Blog 2023

Jump to navigation Jump to search

What we have been doing at Little House

Previous years blogs are available from the Main Page

2023-12-05 Tuesday

  • Andy opened
  • Paul E worked on some PWM/frequency measurement code for some test equipment
  • Ian M worked on the lathe, experimenting with shrink fitting
  • Andrew worked on the RPi camera module
  • Olivia was using the laser cutter
  • Tom desoldered a connector from an LCD module to prepare it for reuse

2023-11-07 Tuesday

  • Martin was bored enough to start learning OpenSCAD, hopefully he regain his senses
  • Andrew was doing some fusion 360 design work
  • Sven was designing a turntable for a model railway diorama
  • Ian was fixing the lathe, drilling and tapping the compound slide to fit a locking screw.
  • David was in showing Andy his UV lighting box, very impressively made. Thank you.

2023-10-31 Tuesday

  • Juliano visited us to ask some advice about mounting artwork
  • David was getting in early making some Christmas cards on the laser cutter
  • Andrew was some coding
  • Ian M continues with the lathe work
  • Martin was looking up comical books and probably some real work too
  • Andy just was

Previously in the day Steve, Paul and Andy were working on the Denford CNC mill

2023-10-24 Tuesday

  • Martin - opened LH, assisted Paul with CNC modifications
  • Paul E - applied a modification to the CNC mill to give the GRBL board control of the spindle motor
  • Ian M - continued working on the lathe spindle issues, and fitted a Yihua 907A clone iron to the Power+ 8000 series SMD Rework Station
  • Andy - gave a laser cutter induction, glued some wood for a personal project
  • Magdi - learned how to use the laser cutter, cut something on it I guess? (I confess I wasn't watching -- Paul)

2023-10-17 Tuesday

  • Paul E - CNC mill work adjusting the USB cabling and spindle control
  • Michael K - Created some blanking plates for the new mill and worked on their bike
  • Ian M - assisted with the scooter and investigated the CJ18A lathe spindle runout
  • Rash - came in to 3d print a halloweens' party prop
  • unknown gentleman - came in with a foldable electric scooter that didn't unfold. Ian M assisted in stripping it down enough to get to an inaccessible bolt that had backed out enough to jam against the seat strut, which was duly retightened.
  • Laura - came in to use a sewing machine for a university project, and after more fixing stuff than was desirable in front of a new member, eventually got some sewing done.
  • Andrew - helped introduce the 3D printer and continued working in Fusion360
  • Daniel - laser cutting on plywood

2023-10-10 Tuesday

(The wiki logged me out while I was editing this page and lost the data, so I forget what everyone was doing)

  • Paul E fixed his solder station from home
  • Martin
  • Andrew worked on the Flashforge bed levelling and continued a pollution sensor
  • Ian M made some copper soft jaws for the lathe three jaw chuck, and investigated the various failed soldering irons.
  • other Martin needed help with some website upload issues
  • Andy laser cut some wood to make storage boxes
  • someone else was laser cutting but I didn't catch a name

2023-10-03 Tuesday

  • Martin opened
  • Paul E replaced some power connectors on his test equipment so now 5V and 12V are in different sizes
  • Raph tapped some holes in aluminium as a test, then made a close-fitting handle part and tapped it on the lathe, with help from Ian M.
  • Andrew continued working on 3D printer, also pollution sensor
  • Marina brought a speaker that needed a USB connector replacing
  • Andy gave a laser cutter introduction to Daniel and Anand

2023-09-26 Tuesday

  • Martin kindly opened
  • Paul E continued working on his PAT testing assisting box
  • Ian M cut an encoder wheel on the laser cutter for measuring lathe RPM
  • Sylven put a keyboard back together
  • Tom is studying the GIMP image editor
  • Andrew continued working on the 3D printer, and gave a 3D printing induction to...
  • Catherine, who was visiting us for the first time.
  • Raph and Alfia have been recovering a drill battery and working on a drone power supply
  • Andy and Ed were discussing Adobe Illustrator
  • Olivia was laser cutting
  • Luisa came to visit for, I think, the first time and we hope to see her again

2023-09-19 Tuesday

  • Martin and Aki were PATing a PA amplifier
  • Elena picked up the laptop
  • Ian M was introducing Rachel & daughter to the lathe
  • Martin L
  • Andrew was fixing the 3D printer
  • Sylven has upgraded a laptop with RAM and a new drive
  • Paul E cut holes in a plastic box to make a device, coincidentally, to assist PAT testing

2023-09-12 Tuesday

  • Elena brought in the laptop borrowed from Ian, it needs reinstalling to recover some passwords
  • Leo brought a radio controlled pirate ship
  • Olivia laser cutting acrylic to recreate a design from her grandmother
  • Lucas, Jay, Locke worked out how to use the sewing machine
  • David N repairing a power socket strip, helped by Ian M
  • Paul E brought more UHT milk packets, assisted running
  • Andrew was attempting to fix the Geetech 3D printer
  • Andy was rebuilding a laptop and generally running the lab
  • Ian was cleaning the lathe and starting to investigate new problems
  • Martin continued with his GPS but left early before teddington bridge closed
  • Tim came to see what we're all about and we're hoping to see him again
  • Attendance tonight = 13

