Tools – FireBall V90 CNC Build – Day 1

So, my FireBall V90 CNC machine arrived on 30 May 2012.  The posts that follow will document the build and my user experience.  Day 1 started with me opening and inspecting the components.  Go here to read about the ongoing build and take a look at some pictures along the way.

Projects – Hobbybotics SHT1x Humidity/Temperature Breakout V1.0

I designed a breakout board for the Sensirion SHT1x Humidity and Temperature Sensors.  The SHT1x family of sensors can measure relative humidity, temperature Celsius and temperature Fahrenheit.  My plans are to use the design for various heating and control projects such as a wireless thermostat, greenhouse controller and some environmental projects.  The project link details a SHT15 but, any of the sensors that share a common footprint can be used with the breakout board.  I also developed (modified) an Arduino library for use with the Sensirion sensors.  Check out the project here.

Tools – FireBall V90 CNC

Today I managed to gather enough nerve to purchase a FireBall V90 CNC machine with all the bells and whistles from Probotix for under $2000.  The V90 has the following features:

 

 

  • Approximately 12″ x 18″
  • Thomson precision linear shafts
  • Oilite bearings
  • Precision Acme 2-start lead screws
  • Anti-backlash drive nuts
  • CNC USB controller and software
  • Aluminum T-slot extrusion spoil board
  • Bosh Colt PR20EVSK Router and holder
  • MeshCam software
  • 3-Axis ProboStep Motor/Driver Kit
  • 40 VDC Linear RTR power supply
  • Larger enclosure for power supply and motor controllers
  • 220 in/min rapids

The machine is supported by the  FireBall CNC Yahoo Group.

Projects – Hobbybotics MAX6675 Thermocouple Breakout V1.0

I designed a breakout board for the MAX6675 Cold-Junction Compensated Type-K Thermocouple interface.  My plans are to use the design for various heating control projects such as a Sous-vide cooker, wireless thermostat, smoker controller, beer brew controller, reflow oven and some environmental projects.  Check it out here.

General – Optiboot 4.4

Been a long time coming but, today I officially updated all of the Hobbyduino boards to Optiboot 4.4 (same bootloader that is on the Uno).  I’ll follow this post up shortly with a tutorial on how I did it.  For those that cannot wait, you can take a look at my introduction for the Hobbyduino Mini Bootloader ISP Shield.  The process to load Optiboot is pretty much the same as that for the Arduino Duemilanove w/ ATmega 328 bootloader except the board type is now ‘Arduino Uno’.

Tutorial – Use a Light Dependent Resistor (LDR) to Measure Light Levels

This tutorial demonstrates using a Light Dependent Resistor (LDR) to vary the blink rate of a LED based on the level of light striking the LDR.  This tutorial covers some basic concepts that can be used to develop home automation applications such as automatic light dimmers, automatic blinds or curtains and a automatic night-light.  Check out the tutorial for full details.

Gallery – Hobbyduino XBee Plug V1.0

I’m pretty sure the majority of my projects will never be considered “Complete” as I’m always tinkering with the firmware to add or refine features.  However, I like to give my projects a finished look which means they will be inside of enclosures or integrated into other devices.  It would be nice if I could update the firmware without having to dissect the project to get at the controller.  To accomplish this, I created a XBee plug for my Hobbyduino Mini V3 Arduino clone.  Check out the gallery here and the tutorial here.