Category Archives: Articles

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avrprog

EAS AVRprog is our in-circuit Atmel AVR programmer. It can be used to program our AVR8515FB single board microcontroller and other AVR boards that have a compatible STK200 10 pin programming port. AVRprog programmer AVRprog schematic (.pdf), layout (.pdf), and parts list. Specifications: Male DB25 connector to PC parallel port. Low parts

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pic_core

We’ve recently designed a board with a Xilinx FPGA on it. One of the first test projects is to run a cpu core in the FPGA. Since I am familiar with the Microchip PIC series of microcontrollers, why not see if a FPGA can work

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CNC Rotary

Finished making a rotary 4th axis for the CNC mill. It is 276oz-in stepper motor directly connected to a 11:1 planetary gear head from Harmonic Drive Systems. It’s pretty accurate with minimal backlash. With a 10 microstep Gecko stepper drive, it works out to be

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PCB

One of the nice things about having a CNC router or mill is the ability to quickly make printed circuit boards. We use Cadsoft Eagle schematic layout editor and PCB autorouter to make one of a kind boards. The freeware version can create boards as large as

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micromill

We recently purchased a 7×12 metal lathe and micro-mill. The micro-mill has been retrofitted to CNC with stepper motors. The lathe will eventually be CNC converted too. The CNC G-code interpreter used is Enhanced Machine Controller (EMC). This is a really nice machine controller written

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servo

Servo modification for 360 degree rotation. We recently purchased a few R/C servos from Tower Hobbies, model STD-TS53, for under $10 each. They can be modified for 360 degree continuous rotation by following the steps below. By attaching small wheels to a pair of modified

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x3

We just received our new Sieg X3 Mill from Bob at Lathemasters. Once we placed the order, it took 7 days for it to arrive. Bob doesn’t list them on his website but you can contact him via email or phone to purchase one. He

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cpldlab

EAS cpldLAB is our digital design protoboard, compatible with Xilinx XC9572/XC95108 CPLD’s. Use this lab board to prototype circuits in Verilog or VHDL. You can even design circuits using the schematic entry tools found in Xilinx own easy to use free ISE WebPACK software. The

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PCB Etchant Tank

    Here are instructions on building a really good PCB etching tank. Go to your local pet store and purchase the smallest and skinniest heating unit you can find, a cheap aquarium air pump, short length of flexible plastic tubing, stick on thermometer that

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microstep

EAS Microstep is our single axis microstepping chopper driver board for stepper motors. It is based on the National Semiconductor LMD18245 3amp 55volt full bridge motor driver. Microstep Microstep manual (.pdf), schematic (.pdf), layout (.pdf) and parts list (.pdf). Microstep silkscreen layout by part number (.pdf) Specifications: Microchip PIC 16F627 microcontroller based. Drives 4,6 or

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Design & Ideas

This area is dedicated to user submitted articles and design ideas. The circuits and projects listed in this area is a service provided by EAS to the robotics and electronics community. If you would like to have something posted here, please contact us. Electric Bikes

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rotary

We purchased a 4″ rotary table from Harbor Freight when they had a sale and modified it to be the 4th axis on our cnc micro-mill. To reduce some friction, a $4 thrust bearing was ordered from Mcmaster-Carr and installed just below the rubber motor

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computers

EAS Finger Board II is our latest version of our 68HC11 based mini controller board for robotics and interface projects. Finger Board II was created as a compact general purpose embedded controller to be used for robotics, data logging, smart instruments, and custom control applications.

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cnc_gantry

I had an entire week off from work and decide to start on my 80/20 extrusion gantry build. All the major parts were purchased from ebay. It consists of: 80/20 extrusion The long X axis are 10 series 2040 38″ length. The Y-axis uprights are

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uhuservo

This is our version of the AVR microcontrolled UHU servo board designed by Uli Uber. It is a brushed motor controller with step/direction interface. It is capable of 250,000 steps/second for fast motor rpm. More information about the servo controller can be found at Uli’s

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acmetap

At the local tool store, a 1/2″ x 10TPI acme tap was $40. The cost was to much for a tool that will be used just a few times. Someone posting a message at CNCZone mentioned making their own tap using a piece of acme

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opto

This board is a optoisolated parallel port breakout board that will make it easier to connect your stepper drivers to the computer. The parallel port pin configuration is based on the one used for Enhanced Machine Controller (EMC). More info on EMC can be found

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metalworking

Our various CNC and metalworking pages. Micro-Mill CNC conversion 4th axis rotary planetary gear head Stepper motor test axis Homemade ACME tap Motorized 4″ rotary table Tools Sieg X3 Mill 3D Cube CNC milling example Short video demostration on CNC milling circuit boards CNC Etch A Sketch!