2023-08-31 Thursday

  • Paul E opened, and spent most of the time doing some actual work on his laptop
  • Jane cut 16 wooden chimneys (miniature ones, I should add)
  • Ananth soldered an LCD module and experimented with driving it from an Arduino
  • Ian M assisted with much of the above, and discovered how to sharpen a pencil using the lathe

2023-08-17 Thursday

  • Jon was laser cutting Austrian train company Logo's for a model railway layout nameboard.
  • Peter was working on one of his electronic projects
  • Ian M was preparing some stock metal on the lathe.
  • Leo was working on an autonomous robot

2023-08-01 Tuesday

  • Jane (with assistance from Ian M) was electrolytic cleaning a large woven copper wire pear that was badly oxidised. Results were not as good as we had hoped for, and we feel the process isn't really suitable to do indoors at RML in the future.
  • Ian B taught someone how to solder, and assisted with a microcontroller project at the round table, + various other projects. He also inspected the woodworking vice with a view to fixing its loose nut. Apparently its missing two securing screws or bolts.
  • Ian M made a boring bar holder for the lathe, and supplied a set of boring bars. He demonstrated the result to Ian B who liked what he saw.

This entry was reconstructed from memory - if you have anything to add please do so if you can or post it to our Telegram group

2023-07-25 Tuesday

  • Hello to Sat from Heston Repair Cafe. Sat came for a look round
  • Ian.M lent an engraver for marking tools
  • David L brought a laptop that wouldn't boot. Ian.M tracked down the trouble to a BIOS corruption due to a flat CMOS battery. He managed to restore the laptop back to working condition
  • Sylvan brought a laptop with a damaged screen display. With Andrew's help they tried it with an external monitor.
  • IanB did a laser cutting of the visor for Dharbi's motorcyle helmet, based on a photo of a cardboard template. But it wasn't a good fit. More work needed.
  • Hello to Joshua O who came in to see what we do. Got an interest in audio electronics and maybe DSP (digital signal processing). Hope to see you again soon, J.
  • Hi also to Ken. He has engineering experience. Ken planned to call in again on Thursday to meet the Thursday crowd.
  • Martin C dropped in and left again soon after.
  • Martin L discussed a re-drawing of the metal side panel for the electric car.
  • Mark did some 3D printing on the FlashForge. Getting really good at using OpenSCAD now. Still awaiting a login for the RML wiki.
  • Attendance tonight = 11

2023-07-18 Tuesday

  • Sven came to do laser cutting
  • Ian.M took our longest tape measure and condemned it as broken beyond repair. He saved the sprung steel centre. Ian also improved the lathe and evaluated our new crimp tool
  • Andrew had some coding to do but also helped with the crimper evaluation
  • Jane brought an ancient metal-frame hacksaw that could be renovated. Ian.M advised.
  • David N needed to add a strip of light to his light-box, made from a repurposed document scanner
  • Steve had some electrical thing that needed soldering
  • AndyH was helping out, and investigated the laser cutter's rotary tool
  • Garret brought an automatic floor vacuum cleaner, which bustled about Little House cleaning the carpet. It came here as it was unable to dock into the charging station to fill the battery at the end of a day's cleaning. Garret and IanB between them improved it, largely by polishing the contacts using wire wool
  • Chris cut a small logo into a piece of acrylic.
  • Sylvan brought a wireless keyboard that needed to be taken apart, to reveal why it wasn't working. Ian.M suggested the problem lay with the USB dongle, and this could be put right with some re-wiring. No sure what the outcome was.
  • Hello to Kevin, who donated a length of triple and earth cable. Might be useful to somebody.
  • Attendance tonight = 11

2023-07-11 Tuesday

  • Dharbi started making a replacement visor for her motorcycle helmet
  • Andrew was coding and assembling his pollution sensor
  • Ian.M used the lathe to produce an improved part for the Zombie 3D printer extruder drive
  • Sven came in to use the laser cutter
  • MartinL discussed the design of a side panel for the electric e-Iset he's building
  • AndyH worked on the CNC mill and all sorts of other things
  • Kevin needed to refurbish a bicycle wheel
  • Maria brought an ironing board that needed repair. It got done with the advice of Ian.M and IanB
  • Toby is still trying to repair his electronic picture frame. Ian.M suggested that, with the schematic, it would be possible to trace what's working using our oscilloscope.
  • Jane was chipping bits of terracotta off a small flowerpot
  • Hello to Andy and Heidi who came along to see us. They got a tour and are likely to come back soon
  • BenF make some labels using acrylic sheet and the laser cutter. They came out really well, and Ben introduced us to an effective way of cleaning up the laser cut parts, using Magic Sponge and alcohol. He left us a couple of sponges.
  • Wolfgang came along and used the laser cutter
  • Attendance tonight = 14

