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21 Aug 2012

Choosing the proper CNC lathe for the job is essential. Your lathe will be producing numerous parts, the quality of which will depend upon the standards the lathe is built to. The correct lathe is an investment. Therefore, choosing a CNC lathe should not be a decision that is taken lightly.

Microprocessor-Controlled CNC Lathes

When space and electricity are at a premium, a microprocessor-controlled CNC lathe can be remarkably useful. Rather than receiving constant instructions from an attached personal computer, these lathes can be fed their instructions once from a remote computer or a disk. Afterwards, adjustments to the design can be made using an integrated control panel. Efficient but cost-effective lathes utilize the 6502, Z80, 8086, 8088 and 68000 processors. See “Energy Conservation Considerations” later in this article.

Upgrading a Microprocessor-Controlled CNC Lathe

It is not always best to choose the highest-end model when you select a microprocessor-controlled lathe. For example, many lathes utilise the Motorola 68000 processor. Other common implementations utilise a Hitachi, Signetics or Toshiba variant. In the event that this processor is socketed, as it often is, you can quickly and cheaply replace the chip with a newer model. It is important that the replacement chip you choose is pin-for-pin and instruction set compatible with the originally-installed part. Read the rest of this entry »

28 May 2012

foxxtrotalpha writes:

The soldering assistant is a project idea I had to have my soldering supplies conveniently in one spot. The Solder spool holder is close to the work area to have a read supply of solder to feed directly from the spool. The soldering assistant also features and adjustable vise to hold your projects securely as you assemble them. Just behind the work area is a parts bin, to put your resistors, capacitors, IC’s tweezers or other supplies. Side “fins” make it possible to make custom add-ons that can just snap into place. The only part that isn’t printable through a 3d printer is the center threaded rod that moves the base, this is a 1/4″ threaded rod that can be purchased at any local hardware store. 2 hex nuts are also required, one that fits into the moving side of the platform, and one on the stationary side. This is an entry for the “Make it real Challenge” contest. If you like the design, please vote, Thanks.

Soldering Assistant – [Link]

2 Mar 2012

Nathan Zimmerman has developed this PC GUI evaluation tool for the MSP430. Coded in VC++, the GUI allows control of all the peripherals on a MSP430 controller. He’s currently testing it using the MSP430G2553. [via]

This GUI would be very handy to have from a hardware/software test debug standpoint. For example, say I wanted to test out some SPI sensor I purchased, I could use a GUI such as this to send custom SPI packets to the device I’m testing and read/observe results live. That as opposed to having to write a micro.c file to do the communication and re write it every time something doesn’t work.

MSP430 PC GUI evaluation tool – [Link]

16 Feb 2012

Drone writes about a new 3d printer project he’s found: [via]

MakiBox A6 is a new crowd-funded project by Jon Buford in Honk Kong. Price is $300USD each plus $50USD International shipping. The basic kit includes all MakiBox parts with electronics and power supply and 1 kg of plastic (2 x 1/2kg spools of ABS). No software is included but there are plenty of open-source solutions. For example, ReplicatorG (http://replicat.org/) is mentioned as the STL file gateway feeding MakiBox.

The MakiBox uses trapezoidal drive shafts that provide 8mm/revolution travel. Print speed should be around 60-80mm/sec. with 1.8 deg. steppers. There is a heated printbed. The consumable material is typically 1mm ABS plastic which MakiBot will sell for $20USD/kg in 1/2kg spools (which is pretty cheap by today’s standards).

MakiBox A6 $300 Desktop 3D Printer – [Link]

13 Feb 2012

bjbsquared writes:

This is one of the best wire strippers I have ever used. If setup correctly, it can be very precise and give feedback telling when the blades have cut deep enough

Smart Electro Wire Stripper – [Link]

3 Dec 2011

WSM 1C – The mobile, rechaegeable soldering station 40W. Ideal for all soldering applications that need a handy and ease of use station for a professional work. nESD safe and designed for mobile, cordless service. The perfect alternative to gas powered irons.nnnScope of deliveryn- WSM 1 soldering station with rechargeable battery and micro soldering…

