Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Hands Free Jig

UPDATED:
Added Details and Links


In the past I successfully have used "Hands Free Soldering Jigs", but I wanted more functionality.

I found on ebay Machinist Magnetic Indicator Dial Gauge Holders, with a little 3D Printer Designed Adaptor they could be used as a Hands Free Soldering Jig.

A single Knob adjust and locks all three major joints.


In this case, the yellow alligator clip adapter was 3D Printed.


Also, another adapter (black) was printed, and a "Hat Pin" heated and inserted. This makes for a very nice PCB probe, an Oscilloscope probe can be attached to the top of the pin.



Once adjusted, these Dial Indicator Holders are "Rock Solid", once positioned they stay put, allowing for precise probing.  I use tape to hold board under test to the bench (thanks, Jeff - KO7M).



If used, the Magnet Base needs a stable steel attachment point, in my case, my bench edge is metal and provides as necessary.   The Magnet Base could be abandoned for something that could be attached to a wooden bench.

-- Home Page: https://WA0UWH.blogspot.com


Monday, April 2, 2018

Test Lead Rack - For my eShop

In my Electronics Shop, space and organization is always a challenge.  The following 3D Printed Test Lead Rack will help.

An Interactive Link To The Design

I designed the Test Lead Rack with Fusion 360 as one of my efforts to learn this new (to me) software.  I had been using Sketchup for most of my previous projects, but the lure of Parametric Design is to great to NOT switch to Fusion 360.  Also, a lot of public available designed parts are available from Fusion 360.

Now 6.5 hours later after design, the 3D Printer provides the Results:



And now, it is in use:



-- Home Page: https://WA0UWH.blogspot.com


Sunday, January 7, 2018

3D Printer - MY Noob Mistakes


As posted before, I have been playing with a new TEVO Little Monster 3D Printer, I have made a LOT of Noob mistakes that could have been avoided if I had only knew.

The following are notes to myself.

o. Do not turn off the power to the 3D Printer unless you are certain that the Hot-End has cooled down. if not, removing power to the 3D Printer will cause the filament to melt within the Cold-End and then a complicated repair method will be required to fix the problem.

o. Remember, 3D Printing is very SLOW, it is much slower than waiting for paint to dry.

o. Remember the hot-end is VERY HOT, I have several burns to remind me.

o. Learn how to set the Z zero Height to within a paper thickness of the print bed, or nothing will work correctly until you do, no mater how hard you try.

o. Buy several sets of Print Head replacement parts, for the; Cold-End, Thermal Break, and Hot-End.

o. Consider buying some Tetrahydrofuran (THF) , it is the only effective thing that will dissolve PLA (for Hot-End  clean and repair), and it can be used to glue PLA parts together. Or at least that is what google suggests.

o. Note, MOST often Hot-End repair work will be done while it is HOT (about 210 C, or more), other wise PLA will be hard and not easily removed.

o. For my use, Blue Painter Tape works best for the Printer Bed, it has some texture that will show up on the printed part, but PLA stick very good to it. A roles of Blue Painters Tape (10 inches wide) are available on-line for about $50, and worth every penny, it makes bed prep very easy.

o. If the Hot-End is disassembled, for cleaning or repair, remember it has to be re-assembled and tightened while at intended operating temperature, for me that is about 215C.  If not, it WILL leak.


Note: I will add to this list as I learn more.


-- Home Page: https://WA0UWH.blogspot.com


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Reduction Gears

Sorry, this is not an Amateur Radio post.

After many months of working with a 3D Printer, I have finally successfully created a working set of interlocking reduction gears, each section provides a 7:1 reduction. This device is about 2 inches in diameter, the total reduction is 14:1.

The original Ring Gear from Thingiverse was modified to create this multi-stage Reduction Gear. My contribution was to modify it as necessary and join two sets together.



Sketchup Model
The transfer plates (with the connecting pins) were assembled by adding the center HEX pin after printing.  Each of the two Reduction Cluster were printer as an assembled single object on the printer. No cleanup or filing was necessary.




