Bypass Lopper Bumper

I used the long-handled bypass lopper to harvest the 3D printed soaker hose splices and clamps, which made the sad state of the lopper’s bumper painfully obvious:

Bypass Lopper - OEM bumper
Bypass Lopper – OEM bumper

Contrary to what you might think, those rivets never had a head on this side and the bumper seems to be held in place by an interference fit with the plastic handle cover.

A bit of cutoff wheel work removed the crimped end on the 5 mm stud holding the bumper to the pot-metal dingus:

Bypass Lopper - shaft cut
Bypass Lopper – shaft cut

Whacking it with a punch separated all the parts:

Bypass Lopper - bumper parts
Bypass Lopper – bumper parts

The gray thing is a silicone rubber vibration isolator that’s a bit too large in all dimensions, but surely Close Enough™ for present purposes.

A length of 5 mm shaft became the new stud, with M3×0.5 threads tapped into both ends and a pair of random screws held in place with red Loctite:

Bypass Lopper - epoxy curing
Bypass Lopper – epoxy curing

There are no pix of the drilling and threading, as it was accomplished after a shiny-new 2.7 mm “titanium” metric drill from a not-dirt-cheap set shattered in the shaft:

Shattered metric drill
Shattered metric drill

The blue color on the flutes is Sharpie to remind me it’s defunct. I completed the mission using a #36 drill with no further excitement.

The dingus is now held to the lopper with JB Weld and, should that fail, I’ll drill-n-tap the rivets and be done with it.

Thermal Laminator Un-jamming

My AmazonBasics laminator wrapped a small card around one of its rollers and jammed solid:

AmazonBasics laminator - interior bottom
AmazonBasics laminator – interior bottom

The lever sticking out on the lower right (above) drives the rollers in reverse by moving the motor from one gear to the other:

AmazonBasics laminator - roller gears
AmazonBasics laminator – roller gears

Obviously, reverse gear wouldn’t get me anywhere, but dismantling the rollers required cutting the junction between the heating elements running through the aluminum extrusions:

AmazonBasics laminator - heater junction
AmazonBasics laminator – heater junction

I spliced a few inches of wire onto those leads. If there’s a next time, I can cut the splice in the middle and use a wire nut.

The white plastic curl in the lower right showed they ran a deburring tool around the exit slot and called it Good Enough™.

The gears slide off the roller shafts and the rollers out of the extrusions, after which removing the tightly wrapped and completely useless card posed no problem.

One lone, short, and eagerly self-tapping screw holds each plastic end plate to the extrusion, so be careful about cross-threading.

All in all, this was easy enough, although I’m sure I was supposed to just throw the laminator away and buy a new one.

Tour Easy Rear Fender Bracket: More Cable Clearance

Most likely due to the fiddling around the larger rear brake noodle, the 3D printed bracket holding the fender to the frame failed:

Tour Easy Rear Fender Bracket - failed joint
Tour Easy Rear Fender Bracket – failed joint

Hey, it lasted for six years.

Making another one just like the other one, but with a little more clearance for the brake cable fittings, required a few tweaks to the solid model:

Rear Fender Bracket - more clearance
Rear Fender Bracket – more clearance

It’s slightly less chunky and holds the fender a bit closer to the tire:

Tour Easy Rear Fender Bracket - new vs old clearance
Tour Easy Rear Fender Bracket – new vs old clearance

The piece over on the left cupping the fender wasn’t broken, so I scuffed up the mating surfaces, applied a layer of JB Plastic Bonder (my new go-to adhesive for printed stuff), clamped it overnight, and it looked OK.

While that was curing, I shortened the screw holding the clamp to the bike frame:

Tour Easy Rear Fender Bracket - cutoff wheel dust collection
Tour Easy Rear Fender Bracket – cutoff wheel dust collection

The shop vac nozzle does a great job of collecting all the abrasive dust; highly recommended.

