Homebrew TinyG (CNC Controller Alternative)

It’s been a while since I’ve last posted an update on my 1500×1500 CNC Table. Right now, the table is functional, but the 175 oz/in NEMA-23 motor driving my X-Axis is a limiting factor, with skipped steps noticably apparent when cutting 1/4″ into plywood and particle board. For the record, I’m driving that with 12 Volts, using a TinyG v6 Controller Board — which itself has a 2-Amp ceiling due to the driver chips it is using. I am cutting curves 1/4″ deep at a…

RadioBlocks Documentation

{{unknown}}As a gadget geek, I couldn’t help but buy into a Mesh Networking hardware product on KickStarter called RadioBlocks.  That was way back in 2012. Since that time, it looks like the device’s producer, Colorado Micro Devices, has gone away — or at least their website has. Here, then, is my attempt to use GitHub to preserve the documentation and code assets to continue using these products:  http://not404.github.io/RadioBlocks/

HP DV7-1135NR (30FCF49.FD) BIOS, Modified

As it turns out, I had one of these laptops sitting on the shelf (it was a repair request that was later abandoned). After reassembling the core components, I decided to “upgrade” the installed WiFi adapter, which yielded the dreaded “104-Unsupported” error message. Thanks, HP. Scouring the Internet proved fruitless for a ready-made image, despite the existence of a couple of Grey-Hat sites that cater to BIOS modding requests. An image may have existed at one point in time years ago, but the various download links…

DOH switching vendors after flawed food safety inspection system?

Check out this procurement listing the State of Hawaii has to rebuild their failed Restaurant Inspection system. Just looking at the “requirements”, the State’s restaurant inspection project was a Death March from the start. Technical requirements: Microsoft OS throughout; ‘App written in ColdFusion or .NET; on-demand data sync to a Cloud Server using MS SQL Server as the “database”? Good luck finding capable talent willing to downgrade their tooling to work on THAT gig. Nevermind the BS requirements that the vendor have done EXACTLY the use-case…

Strongly-Typed JavaScript? AtScript, FTW!

{{unknown}}*FINALLY* there’s a strongly-typed JavaScript dialect we can use! Being a computer language geek, I can’t help but be overjoyed about Google’s AtScript. ‘Took a few days of R&D to roll it into my automated build environment, but it’s gonna pay off in the end. This opens up all kinds of testable type-mismatch issues to be caught upfront at coding time, at compile time, and during continuous integration testing. Best of all, AtScript code can be boiled down to plain ol’ JavaScript on final deploy.…

Happy New Year 2015

It’s a new year, and I’m starting almost everything with a clean slate — freshly installed Linux upgrade (Fedora 21 w/ MATE Desktop), and dropping support for more legacy stuff I’ve built and maintained since 2008. Now that my main workstation is squeaky-clean, it’s time to take a fresh look at everything I use to see if superior alternatives exist. First thing to re-evaluate is anything Subscription-Based like Linode, Clear 4G, GotoAssist, LogMeIn, Freshbooks, Dropbox, Pingdom, and Lastpass. I’m content with most of the lot, but…

Observations on the OpenBuilds Ox at 1500×1500

More of my notes and observations for anyone considering extending the OpenBuilds Ox design to larger dimensions. I’ve cut a few parts out of plywood and acrylic and seem to have most of the settings I need dialed in. First up, there is overall weakness in the Stepper Motor’s torque on X-Axis, especially when compared to the torque on the Y-Axis. This is understandable, but still a disappointment as it is the Weak Link when determining the limits of the machine’s feed/speed ratio. I’m able to do 1/4″ depth cuts…

Finally! Hitachi M12VC Installed.

Finally had a day to myself to get this bad boy installed! Woo-Hoo! Nevermind the hate on the ugly wires — this is a completely new Z-Axis built to replace the old one, as I wanted to use 20×60 V-Slot instead of the 20×40 on the original Z-Axis. I’ll tidy up the wires before running it on real projects. Now recalibrating the maximum travel speeds and dialing in the pots to ensure there’s enough power to handle the extra weight. Hope to cut a few…

CNC Ox Build Update

Just a brief status update to cover the past few weeks. To be honest, not much progress has been made as I’ve had a surprising bump in my consulting business. (No complaints there — having good IT and Software projects lined up as an independent coder based in Hawaii is always an interesting challenge). Overcoming TinyG v6 Shortcomings On the Synthetos TinyG v6 – I’m really starting to hate this controller again. If I were superstitious, I’d say the thing is cursed. Aside from blowing…

Repairing the TinyG v6

As luck would have it, once I had my 1500×1500 CNC router fully assembled and tested properly, Hurricane Iselle comes into the islands and sets my progress back by a few weeks. Not only did I need to disassemble the frame and put both the frame and gantry into a safe place during the storm, and then reassemble the whole works a week later, but darn it, one of the TinyG controller board’s chips decided to crap out, too! That’s a bummer, especially since those…