Farmbot rises farming to next level

Growing your desired greens is pretty intense work. The preparation of soil seeding planning and constant care must be done to get result. It may seem that there isn’t much to do – just plant a seed and take a look from time to time. But in reality, growing great looking, nutritious plants require constant care that include watering, weeding, fertilizing and timely collecting. If farming isn’t your primary job, then most likely you are going to forget to water or pick weeds. This is why Rory Aronson decided to develop open source farming machine. Farmbot is a 3 axis CNC platform that can vary in size depending on your soil area. It is capable of taking care of multiple different kinds of crops in same area. Planning and taking care of garden is done via web based interface – its like one of those farming simulators, the only difference is the time you need to wait between some actions and the result is real. Farm bot can work with different tools like seed injectors, watering nozzles, sensors, weeders. All… Continue reading

Automatic flashing of AVRs with CNC

Imagine that you need to flash hundreds of microcontrolelr chips. One way is to do this one by one, but this can be exhausting task and plus inefficient. If you use standard ISP adapter your boards has to be with ISP headers soldered on- this also rises overall cost. So how to do this faster and efficient. If you have a CNC platform lying around, it may be fairly easy. Pleasantsoftware shared his rig where he managed to set up an automated solution of AVR flashing. He needed to flash several hundred of AVRs so building this rig seemed quite reasonable. On his boards he used special programming connector which sits on SMD chip directly to ISP and power pins. Assembled PCBs come in panels of 40. All he had to do is to build a programming connector holder which was 3D printed. He used his G-Code sender app to send position commands to CNC. Hex code and fuses are hard coded in to source since it is same for all batch. Single panel of 40 AVRs are flashed in… Continue reading

Low cost home made plotter project

Probably many of you are thinking about how cool is to have CNC plotter or 3D printer. There kits and ready printers available for reasonable price. But still they are pricy for hobby use. But nothing is lost you like to build stuff. posted his progress in building plotter where he wanted things to be cheap and simple. He’s build all part separately by finding simplest and cheapest solution to rising problems. Some of his parts came from Epson printer. He also purchased used stepper motors from local junk store. The electronics part he built around PIC16F877 microcontroller. He built his own motor driver circuit out of discrete components, but it seems that results aren’t as good as it would be with specialized chips like Allegro A3984. Connection to PC was implemented via optocouplers. Several LEDs indicate each motor activity. Continue reading

CNC shield for Arduino

CNC shield for Arduino

All the arduino lovers must have seen the CNC shield projects popping everywhere. People who wanted to contribute to the growth of the CNC shields have came up with a 100% GRBL compatible shield. The shield features open source software as well as the hardware along with a modular and compact design. CNC shield are the simplest mean available to add control electronics to your project. This familiar footprint manages to contain everything you need for a three-axis machine. The purple boards slotted into the pairs of SIL headers are Pololu Stepper motor drivers.  The terminal block in the center feeds the higher voltage rail necessary for driving the motors. The DIL header on the right breaks out all of the connections to the limiting switches (two for each axis), spindle and coolant control, as well as three buttons for pause, resume, and abort. There’s even a header for SPI making it easier to add custom hardware if necessary. This is a dual-layer board which may not be ideal for your own fabrication process. Continue reading

Seven Digit Display Clock Primer

Firstly, it isn’t a new technology to build your very own seven digit display clock primer, as there are many projects that have been developed throughout the internet. However, it’s still a lot of fun to deal with the seven digit display, as it allows us to learn the basic development techniques, especially for the amateur home hobbyists. Ok, for the project, we’re going to start with a template. You can easily find the seven-digit display, regardless of its sizes. Beside that, you have to cover the edges with aluminium tape, where it is to protect them from the heat from the hot wire. After that, push out holes with a strait wire. Blow torch to give the entry points for the hot wires. In this case, you’re going to have plenty of plunge and cut job. Then, the laserpointer is requiring, as it helps to guide the hot wire. You must follow the point and make straiter cuts. Keep in mind that the laser cannot cut the Styrofoam! If you preferred to cut out the clock primer with laser,… Continue reading