Because I had a dollop of adhesive left over, I applied a 1.8 mm drill (from a set of metric bits I’d been meaning to buy for far too long) to the screw:

Tour Easy Rear Fender Bracket - screw drilling
Tour Easy Rear Fender Bracket – screw drilling

And glued a snippet of pretty blue PETG filament in the hole:

Tour Easy Rear Fender Bracket - frame screw PETG insert
Tour Easy Rear Fender Bracket – frame screw PETG insert

As far as I can tell, this will have no effect on the screw’s goodness, but it makes me feel better about crunching it onto the frame.

Installation goes like you’d expect and there’s now enough clearance to keep the brake hardware off the bracket:

Tour Easy Rear Fender Bracket - installed
Tour Easy Rear Fender Bracket – installed

I replaced the boot while installing the larger noodle; perhaps I should have trimmed most of it away.

The riding season is upon us!

The Joggy Thing vs. LinuxCNC 2.8

After getting the Sherline mostly working with LinuxCNC 2.8 and the Mesa 5I25 FPGA card, I updated the HAL code turning the Logitech gamepad into The Joggy Thing:

Sherline Mill - Logitech Gamepad Joggy Thing
Sherline Mill – Logitech Gamepad Joggy Thing

This required significantly more effort than I expected, mainly because I can no longer edit the Eagle schematics defining the HAL file. In the intervening years, Autodesk bought the Eagle EE CAD program, converted it into a subscription service, sutured it onto their Fusion 360 package, and priced the result far beyond my toy budget. While they do offer a free tier limited to “individuals for personal, non-commercial use”, schematics with only two sheets pretty much wipes out its value.

Because the EESchema part of Kicad can export its netlists as XML files, someone experienced in wrangling XSLT, perhaps using Python + lxml, could recreate the function of the Eagle ULP with Kicad schematics / netlists. I am not, however, that person, although it would certainly be a Learning Experience™ of the first water.

So I updated the automatically generated HAL file on hard mode with a text editor, which, given HAL’s limited debugging support, somewhat resembles juggling a greasy bowling ball, a full-throttle chainsaw, and a squalling baby in a poopy diaper.

The major conceptual problem was LinuxCNC’s recent separation of “axes” from “joints”, with resulting changes in both nomenclature and control. Eventually, I found some key hints in a very recent update to a LinuxCNC wiki entry describing a similar Logitech gamepad interface.

The basic Joggy Thing logic remains the same, with “analog” values from the joysticks now presented to both the halui.axis and halui.joint controls. The new trick of holding the pre-startup values (presumably zeros) with feedback around a multiplexer qualifies as a Moby Hack preventing a startup glitch from triggering an error having something to do with an E-stop.

The machine still runs away on X and Z at full throttle instantly after tapping the Machine-On button for the first time in the morning. Come to find out the gamepad starts up with all four joysticks jammed at -1 until the first activation of any axis or button, which I’m sure it always did, but something in HAL’s bowels now responds differently. More work will be required, although I think the simplest solution will involve holding everything inert until the logic sees a specific gamepad button.

The LinuxCNC HAL code as a GitHub Gist:

