10lbs of Junk in a 5lb Box? 1

I’ve been slowly working to model the components that go into the CNC milling machine electronics package, and fitting them into an off-the-shelf rack mount enclosure.  I think I’m finally settling in on a layout that will work, though I need to put some additional thought into thermal design as there are some components which ...

Encoder Coupler Idea

I have been trying to come up with a good way to attach a rotary encoder to the spindle of my CNC milling machine, so I can have closed-loop control of the spindle speed.  I found a potentially good spot in the gearbox where I could possibly mount an encoder, but I’d need to make ...

Epic Hardware Hacking Weekend

It turned out to be quite an epic weekend of building boards and getting things up and running.  It’s good to be back in the groove with my own electronics projects – it’s been far too long that I’ve been away. As a wrap-up to the weekend I thought I’d put together a bit of ...

Machine Breakout 2

I populated the machine breakout PCB this morning.  This board will actually be installed inside of the CNC milling machine, and the various homing and index sensors will wire to it via the mini-sized green screw terminals.  The 40 pin header adapts to a Centronics (old school printer) style plug, and connects back to the ...

Population: Tire

I got my final batch of boards from Laen in the mail today.  I had three designs in this batch, so I was pretty anxiously awaiting delivery. I set right in to populating the main CNC PC board, which I designed almost a month ago.  I used a lot of different soldering techniques, and shot ...

More Boards!

Another purple envelope was waiting for me in my mailbox when I arrived home this evening.  I noticed that Laen had mentioned he shipped the January 9th boards out on Saturday, but I didn’t expect to receive them essentially “next day” via USPS first class. For the most part, the boards look great.  The only ...

Final PCB for the CNC Done (for now…)

Finished my fourth board in as many weeks, finishing off the bare minimum of boards I need to get the CNC mill back up and running. This board mounts inside the machine itself, and connects via a cable back to the main PCB in the control. This board connects via screw terminals to the various ...

First pcb.laen.org PCBs Received!

A sparkly purple metallic bubble wrap package was waiting for me in the mailbox this evening when I arrived home.  I knew that it had to be the boards that I sent out back on January 2, arriving just a few days over the ~2 week time generally predicted by Laen.  The quality of the ...

CNC Breakout Board Done

My latest board is designed, laid out, and hopefully safely in the hands of Laen over at Dorkbot PDX. This is the main “breakout” board for the CNC electronics cleanup.  It connects to my fancy new Mesa Anything I/O FPGA interface card, and provides some protection and signal conditioning before connecting to the myriad of ...

Another PCB Sent to Fab 4

I’ve completed the design and layout for another PC board, all part of the CNC milling machine electronics cleanup project.  This one is a nicer version of the isolated PWM to +/-10VDC output circuit, which I had prototyped on perfboard a couple weeks ago.  This circuit is used to drive a fancy KBMG-212D DC motor ...