Blog 2019

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What we have been doing at Little House

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

2019-12-19 Thursday

  • ChrisR urgently needed bandwidth
  • PeterH has six thousand five hundred and two problems
  • Carla doesn't get disowned this Christmas
  • Attendance tonight = 3

2019-12-17 Tuesday

  • Andy laser cutting
  • Steampunk Peter laser cutting
  • Luke laser cutting
  • Steve using the lathe, helped by Jon
  • Leo has Thunderbird 2 running about the floor
  • Ian.M gave advice
  • MartinL examined a bench power supply he had acquired
  • PeterS came in to stay in touch and wish the compliments of the season
  • Garret planned a wired connection to a pair of Bluetooth speakers
  • Vish has a Raspberry Pi Mk.4, and connected an alphanumeric display
  • We all decided to hold no sessions on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day or New Year's Eve.
  • Attendance tonight = 14

2019-12-12 Thursday

  • ChrisR modified his electronic dice roller
  • Garrett very successfully modified a drug mister
  • PeterH laser cut a baseboard for a very small model railway
  • Attendance today = 3

2019-12-11 Wednesday

  • PaulE used the space along with fellow prop-builders Will and Tom for some first-draft experiments at building a sliding linear track system for stage props.
  • Attendance today = 3

2019-12-10 Tuesday

  • Experiments in CNC milling of brass sheet, involving Will and PaulE. We've determined the machine is likely faulty in either hardware or software - will need more investigation
  • Jon brought in new end-stops for the laser cutter
  • Carla did some new designs then laser cut them
  • Jane had a curved tree branch, reminiscent of a kind of stringed instrument. PaulB helped with smoothing the outer bark, Jane drilled the wood with care.
  • Andy got all the desktop computers going and started upgrading the Ubuntu operating system
  • IanB wired up the hand dryer in the WC, with Andy's help. It didn't work at first when switched on, but ChrisR led us to find a poor connection. All good now.
  • PeterD is building a RaspberryPi based 8mm film scanner, and he consulted PeterH for inspiration.
  • Garret took apart a water heater to find out where the water goes.
  • Attendance tonight = 13

2019-12-05 Thursday

  • Steampunk Peter is laser cutting more church windows
  • ChrisR caught up with his homework
  • MartinC laser cut a cat annoying device and did some bash
  • PeterH tried to learn a bit of Rust
  • Garrett took part in "take it apart Thursday"
  • IanB cut out circles
  • Attendance tonight = 6

2019-12-03 Tuesday

  • MartinC made laser-cut boxes
  • PeterH is designing things
  • IanB made a start on the electric hand dryer, assisted by PaulB
  • Jon sorted out two boxes of wood scrap for disposal and put up Christmas lights
  • Ian.M used the kitchen corner computer, but there was a problem.
  • ChrisR was busy with electronic work
  • Kevin brought a non-functioning laptop and was able to confirm that it doesn't work.
  • Attendance tonight = 8

2019-11-28 Thursday

  • Garrett is Batman, also dismantling a vacuum cleaner and experimenting with a 3d printing pen
  • MartinC laser cut stacking boxes for organising things
  • Andy dropped off some things and then ran away
  • MartinL was researching solar panels
  • ChrisR was cleaning and preparing a slide sample slicing machine for long term storage.
  • IanB popped in for some quick laser cutting
  • Attendance tonight = 6.05

2019-11-26 Tuesday

  • Leo moved the Geeetech i3 3D printer to a new position now that he has completed work on it. We have now two or three reliable working 3D printers. Leo investigated surface smoothing by immersion in a cloud of iso-propanol vapour. Conclusion next week.
  • Jon made use of the laser cutter, producing a number of festive star-shapes using our massive supply of off-cut plywood.
  • Andy is properly setting up the Little House server, in the designated server room.
  • We had a visit from Friends of Ham Lands, who will be setting up a shed in the courtyard.
  • ChrisR did some electronic faultfinding on his latest design. Later on, ChrisR and IanB investigated problems with the two sewing machines, with a view to bringing them both into active service.
  • Hi to Adam, wood-working with some good-looking blocks of solid oak.
  • Attendance tonight = 10

2019-11-21 Thursday

  • Luke and Fahad were in laser cutting parts for their airsoft sentry gun
  • Carla was making bows (no arrows)
  • ChrisR carried on soldering his veroboard project
  • Kevin came in and picked up some tools
  • PeterH carried on with the beeb game
  • Attendance tonight = 6

2019-11-19 Tuesday

  • The laser cutter couldn't home properly, so needed some attention. Jon and IanB started on it and confirmed the X end-stop sensor wasn't working. Ian.M and IanB tested the sensor wiring and located a broken wire. Ian.M threaded a new wire through the mechanism and the laser cutter was repaired.
  • Steampunk Peter and Carla both had to shelve their laser cutting plans for another day
  • Hello and welcome to Steve who dropped in to see what we do. See you again soon I hope.
  • Leo continues to work on the Geeetech 3D printer. This time he added a cowl to the cooling fan from last time, and he printed another Benchy. That's 4 so far, each one an improvement on the last. Leo has also added Geeetech settings to Slic3r, for preparing g-code from STL files.
  • Barry was doing some microcontroller development.
  • Garret's cardboard marble run looks close to completion. He's got some parts left over, inexplicably.
  • PaulE has almost completed development of his new gadget/product, an 8-channel LED indicator with logic probe features and a couple of analogue channels. Something for everyone.
  • PaulE showed IanB a crimp tool that works well on JST crimp inserts.
  • Jane assembled two-legged and four-legged creatures from a selection of beads and wire. Jane also provided a length of copper wire to help the laser cutter repair.
  • Chris R scavenged the electronics waste bin to prepare for a talk he is giving to schoolchildren.
  • Attendance tonight = 13

2019-11-14 Thursday

  • Jane wasn't doing what she was doing
  • MartinC was re-soldering a dodgy ebay pwm board
  • Steampunk Peter was laser cutting
  • Belle, Carla and new visitor Dan were laser cutting fabric
  • ChrisR was soldering a dice circuit
  • IanB had a flying visit
  • PeterH suffered a lack of memory
  • Attendance tonight = 9

2019-11-12 Tuesday

First steps in repair
  • Carla and Belle were in early, laser-cutting fabric.
  • Luke and Fahad came in to start laser-cutting some MDF.
  • Leo made further improvements to the Geeetech 3D printer, this time adding a fan for cooling the extrusion.
  • Jane was making Christmas decorations from unusual materials. PaulB assisted with precision bending of wire coat hangers.
  • PaulE has started on a new electronic handy-gadget. He also assisted Will with CNC routing a shape from a piece of brass sheet. That led to the demise of three milling bits and creation of a pile of brass dust. Paul resolved to update the CNC's GRBL software to the latest version.
  • Garret turned his skills to the disassembly of a Sony cassette player, but didn't think he would put it back together again.
  • Yaz brought in a laptop that wouldn't boot. IanB worked on it with him. Finally the laptop was declared Beyond All Repair. We removed the hard disk and Yaz transferred data files on to a memory stick.
  • Attendance tonight = 17

2019-11-07 Thursday

  • Leo worked on the Geetek 3d printer, after last weeks first successful print, moved onto tweaks and tightening to improve the print quality.
  • PeterH carried on with his BBC game after finding the bug from Tuesday.
  • Jane was converting walnut shells into boats
  • ChrisR was electronicsing
  • Martin investigated photogrammetry
  • Attendance tonight = 5