# HAL for Logitech Joggy Thing
# Load realtime and userspace modules
loadusr -W hal_input -KA Dual
#loadrt logic count=1 personality=0x104
loadrt constant count=13
loadrt and2 count=17
loadrt conv_float_s32 count=1
loadrt flipflop count=4
loadrt mux2 count=1
loadrt mux4 count=5
loadrt not count=8
loadrt or2 count=13
loadrt scale count=7
loadrt timedelay count=1
loadrt toggle count=1
# Hook functions into threads
#addf logic.0 servo-thread
addf constant.0 servo-thread
addf constant.1 servo-thread
addf constant.2 servo-thread
addf constant.3 servo-thread
addf constant.4 servo-thread
addf constant.5 servo-thread
addf constant.6 servo-thread
addf constant.7 servo-thread
addf constant.8 servo-thread
addf constant.9 servo-thread
addf constant.10 servo-thread
addf constant.11 servo-thread
addf constant.12 servo-thread
addf and2.0 servo-thread
addf and2.1 servo-thread
addf and2.2 servo-thread
addf and2.3 servo-thread
addf and2.4 servo-thread
addf and2.5 servo-thread
addf and2.6 servo-thread
addf and2.7 servo-thread
addf and2.8 servo-thread
addf and2.9 servo-thread
addf and2.10 servo-thread
addf and2.11 servo-thread
addf and2.12 servo-thread
addf and2.13 servo-thread
addf and2.14 servo-thread
addf and2.15 servo-thread
addf and2.16 servo-thread
addf conv-float-s32.0 servo-thread
addf toggle.0 servo-thread
addf flipflop.0 servo-thread
addf flipflop.1 servo-thread
addf flipflop.2 servo-thread
addf flipflop.3 servo-thread
addf timedelay.0 servo-thread
addf or2.0 servo-thread
addf or2.1 servo-thread
addf or2.2 servo-thread
addf or2.3 servo-thread
addf or2.4 servo-thread
addf or2.5 servo-thread
addf or2.6 servo-thread
addf or2.7 servo-thread
addf or2.8 servo-thread
addf or2.9 servo-thread
addf or2.10 servo-thread
addf or2.11 servo-thread
addf or2.12 servo-thread
addf not.0 servo-thread
addf not.1 servo-thread
addf not.2 servo-thread
addf not.3 servo-thread
addf not.4 servo-thread
addf not.5 servo-thread
addf not.6 servo-thread
addf not.7 servo-thread
addf scale.0 servo-thread
addf scale.1 servo-thread
addf scale.2 servo-thread
addf scale.3 servo-thread
addf scale.4 servo-thread
addf scale.5 servo-thread
addf scale.6 servo-thread
addf mux2.0 servo-thread
addf mux4.0 servo-thread
addf mux4.1 servo-thread
addf mux4.2 servo-thread
addf mux4.3 servo-thread
addf mux4.4 servo-thread
# Set constants
setp constant.0.value 0.1
setp constant.1.value 20
setp constant.2.value [TRAJ]MAX_LINEAR_VELOCITY
setp constant.3.value [TRAJ]MAX_ANGULAR_VELOCITY
setp constant.4.value 60
setp constant.5.value 0.50
setp constant.6.value 1.00
setp constant.7.value 0.10
setp constant.8.value 0.10
setp constant.9.value 0.0
setp constant.10.value -1.0
setp constant.11.value 0.020
setp constant.12.value 0.000
# Connect Modules with nets
# both rear top buttons for e-stop, bottom right to reset
net estop-a input.0.btn-top2 and2.0.in0
net estop-b input.0.btn-base and2.0.in1
net n_13 and2.0.out halui.estop.activate
net reset-estop input.0.btn-base2 halui.estop.reset
# button to start manual mode (probably not needed with 2.8)
net manual-mode halui.mode.manual input.0.btn-base3
net program-resume halui.program.resume input.0.btn-base4
net n_14 or2.3.in0 input.0.btn-base5
net n_15 or2.3.in1 input.0.btn-base6
net n_16 or2.3.out
net n_17 conv-float-s32.0.out input.0.abs-x-flat input.0.abs-y-flat input.0.abs-z-flat input.0.abs-rz-flat
net n_18 constant.1.out
net n_19 constant.4.out scale.0.gain
net n_20 constant.5.out scale.1.gain
net n_21 constant.6.out scale.2.gain
net n_22 constant.7.out scale.3.gain
net n_23 scale.4.gain constant.8.out
net n_24 constant.0.out halui.axis.jog-deadband
net n_42 or2.7.in0 input.0.abs-x-is-pos
net n_43 or2.7.in1 input.0.abs-x-is-neg
net n_44 or2.8.in0 input.0.abs-y-is-pos
net n_45 or2.8.in1 input.0.abs-y-is-neg
net n_46 or2.9.in0 input.0.abs-z-is-pos
