First power up of the Excel VMC CNC into the shop. Testing of the American Rotary three phase AD-20 converter with the Mill.
After verifying the three phase connection voltages and placing the high leg on non-control leg inputs of the machine I powered the machine on without issues. I did initial leveling using the bed with the center bed screws loose. All the rigging preventing table and Z axis movement was removed. I used simple green cleaner for most of the machine. The automatic tool changer area I used purple power. A fresh load of coolant will do the rest of the cleaning for me.
I did have an issue after startup with a servo drive alarm. It ended up being a fiber optic connector on the Fanuc controls. After reconnecting, everything worked fine.
How-to build a parallel cable and accepting the danger of a dead man’s cord. Understand this and its risks if you decide to build it! Best rule of thumb everything stays connected when any of the generators are running. Always shut down all generators before making connection changes.
I picked up a “almost” complete lot of machining tooling for a set of lathes. One item that was missing was a clamp for the tapping head. I reasoned out a quick idea of how it worked and what was missing and did a quick sketch in Fusion and produced a quick part without the outer filet. I also drilled the corners so I wouldn’t need to broach the corners. Saying still holds, if you can’t find it, make it.
Sometimes I get something I really like and discover a big flaw in it’s design. In the following case, my nice shiney new riding mower deck shaft had just given way again. I believe this was the third failure.
The pot metal frame and weak steel direct shaft was a problem and after spending several hundred dollars over the past few years I decided to do something about it. Off to the big shop. After some quick layout in Fusion 360 and a quick 3d print of the housing for test fit, I started work on the shaft while the mill was cutting the housing. I’ve gotten 2 complete mowings now before fall and it works great. I was pressed for time on this but I did manage to snap a few photos of the new shaft and threading.
I also had to slightly modify a new tool holder I purchased as the ways were too tight for my liking so that took a bit of time to finish up. Now I have a nice shiney new dedicated HSS cut off holder and a mower that won’t fail me.
As a benefit the deck has never ran smoother and of course within an hour of mowing I found a bend cable plow blade. The new shaft disconnected like it should and no damage to the mower.
I’ve alway wondered what was inside these. I’ll never find out because of the weatherproofing epoxy. The face LCD cover is milled and it hints of low volume production. These are used to control the flow of water to a horizontal direction drill (HDD). This Vermeer unit fits many different models of their drills. This one was programmed for a 24×33 Vermeer.
Wouxun’s seem to either wear the flash chip out or are made with a bad batch of parts. Eventually all of them I’ve owned prior and everyone I know throws it in the trash. Below is a video of how to do the repair and its an easy fix. Wouxun used a very low write count part but there are better options as a direct replacement. The replacement part is a 24C64 found just about everywhere for under $1. Please repair these when possible and if you are unable or unwilling, hand it over to a new ham or send to an old one to be repaired.
I recommend using a hot air station but it is possible to carefully cut leads with cutters for parts replacement. When using cutters be sure to not rip any traces from the board. Go very slow and use a good tool. An alternative method is to heat and lift one lead a time. Mouser and Digikey both have alternatives for this part by searching for the 24C64. Right now links to these parts are as follows:
I have several Symmetricom time references all of which are large. I really needed something compact for my newest bench area. I fumbled upon a Nortel card (GPSTM). It is basically a Trimble Thunderbolt. It has a few minor differences, utilizing the same software for configuration. It has a 10mhz output (SMB Connectors). I used a Symmetricom Distribution Amp to sync all my equipment on the bench (Signal Gen, HP 8935 Spectrum Analyzer, HP Frequency Counter). The only modification required is a 48V(24-48VDC) DC power supply. It is very straightforward to get one of these up and running as a repurposed GPSDO. It is small, compact, and won’t break the bank. I completed this project for well under $200. A photo of the DC connection is below and a video as well.
Prototype boards for testing the RF module along with provisions for a low pass filter have been sent off for manufacture. I’m expecting to see these back in a few weeks. In the meantime below are links to the Gerbers for the test board as well as Kicad Modules for making your own boards that use the DRA818V module.