CNC progress

Yesterday I started on the final X axis sled build and I was surprised I didn’t hardly run into any issues. The few issues I ran into were quickly rectified. Now I need to figure out how I want to X axis to work. I am thinking of two ways such as dual stepper motors or a single motor with threaded rod. I’ll post up pictures of the progress very soon.

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WN2000RPT to WNR2000 guide

Here is a guide on how to flash the WN2000RPT with the WNR2000 firmware.

Note this has only been done with the WN2000RPT rev0. If you’re unsure on what version you have just open the case and you’ll see a white sticker that has the Rev number.

Step 1.
Flash the WNR2000 firmware. You’ll need a TFTP client. I prefer this one. You’ll also need the firmware from Netgear’s website. Be sure to download version 1.1.2.6.

Step 2.
Plug up the extender but do not power it on yet. Grab a paper clip, on the back there is a micro reset button. Push in the paper clip and while holding in the paper clip turn on the extender. Keep holding it while the unit powers up. The power LED will be amber and after a minute or two it will turn green and flash. After it has flashed ten times you can release the paper clip. Plug in a Ethernet cable into the extender and plug the other end into your PC. On the PC you have to set the network to use a static IP address so it can talk to the extender directly.

IP: 192.168.1.10
Subnet: 255.255.255.0
Gateway: 192.168.1.1
DNS: 192.168.1.1

Step 3.
Run TFTP2.EXE, under Server type in 192.168.1.1 You do not need a password so leave it blank. Locate the firmware file you downloaded and also change the upgrade fail retry to 1. Click on Upgrade.

Leave things alone for ten minutes. The extender will power cycle and update. You’ll know when its done when there is a green LED again and you’ll probably notice on your PC’s taskbar that the cable is plugged in status is up. To confirm that the upgrade is complete open your web browser and access the extender by entering the address 192.168.1.1.

I will add a second guide later on for flashing the WN2000RPT to use OpenWRT Barrier Breaker.

Router Modding

I was given four Netgear WN2000RPT Wifi extenders. Out of the box they don’t do much other then extend a wifi or use as a repeater. I have found out they’re just like the Netgear WNR2000 router but with out a WAN port. I forced flashed one of them to use a old version of the WNR2000 firmware by using TFTP and it worked. The firmware I used was for the WNR2000 V1. I also was able to enable the telnet console and gain access via telnet. Now for giggles I want to flash OpenWRT on to the box I modified and see if it works. If all goes well I might look further into creating a custom image and seeing if I could use one as a mini webserver.

I’m currently building barrier breaker and hopefully it will work.

Ultimate way to get CNC parts

I got a hold of a photocopier today. One heck of a piece of a equipment to move and thank goodness it had casters. It didn’t work but It wasn’t for that reason but to strip it down for the stepper motors, glide rails, bushings, bearings and other misc stuff. I ended up with a life time supply of screws, 10 stepper motors that are a mixture of four and five wire. Three of them are perfect for the CNC unless I go with a belt and gear system.

So if you are like me and want to build a custom CNC your best bet is to get a hold of a photocopier. You’ll end up with enough parts and bits to build a couple of them.

My router is going insane

I have a Linksys That I flashed a year ago with DD-WRT. Works great and I can do some nifty stuff with my home network with it. However I noticed my internet connection going at a snails pace. To rule out some issues I direct connected to modem to my desktop and it works at the correct speed. I turn off my router for a while to cool down let alone wipe memory and still makes the connection horrible. Kinda need the router since most of the house hold uses WiFi unless I bend over backwards and toss together a PC based router and toss on something like PFSense. I also have four Netgear WN2000RPT boxes I could toss in the mix but they’re wireless G. I don’t know, so many options yet so few.

Metal etching

I’ve been wanting to make a custom font panel/bezel for a case. Instead of using paint of cheap labels I want to etch it into the metal. I can also easily add a logo if I wanted.

It’s a very simple process and only basic items are needed such as DC voltage, water, salt, a sacrificial piece of metal and a plastic bowl. Depending on how deep you want to etching it can take a few seconds to mere minutes. It can be used with 9 to 12 volts of power.

Just make a stencil, wrap the metal plate leaving what you want the image to be exposed. It’s easier to attach a wire and tape it on the backside of the metal piece. Attach the positive side to the metal piece you want to etch. Dampen the exposed side with the salt water to avoid bubbles and insert into the salt water. Attach the negative side to the sacrificial piece of metal and turn on the power supply. Insert the negative side into the salt water. If you put the negative side in before turning it on it could short circuit but if you’re using batteries it will be fine. Just be sure to not touch any metal and use plastic or rubber coated alligator clips.

Depending on the type of metal you’re etching it can take a few seconds to a few minutes. Just keep a eye on it and if you remove let alone need to touch anything turn off the power supply. Also be prepared to see the water turn nasty yellow, brown and black.

Bench power supply update

Well I tried out the Stereo tuner and found out that sadly it doesn’t work. I tried to repair it but found a huge burn spot on the bottom of the PCB. Also it had a couple of burnt out fuses. Looks like a power transistor got brunt up and took the PCB with it. However this isn’t a total loss since I have been wanting to build a new linear bench power supply. The stereo has a beefy transformer that pushes 24 volts at 3 amps. Perfect for a bench power supply.

So here is the load down for the power supply. Typical Linear style with a full bridge rectifier, 820uF cap, LM317 adjustable regulator and a ten turn pot. For the display I’ll use a VU meter. Might even toss in dual digital display down the road for volts and amps. For now I’ll use a VU meter I got laying around.

Cool stuff

I helped a friend in the wee hours of the night move and he gave me a stereo tuner and a WiFi extender.

The stereo tuner is a vintage Samsung SS-3390. Typical 1980s look with the metal casing that has a fake wood grain with heavy duty knobs and switches. It will replace my wimpy Logitech PC speakers that I’ll give to my oldest son for his gaming PC.

The WiFi extender is a Netgear WN2000RPT that is really a Netgear WNR2000 with out the WAN port. I attend to flash it with DD-WRT and use it as a bridge to extend the WiFi in my apartment. Since the main router is upstairs the downstairs is all WiFi and the signal can be crappy at times.

CNC Update 11/20

I bought some threaded rod, nuts, washers and some spring nuts to see if I can minimize backlash. The threaded rod is typical 3/8inch. Too bad I can’t find metric sizes locally let alone acme rod. I also went ahead and ordered a Arduino CNC kit that comes with a Uno, CNC shield version 3 with four A4988 modules for eighteen bucks.

Later today if the weather permits me I will try and build up the gantry and maybe the bed.

All what remains is bushings/bearings and slide railing.

Stripping down a LCD

What can you reuse from a broken LCD TV or computer monitor.

Depending if the LCD is LED or Cathode backlit you can use the back lighting to make a nifty one off desk lamp. LED based is a bit trickier since it uses PWM to control the LEDs.

There is a acrylic pane inside the LCD module itself. This can be used for all kinds of things from making custom enclosures to vacuum forming depending on the thickness of the acrylic. Tablets use thin acrylic sheets and some LED based LCDs use two to three millimeter thick sheets.

The plastic casing to the LCD is usually a type of ABS plastic. You could cut it up into small pieces, toss it into a glass jar and pour in some 100% Acetone and let the plastic melt into a putty. Works like wood filler but for plastic.

The rest of the LCD is garbage. You could use the stand for other things but in all that is all you can salvage from a typical LCD. Now if it’s a TV you could salvage other things like a switch mode power supply, speakers and a few thru-hole components but that is about it.