Posts Tagged M2

Knurled Inserts: Epoxy Anchoring

After taking the incandescent lamp socket off its base, I drilled the tapped (yeah, in plastic) 6-32 holes out to a firm press fit for the knurled 6-32 inserts, buttered the inserts with epoxy, and pressed them firmly in place:

Lamp Base - epoxy knurled insert

Lamp Base – epoxy knurled insert

Fast forward a day and they’re stuck in there like they were glued. You can see a bit of the epoxy around the right rim of the insert; I wiped a bit more off around the other one.

Putting The Right Amount of epoxy on the insert requires dialing back my “The bigger the blob, the better the job” enthusiasm, but wasn’t all that difficult. It’s certainly more tedious than just ramming the inserts into a printed hole and might actually produce better retention. I doubt that will make the least difference for (almost) anything I build.

On the whole, they look good…

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Vacuum Tube LEDs: Octal Tube on a CD

Mounting an octal tube socket in a CD requires nothing more than printing one from the same OpenSCAD code that produced the Noval socket:

Vacuum Tube Lights - octal socket - Slic3r preview

Vacuum Tube Lights – octal socket – Slic3r preview

Then apply a 1-1/8 inch Greenleee punch to a randomly chosen scrap CD, match-drill two screw holes, push the knurled inserts into the socket, and screw everything together:

Octal socket in CD - screw detail

Octal socket in CD – screw detail

I totally forgot about the raised ring around the central hole, so the OpenSCAD source code now moves the screws outward to 47 mm OC for a bit of head clearance. The 6-32 screws don’t look nearly so large next to that big Bakelite base.

The 2.36 mm tube pins fit perfectly into the (square!) socket holes without reaming.

This 6SN7GTB would definitely benefit from a ersatz plate cap with an LED shining down on the mica spacer; fortunately, the getter flash is on the side, not the top. You can see the plate cap atop the adjacent duodecar tube diffracted in the grooves, so a CD “chassis” will add some pizzazz to a rather drab tube:

Octal socket in CD - LED diffraction

Octal socket in CD – LED diffraction

In person, you see distinct RGB spots, not a continuous spectrum.

This tube has a completely broken-off base spigot (the keyed cylinder around the evacuation tip), so (I think) more light gets through the base than from a cut-off spigot end. Perhaps the plate cap will add enough light to turn the base LEDs into an accent.

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Vacuum Tube LEDs: Fire in the Noval

Replacing the original Noval socket in the string with the platter-friendly version, bracing the wiring with duct tape, balancing it on my desk, and firing it up:

Noval socket - red phase

Noval socket – red phase

The green phase looks nice, too:

Noval socket - green phase

Noval socket – green phase

Those screws are too big.

The getter flash covers the entire top of the tube; shining an LED down through the evacuation tip won’t work and even a laser doesn’t do much. That saves me the trouble of trying to create a cap that doesn’t wreck the tube’s good looks.

I originally planned to use white / natural PETG for the socket, but the more I see of those things, the more I think black is the new white. The sockets should vanish into the background, to let the tubes (and their reflections) carry the show.

The (yet to be designed) base must vanish under the platter edge, too, which puts a real crimp on its overall height. I’m not sure how to fit an Arduino Pro Mini and an FTDI board beside the existing socket; perhaps this calls for a unified socket-base design held on by those screws, rather than a separate socket inside a base enclosure.

Even though I know the tubes are inert and cool, I still hesitate before removing them from their sockets with the Neopixels running: you simply do not unplug a hot, powered device!

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Vacuum Tube LEDs: Noval Tube on a Platter

Replacing the hex nut traps with knurled insert cylinders slims the ends of the socket:

Noval Socket - knurled inserts - bottom - Slic3r preview

Noval Socket – knurled inserts – bottom – Slic3r preview

Making the raised part of the socket fit the 25 mm ID of a hard drive platter swells the midsection of the socket, but the platter won’t need any machining or punching:

Noval Socket - knurled inserts - top - Slic3r preview

Noval Socket – knurled inserts – top – Slic3r preview

The octal and duodecar sockets will require a punch to open up the platter hole and all sockets require two drilled clearance holes for the screws. Given that I’ll eventually do this on the Sherline, maybe milling the hole for the bigger tubes will be faster & easier than manually punching them.

I moved the screw centers to 35 mm (from the historically accurate 28 mm) to accommodate the larger center, not that anybody will ever notice, and enlarged the central hole to 7.5 mm (from 5.0 mm) to let more light into the tube base.

