Projects aplenty

I’m not sure if it’s the ongoing pandemic, the fact that my wife seems like she’s doing a lot better, or the coolish weather, but I’ve been loving working on stuff lately. I’ve made a lot of progress in the last couple of days and I can’t wait to get some more projects going soon.

In CNC Maslow news this last weekend I managed to assemble the entire frame! Took some moving around of things, but the frame is built and it’s on to the electronics. It really goes together quickly. The instructions from MakerMade are really clear and clean. It’s no comparison to my first CNC machine that probably took a month or two to complete. I love the thing already and I can’t wait to get the rest of the bits installed and running. I might need to run a new electrical outlet though. On the plus side the breaker box is right next to it, so I may just make it a short run to behind the machine.

I’m already dreaming up some upgrades once it’s up and running. The biggest thing first, and another reason to have a specific breaker for the machine is to get dust collection going. Afterwards it’d be nice to have some E-Stops maybe set it up to start the router on its own or a few other nice upgrades. Some kind of loading dolly to make it easier to get plywood on the machine would be a big help too. That and plywood storage are going to be pretty essential as I start to run this monster.

As for today I managed with some fiddling to get an old Raspberry Pi I had kicking around loaded up with webcontrol. It’s funny because I’ve used Raspberry Pi’s on a handful of projects. The problem is I use it just infrequently enough that I feel like I have to relearn everything every time. Still after some googling and some fiddling around with it, I finally got it set up so that it automatically boots into webcontrol, so from anything on my network I can log into the machine… well I can log into the machine once the Arduino’s flashed, etc. Right now it’s still a stack of discrete boards on my desk.

Now the one funny with the Maslow assembly… I was raring to go and finish it after my wife went to bed Saturday night. I started off right, got the legs set upright, installed space blocks, screwed on the bottom support then halfway through the top… completely out of screws. It’s just the worst to run short on such a simple item when you’ve got the motivation to keep going. I still had some energy left though, so the first thing I did was get back to work on a bicycle project that had been sitting languishing. My original idea was to start biking to work. I bought a bike, but I wasn’t satisfied with it, the seat and bars were just too uncomfortable, so I started replacing pieces… well between Covid-19 and my wife’s brain surgery that project just got completely shelved. I mean there’s no point having a bike to go to work when you’re office is in a bedroom. Well it’s finally finished. Only maybe had an hour or so of work, but it’s just so nice to check that off the list.

Finally that night I figured after finishing one mini project I’d work a little longer, so the first tailight on the 818 is spliced. I need to splice the second, then the windshield connector, but after that I think I can really start laying the harness in its final resting place and mounting up some of the boxes. That will be really nice to complete. Especially because with all the excess cables it’s just really cluttered in the interior. Maybe one day if I’m truly ambitious I’ll do a full new harness with MegaSquirt or something, but right now I just want to get it running.

Last little fun thing… Black Friday/Cyber Monday may have overtaken my sanity slightly. I finally broke down and bought a little robot rover. It just arrived today and I partially assembled it. Looks very very fun! I keep wanting to mess with some robotics and this little fellow is run on an arduino with bluetooth and wifi. I think it’ll be fun. Based on how much the kiddo likes the Roomba, maybe I can put a 3d printed shell on this little bot and he can chase it around too.

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