Blog 2018

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You can read about previous activity at What we did last year


2018-04-13 Friday

  • Andy wanted to remove a battery cover from a dive computer where the battery had corroded and chemically welded the parts together. This is still a work in progress.
  • Paul E was working on the CNC milling machine to produce an aluminium panel for a piece of test equipment.
  • Viv was making some necklaces with silver wire and silver beads.These now need to be finished by fitting clasps and polishing.
  • Paul S completed the restoration and rebuilding of a vintage ex BBC Garrard 401 turntable, as used by John Peel at Radio One. This can be seen working here [1]
  • Attendance today = 4

2018-04-10 Tuesday

  • David U improved his skill and experience with the laser cutter
  • Martin's butane-gas electric generator took another step forward
  • Dan looked in and talked to IanB about cataloging everything we've got
  • Jane cut out an aluminium disk using a hacksaw. Only 39 more to do.
  • Imi tested a computer
  • PaulE wanted to ventilate a case by cutting a matrix of small holes in an aluminium panel. He used the CNC router to do it. But first he had to adjust the router which wasn't square.
  • Dave is continuing to make progress with electronics to drive an array of LEDs.
  • Hello and welcome to Johann, a recent graduate engineer who wants to do engineering in practice instead of in theory. Just do it!
  • Hellos to Richard and Dawn, two engineers with their own tool-shed, who looked in to see what the maker movement was doing. We hope you will keep in close contact with us.
  • Frank came to see us after we fixed a friend's computer. We've no idea who, it didn't get written up in this blog. Anyway, Frank had found a thrown-away Dell laptop and wondered if it could be brought back to life. We could see it had no power supply and was missing RAM. Kevin found a power supply and discovered the laptop has no hard disk. Still, we have a few spares in the back room. The good news is that it looks like Frank is going to get a laptop of his own by next week. Next thing is to show him the benefit of an open-source operating system.
  • What else? Didn't get to see what ChrisR was up to, or PaulB. Kai came along to fit hinges to his camera stand, with the help of IanB. Unexpected complications made this task stretch into next week.
  • Yaroslav had an electronic tester assembled by his son from a kit of parts, and this week Yaroslav cut out top and bottom plates from a sheet of white acrylic, to make an enclosure. Looked good when finished.
  • Attendance tonight = 17

2018-04-09 Monday

  • Morning meeting of the West London Remap group.
  • Remap http://www.remap.org.uk is a national charity that has volunteers come up with costume engineering solutions for people with disabilities.
  • Kim Did some laser cutting.
  • Some minetest was played.
  • Attendance tonight = 8

2018-04-03 Tuesday

  • Jon had an item to print. Andy helped him produce it on the BiQu printer, but the nozzle kept blocking. Carry-over to next time.
  • DavidU had a .dxf to cut on the laser cutter. IanB showed him the procedure from file to cut and David got it done
  • Martin tried out his idea for converting butane gas to electricity. The intention is to produce a practical phone charger, powered only by gas. The invention seems to work, but needs some production engineering help. Anyone?
  • Mike had a wooden block routed on his own small CNC machine. He exchanged knowledge on CNC work with PaulB, who might now produce a front panel using our CNC.
  • Nice to see Phaedra after a winter hibernation. She has a pair of headphones needing repair, but brought the wrong ones with her.
  • Also hello to Tamsin making only her second visit this year. Still working on the wooden drinking mug. This evening Tamsin sanded the outside or the mug and carved out some more of the inside.
  • Dave is finally wiring up the LED display that he has been prototyping. He took a little advice from IanB on the easiest way to assemble the electronics.
  • Chris was laser cutting again, this time making counters/tokens for a board game, and a couple of windows.
  • ChrisR has some inexpensive kits of parts for his teaching activities as a STEM Ambassador. He soldered up a couple of boards to try them out.
  • Hello to Viv and PaulS, looking in to see what a Tuesday night looks like at Little House. Paul and Viv are the mainstay of the Friday twice-monthly afternoon meetings.
  • Good to see Nick who is usually in Oxford on a Tuesday, but hey it's Easter now isn't it! Nick shared his knowledge of CNC routers with Mike and PaulE.
  • Last-minute appearances from PeterS and Carl. Carl had an electrical problem with a train track, and Jon helped identify what the trouble was. Jon also neatly soldered wires to the underside of the track to make a reliable permanent connection.
  • Attendance tonight = 19