Technical specifications

  • ESD safe, for industrial applications
  • Built in Stop+Go function for energy efficient switch off
  • Touch screen technology
  • Special functions for individual settings
  • Temperature-locking function
  • 2 pre-set temperature values (fixed temperatures)
  • Equipotential bonding socket
  • Integrated micro soldering pencil WMRP 40 W with ergonomic design
  • Changeable, high efficient micro soldering tip RT 3, chisel, 1.3 mm and integrated heating element
  • Safety rest with WDC dry cleaner
  • Latest LiFePo4 rechargeable technology
  • Up to 1 hour soldering capacity
  • Recharge time 20 minutes
  • Temperature range: 100°C – 400°C
  • Heat up time: 4 sec.
  • Power: 40 W / 12 V
  • Soldering iron: Integrated WMRP pencil with RT 3 soldering tip, chisel 1.3 mm
  • Energy efficient switching power supply: 100 – 230 V

WSM 1C – The mobile, rechargeable soldering station 40W – [Link]

24 Nov 2011

New UNI-T multimeter UT132D can serve you, besides usual meauring also for measuring of parameter, which usual multimeters don´t handle – measuring of SMT transistors´ Hfe.

Measuring of DC current gain of transistors we nowadays can find at many measuring device. However, much more rare is the posibility to measure this parameter even at SMT transistors, NPN and PNP types in a SOT-23 package. UNI-T UT132D is a quality measuring device with a well readable, sufficiently big display with a maximum vaue of 1999. With it you can measure all usual values and a capacity of condensators. A novelty is the included adapter for measuring of hfe of transistors, not only for classic with wire leads but also for SMT transistors. It enables to check the functionality and to roughly measure SMT transistors, what can be a big help at development or production of prototypes. hfe is measured at a IB 10uA a Vce 2,3V. It has a HOLD function and a main switch, thus it is not necessary to turn a measuring ranges switch to switch off the device. UT132D is very reliably and comfortably held in a hand thanks to compact dimensions and an ergonomic shape.

With the new UNI-T multimeter you can handle even SMT transistors – [Link]

21 Nov 2011

Multifunctional gas soldering tool will help you at many various applications like: soldering, melting, hot-cutting, welding and woodburning (pyrography)…

This quality gas soldering tool provides a freedom of usage for example outdoor and everywhere where no electricity is available. But DREMEL VersaTip isn´t only a gas soldering tool with adjustable temperature. It is a multifunctional tool, which you can use, thanks to 6 exchangeable tips, for technical and also creative works like: soldering, melting, hot-cutting, welding and woodburning (pyrography), bending of metals, application of heat shrinkable insulations, releasing of junctions locked by an anaerobic sealant (bearings and screws) and many other.

DREMEL VersaTip can be easily and quickly refilled by a widely available liquid butane (the same as used in lighters) and it has a safety lock mechanism against an accidental turn-on. Detailed description will provide you the VersaTip Instruction Manual.


  • DREMEL® VersaTip
  • Soldering Tip
  • Cutting Knife
  • Hot Knife
  • Flat Wide Flame Head
  • Reflector
  • Hot Blower Head
  • Soldering Tin with Blue Cap
  • Soldering Sponge + sponge box
  • Wrenches: 1 x 7 mm, 1 x 8 mm

Technical specification 

  • Weight: 0,135 kg
  • Ignition: Piezo
  • Burn time: up to 90 min

Gas soldering tool DREMEL VersaTip will provide you a freedom – [Link]

26 Oct 2011

Roland iModela iM-01-3D Hobby Mill via Fabaloo… [via]

Roland DG Corporation, a leading worldwide provider of 3D milling and engraving technologies, today introduced the new iModela iM-01. Incorporating 25 years of Roland’s proven 3D milling technology, the iModela is an inexpensive, easy-to-use desktop device that mills wax, foam, balsa wood and plastic materials commonly used in craft and hobby projects.

Roland iModela iM-01-3D Hobby Mill – [Link]

26 Sep 2011

Laptop power chargers and USB cables always break at the same point and once they do, it’s not long before they stop working altogether.

Here are instructions to show you how to repair this problem quickly and very easily using sugru.

Why use sugru ?

  1. sugru will bond to the cable and the power block.
  2. sugru cures to a flexible silicone rubber which means that it is unlikely to break again.
  3. sugru is an electrical insulator.

How To Repair Damaged Cables – [Link]





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