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Archive for September 13th, 2016

Vacuum Tube LEDs: Hard Drive Platter Base

Stainless steel socket head and button head screws add a certain techie charm to the hard drive platter mirroring the Noval tube:

Noval - Black PETG base - magenta phase

Noval – Black PETG base – magenta phase

Black PETG, rather than cyan or natural filament, suppresses the socket’s glow and emphasizes the tube’s internal lighting:

Noval tube on platter - button-head screws

Noval tube on platter – button-head screws

The base puts the USB-to-serial adapter on the floor and stands the Pro Mini against a flat on the far wall:

Noval tube socket and base - interior layout

Noval tube socket and base – interior layout

A notch for the cable seems like a useful addition subtraction to the socket, because that cable tie just doesn’t look right. I used 4 mm threaded inserts, as those button head screws looked better.

The solid model looks like you’d expect:

Vacuum Tube Lights - hard drive platter base - solid model

Vacuum Tube Lights – hard drive platter base – solid model

Those are 3 mm threaded inserts, again to get the right head size screw on the platter.

The height of the base depends on the size of the socket, with the model maintaining a bit of clearance above the USB adapter. The OD depends on the platter OD, with a fixed overhang, and the insert BCD depends on the OD / insert OD / base wall thickness.

Although I’m using an Arduino Pro Mini and a separate USB-to-serial adapter, a (knockoff) Arduino Nano would be better and cheaper, although the SMD parts on the Nano’s bottom surface make it a bit thicker and less suitable for foam-tape mounting.

I drilled the platter using manual CNC:

Hard drive platter - Noval base drilling

Hard drive platter – Noval base drilling

After centering the origin on the platter hole, the hole positions (for a 71 mm BCD) use LinuxCNC’s polar notation:

g0 @[71/2]^45
g0 @[71/2]^[45+90]
g0 @[71/2]^[45+180]
g0 @[71/2]^-45

I used the Joggy Thing for manual drilling after each move; that’s easier than figuring out the appropriate g81 feed & speed.

The 3D printed base still looks a bit chintzy compared with the platter, but it’s coming along.

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:

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