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 ...

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 ...

From the Trenches: Embedded Platform Work 5

I’m tinkering with a new platform for my embedded projects, based on the NXP LPC1768, which is an ARM Cortex-M3 chip. I picked up an eval board (the Blueboard LPC1768-H) back in late 2010.  The board is nothing to write home about, and has some design choices that I seriously question (like non-0.100″ aligned headers… Really guys? ...

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 ...

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 ...