2018-03-30 Friday

  • Paul started the restoration and modification of a pair of vintage HiFi loudspeakers dating from the early 1970s.
  • Viv did some online research into 3D printed jewellery.
  • Attendance today = 2

2018-03-27 Tuesday

  • Andy took a long hard look at the 2-head delta printer, sorted out some of the wiring and discussed it with PaulB
  • PaulE was doing more electronics construction
  • Jane kept busy by reclaiming interesting parts from everyday items
  • Dave got some good results with his project, involving an Arduino, some CMOS and a shed-load of LEDs
  • Martin has turned from the Tesla generator to a Peltier-cell generator, to generate power from gas.
  • Hello to MartinB who brought along a Cube 3D printer-in-progress. He used an angle grinder to shorten a leadscrew. Martin's design involves very lightweight moving parts to provide faster printing.
  • Two more new faces were Michael and Basil. Basil is planning to follow up a laser cutting design, and Michael knows a thing or two about lasers. Welcome, gentlemen!
  • ChrisR and IanB assembled a Pi Zero with 'hammer fitted' connectors. We agreed that soldering was a better method, but as not everybody has access to a soldering iron, it makes a practical alternative.
  • Apologies to those whose activities I've missed out.
  • Attendance tonight = 15


2018-03-20 Tuesday

  • Chris lasercutting
  • Andy brought back the BiQu 3D printer in good working condition
  • Imi took a 12v to 240v converter to pieces
  • PaulE still working on a variable dummy load, but it's looking good.
  • Jane had something to modify -not sure that it got completed
  • Martin took apart a bicycle pedal and revealed our need for a socket set, size 10mm upwards.
  • Nice to see Garrett. I don't know what he was doing, but he brought biscuits!
  • IanB cleared the blocked hot end on the Zombie printer. It revealed slipping on the newly-made hobbed drive gear on the extruder motor. More work to be done here.
  • Dave continued with the LED array driver.
  • Briony dropped in and brought a fine set of yellow pencils for us. Thanks. Briony stayed to watch the Zombie printer being tested.
  • Hi to Kye who came along to assemble the rotating platform. Short of parts, will be back again next week.
  • Attendance tonight = 14

2018-03-13 Tuesday

  • Tim and Jonathan have some designs, waiting for a good 3D printer
  • Welcome to Pete. He has a number of ideas for using our available tools, and the first one he tried was the sewing machine.
  • PaulB continues to develop skill using the resin-based 3D printer.
  • Martin has sold a donated phone on eBay, resulting in another contribution to our funds. It's really important for us to go through what we've got and decide what we don't need, for there's a world of people out there anxious to buy our surplus stuff!
  • Martin also turned his practical attention to the spot welder. He altered the transformer wiring and with PaulE's help, a metal washer was put into great peril between the spot welding jaws.
  • IanB spent a lot of time re-assembling the extruder drive for the Zombie printer. With a bigger motor, it still didn't work for more than 20 minutes. With David's help, attention turned to the extruder drive gear. It's knurled, but should be hobbed. (Thats what I get from cheap Oriental suppliers, bah!)
  • David meantime had great success with his Arduino-driven LED array. Still more development required.
  • And Simon is still laser-cutting a model alternate universe.
  • Attendance tonight = 11

2018-03-06 Tuesday

  • Paul B and Andy worked on the BiQu 3D printer which has developed a problem in the extruder drive.
  • Ian B and Peter H added a motor to the mechanical bottle pourer, for Peter's next Steampunk creation.
  • Welcome to Kelly who has a design in mind. Jon gave Kelly a tour of the RML facilities.
  • Good to see Konstantin again. He's not been able to get along to see us for a while.
  • Briony looked in, with a little tablet trouble, swiftly resolved by Jon.
  • Martin had sold a couple of redundant items on eBay, on our behalf, and added the amount to our weekly donations.
  • Hi to Peter S, who has been occupied with other matters, and looked in for a chat.
  • Attendance tonight = 12