2019-11-05 Tuesday

  • Andrew was with node.js doing something clever
  • PeterH was trying to write a game for the BBC micro but either the compiler or his memory was failing
  • Martin was Working with List Comprehension
  • Andy fixed the internet and ate some biscuits
  • Ian saved some moggies at risk
  • Barry was playing with some Arduinos
  • Carla was helping Belle Lasercut some moths from material
  • Jon made a box and went on a Kingston retrospective
  • Imi used the internet
  • Kevin came buy to pick up a wheel
  • PaulE and IanM were discussing electronics way beyond the editor's comprehension (PaulE was developing the next, all-bells-and-whistles version of his UPDI Programmer, and learned a trick from IanM on how to more securely solder wires onto test clips)
  • Yaroslav brought back a Karcher, and fixing a mini drone
  • Attendance tonight = 14

2019-10-31 Thursday

  • Several of us had a haloween Indian
  • Andres visited for the first time in ages
  • SteampunkPeter and MartinC laser cut things
  • Kevin popped in and did some more bike repair
  • PaulE and new visitor Will played with microcontrollers and the CNC machine
  • Jane worked on bead based animals and people
  • ChrisR was working on an electronic keypad
  • PeterH investigated Atmel AVR computers and installed Fritzing
  • Attendance tonight = 9

2019-10-29 Tuesday

  • PeterH had completed the cardboard robot. Now what?
  • Garret has an incredibly complicated cardboard marble run, not yet complete
  • IanB discussed a Nixie tube display with SteampunkPeter
  • SteampunkPeter laser-cut some coloured acrylic for miniature stained-glass windows
  • Ian.M and Heysam did some laser-cutting to get familiar with the machine
  • Carla designed some spider ear-rings in time for Halloween
  • A warm welcome to Jack and Ellie who came along to see what we do.
  • Leo did further fettling to the Geeetech 3D printer, and produced some test prints that look quite promising.
  • Delilah moved the hedgehog house outside, and will come back to fix up the mechanical door
  • Imi used the computers and got some advice on his Android phone.
  • ChrisR brought a microscope which needed a bit of taking apart.
  • Andy has been making further improvements to the little-house server, and is doing something stunning with Fusion360.
  • Attendance tonight = 16

2019-10-24 Thursday

  • PaulE unlocked and worked on his 4way continuity tester redesign
  • MartinC used the laser cutter for his Bus Pirate case
  • PeterH spent the evening not fixing a keyboard and burning CDs
  • Ian the new one & co were using the laser cutter
  • Steampunk Peter continued cutting panels for his stained glass windows
  • ChrisR designed a dice roll simulation circuit
  • Garret researched video cards
  • Attendance tonight = 8

2019-10-22 Tuesday

  • PeterH is building a cardboard robot
  • Jon spoke of his visits to Karlsruhe
  • IanB laser cut a design he had brought in
  • Garret continues to assemble a complex marble run
  • During the week, Leo had fitted a BL Touch z-probe to the Geeetech 3D printer. It had worked perfectly, but something wasn't right when he brought it in this evening. Leo earns a gold medal for patience.
  • Rob came along to discuss the tuning of a Tesla coil. He had a discussion with Ian.M and they tested a varicap (varactor?).
  • Imi came in. He talked with IanB about his phone and browsed the internet.
  • MartinL researched the state of model specific registers in an Intel processor
  • Andy attended to the server in its new position in the loft space
  • ChrisR found out how to use the laser cutter
  • Kevin looked in and did some bike work on the outside bench
  • Attendance tonight = 13

2019-10-17 Thursday

  • Leo did some 3D printer repairs
  • SteamPunk Peter laser cut church windows for another War of the Worlds set piece
  • PeterH modified the LED sign for a new event
  • Attendance tonight = 4

2019-10-15 Tuesday

  • MartinC lasercut an acrylic case for a Bus Pirate
  • Carla and Belle laser cut things
  • Garrett carried on with his paper modelling
  • Jane attacked an old electric heater for interesting parts
  • ChrisR said rude things to the laser cutter software
  • PaulE forgot the UPDI programmer for his main project so filled in some time drawing a schematic & PCB layout for a different one
  • Attendance tonight = 13

2019-10-10 Thursday

  • PaulE opened and worked on a new motion sensor for his motion-controlled LEDs project
  • Steampunk Peter used the laser cutter to make some stencils for a stained-glass window effect
  • Garret continued building the papercraft Magnificent Marble Machine
  • Martin came and gave us some apples from his garden, which seemed healthier than the usual cakes and chocolates we often get
  • Attendance tonight = 4

2019-10-08 Tuesday

  • Luke and Fahed came to see what we do. They have a project in mind and could make good use of the facilities.
  • Ian.M and Haysam dropped in to see if we could help with their project, remote control of camera lens. With the assistance of PaulB, a coupling was turned down using the lathe, to fit a timing wheel. They'll be back.
  • Carla worked on some new designs, and brought fudge
  • David Lamb donated a couple of bicycles to us. We are not sure what to do with them.
  • Leo donated a metal cabinet for the server. Using the hoist, it was put up into the storage loft which will become the new home for the server.
  • Kevin had collected a quantity of apples from Ham Lands, and today he got them pulped and put through the apple press. This yielded a couple of litres of apple juice, which is destined to become organic vinegar.
  • Andy re-flashed the software in a LED device. It's a successful wifi-controlled dimmer light.
  • Attendance tonight = 11

2019-10-03 Thursday

  • PaulE opened, spent most of the time on a hastily-scheduled conference call about his theatre show
  • Jane had what looked like a heating element from an oven she was trying to polish up
  • IanB came along to assist Peter (the steampunk cafe person)
  • Andy had some soldering to do which Ian also helped
  • ChrisR was there but I didn't get around to seeing what he was working on
  • Garret continued work on his latest papercraft model
  • Attendance tonight = 7

2019-10-01 Tuesday

  • IanB and Andy put the apple press back into the loft. It didn't get used after the Ham Lands Apple Walk.
  • Jon got another air compressor rewired and working, though it has some kind of mechanical fault. Kevin couldn't believe how silently it runs
  • PeterS is in need of a spare laptop. He found one of ours that works (not all of them do), and has booked it out in the Tool Lending Log.
  • Leo got the Geeetech i3 3D printer actually working, and did a couple of test prints. It's just in time, because the zombie printer is having further problems with filament feed and can't be relied on.
  • Sam looked in. He hadn't visited us before. He just wanted to use a soldering iron to do a small repair. This he did and he left soon after.
  • Dawid has a battery pack for an electric bicycle which should produce 42V, but it's only achieving 39V. He was trying to find out if one of the cells isn't working.
  • Jane continued to assemble her wicker clamp, and started on a smaller one. Her progress may have been slowed down by the amount of advice being given to her.
  • PeterH tested his completed variable voltage power supply, using PaulE's electronic dummy load. Everything went well up to about 18v at 2.5 Amps, then the smoke came out and there was a lot of hasty switching off. A familiar smell filled the air and Dawid thought his battery pack had overheated. PeterH needs to replace the regulator module. The overheated one is beyond repair. Paul's electronic load survived the encounter unscathed, and now features an animated fan icon on the display.
  • Imi visited. He can't use his left hand now. Imi charged a phone and used a computer.
  • MartinL would like to find a small, unwanted diesel engine to try out his latest idea. Can anybody help?
  • ChrisR has been asked to produce a large colour poster for a primary school. He asked Carla if she would assist with the design and Carla said yes.
  • Kevin has got some apples from Ham Lands and is planning to make cider vinegar with them. He and Andy lowered the apple press from the loft, where it had been put an hour or two ago. Good that we have the hoist, isn't it?
  • Attendance tonight = 19

