Apr 242014
Mobile phone screen replacement

Mobile phone screen replacement

SMD project everything in reach!

SMD project everything in reach!

The layout and organisation of what goes where is evolving, but is already proving pretty good!

Just won an auction for about 35 square meters of 30mm thick particle board ~700kg!. So now can do a full renovation (walls, ceiling and storage) on my machine room (garage) after another auction win (~700kg of 30mm particle board) so I can insulate it and stop it literally raining from all the condensation in winter … and rusting the crap out of everything.

Apr 242014
New 'pimped out' personal hackerkspace

New ‘pimped out’ personal hackerkspace

The server shelves are really deep at 900mm, but very strong and stable even with a heavy load.

Showing off to my daughter – she said it is “really pimped out”.

Not yet complete – might remove compressor and add another sliding shelf plus make the top shelf sliding …. sometime.

Had an inspiration to add two power boards in behind on sliding drawer – works pretty good! One power board connects to foot switch to control fan, air filter and SMD vacuum pickup.

Hidden, but accessible power boards

Hidden, but accessible power boards

Apr 242014

While moving table to fit server rack, the table was still fully loaded and stuff on the floor underneath, so when the desk was slid sideways – “CRACK” – one table leg support broke out of the timber!

Plus already needed to fit table into changed space. So added bracing and supports/rails for under table storage and table extension as well as post for light/camera arm. Took over a week of mostly full time work.
the brackets and beams got in the way of storage and also interfered with mounting the rails parallel.

No physical changes to desk – no holes/cuts/screws … just a bit more wear and tear – bruises and scratches. The braces are not visible in the photos, but the really did come in handy for mounting the sliding shelves. Although it would have been a lot better if I had planned the design of bracing AND sliding shelves together! Ended up wasting quite a bit of space as

Photo shows work in progress empty desk for the record as it will be a long time before it is ever this empty again! There are three deep sliding shelves under the desk and more storage on wheels below that.

Renovated desk - before it gets lost under piles of stuff!

Renovated desk – before it gets lost under piles of stuff!

Still plenty of rough edges and some incomplete items, but now at the stage where can start organising things and using the new workspace … and I have been hanging out to get stuck in and enjoy it!

Next step is to do the wiring, lighting and ventilation.

The rails left over after the server rack fitout, did not have mounting holes, but mounting nipples which are great for quick fit, clip in, but require exact size hardware to match. So I spent a couple of days making by hand the brackets. Really wish I had spent the time on making a CNC to do this – as you can see every bracket is individual (ie very different!).
Plus it also took ‘forever’ (well a week) to cut the brackets, mount, adjust, remount, adjust….. the slides and bins.

Functional but very hacked rail mounting brackets

Functional but very hacked rail mounting brackets

Apr 242014

While upgrading my workdesk with an under desk keyboard sliding tray, I eventually realised that a full size keyboard left no room for a mouse!

As the new workspace upgrade had already extended into weeks of effort, the photos show the quick hack solution.

Works well, although after a week or so, the keyboard has started auto-sending keystrokes at power on. I might need to cut the end off – although I really do want to at least get the system keys back!

Hacked keyboard - the cut

Hacked keyboard – the cut

Hacked keyboard

Hacked keyboard

Apr 242014

After leaving XinCheJian hackerspace in Shangahi and heading back to Australia, I just had to upgrade my workspace, as I seemed to spend more time searching for things than doing stuff!

Was lucky to win two auctions one with eleven full working sets of server rails and other bits and another with a full size EMC2 server rack all for less than $60.

That server rack must weigh 200kg, but it is on four swivel rollers so it moves nice – even when loaded up.

Now to convert these into my own mini-hackerspace.

EMC2 Server rack - empty - before fitout

EMC2 Server rack – empty – before fitout

EMC2 Server rack

EMC2 Server rack

Server rails

Server rails

Mar 192014

After being challenged to use a small motor to make something simple and interesting, first thinking was on variations of a useless machine, but seeing just how many already exist, the following simple “climber” was put together in 10 minutes.

Thread climbing motor

Thread climbing motor

Mar 192014

The initial goal was to quickly make a cheap, but usable camera copy stand. Previous post shows it took five attempts to get to a usable version!

The evolution included:- improved working space, stability of camera and work area, linear bearing mounting to reduce stress/wear and improve movement, push button height control.

Further Evolution that “might” get added:

  • add limit switches
  • add quick release clamps to further stabilise camera at chosen height.
  • Lighting needs large range position adjustment for two or more lights.
  • Easy addition of light box/filter sheets or plastic milk bottles.
Camera copy stand 5 - usable

Camera copy stand 5 – usable

Mar 192014

Photo gallery shows evolution of cheap camera copy stand creation to take overhead closeup photos of objects Each version was made mostly from items on hand, except for a few nuts and bolts and the last two versions used rods, linear bearings and stepper motor donated by the XinCheJian City project (thanks guys).

Each version “worked”, but until latest one had plenty of issues. Latest version also makes it really easy to adjust the height by pushing and up or down button connected to an Arduino Nano a XinCheJian designed H bridge motor controller and a stepper motor driving a ball screw. Plus still required a heavy counterweight, as seen in the last photo.

The biggest challenges were doing it cheap and getting rock steady mounting of the heavy camera and vibrations from nearby traffic (was highly noticeable!).

The final version is shown in the next post. Also not shown is version based on City project using belt to drive the slide – it also required counter weight. Did not refine it further as the rod mounts were too close together and not aligned accurately. Also not shown are the different attempts at lighting and rotating/tilt table to place objects.

Camera copy stand 1 - unsteady

Camera copy stand 1 – unsteady

Camera copy stand 2 - unsteady

Camera copy stand 2 – unsteady

Camera copy stand 3 - steady, but hard to adjust height

Camera copy stand 3 – steady, but hard to adjust height

Camera copy stand 4 - small work area

Camera copy stand 4 – small work area

Oct 192013

Quiet time at the popular first day of Shanghai Maker Carnival 2013 had crowds of locals and hackers and makers from Shanghai, Nanjing, Beijing, Shenzhen, Taipai, Indonesia, Singapore, Prague, America, ……

The number of companies large and small also exploded and many of the sponsors also had a major presence, including AutoDesk, Lego, DFRobots. More photos in next posts.

Overview - quiet time!