Posted: Tuesday 14 January 2014 23:01
While soldering boards today one of our Metcal SP200 solder stations stopped working with a quiet pop and some magic smoke* came from the case.
We removed the case of the power unit and found that the internal fuse had blown. The fuse was soldered to the PCB so we removed the fuse and found a spare fuse holder for 20mm fuses which fitted into... read more
Posted: Monday 23 December 2013 15:00
When using our high level photography mast we have always used a series of USB expansion cables to make up a 20m long cable to remote control the camera and view the live video feed from the camera in real-time on an Android tablet via DSLR Controller or laptop with the Canon EOS software. This has always caused problems when using the Clark 15m pneumatic... read more
Posted: Thursday 05 December 2013 19:55
After finishing the automatic pick and place project we soon found that we needed to be able to place components manually when working on prototype and very short production runs of pcb boards.
As the space in the loft workshop is very limited we decided to modify the old manual pick and place machine and make a new compact version which... read more
Posted: Monday 25 November 2013 00:02
This demo app allows the user to send Gcode commands to Mach 3 to control a CNC mill, lathe or other cnc hardware.
The application was made using Visual Studio 2013 and the demo app can be downloaded here.
First create a new Windows Forms Application:
Under the Solutions Explorer expand the References entry, right click and select... read more
Posted: Saturday 23 November 2013 12:57
The DIY pick and place machine project is now finally running and is able to place the components for our Raspberry Pi expansion boards. This project started in July 2013 when we began to order the various components, bearings, motors, drive systems, frame materials etc and we started to build the machine in September.
Various stages of this... read more
Posted: Wednesday 20 November 2013 13:39
On the 30 September 2013 I placed order with Ultimaker for the Ultimaker 2 3D printer and extra rolls of filament, order total 2,511.55 euros. Website said delivery from 21st October 2013
I ordered from Ultimaker as the printer seemed to be a very good specification and the expected delivery date would be good as I needed to make some physical prototypes... read more
Posted: Saturday 02 November 2013 14:02
DIY Pick and Place V2 – Base Vision LED Array
The PCB's arrived today for the LED array to go in the base of the Pick and Place system. The six boards hold a total of 144 red leds.
We are now trying to use OpenCV with the Emgu CV C# wrapper to detect the chips.
The driver board is based on the LM3404MA constant... read more
Posted: Sunday 27 October 2013 18:22
The new diy pick and place machine needed a way to feed SOIC, TSOP and other tube supplied chips to be picked and placed using the machine.
After looking at a lot of commercial and diy solutions we decided to build a fixed base with removable chip inserts to hold up to six tubes/chips and be easy to change component tubes with a simple clamping... read more
Posted: Thursday 24 October 2013 16:03
The holders for the vacuum nozzles are now fitted to the pick and place machine. Our original plan was to have the motors mounted higher as in previous posts and use a magnetic holder to attach the different size nozzles to the picker heads.
Unfortunately our Axminster lathe isn’t precise enough to meet the tolerances we require and despite... read more
Posted: Thursday 17 October 2013 23:35
We have started working on the vision system for the DIY Pick and Place machine. We are going to use two cameras, one fixed on the base with a led lighting array around the camera and a “flying” camera mounted between the two picker needle systems.
The base camera we are using is a Microsoft Xbox Live camera which... read more