Last night I finished soldering and connecting the last bits of the FR4 milling machine. I also checked for any shorts, then powered up the Arduino to see if it would light up all the drivers and confirm everything is working. Sure enough, it did!
I hope to get a real test cut done soon, but I have a lot going on tomorrow and through the weekend (my wife’s cousin Julianne’s wedding). I also have to install the control software on a laptop, so I need to dig one up.
The FR4 Mill is almost complete. A little more work to do with the Y-axis motor and carriage, and a few more wires to work on. Also still have to install the spindle motor assembly.
I did all the SMD resistors and capacitors, and the edge connectors. I also soldered one of the card holders. That was enough precision work for me this evening.
While I’ve been waiting on my next building phase, I’ve been building my PocketNC FR4 desktop milling machine. It’s small and ultra-portable, and runs on an Arduino.
Last night I wrote up a page and a half document about solenoids. I wanted to write it up in a way that a parent/child team could read through it and grasp the basics of how solenoids work. I explained a little about electromagnetic fields, how flipper solenoids work, and a few safety tips. This educational write-up will hopefully be a part of the starter kit documentation when it comes out.
Last weekend I was at the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Expo in Tacoma WA at the Fast Pinball booth. It was a fun show (but so loud) and I have no voice left today at work. I realize that what I do is pretty niche stuff and not something most people are interested in, but I still got a lot of questions and comments about my custom stuff. Even my flippers, which I didn’t think much of, got some attention.
I’m excited to be working with the Fast crew, they are great, and have built a great community. My efforts here will shift somewhat as I assist them in preparing their pinball kit for launch, but stay tuned for updates. There will be new stuff coming down the pipes!
Tonight I finished up my flipper prototype by making a torsion spring. It’s not perfect, in fact it’s too strong but I only had one viable thickness (0.051″) music wire to use. I’ve ordered 0.031″ and will have it by the weekend. Which I won’t be home to receive, since this weekend is the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Expo in Tacoma. I will be taking my coiling machine and my flipper prototype, so all zero of you that read this blog should come out to see me.