net n_47 or2.9.in1 input.0.abs-z-is-neg
net n_48 or2.10.in0 input.0.abs-rz-is-pos
net n_49 or2.10.in1 input.0.abs-rz-is-neg
net n_51 constant.10.out scale.5.gain scale.6.gain
net n_57 and2.1.out halui.axis.x.minus halui.joint.0.minus
net n_58 and2.2.out
net n_59 and2.3.out halui.axis.y.minus halui.joint.1.minus
net n_60 and2.4.out
net n_61 and2.5.out halui.axis.z.minus halui.joint.2.minus
net n_62 and2.6.out
net n_63 and2.7.out halui.axis.a.minus halui.joint.3.minus
net n_64 and2.8.out
# sort out jog speeds
net az-buttons-active or2.1.out or2.12.in1
net xy-buttons-active or2.5.out or2.12.in0
net any-buttons-active or2.12.out mux4.0.sel0
net n_54 constant.11.out timedelay.0.on-delay
net n_55 constant.12.out
net n_56 timedelay.0.out and2.1.in1 and2.2.in1 and2.3.in1 and2.4.in1 and2.5.in1 and2.6.in1 and2.7.in1 and2.8.in1
net jog-crawl toggle.0.out mux4.0.sel1
net knob-fast scale.1.out mux4.0.in0
net button-fast scale.2.out mux4.0.in1
net knob-crawl scale.3.out mux4.0.in2
net button-crawl scale.4.out mux4.0.in3
net jog-speed mux4.0.out halui.axis.jog-speed halui.joint.jog-speed
net angular_motion or2.11.out mux2.0.sel
net n_25 constant.2.out mux2.0.in0
net n_26 constant.3.out mux2.0.in1
net vel-per-second mux2.0.out
net vel-per-minute scale.0.out
net az-reset and2.14.out flipflop.2.reset flipflop.3.reset
net xy-reset and2.10.out flipflop.0.reset flipflop.1.reset
# hold jog speed unchanged until machine turns on
# mux S&H from
net jog-mux-enable mux4.1.sel1 mux4.2.sel1 mux4.3.sel1 mux4.4.sel1
net axis-disabled-value constant.9.out mux4.1.in2 mux4.2.in2 mux4.3.in2 mux4.4.in2
net x-analog mux4.1.out mux4.1.in0 mux4.1.in1 halui.axis.x.analog halui.joint.0.analog
net y-analog mux4.2.out mux4.2.in0 mux4.2.in1 halui.axis.y.analog halui.joint.1.analog
net z-analog mux4.3.out mux4.3.in0 mux4.3.in1 halui.axis.z.analog halui.joint.2.analog
net a-analog mux4.4.out mux4.4.in0 mux4.4.in1 halui.axis.a.analog halui.joint.3.analog
#net x-amp-enable
#net y-amp-enable
#net z-amp-enable
#net a-amp-enable
net x-buttons-active or2.4.out or2.5.in0
net x-disable not.4.out and2.12.in1
net x-enable flipflop.0.out mux4.1.sel0
net x-hat-minus or2.4.in1 input.0.abs-hat0x-is-neg and2.1.in0
net x-hat-plus or2.4.in0 input.0.abs-hat0x-is-pos and2.2.in0
net x-jog input.0.abs-x-position mux4.1.in3
net x-knob-active or2.7.out and2.9.in0
net x-knob-inactive not.0.out and2.10.in0 and2.11.in0
net x-set and2.9.out flipflop.0.set
net y-buttons-active or2.6.out or2.5.in1
net y-disable not.5.out and2.9.in1
net y-enable flipflop.1.out mux4.2.sel0
net y-hat-minus or2.6.in1 input.0.abs-hat0y-is-neg and2.4.in0
net y-hat-plus or2.6.in0 input.0.abs-hat0y-is-pos and2.3.in0
net y-jog input.0.abs-y-position
net y-jog-reversed scale.5.out mux4.2.in3
net y-knob-active or2.8.out and2.11.in1
net y-knob-inactive not.1.out and2.10.in1
net y-select and2.12.in0 and2.11.out
net y-set flipflop.1.set and2.12.out
net z-button-minus or2.2.in0 input.0.btn-thumb and2.5.in0
net z-button-plus or2.2.in1 input.0.btn-top and2.6.in0
net z-buttons-active or2.2.out or2.1.in1
net z-disable not.6.out and2.16.in1
net z-enable flipflop.2.out mux4.3.sel0
net z-jog input.0.abs-rz-position
net z-jog-reversed scale.6.out mux4.3.in3
net z-knob-active or2.10.out and2.13.in0
net z-knob-inactive not.3.out and2.15.in0 and2.14.in0
net z-set and2.13.out flipflop.2.set
net a-button-minus or2.0.in0 input.0.btn-joystick and2.7.in0
net a-button-plus or2.0.in1 input.0.btn-thumb2 and2.8.in0
net a-buttons-active or2.0.out or2.1.in0 or2.11.in1
net a-disable not.7.out and2.13.in1
net a-enable or2.11.in0 flipflop.3.out mux4.4.sel0
net a-jog input.0.abs-z-position mux4.4.in3
net a-knob-active or2.9.out and2.15.in1
net a-knob-inactive not.2.out and2.14.in1
net a-select and2.16.in0 and2.15.out
net a-set flipflop.3.set and2.16.out
view raw joggy.hal hosted with ❤ by GitHub

