I’ve had a CNC mill for a few years now, and while many homemade CNC mills use EasyDriver or Pololu, mine came with a sturdy, generic TB6560 controller board. For those unfamiliar, boards like this are interfaced using an old fashioned LPT parallel port, which was initially an annoyance, but quickly became impractical and a hassle, having to use an old PC with VNC installed. The board has plenty of power to push the steppers around, far more than any of the smaller / cheaper solutions had to offer I think, so I wanted to try and teach this board a few new tricks, and let me interface with it using a more modern interface.
Tag Archives: Mods
I found it a little annoying whenever I wanted to swap the motor mount off my Zen Toolworks CNC mill, the washers and nuts would be difficult to work with and regularly fall into the machine. I already super glued most of the washers to the mill, but to improve swapping accessories, I cut these little jigs out of 4mm acrylic to hold the bolts from turning. The photo below shows the jigs with the nuts not inserted yet. Once the mill is reassembled, I only need to deal with the accessory I am attaching, and the four bolts used to hold it down. Much easier!
The Zen Toolworks 7×7 is my first CNC mill, and while jogging around the mill, I felt the stepper motors could run a bit quieter. If you were to operate one while it was unscrewed from the machine, you would notice it is significantly quieter. I read that you could purchase cork gadgets to sandwich between the motor and the frame. I found them on eBay, but I felt it wouldn’t differ much from cheap craft foam.
Ok, so like most days, I have the few websites I check daily. Hackaday.com had a link to a great little project a while back called “LED pimp bed” written by bkpeters(at)uiuc.edu. He had a really great idea, take primary colors red blue and green, and have them on fader controls, attach to bed. Tada: Pimp bed.
The whole thing is just wonderfully simple, but like many other geeks out there, I know that anything is better with computer control. It took me a few hours over a few days to work out the details, but I was really happy with what I came up with.
I have had a bunch of times when you need to use a hard drive designed for a Laptop in a desktop system, say for formatting, or copying massive amounts of files. Laptop drives are by spec. 2.5inch wide, while desktop drives are 3.5 inch wide. This isn’t a problem for the average user because we have these nice 3.5 to 2.5inch adapters, however what if you wanted to put a full scale drive into a laptop? You’re screwed. Of course, in most cases you couldn’t even fit the full drive into the laptop just due to it’s actual size, not just the different adapter.
Read more about my build here:
This project has been on my mind for a few years now, and has been a long time coming. If you know me, you could probably just guess the amount of shit that I have saved up on my desktop and servers. In my main desktop system I have several drives consisting of 40gb, 40gb, 80gb, 160gbRAID (2x80gb), DVDRW. This is all well and good, however to show off my collection of drives I have a single red led on the front which is almost always on. Sorta weak.