Magnetic Rotary Encoder PCBs!

Sparkly purple packages in the mail always bring good things from Laen inside.  These are the magnetic encoder eval boards that I designed about a month ago.  As usual, the quality is great.  Unfortunately the timing is not ideal, since it’s crunch time at work, and I probably won’ t have time to build these ...

Magnetic Rotary Encoder Eval 6

I got some samples of the nifty looking AS5040 10-bit magnetic rotary encoder IC from Austria Microsystems.  I want to do some experiments with these chips to possibly replace the mechanically coupled encoder I was planning to use to measure the spindle speed on my CNC mill.  The chips basically have Hall Effect sensors and ...

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 ...

Experiments in Drag Soldering 2

Here’s a quick video I did of my first experiments with drag soldering using a new Metcal hoof tip that I picked up on eBay.  This video only shows the technique on Small Outline (SO) packages, which are pretty easy to solder by hand, regardless of technique.  With minor alterations in technique, drag soldering works ...

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 ...

Custom PCI Express Riser

One of the other boards I had in the latest order is an oddball PCI Express 1X riser card, which I could not find commercially.  In trying to figure out how to plug a PCI Express parallel port card into my little 3.5″ Atom motherboard, I couldn’t come up with a way to make it ...

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 ...

Rigol DS1102E Unboxing & Mini Review

It’s been a week of new toys for the electronics lab here at the world headquarters of Tangent Audio.  Yesterday brought the affordable hot air reflow tool, and today brings my first personally owned digital storage oscilloscope. The low-end Rigol scopes can be had in 50Mhz and 100Mhz versions (both 2-channel) for about $325 and ...