CNC back off from the back burner.

Last week I was finally able to work outside again since the remodel for the exterior portion of my apartment building. I was rummaging around my storage closet and came across a sheet of Oriented strand board (OSB). OSB is dirt cheap, a 4ft X 8ft sheet can go for about $6.00 to $10.00 at Home Depot. I laid out by hand the parts for the frame of the CNC unit. Instead of having the Gantry moveable I decided to have the X axis move. I cleaned out the ruff lay out with my square and used the Jig saw to cut the parts out.

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Since a Jig saw cuts ruff and like heck you’ll get anything squared up I used my hand router with a flush trim bit to make everything square and to the correct sizes.

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As a reference for a straight edge I found a small piece of scrap wood that was square and used a hot glue gun to glue the straight edge to the OSB pieces.

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After messing around with the Router I was able to get everything squared and perfect.

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Nothing is fasten together yet. I will do that on the final assembly. I have found a few options for the spindle and a few ideas I want to try for the railing system. I plan to work on this more this Sunday.

Happy New Year and News

Happy New year to all of my Followers/Readers.

To roll out the New Year I have started a new job pre-wiring houses for TV, Data and Security. Some times even Speakers for Audio systems. It’s a easy job but the summer heat will probably suck.

Since taking on the new job we had to turn into a two car family. The Wife and I bought a 2016 KIA Forte since I turned the Family Van into a Utility work vehicle.

For the new Job I bought a RYOBI ONE+ Drill and Impact driver set from Home Depot that were on sale for 99 bucks. After using them for a couple days I have made up a little review performance wise. Lets start with the Drill. It feels nice and sturdy and some what light weight. For the work I do that requires to drill into multiple studs with a 3/8 twist bit it works fine but with Paddle bits it has no torque. As for the Impact driver it also feels sturdy and light weight. You can drive screws in like a hot knife thru butter. I was able to get by two days before having to recharge the batteries for both devices.

Yesterday I got a killer idea for a Cartoon. I got a hold of my oldest friend yesterday to talk about it since he does art and a few times we talked about doing a cartoon since I can do voices. I won’t go into detail about it but it will be a adult like cartoon comedy.

Old Point Of Sale Printer

A while back I got ahold of a Epson TM-88II. It’s a typical thermal receipt/ticket printer used with POS (Point of sale) systems. The printer I have has the RS-232 adapter. Sadly no power supply came with it but after digging around in my parts box I found a laptop charger that has the correct voltage and current rating. So I hardwired the power supply leads onto the printer’s motherboard after probing what was positive and ground.

The only PC I got running at the moment that has RS-232 is the junk system running Windows 98SE. The printer can’t natively work in Windows 98SE however since it is a serial device you can use the Generic text only driver.

To figure out what the serial port settings are on the printer you can hold down the FEED button while powering on the printer. This will print a short report of the printer settings and the serial port configuration.

For giggles I tried hyper terminal and connected to the printer. I can use it as a mini teletype system.

Just thought I was share my boring day.

Free power ideas

Since things are kinda slow here so I thought I would goof around with some “Free Power” experiments.

All over the web you can find some great ideas about “Free Power”. Some are far-fetched and some have some surprising results. I’ve had a few ideas of my own that I want to try such as trying an “Earth Battery” and seeing about boosting the voltage to five volts and boost it further with an inverter or a high voltage Joule Thief. I also have a couple of ideas with some old Microwave oven parts such as the power transformer and the glass tray spindle motor. The spindal motor can be used as a generator that doesn’t require that many revolutions but requires a lot of torque. We know if we inject 120 volts into a Microwave transformer you get 1000s of volts on the secondary but what if you use a lower voltage on the primary? Typical it is 1 volt per turn on primary windings. I tried taking two smaller filament transformers and injected 28 volts in the primary and got  10 volts out on the secondary. if a synthetic AC 5 volt source can be used on a MOT I wonder how many volts can I get on the secondary. Would it be worthwhile to try making an inverter to power AC mains stuff or would it be too weak?