2023-07-04 Tuesday

  • Steve had a pair of glasses with a cracked frame. We tried ABS gloop to re-unite them, but it seemed that the frames were not made from ABS. Other people made suggestions like Sugrue, Duct Tape and so on.
  • Chris had a laser cutter induction
  • Ian.M discussed the possibility of setting up a brazing hearth, now that the yard is clear and we can see the brick barbeque again
  • Carl came in to take another look at the Kingston Hospital key-ring. There's still the problem of finding the right person within the organisation who will OK the whole idea.
  • Kevin had a wooden shelf unit that needed gluing and sanding
  • Valeria did some more kit assembly involving soldering, and laser-cut a pair of clear acrylic panels for and EMF detector which she made in a previous week.
  • Hello and welcome to Ed, Chum, Zoe who had come to see what we do. They were full of project ideas for laser cutting, metalworking and 3D printing. IanB demonstrated how to use OnShape software to design a 3D item that could be printed.
  • Attendance tonight = 11

2023-07-02 Sunday

  • There was a gathering at Little House to clear the yard.
  • The old rotted wooden table was cut into disposable pieces
  • A lot of weeds growing out of cracks in the ground were cut down
  • Some miscellaneous rubbish was piled up for disposal
  • The workbench was moved
  • Attendance today = 5

2023-06-27 Tuesday

  • Steve made a short visit. He had taken apart a camcorder and was offering any number of camcorder parts in case we could use them. Sadly we couldn't
  • Jill came by to pick up the Christmas lights that got repaired at RML
  • Hi to Daniel who came to visit
  • Jane repaired a plate hanger. It had springs in it. Jane also had a book "Magnetism & Electricity for Students" dated 1912. That was interesting. Still mostly accurate, but failed to predict the rise of AI
  • MartinL brought an electric wheel hub that was slightly out of line. He put it right with several heavy hammer blows.
  • Andrew returned to coding after his 3D printer success of last week.
  • Sylvan came back to do a bit more soldering practice. This time they concentrated on the skill of de-soldering.
  • Toby needed to re-make one of the crimp connections he had made last week. He also is beginning to think about a new (complicated?) doorbell project
  • Wolfgang dropped in to retrieve the colourful acrylic tiles he had lent us for the Ham Fair. The he used the laser cutter
  • Attendance tonight = 11

2023-06-20 Tuesday

  • Steve did some electronics
  • Raphael took up metalworking
  • Toby soldered pins to the Fire Beetle and crimped DuPont connectors
  • Carl investigated new key fobs for the local Kingston Hospital
  • Sol needed to repair a monitor. He got it apart with the help of IanM
  • Chris needs a laser induction
  • Sven did some more laser cutting
  • Hi to Nicolas
  • Andrew undertook to repair the Geeetech 3D printer. It took him the whole evening but there was a good outcome
  • Dan came in with the offer of a number of tools from two sources. Yes, we would collect!
  • Paul wanted to do a 3D print
  • Baz did 3D printing and further 3D design modifications
  • Attendance tonight = 13

2023-06-13 Tuesday

  • Two 3D printers are out of order. Andrew agreed to take a look at the Geeetech and clear the blocked extruder. The zombie needs a new extruder drive mechanism. 2023-6-20 - Zombie is running again, bodged with a rubber band to hold the extruder pressure arm flat against its baseplate
  • Baz did a bit more on his diving kit. He had recently tested it to a new depth and it's performing well
  • MartinC had created a wind turbine to show at Ham Fair. Today he helped take it apart again.
  • Hi To Archie. He wanted to laser-cut a wooden circle, so he used LibreCAD to make the DXF, then AndyH helped him with the laser operation. Archie's brother Rowan came along and wants to make a device that runs down a sloping track. Rowan needs to consider all the design aspects before starting.
  • Steve was busy at the electronics bench. Ian.M gave some helpful advice.
  • Dharbi looked in but felt we were too busy to investigate her crash helmet repair. Another time.
  • Toby returned to do some better soldering on his Fire Beetle. The more soldering you do, the better it gets. Toby made some improvement today. IanB will get a set of right-angle headers for the next Fire Beetle.
  • Hi to Nick and Maya, visiting us to have a look around. Nick has requested a laser induction.
  • Hello and welcome to another Andrew. Andrew plans to use a 3D printer to produce a model tank, from files he has already.
  • Welcome back Barry, whom we last saw way back before Covid-times. Barry had some good suggestions for the time when we will need to acquire more bigger heavier tools.
  • Attendance tonight = 14

2023-06-10 Saturday

  • Ham Fair !

2023-06-06 Tuesday

  • Andrew spent some time coding
  • Julian and Toby returned to 3D print a replacement part for the VW seat belt latch. Once done, it was clear that the printed part didn't match the original broken one. Next it was considered that a new part could be modelled, with sufficiently detailed measurements. It became clear this was not practicable. So Plan C was put into operation: mend the broken part using ABS gloop (a mixture of ABS filament and acetone), holding it in place using BluTack until it's set. This worked, but we need to know whether the mended part is any good in the VW seat belt latch.
  • MartinC did some construction towards a wind turbine for Ham Fair.
  • Ian.M showed Steve how OpenSCAD works, and created a new grubscrew to repair the lathe, to prevent rotation of the tailstock quill (toolholder).
  • Hi to Oliver making his first visit here. He asked to be shown how to solder, as he had a pair of Headphones in need of a tweak. IanB showed Oliver how to get started. After a while Oliver applied his skill to the headphones and got hem fixed. Result!
  • SteveR and Hume both want a Lathe induction. A date was fixed to do this on a Thursday near the end of June.
  • Hello Annie, neighbour of Carl, who has a laptop with maybe malware on it. AndyH took time to look it over and give advice to Annie.
  • Carl had wood to cut, making some wands for some future bubble event. He also checked out what would be needed for Ham Fair.
  • Hi to SteveT, here to see us and what goes on. He's got a background in engineering and has an interest in Arduino electronics.
  • Attendance tonight = 12