Silicon grease is used for lube.

I may increase the size (and with other modification) this could be used as a Light Weight Field Day Antenna Rotor.

-- Home Page: https://WA0UWH.blogspot.com


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Lost Friends


This week has not been a good week, very sad, two of my Ham Radio Friends have passed away.

Doug Phillips - W7RDP  (SK) a good friend from the local Pacific QRP Group (pQRP).

Don Sehulster - K7QYP / W7LSC  (SK) - a very good Navy Buddy (1968-1972).


73 - My Friends . . .  K



-- Home Page: https://WA0UWH.blogspot.com


Sunday, April 30, 2017

First 3D Printer

I purchased a 3D Printer, and just now learning how to use it, there is a lot to learn.

After many trials and failures, I have successfully printed the equivalent of "Hello World" for 3D Printers, which is the "3DBenchy". This online part was designed to be a torture test for a 3D Printer, with many under-cuts, over-hangs and fills, that are somewhat difficult. This part is about 2.5 inches long.

My Printed 3DBenchy Results
3DBenchy was actually about my 10th attempt at print anything, the first few parts went horribly wrong.

Here are a few of my initial prints of a part of my own design, obviously I did not know what I was doing.





Things got better with practice and understanding of the 3D Print process and control parameters.


The above is a replacement part for an Orbital Sander, this part is no longer available from the manufacture, it will eventually be printed with Black ABS Plastic, which is similar to the original. I designed this part with FreeCAD and used Slic3r for the G-Code output for the 3D Printer.  For me, FreeCAD has a steep learning curve.


And, then . . .

On the next part, a Cable Chain of my own design, I must have lost the magic !!


But finally, things got better with practice.

Cable Chain Links
The First Two Links of a Cable Chain.
I am currently printing four Cable Links with newer/better design, I will report the results. For these link design, I have used Sketchup and Slic3r. For simple designs Sketchup is easy to use, as long as you only need "Union" style of object creation, that is, objects that touch are automatically joined together (union'd) when exported as an STL file. STL files are needed by Slic3r.

Four Cable Chain Links
About 2/3 Complete

This is fun, I think I am going to enjoy my new 3D Printer.


-- Home Page: https://WA0UWH.blogspot.com


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Esp8266 WebServer Farm - Again

After several long months, I have reactivated my Esp8266 WebServer Farm.

Use this links to all of my Esp8366 project blog posts.

Esp8266 WebServer Farm

Currently, one of my WebServers can be accessed as: http://esp.wa0uwh.com:8154

The main reason that it has be off-line, is lack of interest, and recently, I could only get the code to compile on the old Arduino IDE (Rev 1.6.x).  The code is quite large and I took advantage of many "tabs" for code fragments, which are concatenated before presented to the compiler.  The new Arduino IDE Revision (1.8.1) is much more strict regarding Header Files, code files, and program structure. There were just TOO MANY errors to correct to keep my interest in solving the problem.

Once started to solve the problems and not getting much accomplished, my Friend Jeff - Ko7m, suggest another IDE, he suggested "PlatformIO IDE".

With little work, I found and installed PlatformIO, but alas, I found similar problems and concerns with it.  But little-by-little after much on-line reading, Jeff and I worked out the best file structures that worked with PlatformIO.

I have not moved the new code structure to GitHub, but maybe soon.


-- Home Page: https://WA0UWH.blogspot.com


Saturday, January 14, 2017

My Soldering TIP #1

Several years ago my trusty Weller Soldering Iron failed, knowing that most of my projects were going to use small SMD parts, I ordered a fancy replacement, a Hakko FX-888 Soldering Station (about $90.00) with several assorted tips, some really small tips for SMDs. The tracking information, revealed that it would be in my hands in about three weeks.

But, I needed a replacement Iron NOW, to finish a project. I went to Frys, and found a cheapy Iron that I thought I could use (about $29.00), it was a Hakko Presto 980-V12/P. It had only one smallish chisel tip, but I thought it could be used for some larger SMDs.

