Blog 2023

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What we have been doing at Little House

Previous years blogs are available from the Main Page

2023-03-07 Tuesday

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

2023-02-28 Tuesday

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

2023-02-21 Tuesday

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

2023-02-14 Tuesday

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

2023-02-07 Tuesday

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

2023-01-31 Tuesday

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

2023-01-24 Tuesday

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

2023-01-17 Tuesday

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

2023-01-10 Tuesday

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

2023-01-03 Tuesday

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

Previous years blogs are available from the Main Page