2023-05-30 Tuesday

  • Steve brought along a circuit board from which he could harvest the exact required capacitor to repair his power supply.
  • Ben did some laser cutting
  • Ian.M took apart an abandoned bass loudspeaker. He found why it had not been working, and he will use the magnet to become a handy source of gauss whenever needed
  • Andrew did some coding and took a look at the Geeetech printer as it had been behaving strangely recently. Andrew concluded that the USB communication was not all that solid when using Pronterface
  • Wolfgang handed over two boxes of acrylic coloured shapes for use at Ham Fair. Ben had made two display trays for the shapes and these looked to be just the job.
  • Hello to Sylvan who came to learn how to solder. IanB showed the basics and gave the advice "the more you do, the better you get". Sylvan put together a kit of parts which they had been meaning to assemble for a long time. It was a stroboscope and by the end of the evening it was fully working. Thanks to Ian.M for helping to get it going
  • Welcome to Hume on a first visit here. Hume is a nano technology physicist and had an interesting chat with Sylvan about nano tech.
  • Long-time member Colin brought in a chair that needed repair. He applied glue to the broken part and clamped it all together, planning to pick it up on Thursday when the PVA glue will have fully set.
  • Attendance tonight = 12

2023-05-23 Tuesday

  • Hello and welcome to Julian and Toby with an electric heater that wasn't heating, and a broken plastic part from a VW seat belt catch. The heater was taken apart by stages and despite all best efforts, it could not be repaired. Seemed to be a pair of failed elements with no replacement parts available. There are two different ways to deal with the seat belt catch. If it's made from ABS, we could try bonding it with ABS gloop. Alternatively, and probably better, we could print one on a 3D printer, using a file that's already on Thingiverse. That could be done on a subsequent visit.
  • Georgina brought in a folding chair with a broken hinge. Ian.M worked out a means of putting it right, by turning a new spacer and fitting a long bolt. It took a while but it all worked out well and Georgina ended up with a repaired folding chair.
  • BenF was on the laser cutter
  • Wolfgang did some laser cutter work
  • Jane brought a CD copier which reluctantly came apart to yield up electronic and mechanical mysteries. IanB hogged the stepper motors with linear-action shafts, some of it ended up in electronic waste, and Jane made off with wheels, rollers and little metal rods.
  • Later in the evening Carl brought ingredients for making giant bubbles. Carl showed IanB how the mix can be started with isopropyl alcohol to get a smooth solution of guar gum without lumps, then adding water and a carefully selected washup liquid and finally baking powder to achieve a pH near 8.0. Then we had fun making bubbles and experimenting with different techniques.
  • Attendance tonight = 12

2023-05-16 Tuesday

  • Andy H has a stainless steel garden fork and matching spade, but neither of them has a handle. Andy's task is to remove the snapped-off wood within the steel sleeves. We don't have a tool for that kind of thing and Andy is having to knife-and-fork it.
  • Jane brought in a printer/copier that was ready to be taken apart for the treasures within. There was a struggle involving Torx-head screws and impossible clips, but eventually Jane got it opened up.
  • Louisa has a vintage Dell laptop in need of a replacement disk and more memory. Louisa brought the spares with her and was given some assistance in getting the covers removed. Andrew ran the memory test and installed Windows 10 on to the new SSD (which we kept referring to as the hard disk because old habits die hard). The battery had become all lumpy, which is not a good look for Li-ion batteries. It was removed and the laptop could run without an internal battery with a minimum of inconvenience.
  • Raphael has the STL file for something that needs printing, but he wants to add a 1/2-inch BSF thread to the base. Ian M recommends OpenSCAD library BOSL2 which has all manner of threads. But this would need an upgrade to our OpenSCAD software and Ubuntu is stuck on an older version. Ian spent ages at screen and keyboard looking for a path through this setback, but didn't find a solution (as far as I know).
  • Sidonie added hinges to the storage box she has been making. This seems to be the final touch it needed.
  • Kevin had to drill out a broken thread in his bike frame, as the first stage in fitting a rear bike rack (or luggage carrier). With a bit of ingenuity he will make the new fixing using a couple of jubilee clips.
  • Hello and welcome to three people from Thames Ditton, Ian Karen and Sonia. They came to see what we do and to have a chat. Hope we might see you folk again.
  • Attendance tonight = 12-ish

