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About upahill

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    Star Forming

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    Astronomy, Astrophotography, Reading, 3D Printers, Basic Engineering, Tools & DIY, Vintage Measuring, Cars, Anything Tech etc etc etc
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  1. upahill

    Laser Updates

    After tinkering with the smaller K40 we decided it wasn't quite up to our needs and decided a small upgrade would be more beneficial in the long run. A 12 hour drive and overnight stay in the Lake District later and we arrived back home with a larger 50W machine, a second hand 80W CO2 tube and upgraded power supply. The 80w upgrade will have to wait as we want this machine cutting asap. It's all set up and running now, but waiting on some extras to make the process a little healthier and cleaner. New extraction system (a bouncy castle blower), a water chiller, new focus lens, and a load of stock is due to arrive (3mm plywood, mdf and slate coasters) Took a while to get aligned, but is cutting 4mm MDF in one pass now so happy with that. Once this is up and running fully I can concentrate my efforts on finishing up the CNC build.
  2. Not knowledgeable enough to answer your specific question about the 13.8v (although my guess would be it would be that it would work fine). The specs for the mini PC might state a range that it can cope with and do its own regulation. My approach would be to use a regulated adapter though - such as https://www.amazon.co.uk/KUMA-Regulated-Stabiliser-Cigarette-Television/dp/B008DCORUG/ this would offer additional protection against potential spikes etc too.
  3. Its a standard design called the Ox CNC, it can be bought as a kit, but I sourced the components separately to make a few mods and save a few quid. The biggest mod being a 2.2kw watercooled spindle which should be a bit quieter than the usual solution of strapping a router to it. It should be fine with cutting through any thickness MDF/Plywood etc. The bit will have a total travel of around 100mm. It *should* do aluminum but very slowly. My main reason for getting parts cut to my sizes was I wanted a 4'x4' cutting area. That's a little bigger than this design is suited for so im expecting to have to beef it up a little. As for the laser, having proven the concept I just pulled the trigger on the next size up, which should be ok cutting through thin ply and, up to 10mm acrylic. The pics above were the smaller machine engraving into 9mm thick oak - it wont cut that without a lot of fiddling though. Some of the projects im looking forward to using these for are: CNC'd foam inserts for suitcases to house scopes and mounts. CNC'd plywood frame to rebuild my dob. Custom Scope Rings / Dovetails etc. Laser etched PCB's for circuit boards. Tardis Observatory Project Various projects in the caravan/house. It will be nice being able to go from solidworks design -> 3d printed prototypes -> cnc'd finished product in house. As well as help others out with their projects if needed.
  4. I've been a bit lost with projects lately. I had to put everything on hold as I had the opportunity to build some new toys that will help with future projects (and a bit of side income hopefully) Have spent the last couple of months building a 4'x4' CNC router and repairing a Laser cutter. Hopefully these two tools will help fund the astro addiction and build some more projects. It has unfortunately eaten into the time I had alloted for the rest of my projects and observing/imaging (not that the weather has been any good anyway.) A new 220v silicone heating element arrived from China which has got the 3D printer working perfectly now. Bed heats up in 30 seconds and the SSR keeps it stable beautifully. Getting excellent prints now but its mostly churning out parts for the new toys. Will be fun being able to cut / engrave more parts for stuff though
  5. Looks amazing up there, drive past a few times each week and keep wanting to climb up
  6. Great choice on the Prusa. Tomas Sanladerer on Youtube has some great videos on youtube for tweaking/building/configuring the prusa.
  7. Looks like a great site, and not too far from us - is the google maps picture accurate still as to which pitches are hard-standing? Do they all have EHU?
  8. That screenshot is the first real look at openscad I have had - and will be steering well clear. Life is complex enough for me without that I've been coding since about 12/13 but I genuinely feel somethings are best interpreted with a nice GUI. Kudos to anyone who can get their head round it though! It must get very complex very quickly for intricate parts.
  9. What about something like this to help dampen any vibration, and still fully printable... https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1707045
  10. For me its a 50/50 mix of science vs art. I don't want to add what isn't there - but I also want to show what my eyes are poor at rendering. I try to get as much detail out of it as I can without destroying the image, and that might mean combining different exposures etc. At the end of the day im in it to create images that I like and enjoy making, understand the subjects of those images a little and hopefully inspire a few other people to look up a bit / be as awestruck by the cosmos as I am too. I also love seeing different colour renditions of objects that really show a different approach to how I do things, it adds a whole new level of depth to what could be / is out there.
  11. Quality looks great, must be quite quick with a 0.8 too. How long did that part take?
  12. Hung about as long as I could, kept hitting shoot praying for a clear spell and managed to get a single exposure that wasn't completely black. The modded SLR gives a pretty red tint anyway, but this was during totality, about 20 minutes ago. Levels pushed in photo editor, but im calling it a night now and packing down ready for a few hours sleep
  13. Didn't expect to be shooting 30 second exposures tonight! Only way to bust through the fog.
  14. Just fogged up here, visibility down to 10metres and no sign of it shifting - was doing so well too Will hang around til the end of totality just incase.
  15. A little bit of cloud here, but worse is the fog thats just started to creep in. Getting some clear shots still but touch and go if that will last throughout. Also....coffeeeeee.
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