So far I’ve got two things that I would like to accomplish at Kwartzlab.
- Add a serial port to my WRT54GL router
- Play with a CNC/3D printer/rapid prototyper
I got the WRT54GL over a year ago. It’s running Linux and keeping my computers networked. However, I’d like to get into some lower-level software hacking, and having a serial console to get access to the system (rather than logging in with SSH) would be very handy. I have a header and serial cable for the header, all that I need to do is solder the header onto the board and buy some parts to convert the signals from that header to the correct RS-232 voltage. I’ll probably need some help learning how to solder!
Apart from that, I’m a software guy who wants to get his bytes dirty. I’d like to see what I can make a computer make a CNC do. If we don’t have any such hardware, then I guess we’ll have to build it!
By karlw » 1 Comment
I’m jumping ahead with a blog posting about the router mounting bracket. But, since I only have a few minutes tonight, here’s the mount fabricated out of aluminum with a hacksaw, grinder and a small drill press.
I have completed the X-axis and most of the z-axis of my my CNC machine and will be posting about that soon. The router I decided to use is the RotoZip RZ2000. The mount will allow me to attach the rotozip to the z-axis.
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During one of my robotics adventures this week I was given what appears to be the controller for a robot arm named Excalibur. It was manufactured by a Canadian company known as Robotics Systems International. According to the serial number tag, the company was located at 9865 W. Saanich, Sidney, B.C. Canada. Each degree of freedom on the device actuates a potentiometer that is connected to a controller board with a parallel port output.
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The CNC machine is considered by many to be the Holy Grail of the maker. This sacred object figures into the literature of maker technology, most often identified with the guru and said to possess miraculous powers. There comes a time in every makers life when he quests for such a thing. But if he is to prove himself worthy he must build it himself. Building such a device will challenge the builder to call upon all of his previous experience culled from the toil of midnight engineering and creative problem solving.
Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic but this project is exciting because it involves many of my main interests: automated control systems, electronics, mechanics, software, design and building. To paraphrase our friend Darin White and fellow maker commenting on his own cnc machine, “When you see it running for the first time it’s like magic!”
A couple of months ago I decided that it was time to build a CNC router to cut light aluminum, acrylic, and wood. I was designing a new robot that will include some more intricate parts than usual. The thought of using a CNC router in place of the band saw and drill press crossed my mind and a new project was begun.
Now it’s time to create some magic. The following blog posts will update the progress in my search for the Holy Grail.