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();

Endeavors of Futility

The past week(I know it’s been quite more than that) has been quite hectic. Been having issues of several sorts, had a few issues with my laptop that had to get looked into, had issues with my internet connection and issues with printers that had to be resolved before they could do their thing. All that over a week, just barely seem like a week, to me.

Having one of those times in life that you have to roll with the punches, till you get a few punches in. The past ten days, it seemed that I was waking up to more and more problems than I was solving. Everything was minor really, just there was a lot of issues that needed immediate attention and I didn’t have the necessary at hand to solve it with, so had to get the necessary tools and then work on the problem, such as a clogged shower drain that I tried snaking it out and was moderately successful with pulling a ton of tangles of long hair out of, but that didn’t solve the clog issue. Had to order food anyways, so added clog remover to that list after doing a bit of research, put the order in and then having to making sure that what was absolutely necessary got here(a bit of a fiasco, really).

On the 3D front, I had a two printers that were broken, again nothing major just annoying and time consuming. One the BLTouch wires had gotten yanked and therefore were partially disconnected and the other had a severely clogged and jammed nozzle that fixed itself after leaving the hotend at 260C for about half an hour, both not major just time consuming to run down the problem and fix. Both are running great and thinking of downgrading back to a Z end stop. Still modifying the X-axis for the Cyclone PCB factory, I don’t want to rush it and end up wasting filament. Ordered some stuff for the hydroponics setup that hopefully fixes some issues.

Remember you are amazing, seen and valid!

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What a week!

Been doing the odd job thing this past week, mainly to keep this place going in a decent fashion and so that I can have more time to do what makes me happy. The progress on my projects seem to be quite slow, I know it seems that way to me. The good thing aboutH being away from them, it gives me time to think about the various problems and solutions to those problems.

Hydro Problems and Fixes

The biggest problem with the hydroponics has been the drip nozzles, they leak and break easy if you over tighten them. A slew of ideas has been swarming in my head from changing the print parameters such over extrusion on the outside walls, increasing infill to 100%, to even doping the outside walls with resin and more. Then had a hopefully brilliant idea, purchasing water nozzle caps to screw on the bottles to run the tubing from one bottle to the other.

The Problems with ‘Bots

No real problems with the bot, except the lack of time to do the design work of the body and how to pack everything inside of it without causing a fire hazard, because a runaway fireball is a bad thing. That statement was pure sarcasm. Got the battery compartments printed to my satisfaction, so just have to decide where to put the buck/boost converter in the bot to hook up the Arduino and the other MPUs to and where to stash the batteries to run the motors and servos.

To CNC or not to CNC

Waiting on the zip ties to get here, they hold the Y plate to the linear bearings. I will probably redesign that part in the future, but the main thing is to get it going first. I do have to redesign the X axis because where the drive screw connects is bigger than the screw mount. Lots of upgrades and redesigns going through my head on this one.

I work through procrastination

Some may wonder how my mind works with a few projects always going on. I work through procrastination, I work on one project so I can ignore another project and when I get bored or tired of that current project, I switch to another one. The method to this ‘madness’ is that I get all the projects done without rushing them and having a quality, well finished project when I’m done.

Please Subscribe!

It’s a small thing, really. Subscribe to this blog to increase it’s visibility and hopefully others will share in the endeavors posted in it. If you do not want to subscribe or share this blog, then consider dropping a few bucks for some coffee by hitting the button below. Some will go to parts and probably energy drinks to keep me going into the wee hours of the night, therefore keeping me inside during the covid-19 epidemic.

You are awesome!

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Hydroponics Update : July 2020

Finally, got some decent seedlings started. Had a great vacation, which killed my plants. Seedlings got restarted, sort of. Had to make some modifications. Designing and printing new connectors. Unable to find food grade buckets.

Decent Start

I went out of state for a few weeks to an area that isn’t an epicenter of COVID-19. A friend of mine was gracious enough to take care of the seedlings till I got back, but I think moving them and putting them in a warmer and drier environment put them into shock. Not sure if putting them outside for a few hours a day would have ‘hardened’ them or not, but that is what a bit of research seems to indicate, though. They went into shock and just didn’t come back from it.

Great Vacation

Took a trip to Roswell, New Mexico for about two weeks and had an awesome time. Mostly, drove around and took in the dry desert air while taking in the sights. If you like to shop and want to try ‘altitude training’ then I wholeheartedly suggest going to Riodoso, New Mexico and visiting all, and I mean all the little shops there on foot. I’d suggest getting a cabin so that you can take your time and not worry about how long it takes you to crawl back to it, once your low lander lungs start giving out on you and resting a few doesn’t give you a second wind to continue on. There’s lot to explore and you will see why outlaws liked hiding out in New Mexico, trust me. I’d planned on a week or so, but after the report of my plants going into shock and knowing my lack of skill wouldn’t save them, I decided to stay longer and hang out with my New Mexico friends.

Seedlings! Restart!

Not everything died, I’d transplanted the Marigolds and had mixed in the ‘failed’ seed pods into their pot to add volume to the pot, which turned out in my favor. It seems that some spinach and kale seeds finally decided to start growing, so not all was lost. I also replanted everything that I could, and have even more spinach and kale growing and not much else. I do hope that the cherry tomatoes or such do spring to life and push up above the soil, but I’m not putting much stock in that hope. Going to redesign the frame though, so they have time!