2019-09-24 Tuesday

  • There's going to be an Apple Walk on Ham Lands on Sunday. Sofia and Jean came along to sort out the apple picker tools.
  • Jon and IanB got the apple grinder and apple press from the loft store, using the newly installed hoist.
  • Jane made a wooden clamp, a tool for wicker basket-making. Seemed to turn out well.
  • Anton had emailed us the day before, asking if anyone could spare a VGA cable. When Anton came in, he found three people offering him a VGA cable.
  • Sofia had heard about us and came over to have a look round. Sofia likes the laser cutter and might come back to use it.
  • Delilah did some more woodwork on the hedgehog hotel, and is improving the AI software that opens the door to hedgehogs only.
  • ChrisS was laser-cutting as ever. Hi to Beth who came with Chris.
  • Kevin had a bike on the outside bench and was involved in some repair work.
  • MartinL has a plan for charging Li-ion batteries unconventionally, which drew sharp intakes of breath from the techies of the round table. He promised to take care when trying it out (at home, outdoors).
  • Hi to Rob. Look in again soon.
  • Thanks to ChrisR for staying till closing time.
  • Attendance tonight = 20 (quite a lot!)

2019-09-10 Tuesday

  • Jon fitted new motor start relays to his compressors. One compressor still has a motor run fault, but he's getting closer to a solution.
  • MartinC spent more time designing with Inkscape
  • Andy sorted out some problems, and colluded with Jon in devising a way to get the apple press down to ground level without damage to people or press.
  • Very good to see RobD again after a year and a half. He was greeted by IanB, PaulB and Jon. Rob advised IanB on how best to repair a vintage wrench, and did much of the repair.
  • PaulE looked at configuration of type cc1100 radio modules
  • Hello and Welcome to PeterD, moved near here from Brighton where he was a member of that makerspace.
  • Jane had a vintage tea-trolley from the 1960s, in need of repair. The handle needed to be re-attached. Jane flattened, drilled and screwed the metal handle, with some assistance from PeterD.
  • PeterH has reached the wiring-up and soldering stage with the Electroham 1 variable power supply.
  • Téo and Lucille dropped in again with some ideas for things to make, but we had no useful materials to start from. Carla assisted Téo by showing him how laser engraving is done.
  • Carla is planning new designs to make
  • Leo continued to repair the Geeemark i3 printer. All three axis motors are working, in the right direction. Leo cleared a filament blockage in the hot end and checked the heating cooling process. Next steps will be levelling the X-axis, then levelling the print bed and calibration of extruder.
  • Attendance tonight = 13

2019-09-03 Tuesday

  • PaulE laundered his mouse before designing a PBB7
  • ChrisR seems a bit old to be doing his homework
  • Andy playing with some wireless remotes.
  • MartinL reprogrammed HAS/2117V device.
  • PaulB popped in
  • MartinC designing for laser cutting
  • PeterHarris discussed his previous projects with Vish
  • ChrisS used the laser cutter to produce some prototype parts - more design required.
  • Jon brought a third compressor that needs repair and did an oil change on number tow
  • Carla & Connor Vauxhall modelling for 3d
  • Attendance tonight = 13

2019-08-27 Tuesday

  • ChrisS used the laser cutter to produce three engraved acrylic awards
  • Colin brought an old laptop which couldn't be revived despite help from PaulB and PaulE
  • Delilah is waiting for a servo motor to continue with the hedgehog house
  • MartinL is still seeking a connector for the Mac motherboard
  • Ryan has donated a 'bunch of stuff', and wishes everybody goodbye as he's leaving for the USA.
  • Vish kept busy with parts for a Big Mac, that's an Apple Mac not a hamburger.
  • Jane brought new rubber bands for last week's pulley model, and continues to see something in electronic parts that engineers never notice.
  • Garret was going to continue building the cardboard marble run, but there really was no space to work this week.
  • PaulE considered a revision to his latest circuit design, a knotty question related to LED switching.
  • Jon brought a compressor that needs repair and another similar one to compare it with. Together with IanB, the compressor was pulled apart and re-assembled, after which it worked again. But it doesn't have a lot of pressure.
  • Carla used the laser cutter to produce a complex engraved cutout.
  • PeterH had a large white Mac with a unique retro look about it.
  • Hello to Gav who dropped in, looking for a makerspace that could assist with his plans/ideas.
  • Hi also to ChrisR, Andy and MartinC who were all individually busy
  • Attendance tonight = 18

2019-08-20 Tuesday

  • Vish brought a Mac which came apart into many interesting pieces. We didn't have an Allen key long enough, so the thermal paste couldn't be replaced.
  • Jules cast an object in Pewter from a mould he prepared last week. Jules was watched by Valentin
  • Jane has resolved to learn and understand all that mechanical stuff that we seem to know about, in a bid for self-improvement. Jane put together an electric motor and pulley, including a modification of her own devising. It all worked well.
  • PeterH laser-cut the front panel of a variable voltage bench power supply, made from an old AT PSU and some scrap MDF.
  • Hi to Leo and MartinC. Didn't get round to noting what each of you were doing this week.
  • Carla was engaging with more ambitious designs, and once again brought cookies. (Not the web browser sort)
  • PaulE has a new dual USB interface board of his own design. It's up and working already.
  • PaulB was helping out where required
  • Andy did a bit of laser cutting and some 3D printing. He's getting quite familiar with the Sonoff remote control mains switch. Ask him anything.
  • IanB looked at the Kobe bench sander. It had been tripping out the earth leakage safety switch. Nothing specific could be found, so the motor had the vacuum cleaner applied to it at Warp Factor 9, to remove sawdust deposits that would have accumulated over time. After this treatment, the sander seemed well behaved and no longer setting off the trip.
  • Delilah continues with the hedgehog shelter. The 3D printed parts are mechanically binding with each other, so they were eased by filing them down a bit.
  • ChrisR came along and offered Dundee cake (baked with whiskey) and a cup of tea. That went down well.
  • Jon had some very fine (i.e. small) laser cutting to do, which seemed to work out well.
  • Attendance today = 14

2019-08-13 Tuesday

  • PaulE has an unfeasibly small ATtiny processor board of his own making, testing the limits of micro-soldering.
  • Garret is building a marble run, from cardboard. Currently unfinished, it is coming together.
  • Leo completed the re-commissioning of the Delta Printer and a couple of 3D print jobs came out of it.
  • Leo then took a Thunderbird 2 and cut the jet engines off the back. This was so it would meet the maximum length requirement for a forthcoming Pi Wars challenge in Cambridge.
  • Barry has been experimenting with MQTT and a Sonoff switch, with good results.
  • Jules started to create a new mould for casting.
  • Welcome to Fadi on his first visit. IanB showed him round. Fadi has something from Ikea that needs repair, and would like to learn new skills.
  • Thanks to PaulB, a number of people received help.
  • Colin looked in, bearing a small table with wobbly legs. A few turns of the Allen key, and the table was as good as new.
  • Delilah continues with her project, and she used the newly-working Delta printer to produce a gear wheel.
  • MartinL is looking for a large and obscure connector for an older Mac motherboard. Mark suggested a different way to make connection which seemed quite promising
  • Mark took another look at the lathe, lubricated some dry oilways, tightened a selection of set-screws and reset the angle of the cross-slide. The lathe feels a lot better now. The speed control is slightly suspect. It may benefit from replacement of the potentiometer as changes in motor speed don't occur very smoothly.
  • Attendance tonight = 15

