Up to a point (To kill a laserbird,4 of X)

So, I had made these flimsy adjustable supports out of M4 hardware (except for the drilled tube, I had to thread M3 pcb supports into the bigger M4, not that complicated, but required an extra long tap to do so.

However, they didn’t work all that well, you could not really adjust them with the piece on, since the extra area avaliable upgrade left just about 1cm between the maximum area and the gantry support, so I can’t fit my hand around it anymore. So, It was time to do some properly adjustable supports that would be:

  1. Beefier.
  2. Adjustable from the underside of the machine.
  3. End in a sharp point to grab the piece.

And this is what I made, sorry, no machining pics, but they’re pretty simple:


A different shot:


M5 threaded brass rod, into 14mm Ø  mild steel support, threaded for an M10 nut to hold it in place. There is no real comparison to be made, as the first one is just shit. XD

In retrospective, I might have had to make some more instead of just four, to hold smaller pieces in place, but that’s something I can live with, using an extra plate to support the small piece.

Watersports (To kill a laserbird, 3 of X)

After you’ve broken two laser tubes (one chinese, one high quality) because of lack of refrigeration, it’s about time you hodor honor the promise of making that damn waterflow sensor you said you were going to make in the first place the first time you broke the laser.

Everything starts with a drawing:


Nice try, but no, that’s not even a (blood) flow detector.


Looks like a plan, doesn’t it? XD

Let’s build something


Cut and drill the acrylic as needed:


Mill some slots for the water to run past the buoy:


Add magnets, of course!

Acrylic rod drilled and sealed with epoxy.



Glue nicely to prevent leaks:


Mill a slot, glue some reed sensors (since it’s not a tachometer, you don’t really need hall effect sensors), add connector of your chosing. I used a DB9 because I want all the connectors for external devices to be all different, so I can’t mistakenly connect two.



How it works:

The magnet buoy resides at the short piece, acting as a loose plug. Once water starts flowing, it will push it upwards, however, if there is not enough flow, the venturi effect will prevent the buoy to get past the slot interface and up to the top of the sensor, signaling for a decreased flow, probably because of clogged filter. If there is nothing wrong with the setup, the water will swiftly push the magnet carrier up to the top of the assembly, activating the laser enable and allowing you to lase whatever you want.

So, the laser is safe-ish, for now. ^^


The Machinist, episode 7: Bycicle Repair Man!

What is hot and has chains?



No, dangit. Let’s see, what is hot, has chains and can hurt you a lot?



Ah, fuck it! I’m talking about a reflow oven!!


The other day we were working as normal (“normality” in my job has some weird meanings, but let’s save that for another bed-time story, okay?). So, my boss had put in the oven a special, humongous (5300x350mm) prototype board, and everything was fine, until the oven weng BANG!

No, literally, the sound was deafening even over the compressor and pneumatic feeders. So, we all ran to the oven, BANG!, tried to figure what was wrong, did the board fell off the rails? BANG! was it stuck somewhere? BANG! none of those where positive, and we figured that the board altough stopped inside, BANG!, was already in the cooling zone, so, we removed it as carefully as we could, BANG!, and performed an emergency shutdon of the core oven. BANG!

While my boss was shutting it down, I notticed that the lateral chains weren’t moving (whereas the central guide chain was). After some more banging (not the right one, sadly) everything was stopped, and I could do an inspection of the mechanism. Everything was oiled or greased, so I didn’t take any photos, sorry. Anyhow, the culprit was something blocking one of the lateral chains, wich in turn made a chain slip, and since the oven is mostly sheet metal, it acted as an acoustic chamber, multiplying the sound.

When I finally got rid of my boss and coworker, who where “trying to help” by being around or in the middle of what I needed to check (they don’t have much mechanical knowledge) I did my thing, and here’s what I found:

Aaaaand that’s it.

I suppose we should lube the chain a bit more, but my boss hasn’t found yet a cheap enough high temperature oil (He doesn’t want to pay 500€ per ounce of special grease either), still, that’s not my problem, I’ll just clean or repair what I can.

Suicide Girls

Reenactment of actual facts:

This is what happens when you forget to adjust the exit conveyor of any machine.
This is a reenactment of what happened 10 minutes before. Luckily, this is the exit of the solder paste printer, so the worst that can happen is that you have to clean the board and reprint.

As for the tittle, you see, in my main language (spanish) the electronic boards are feminine…you can deduce the rest. XD

What’s inside?

It would be a shame to have been fired, because it was about time to share this:


I know what you’re thinking. Oh, a cool X-ray photo of a phone. But this is way more special, this, lads, is MY phone. And no, I didn’t got it X-rayed, I did it myself (I mean I clicked all the buttons).
That’s because there’s a new toy at work, and I have been given full permission to X-ray whatever the hell I want.

And this is what they bought:


I have also created a youtube channel, The X-Ray Playground, because the machine does videos too, and it would be a shame not to use that feature, wouldn’t it?

Here, a proof of what’s coming, enjoy!

The Machinist, episode 6: Third time’s the charm.

This morning, apparently, all the whole idea of me not doing overtime finally sank in with my boss. He had a meeting with our parent company, and it seemed they agreed that an effort was needed. Yeah, because all these months I have been scratching my belly, right? Anyhow, I got to say “I told you [you need someone who’s going to overtime to death, still not me anymore].

I quickly checked that my previous manager still had a place for me in his heart, and basically didn’t give in at the “then [if you don’t overtime] we have a problem” (spoken in a friendly way, not menacing). Since, as said, I’m imprevious to any kind of coercion, as I’ve done way more than enough, I just agreed on his problem and kept working.

Some time later, the Paying Boss from the parent company came to see me. We had a friendly chat, and basically wanted to know what the matter was. He was relieved to hear that I just was done overtiming, but still loved the job. He even agreed that being in my position, he would have made the same decision. I made clear I was ready to be fired, after training my substitute, idea that was met with horror by him. He just won’t let me go, I guess.

So, he wondered if I would agree to continue in an afternoon shift (if multiple shifts where to be created), at wich point I made clear I had no problem with rotating shifts, wich seemed fine and logical to him. Of course, he still had to ask if I would do some overtime once in a while, if needed, that received a sincere “Of course, I have no problem with that, and you ought to know”.

I certainly live in strange and adventurous job-keeping times.