This Week’s Goals

Cyclone PCB Factory

I’ve made a few modifications to the X axis, like strengthening up certain areas. The spindle weighs about two kilograms, and I don’t want it breaking loose while it’s spinning, could be catastrophic very quickly. So will be printing it in PLA to do a test fit, before having it printed in PETG.

In Robotic News

Finish putting the bot together from retail parts only. Not a real challenge to stay under budget, though I did run out of places to put things. I will have to go up, since down and out are not options to place the batteries. If anybody has list of what parts these robot bodies were designed for, it would be nice to know:

Hydroponics Sort of On Hold

I have to get both printers working, since all the future parts are quite large and looks like multiple of each. Which is not possible since they are not staying calibrated

A few thoughts on the current situation

The numbers are still on the rise, yay USA! Different countries are on lockdown to try to contain Covid-19, I hope it works. It’s becoming a a habit to watch “V for Vendetta” on the 5th of November, this time it hit a bit close to home though.

Since there are threats of civil war and we are deep into Covid-19, and who knows what else is going on.

Buy Me some Ko-Fi to keep things going

It helps to get hardware and such that I can’t normally afford https://ko-fi.com/mechgeek2kblog https://ko-fi.com/widgets/widget_2.jskofiwidget2.init(‘Support Me on Ko-fi’, ‘#29abe0’, ‘R6R220ANR’);kofiwidget2.draw();

Some Plans and Updates

Robotically Speaking

I know that I’ve been all over about the various subjects pertaining to robotics, hopefully it has struck a chord or two to investigate such things as Artificial Neural Networks, Behavioral Programming, Decision Trees and possibly Artificial Intelligence. I hope you have found that robotics is a multi-disciplinary field that spans programming, physics and a bit of psychology, as I have. Hopefully, these subjects have stirred your curiosity and you will join me on the next stage of this journey.

My life has been filled with a lot of patient building exercises, which I have chosen to take the time to meditate while waiting on deliveries, at store pickups and having to do in person shopping. Meditation is key to staying calm, it allows you to take yourself out of the equation and therefore come closer to a solution, which is that most of us are doing the best that we can at that moment. Empathy and compassion is what will see most of us through these trying times. I digress though, lets take this time to do some amazing things and perhaps be a bit entertained whilst doing so!

Want to build a basic robot for about $50?

You will need a few things like the 2WD arduino robot kit, a ESP8266-01 circuit, a 5V to 3.3V buck converter so you don’t fry the ESP8266-01 circuit and a some resistors so you don’t fry the aforementioned circuit. This is a blatant gatekeeper test, if you can successfully procure these items and some of which are mentioned in the next posts, you are on your way to learning more about robotics.

What is the purpose of this challenge and are there more? Yes to both, robotics is a vastly unexplored multidimensional field and it takes people who are not afraid to go the distance or expen the effort, resources and time to pave the way for others to follow in their footsteps.

Cyclone Factory Update

I did gift myself the 300w 52mm spindle to myself for my birthday, so yay me! After sending off the stl file to be printed, it was pointed out to me that there is a major flaw that needs to be addressed. which will be taken care of by this weekend, if the powers that be are willing. So that is one of the last tests or hurdles on this stage of this project, the future progress of so many projects are hinged on the success of this project. See the update about my printers’ status about what is going on with this project in the near future.

Printers not Printing

Both printers are down, the last few prints were not just bad, but unusable. I got one printer almost up and going, I had to tighten all the belts and such, it’s still not printing well. I am going to replace the acrylic parts of the extruder with aluminum ones and upgrade the bowden tube with Capricorn ptfe tubing. The other one is going to get the same treatment, but I’m going to unistall it’s BLTouch and 32 bit controller board and put it back in an almost stock condition. It will get an upgrade on it’s extruder like the other one. In the future, I may get another controller board to mess with, because I do believe that a BLTouch and 32 bit controller board can be used to create a near perfect flat printing surface.\

Goals for November

A short list of goals for November:

  • Get both printers running on octoprint
  • Have a simple robot made
  • Get the Cyclone PCB put together
  • Start the hydroponics
  • Post a few videos

Delays, research and 3D printing

Seems that certain things are not ‘critical’, but that just means that patience is required. By patience I mean, finding alternative sources for the things that I want and finding other things to do while waiting for deliveries. There is a difference between need and want, one is necessary and the other is desired; the former causes fury and the latter creates disappointment when unavailable. I’ve not been idle of mind or with hands since the last post. Amazon is having massive delays on ‘non-critical’ items, so tried researching the companies to contact directly to little avail, therefore using my go to solution of finding parts that I can’t get source locally, Ebay.

So what have I been doing since the last post, I shall inform thee. Been doing quite a bit of research, which it has been hard to not go down a bunch of rabbit holes that has created. It has certainly proven the fact of the more you know, the less you know. For instance, seeds started in soil seem to do better than seeds in a pure hydroponic situation and it might be due to the lack of certain type of root fungi. The fungi that I am typing about is Mycorrhizal fungi, it’s type of fungus that attaches to the roots and assists the plant with water and absorbing various nutrients from the soil that the plant needs to grow and therefore provide the fungi room to grow as well, it’s a symbiotic relationship between plant and fungi. Mycorrhizal fungi is not just one specific fungus, but is actually a group of similar fungus who do the same job, for more information on how they work and how this relates to hydroponic gardening, click here – https://mycorrhizae.com/do-Mycorrhizae-have-a-role-in-hydroponics/. Also been designing the 3D printed PVC connectors for the hydroponic garden.

Speaking of 3D printed things, the Cyclone PCB maker is coming along quite well, each set of prints is taking about 20 hours of print, so about down to the wire of whether or not getting a 52mm spindle or try using a dremel tool for the business end of the Cyclone. Leaning towards the 52mm spindle, because it’s used in CNC mills for wood working, PCB making, etc,. It’s also driven by a DC motor that would require a simple H Bridge to control it’s speed. There are a few ways to sense it’s speed and that’s a whole discussion in of itself. So going to make a jig for the wire to go into and a guide for the saw to keep it in a straight-ish line so it’s easier to make the connectors for the treads.

Overall, I’m quite happy about the progress on these projects, so far. Considering that I’m using a bit better than hobby grade 3D printers and hobby grade electronic components from China, everything is going along quite well.