This Week In Projects

Lots of projects happening this week:
Spent some quality time debugging an OmniTurn CNC lathe keyboard for Renascence Manufacturing Corporation, turned out to be a blown fuse preventing the board from fully powering on, despite the deceptive LEDs still lighting up under parasitic power through the serial IO pins.

Jon finished installing stepper motors and supports on the CNC router:

Charle was able to successfully drip feed the Anilam 1100M controller some complex gcode commands to create this face:

Dave now has a working keyboard prototype that will revolutionize the way piano is played!

Alex was able to save a donated giant LCD TV from the trash with a simple single wire jumper, the brightness driver IO pin wasn’t putting out a brightness signal to the backlight inverter driver, jumpering the 5V backlight on command to the brightness command gives us a working TV, abet without brightness adjustment:

Carol attempted to repair the dreaded iBook G3 graphics BGA chip without luck, we likely did not get the chip warm enough to reflow the solder but did learn how to use the hot air rework pencil:

Menards had these great wireless outlets on sale for $10, getting 3 wireless controlled outlets in a nice package is waiting for an Arduino hack into the remote; hence we bought 6 sets and will be offering a one time Arduino hacking class for the holidays next week!

Larry debugging a string parser for Arduinos:

Larry making the sale on why electric bicycles rock to Rob, I believe a parts order was in later that evening. . .

Alex was able to install an ultra energy efficient 1W white LED to light up our door for the early darkness and icy winter conditions so when you swing by and can see the door from 3 blocks away you can thank him 🙂

Scott was finally able to injection mold some gears out of milk jugs (you can see the remaining green detergent bottle from earlier tests):

More shelves were fabricated to handle our 15 member’s storage bins:

Scott was also able to generate and run code for lost foam casts that we’ll be pouring out of aluminum castings (thanks again Isthmus for the material!) to get our mini-foundry up and running:

Some Saturday night shoe hacking to fix a broken shoelace:

And we were able to help out some BioMedical Engineering students with their design project, Sparkfun’s easy to implement 4 digit LED display was not so easy to implement but we were able to get a 16×2 LCD sourced and running in short order, turning their nearly failed project into a success in hours!

The fume collection hood was finally hung, yielding significant floor space and once properly ducted, a great exhaust system for welding/cutting/grinding and painting:

Lastly, the electronics benches were finally finished off, resulting in some sweet electronics workspace in the back of the conference area:

Speaking of conference area, a partially finished table was found on Craigslist and is midway through staining/polyurethane, next up is finalizing the pipe configuration in the base and inlaying the glass panes, no hammering on this table!

And finally, a Harbor Freight item that didn’t require complete rework to make it useful:

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2 comments on “This Week In Projects
  1. John Kowalski says:

    Do you guys have a wishlist? I have been active in electronics for years and have components (discrete solid state mainly), test equipment, manuals, PE and Radio Electronics magazines etc. that I want to donate to people who would use it, learn from it and respect it. I’m not parting with the Popular Electronics “Altair” issue though. I just don’t want to see this stuff just tossed or end up lining somebody’s bird cage. I’ve got a nice arc welder I would part with if you teach me how to weld. Thank you for your consideration. You have a great thing going.

    • Waterppk says:

      The wishlist is on the about page 🙂 We’ve got some need for electronics components, for the most part basic components like caps, resistors, switches, ICs, etc are useful; old tubes, ‘scopes, specialty IC’s are tough to justify keeping around with our limited storage space.

      We’ve started a bit of a library, it’s primarily books for reference material, the trouble with magazines is the difficulty in knowing what’s inside when you need it without looking through all of them 🙂

      I’d suggest stopping in if you haven’t already and looking at what we have and seeing if you can supplement/add value.


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