New year, new resolution – more blogging!

Fireworks photograph by Stephen Gunby

Happy New Year!

 

Apologies for my blogging hiatus. The past 18 months have seen a new job and a promotion, and whist I managed to keep up as much 3D printing and crafting as possible unfortunately I left this site languishing.

But no longer! My resolutions this year amount to less work, more making and blogging. Hopefully I can keep them, you know what they say about the road to hell and good intentions.

What aspirations do you have for 2015?

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!