2022. április 13., szerda

CNC Router Reborn 2.

Its been a while I write about the CNC project. It is in the state, I eventually work on it, so it advance really slowly.

It is time to write about the current state.

What happened since last time:

  • Mounted the controller hardware (GRBL controller, stepper drivers, except the spindle controller into the PC box)
  • Cut the back panel to fit into the place of the original PC card back panels
  • Rewire the entire frame with longer cables (needed to be able to put the new controller case to the ground next to the CNC routers table)

The controller from inside:

The back panel (hole for the connectors still need to drill):

The new dymo heathshrink labels in action:

After I finished the cabling realized that one of the connectors miss the screw lock ring. Am I so idiot that it fall from the connector before assembly and I didn't realize it?

Nope. I just found on the floor:

What a shitty material those guys use. I fall from a meter to the floor and broke into pieces.

What's next:

  • Drill the connector holes to the back panel and assemble the whole motion control
  • Create mounting hardware for the spindle controller (probably 3D printed)
  • Create a front panel with vent holes for the 600W PSU
  • Put everything together and test is

2022. április 6., szerda

New Arrivals 5.


I bought an old UPS without batteries mainly for getting it's enclosure for later projects. It cost me $10 delivered

It is Hungarian made from the "good old days". Disassembled it. The build quality was a real surprise to me. No welds, pop rivets, just machine screws everywhere. No soldering at the connectors, just proper terminals. No junk parts, just well known manufacturers one.
Made some calculations from the easily salvageable parts:

1x Omron G7L-2A-TUB relay. Current cost: $12.57 

1x DELTA 04BEEG3SA mains inlet with filter Current cost: $10.53

2x RICH BAY RG-02 mains outlet Current cost: $15.65 (for the two)

Together: $38.75

I also have a big power transformer and the enclosure itself.

I think it was a good deal.

Finally my 110 Tool arrived

No idea yet, when will I work on the lab's network, where I need this.

Triax connectors

It took a long time to get the triax connectors into my hands for the Keithley 236, but finally got it. On the Aliexpress I found one seller, who sell 5 pcs connectors on the price of one at Farnell.

Triax cable

Neither widely available nor cheep is the required triax cable. Not the wire core - insulation - shield - foil - insulation type (what on many places called triaxial), but the wire core - insulation - shield - insulation - shield - insulation type where the two shielding electrically insulated from each other.

Usually it is sold in large quantity (you need to buy the whole roll). Fortunately I found an 8m piece on the FB marketplace locally, for a few bucks.

It was horribly stinky (felt like a complete ashtray), but I was able to clean it up. When my Keithley 236 find its place in the lab, I'll build proper cables for it.

Dymo heath shrink

I wasn't aware that this thing even exists. I'm still in the rebuilding of my CNC router. It has markings on the stepper axis cables. I wasn't able to imagine, how those markings are made. Now I know. Somebody on an FB group shown it. As I have a USB Dymo printer, I immediately ordered a few packs in different sizes. When I get there to finish those cables, I'll use this as a marker.

47pcs unknown small transformer

(bought for $0.4 each)

As I have similar transformers, my assumption was, that I just need to measure while connecting to the 230V mains and I can use them. As I'm cautious guy, first I measured the coil DC resistance, just to have some idea. It come out 380 mOhm / 50 mOhm (primary/secondary). It is way too low for such transformer.

I have a same mechanical size 230V/230V transformer with 5,5 kOhm / 6,3kOhm coil resistance.

So the question is: what a hell this transformers are good for?

SMPS? Kind of filter? Something else?

No idea yet. There is two direction to figure out:

1. Disassemble one and see, what is in there (type of core, number of windings, wire diameter)

2. Measure.

I definitely choose the second option. I intend to measure inductivity, how it works on various frequencies, what is the ratio between the two coils, what is the highest achievable efficiency, where the core saturates, etc.

This is just a rough idea right now, how to measure. I intend to collect the following instrument park for this: A proper LCR meter, four DMMs, a power amplifier, and an oscilloscope, DC Load (I don"t have an AC Load, so a DC load with schottky diodes and filter capacitor would be good enough)

Here is some basic idea, what I intend to do (bit more, but this is good for starting):


2022. április 4., hétfő

Pan & Tilt gimbal project?

In the last two weeks I didn't have too much time to work on my hobby projects or even to continue to build my lab.

To be honest I even didn't feel like working on any of my currently running projects. (There is the time to start a new unfinished project 😄)

There is something itching in my mind. I need an MCU controlled pan and tilt head for a mobile phone (camera). I would like to have it to generate a 360 view for a room, what I need for undisclosed reasons.

The original idea to build the pan and tilt head from 3D printed parts and Nema stepper motors. Control it from an ESP32 based 3D printer controller, like this:

Also add some Wi-Fi based web interface to the ESP32 and control the phone mounted on the pan and tilt head via blutooth.

This idea was forming in the last two weeks. Fortunately I didn't order the things I collected for this. Those are just sitting in my Aliexpress basket.

Yesterday I was thinking to start the ESP programming and the 3D design of the components.

Eventually I found something interesting

This is a Zifon YT-1000 pan & tilt head.
This also has wireless remote, costs bit more than $80 delivered.
This thing is a good candidate for my project. It lack of the automation I need, but has most of the capabilities I require.
Unable to control the phone, take all of the pictures I need, but almost there.
Here come the question. Is it hackable?
The answer located here:
From the post you can figure out that the wireless controller is a JDY-40-V1.2 wireless serial transceiver module.
No, it isn't available on the Aliexpress. It is sold by Electrodragon under the name EY-40:
I would have reservations about a market player I didn't know. But with Electrodragon I don't have, as I ordered my ESP8266 based wi-fi switches (before even sonoff existence) from them, and had no problems.
So now the pan & tilt head + remote modules are on the way to me.
The project is simplified itself to the ESP32 programming while replacing the motor control part with the EY-40 commands.