2019-08-06 Tuesday

  • A quieter evening than recently, there was enough space for everybody.
  • Andy flashed a pair of Sonoff WiFi mains relays for IanB.
  • MartinC replaced the fans in an Ethernet switch, with new, quieter ones
  • PaulE has another new ATtiny processor, even smaller than ever, and he brought a walnut cake to share.
  • Carla made a complex design and laser cut it in plywood. She also shared stuff for us to eat. Thanks, both of you.
  • Delilah found that her 3D printed pieces included support material, and she spent the evening snipping it off.
  • Mark came along with a top-hat washer that he had fabricated the previous evening. He fitted this to the mini-lathe after a little filing, fettling and cursing, where it worked perfectly. Mark has also identified the need to add a bearing at the end of the carriage feed leadscrew and he will try to locate a suitable one.
  • Attendance tonight = 9

2019-07-30 Tuesday

  • PeterHarris arrived early, but the place hadn't been opened yet. Sorry, Peter! Once inside, Peter continued with last week's laser cutting, and got the whole job completed.
  • Jane brought a laptop computer along and Andy gave her advice on organising files. She also had a jumping clockwork thingy, which needs to be scaled up and produced in time for next year's Ham Fair. Jane downloaded Fusion360, which is what everyone uses these days, and got to grips with sketching circles and rectangles.
  • Fusion360 is currently challenging Jon's current design. He's not likely to get any useful tips from Jane, not quite yet.
  • PeterH came back from the 3D printer room with some tiny printed item. It was not recogniseable and Jon said he was 'printing dust'. Peter also put finishing touches to the design for the front panel of his power supply. He has only just enough wood for one try at cutting it out, so it has to be Got Right.
  • Carla did some graphic design, leading to some laser cutting. Also, Carla provided a choc cake in celebration of Peter's birthday some time last week. Thanks!
  • Leo fitted a new fan to the DeltaMaker (3D printer). The filament path is still blocked, so that involves some disassembly of the hot end, maybe next week.
  • IanB reminded himself how to use the mini-lathe, did facing, drilling, turning and parting-off.
  • Andrew continued quietly on his project.
  • PaulE is designing an OLED display board, as part of a project to replace a PCB assembly that he can no longer buy ready-made.
  • PaulB dropped in and helped IanB on the lathe, and assisted Leo with a tricky piece of soldering.
  • Vish came in with a guitar and with Valentin
  • Delilah needs a more powerful computer for some AI work. She has a NVIDIA graphics card that has enough grunt, and Andy provided a desktop computer to take the graphics card. PeterH helped with the NVIDIA software installation.
  • Chris brought along Dimitri, who's assembling a wheeled robot car. It will be controlled by a mobile phone over a Bluetooth connection, and programmed in Python. Isabella designed and made a model house in balsa wood. It's going to be finished and painted.
  • Attendance tonight = 17

2019-07-23 Tuesday

  • Cooler
    In all the heat this week, the laser cutter complained about its cold water supply. The cooler was certainly getting hot. Jon took off the cooler's cover and removed years of accumulated dust, using the vacuum cleaner and the air compressor. The laser cutter offered its appreciation of the effort.
  • Carla worked on some designs
  • PeterH is fitting an AT-type power supply into a laser-cut box. Coming together well, but the front panel is only yet at the planning stage.
  • PeterHarris came along with some sheets of ply and got some advice from John. Peter cut out 20 shapes looking like railway signals. He's got 20 more to do next week.
  • Jane made a creature from some rusty wire, and prepared the inner tube of a bicycle tyre for its new destiny as a woven basket.
  • Jules is creating a rack of wooden balls, each on a wooden stem. It's not yet clear to me what's being created here and there wasn't time to ask.
  • PaulB shared information about the Phrozen liquid resin 3D printer. Dawid has replaced the LCD screen, but Paul needs to re-order the polythene screen to complete the repair. He'll do that this week.
  • Leo took a look at the Deltamaker 3D printer and diagnosed a faulty hot-end fan. This was almost certainly the cause of an earlier blockage/breakdown. IanB will get a new 24v fan on order this week, and we will then see what other problems there may be.
  • Delilah is getting on with the hedgehog house.
  • Leo and IanB reviewed the extruder drive on the Zombie 3D printer. It got re-assembled from first principles and a dodgy wiring connection was put right. After all this, the motor direction had to be reversed, which Leo did. The zombie printer is once again in the land of the living. There's a feeling that the Zombie deserves a better extruder, possibly with a conversion to a direct feed hot-end, instead of a Bowden feed.
  • Attendance tonight = 14

2019-07-16 Tuesday

  • MartinL progresses with his design. He asked about Peltier devices and how to select one. Andrew shared what he knew about these things.
  • Jane took two domestic irons apart, looking for treasures within. PeterH helped with the task. Later, Jane bound together some bamboo sticks, to make a 'bug hotel', helping crawlies to thrive in our ever more challenging environment.
  • Patrick looked in. Andy had revived his laptop, better than it had been before and Patrick was ever so grateful.
  • Carla put the small sewing machine to good use.
  • PeterHarris came along with some laser cuttable wood and experimented with cut and scan designs. He also took apart a small megaphone, intending to combine it with an old-time gramophone horn, to make a steampunk loud-hailer.
  • Welcome to Chris and Isabella who first met us at the Ham Fair. PaulE showed them round.
  • Delilah 3D printed mechanical parts for her hedgehog project, with assistance from AndyH
  • PaulE installed three push buttons on the CNC router, providing pause, restart and controlled stop. He has also managed to implement M-code speed control of the spindle. Genius!
  • Garret showed us his amphibious car and took Jane and Andy for a spin, down River Lane, across the river, round the ait and back onto dry land. A most exciting outing.
  • Video: Down to the river
  • Attendance tonight = 17

2019-07-09 Tuesday

  • Andrew beavering away with software design
  • Carla designed some things, possibly related to keyrings
  • PeterHow has fixed a Pi4 into a Lego case, what next?
  • AndyH helping out and taking a look at the CNC router
  • Jon kept busy
  • Ed showed James how to engrave initials on to a wooden case, using the laser cutter
  • Leo offered to get a few more 3D printers operational. Starting with the Deltamaker.
  • Hi to Delilah, who came to llok round. Delilah has plans to build a hedgehog shelter.
  • MartinL wired up the power circuit for the ekranoplan, and confirmed it works with remote control.
  • JohnW had some laser cutting to do
  • Garret spent some time assembling a cardboard marble be continued. Garret was careful not to utter any spoilers for 'Stranger Things'
  • PaulB helped Leo get started with re-commissioning the Deltamaker
  • JeanL looked in, had some wood to cut, PaulB lent a hand.
  • Letitia needed to laser-cut a new leather collar for the jacket she had made
  • Patrick brought a damaged laptop, AndyH took some steps towards fixing it...also to be continued.
  • Attendance tonight = 17

2019-07-02 Tuesday

  • Jon was fixing the shutters and helping
  • Alex, who was tapping new poles for his 3d printer
  • Kevin was lasercutting something mysterious
  • Jools was continuing to make his automotan
  • Dave came to fix the new LCD to the Phrozen printer
  • Peter was playing with his new Pi4
  • ChrisR came in to get Andy to look at his laptop
  • Chris was doing some coding
  • Carla was watching football, organising a BBQ and designing
  • PaulE was looking at the CNC
  • Attendance Tonight = 11

