Saturday, April 25, 2015

Adventures in April

Latest adventures and stuff happening here in April/late March


found an efficient way cutting circuit boards after etching

started building a rose garden

realizing that my saw is just a bit small for 6" wide boards

visiting hog islands oyster farm

ordered more oysters than we could shuck. 100 were maybe a bit much

slowly starting to figure out how to shuck oysters and making progresss

enjoying the California country side a bit, but guess need another set of tires soon again.

basil is still adorable

finished the rose garden, now time to wait 10 years for roses and grapes to grow

Monday, March 02, 2015

first quarter of the year is over and what happened so

getting better with my circuit design and down to 0603 components. Sadly we got beaten by someone else to the market and I'm trying now to come up with some new ideas

managed to replace the screen on our iDrop 2, gladly it's now so old that new screens are literally 12$ a drop, so it's not that big of a deal anymore

basil is still trying to get away with being a puppy, never mind that he just turned 3. Rosie was not willing to have her picture posted. Apparently she is becoming a bit self conscious about her weight these days...

managed to spend a couple of days at my in-laws cabin

learned to make tuna tartar, which is rather delicious

our latest cider is finally ready for consumption, only took about 4 month for it to become clear

starting to become spring in our backyard

our 3 year old roomba, got some needed help in form of a little roomba who now mop's our floors once a day

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Break and playing with our new Nikon D7000

Just a couple of pictures taken during our christmas break, of christmas trees, christmas dinner, puppies and the traditional feuerzangen bowle.

German Christmas Pyramid

Christmas dinner appetizer

Wifey and me + a basil bee

things left by santa and highly appreciated by us

metaxa, while reading in front of the tree

the mentioned tree

basil taking over the couch yet again

traditional feuerzangen bowle

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

PCB prototyping research...

over the last month we spend an ungodly amount of time trying to figure out how to make double sided PCB's in a decent speed at home...


Milling:

1. CNC
  • works great for through hole soldering
  • not so good for small SMD connectors and it was just to much hit and miss
  • 2 working boards out of 30 attempted are not acceptable, 0805 and SOT-23 package size mostly with some JST-PH 6 connectors
  • breaking to many mill bit's
Toner Transfer Method:

1. H2O2 + CH3COOH etching
  • 1h in the tank -> 2 bubbles
  • 24h later, still not done
  • problem are these 3% H2O2 solutions you can get locally
2. HCL + H2O2
  • about 3 hours a board, but this causes some serious under cutting and a lot of destroyed traces.
  • again 16.5% HCL is the strongest I can locally get
  • again 3% H2O2 is the main culprit for super slow etching speed
  • lot's of nasty fumes, causing rust on stuff around it, not good in a machine shop
  • but might be the only way right now
3. FeCL2
  • not tested yet, since rather messy and expensive
Combination of Toner Transfer and Milling

The really big advantage of the CNC is right now that it will drill all our VIAS and mounting holes for sockets, etc. Which makes it lot easier and it's rather fast. I do wish that I could find a decent free G-CODE optimizer

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

mixit - slow progress

We keep making progress with our little MixIt, there is still not much to see. But a lot of work is going on and we are sure to make our deadline.

as you can see it's missing a base and a faceplate

so we ordered a CNC as a KIT and started assembling it

it's mostly assembled, but still waiting for the spindle controller and tinyg to arrive
So last week we started assembling the order CNC router, to help us create a nice looking face plate. Sadly our 3D printer was not really up for the task and things kept warping constantly.

We are still waiting for a handful of parts, but hopefully by the end of this weekend everything arrived and is assembled. We can start milling the faceplate and move on the fabricated the prototype circuit boards.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Busy, Busy life

So the last weeks have been a touch stressful or in other words, my wife forbid me last weekend to touch a pc or think about anything related to:

  • cnc research
  • cad drawing
  • pcb design
  • electronics
  • programming
  • 3D printing
  • general work
  • c++
  • swift
  • soldering smd parts
  • some other things
And to just grab a book, some beers and relax.

Thinking about my workload, yeah I overdid it a little bit, between working during the day at the lab and working at night on Kickstarter project, I barley slept more than 2-3 hours on average since we have come back from germany. 

I guess I should take a break.

Anyway current accomplishments:
  • bought a 3D printer and using it for 'rapid' low cost prototyping
  • rediscovered my CAD skills and designing parts. Yay for free cad, I do would love to have solid works and better CNC/3D Printer integration
  • researched and ordered a CNC router, which we will spend the next couple of days assembling. Thinking about machining parts out of acrylic and aluminium to make things look oh so pretty
  • assembled a prototype more or less, still need's finishing touches
  • wrote a partial iPhone application, it's boring but does the job
  • assembled a working and awesome team to actually build this thing
  • spend tens of hours of soldering and starting to order SMD parts for the next step, cutting PCB's on the CNC and SMD soldering
  • researched hot air rework stations and reflow ovens.
  • wrote the firmware
And last but not least, organized an amazing 10 year anniversary party with my wifey. Well she organized everything and I was brewing 3 amazing beers.

Now how to mill acrylic and where to get a 12V DC Motor with enough torque to crush ice. We are really trying to get away for 120V AC.

Next weekend, we will finish up the prototype housing and wrap it in aluminium with a nice scotch brite finish. Looking forward to playing with the laser table.

Monday, August 25, 2014

A way overdo post

So for some reasons I haven't managed to blog here in the last 8 months.

And I have no real valid excuse, except:


  • travelling
  • fixing the house
  • brewing to much beer
  • drinking to much beer
  • and working on my first kick-starter project

Our project:

As people know, I have been doing software development since a very long time and got interested in microchip programming a couple of years ago and have been wondering what I can build, which doesn't already exist.

Well as soon as the kickstarter project goes online and I got the ok from the last crucial Team members, mostly our CAD guy, I will post he some more product updates and pictures during the build.

 If we do not find our CAD guy, I guess I have to rediscover my CAD and 3D Modeling skills, when I was 15.