2018-02-27 Tuesday

  • Aki came by looking for woodworking advice, about how to build a Japanese Drum stand.
  • Jane dremel'd her bicycle chain
  • Andy laser cut
  • Martin and Paul tinkered with the spot welder - now makes the wires very hot - still no welding
  • Jon tinkered.
  • Ryan re-appeared and sorted out some of the computers in the office, there is also some Ham radio gear in exile from LHS.
  • Attendance tonight = 10


2018-02-23 Friday

  • Jon calibrated one of the 3D printers.
  • Paul refurbished, rewired and restored two vintage Acos/Rega tonearms and cleaned, serviced and modified a Sony MiniDisc recorder.
  • Viv sanded silver pieces for a necklace and silver wire work.
  • The Black and Decker drill was returned by K
  • Attendance tonight = 4

2018-02-20 Tuesday

  • Jon presses on with a model design in Fusion360
  • Jane made a wooden box, improving her woodworking skill. Jane also brought in a microscope which Jon explained how to use.
  • Kye has a motor assembly which needed some serious metal cutting. PaulB and Martin helped him, using our newly acquired angle grinder.
  • PeterH called in with a frame and some weird old brass contraptions, discussed his new-build coffee machine with IanB
  • Hi to new member Dave. He's planning to make a sound and light display based on Arduino.
  • Martin had retrieved some PC motherboards from our electronic scrap box, and sold them on ebay, raising £5.00 towards our funds.
  • Garret puzzled over the wooden automata, some more.
  • Andy turned his attention to some 3D printing
  • Yaroslav was in, looking at a laser cutting project.
  • Attendance tonight = 12

2018-02-16 Friday

  • Andres and Wesley Fixed mobile phone screen.
  • Andres and Wesley Replaced Mobile phone operating system to LineageOS
  • Andy fixed some of the 3D printers
  • Kim did some laser cutting
  • Attendance = 4

2018-02-13 Tuesday

  • Chris used the laser cutter to produce model roof tiles. The poor old laser cutter was struggling to even cut through card.
  • Jane made wood filler by combining wood shavings with PVA glue. The whole thing needs to be given time to set, then a little light sanding.
  • Paul B and Peter H spent time cutting a large hole in a wooden bowl. The job was finished off using a router with Jon's help.
  • Peter H also got some advice from Chris on the process of brazing. When the weather isn't so cold and wet, they can have a go at brazing in the fireproof area outside.
  • Andy took on the task of reviving the main Delta Printer. It took a while but it was working before the evening had ended. Well done you! Andy would also like to see all our main tools properly documented in the Wiki.
  • Welcome to Cian who looked in to see what we are about. Cian would like to experiment with using the CNC router. Paul E gave some advice, and referred to his write-up on the RML Wiki. There's also a link on the Wiki to Nick's work on the CNC.
  • IanB replaced the extruder motor on the Zombie printer, as the existing one was getting hot and failing during long print sessions. The replacement motor introduced a new complication and the Zombie took a step backwards into the grave. To be continued...
  • PaulE has assembled a latest PCB for the dummy load, and was making up interconnect cables for the device. The crimping of miniature contacts is an ongoing problem. There are no ideal crimp tools on the market at a realistic price.
  • John and Tim still want to produce a 3D print of an impeller. As the Zombie was out of order, they tried to get set up on the BiQu, the small red printer. Although it took a long time to understand it (the user manual is not a lot of help), they finally managed to get it printing. There wasn't time to complete the print, but they ended up with a slightly short but beautifully formed impeller. That little red printer does excellent quality prints.
  • Kye came along with a motor drive for his project which needed taking apart. He's left the battery on charge this week and expects to do more assembly next time.
  • Attendance tonight = 12