2019-06-25 Tuesday

  • Oscar and Amanda popped by to continue making an FM radio and an solar windmill
  • Jon was helping them, alongside giving Andy sass
  • John continued his mission to have all the boxes in the world
  • Peter was Lasercutting more windows and moving onto the power supply project
  • MartinC was coding and was shown the basics of the laser by Peter - will it happen soon?
  • Andy was covering himself with brake fluid
  • ChrisR popped in for advice
  • Patrick popped in with a broken computer a little late
  • Jools was doing some woodwork but I saw not what, he gave Vish some good tips on sanding.
  • Barry just was
  • Kevin popped in to look at guitar
  • Vish was dealing with Guitar's, his and Kevin's
  • John popped tried something on the phrozen, it didn't work.
  • Paul popped in, sadly didn't set fire to anything. What gives?
  • Attendance Tonight = 15 , mostly John/ Jons

2019-06-18 Tuesday

  • AndyH is getting to grips with the CNC machine, and planning to add a tool change feature
  • PeterHow laser-cut some more small-scale housing, and glazed the tiny windows
  • Caitlin continued with 3D printing of print-stamps, and started laser-cutting lettering for use with printing
  • Barry helped Caitlin with the 3D printer computer
  • AndyH put a new blade on the bandsaw and adjusted the settings with advice from Jules
  • The bandsaw is now functional, but you will need an induction session before using it
  • John had some laser cutting to do
  • Vish used a new tool for smoothing the wooden surface of the guitar
  • PaulE was beavering away developing more hardware. He advised IanB on using the AVR programmer
  • PaulB donated an old,old computer, and did some research on email addresses
  • MartinL continues with his project, and IanB offered to replace a burned-out component
  • Garret arrived with a large number of micro-miniature stepper motors with a linear screw movement, and asked how they can be activated
  • Welcome back to Iain, whom we haven't seen for a couple of years. He's got some headphones that need new cables, and will welcome assistance in coming weeks with small-scale soldering.
  • MartinB has finished the laser-cut box, pictured last week, and now it has an internal light, a fan and a 5kV ion generator inside.
  • Kevin did some woodworking
  • Attendance tonight = 17

2019-06-11 Tuesday

  • Following on from Ham Fair, some new visitors came to see us. Jon, PaulB & IanB did the introductions.
  • MartinB did some laser cutting
  • MartinL continued making a model ekranoplan
  • MartinC was coding
  • Carla used the laser cutter
  • Jane had cut wooden cubes but the electric sander didn't make a good job of smoothing them. Needs a new sander belt.
  • Caitlin had a file to print in 3D. The zombie printer produced it without a fuss.
  • Téo needed to modify a 3D print he did last week. He changed some measurements and printed the new piece.
  • Barry watched the 3D production process from modelling through to printing and may try his hand at it one day soon.
  • Oscar is going to put together an AM radio from a kit we already have (and we've got plenty more of them). He was assisted by Amanda and by Jon.
  • Garret is getting ready for Christmas, and already has an inflatable illuminated snow-bear.
  • Attendance tonight = 17

2019-06-08 Saturday

  • We packed a 3D printer, a NIM machine and a colour LED sign, and we trudged off to Ham Common.
  • We set out our stall and had a pile of leaflets ready to publicise the MakerLabs at the Ham Fair.
  • The wind blew a Force 9 gale. At times it looked like rain, but in the end the weather was pretty good to us.
  • We met new friends and gave away leaflets. Both the 3D printer and the NIM game got lots of attention
  • A big thanks to the usual suspects: Jon, AndyH, IanB, PaulB, PeterHow, Carla, Garrett and MartinL who attended on the day or helped with preparations. It could never have have happened without you.
  • Ham Fair is a huge annual event for us. Attendance today = 3000

2019-06-04 Tuesday

  • AndyH started testing the BiQu 3D printer in preparation for Ham Fair
  • PeterHow had something tiny to 3D print. AndyH had a go at it
  • Vish was outside, stripping the paint off the body of an electric guitar.
  • IanB reset the Z-stop and levelled the bed on the Zombie printer, with Barry's help.
  • John laser cut a box.
  • Jane was sawing dice, while Jules diced himself with a mis-placed blade
  • Martin has a use for a piece of 6" flexible pipe
  • Carla is designing pieces for laser-engraving on wood
  • Lucille and Téo made an ant farm from acrylic sheet cut on the laser cutter. They were greatly helped by Jon, who showed how shapes could be designed on the PC screen.
  • Carl has made a model with flapping wings which looked pretty impressive.
  • Attendance tonight = 15

2019-05-28 Tuesday

  • Andy worked with the CNC machine
  • Peter achieved great results with the LED panels
  • The giant NIM machine was assembled, with the help of Garret, Carla and IanB
  • Chris was in to do some laser cutting. He also trained two people in the safe use of the laser cutter.
  • Hi to Barry, returned after a few weeks 'oop North'
  • PaulB donated a chair
  • Richard found out how to use the Delta 3D printer and successfully printed something from Thingiverse.
  • Kevin returned the electric drill he had borrowed, but it's no longer working. That's OK, it didn't work when it was donated to us. We repaired it once, we can repair it again!
  • Some other people did some other things, as always
  • Attendance tonight = 14

2019-05-21 Tuesday

  • Mark was gettings a 3 colour laser up and running but play was stopped by not having the right power supplies
  • Jools was counter balancing a lamp, which involved blow torching something
  • Carla was continuing to make the Nim machine, onto some gluing now
  • Vish was showing off his new camera and brought biscuits, fitting in nicely
  • Jane was taking apart an old dell keyboard that was in the bin, rescuing keys from WEEE
  • John was helping Jane, fielding some questions and fielding some questions about his recent trips
  • Peter helped Jane with a grub screw on a shower head, felt the taste of success but then started with the lights again.
  • Martin was playing some music
  • Paul E was working on his micro controller programmer
  • Paul popped by to help as always
  • 3 New visitors this week
    • Martin who's looking to make a complicated powered dust filter
    • A nice lady who was asking about using 3D printer to make ceramics moulds for her sister
    • Trish, who was looking to do some wood work to fix an old chair

2019-05-14 Tuesday

  • Martin was trying to extend a heatsink to install a peltier on a motherboard
  • Carla was doing great work scaling up the Nim machine for Ham fair
  • Hello to Vish, first time visitor that wasn't
  • Paul was setting fire to something from the crystal maze
  • Jane rescued interesting parts from a boring charger and is gluing together alphabet building blocks for yet unknown reasons
  • Garret Helped Jane out with some gluing
  • Andrew was designing some clever circuit I didn't understand
  • Special thanks for Carl for letting people in when Andy messed up the days

2019-05-07 Tuesday

  • PeterHow did a great job in activating the LED message-board in preparation for Ham Fair
  • Thanks to MartinL for mounting panels on a firm base
  • Carla started on laser cutting for the NIM game, also for Ham Fair
  • PaulE and Michael were looking at Paul's new Tiny micro programmer
  • Jane took a small electric motor apart and found a wealth of interesting shapes within
  • PaulB helped out, and made tea and coffee for some
  • Kevin looked for a HUG banner for the Ham Fair and gave Carla some help cutting a sheet of wood
  • Hi and Welcome to Danyal and Ateeq who came along to see what we do. They are mainly laser cutter users.
  • IanB spent some time using the CNC machine to mill egg-holders into breadboards, for Kim
  • David checked out his 3D printed battery-holder and will now make modifications to the design He also investigated the new Geeetech printer which is not yet ready to run.
  • Hi to Mark. He called in to see PaulE who made some connections to a laser electronics assembly.
  • Yaroslav is modifying a pair of boots. We have the tools for that.
  • Attendance tonight = 16