2023-05-09 Tuesday

  • MartinC agreed to start on a wind turbine to show at Ham Fair (10th June)
  • IanM started repairing three 12V fluorescent lights that were in a poor state from being in a salt-water environment for some years
  • Andrew was busy with coding python on a Raspi Pi. Also wondered about making an AM transmitter using a Pi Pico, to communicate with the AM receiver kits that have been built recently
  • PaulM brought in a Marantz amplifier suffering from one-channel-itis. Despite our woeful lack of audio test gear, the amplifier was able to play music from YouTube and no fault could be found
  • Dan brought in a 20V Lithium-Ion battery which could no longer be charged. It was part of community allotment equipment. Dan was able to take it apart and identify a low-voltage cell. We connected this cell to a bench power supply, and charged it at 500mA until it managed to get back to 3.4V. Dan reassembled the battery pack and we hope that the charger will now be able to work with it.
  • Valeria had a new electronic kit to assemble and solder. This is an EMC detector. It picks up electric fields and makes them audible in an earpiece. Valeria managed to build it and get it fully working in just one session. Next she may laser-cut a cover.
  • Sidonie returned to do some more work on the card-index box she has been making. Sidonie also agreed to make some wooden trays in time for Ham Fair.
  • Attendance tonight = 7

2023-05-02 Tuesday

  • Sherham came early to get a bunch of laser-cutting done
  • MartinC had a laser cutter job to do
  • Elliot came back to use the laser cutter
  • AlexB needed to do some laser cutting too
  • Wow the pressure on laser cutting today! Thanks to all you guys for sharing the time patiently between you.
  • Andrew and Steve were around
  • IanM used the lathe to make a sleeve which put new life into a small rotary drill tool
  • Thanks to Jane for donating an old laptop, and a battery charger switchable between 12V and 6V. That's something you don't come across every day.
  • IanM returned a stone lampholder to Jane, now modified to be electrically safe and compliant with any number of safety standards. It's still in need of the right kind of bulbholder.
  • Hello to Steve from Reading. He and AndyH took a long critical look at the CNC machine
  • Ben came back to learn how to use the 3D printers and to learn the laser cutter.
  • Hi to Spencer. He brought in a high definition monitor with curved screen which had stopped working. Only a little over a year old. It needed to be opened up but after removing all the screws no-one could find how it comes apart. Suspecting there would be little we could do with it even if we could get inside, no repair was attempted and we were unable to help
  • Danny came in for a chat and another look round. Danny is into robotics.
  • Richard made his first visit to see us. Hi, hope you liked what you saw and that you will return
  • On his previous visit, Mark was introduced to 3D modelling in OpenSCAD. This week he did some more, designing a push-button mount for the diver's underwater dashboard. Next week load it onto a 3D printer and see what comes out?
  • Alfia checked out the next steps in the sunshade winch repair and puzzled over the display panel for a rowing machine
  • Raphael started a couple of 3D prints
  • Attendance tonight = 17 (Phew that was a busy evening!)

2023-04-25 Tuesday

  • PeterS received a lathe induction from IanB
  • Hi and welcome to Steve who came to see us. MartinC showed Steve round. Steve is also interested in getting a lathe induction
  • Jane was shown the recycled SELV Halogen lighting 'transformer' that has been fitted to power her 'pet rock' lamp safely even though its wired with bellwire epoxied in place. She's now considering 12V bulbs and holders.
  • Others were busy as usual: Jane, Andrew, IanM, MartinL, Rich, Alfia and Raphael. I just didn't get to see what they were doing.
  • Attendance tonight = 10

2023-04-18 Tuesday

  • Alan brought in a 3D printer with a problem. He exercised it a few times and discovered what the trouble was
  • Hello and welcome to Ben. Interested in 3D printing, tried making an item from a file he brought with him
  • PaulB almost completed the picture frame. Just needs a mount and backing board
  • Andrew did a 3D print
  • Hello to Philip, a retired electronics person, very interested to see all the equipment and machines we have. May take an interest in 3D printing (if I remembered that correctly)
  • Peter S looked in and discussed the laser engraver he's thinking of building. Booked a lathe induction for next week.
  • Alfia looked at the piece of steel we have acquired for the sunshade winch repair, and consulted with Ian.M
  • Raph began to figure out how to create the compressor chamber for a rocket engine, starting from a 40mm dia lump of steel and using the lathe.
  • Attendance tonight = 10

2023-04-11 Tuesday

  • Ian.M made further adjustments to the mini-lathe. It is now a far more precise and reliable tool than it was 6 months ago. Many thanks to Ian for his work on it.
  • David N came in with his UV light source, housed in a former scanner case. David spent some time soldering the connections to the LED strips. It's looking almost finished.
  • Wolfgang had some laser work to do
  • Valeria started another kit to practice soldering. Getting good at it now.
  • Paul B cut some mouldings to make a picture frame. He used the underpinner to nail three sides together. Next week will probably complete it
  • Jon did nothing useful at his laptop
  • Hello and welcome to Mark (Baz). He's a scuba diver who's made an underwater GPS display using a Go-Pro case for the waterproof housing and stuffed a couple of M5 packages (ESP32 with display) into it.
  • William brought in a coffee grinder that grinds exceedingly fine, but is configured to grind commercial quantities of coffee beans. William started on a modification to produce one serving of ground coffee at a time.
  • Hello to Peter S who came in for a chat. He's working on plans to build a low-power laser engraver.
  • Attendance tonight = 9

