Web enabled switch using an Arduino

DSCN8331

Recently my father aquired a small shed beneath the basement in the multi family house we currently live in. He crafted his own workbench and bought a ot of equipment to transform the room in a fully blown electronics and wood/metal workshop. Unfortunately the room is too small to fit full size CNC routers, so we went with a small 3D printer we built by ourselves (more on that in following blog posts). As he completed his work and started to fiddle around with electronics he noticed that it got quite cold as he was just sitting there and doing no physical work at all. All four walls are made of stones and one wall is even an outer wall. Temperatures in germany fall well below 0°C or 32°F. As one can imagine it gets quite cold in the shed as there is no insulation at all because the house was built as a factory building and thereafter transformed into an appartment building.

Cuts and more personal stuff

I’d like to make a small cut here. Previously I used this blog to report any changes and updates to my Pick and Place project. But as my life progresses I have so much things I’d like to write down somewhere. Or shout out loud. So loud everyone on this small planet can hear it. The Placerbot is only a small part of my life and there are many more things. Many small and big projects. Things that I stumble upon while making my way through university. Cool stuff I invent or maybe only some more or less important news. I kept all those things from this blog because they were not really relevant to the Placerbot. Continue reading

First impression: Walimex 35mm f1.4 lens for Canon EF mount

EOS 7D with Walimex 35mm attached

I tried to find a cheap lens of good quality for my almost shiny new EOS 7D. My main interest is to shoot movies instead of taking stills, so I needed a wide angle lens with a wide open aperture to achieve the shallow depth of field often seen in movies. I managed to boil it down to two lenses: The official Canon 35mm f1.4L lens or the Samyang / Rokinon / Walimex 35mm f1.4 lens. As I’m a student I don’t have that much money, so I carefully compared the two lenses and finally decided to abandon the Canon lens. Continue reading

New years resolutions

Hey there! It has been a tough year for me. I wanted to have this written at new years eve but almost everything got in the way of doing so. The semester is about to end and as I attend a college, I’ll have to write all exams in three weeks starting in two weeks. After that I will attend various seminars and training programs to enhance my abilities to hold public speeches and better presentations. As those seminars end I will have meetings with a professor everyday to plan and design the outline of an open electronics lab where students can come and tinker with electronics whilst being supported by the student representatives. This is a great opportunity for the representatives because we have lost many fellow students and friends to graduation and failed exams. Therefore it is important to gain active members again to represent the student body.

Continue reading

Software Design – Quick Overview

A pick and place machine is a machine that takes an object and usually places it at a fixed position within its range. A placement machine for electronic components does this a dozen times with different parameters and respect to the physical alignment of the components in the tray or the belt. So we can define a small workflow that the machine has to follow. Continue reading

Why hacking is important

When I started to study, I felt like I was 10 years old again. The application opened up a huge field of possibilities regarding electrical engineering, technology and science. For the first time I could sit down with someone that knows exactly what he talks about and is eager to explain things over and over again so I could understand them really easy. Recently I accomplished things I never dreamt of, for example a DC to DC converter that can take quite heavy RF interference without noticeable fluctuations at its output. I worked throught the night and in the early hours the design was nearly finished. I neither care how frustrating it was to simulate these few components over and over until the converters’ simulated output met my requirements nor how many hours it took to achieve that goal. As I saved the results onto my USB flash drive I felt something one could describe with “satisfaction”. Continue reading

First steps with USBCNC and moving axes

This is where the project started: I tinkered around a little bit with Qt and it seemed not that  hard to set something up with the Qt Creator. I’ve also always been interested in those large pick&place machines and annoyed about soldering SMT parts. Not that these small things are hard to solder but it consumes a large amount of time to align and solder them properly. So I thought “why should I invest my time in those boring activities in order to get the fun stuff running?” and started to code a program, that could control the steppers on my friends’ mill. This was the first step towards a working pick and place machine. Check out the video after the break:

Continue reading