Older blog entries for WhoPhlungPoo (starting at number 11)

Last week, I finally broke down and purchased the development tools for the Cyngal line of micro controllers. They are based on an 8051 core. I was pleasantly surprised. As it turned out, it is by far one of the best development environments I have seen in a micro controller. This processor sports bookoo I/O and 25 mips to boot. In July of this year they are releasing a 100 mips version! Can't wait :)_ It's a 3V part, which is well suited to battery-powered applications. The first thing I made using this new processor was a 32-channel servo controller, it was plenty fast enough to get full 8-bit resolution on all 32 servos!

If you're in the market for something with a bit more power and flexibility than a PIC, you can get all the information and order the parts as well from www.cygnal.com

I've been terribly sick these past few days, with one of the worst flu's I've had in years, last night in a feverous Nyquil induced comma I had an out of body experience, I traveled to a far away place high up on a mountain, where the secrets of the universe where passed on to me. The most important of which went something like this. ``All things dealing with humans eventually lead to something going in or out of an orifice''. Upon awakening, I realized that I may have suffered irreversible brain damage brought about by high fever and over indulgence of that store bought legalized hallucinogenic drug called Nyquil....................

My work allowed me to attend the Industrial Lab Automation show today in Palm Springs, CA. It was very exciting, there were many incredibly cool robots. Although these robots are very specialized in what they do, it was interesting to see how each company accomplished a similar task in a deferent way. I would have to say with out a doubt, the coolest robot was this standalone work cell, that processed and incubated cells so that you could go home on Friday, and when you return to work on Monday, you would have a complete library of cells ready to work with. I also saw a robot that could dig around in a group of cells, cut away a single cell, then pick it up and put it on a clean slide.

The construction of my PCB Mill\Engraver is complete. Now I can concentrate on the software to make this marvelous machine produce robots! Come and take a look at the new photos and let me know what ya think.



FINALLY!, the silly season is over!, now we can get back to work on our robot projects. Hope every one had a good holiday........................

Ok, I have complete about 90% of my PCB milling machine, about all that is left is the stepper motors, the drivers, and the tabletop. It's looking and working good. Come take a look.



Hehe, Jim... too funny, I've done the same thing, except, I don't care who's watching. Keeps them wondering..........

SUCCESS!, I have come up with a simple, accurate and CHEAP means of making an X,Y,Z stage. If you get the chance, check out the PCB/MILL project on my site: www.roboshack.com. let me know what you think..............

Ok, I have finally found some time to start on my PCB Mill / Engraving machine. I managed to get some parts and start some of the concept art. Come and take a look, and let me know what you think: www.roboshack.com

Welp, I'm not going to work on any robots for a while. I absolutely must do something about the way I build my prototype boards. I'm tired of taking hours to hand wire my proto boards, in fact its sickening. And I can't justify the cost of sending this stuff out to a PCB house. After all I'm just playing....... I attempted to use a flat bed Roland plotter to do some etching, however the resolution was terrible and I would have to make every thing 10x the size. Also, SMD is out of the question. Not to mention the little accident I had with the enchant solution. I made a few test boards using the plot / acid method, I forgot and left the plastic tub with enchant on my workbench in the garage. Several days later I returned to the garage to find all of the tools hanging on the pegboard near this tub completely RUSTED!

After a little research, I found several companies that make machines that ``Machine'' the copper off the PCB's, these machines are capable of working with SMD foot prints as well as multi layer boards. Unfortunately, they also cost any where from $6,000 to $20,000 US. Once again, since I'm just playing around, I couldn't convince my wife that I ``NEED'' said machinery. With that in mind, my next project is to build one of these PCB prototyping machines.

The concept is relatively simple, to make an X,Y,Z stage with a high speed milling spindle. At this point, the hardest part of this project is the software that reads in the Gerber files then creates the cutting paths around the traces, I'm about 70% complete with the software to perform said function. When I complete the software Ill start with the design of the XYZ stages. When I get further along Ill post the details on my web site for any one that would also like to build one of these machines!

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