2016-11-18 (F) Weekly Summary

Episode twelve followed the vein of electronics as they relate to grinders. This episode was about microcontrollers, specifically Arduino. Some other platforms like Picaxe and Raspberry Pi were mentioned but they weren't the focus. Microcontrollers have only been implanted a handful (pun intended) of times. While they can be power-hungry little devices, they're the best option for getting "smarts" under the skin. Check out Episode Twelve as we talk about them and what they mean to us.

I am the one giving a cyborg thumbs-up

My 1000th blog post was published on Tuesday. I commemorated the day by publishing x-rays of my hands to exemplify the point of how much I've changed since the blog started. Plus, hand x-rays to show my implants, were pretty cool.

Five implants appear as white blips

A lot of work was done on the gear board for the Clockwork Theremin. Motorizing everything has taken longer than I wanted. Printed gears had been made much earlier in order to actuate the first gear. With only the inertia of the printed gears and the small first gear decent motion was possible by simply holding the motor in place by hand.

Positioning motor by hand

Mending braces were purchased to hold the geared motor over the internal ring gear. These were simply straight plates of metal with premade countersunk holes. They can be found in a variety of sizes at many hardware stores and were inexpensive. Unfortunately, mounting the motor resulted in a poorly aligned fit.

Mending brace motor mount

There were several options for helping the motor and gears align. The braces could have been remounted. The holes in the braces could have been expanded. In the end, it seemed most logical to reprint the motor-mounted gear with a smaller one. This would also increase the torque and it meant there was no more need to cut or drill more parts. Three sizes were printed in the hope of finding a suitable diameter.

Experimental gear sizes

Even though the smallest gear was used, there was still not enough torque to drive the gears. This was a frustrating realization. A new motor was purchased. The motor, still a 12VDC motor, was four times the price and many times the size. Even the wires to this motor were massive in comparison to the first motor.

Upgraded motor next to original motor

The new motor meant that an entirely new method of actuating the gear would be necessary. This motor was considerably slower than the small motor and had more torque than I could stop with my bare hands. For these reasons, I decided to try mounting the first gear directly to the motor shaft. After some problems with the mounting bolt, a technique was found to attach the gear and motor. This involved another mending brace. The premade holes were used with screws which went through the gear and into a wooden receiving disc.

Gear fastened to mending brace

Instruments were mounted to the console face. Holes were drilled for all the components after aligning them as previously planned. A power switch was left off the plans since it used a rectangular base and cutting those is much more difficult than drilling a hole.

Console face

The new motor didn't have an obvious mounting method like bolt holes. Spacing considerations were taken and it seemed easiest to mount the motor with long mending braces, similar to the way the gear was attached to the shaft. Holes were drilled and tapped into the motor face which was aluminum (aluminium).

Drilling motor face

Tapping motor face

The long mending braces were attached to the motor face and a large hole was cut into the gear board. The mending braces kept the motor from falling through. Holes were marked on the gear board then drilled so bolts could hold the motor in place. The motor face was flush with the gear board. Unfortunately, the gears didn't match up so the motor position will have to be raised.

Motor installed on gear board


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