X10 RR501 Transceiver: Heat Death

Must be something in the air:

X10 RR501 Transceiver - overheated Zener
X10 RR501 Transceiver – overheated Zener

Another overheated Zener in another shunt power supply!

This BZY97C is still a diode, although I didn’t test its 68 V breakdown spec. I have no idea what they’re doing with that much juice inside an X10 RF box and have nowhere near enough interest to find out.

It still doesn’t work after a Laying On of Hands: out it goes.

Audio Amp vs. Bananas

A low-end audio power amp destined for a pair of ancient-yet-still-serviceable speakers arrived, but attempting to poke wires through the side holes of the banana jacks showed they were oriented in random directions. Back in the day, banana jacks had D-shaped shafts fitted into D-shaped panel holes, but those days are gone.

A few minutes with screwdriver, wrench, and (tiny) punch sufficed to line up the holes for E-Z poking:

Fosi audio amp - jack alignment
Fosi audio amp – jack alignment

Despite the new convenience, I decided to solder banana plugs to the speaker wires, leading to the discovery my few remaining plugs came from the very bottom of the usability barrel:

Cheap banana plug - solder side
Cheap banana plug – solder side

I have no idea how one might affix a wire to that blank stub, but poking a small center drill into the brass lump produces an easily solderable recess:

Cheap banana plug - center drilled
Cheap banana plug – center drilled

Dab with flux, tin, insert wire, add solder, repeat with all four plugs, and I’m set with a boomin’ system.

LED Bulb: Mechanical FAIL

Replacing the second torchiere lamp shade required unscrewing its 100 W equivalent LED bulb, which required far too many turns and eventually felt sufficiently wrong to reveal the problem:

LED Bulb - unscrewed base
LED Bulb – unscrewed base

The entire metal base shell unscrewed from the plastic housing and twisted off the lead from what looks like a PTC fuse in series with the center contact; the cute little pigtail effect suggests I’ve wrecked the epoxy-to-wire seal.

It had a five year warranty which, alas, expired three years ago. This style of bulb has fallen out of favor, so I may as well get some Quality Shop Time out of it.

I don’t know how the factory machinery attached the lead to the contact button, but I’m going to go primal on it with some solder. The trick will be soldering it after assembly, so the first step is to drill through the middle of the button.

Grab it nose-down in the Sherline’s three-jaw chuck, flip it over, grab the chuck in the drill press vise, line it up, center-drill the button, then drill right through that sucker:

LED Bulb - base drilling setup
LED Bulb – base drilling setup

Of course, the contact came loose from the base, because I pretty much drilled right through the rivet flange holding it in place:

LED Bulb - removed center contact
LED Bulb – removed center contact

Nothing a dab of epoxy can’t fix, though. I scuffed up the outside of the contact to remove the nickel (?) plating and expose the underlying brass to improve its solderability.

After the epoxy cured, align wire with hole, screw the base onto the lamp shell, and it’s ready for soldering:

LED Bulb - base ready for solder
LED Bulb – base ready for solder

The hole is way too large for the wire, but I wasn’t about to wreck a tiny drill on what might have been a weld nugget. In any event, the bigger the blob, the better the job:

LED Bulb - soldered base
LED Bulb – soldered base

Just like light bulb bases used to look, back in the day.

With a bit of luck, it’ll sit in that socket for another seven years.

It could happen, ya never know.