The support structures inside the (now much smaller) knurled insert cylinders might not be strictly necessary, but I left them in place to see how well they built. Which was perfectly, as it turns out, and they popped out with a slight push:

Noval socket - knurled inserts - support structures

Noval socket – knurled inserts – support structures

They’re just the cutest little things (those are 0.100 inch grid squares in the background):

Noval socket - support structures

Noval socket – support structures

Anyhow, the knurled inserts pressed into their holes with a slight shove:

Noval socket - installing knurled insert

Noval socket – installing knurled insert

The chuck jaws were loose on the screw cutoff stud and stopped at the surface, putting the knurled inserts perfectly flush with the socket:

Noval socket - knurled inserts - installed

Noval socket – knurled inserts – installed

The surface looks very slightly distorted around the inserts, although it’s still smooth to the touch, and I think the PETG will slowly relax around the knurls. Even without heat or epoxy, they’re now impossible to pull out with any force I’m willing to apply to the screws threaded into them. Given that the platter screws will (be trying to) pull the inserts through the socket, I think a dry install will suffice for my simple needs.

Match-mark, drill #27 6-32 clearance holes, and the screws drop right in:

Noval socket - installed

Noval socket – installed

Those stainless steel pan-head 6-32 screws seem a bit large in comparison with the socket. Perhaps I should use 4-40 screws, even though they’re not, ahem, historically accurate.

The tube pin holes get hand-reamed with a #53 drill = 1.5 mm. That’s a bit over the nominal 1.1 mm pin diameter, but seems to provide both easy insertion and firm retention. For permanent installation, an adhesive would be in order.

Buff off the fingerprints, stick the tube in place, and it looks pretty good:

Noval socket - tube on platter

Noval socket – tube on platter

Yeah, those screws are too big. Maybe a brace of black M3 socket head screws would look better, despite a complete lack of historicity.

Now to wire it up and ponder how to build a base.

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:

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Improved Lip Balm / Lipstick Holder

Mary asked for a less angular version of the Lip Balm Holder, which gave me a chance to practice my list comprehension:

Improved Lipstick and Balm Holder

Improved Lipstick and Balm Holder

You hand the OpenSCAD program a list of desired tube diameters in the order you want them, the program plunks the first one (ideally, the largest diameter) in the middle, arranges the others around it counterclockwise from left to right, then slips a lilypad under each tube.

As long as you don’t ask for anything egregiously stupid, the results look reasonably good:

Improved Lipstick and Balm Holder - 8 tubes

Improved Lipstick and Balm Holder – 8 tubes

As before, each tube length is 1.5 times its diameter; the lipsticks / balms fit loosely and don’t flop around.

Given the tube diameters and the wall thickness, list comprehensions simplify creating lists of the radii from the center tube to each surrounding tube, the center-to-center distances between each of the outer tubes, and the angles between successive tubes:

// per-tube info, first element forced to 0 to make entries match RawDia vector indexes

Radius = [0, for (i=[1:NumTubes-1]) (TubeRad[0] + TubeRad[i] + Wall)];			// Tube[i] distance to center pointRadius = [0, for (i=[1:NumTubes-1]) (TubeRad[0] + TubeRad[i] + Wall)];			// Tube[i] distance to center point
echo(str("Radius: ",Radius));

CtrToCtr = [0, for (i=[1:NumTubes-2]) (TubeRad[i] + TubeRad[i+1] + Wall)];		// Tube[i] distance to Tube[i+1]
echo(str("CtrToCtr: ",CtrToCtr));

Angle = [0, for (i=[1:NumTubes-2]) acos((pow(Radius[i],2) + pow(Radius[i+1],2) - pow(CtrToCtr[i],2)) / (2 * Radius[i] * Radius[i+1]))];
echo(str("Angle: ",Angle));

TotalAngle = sumv(Angle,len(Angle)-1);
echo(str("TotalAngle: ",TotalAngle));

The angles come from the oblique triangle solution when you know all three sides (abc) and want the angle (C) between a and b:

C = arccos( (a2 + b2 - c2) / (2ab) )

Peering down inside, the Slic3r preview shows the lily pads are the tops of squashed spheres:

Improved Lipstick and Balm Holder - Slic3r preview

Improved Lipstick and Balm Holder – Slic3r preview

The pads are 2.0 times the tube diameter, which seemed most pleasing to the eye. They top out at 2.0 mm thick, which might make the edges too thin for comfort.

Update: Here’s what it looks like with a convex hull wrapped around all the lilypads:

Improved Lipstick and Balm Holder - hulled base

Improved Lipstick and Balm Holder – hulled base

I’m awaiting reports from My Spies concerning the typical diameter(s) of lipstick tubes, then I’ll run off a prototype and see about the lily pad edges.

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub gist:

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Knurled Inch Inserts

Tagging along behind the metric inserts, a sack of knurled brass inch-size screw inserts arrived:

Threaded Inserts - metric and inch

Threaded Inserts – metric and inch

The nice stainless steel screws on the right range from 4-40 to 10-32, which suffice for nearly everything I build around here.

