Adding End-Stops / Limit Switches to the 3018 "Woodpecker" CNC Router

In its original design, the 3018 "Woodpecker" CNC Router, a cheap entry-level unit found on eBay and AliExpress, will happily tell the stepper motors to keep moving along the axis, even if the work bed or spindle carrier is bumping against the end of its range of movement. This is because the router doesn't actually have any absolute measurement of where it's current position on the axis is. It assumes it is at the "home" position (machine coordinates 0,0) whenever it is powered on, and will ...

New Toy : Mini CNC Router / Engraver

So There I was Browsing The Internet ... ... when I came across this mini CNC router going for cheap on AliExpress . It's a "3018" model, which means the work area is 300mm by 180mm, and is large enough to handle the parts for my 737 overhead panel. And the best part is the price, it is USD115 + USD50 (Fedex International Economy) shipping. The same design is sold under many different names, and it is also known as a "woodpecker", "linksprite" and "beautystar". The frame is made from 2020...

737 Overhead Panel - Part 12 - (Relatively) Cheap Locking Toggle Switches

My locking toggle switches have arrived! Up till now I've been using mini toggle switches (where you flip the lever to change their state), purchased on eBay. They're cheap and you can get them in all the different configurations needed to build a 737 Overhead Panel (On-On, On-Off-On, (On)-(On), On-Off-(On), where (x) means the lever will not stay in that position but spring back to the center when released). On the real 737 Overhead Panel however, some of these switches are "locking" sw...

Raspberry Pi Zero WH ?

I was quite glad when it was announce that Cytron was the non-industrial-use local distributor for the Raspberry Pi series ... and they carried the PI Zero and Pi Zero W. These are the low cost models announced at USD5/MYR20 (Pi Zero) and USD10/MYR40 (Pi Zero W -- W stands for WiFi-capable) respectively. With the dip in the Malaysian Ringgit's value recently, they are even cheaper here than in t=the US and UK. Due to production shortages, however, their sales were limited to one per custome...

737 Overhead Panel I/O Controller - Part 11 - Board Setup

My 737 I/O Controller PCB has arrived!Well to be honest, this is not the first time it has "arrived". But this is the first time that a version of the PCB has arrived which is usable, due to some earlier bugs! 8-) As i noted in my earlier post, here are the specifications: 192 digital switch inputs (expandable to 256) 128 constant current LED outputs, up to 60 mA per channel (expandable to 224)48 digits of 7-segment numeric displays8 characters of 14-segment alphanumeric displays16 servo out...

Tjena ... oh Tjena!

A few months back I started organizing my shelves. I standardised on IKEA TJENA boxes to keep my stuff in, and filled up a few shelves with them. IKEA touts the smaller TJENA boxes as being able to fit inside a BILLY book case, because they are 26cm deep, and you can stack up to three of them on a shelf, assuming you divide the shelves evenly within the cabinet. Which is true ... however, their widths mean that there is often a lot of wasted space. Here are the small TJENA boxes in a regular...

3D-printed keycaps ... and the possibility of backlit keys!

I've not been happy with the keycaps on my 737 FMC. I've tried a few methods of printing them: printing the letters recessed on black filament, and then using a fine tipped paintbrush, filling in the recessed parts with white acrylic paint. This method was ok for single letters, but for keys with multiple characters such as "EXEC", my hand painting skills were not up to the task.Printing a blank keycap with white filament, and then printing the label on 2 layers of transparency sheets. This i...

X-Plane WMKK KL International Airport - Ground Vehicle Routes and Skybridge

Finally have some time to breathe and so it is time to play with my flight sim ... but instead of launching X-Plane 11, I fired up the X-Plane World Editor and spent a few hours adding ground traffic routes to WMKK KL International Airport. Now we have baggage carts, trucks and other ground vehicles moving about. I also played with the new Terminal Kit and KLIA2 finally has a Skybridge! I will upload to the X-Plane Scenery Gateway soon. KLIA2 Skybridge Taxi Routes in WED Debugging Taxi...

DIY Boeing 737 Overhead Panel - Part 10 - Rethinking the Overhead Panel + Designing A New I/O Board

My Overhead Panel project has been stagnant for quite a while ... I did not touch it at all throughout 2017. There are the usual excuses (work, other projects, etc) but deep down I believe my lack of enthusiasm was due to the fact that was not happy with the design. Mostly this is a result of overthinking and trying to be "systematic", when for most DIY projects, sometimes it is better to go with a design that is "complex but easy" instead of "simple but tedious", as we are all lazy at hea...

737 FMC CDU - Ordering the PCB

A few people have asked me how to order the PCB for the FMC CDU, so I've decided to write up a guide. To begin with, the design is available for free. I used EasyEDA.com to make the schematic and PCB design available. If you are into electronics design, you can make a copy of the schematics and PCB design and make whatever changes you like, provided you comply to the license terms. Please do read through them as there are some restrictions that apply. If you just want to buy a ready-made PC...