2018-02-06 Tuesday

  • A rather quiet night - do RML members feel the cold?
  • Jon prepared some model railway castings for fixing
  • Martin worked on his Tesla oscillator
  • Imi tried to configure a rear view camera for his van
  • Paul E worked on his power supply prototype
  • John and Tim played with Zombie printer, but could not get the head to heat up
  • Kai couldn't find any staples for the staple gun
  • Andy came along and looked at the BIQU 3D printer, and successfully printed his first part.
  • Ben and his dad came along to glue the wheels on Ben's new project.
  • Yaroslav and Anton showed us last weeks 3d printed Henry VIII, it probably needed some more 'filler'. An attempt to reprint hi on the BIQU had to be abandoned due to lack of time, not so much Henry VIII more Henry the 5/16th
  • Attendance tonight = 13

2018-02-02 Friday

  • Viv used the new vice and a hole cutting stamp and die to produce discs cut from silver sheet for a new jewellery project. She also used it to cut out and start a bangle, with the remaining silver.
  • Paul completed the restoration of a pair of vintage sound cube studio monitor speakers. This involved re wiring them, re building the crossover networks assembling and testing. A new grille frame was then made out of spruce lath, which was covered in acoustically transparent cloth.
  • Attendance today = 2

2018-01-30 Tuesday

  • We now have a Record #3 engineer's vice, due to Jon snapping it up as a bargain in a second-hand tool shop. There was some discussion on where and how to mount it. To be continued...
  • Jane immediately used the vice to help in her quest to fold a metal plate. Don't ask...
  • Martin went through the bin of electronic waste and found five items that could be sold on eBay instead of going for scrap. All funds raised will be added to our kitty. Thanks, Martin.
  • PaulB took a look at the BiQu Magician 3D printer and started another print on the Phrozen liquid resin printer
  • PaulE was involved in wiring and coding, still improving the variable dummy load and maybe some other precision devices
  • Chris laser-cut a model Russian-style house, part of a series of houses he's been working on
  • Imi had some repair jobs to do
  • Tamsin's back, continuing with the handmade wooden drinking vessel, and she was also able to repair a pair of metal/glass dragons wings
  • Yaroslav and Anton were involved with laser cutting and 3D printing. Mostly it seemed to go well enough.
  • Hi to BeardyAndy who looked in to say Hi. He has some metalworking project in mind.
  • Kye brought a large wooden circle that needed to be cut in half, and IanB helped with that job.
  • Attendance tonight = 12

2018-01-23 Tuesday

  • Simon was active with the laser cutter
  • Jonathan and Tim came with a 3D print job in mind and got some results using the zombie printer
  • The installation of MacPup on Kye's laptop was a struggle continued from last week. It finally installed, but only with a low-resolution display.
  • Martin's Tesla generator has improved since he increased the mass of the driven rod.
  • Garret managed to assemble and commission a pair of OLED displays which showed a pair of eyes, moving. For installation into a future robotic project.
  • Hello again to Ben and Gavin, we haven't see you guys since the Plane Crash! Ben had a 2-motor electric car with mechanical and electrical problems, both of which got sorted out. There's more work to do, so they will be back next week.
  • Talking of planes, Martin is planning to complete some repairs to the Red and Blue plane, and we hope to see it flying once more, when the weather improves.
  • John brought along the fuselage and wing of an abandoned model plane project. This one built largely of solid balsa wood. When he announced it would be scrapped if no-one wanted it, Garret generously took it away with him.
  • This led on to a general discussion on aircraft that used to be built in this area and beyond.
  • Attendance tonight = 16