Well, now several years later, the expensive Hakko FX-888 with its small tips is VERY seldom used (maybe about 3%), while the cheap Hakko Presto 980-V12/P is used for most (if not all) of my projects, and I am still using the original TIP. If you have seen my projects (typically on a 0.5in x 0.7in PCB boards) you might think the FX-888 would be more appropriate, but I fould it is not.

The following are some of my projects where the Hakko Presto 980-V12/P was used:

HomeBrew Double Sided
Si570 Board
HomeBrew Double Sided Project
These are 0805 Caps, and SOT-223 Voltage Reg
I like and use the Hakko 980-V12/P, it has "Two Temps, 20W normal, and 130W push button switch", very seldom have I used the 130W button.

I have recently purchased a second Hakko 980-V12/P for my tool box.

Today I think the Hakko 980-V12/P is priced about $60.00, if you are interested in online purchase, google is your friend. see: https://www.google.com/search?q=hakko+980

I think you will like it.

BTW: I use a "wall outlet timer" to supply power to my soldering irons, if I forget, the timer turns off power to them after about 45 minutes, which saves the soldering TIPs.


-- Home Page: https://WA0UWH.blogspot.com


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Small Experimental Receiver Circuit

I have finally found some time to "melt some solder" at my new location and new eShop bench. The bench is not finished yet, but I needed a Solder FIX.

This, like all of my project, is an attempt to make projects as small as my abilities allow.

New eShop Bench
The project that I am working on is some boards I just received back from OSH Park. The boards are a small and part of an experimental HF Receiver. The boards edge connectors are "Castellated" to allow them to be used within a larger PCB circuit, and with attached Headers, they can be used with/on a Solderless Proto Board.

The size of these boards are:
Left: 0.8x1.0 inch,
Right: 0.5x1.0 inch

This is my experimental design, it is a circuit that contain the:  HF VFO Mixer, Band Pass Filter (BPF, 40MHz), and BFO Mixer.

The bigger boards on the left are similar to those on the right, except they also contains the Oscillators for both the VFO and the BFO, along with the voltage regulator for the oscillator chip.

The components on the lower half are installed
Ready for some testing
Unpopulated is the VFO/BFO and Voltage Regulator
LTSpice suggests this circuit will work, but assessing the actual performance is the real reason for building this experimental circuit.

Additional circuits will be needed, to make this a real receiver, like: Band Select Filters, Automatic Gain Control, Audio Circuit, a Microcontroller, and Display. Likewise, I will make each as small as I can.

Testing will start when I have some (more) time.


-- Home Page: https://WA0UWH.blogspot.com


Sunday, November 20, 2016

My new eShop

UPDATED: 11/21/2016

I have NOT posted anything for several (6) months, my life has been in somewhat of turmoil (maybe, I am getting too old for this), but now, maybe things are starting to get back to normal.

Regardless, I have been thinking of many HomeBrew projects that I want to build and blog. But first I have to set up my eShop in this new (and better) location.

This is the beginnings of my new eShop setup:

My new eShop Bench
I just finished building the wooden shelves. My previous eShop shelves were about the same but fixed, these shelves are movable, and therefore this setup should be more effective for varying sized electronic equipment.

Adjacent to that,  is my current MS 10 WorkStation, Raspberry Pi, and Orange Pi set ups:

Computer Workstation
The three bottom screens are connected to the MS WorkStation, and the three uppers are for the PI's.

Note: and the refrigerator is only about 15 feet away, hihi.

Unfortunately, I have not started my Ham Station and Antenna System yet.

I have some small Ham Radio related PC boards out for manufacturing at OSH Park, if they works as expected, I may be blogging about those, soon.

UPDATE:

The day after installing my shelves and turning on the Oscope for the first time in a long while, the (calibration) trace is going bonkers, with a short bright spot at the beginning of the trace. Trace INTEN has little control.  DANG, now something else to repair.
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