All posts by Hannah

Configuring TVRRUG Marlin for 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.

Continue reading Configuring TVRRUG Marlin for maximum Z endstop

Hacking the PetPorte

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. Continue reading Hacking the PetPorte

Breadboarding with Cables – Double-Sided Headers

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!

TeenTech – Inspiring Tomorrow’s Innovators

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. Continue reading TeenTech – Inspiring Tomorrow’s Innovators