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  1. Configuring TVRRUG Marlin for maximum Z endstop

    April 12, 2013 by Hannah

    Maximum Z Endstop

    The default set up for RepRap Z endstops seems to be a minimum Z microswitch. It’s easy to set up, but soon becomes a right pain when you need to make an adjustment of a fraction of a millimetre – pretty tough to move your microswitch that small a distance. One alternative is to fix the microswitch at the maximum of the axis and adjust the known position of the endstop in the firmware.

    Here are instructions on how to configure the TVRRUG Marlin firmware for a maximum endstop.


  2. Hacking the PetPorte

    April 5, 2013 by Hannah


    As a cat owner of the geeky persuasion, I am a sucker for pet gadgetry. One such indulgence was the PetPorte Smart Cat Flap, which has a built in microchip reader to control feline access to your home, plus loads of built in features like timer and night modes to accommodate kitty’s curfew. It is more expensive than the alternative magnetic or infra-red fob cat flaps, but if you have escape-artist cats who lose their collars pretty much every time they leave the house, like I do, the cost difference soon balances out.

    My experience with the product and company have been great, I do not hesitate to recommend it! Nevertheless I have one niggle – I just can’t get Night Mode to work satisfactorily. So rather than throw an otherwise excellent baby out with the bathwater, I hacked it instead. (more…)

  3. Breadboarding with Cables – Double-Sided Headers

    February 6, 2013 by Hannah

    Breadboarding with double sided header

    Connecting cables to your breadboard can be a right pain – PCB headers are too short on one side to sit securely in the breadboard, and the alternative of a spaghetti tangle of jumper wires is unappealing.

    Happily enough, I discovered a 3 pin double-sided header for breadboarding a servo in my Arduino starter kit – problem solved! Except, where can I buy a longer strip to use with my FTDI cable?

    Double sided header

    After a bit of searching I finally hit gold at HobbyTronics – a 40 pin double-sided header strip for £1. Since I can use the same header again and again for different projects, this should be plenty for my needs. They are probably available elsewhere cheaper but I couldn’t see where, and I figure the saving probably wasn’t worth the extra time spent looking.

    Result = Happy Bunny!

  4. Scarf Organisation

    January 30, 2013 by Hannah

    Scarf Organisation

    Finally, after 24½ years, I have apparently become fed up of living in chaos and am on a bit of an organisation kick. Unfortunately everything seems to have got worse before it has got better, but I can take heart in one thing at least being tidy – my scarves. (more…)

  5. Photo Light Tent

    January 22, 2013 by Hannah

    Photo Light Tent

    For Christmas Dad got a photo light tent kit for taking product photographs, and it’s huge! It came with loads of stuff including the pop-up tent, backgrounds, stands and triple bulb lights with optional diffusers. Now just to figure out how to use it… where did we put the folding away instructions again? (more…)

  6. Save YouTube videos with youtube-dl

    January 16, 2013 by Hannah

    youtube-dl is a Python program which lets you download videos from sites like YouTube, vimeo and many more onto your computer. It will even download entire YouTube playlists, works across all platforms and is easy to install and use. (more…)

  7. Brownies in a Jar Gifts

    January 13, 2013 by Hannah

    Brownies in a Jar Decoration

    Wanting to give something homemade for Christmas this year and being inspired by items on Pinterest such as these Cowgirl Cookies, I decided to gift brownies in a jar to my friends. After all, chocolate cures all ills! (more…)

  8. Ubuntu Custom Unity Launchers

    November 7, 2012 by Hannah

    unity custom launchers

    Creating custom launchers

    Custom launcher examples

  9. TeenTech – Inspiring Tomorrow’s Innovators

    November 6, 2012 by Hannah

    Photo credit: Teentech

    Photo credit: Teentech

    TeenTech is a series of one-day events for schools which aim to inspire teenagers to follow careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. Since May Dad, myself and/or various members of TVRRUG have taken along our RepRaps to several of these events around the country and put on a short activity for the students to customise and print the word “RepRap”. We try to demonstrate that not only is technology fun and amazing, but also attainable – you don’t need to be part of a massive company and spend lots of money to get involved, and it is possible to build incredible technology yourself. (more…)

  10. Knitting Machine Adventures

    October 30, 2012 by Hannah

    Needle bed

    My aunt was given a Toyota KS858 knitting machine and 506 ribber that had been in a friend’s relative’s garage for umpteen years. It came with what seemed to be most of the accessories, but was missing a manual and punchcards. On a visit in the summer I found a copy of the KS858 manual online and we muddled through trying to set it up, neither of us knowing what we were doing. The end result looked like it should work, but we couldn’t get it to knit properly. (more…)