2018-01-16 Tuesday

  • There's new tool rack on the wall near the main door, to replace the plastic one that never seemed to have the right hook for anything. Jon fixed the rack and added hand tools grouped by size and function.
  • Chris and Simon made use of the laser cutter.
  • PaulB started another 3D print using the Phrozen UV liquid resin printer
  • IanB and Imi looked at a demonstration for the Vineyard community project
  • Martin has been adjusting and improving the model plane, and has recommended some strengthening and repairs to it. These changes will get done and we aim to take the plane out for a good long flight in the Spring when the weather conditions are better. Maybe the flying field in Richmond Park?
  • Kai has a small laptop and wants to install MacPup (a version of Puppy Linux) on it. The problem is that the software is only available as an .iso and the laptop has no CD-ROM drive. IanB and Martin offered help but the question could not be solved in one evening. We aim to continue next week.
  • PaulE has been building a variable load for (for instance) testing power supplies. It seems now to be working as designed and accurate too.
  • Welcome to Mark, making a first visit to see what we do. Hope to see you again next week.
  • PaulE was reminded of a good joke about how many Freudian psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb, and that led on to a general sharing of psychologist- and nerd-centric lightbulb jokes.
How many psychiatrists to change a light bulb? "One, but the lightbulb must really want to change."
How many computer programmers to change a light bulb? "None, it's obviously a hardware problem."
How many help-desk operators to change a light bulb? "Are you sure the light bulb needs changing? We have one here and it's working perfectly".
How many Cambridge professors to change a light bulb? "Change??!!!"
  • Attendance tonight = 11

2018-01-12 Friday

Met up with some members to collect some feedback for a meeting that RHP will have with Jill (Chair for HUG) and Andres (member that just does this stuff).

  • Attendance=6

2018-01-09 Tuesday

Morning

  • Andres: Transforming some files from STEP and STP (classic engineering CAD) to STL
  • Andres: Added Public folder in Kitchen door computer: files put in the ubuntu /home/rml/public folder can now be shared with network. On your computer look for "network files" folder and the files can be found.
  • Kim was Laser cutting
  • Donated 1 keyboard, 1 mouse and one set of speakers.
  • Chas reviewed upstairs storage. And took some draft excluders.
  • Paul and Vivien are two new members. They will commit to open little house every other Friday lunch time.
  • Another Paul came from LBRUT to do PAT testing.
  • Attendance=7


Afternoon

Andres and Artefact's Claudia & Fiorella and many others! will meet today for a brain storming session. We are keen on doing some activity for British Science Week 9 -18 of March so the idea is to do a brain storming session At the moment the idea is to have a large event, in a church in Petersham, probably a Saturday or Sunday and just build some cool stuff for the community, we would like everybody to be involved, from young citizens to senior citizens. Large enough location is available with indoor and outdoor space but will need funding to pay for the space and for equipment and organizers time.

Please come by! The more the merrier!

Agenda:

  • 15 min of graphs, mind maps, post-its everything goes to collect ideas for projects and funding.
  • 15 min to cluster those ideas into themes of similar items.
  • 5 min to vote 3, 2, 1 points to the theme we want to focus in.
  • 15 min to choose a project within that theme.

Minutes

  • Attendees: Fiorella (Artefact), Claudia (Artefact), Emma (Chemical Engineer), Ian B. (RML member), Gill (Age UK Richmond), Paula (multiple minds), Amanda (multiple minds), Christopher (Physics St. Mary's University Twickenham), Andres (C4AD CIC)
  • Conclusion: The Hackathon will be called: Lighting to Your Community We will have different tracks and we think their could be up to 50 attendees. Location tentatively will be in Petersham's Sudbrooks School Hall £75 to rent.
    • Track 1: Blue Skies Equipment needed pen, paper and post-its. This will be for people that want to brainstorm community ideas and will give us ideas for future or ongoing hackathons.
    • Track 2: Light related Kit with takeaway. This will be an off the shelf kit that potentially has a use for the community or educational value. The participants will be able to take it away.
    • Track 3: Lighting up dark pockets in the area
    • Track 4: Lighting wearables e.g. Lighting for cyclists (geolocation lighting with night time adjustment)
    • Track 5: Make sure the environmental impact (bats) and sustainability (energy harvesting) is taken care of.
    • Track 6: Lighting up the generational Gap. e.g. children helping seniors with technology (mobile, tablet)
    • Track 7: Scavenging old toys.
  • Actions: Funding, Marketing, Costing, organizing, getting more volunteers.
    • Fiorella: Using an Artefact sub page (saving cost) set up place holder for the event. Pictures of RML website are CC-By-SA so free to use to promote the event. Collect logos or Sponsors/participants
    • Claudia: Get quote for the particular session from Sudbrook competitors: Ham Library, Russell school, Ham Youth center, Ham Christian centre, Ham and Petersham SOS.
    • Emma: research ideas for non-electronic chemical light emitting solutions for the above tracks. e.g. discussed light bottle.
    • Ian B.: Find a cheap kit that we can buy which is interesting for any age group and easy to assemble. Send Fiorella RML logo.
    • Gill: Find more volunteers willing to help on the day eg men in sheds, find possible funding bodies or key people in local companies. Talk with Petersham SOS about local participation. Send Fiorella Age UK logo
    • Paula: Come up with a program plan to get the Tracks working, organisation such as how to do bookings before hand, how to manage the sign ins.
    • Amanda: Send multiple minds logo to Fiorella, How to manage on the day coordinations crowd control who to allow, code of conduct. Creating a Product or MVP at the end.
    • Christopher: Find Candela Department from NPL comms department from NPL and Nikkon, tell them about the event see how they can help: money loan of equipment. Send Fiorella St. Mary's Logo or departmental logo. Find volunteers that would like to participate to find out what equipment we would potentially buy.
    • Achilleas: Think of a way for other participants to interact with the Tracks remotely (people who are away from the space or unable to leave the house). Industry 4.0
    • All: think about costings send them to Fiorella to put up in the website: we will have a check list of companies or individuals who will fund each part.
    • All: think about any actions that might be missing, find more volunteers, shamelessly ask for money in exchange of Logo on website.
    • Due: Friday the 19th