The main objective for my experiment is to use an Earth Battery and boost the voltage to around 12 volts to keep an array of Super capacitors charged to power low voltage / low current mostly for powering LED lighting and maybe a few other things. Doubt I could be able to use an automotive Power Inverter to get 120 mains voltage. Not to mention it would be a synthetic mains voltage since it would be taking a DC source and converting it to a positive and negative square wave running at a 60Hz duty cycle. A lot of stuff doesn’t like using that synthetic AC such as motors. A hand crank would be great for a backup for in case if the Super Capacitor array is too low.

Fixing computers (Software)

In the old days it was super easy to fix a software fault. From since the Internet the battle front has changed and can be daunting from Malware, Spyware and Viruses.

Today I am passing on some quick easy ways to fix such things and tips from keeping your computer in shape.

Typically most users end up with what I call a downloader. I use this term with clients so they can better understand when they ask what is wrong. It’s typically a fake program that runs in the background constantly spreading Malware and Spyware. It causes havoc on system resources. This is where you need to know your software. For an example you look in the Software list of what is installed. Any odd third-party software you never heard of and know the client or yourself would not use. For a example a Coupon Finder program. This will create unwanted Ads to pop up and also install other programs like WeatherBug and the fake AVG Antivirus and so forth. The best bet is to reboot in SafeMode and backup data such as Pictures, Music and Documents to a Flash Drive. If you have a big enough Flash Drive you could save Video.

You want to uninstall everything that is third-party as much as possible. Do not reboot if it asks. Next you need to run MSCONFIG and remove pretty much everything from the start-up. You can leave things such as nVidia, ATI and RealTek stuff that goes to the hardware.

Go into Task Scheduler and remove any third-party programs from that list.

Next you need to edit the Registry. Most people are afraid to do this but if you know what you are doing and follow the directions you will be fine. Run RegEdit and run as Administrator. Under HKEY_CURRENT_USER select Software then Microsoft Then Windows then CurrentVersion then Run. From this section you can remove pretty much everything. on the right side of the screen. This section controls on what loads up third-party wise as a typical user level. Now we need to do this again but under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. That section controls system wide including the Administrator login. So you would go HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, Software, Microsoft, Windows, CurrentVersion, Run.

Next we need to manually remove some files. Most programs default into C:\Program Files (x86) or C:\Program Files. Just delete the folders that contain the same names as the programs you deleted. in the beginning. If it doesn’t let you delete them then that means they are still loaded/running. Reason being the Registry still has the location of the files in memory. You can however move the Folders/Directories to the desktop so when you reboot you can get to them quicker and delete them since the Registry entry is wiped. After doing much as possible of deleting them you can now finally reboot. Just boot in Normal mode and see if all is well and finish deleting the files. Now I recommend cleaning the Registry with a program called CCleaner. While you’re at it go ahead and delete the Internet history and Cookies to avoid the same mishap happening again. Also run a program called Malwarebytes. They offer a free 30 day trial but I would recommend to buy the full version. Clear out the Downloads Directory as well for the sake of the client reinstalling the program that started it all.

Now this is a typical clean however there are many more such as www-searching and some new Virus or Trojan. About 90% of the time you can just Google the issue for an example”remove www-searching”. Read blog posts or message boards for the solution. Avoid websites that have an all in one free scanner, those will add more problems.

I’ve been asks so many questions over the years about Identity theft if a user’s system gets infected. The chances are very slim unless they know for sure of they are attacking and they typically will use Social Engineering instead of breaking into your home system. Hackers/Attackers attend to only go after huge companies such as Sony, Target and so forth.

Anti-Virus programs are also a huge debate and honestly I don’t like them. It’s like a person buying Optical Insurance when they have perfect 20/20 vision. When a Anti Virus picks up a virus warning it is an old virus that has been around. New Viruses and Trojans will not be detected until it has hit the mainstream and companies such as Norton and McAfee have created a patch/update for the Anti-Virus. In all reality they just bog down the system and some times be annoying. When you come into contact will a old virus you can typically download a removal tool from Norton for no charge. Or you can google a removal process. Same deal most of the time with new Viruses.