2019-04-30 Tuesday

  • Jon separated the recyclable material from the Low Carbon Project clear-out, and recycled it
  • MartinC's missing wristband was discovered in the recycling process
  • PeterHow looked at an ST micro dev kit, but wasn't impressed. He also took a look at the hardware for the LED panels
  • Carla had work to do but also took on laser cutting for the Ham Fair NIM board
  • Jane needed acrylic lids for two wooden boxes. PaulB helped with measurement, Carla operated the laser cutter and two perfect lids were made.
  • Garret brought a batch of 25mm marbles (for the NIM machine), and donated a water-heater that could replace the old-fashioned 20th-century electric kettle. Thanks.
  • MartinL took sample LED panels, with a view to mounting them securely for the Ham Fair. Martin also mused over how to discharge a 500 Farad capacitor into a small electric motor.
  • David and PaulB took a look at the Phrozen printer which has a damaged diaphragm and LCD. The former was replaced and the latter was ordered.
  • IanB accepted a donation of two electric drills. He repaired the first and discarded the second.
  • Yaroslav worked with the Plasplugs electric drill sharpener. It kind-of works but you need quite a bit of skill, in order to get good results. Yaroslav also offered to look at programming the LED display panels and took away a sample to try.
  • AndyH brought the missing parts to get the bandsaw going again. He and Jon spent some time fixing it up, but really it needs a new blade now. Andy will get one.
  • PeterS looked in to see how we are getting along, and chatted to some members.
  • Attendance tonight = 13

2019-04-23 Tuesday

  • Jane added two legs to a 3-legged table
  • Andy, Jon, Jill and David W combined forces to identify stuff that was in storage no longer needed.
  • PaulE is starting a new minimal microprocessor design
  • Garret took apart some domestic electronic appliance and extracted one or two useful bits.
  • Teo and Lucille returned to wire up a projector, and Teo has a 3D print job. The Zombie printer had other ideas and IanB spent some time tying to re-animate it.
  • David had a problem with the liquid resin 3D printer, and PaulB helped him sort it out. David's still in need of reliable 3D print facilities.
  • Jules did silver-soldering using a blowtorch (outside). It turned out quite well.
  • MartinL has his remote control working now, after a few weeks of trying
  • Phaedra turned up and got some help with her mobile phone, and with a large file download.
  • Attendance tonight = 13

2019-04-16 Tuesday

  • Jane brought a DVD & VHS cassette machine which she pulled apart with the help of Jon and PeterHow. Inside were many treasures.
  • PaulB started a liquid resin 3D print using the Phrozen printer.
  • David started a 3D print on the zombie printer, but the zombie was having none of it and created problems with adhesion and extrusion. IanB resolved to get Nigel's newly donated printer into operation real soon.
  • Leticia laser-cut some fabric, using designs she had prepared earlier
  • Carla laser-cut some new acrylic designs
  • PeterH came to get some Alien Leg Joints which IanB had milled in copper (imperfectly). Peter provided a new sheet of copper which IanB will try to mill with a finer bit size.
  • Garret took apart some video remote controls and acquired a few infra-red light emitting diodes (IR-LEDs).
  • Attendance tonight = 11

2019-04-09 Tuesday

  • Andrew working on an Arduino Nano with a loudspeaker
  • MartinC busy as ever, also kindly looked at a briefcase with a broken handle, for JillL
  • PeterHow brought a small single-board oscilloscope and a signal generator. Hasn't quite cracked it yet. He also has designed a cardboard case for R. Pi Zero, an impressive fusion of origami and scalpel-work.
  • PaulE has developed a programmer for the ATtiny. Today it erased the uP successfully. Paul also showed a pic of the stage prop bomb-with-electronic-timer.
  • Nigel dropped in and donated to us a Geeetech I3 3D printer. It's a Prusa I3 look-alike. The wiring needs a bit of tidy-up, but it could become our No1 work-horse 3D printer. Thanks Nigel.
  • Carla was laser-cutting acrylic.
  • Dan looked in to see how it's going
  • Lucille and Teo made their first visit to us. Teo is a younger person very keen on creating objects and gadgets. He's also familiar with coding in Python. Today, PeterHow showed Teo how to solder, and he connected up a DC-DC converter to drive a 12v LED, making a projector.
  • We got out the PDS120 Scroll Saw from under the CNC machine. Too long it's been hidden away after breaking a blade. Dave found it has two spare blades and fitted one. Now there's a scroll saw (in the kitchen) for lightweight sheet material cutting.
  • PeterH came along with a part-built Alien Fighting Machine (from HGWells novel 'War of the Worlds'). IanB had cut some parts in brass sheet for this machine. When he tried to cut parts in copper, the milling bit snapped, so we need another. The alien invasion has been delayed.
  • PeterH also donated a Drill Sharpening set to us, thanks. This is a complicated electric-driven thing that Yaroslav will (probably) take a look at.
  • Dave wants to 3D print a replacement end for an electric bike battery. The difficult part is modelling the shape in software. IanB gave a hand, but this is going to take a while.
  • Garret came along with some ideas. He was going to bring The Internet with him, but somehow it got left behind. Despite this, we all managed to get by.
  • MartinL has got a lovely old bakelite Bush valve radio, from the Richmond Cafe (on Richmond Hill). He's going to get it working again, and consulted IanB about electrical safety. The answer is: it's not safe to touch it. But enclosed in the bakelite case with plastic knobs on, no problem.
  • Yaroslav laser-cut a picture frame which he had designed. Despite using known speed and power settings, the laser couldn't cut through 3mm acrylic in one pass. It may be losing power again, and in need of TLC. Who's going to take on that challenge?
  • Attendance tonight = 15

2019-04-02 Tuesday

  • MartinL looked for a TO92 heatsink
  • Carla laser-cut bow shaped hair grips from acrylic sheet
  • Jon used the laser cutter
  • Jane took apart a weather station and extracted a 7-day clock.
  • IanB experimented with brass milling on the CNC machine
  • Barry did some Arduino work
  • Colin brought in a broken speaker, which couldn't be repaired
  • Attendance tonight = 11

2019-03-26 Tuesday

  • Didn't see much of what was going on this week, as I was shut in the CNC room trying to mill a sheet of brass.
  • Jane was trying to find a way to attach wooden parts together, and she received advice and assistance from several members.
  • Jules started learning how to create drawing files for the laser cutter
  • Carla did some laser cutting
  • PaulE continues to evaluate the ATtiny microprocessor and found it lacking an accurate master clock
  • PeterH brought sheets of brass and copper to be CNC milled. Being guided by IanB wasn't much good as Ian knows next to nothing about milling.
  • Phil, Barry and others watched some of the milling process.
  • Garret and IanB discussed plans for the Dr Nim machine mentioned last week, and possibly a Shannon mind-reading machine.
  • Some biscuits were eaten, but several new packs remain. Thanks for the choc crispy things, someone.
  • Attendance tonight = 15

2019-03-19 Tuesday

  • Nice how people contribute biscuits for the MakerLab community. This week we had something of a surfeit with two packs of choc digestives, Oaty biscuits, choc crispy pieces and salted caramel tea-cakes. The excess packs have been stored in the kitchen and we will probably get through them in the coming weeks.
  • PeterHow was glazing and gluing tiny windows into an N-gauge building, a job that looked like it will take weeks
  • Garret made a glue repair to a Swiss Army knife style of camping cutlery, and started to look at making a larger version of the Dr Nim machine, with IanB.
  • MartinC continued what he was doing last week.
  • Welcome to Barry who joined us for the first time this week.
  • Linda came along to use our PAT device, but IanB couldn't find it. (Later he discovered it was away for calibration)
  • Martin L dis-assembled a Mac motherboard
  • Jane cut pieces off a curtain pole
  • PaulB was around, and helped Jane with her wooden legs.
  • Carla continued with some design work and later used the laser cutter
  • Jules renovated and repaired a wooden automation
  • AndyH is looking more closely at the CNC and started cataloguing the milling bits we have
  • Jon started drilling another jam tart tray, but it didn't go at all well. The CNC used up three 2mm drills and again lost its X-Y position. Something there needs investigation.
  • ChrisR laser cut a piece of 3mm MDF for use as a form tool.
  • Attendance tonight = 14