Really bad Panorama picture taken by Andres: demonstrating that technology in the wrong hands can be a disaster

  • Attendance = 9

Evening

  • Regular Tuesday evening meeting
  • Garrett has got the wooden automaton working pretty smoothly now. It needed a combination of glue and mulled wine to do the trick. The gadget will soon be finished and G. will be seeking another challenge.
  • Jon is producing ever more impressive drawings on Fusion360, and is clearly the go-to person for anyone looking for help.
  • Paul E <LeoNerd> testing and coding a new device with a tiny OLED display. The device is destined to become a PCB before long. Paul also brought along a tub of coconut-cakes which went down well.
  • PaulB has a new 3D printer, maybe another crowd-funded success. This one creates objects from liquid resin which hardens on exposure to UV light. It spent the whole evening making something with an incredibly small layer height. It finished on-schedule at about midnight. It works very well.
  • IanB spent much of the evening with the zombie 3D printer, going through the print process to see whether his documentation is accurate.
  • Jane learned how to design and print on the laser-cutter. The poor old laser cutter is low on power at present, and there are plans afoot to buy a new tube and to add a current meter.
  • Welcome to new members Dean and Candy who came along to see what we do, and seemed to like what they saw.
  • Kevin continued with repairs to an electric guitar -a combination of electronics, mechanics and woodwork.
  • Peter assisted Jane with sawing technique, and investigated a radio device with IanB.
  • Yaroslav managed to do a repair to a small wheel on a bracket which had been designed without a thought for future maintenance.
  • Attendance tonight = 13

2018-01-02 Tuesday

  • First things first - Jon donated and fitted a door-closer. This will save energy and improve comfort during winter months.
  • Chris and Simon were making use of the laser-cutter. Power is seriously down again. It seems that a new laser tube is needed.
  • Jon is planning to add a meter to the laser cutter, to show current. Over-driving the tube can shorten its life. He laser cut a bezel to improve the mounting - who designed the back to be so difficult to mount?
  • IanB brought along the donated 3D printer (the zombie printer), which he has now re-wired and re-commissioned. This is a printer for everybody to use and experiment with. IanB will produce some kind of user manual soon.
  • Very warm welcome to Raul and Cande who visited us to see our facilities. Raul is very interested in 3D printing small items for mould-making and hot metal casting.
  • Martin has been testing and checking the blue model plane with a view to turning it into a reliable flyer. He also found time to laser-cut the hardware for some kind of game.
  • Hi to Briony who popped in with a tin of chocolates for us to share. They've almost completely gone already.
  • Peter S came along during the evening. He was pleased to see the zombie printer as he is planning to rebuild a radio doorbell and needs a decently styled case for it.


  • Attendance tonight = 9