February 2019 Update

Due to a major health issue, it has been a while since I put out a newsletter. For those who are closest to me, thank you for all the support. With the holidays, Lisa having foot surgery, my “real” full time job, I have had a lot on my plate and not much time for projects and products.

I will be attending Midwest RepRap Festival, MRRF at the end of March 2019. I had a great experience the last time out, and this will be my 3rd year attending. I am going to get there a bit earlier in the day on Friday the 29th and I am not going to try to get a table. Please look me up, and I will be more than happy to talk have coffee, etc. I am looking forward in catching up with everyone. This year I am not taking any products with me (I will take orders if anyone is interested), I am going to be apart of the fun, listen to the sessions and catch up with colleagues. I am hoping to bump into Chris Riley. I really enjoy and interested in his YouTube content. I know that Matt Snow and Tim Hoogland will be attending, and I am looking forward to catching up with both of them.

There have been a lot of smaller projects that I have been working on. For starters, I have another ATXPiHat on the bench. The “lite” version is a much-slimmed down version with all the GPIO pins exposed and a series of pluggable 12- and 5-volt connectors. After some discussions with a few folks on the different forms, the lite version looks like a good configuration for a general Raspberry PI projects. I am still working through the SMT based version as well as contemplating selling these as a kit. One has been running on my desk for at least 8 weeks with no issue.

I have also been working on next version of the Octoprint plugin that will support the lite version. New features of the plugin will include automated shutdown support when the printer has finished printing and the temperatures are back to a low preset. I am also redoing the Emergency Power Off, EPO; to allow the user to select its behavior. Either immediate shutdown, or clean disconnect and shutdown.

As a side note, I am finding that most folks are just cutting the ATX supply ends, and wire wrapping these together with the PI. This is scary stuff. I am confident that the lite version will provide a safe product at a good price. Has anyone seen the Creality CR-10 and the fried XT-60 connectors. Turns out that the knock off XT-60 connectors cannot handle the heat that the power supplies are generating over long periods of use. Not good. I only use the real ones, I love my house to much to save a few pennies.

I talked about this back in September, I had to move the “lab” (or junk), out of the office and to the basement. I first moved all my electronics and 3D printing hardware. New shelves, some additional electrical and network connections. That has worked out very well. It cuts down the noise and Lisa has been much happier. She has been a good sport for the last year or so, but it was time.

We have been in our home for about 21+ years, and things tend to spread out and get all intermingled. In the unfinished section of the basement, I started to move all my tools, bench, etc. to one side and the other contains the typical can goods, freezer, miscellaneous storage and whatnot. Prior to all of this, things were all mixed up and I was getting dust and whatnot all over the food items. I have rebuilt the bench and put a new melamine top and hung a board for tools. I am working on building a mobile cart for my drill press and scroll saw.

I also have the hose, connectors, clips, etc. so I can extend my compressor to the basement from the garage. I then found out that my large 40-gallon unit has an issue with the regulator and it will not go above 90 psi. I will need to repair/replace the value before I can use it downstairs. I have a small 1-gallon unit that I am using in the meantime. This past weekend I final built some shelves to get all the wood, piping, molding, and other miscellaneous items off the floor of the new shop area. The next thing must be dust collection. There are all sorts of great videos on how to build these. I am going to 3D print as much as I can for the tool wall and dust collection system. I am already designing a diffuser for the shop vac. In the end, I will most likely vent the system outside. This whole process is going to take some time. With everything else going on, I am only getting a few hours a week to work on this.

I have not had anytime to work on the MPCNC. All the parts are either printed or purchased. Outside of the conduit and table, everything is sitting in boxes waiting for me to complete cleaning up the basement. I am still not sure how large I am going to configure this or what the enclosure is going to look like. It will not get started until the dust collection is taken care of.

Thanks to everyone for all the support over the past year. I want to wish everyone a happy and health 2019. There will be more projects and products coming.

Warm regards,

–BA

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