Posts Tagged Sherline

Sony HDR-AS30V: AKA-SF1 Skeleton Frame Latch Repair

My Sony HDR-AS30V is an action camera, but requires an external case / frame to mount it on anything. Here’s the camera inside its AKA-SF1 Skeleton Frame atop my helmet:

Sony HDR-AS30V camera on bike helmet - inverted

Sony HDR-AS30V camera on bike helmet – inverted

Four 1 mm tall ramps on the inside of the black base (the part just above the yellow sled) snap into 2.6 mm square sockets in the skeleton frame surrounding the camera. For an unknown reason(s) that surely involves applying forces I don’t remember, an opposing pair of those ramps broke off, leaving the other pair to loosely hold one end of the camera in place.

In this picture, the left ramps (one visible) are missing, leaving a square-ish gray scar that’s nearly indistinguishable from the reflection on the intact ramp on the right:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - broken latch ramps

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – broken latch ramps

Surprisingly, the round head of a brass 0-80 machine screw fits neatly inside the square socket on the frame; they’re a bit more than 1 mm deep. The approach ramps visible below the sockets guide the latches on the base:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - frame sockets

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – frame sockets

So I figured I could just shave off the remaining two latch ramps, drill four holes at the proper spots, and replace the plastic ramps with metal screws.

I clamped the skeleton frame to the Sherline’s tooling plate, aligned it parallel to the X axis, put the laser spot dead center in the square socket, then snapped the base onto the frame. The laser spot shows where the drill will hit:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - laser hole alignment

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – laser hole alignment

A carbide drill did the honors:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - 0-80 hole drilling

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – 0-80 hole drilling

That’s a #55 = 0.0520 hole for 50% thread, rather than the proper 3/64 = 0.0469 hole for 75% thread, because that’s the closest short carbide drill I had; an ordinary steel twist drill, even in the screw-machine length I use on the Sherline, would probably scamper away. The hole isn’t quite on the sloped bottom edge of the base, but it’s pretty close.

The first hole didn’t emerge quite in the center of its ramp scar:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - hole position - interior

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – hole position – interior

Which made sense after I thought about it: the ramp tapers to nothing in the direction of the offset, so the hole actually was in the middle of the matching socket.

Threading the holes required nothing more than finger-spinning an 0-80 tap:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - tapping 0-80

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – tapping 0-80

The feeble thread engagement didn’t matter, because those mysterious tabs-with-slots (possibly for tie-down strings?) just above the holes were a perfect fit for 0-80 brass nuts:

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount - reassembled

Sony HDR-AS30V Skeleton Mount – reassembled

The screw heads extend into the sockets, hold the frame solidly in the base, and make it impossible to pull out. Although the frame still slides / snaps into the base, that seems like it will wear out the sockets in fairly short order, so I’ll unlatch the frame (with the yellow slide latch on top), open it up, ease it into position, and then latch it in place. That was the only way to remove it from the original latches, so it’s not a big deal.

I should add a drop of epoxy to each of those nuts and perhaps fill the screw slots with epoxy to keep them from abrading the plastic inside the sockets. Maybe a dab of epoxy on the heads, followed by latching the frame in place, would form four square pegs to exactly fill the sockets.

This was a straightforward repair that should not have been necessary…

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HP7475A Plotter: Never Throw Anything Out

Our Larval Engineer stopped by, on her way to a half-year co-op job out around Route 128, and devoted a few days to merge-sorting / triaging her possessions. Having shown her the HP 74754A plotter project, she later dropped a bag o’ stuff on my desk without comment:

HP7475A - My old pens racks doodles

HP7475A – My old pens racks doodles

The perforated pen holder stuck to the plotter case (hey, it would still fit!) in front of the carousel with a bit of foam tape on an angled bracket you can’t quite see. It held 15 pens at the ready: I really used that plotter.

The doodle on the yellow sheet sketches a bulky adapter between the spindle nose thread on the Sherline CNC mill and a plotter cartridge. The flange-less pen body might just fit into the spindle bore, but I remember concluding that machining pen bodies or adapters wasn’t worth the effort. Now it’s a simple matter of some OpenSCAD source code and a few hours of hands-off production, so perhaps I should re-think that.

