send Gcode commands to Mach 3 to control a CNC mill, lathe or other cnc hardware. The application was made using Visual Studio 2013 and the demo app can be downloaded here. First create...

23 NOVEMBER 2013

DIY Pick and Place V2 Project Complete

The DIY pick and place machine project is now finally running and is able to place the components for our Raspberry Pi expansion boards. This project started in July 2013 when we began to order the various components, bearings,...

20 NOVEMBER 2013

3D Printer ordering Nightmares

On the 30 September 2013 I placed order with Ultimaker for the Ultimaker 2 3D printer and extra rolls of filament, order total 2,511.55 euros. Website said delivery from 21st October 2013 I ordered from Ultimaker as the printer...

02 NOVEMBER 2013

DIY Pick and Place V2 Base Vision LED Array

DIY Pick and Place V2 – Base Vision LED Array The PCB's arrived today for the LED array to go in the base of the Pick and Place system. The six boards hold a total of 144 red leds. We are now trying to...

27 OCTOBER 2013

DIY Pick and Place V2 Vibratory Chip Feeder

The new diy pick and place machine needed a way to feed SOIC, TSOP and other tube supplied chips to be picked and placed using the machine. After looking at a lot of commercial and diy solutions we decided to build...

24 OCTOBER 2013

DIY Pick and Place V2 Vacuum Nozzle Holders

The holders for the vacuum nozzles are now fitted to the pick and place machine. Our original plan was to have the motors mounted higher as in previous posts and use a magnetic holder to attach the different size nozzles...

17 OCTOBER 2013

DIY Pick and Place V2 Pick and Place Vision System

We have started working on the vision system for the DIY Pick and Place machine. We are going to use two cameras, one fixed on the base with a led lighting array around the camera and a “flying” camera mounted...


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