Unlike the splined metric inserts on the left, these inserts have actual knurls and ridges that should hold them firmly in place. The specs give hard-inch dimensions, of course, that (seem to) correspond to the root diameter of the knurls. You can find nice engineering drawings of precise tapered holes (by drilling down into the Heat-Set Inserts for Plastics item on that page), but a few metric measurements of the actual parts on hand should suffice for my simple needs.

Thread: overall length x small rim OD x (knurl length x larger knurl OD)

  • 4-40: 5.8 x 3.9 x (4.0 x 4.6)
  • 6-32: 7.1 x 4.7 x (4.6 x 5.5)
  • 8-32: 8.1 x 5.5 x (5.9 x 6.3)
  • 10-32: 9.5 x 6.3 x (7.0 x 7.1)

Rather than fussing with a tapered hole, just punch a cylinder with the small rim OD (to clear the screw) through the part and put a cylinder with the knurl OD x length at the surface.

Using cylinders without diameter correction will make them slightly undersized for heat bonding. The usual 3D printing tolerances don’t justify anything fussier than that.

Using PolyCyl diameter correction will make the holes nearly spot on for epoxy bonding: butter ’em up, ram ’em in, pause for curing, done.

That’s the plan, anyhow…

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Vacuum Tube LEDs: Ersatz Heat Sink Plate Cap

I wanted a slightly larger “plate cap” to fit a big incandescent bulb and it seemed a fake heatsink might add gravitas to the proceedings:

Vacuum Tube LEDs - large incandescent bulb

Vacuum Tube LEDs – large incandescent bulb

Yeah, that antique ceramic socket holds the bulb at a rakish angle. Worse, even though I painstakingly laid out the position of the heatsink atop the bulb, it’s visibly off-center. Which wouldn’t be so bad, had I not epoxied the damn thing in place.

After reaming out the M2’s filament drive, the entire blue base printed without incident.

A closer look at the cap:

Vacuum Tube LEDs - ersatz heatsink plate cap

Vacuum Tube LEDs – ersatz heatsink plate cap

Memo to Self: Next time, line it up with the vertical glass support inside the bulb and ignore the external evidence.

The boss has a hole for the braid-enclosed cable to the knockoff Neopixel:

Vacuum Tube Lights - finned cap - Slic3r preview

Vacuum Tube Lights – finned cap – Slic3r preview

The cupped surface perfectly fits the bulb’s 3.75 inch diameter. While you wouldn’t mill out a real heatsink, it definitely looks better this way and (alas) gives the epoxy more footprint for a better grip.

I built the fins with a 1/8 inch cutter in mind, so the fin root radius allows for a G3/G3 arc without gouging. I doubt machining a fake heatsink from aluminum makes any sense, but the cheap extruded heatsinks on eBay don’t look very good. Plus, they sport completely unnecessary tapped holes for LED mounts and suchlike.

A cross-section shows the wiring channel and cable entry:

Vacuum Tube Lights - fin cap solid model - section

Vacuum Tube Lights – fin cap solid model – section

I epoxied the Neopixel in place, applied double-sided carpet tape to the whole thing, then painstakingly trimmed around the fins with an Xacto knife:

Vacuum Tube LEDs - Ersatz Heatsink plate cap - tape

Vacuum Tube LEDs – Ersatz Heatsink plate cap – tape

That looked better from the top side (where it was completely hidden) and came heartbreakingly close to working, but after about a day the cable + braid put enough torque on the cap to peel it off the bulb. Obviously, the tape holds much less enthusiastically after that.

Part of the problem came from the cable’s rather sharp angle just outside the cap:

Vacuum Tube LEDs - Ersatz Heatink plate cap - detail

Vacuum Tube LEDs – Ersatz Heatink plate cap – detail

Rakish angle, indeed. Two of ’em, in fact.

Unlike the smaller cap on the halogen bulb, this time I didn’t bother with a brass tube ferrule, mostly to see how it looks. I think it came out OK and the black braid looks striking in person. Conversely, a touch of brass never detracts from the appearance.

Obviously, the cable wasn’t long enough, either. Part of that problem came from underestimating the braid length: it shortens dramatically when slipped over the cable, even when you expect shortening. Somehow I managed to overlook that, despite cutting the cable quite long enough, thankyouverymuch. There’s a tradeoff between gentle angles and having the cable stick out too far for comfort.

Memo to Self: Use a cable at least four inches longer than necessary, measure the combined cable + braid assembly after screwing the bulb in the socket, and don’t epoxy anything before all the parts are ready for assembly.

That’s why it’s a prototype made out of blue PETG…

Protip: running old ceramic sockets through the dishwasher greatly simplifies their subsequent cleanup.

All in all, I like it.

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub gist:

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