No dates on anything, but I got the Sherline in 2004. The pen holder probably dates back to the late 80s, shortly after I got the plotter. Most likely, I gave her the bag o’ stuff and told her to make something interesting; it could still happen…



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Kenmore 158 LED Heatsink: Epoxy Sculpture

The LED mounting plate inside the sewing machine’s end cap sits 30° from the vertical axis of the needle. Even though the surface-mount LED emitters have a broad pattern, it seemed reasonable to aim them toward the needle to put the brightest spot where it’s needed.

The LEDs must have enough heatsinking to pull 2+ W out of the solder pads, so I figured I’d just epoxy them firmly to the mounting plate, rather than try to gimmick up a circuit board that would interpose a fiberglass slab in the thermal path.

Combine those two requirements and you (well, I) get a wire fixture that provides both power and alignment:

LED mount - wire fixture

LED mount – wire fixture

The LED body is 5 mm square, sin(30°) = 0.5, and the rear wire raises contact end by 2.5 mm. This still isn’t an exact science; if the center of the beam lands in the right time zone, that’s close enough.

Testing the LED assembly at low current before entombing it shows the emitters have six chips in series (clicky for more dots):

LED mount - lighting test

LED mount – lighting test

The grotendous solder job follows my “The Bigger the Blob, the Better the Job” principle, modulated by the difficulty of getting a smooth finish on bare wires. Indeed, the first wires I painstakingly bent, set up, and soldered turned out to have an un-solderable surface, much like the header pins from a while ago. That hank of wire now resides in the copper cable recycling bucket; you’re looking at Version 1.1.

Two strips of Kapton tape under the ends of the wires hold them off the (scoured and wiped clean!) aluminum plate, with more tape forming a dam around the nearest edges:

LED mount - epoxy pour

LED mount – epoxy pour

Despite being steel-filled, JB Weld remains nonconductive, the epoxy-filled gap under the wires insulates them from the plate, the wires aren’t shorted together, and there’s a great thermal bond to the heatsink. Good stuff, that JB Weld!

A view from the back side shows the epoxy sagging over the wires before I added another blob:

LED mount - epoxy pour - rear

LED mount – epoxy pour – rear

The LED assembly just sits there, without being anchored, until the epoxy cures. The epoxy remains thick enough (in the rather chilly Basement Laboratory) so that it doesn’t exactly pour, can be eased into place without too much muss & fuss, and stays pretty much where it’s put.

After the epoxy stiffened a bit, I gingerly positioned stranded wires not-quite-touching the LED wires and applied a dot of solder to each. Powering the LEDs from a bench supply at 500 mW each took the chill off the heatsink and encouraged proper curing:

LED mount - heated epoxy cure

LED mount – heated epoxy cure

Fast forward to the next day, return the heatsink to the Sherline, and drill a hole for the power cable. It’s centered between the wires in Y and between the fins in X, which is why I couldn’t drill before mounting the LEDs:

LED mount - drilling cable hole

LED mount – drilling cable hole

It’s not like I’m building this from any specs…

Trim the wires, solder the cable in place, cover the wire ends & joints with JB KwikWeld epoxy, and it’s done:

LED mount - final epoxy

LED mount – final epoxy

With the LEDs running their 230 mA rated current, the entire heatsink gets pleasantly warm and the mounting plate isn’t much warmer than that. I loves me a good JB Weld job…

However, I suspect they’ll shine too brightly at full throttle, which means an adjustable power supply looms on the horizon…



Kenmore 158 LED Heatsink: Machinable Wax FTW!

In the quest for More Light around the Kenmore 158’s needle, I’m replacing the pair of 10 mm LEDs with a pair of 21 V / 115 mA = 2.5 W surface-mount emitters that require a good heatsink. Because the heatsink must mount inside the sewing machine’s end cap, there’s not much air circulation: when sizing the heatsink, I figure that nothing exceeds like excess.

There doesn’t seem to be any way to measure the available space inside the hinged end cap, so the plan is to fit the largest possible heatsink, run it for a while, and then build a smaller (and presumably less awkward) heatsink based on those measurements.