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etherboard

The EtherBoard is a add on 10base-T Ethernet interface for our 68HC11 controller. The board features a Cirrus Logic/Crystal CS8900 Ethernet chip, Maxim1270 A/D (8 channel, 12bit), eight high current FET switches and various other I/O functions. The Ethernet driver software is written by Tom Parker

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microsteppld

EAS MicrostepPLD is our 2 axis microstepping chopper driver board for stepper motors. It is based on the National Semiconductor LMD18245 3amp 55volt full bridge motor driver. MicrostepPLD MicrostepPLD manual (.pdf), schematic (.pdf), layout (.pdf) and parts list (.pdf). MicrostepPLD silkscreen layout by part number (.pdf) Digikey order part list for the MicrostepPLD.   Note:

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cnc_lathe

7×12 Mini Lathe conversion to CNC. Updated July 8, 2014. Made Hackaday.com! This is our 7×12 mini lathe purchased from Homier before CNC conversion. We don’t use it much but does come in handy for making parts for bearings and turning down the ends of

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Electronics

MiniDaq is an 8 channel, 12bit analog to digital acquisition board for the IBM PC, with 4 digital input channels and 7 digital output channels. It connects to the parallel port of your PC and requires no external power. Typical uses are high speed strip

WARTHOG-logo

A Close Look at the Warthog V-Sharp Knife Sharpener Series

Warthog Knife Sharpeners are one of the most interesting series of products to hit the knife-sharpening arena in recent years. The company is relatively young, starting out in 1999 from South Africa, and since inception have striven to break the mold when it comes to

how to sharpen a ceramic knife

How to Sharpen a Ceramic Knife

Ceramic knives will eventually worn out and would need some sharpening. So one must at least learn how to sharpen a ceramic knife. Many people have ceramic knives in their kitchen, the reason for buying one in the first place is that ceramic is such

A Short History Of The World Famous Swiss Army Knife

The Swiss Army Knife is recognized the world over. The bright red handle with a small white cross, concealing multiple blades and fold-out tools has been the go to pocket knife for boy scouts, army regiments and of course the everyman too, for over a

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A Brief History of Home CNC Machines

Since its establishment in the 1940s, the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machining technology has evolved immensely. Starting off as a technology exclusively used in industrial settings, today, advances in computer technologies and the availability of relatively affordable machines have made home CNC machines common. This

wusthof-knife sharpeners

Wusthof Knife Sharpeners Reviewed

The WÜSTHOF brand has a fantastic reputation in the world of knife production and sharpening. Originating in Solingen, Germany, the company is now 200 years old, with 7 generations of the Wusthof family present at the helm since 1814; a remarkable fete in today’s age of company

Best Knife Sharpener for Survival Knives

Are you in need of the best knife sharpener for survival knives? By their very nature, a survival knife is used out on the field, (for why would you be using a survival knife around the house?) and this means that very often, the best most

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How to Sharpen a Serrated Bread Knife with Ease

Can you sharpen a bread knife? Absolutely.Sharpening a bread knife requires a different technique to sharpening a straight edged knife.It is easy to see why – on a serrated knife, each serration has to be manually sharpened individually. This guide will show you every step on

How to Sharpen a Sword: A Step-By-Step Guide to Whetstone

Are you a sword fanatic? Don’t worry, we don’t judge. Many people collect swords across America. And although we predominantly offer advice on how to sharpen kitchen knives and hunting/sports knives, the same techniques and tools can be used to sharpen swords too. And let’s

The Best Man And His Sword

The origin of the best man as an integral part of wedding proceedings is in interesting one. The tradition is thought to be Germanic Goth and stem from a time where people were expected to take a bride from within the community. With an inadequate supply

Sánchez_Coello_Royal_feast

The role of ‘The Carver’ in the Renaissance Court

The talented carver (trinciante) had a special role in the Renaissance court. He alone would be expected to cut the bread, fruit, meat and fish in full view of the banqueting guests. The actual carving of the meat was a demanding performance that was meant

Top 5 Strangest Knife Designs

Although there are many different styles of knives, from the everyday chef’s knife, to a bear claw Karambit, we are all used to them being designed using similar principles and materials; i.e a piece of steel with a sharp edge attached to a handle. However,

Best Way to Clean a Chef’s Knife

Whether you’re a professional chef or handy in the kitchen at home, your chef’s knife is going to see regular action. As the workhorse of the kitchen it is very important that you keep your knife clean. This of course is vital for hygiene reasons,

The World’s Sharpest Knife?

Here at Sharpen-up we fully endorse sharp tools. In the quest for ultimate sharpness, we like to keep an eye out on the Internet to see just how crazy sharp some are able to hone their knives. Take this little video that we came across

How To Get A Smooth Black Patina On A Carbon Steel Blade

We have all seen a black finish on blades before. It has become more and more popular over recent years from everything to a quality flipper knife, to titanium dive knives. One of the major reasons being it looks damn cool. (From a practical perspective,

japanese vs western style knives

Western vs Japanese Style Knives

Western Style Knives The fundamental difference between Western style knives and their Japanese counterparts, is the fact that the Western knife is sharpened on both sides of the blade. They therefore have what is called a symmetrical bevel. This obviously has an impact on the

knife sharpening angles and bevels explained

Knife Sharpening Angles – What Does it all mean?

If you are relatively knew to the world of knives and sharpening, jargon surrounding the various angles for a knife can end up being a little confusing.Especially when it comes to purchasing a knife sharpener – how do you know which sharpening angles are catered