G38: Probing workpieces in LinuxCNC

Touching off to the workpiece by hand is tedious and error-prone. Fortunately, LinuxCNC has the very convenient G38 code family, which allows to automate this process. In this note I demonstrate how G38 can be used, using squaring aluminium stock as an example.

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CNC3020T: simple wooden fixture

The CNC3020T CNC mill doesn’t come with anything particularly useful for fixing the workpiece to the table. In this note I describe a simple wooden fixture that is suitable for securely attaching rectangular pieces of material to the table.

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CNC3020T: coolant pump and CCW rotation

In this note I explain the way to extend the 3020T CNC mill with a coolant pump (especially useful for milling plastic) and also, as a side effect, a spindle direction switch.

I have used a lot of locally-sourced components which will probably be unobtainable in other parts of the world. However, it should be trivial to find equivalent ones and adapt the instructions.

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Transistor as a light source

In this note I demonstrate that a bipolar transistor can be made to emit light.

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Producing PCBs using photolitography

In this note I describe a simple and quick photolitographic process with excellent repeatability that I use for producing high-quality PCB prototypes.

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CNC3020T: switch-mode power supply conversion

As I wrote earlier, the 3020T CNC mill has great mechanics, but somewhat flaky electronics. In this note, I will explain how to get rid of the transformer and use more efficient, more reliable, lighter, dual-voltage switch-mode power supplies.

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Making a lens using a CNC mill

Recently, I wondered if I could mill out a working lens using my CNC mill, for no other reason than curiosity. Turns out that yes, it is possible and even easy.

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Resurrecting Cowon iAUDIO E2

Pictured to the right is a Cowon iAUDIO E2 music player. I have one, but I’ve lost the proprietary PC/charging cable long ago. It’s a really neat little device, so I decided to figure out the pinout.

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Fixing hinge mount on ASUS UX32VD

I hate consumerism. I really do. So, when the hinge mount on my laptop broke (first partially, then entirely), I spent an inordinate amount of time searching for a replacement on a lot of places, including eBay, AliExpress and local Craigslist clone, with absolutely no success. ASUS simply does not sell spare parts, except for replacement keyboards (which I have, too, replaced twice).

Annoyed by broken laptop and unwilling to buy another one simply because a bunch of corporate dickheads decided they want planned obsolescence, I figured out a way to fix it.

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On water break test

Update 2014-06-11: superseded.

I have used the water break test (checking whether copper surface is clean of contaminants based on the fact that really clean copper is hydrophilic) in the past, however I misunderstood how the test results must look.

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