I sawed a slice off an aluminum heatsink harvested from a junked PC, wrapped masking tape around it, and filled it with machinable wax to prevent the fins from chattering:

Heatsink filled with machinable wax

Heatsink filled with machinable wax

Pouring the wax into a cold heatsink worked about as poorly as you’d expect, so I held the heatsink over the stove burner, slowly remelted the wax into the bottom of the fins, and topped it off with more wax from the pot. I’m almost certainly using too little fire; the stuff melts at a bit under 300 °F and doesn’t really get liquid at any temperature I was comfortable with. The double boiler we use for candle wax won’t get nearly hot enough.

Clamped into the Sherline’s vise, it’s obvious that the slitting saw won’t quite reach all the way through:

Heatsink - slitting saw setup

Heatsink – slitting saw setup

I figured the height by working backwards from the outside of the end cap and forward from the bulkhead at the end of the arm. As it turned out, the middle fins fit and the outer two didn’t, but it was surprisingly close. The length turned out to be spot on, which is the sort of coincidence that tells me I’m on the right track. This is not an exact science.

One cut along the front, another along the rear, and the fins popped right off:

Heatsink - cut detail

Heatsink – cut detail

Those aren’t broken teeth on the blade, they’re just loaded with wax and aluminum dust.

I love the way Sherline’s little flycutter produces a nice finish with minimal effort:

Heatsink - flycut fins

Heatsink – flycut fins

My plan to secure the heatsink to the sewing machine by repurposing two convenient screws was foiled by the lower screw: it’s too short and sports a fine 6-40 thread. Not only does my heap lack 6-40 screws, Eks doesn’t have any, either; I would have lost big money on that bet.

Brownell’s has a fillister-head screw assortment including 6-40 threads, so that problem will Go Away in short order, but they’re out of stock at the moment. My other Brownell’s assortment (which they no longer carry) includes 5-40 screws, but …

This being a prototype, I simply milled a recess to accommodate the offending screw head:

Heatsink - screw head clearance slot

Heatsink – screw head clearance slot

The upper screw originally held the incandescent lamp socket in place and will be long enough to hold the heatsink.

In there somewhere, the ragged bandsawed edge on the far side got itself milled smooth.

Some trial fitting showed the two outer fins must be 2 mm shorter to fit inside the end cap, so the finish on those isn’t nearly as nice:

Heatsink - removing machinable wax

Heatsink – removing machinable wax

That shows the machinable wax on its way out of the fins, urged along by whacking the ends with a wooden stick. The wax doesn’t adhere to the aluminum and leaves a clean surface, although I’m sure I should scrub it down with solvent to remove any residue.

A bit of paper-doll cutout work provided a shape for the plate that will hold the LEDs, then some bandsaw and hand-filing and milling trimmed it to fit. The heatsink has a slot along the edge, barely visible at the right end of the previous photo, so I hand-filed a rabbet in the plate to let it sit flat against the bottom of the slot and the end of the fins.

Steel-filled epoxy (good old JB Weld) secures the plate and provides good thermal transfer. The steel bar holds the plate against the fins while the epoxy cures:

Heatsink - epoxying LED mount

Heatsink – epoxying LED mount

After some iterative abrasive adjustment on the belt sander, the assembly just barely fits inside the end cap. This view looks through the bobbin access hatch opening in the bed:

Heatsink - endcap trial fit

Heatsink – endcap trial fit

The two outer fins hit various mold sprues / vents / protrusions inside the cast (!) end cap. I think the next version will have three fins, as the cap rides right against the outer fin; the abrasive adjustment came into play on that fin and the end of the LED plate.

The plate could be a bit longer, but let’s see how this one works out.

The notch just barely clears the arm that moves the needle sideways during zig-zag stiches. The rectangular joint guides the arm left-to-right (vertically in this image), but doesn’t slide up-and-down. I think it’s as far out as it’ll ever get, but, again, this is a prototype.

Now, to mount LEDs on that plate…



Eyeglass Temple Re-Repair

Unfortunately, the smooth interior of the temple spring pocket and the smooth exterior of the hinge plate didn’t provide enough mechanical lock for the epoxy; the pieces pulled apart after a week.

So I put a stake in its heart:

Eyeglass temple - tapered pin

Eyeglass temple – tapered pin

That’s a tapered brass pin from the Box o’ Clock Parts, buttered up with a dab of epoxy, then shoved firmly into a 41 mil (#59) hole drilled through the pocket and the edge of the hinge plate.