If this is your personal system then keep this in mind. When you install a program do you honestly need it to start when Windows is loaded? Chances ar not really so you can always delete the entry in MSCONFIG. If you need a peice of software to load when Windows loads up I would recommend to put a shortcut under the StartUp section on the StartMenu or whatever Windows calls it these days (I don’t use Windows 8 or 10). Make backups or invest in a Google Drive account. Do not turn off the Firewall. Do not add your system to a DMZ list on your router. Run CCleaner and Malwarebytes once a week. If you really want to see what is going on in Windows there is a awesome Task Manager replacement called Process Hacker This will give full detial on what is running.

However if a client demands of a Anti-Virus then I would Recommend Atvast It’s very user friendly and is updated weekly. Not to mention free.

Also advise everyone you know to do not trust the Ads that contain “Flash Update”, “Java Update”, “Driver Update” and the little fake computer lock Ads that claim you need to call Tech Support or send money to a Government Agency. All of this will screw up your computer and your wallet.

DIY Ultrasonic cleaner idea

If you clean a lot of parts from Automotive to Electronics you can use an Ultrasonic cleaner to do the job. Some people think you can toss on an Electric Sander to a bucket and think it works the same but not really.

The frequency of the transducer under the tank that causes the cavitation of bubbles that is nothing more than high frequency pressure sound waves to agitate a liquid to beat the dirt off. From Wikipedia on the subject an Ultrasonic Cleaner can output 20 to 400 kHz. These bubbles collapse with enormous energy; temperatures and pressures on the order of 5,000 K and 20,000 lbs per square inch. So a Sander wouldn’t do the job or depending on what you’re cleaning it can destroy the item you’re cleaning.

From my findings a typical circuit for this just takes a AC source from your wall outlet and converts the 50/60Hz frequency and increases it to somewhere in the kHz range.

You can build a cleaner from off the shelf parts but it can cost hundreds of dollars and in the end you could have bought one from Ebay or Craigslist. However I found an easy cheap solution to build a small one for electronics, jewelry, coins such.

A simple 555 Timer in a Stable congratulation with a LC filter on the output to convert the square wave to a sine wave. A set of old mono amplifier such as computer speakers to amplify the output and modify a speaker much like the Tactical Transducer I talked about before and mount it to the bottom of a food service pan or a thin gauge stainless pot. There are also a couple of other ways to do this by using an old cellphone and a Function Generator App so you can have an adjustable frequency. Instead of a speaker as a transducer you could go to a junkyard and use a Knock Sensor from a car. You might even be able to use a Sawtooth wave instead of a Sine wave. I honestly don’t know if it would make a difference or not.

It will be a while before I try this myself. I’m just passing along an idea.

New Job

Well on December 30th I will no longer be working for McDonald’s. I got a new job that I can somewhat use my technical skills with. I would be running cabling for security systems for homes that are still under construction.

The downside however I would have to use my own vehicle but they will pay for Gas. It’s also piece-rate pay but the more I do the more I get paid. As long as it’s more money I’ll be happy.

A friend even gave me a power inverter, for the life of me I can not find mine. It’s only a 75watt unit but it should be enough to run a battery charger or a small power tool for a few minutes.

I’m just excited really. My current Boss is kinda pissed and told me I wouldn’t be able to recall my notice. I don’t care if I can’t recall my notice honestly I’m just glad I can leave that forsaken job.

News 11/27/16

Last week was my 33rd Birthday. Didn’t do much on my Birthday since my three sons also share their Birthdays in November as well. My wife made all of us our own Cakes and selected our choice in Ice Cream. A friend gave me a LG G3 Cell Phone with a Wal-Mart Family Mobile Sim Card. I am thinking to activate the phone soon and probably do away with the house line.

I got a hold of a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) from work. It doesn’t work and after spending a few attempts to get it going I stripped it down. It’s a TrippLite brand unit and I have to say it is well-engineered and does not use any cheap components. However since it was soldered together with Lead-Free it is a pain to use my cheapo soldering irons to remove the parts. I am going to use the case for my dual power supply project that I keep putting on the back burner. The case is the same size as the old Shuttle desktop computers.

The Van is still running well however the Gas Gauge doesn’t show the proper Gas levels anymore. Probably because the new pump assembly didn’t line up exactly so a couple of degrees makes a huge difference. Some time I’ll probably end up dropping the tank again and fix that issue.