2023-04-04 Tuesday

  • Andrew was busy
  • Ian.M set up the Dremel as a grinding tool, on the lathe. This was the day to take a few thou off the lathe's chuck plate, because the 3-jaw chuck doesn't fit quite perfectly. It needs serious hammer-blows before it can be removed. After the grinding operation, the chuck removal was greatly improved
  • Steve returned to the power supply repair, and provided IanB with more vape heaters and other parts
  • DavidN continued with a design for the UV light box.
  • PaulB continued to cut moulding for the picture frame
  • Wolfgang used the laser cutter to produce more "Aperiodic Penrose Tiles", including a newly discovered shape
  • William did some work on his Magic Juke Box, and provided cake for for all
  • MartinL picked up the 3D printed work which had been started last week. It had used about 50m of filament and weighed 125grams. This tells us that a 1kg reel of filament holds about 400m.
  • Valeria soldered up and tested a small LED indicator 'Solar 8 Ball' kit, where the LEDs can be activated by shaking
  • TomP had a wheeled robot with remote control. It wasn't working when it arrived, but Tom managed to find the problematical battery contact and fixed it good.
  • Attendance tonight = 10

2023-03-28 Tuesday

  • Andrew designed and printed something on the 3D printer
  • Ian.M made a skilful repair to the ceiling light in the CNC room
  • Steve gave IanB some vape heaters, for experimenting with
  • Rich was around but I didn't see what he was doing
  • Lizzie and Tim came along to see what we do. They a brought with them a wooden standard lamp with a wonky lampholder. With the help of Ian.M, a plan for repair was developed
  • MartinL started a 3D print, making a small section of the electric i-Setta door, to see whether it's possible to print a whole door in sections
  • PaulB is going to make a picture frame, using mouldings we already have, and using the underpinner to join the pieces together.
  • Joe did some laser cutting
  • Attendance tonight = 9

2023-03-21 Tuesday

  • Tom P completed the AM radio build. Good quality of soldering. Next step is testing it.
  • Andrew used the GeeeTech 3D printer to make a control knob for a D-shaft. Best quality print I've seen.
  • MartinL looked in for a chat
  • Welcome back to Jane! Spent her time looking for component parts to transform into other things.
  • Andy H broke a cooler pump. Ian B did some micro-soldering to make it un-broke.
  • Colin G took on the challenge to make a picture frame using our newly acquired underpinner. Colin proved it's possible and now is the only person who understands how the underpinner works.
  • Steve had a camcorder with a non-functioning battery power supply. He managed to get it working only to find there's a mechanical problem with the cassette eject. Ah, these pre-digital wonders...
  • Rich brought back the wildlife camera and rewired the battery supply using silicone wire (known for its flexibility) kindly provided by Ian M. It worked!
  • Richard had a battle to open the case of a BT home hub with a view to replacing the software with OpenWRT. Having got it open, he found it wasn't the right model of Home Hub. Maybe try with another next week?
  • Wolfgang had prepared a graphics file which he planned to cut and etch on the laser cutter. Regrettably the file didn't survive two format changes into .dxf, which the laser cutter needs. Maybe try again soon.
  • David N provided some assistance to Wolfgang. David is working on a laser cut UV light box and is trying to perfect the laser cutting files.
  • Remi successfully laser cut a front panel for his microcontroller project.
  • Tom E continued to repair his camera tripos head. This week he sanded and prepared for gluing. Tom found the rapid set Gorilla glue epoxy didn't do what it said on the label, but Ian B assured him it would eventually set or cure and would reach full strength after a day.
  • Hi to Oleg, here to see what goes on and how it all works. Andy showed him round. Hope to see you again soon.
  • Attendance tonight = 15

2023-03-14 Tuesday

  • Steve started on a repair to a power supply. IanM suggested tracing out the circuit by photographing the top and bottom sides of the PCB and superimposing them. We couldn't manage all that in one day so will continue next week. IanM subsequently worked on the images in Photoshop CS2 to get a clearer combined image
  • Drew came along to meet us. Welcome!
  • Anne brought along a pruner that no longer works properly, and a pair of secateurs that had seen better days too. IanM took the pruner apart and did a bit of grinding to the blades. He also worked his magic on the secateurs. Result: a contented Anne
  • Welcome to Colin, an inveterate tinkerer who has come to meet us. Colin got given an introduction to the laser cutter.
  • IanM busy as ever, helping Steve, Tom P, Anne, Tom E, Alfia
  • Tom P has a Mac with a battery connector problem. There was general agreement that it should be replaced as it seems unrepairable any other way. Soldering a new connector to the motherboard will be no easy feat.
  • Tom E came along with a file to 3D print a replacement part for a camera tripod. The print failed part way through, but the important bit had already been printed. Tom hacked together the new 3D printed part and the broken remainder of the tripod head. It looked like a lash-up but also looked like a practical fix.
  • Rich is going to repair a wildlife camera. The battery wires in the hinge have broken from repeated movement. Ian M suggests that silicone wire is used in the repair for its high flexibility. He offered to provide some silicone wire of his own.
  • Robert visited us for the first time. He's interested in the laser cutter and other tools and comes with a technical background.
  • Alfia had another look at the sunshade, and discussed the broken casting with Ian M. Ian thinks that a replacement for the casting could be turned on the lathe, if only we had a piece of 40mm mild steel rod. Ian B will get a lump of steel.
  • Raff started a 3D print job which didn't go well. He also did some filing work.
  • Attendance tonight = 12

