Simple Meccano Robot Arm: redone

The arm in its current state.

The arm in its current state.

My original Meccano type arm has been one of the more popular posts on my blog, view wise, However, it was never really a finished project. It being christmas and everything, i’ve got  some spare time due to holidays, so i’ve re-visited the robot arm.

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DIY PCB Plotter – Part One

For a very long time, i have always wanted to create an XY plotter / engraver for engraving flat sheet, and engraving my own custom PCBs. Sometimes i get all motivated, and do a lot of reading, and try and work out how i want to do it

for a while, i’ve had sitting in my shed, a box of parts that once was an old XY graph, that looked very similar to this photo:

which i borrowed from THIS PAGE Continue reading

Quick Picaxe Prototyping 5 – DC18B20 Temp probe

DS18B20 Temperature sensor on assembled board

DS18B20 Temperature sensor on assembled board

I got interested in these temperature sensors after reading about the picaxe pongsat project on Hacked Gadgets

I did a little reading, and the pongsat project seems very interesting, and very cool. If anyone is interested in the pongsats, more info can be found at JPAerospace (the company that is making the free pingpong sized experiments happen)

Anyway, back to the Temperature sensor. I managed to pick up a few off ‘ebay for a couple of dollars, and figured i should add one to my little kit of quick prototyping parts.

Following is a quick schematic, and sketch of the finished design.
Please note, the drawing of the board says “To Output”, when its supposed to go to an input. it also means Pin0 on the schematic is possibly not suitable either (i used input 7 on a picaxe 18 for the code)

Temperature Probe Schematics

Temperature Probe Schematics

And, with this post, i figured i should start adding code to show how to use the parts that i am making. its very basic, as at the time of writing, I hadn’t had a chance to play around with the probe. So here it is:

main:
readtemp 7,b1 ‘ read value of temp probe on input 7 into b1
debug b1 ‘display b1 on the picaxe programmer
goto main ‘loop back to main

And thats it for another post,
Thanks for listening,
Matt

Picaxe 18x Development box

The roughly finished product

The roughly finished product

So, I’ve been slowly working on getting this bad boy finished lately. its a picaxe 18x, all nice and boxed up. it looks a little nicer, and is fully contained, so no battery box stuck to the bottom. It is now in a semi complete state, Usable, but still needing a few things for proper completion

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Quick Picaxe Prototyping Part 4 – Variable Resistor

The Variable resistor. by far the easiest "circuit" to create

The Variable resistor. by far the easiest

so this installment is by far the easiest of these circuits, only consisting of 2 components, the Potentiometer, and the circuit block. I chose to use a 10k pot, as i have a bunch of them in one of my parts boxes. I’m not sure if it matters what resistance they are, i’m guessing its not overly critical, as i couldn’t see anything in the picaxe manual about values to use.

If you haven’t worked it out already, the terminal block is soldered straight onto the potentiometer. I had to bend the pins of the pot down, so i could get the terminal block nice and close.

So, go have fun kiddies.
Matt Out.

Quick Picaxe Prototyping Part 2

A close up of the LED module

A close up of the LED module

This is the second installment of my Picaxe interface modules, the second common part that we use in our picaxe creations all the time are LEDs. all of these modules are going to be pretty basic, and consist of merely a few components, but it makes things easier. for me anyway

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Quick Picaxe Prototyping Part 1

OK, so the idea here is to put together a kit of ready made, common interfacing circuits, so it is possible to extremely quickly, and easily create projects, without digging through your parts for that one resistor you need, or whatever it may be, and then finding a way to easily mount the components.

This is the first part of my little kit of parts, a simple switch. I plan on working my way through most of the common items, like buttons, LEDs, buzzers etc….

Picaxe 08M development box

This is not a new project, it is something i did a while back. I bought a couple of Picaxe 08M microcontrollers, and originally i started playing with them on a solderless breadboard, but i soon wanted something slightly more permanant and rugged, so using some veroboard i knocked up a little board

The veroboard worked well, but then i had to solder leads onto the board every time i wanted to do something different, so it was too permanant. some terminal blocks would be a treat.

Not wanting all the loose wires floating around to break off and come loose, make things not work, I decided to house it in a small Jiffy box i had floating around from a previous project that no longer needed the box, and here are a few pictures of what i came up with in the end:

This shows all the important things

This shows all the important things

this shot shows the picaxe pinout on the side, and the battery box

this shot shows the picaxe pinout on the side, and the battery box

Top down shot of the unit, showing my lovely pinout label.

Top down shot of the unit, showing my lovely pinout label.

The messy side of the box

The messy side of the box

So, there is my picaxe 08M box. I’m planning on doing similar with a picaxe 18 that i have, but i will do things a little differently on that one. first off, I plan to not use the same screw terminals, I’ll have the picaxe side soldered straight to the terminal (so no messy wires), and i plan on using a regulated supply from a 9v battery, mounted inside the jiffy box for power, making the whole unit much neater.

Thanks for watching,

Matt