Mar 16

Auto level for the Folger 2020 Prusa i3

I follow a number of FB groups and forums about 3D printing in general and the Folger 2020 i3 in particular and questions about auto level keep coming up.  The 2020 i3 doesn’t ship with autolevel, but when I ordered mine I thought auto level sounded like something I’d like and Folger sold an inductive sensor for just under $4 so I tossed one in with my order.

My first inductive autolevel sensor and mount.

My first inductive autolevel sensor and mount.

Little did I know what I was about to get into.  Let’s see if I can make this a little easier for other people than it was for me!  After the break I’ll explain what autolevel is and how it works as well as share my experiences setting it up and using it.

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Feb 16

Wait, a new project already?

Yeah, I know.  I haven’t even finished blogging about the build of the 3D printer.  I do want to add more about that, but it’s proving very difficult to do more than 24 hours after I did it.  I may be doing some re-wiring on it to clean things up soon and that will make it easier to remember the gotchas I ran into.  The 3D printer has been working great for me – a few minor issues now and then but is overall really working better than I had expected.  So the past week I’ve had it busy working on parts for my next project.  I estimate I still have around 35 hours of printing (give or take 10 hours) before I can move onto the next stage of this project but here’s the start of my attempt at building a CNC machine.

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Apr 08

An idea so perfect…

How I never thought of this I’ll never figure out.

Yeah, the amp I made sure came out clean:

Amp on breadboard

But I win zero points for style when compared to this:


Mar 08

New Carport Tarp

Last sunday while we were recovering from the previous nights party, Amy and I remembered about the Yuma Bargain Warehouse and decided to go see if we could find a new tarp for the carport. I had guestimated that it would be a 20′ x 20′ tarp…and after measuring the tattered rempains of the original that was looking about right. At the warehouse we found a good selection of tarps, of course the one we liked best (green mesh) they were out of in 20′ x 20′. But they had black mesh, heavy duty white and silver in that size. The black mesh was tempting…but being a mesh we weren’t sure if it would give as much shade as we wanted – and it was over double the cost of a silver or white tarp. The silver we didn’t like the looks of so at $37 the white tarp won out. We also picked up 2 – $2 bundles of nylon rope and headed home. Last night we finally put the tarp up, took a little over 30 minutes. Continue reading →

Mar 08

Overbrew! brewverflow?

Overbrew! brewverflow?

Posting form my phone is a little annoying – but it’s better than nothing. The text above was all I sent – but I had to remove 3 paragraphs of drivel that Verizon felt they needed to add. And of course being a phone it’s hard to enter much of a message.

The cause for such spur the moment updating however is our critical capacity on homebrew. The Yuma Brewers have been busy this year even if we haven’t been updating our old blog! Matt’s fridge is at capacity – plus J has some kegs at his house in his new converted freezer. Mark found us a pile of new kegs and Rich just got a used fridge for $10. And don’t forget my own cooler project.

Matts freezer/fridge above is holding 7 kegs and a 20lb CO2 bottle, we could move the CO2 out to make room for one more keg…but he’s basically at capacity. We did finish one of those last Wednesday, and one will be coming over here tomorrow for my birthday party. Thanks to Tommy we’ll also be tapping tomorrows beer with Nitrogen which will be an exciting experiment. But we’ve got more waiting to go into kegs so it’s a good thing more homes for them are becoming available!

Mar 08

Wind sucks today

Better photos to follow later but I wanted to test posting from my phone. As the title says the wind here sucks today. The front half of our carport tarp has been destroyed…it’s actually gotten worse since I snapped this photo and is now torn all the way to the very top – right through the double stitched anti-rip sections 🙁

I kind of knew it was going to happen. I was never very happy with the choice of material the previous owner used for the carport, he claims it was UV rated but it’s only a few years old and already it’s badly faded and I could tell it was getting weak. In fact just yesterday I was looking at some tears that had started around the grommets in it so I knew it wouldn’t be lasting forever.

I’d like to go out and take it down before it gets any worse…but with 45MPH gusts predicted (Though I think they’re bigger based on how much our trees are swaying!) I don’t think it would be a wise idea for me to go outside and play with a large sail in high winds on top of a ladder. Since it’s a total loss at this point anyway I’ll just let the wind have it’s way and start thinking about how to deal with it.

I’d love to make something that could be rolled back for occasions where we want some sun…or when the wind gets like this 😀 But for now I’m just hoping we can find something we can afford as a replacement. I’m hoping my old boss Gwyn at Racecraft can help me get some vinyl impregnated awning fabric like she uses and help me sew it up to be the right size. Going to have to make some phone calls this week it looks like!

Mar 08

Crazy project update (Take 2)

Hmmm, didn’t get any images with that. Apparently Picasa’s blogging features still have some issues even if you stick to their <=4 images rule. So here goes again:

Well, with my dad posting his much anticipated big reveal – I figure it’s time for me go to the other direction and post an incremental update on my latest crazy project. Namely the conversion of our back cabinet into a beer/whine fridge. When I last blogged about this I left the insulation specifics somewhat up in the air. Since then I’ve spoken to our resident refrigeration expert and decided on my final plan of attack (Well for everything except the doors. The first layer will be aluminum foil to act as a reflective heat barrier and somewhat as a moisture barrier. After that will be a layer of plastic to make sure I’ve got a good external moisture barrier. I’ve been working on layer one since before my last post about this, but it was just today that I finished it:

While I do expect the aluminum to help as a moisture barrier…I didn’t go crazy making sure it was 100% airtight since I still have the plastic layer (and a few other layers) coming. I did use 3M Super 77 spray glue to bond the aluminum to the walls and itself so even where it appears there are gaps usually there’s a layer underneath and it is all sealed at some point. Lines for more serving taps will require more holes in the future…but for now I just want to keep the holes as small as possible even though my tap is insulated inside.

Oh yeah, I also picked up some Brasso and cleaned the tap tower back up again. It had gotten real nasty looking living outside as long as it had without being cleaned. And I picked up some vintage tap handles cheap on ebay…well most were cheap. This one I paid a bit much for..but I just had to have it to go with my Schlitz ball and in memory of many a happily wasted evening at the union. Goes rather nice with the brass tower I think!

So layer one is finished. Tomorrow I’ll try and do layer 2 – the plastic moisture barrier. Once that’s up layers 3 and 4 should go quick and easy since I have them on hand…but just what they are I think I’ll leave up to the imagination for now.

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