2023-03-07 Tuesday

  • Hi David N. Working on a lightbox design
  • Wolfgang would like to know how to use the laser cutter
  • Andrew was coding
  • Tom P began to assemble a radio from a kit
  • Rich Vernon has a wildlife camera that needs fixing
  • Dean came to see us and was shown round by Andy
  • Valeria started to build a second radio from a kit. IanB did some fault-finding on the first one
  • Martin L is putting together a presentation on the e-Iset bubble car
  • Steve came along with something to fix
  • Carla dropped in to pick up the key she glued way back on 7th February
  • Carla would also like to try her hand at building a radio from a kit
  • Hi to Remi who comes from the packed-away LHS. He has some acrylic, wants to laser cut it.
  • Attendance tonight = 12

2023-02-28 Tuesday

  • IanM has brought along an isolating transformer, on loan, which can be used when making measurements at mains voltage levels with the oscilloscope or any other grounded equipment.
  • Steve looked into converting a PC power supply into a useful bench supply.
  • PeterV was able to complete the repair of a light unit, using the 12-way DIP switch sourced during the week
  • Andrew had some coding to do
  • MartinL straightened up his shock absorber again, ready for fitting back to the e-Iset bubble car
  • Hi to Chris who came in to have a look around, maybe see what we are up to
  • Tom still has an interest in assembling a radio receiver kit. He took away the Chinese instructions to see whether he could make sense of them
  • Hi also to Wolfgang. We had not seen him for a year or so, and it's great that he is keeping in touch
  • PaulM completed his repair to the cooler box.
  • PaulB came in to say hello. Next week he may start on a project of his own
  • Duncan had to do some soldering, and spoke of his experience at other hackspaces.
  • DavidN had a long-delayed laser cutter job to run. The ply that he brought in was good-quality and didn't cut terribly easily
  • AndyH came by to see that all was well with the laser cutter. He also had a good chat with some others.
  • Attendance tonight = 14

2023-02-21 Tuesday

  • Ian.M got started on repair of an electric heater that had been declared unsafe by PeterH.
  • Andy made countless adjustments to the laser cutter beam path
  • MartinL straightened a bent shock absorber for the electric Isetta and cut a new thread on the shaft
  • David N came to see how the laser cutter was doing
  • Tom P made a visit to see us and expressed an interest in assembling a pocket-size MW radio
  • Paul B dropped in to see what's happening
  • Peter V had to repair a light unit. It needs a 10-way DIL-switch which Ian B promised to order in time for next week
  • Late in the evening Raphael and Alfia came by with project work in mind.
  • Attendance tonight = 9

2023-02-14 Tuesday

  • Andrew coding
  • IanM giving help to Paul, Martin, Valeria
  • MartinL cut an M10 thread on a broken shock absorber, for the e-Iset
  • Paul had a Peltier-cell cooler to fix. Ian.M: Teardown and diagnosis of failed Peltier element completed. Element P/N and supplier found
  • Valeria did more soldering, reached the stage of testing the radio she built
  • Sidone did a bit more work on the wooden box, but couldn't stay long
  • Steve grappled with some electrical things
  • Gaz was into coding
  • Peter repaired a battery charger
  • Garret changed battery in a car key fob, and tested an anti-static device
  • Attendance this evening = 10

2023-02-07 Tuesday

  • Steve has a Kindle in need of repair. Maybe battery? Ian.M helped analyse the problem, not battery, possibly needs a software re-install?
  • Eliott returned with amended files, to do some laser cutting. This time it worked out a lot better.
  • Valeria visited for the first time. She would like to learn how to solder. IanB gave a bit of instruction and Valeria soldered all the parts to make a small AM transistor radio. To be completed next week. See:
  • MartinL needs to replace the Hall Effect sensors in his wheel motor. This involves breaking the old ones out from their epoxy-secured mounts, requiring excessive force and judicious cursing.
  • Andrew is coding with two keyboards, a task requiring heightened concentration to be sure of using the right keyboard from moment to moment. He was doing quite well, with occasional lapses.
  • Hi and hello to Alex and Julian. They came to find out how the laser cutter can be used on acrylic. They will prepare a .dxf cutting file and come along next week.
  • AndyH looked in to plan for the forthcoming laser tube replacement. Unless it goes well, the laser cutter may be out of action next Tuesday the 14th.
  • Carla came in with a key that had a broken handle. With a hacksaw, a metal file and some epoxy glue, she set the handle in place, then had to leave it 48 hours for the epoxy to harden.
  • Attendance tonight = 9

