Friday, May 8, 2015

Cool, he is back

R. Lee Ermey is back with Gunnytime on the outdoor channel. I just stumbled on it. I miss mail call. Looks like some more watermelons  are going to die. He always puts on a great show.

I have the WHOLE weekend off. Both days. Awesome. And, the next two weekends should be a minimum of a two day, if not three day weekends. One for a birthday, the other, a holiday. No gun shows that I am aware of this weekend, so I hope to play around in the garage and on the yard most of the weekend. Put most of my tools back in order last weekend, and got the lathe mounted securely to the bench. Have a few projects to peck at. Suppose to rain some over the weekend, but hopefully it will not be all day.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Very productive day

Only a one day weekend. Work is picking up again now that the weather is nice. Perfect weather. Finished picking up the last of the branches and raking up the last of the debris. Got the weedwhacker back up and going. Yard actually looks great.

After yard work was completed, I got to play in the garage for a bit. Made a special t-nut for one of the machine accessories for work. I never have time while at work for fixing some minor things. Got to play a little on my mill. I finished making the DRO (digital read out) box for the mill and lathe, and got it all installed and tuned in. It is a vast improvement. Easy to see the display as well.

                                                         Originally, with no digitals.

                              Here, I installed scales and the individual readout displays that came with it.

Here is the finished product. I used the same scales, but built a DRO box from plans on the web. It was an easy build, and very cheap. The microcontroller (it uses the texas instruments Launchpad, which is only ten bucks), a Bluetooth module ($5 on ebay), and a few micro usb plugs were all that was needed. The hardest part was downloading the software off of the Texas Instruments website to use to flash the chip. Not the most user friendly download I have done. Once built, the box can transmit the scale info to any android tablet or phone running the display app. Cool part is, it also has bolt circle, cutter offset, and bolt pattern display. If you have a 5 bolt circle you want to drill, and it has a 3 inch arc, you input that info and it displays a list of x and y coordinates for each hole location.  Very cool and cheap tool. I bought the tablet for really cheap on e-bay. It is a Samsung tablet 2, so it is quite dated, but does the job. I plan on putting scales on the lathe. I have them already, just need to install. Cool part is, I can unplug the box from mill and plug the lathe into it. I will slide tablet off mill and slide into the stand I build for the lathe as well, so it will cost nothing. The guy that made the app and designed the DRO did an awesome job. The app allows you to save settings for multiple machines, so I can tune the lathe to a different setting in app and choose which setting when I am choosing machine. Rather ingenious. I do love the net. You can find anything on it.  The web site is  .

After getting lathe lined out, I will be adding tachometers to both machines. The box I made is set up for it already. Just need to make a pc board and put together. Have most of the components I need from radio shack before they shut down. Pick at it a little at a time.

Got everything finished up and then went for a ride in the Vette for a bit. Perfect weather. Have to enjoy it before it becomes the inferno it does in the summer time. Back to work tomorrow. Bah humbug.