DeeEmm

Pragmatism in code

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Waxing lyrical about life the universe and everything software related since lunchtime 2006.

CNC Plasma Upgrade

New Setup

I built my Plasma CNC about 5 years ago. I had originally intended to use it to cut out component parts for a product that I make, however I found that the output quality was not 100% reliable and so with the cost of laser cutting being very cheap locally, it was simply not cost effective to run. So for the most part it has sat in the workshop taking up space. I've recently decided to update it to hopefully improve its reliability.

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Set up EXTROOT on Iduino / Dragon YUN shield

Iduino Yun Iduino YUN

The Arduino YUN shield is a shield that combines an additional stand alone processor and WIFI. It runs a cut down Linux distro called OpenWRT. This WIFI / OpenWRT setup is most often found in things like Wifi routers. Arduino originally combined this with a Duemilanove on a single board to make the Arduino YUN, but the good folks at Geeetech and Dragon split the YUN interface out onto a seperate Arduino shield so that it could be used with a variety of different Arduino boards. The cool thing about these setups is that the Linux side of the package can talk to the Arduino side, which not only means that you have effectively given your Arduino WIFI capabilities but also makes it very easy to make IOT devices that need things like WIFI / Web interface / External Logging / Network Logging, well you get the idea, the list goes on. It's truly a very powerful tool.

If you want to use the YUN to install additional programs or datalog you will need to expand the existing memory as it is woefully small. You can do this using an external USB drive

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XBOX DIY VR Headset

I was looking at this DIY VR headset the other week - https://github.com/relativty/Relativ

It uses a gyro and arduino to create controller movements on your PC so that you can map the head movements to your games and display the screen in the headset. It's not a full VR experience but would be cool as a DIY project.

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Arduino and stepper controlled dividing head

IMG_7119 Arduino dividing head

Some time ago I converted my rotary table into a dividing head using a stepper motor, Arduino nano and a stepper motor driver. The setup incorporated a basic two line LCD display and rotary encoder as the GUI and user input device respectively.

Operation was very basic, with a basic menu driven system to set number of steps / turns per degree and choose the mode of operation (degrees or divisions per increment).

Someone asked me about this the other day so I posted the files up on GitHub along with some photos of the set up. There should be enough detail in the photos and code comments to allow you to replicate this. It is pretty basic.

Feel free to use / modify as you wish.

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Sparkduino - Arduino based automotive ignition system.

I've been a long time supporter / user of open source EFI systems and have been playing with Speeduino for the past year or so. Speeduino is an Arduino based EFI system that uses a custom shield to provide the necessary signal processing to interface the Arduino to the engine sensors, coils and injectors allowing it to control the engine.

It is also possible to use Speeduino without the injectors (ie spark-only), turning it into a well featured ignition system, which is very useful for those of us who want to run a distributor-less ignition system without paying a heap of cash.

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OSX Maverick stikes again? Exchange Sent Mail Dissapearing

OSX Maverick stikes again? Exchange Sent Mail Dissapearing

I've been a proponent of Mac and OSX for some time now having been attracted to its simplicity and the 'it just works' way that it operates but since the Mavericks update some things simply don't work. The biggest issue that I have found is that apples newly written USB drivers will not connect to my Arduino, a major PITA when it comes to uploading a new program. The solution is to disable the OSX drivers and install the OEM version which worked for me and seems to work in 95% of cases. Why Apple have decided to move away from the chipsets manufacturers drivers I will never know although I suspect that it may be due to an incompatibility that causes Kernel Panics as I have personally experienced these since moving to the OEM drivers. This is fairly repeatable - hold down the Arduino reset button whilst uploading the program and your machine will likely go into an involuntary and instant reboot. The solution is of course simply not to hold down the reset button but as this is a common hack to get the program to upload you may have to suffer a few missed uploads instead. Not a massive issue, at least I can now communicate with the arduino again.

The most recent issue to hit me as a potential result of Mavericks is that sent email messages seem to disappear into the ether instead of appearing in the sent box as they should. This issue only recently came to light when I needed to find some previous correspondence. For reliability and ease of management I use a hosted exchange server to handle my work emails and OSX Mail as my mail client. What I found was that the last sent message in my sent folder was dated December 2013, the previous correspondence I was looking for was nowhere to be seen. I also checked the exchange OWA browser client but after looking there I also found that there were no recent sent mail messages stored.

After a short call with the exchange tech who advised me to use a client that they supported - namely outlook 2010 - he advised that the issue appeared to be related to the Mavericks update. For some reason the outgoing server had been changed - there were now two exchange outgoing servers in the server list. I changed the outgoing server to the other exchange server listed and sent a test message. Viola! the message was saved in the sent messages folder.

I'm not sure why or how the second outgoing server was added, It's definitely nothing that I have consciously done as the exchange account has not been altered since it was setup in 2010, additionally no one else uses this machine. I can only assume that as the tech  suggested it is related to the mavericks update as the last email date roughly coincides with the date that I updated. Of course I am happy to concede that it could be due to some other unrelated reason but knowing that I did not create the second outgoing server makes me wonder how it got there.

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