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Somehow The working edition of Copper Carve got overwritten / lost. I'm not sure. There were a bunch of features and fixes that I programed that were lost. Needless to say it was very demotivating when I realized I'd have to redo a lot of work. Couple that with getting a new house and career advancement made it very difficult to continue work on Copper Carve. But now things have stabilized and I'm ready to pick up the threads and make Copper Carve a cohesive software for working with the D3D Mill.

 

Here's a cool guide on how to break your Arduino. Obviously it is likely never your objective to break your Arduino, but what this guide really details, is things go look out for. Lots of good sketches detailing current paths and how to prevent this issues. Check it out!

Arduino Clip Art

6.1.1 Binary Numbers (Short Circuit Video)

A review of how counting works with normal (base 10) numbers. Then it is relate to the new concept of binary numbers; a system which is implemented in computers to represent numbers.

As the Summer is winding down and the Fall semester is approaching, I'm beginning to think more about how I teach. To start practicing, I've started to produce brief educational videos called "The Short Circuit". The idea is for the videos to be short, instructional, (reasonably) well produced and yet frill free. My intention with the short circuit videos is to cover many topics in electrical engineering, but also keep the material connected. I've identified my definition of "The Learning Cycle," which I'll seek to implement in every video:

The open source phone by Dooba, called "Trill" is awesome. Open source PCB with a 3D printed enclosure. Beautiful little OLED display. Making a cellphone has been my objective for about a year - I even have most of the parts already. Sadly I haven't had the time to sit down and really work on it. But my cellphone is on it's last leg (And I've had it since 2012 - so it can be considered archaic at this point). I really don't want to buy another phone - so Trill is on my wishlist.

A look at the spindle slipping due to low contact friction with the holder, Z axis probing to prevent warpage, and counterweight springs to give a favorable failure mode for the spindle.

Z axis springs used to cancel the force of the spindle's weight
Z axis springs used to cancel the force of the spindle's weight

The demands of graduate school were taking their toll last month and I wasn't able to give OCI the love it deserves. But I'm back to work now! The Z axis was not getting enough current from the stepper driver on the ramps board. This is because the entire spindle assembly weighs 1kg - and is straining out the stepper motors. When moving in small increments, the motors will skip steps and move inconsistently (see data from Circuit Mill Development Log: Z Slip). Often times the spindle would slip downward while cutting, causing some catastrophic results.

Test geometric patterns and test designs milled with reasonable success

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A simple circuit board that fits in a RAMPS motor driver slot. It breaks out the Step, Direction, !Enable, and ground pins. These signals can now be used with larger high current stepper drivers.

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A +-5V power supply. The input is 12V (as a minimum, it can go up to 48V). Made to be used with this 12V power supply. The max current is 1A per supply. This supply works perfectly for amplifier circuits that deal with AC signals.

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A simple Radio Frequency Transmitter. The circuit includes a DC rejection capacitor, input low pas filter, and a resonant circuit for AM modulation. A tunable capacitor is used in order to generate a resonating carrier.
This design is made with reference to a design in Practical Electronics for Inventors, Third Edition

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