Fast-forward overnight, apply a Dremel grinding bit, and it looks passable:

Eyeglass temple - ground tapered pin

Eyeglass temple – ground tapered pin

If that doesn’t hold, those glasses are gone.

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Low Voltage Interface Adapter Plate

The Dell GX270 chassis has a small support plate under the CPU, evidently to support the heatsink and fan:

Optiplex GX270 CPU heatsink mount

Optiplex GX270 CPU heatsink mount

It slides neatly into those clips on the system board tray, but it’s not actually locked into position. I think that allows it to slide around a bit under the system board, providing vertical support without constraining the board’s horizontal position. Anyhow, it looked like the easiest way to support the prototyping board that will hold the low voltage interface circuitry.

By some mischance, I found a nice aluminum plate exactly the right width, so only one side needed a saw cut and squaring. Coordinate drilling four #6 clearance holes matched the support:

LV Interface Adapter Plate - drilling

LV Interface Adapter Plate – drilling

That corner of the tray had another system board retaining clip, but rather than bashing it flat, I just sawed a slit in the plate so it can slide right into position. Note the perfect alignment of that screw hole:

LV Interface Adapter Plate - retainer

LV Interface Adapter Plate – retainer

I love it when all my mistakes cancel out!

Four more holes matched the prototyping circuit board and, while I had some epoxy mixed up for another part, I fastened four standoffs over the holes. A washer under each original screw soaked up exactly enough space that the screws barely indented the case and, as if by magic, hold the support plate firmly in place:

LV Interface Adapter Plate - installed

LV Interface Adapter Plate – installed

Of course, that means I must remove the circuit board to get the tray out, but the AC interface board must also come out, so we’re not talking a spur-of-the-moment operation.

The switch in the lower left corner is the original Dell “intrusion monitoring” switch harvested from a complex metal stamping in the diagonally opposite corner of the case. It’s epoxied to the case wall, with the plunger contacting a shim epoxied to the top of the case, and will eventually disconnect the AC line power from the drive electronics: case open = switch closed = lethal power off.

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ET227 Transistor: Monster Heatsink Mounting

Back in the day, heatsinks like this sat atop Moah Powah Pentium CPUs:

ET227 transistor on heatsink

ET227 transistor on heatsink

I picked it because the hulking ET227 transistor fit neatly on its backside, it seemed capable of handling 30 to 50 W of power, and I have several of them in the Big Box o’ Heatsinks. No careful thermal analysis was involved…

Mounting it on the polycarbonate sheet inside the repurposed GX270 case involved drilling & tapping a pair of 6-32 holes in one side:

ET227 Heatsink - tapping

ET227 Heatsink – tapping

That’s not rigid tapping on a Sherline, it’s aligning a hand-turned tap in the spindle bore. Sorry.

And, yeah, you’re not supposed to leave the semiconductors mounted when you’re drilling the heatsink. I figure there’s nothing I can possibly do without using a hammer that will bother that transistor in the slightest. What, me worry?

The transistor collector runs at line voltage, which means the entire heatsink will pose a lethal shock hazard. I thought about isolating the collector and failed to come up with anything I’d trust to be both thermally conductive and electrically insulating over the long term; the screw heads must be isolated from the collector plate, too.

The screws stick out below the polycarbonate sheet, just above the grounded EMI shell lining the case, so I flattened them a bit:

ET227 Heatsink - mounting screws

ET227 Heatsink – mounting screws

The simple rectangular strip to the rear of the chassis mounting clips is just slightly thicker than the screw heads, so they can’t possibly contact the case:

Chassis Clips

Chassis Clips

It gets glued to the underside of the nearly invisible sheet:

ET227 heatsink - gluing screw shield

ET227 heatsink – gluing screw shield

With Kapton tape over the heads, Just In Case:

ET227 Heatsink - mounted

ET227 Heatsink – mounted

It makes a nice linear counterpoint to the jumble of AC interface wiring:

AC Interface Chassis

AC Interface Chassis

The insulating sheet on the case lid came from the bottom of the original GX270 system board, where I think it served much the same purpose. It’s surely not rated for AC line voltages, but the thought must count for something:

AC Interface Chassis

AC Interface Chassis

More of the parts are flying in formation…

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