Monday, July 21, 2014

My latest book "Inexpensive CNC Projects" and a trip to Florida

I just returned from a quick trip to Florida.  I drove for over 3,000 miles only eight days!  I went to visit my dad and to give him a copy of my latest book "Inexpensive CNC Projects".  It is dedicated to him because he was a CNC programmer at Ingersol Rand for many years.

Here is a picture of me giving him the book at the nursing home.

We also stopped at the creation museum on the way home.  I hope to add pictures of that soon.  I was studying the skeletons of the dinosaurs to get ideas for making my next project - a life sized robo raptor!

Monday, June 23, 2014

One Crazy Virus claimed to be from the "Metropolitan British Police"

Someone showed me a computer this weekend with a virus that I could not even beat in safe mode.  All I could do was to re-install Windows.  The best I could do was to get the task bar to pop up for a split second.  In safe mode the computer just restarts into regular mode and went back to this screen.
 I had to use a camera to take a picture of it.

Another problem is that Malwayre-Bytes anti Malware (MBAM) no longer offers a thorough search and even once I re-installed windows it did not detect the virus as it was in "Old Windows".  Then there is Microsoft security essentials that will not do a scan unless you are connected to the Internet to do an update.....

Monday, June 16, 2014

2014 Chafee hamfest

The Chaffee NY Hamfest was a little bigger than last year.  It is still one of the smallest ones that I go to.  Here are some pictures that I took.

Here is my table.  It was so cold that I never used that chair.  Note the bin of 5 inch RF cavities.  I was selling it for a friend but did not get any offers.

Note that their were vendors on both sides of the "road".

There was some spare room under th roofs but it was not raining.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Element FLX-2211B 22 inch LCD TV Repair

My daughters LCD TV recently died.  She said that it would have to warm up for a while before it would turn on and then finally it did not turn on at all.  I told her that the power supply needed new caps and proceeded to take it to my shop to fix it.

The first problem was how to get it apart.  There is a hidden screw that you have to remove first.  Remove the lower part of the base to get to it.  Then to the left of where the base attaches there is a screw up in there to remove as seen in this picture.  Then the rest of the base comes off.

The power supply only needed two capacitors, they are marked with red arrows, but you can replace a few more capacitors if you want "just in case."

Here is the back cover of the LCD TV for identification purposes.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Hamemade DIY CNC Pendant to test out CNC equipment

Last night I finished building my DIY CNC pendant and tested it out.  I still need to add a manual jogger to it someday.  It is made out of an old Zenith TV remote control.  The key is to have three position toggle switches.  I have a lot of them laying around that were left over from another project.  You can build this for about $25 or for free in my case because I used parts that I had laying around.  It will be in my next book "Arduino CNC Projects".

Here is what the insides of the CNC Pendant look like.  The 555 is on the left side and the 9 volt battery is only safe to use if all of your CNC inputs have opti-couplers.  The cable is a 4 pair network cable.

This is the schematic diagram of the wiring of the direction switches.  You need either 6 Volts or you can use 9 volts and a 5 volt regulator.

This is the wiring of the 555 timer and the power switch.  Either use 6 volts or add a 5 volt regulator to protect your BOB (Break out Board) from the excessive voltages.  I was using an old battery that was only putting out about 6 volts.  You might also be able to tap into 5 volts from your CNC.
Here is a link to a video of the homemade CNC and this pendant working.  This video was from before the 555 was put inside of the pendant.

Here is what the DIY CNC looks like today.
Here is the latest video on YouTube:

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

DIY Raised Gardens in NY with very little land

Last year I started a small raised garden.  I started the plants indoors in March and then moved them outdoors into two raised beds made out of 2 by 6's.  Each one was about 8 feet by 3 feet in size.

Last year I used egg cartons to start the plants, they were way too small!  This year I used mostly yogurt containers to start my plants.  The plants seem to thrive in these yogurt containers.  I poked a hole in the bottom of them to help prevent over-watering.  I also bought some plant starter kits.  They were a total flop, only about 8 out of 36 plants grew!  All of the seeds in the yogurt containers grew.  The problem with the starter trays is that the "dirt" must be pointed up before the water is added. Otherwise the dirt expands crosswise and is under too much pressure for the plants to grow.  Also the potting soil that was used in the yogurt containers is far more effective in starting plants.

Here is a picture of them after about a month.  The cardboard type of seed starters are better than the yogurt containers in the long run.  They are ready to go in the ground, half of them are already planted.

Here is what my garden looked like last year when everything was first planted outside.  The peas are in the front row.

This is an update - the garden in June.

This is what the garden looked like at the end of last summer.  The peas have died and cucumber and zucchini have taken over.
Another secret to gardening is to use rain water.  I have a large plastic trash can that fills with rain water to keep the garden watered.  If you must use tap water then let it sit overnight first.