If at first you don’t succeed, don’t take up skydiving

Trying to use 3/4″ pvc was not my best ideas. seems that the light and Mylar were too heavy for it, let along hanging four pots of vegetables from it. So back to the drawing board and try again, I decided on tossing a few monkey wrenches into that thought process, the first being wider PVC pipe, the second being design for PETG and the last being to make it modular. I tried to just make it bigger to fit of course, and ended up with 20 hour prints for each piece and there are six altogether, and lots of supports. I tried my hand at designing for PETG, and that was interesting, to say the least.

Printing in PETG, isn’t vastly different, but not using supports is advised since the material is quite tough and getting the supports out or off takes more than an exacto blade or even a hot knife to do. So you have to split things into parts, which you can use the geometry of the printing process to make even stronger parts, that can be assembled or glued or both later. So I initially tried to print as if using PETG, and my printer isn’t dialed in enough or the print came out poorly due to operator error, so going to the drawing board and redesigning the model into something more modular. It’s a good distraction when trying to locate food grade buckets, especially the 5 gallon variety without holes.

Buck, Buck, Buck, Buck, Bucketttss!

Trying to find black food grade 5 gallon buckets has been an adventure, in of itself. Seems that everybody sells them, but doesn’t have them in stock. I thought of mail order, but I don’t need nor want 25 or even 10. One would think that buying more would make the price come down a bit, but ’tis not the case. Though may find out if I can sell the extra buckets, but does seem to be a hassle, though.

Update, get yer fresh update!

Due to operator (Me) error, this didn’t post Friday. I try to schedule the posts to happen during the day, so that it doesn’t get lost in the email black hole and so that it doesn’t disturb anybody’s down time. If I did this right, this post at noon CST.

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Back From Vacation

The World is Losing It’s Mind and so was I

Pandemic, Covid-19 Wave 2, Kanye 4 Prez, Protests, Riots, zoom meetings about putting children back in schools and more than most people can stand or choose to handle. Have people just gone mad from being quarantined with their loved ones or is it something else, altogether? I was supposed to be at Galacticon 2020 (https://www.roswellgalacticon.com/) in Roswell NM, around this time of year, so didn’t bail out, but did go hang out with some awesome people for quite a bit.

This pandemic is quite serious and even has the experts baffled on how to handle it or even treat it, let alone cure it. I get that people are scared, running out of money, looking to the Government for a solution to their problems, and not getting any real answers except to wait. About the insanity that abounds, I’m not even diving into that rabbit hole or would it be holes? I hope that people are making intelligent decisions as far as their health and that of their of their family members go. I figure people are really getting to know their loved ones and probably flipping from WTF moments to ‘ah how cute’ responses and wondering when this will end. So, social distance and wear your mask, and this means you Karen!!

The first week of July is reserved for vending at Roswell’s Galacticon, which is an awesome event with amazing local vendors and some out of stater’s like myself. You can find RPG games, figurines, anime drawings, steampunk gear(some of my stuff) and much much more. So why did I go out there even though the event has been postponed? To hang out with my family of choice, and yes we have all been in self quarantine a long time prior to meeting up and took such precautions as social distancing, wearing masks and driving with fewer stops(mainly to walk around to prevent blood clots and to revive the sensation in the buttocks), though I could have personally skipped Post, Tx due to the smell of cattle and the oil industry. It was a good vacation, even though we just hung out with each other and not talk about business and such.

It will be interesting to see how A-Kon, Comicon, Texas Frightmare and the big conventions end up being held next year.

[Rant Over]

More Good Progress

This has been a busy weekend, found the right items for things and took some small, but significant steps in most areas. I’ve been looking over some of my stuff, and if I didn’t know better, I’d say that I was colorblind. The good thing about all this being experimental is that it’s not for sale and I don’t have to really impress anybody, just keep the few followers that I have with ongoing progress reports. Yes, there will be a few picks of the completed steps, at least one I promise. Why the pics of just completed steps, well I don’t like pics of my unfinished stuff. Sometimes, I have bad ideas or took on way more than my skill set allows. It’s never a good idea to try to make elephant soup out of a living dragon, and yes I mixed those up intentionally. *wink*

Go Hydro!!

Now that all the Canadian Marvel fans are confused, lets talk about hydroponics while they uncunfuzzle themselves. Lots of good progress this weekend, got the table designed and initial cuts made for it. There was a bit of an evolutionary process even while making the cuts, had an epiphany while the saw was NOT running. The epiphany was on how to check the nutrient depth of the nutrient in the bucket under the frame without having to put another probe in the nutrient. Also, got the the plant tags printed out. I used orange and brown filament, since the brown is almost completely out so used it for the lettering on the tags, there is maybe just a meter left on the spool.

<insert pic here>

New 3D printed veggie tags, brown on orange

CNC Fun

Finally found the right parts(sorta) and they should be here by Thursday, supposedly. Been researching different controller boards, lots of knockoffs out there and they don’t say which one they poorly copied to generate their ‘version’. I did find the source of the GRBL controller sheild in New Zealand, but they are still in shutdown due to the COVID-19 there, so will have to contact their distributors. Protoneer.com if you desire to look them up, for yourselves. On a happier note, I was going through some stuff and found a piece of 1/4 inch acrylic, it’s kinda scratched up, but looks like it’ might either repel or slow down an shattered tool end, so it doesn’t cause bodily harm or just bounce off the sheet rock. Just my opinion, no responsibility taken here or ever, remember that if you do this, you are responsible for your actions and accept the consequences of such actions.

Do the Robot Dance!

Yes, Mr. Robot gets another post all his own, again! There are pics, too!!