2019-03-12 Tuesday

  • PeterHow experimented with the laser cutter, to see how finely it could cut.
  • Jane put finishing touches to three pewter fishes and a pewter-cast stone mount.
  • Jules cut a disk from brass sheet.
  • Carla laser-cut some designs and produced a card-box.
  • PaulE investigated the new ATtiny microprocessor range and successfully programmed one of them.
  • Garett discussed with IanB the Doctor Nim game and the Shannon-Hagelbarger mind-reading machine.
  • Jon drilled a large number of 2mm holes in the base of a jam tart tray. It went well.
  • Martin did something more to the model ekranoplan and started to look into ways of milling a solid guitar body from a wood block.
  • Attendance tonight = 10

2019-03-05 Tuesday

  • The main event this evening was a demonstration by Jules, showing how he makes a mould for casting, and how the mould is filled with molten pewter to make a detailed cast metal object. It's also possible to carve a mould in cuttlefish bone, and Jane cast a small fish image in a cuttlefish mould which she had brought along. See a video of the demonstration here: Pewter-casting
  • MartinC has a design ready for experimental resist cutting using the laser cutter
  • Carla made some more rubber stamps
  • Jane continued preparing her wooden structure
  • Aki and Fred made a large number of small items using the laser cutter
  • Jon used the CNC mill for drilling a piece of pressed metal
  • Jules showed a candle-holder turned on the lathe
  • Carl brought a bicycle pump which he had repaired after it had been discarded. The pump becomes one of the RML tools available for members use.
  • Carl demonstrated a 'mains power failure alarm' which he had put together from an obselete mobile phone. It sends a text message when power fails, and another when power is restored. The alarm will be installed at Meadlands school for monitoring the school's heating system.
  • Kevin used the microscope searching for evidence of ear mites in a cat. He didn't bring the cat.
  • Hi to Dan who we haven't seen for many weeks,
  • Attendance tonight = 16

2019-02-26 Tuesday

  • Jon did some laser cutting
  • Garret had a new game of Nim, a clever mechanical computer, with ideas of scaling it up to work with marbles. He also took apart a popcorn maker out of interest to see how it works. As a result, we now have a plinth to place the donations dish in plain sight.
  • Jules spent some time on the lathe, turning a piece of brass, and afterwards using taps and dies.
  • Jane modified a couple of right-angle brackets into 22-degree brackets, then added M4 bolts.
  • Peter activated his 4-motor tracked vehicle and we watched it manoeuvring over chunks of wood and other obstacles.
  • Danny's got plans for infra-red robotic sensors
  • Martin brought half-choc mini-donuts. Not at all bad.
  • Carla had purchased laserable rubber sheet. The laser cutter can produce rubber stamps from this rubber sheet. Carla made a couple of stamps and generously donated the sheet to RML. Now we can forge our own visas and travel to Europe whenever we want.
  • ChrisR and Ann brought in a poorly Win7 laptop. AndyH took on the challenge and improved it greatly. Thanks, Andy.
  • We met Ian, a retired person who was interested to see what we do, and who might look in again.
  • MartinL discovered why his MOSFET wasn't switching and will see what to do next.
  • Kevin and Sufiyo discussed plans for adding a shed to the yard at Little House, for Friends of Ham Lands to keep their tools and equipment.
  • Attendance tonight = 16

2019-02-19 Tuesday

  • Quietly continuing work on laptop were PeterHo, Andrew, Jon, Carla and MartinC
  • Mark came in to look at the thread-cutting drive on the lathe, and found out why it wasn't working as it should.
  • ChrisR is planning to cut internal and external threads for optical work, and co-ordinated with Mark
  • Jules used the lathe, working in brass
  • PeterHa brought wood for the CNC mill, and used the laser cutter to create leg joints for an alien invader
  • Imi called in to say Hi, and gave some help with moving heavy items
  • William donated a UPS, which was left in the 3D printer office beside the server
  • PaulB was around for a time.
  • MartinL chatted to IanB about alternative techniques for additive manufacturing.
  • MarkW had brought some thermoplastic beads to show to ChrisR. He poured boiling water on them and they turned into a malleable sticky mess which cooled down into something very solid.
  • Attendance tonight = 14

2019-02-12 Tuesday

  • Garret looked into modification to solar-powered led lights. He also had about 10 mousetraps and found more than 10 ways to trip them off
  • Peter fitted batteries to a mechanical crab brought along by Jane. Crab walked towards mousetrap.
  • MartinC continued software design.
  • Jane's making good progress with her wooden construction. Notches were cut into the top bar to accommodate a curvy piece of wood.
  • Hi to new member Jules who came along to see what we do. Jules is a retired person, has plans to turn brass rod and work in brass generally. He has offered a demonstration, showing how to cast pewter, and how to make hot metal moulds.
  • Hello also to Analyn and Mark. Jon showed them round the makerspace. They'll be back.
  • MarkW came in to set up the thread cutting drive on the lathe. This involved changing a gear train, which in turn involved making a puller to separate a keyed hub from a small gear. Good job Mark knows what he's doing. By the end of the evening, he'd cut a 1 mm thread in a piece of brass rod.
    Cut thread
  • PaulB kept busy in assisting Jane with notch-cutting and later on helping MarkW with the lathe.
  • PaulE repaired his laptop again and discussed the CNC cutter room with IanB
  • ChrisS cut lots on the laser cutter, which was working OK
  • Jon had something to do on the laser cutter.
  • Aki make good use of the laser cutter, too
  • Carla has some more bookbinding under way
  • John brought in a 3D design he had produced and set it to print on the Zombie printer. Made a promising start, but is going to start again next time.
  • Hi to Carl, I hope we see you more often in the coming weeks.

2019-02-05 Tuesday

  • Peter seems to have completed his ex-aircraft control panel. It's a complete computer and screen in a box, powered by a Raspberry Pi. (pictured) Awesome!
  • Jane spent her time with geometry and a wood-saw, making two massive triangles. Not a single degree was lost. Thanks to Jon for help and support. Jane also crafted some aluminium pieces.
  • Hi to Phil, joining us today. He has some experience in making things and we hope he'll become a regular.
  • Carla took her designs to the laser cutter.
  • Peter H came along with a rifle stock which he would like to duplicate using the CNC router. Ed had offered his knowledge of modelling in Adobe software and spent several hours converting a photo into a workable 3D file with work-holding fixings, dimensions and everything. (pictured) Without Ed's input it would have taken several weeks or months.
  • Ed is looking for some assistance in crimping plugs on to Cat6 cables. IanB had a try with very little success. He recommends an alternative type of plug and will send Ed a sample.
  • ChrisR came along with a lens that was fixed by a nut inside a long tube. Chris wanted to loosen the nut but it needed a very unusual tool. As we didn't have one, Chris made his own from a piece of scrap, using the bench grinder. It worked and the nut was undone.
  • MartinL got a short tutorial on using N-channel MOSFETs from IanB, and Martin checked out a small elctrically operated hydraulic valve he had brought along.
  • Kevin was re-wiring a 5v portable record player. Didn't get to see it working, hope it was all ok.
  • Aki used the laser cutter.
  • Attendance tonight = 12