On the 29th and 30th I will start on a little construction project of a spice rack for my Wife. I plan to use Oak Pallet wood so it will match the Country Kitchen look we have. I might even attempt to make some Milk Paint to finish it. No-matter how it will end but it will have a white with blue trim color scheme.

The same friend that gave me the Phone is really into Google products and he bought himself one of those Google Home devices. I asked him last night how he likes it and he said he loves it so much he bought another one for the bedroom. He also said Google is coming out with a WiFi system so you can connect multiple Google devices together on a network so you can have for an example two or more Google Home devices work together in tandem.

The other night at Wal-Mart a co-worker and I were looking at 4K TVs and he was noticing a fair price for them. When I was looking at them I noticed how they’re lying to the consumer. The TVs in question are not truly 4K but 2K Ultra HD. Every single TV they had except the super expensive Samsung curved screen they had listed the pixel rate for the horizontal  2,048. A real 4K screen resolution for the horizontal is 4,096. However a lot of times you will see it listed as 3,840. So if you are in the market for a 4K TV then just keep in mind that stores such as Wal-Mart will list the TV incorrect and sell you a TV claiming to be 4K but is really 2K. Just remember you get what you pay for.

Coffee

I am an avid coffee drinker. Probably since I work nights most of my life and when I stopped drinking booze I replaced it with coffee. A friend gave me a Keurig Coffee Maker that a room-mate left behind. I cleaned it up and tried it out. Honestly it makes the weakest coffee I have ever had. Even with the smallest cup I got is like drinking water. Granted the K Cups that came with the coffee maker probably isn’t the best choice however the amount of caffeine intake isn’t that much. I’ve had iced coffee from work that all of the ice melted and was still stronger. The K Cups I tried with this machine were Black Silk from Folders. With my Mr Coffee machine for every cup I brew is a table-spoon of coffee grounds and I typically use Folders Colombian Bean. I attend to brew four cups at a time since most of my coffee cups can hold three to four cups worth. However days when I have to get up early I don’t have time to enjoy a large amount of coffee so a small single cup is enough.

I love the fact I can make a cup at a time. I can make a cup at a time with my current Mr. Coffee maker but it doesn’t brew straight into the cup and if you don’t pour it into a cup ASAP the hot plate will burn the coffee. I might buy of those reusable filter K Cup kits and use it for brewing espresso. Even if it did brew a proper cup to my taste from a typical K Cup it would cost way too much for 10 bucks for 18 cups or 27 bucks for 40 so a reusable filter kit would be the best thing. You can get one of those kits for 10 bucks and Cafe Bustelo Espresso coffee is almost four bucks a can from Wal-Mart. However since the Cafe Bustelo is a very fine coffee ground the screen filter might let fine particles through and you end up with some thick coffee on the last couple of sips. I know this happens with my main coffee maker but honestly it doesn’t bother me.

I guess what I am getting at is if you or a loved one loves strong coffee that can put hair on your chest or wake the dead then I wouldn’t buy one of these unless you want to use it as a dedicated espresso machine. I know I’ll use it for that and I know my wife will love it since she is a lite coffee drinker.

How one project turns into another

Today I was playing around with some Digital Rotary Encoders and thought it would be great to see the wave form on my scope. Sadly I only have an Analog scope. In the past I have played with a Arduino based DSO and thought I would look into it again. Well sure enough I ran into a instructable post that some one took the Poor Man’s Oscilloscope and updated it. So naturally I tried it out and works great.

It’s more of a face lift to the Processing portion of the code. Some added features such as pausing the wave form and able to zoom in and out.

When I built my board up I used a 1MGEG resistor as a pull down from Ground to A0 and also since I’m using it as a scope I tossed on a BNC connector. Since I have a 10x probe I am able to do a voltage divider and able to probe signals higher than 5 volts. With the Probe in the 10x setting 5V is 500mV (Half a volt). That comes in handy for probing CMOS ICs that run at higher voltages. I could also toss on a Capacitor for some AC coupling.

So if you need to see some rising and falling edges or a wave form and all you got is a Analog Scope then I would give the Arduino Poorman’s Oscilloscope a try.