2023-01-31 Tuesday

  • First in were Mark and Kim, who had some laser cutting to do. They are London Hackspace members, unfortunately laserless until LHS can find a new home
  • Andrew came along and soon got down to some coding
  • Elliot also needed to do some laser cutting
  • IanM had got an 8051-lookalike working on a development board (from our electronic waste bin, if I remember right, see last week)
  • Aiden used LibreCad to prepare dxf files for laser cutting. He also achieve the cutting the same evening to meet a certain deadline
  • SimonW came to visit us. He manages the Richmond Furniture Project, and has a workshop where secondhand furniture is repaired and cleaned up, by volunteers. There could be common areas where RFP and RML interests overlap
  • William came in with a PCB from a Korg digital piano. It had worked once but now is not functional. He had a chat with IanM, but it looked like it's maybe a no-hope item.
  • MartinL, AndyH, Peter, Alfia, Raph and Sidone were also in this week. Quite a busy evening.
  • Attendance tonight = 14

2023-01-24 Tuesday

  • Andrew was coding for the remote control tracked vehicle
  • IanM was available to help out, and rescued a boxed SiLabs C8051F330 MCU Toolstick devkit from the eWaste. A nice fast 20 pin 7.75K 8051, with HW debugging :-)
  • Steve needed to make an 18650 battery holder and got plenty of advice
  • PaulB looked in. He's been a member for many years.
  • Lincoln had a sheet of acrylic that needed laser cutting
  • Welcome to Duncan and Tal. They had connections with Tog, a hackspace in Dublin but are now living in Kingston. Duncan offered to help with projects within RML. Tal does social media.
  • Raphael came quite late, just to pick up some 3D prints he had started last week.
  • Attendance tonight = 8

2023-01-17 Tuesday

  • IanM gave help to Steve and to MartinL
  • Charlie used LibreCad to progress his design for a laser cut truck
  • Aiden used LibreCad to define a castle shape to be laser cut
  • Steve had a session with IanM
  • Andrew has built a tank track model with 4 motors and intelligent control
  • PaulM needed to repair a Navtex receiver
  • MartinL had to repair an electric wheel. IanM gave advice
  • Raphael set up 2 3D print jobs
  • Alfia mended a lampshade.
  • Panos is making a jig to hold an angle grinder to cut through stainless steel pipe
  • Spencer brought in an electric piano needing two new connecters to be fitted. A successful repair thanks to IanM
  • Attendance tonight = 12

2023-01-10 Tuesday

  • Ian.M put right a long-standing looseness in the lathe tailstock. He got the alignment precise down to the sub-millimetre level
  • Andrew is doing something with geared motors and a tank track
  • PaulE came for the evening, doing some coding and sharing some nice butterscotch squares
  • Paul_D returned, having got a 3D file for the snowman, from last week. Matt showed how the 3D model could be tweaked and modified. IanB took the stl file and sliced it with Cura in vase mode so it would be hollow inside. This was printed in white PLA and took about 80 minutes. The final object had some imperfections which could be put right before a re-print. Paul took the printed object to see how a light bulb could be able to clip in.
  • Martinl mused over next steps in the e-Iset build. See last year's blog for the back story.
  • Steve brought in a buck converter that was in need of repair. With some help and guidance he located a chip that needs replacement.
  • Felix has a cordless drill, not working. With the assistance of Ian.M, it came apart and the insides could be examined. By the end of the evening it was all put back together, but whether working or not, I don't know. IanM (talk): It worked, but we suspect its NiCd pack is a little sad
  • Felix also had a fan cooled light box, which is used in helping plants to grow where there's not enough natural light. One fan was making a nasty noise. Everything got tested individually, and after re-assembly it all seemed to be working well.
  • Hello and welcome to PeterV. He's got skills in electronics and would like to get back to making things. On this visit, Peter managed to help Felix with the light box. Thanks for helping out.
  • Kevin returned a sander that he had been loaned. It needs a little TLC to bring it back into good operational use, but hey, we mend things so that's not beyond us.
  • Spencer looked in with an electric piano. It had a couple of badly connected ribbon cables. We all advised that the only way forward would be to replace the insulation displacement connectors with new ones. You can't re-use them. It just doesn't work. New connectors were put on order and we hope to see Spencer next week for the fitting.
  • Attendance tonight = 12

2023-01-03 Tuesday

  • Steve brought in a multimeter he had bought online for about £4, that should have been priced at £24. Good deal! He also prototyped a PWM dimmer circuit based on a 555 timer, with the help of IanM (who later drew the schematic in LTspice and simmed it).
  • Dan brought some 3D prints he had made at home using vase mode. These are thin-walled and translucent, ideal for putting coloured string lights inside.
  • DavidN was experimenting with creating a light-proof UV exposure box. This could be used within a photo-etching process for making printing plates.
  • Hi to Raph and Alfia, who we haven't seen for a while. Raph set up some 3D printing and Alfia donated some useful odds and ends to help fill our shelf boxes. Remember all the stuff on the shelves is free for anybody to use.
  • Hello and welcome to Richard, Paul and David. Three people new to RML who immediately seemed to fit right in. Paul wants to make a replacement snowman for a 20-year-old string of Christmas lights. There was some general discussion about possible approaches, and David not only suggested photogrammetry scanning but also took 200 photos of the sample snowman from different angles, uploaded the pics to and received back a 3-dimensional image. Next week Paul will 3D print the snowman in white PLA.
  • Matt gave Richard an introduction into computer aided design, using Fusion360. Richard plans to use the CNC mill to cut out legs for a plant pot holder.
  • Attendance tonight = 10

Previous years blogs are available from the Main Page