2019-01-29 Tuesday

  • MartinC continues with that rotary encoder circuit. It has to be a single-sided PCB, to suit Martin's plan for etching.
  • Carla is designing wooden coasters which will be laser-cut
  • PeterH cut an aluminium die-cast equipment case in half, at home, with an angle grinder. He brought it to Little House to finish the job with a hacksaw and some filing.
  • Garret is making a better mousetrap. Honestly, mice will be queuing up to use it.
  • AndyH tested the limits of the laser cutter and found there is no low limit on the Z axis. It took a couple of hours to get back to the top. But well done for sorting it, Andy.
  • ChrisS showed us a model church and houses which he had 3D printed and painted. Some very fine quality printwork.
  • Hi to Gavin, second visit to us. He waited patiently for the laser cutter to be reinstated then gave a hand in levelling the bed. PaulB gave a swift tutorial in how to (safely) use the laser cutter and Gavin successfully cut out a box design which he had brought.
  • Yas and Leem returned to change the power connector on a Thinkpad. They allowed plenty of time, because it's a tricky operation. With a little help and advice from PaulE, Yas got the connector changed and the Thinkpad has a new lease of life. Plus Yas now has a new skill, knowing how to take apart laptops and more importantly how to put them together again.
  • PaulE worked on a tester, to test a batch of his RS485 voltage level translators. Initially the tests were indicating all devices faulty. After getting the tester right, it became a 100% pass rate.
  • MartinL has taken the small model ekranoplan as far as it can go. Now it may have to be scaled up to develop enough power to lift off the ground.
  • Bogdan was tucked away all evening in the 3D print room. He cleared a blocked hot end with a blowtorch and printed some threaded parts for PLA filament feeds.
  • John came along with an extraordinary red glossy plastic radio from another era. It had a loudspeaker with a broken voice-coil wire. After some attempts to repair it with precision soldering, John found we had a spare loudspeaker of about the right size, so he fitted that instead. Fixed!
  • Good to see PaulB again. He's a busy man domestically these days and has less time for tinkering. Paul helped with sorting out the laser cutter and re-levelling the cut bed.
  • ChrisR used the lathe to make a rod with an M3 thread at one end. No, not thread cutting, but tapping and using a piece of studding. Chris ended up making two of these so if he loses one he'll still be OK.
  • PeterS looked in to catch up, and shared some ideas with IanB and with Bogdan.
  • Attendance tonight = 15

2019-01-22 Tuesday

  • MartinC has designed a circuit to connect a rotary encoder to an I2C bus, using a PIC processor. He will create a PCB layout, and then use the laser cutter to help create an etch resist. A novel technique, worth watching as it progresses.
  • AndyH has moved all the 3D printers to the room formerly known as the office, and they are gradually being commissioned. We will document how to use each printer so that everybody who wants to can use one.
  • Andy is also administering the Little House server, and this will be documented in due course.
  • Yas came in, with Leem. Yas has a laptop which we had diagnosed before Christmas as needing a new power inlet connector. IanB showed Yas how to open up the laptop, up to a point, after which we got instructions from YouTube. After a time it became clear that the degree of disassembly needed was excessive (like replacement of the starter motor in a Mercedes-Benz Smart car), so Yas put it back together again to try another day.
  • Dogan stopped by to see what's going on, but didn't stay long. Hi, good to see you again.
  • ChrisS had some laser cutting to do.
  • PeterH had prepared a DXF in Inkscape, transferred it to Adobe Illustrator, and then to the laser cutter. In the process, he had to take into account the default DPI used by inkscape and the default used by Adobe which is different (hey- these are vector files. What does that have to do with dots per inch?). Peter also found that our laser cutter control software can't read files from the latest Adobe Illustrator, you have to use an earlier Adobe. Peter will write up his experience on our wiki, for the benefit of others treading this path. Edit: here is the page: Inkscape_to_Laser_Cutter_via_Illustrator
  • Jon is expert at many things, and wall fixings are one of his specialities. Today he moved the key safe and fitted a VESA mounting plate, all firm and level, in the room formerly known as the office, now the home of 3D printers.
  • Carla kept busy, but I didn't see at what.
  • Colin came in with a broken wooden chair. ChrisS advised on the best way to apply wood glue to the comb joints. There was no clamp large enough to hold it together while the glue dried, so a rope substitute was used. The whole repair went well.
  • Martin L had diagnosed the problem with the large Mac computer he took away last week, and he brought in a Sky box that needed demolishing. It yielded up a decent size of Hard Disk. Peter helped with the disassembly, having had a few years experience at the place which designed it. Turns out that Yaroslav still works there.
  • Yaroslav had some acrylic disks to cut on the laser cutter.
  • Kevin found a 5v supply and wired it up to a specific plug. This involved soldering and using heat-shrink sleeving, which all went pretty well.
  • Bogdan was still not quite content with the extruder mechanism on the Zombie printer. He modified the mounting which gives the advantage of being able to see the filament passing through it, and giving it a little help if it seems to be following the wrong path. Bogdan left it printing a lid for a Pine single-board computer.
  • Attendance tonight = 14

2019-01-15 Tuesday

  • Andy successfully made a pegboard on the laser cutter.
  • Jane made a tin boat.
  • Chris used the laser cutter
  • Peter did some soldering, assembling some accessories for a Raspberry Pi
  • Garret replaced the battery on a small scales, tried out a device that made all sorts of noises and further refined his triple mousetrap design.
  • Carla continued with a hand-bound book. This week it reached the glue-and-press stage. Carla investigated what the laser cutter can do for her.
  • Welcome and hello to two new faces this week: PeterK is thinking of starting a tool/workshop sharing base in his own area, and Llewellyn came to see what we offer. He might be back some time soon.
  • PaulE drilled some holes in a part-assembled electronic thingy, and gave IanB advice on working the CNC mill.
  • MartinL reviewed MOSFET connection, and will try to do a factory reset on the Mac in the coming week.
  • Sufiyo dropped in to talk about tidying up the HUG garden tools in our front yard, and putting up a small shed in the corner alcove for storing them safely. Jon and IanB thought it would be a good plan, Andres had earlier given his encouragement, so it's over the the HUG garden people to see what could be done.
  • Peter S picked up a power supply and checked its calibration
  • Bogdan started a 3D print on the Zombie printer, and confirmed that the DeltaMaker 3D printer is operational. He also managed to get Slic3r functional again, as it hadn't been working since moving to its new location.
  • Attendance tonight = 15

2019-01-08 Tuesday

  • MartinC continues to look at IOT communications
  • Jane had some items that she drilled through, and discussed how to proceed with building an enormous open-frame handbag
  • AndyH has done some great work in moving the 3D printers into the office area, freeing up bench-space in the main room
  • Carla is starting on a new book
  • Peter continues to convert an ex-aircraft navigation assembly into a computer screen and keyboard
  • Jon and IanB attended to a fault on the laser cutter, where the red finder beam goes off at certain positions of the x-axis. They replaced a fractured wire and all was well on re-test.
  • MartinL made some attempts to re-animate an old Mac but it didn't want to come back to this world. The story is not yet over, more attempts will be made.
  • Briony called in to offer us some useful empty containers, and brought a large tub of Cadbury Celebrations. Thanks, B. We managed to scoff the lot by the end of the evening. Team effort.
  • Hi to Garret. I didn't see what you were up to today.
  • There's an unexplained decorative double-glazed window under the electronics bench. For recycling, or what?
  • Carl called in about 10.30pm after another long day's work. He's going to do something to Phaedra's bike when he gets time.
  • Attendance today = 11