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Michael Kukat
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Wanhao D9 first test print

Printed as-is from the card that came with the printer, using +3DJake ecoPLA black. I'm impressed how good this came out for my first 3D print ever.

Here, the raft was included in the gcode, which was a good thing because the auto-leveling adjusted a bit too much distance between nozzle and bed for the Z home position. The current print might need some post-processing, trying without raft. But i think the next print will be done with manual leveling. Or i adjust the inductive sensor. But at the end, i simply don't trust this auto stuff a lot.

The interesting thing with the raft on the hand is that those lines in the bottom are somewhat flexible. So PLA isn't as brittle as i thought. This might be useful for some other ideas i have, removing the need to metallic springs.

Looks like lots of fun during the next days :)

I wonder how good my idea works to print light guides with transparent PLA. Something i need for LED illuminated button caps for the synth DIY stuff.
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++toys - entering the world of 3D printing

So today, it finally arrived and DHL didn't trash it this time - my Wanhao Duplicator 9, the "small" version with 300x300x400.

Assembly was not that hard, even if the instructions lack some details and are a bit confusing. The filament spool holder is not perfectly suitable for the wider 1kg spools i ordered with the printer, but i use it anyway. I want to try some other materials soon anywyy, which come on 750g spools.
And i didn't trust the auto-leveling, so i did some manual adjustment before running it.

The test print files weren't on the card as expected, so i just hit "OK", and it seems to print the Wanhao OK hand since 3 hours :) But looks good so far.

Next test print: a key fob for a friend and maybe tomorrow i dare the first "real" model i have prepared a while ago. More to follow.

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Great. The start of the big DIY synth's overall design - i just created a drawing for the Fatar 61TP/8S keybed. Not in full detail, just what's important for enclosure design and maybe a nice preview from Blender or so.

Took me half a day and i really don't want to work without this 3Dconnexion Space Mouse again. Getting more and more used to FreeCAD. I'm sure there are easier ways to build something like this keybed, but so far copying the "template keys" and editing their position using a calculator worked enough. Maybe i should have a look at this spreadsheet feature, which i think is intended for such tasks.

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++toys - the 3Dconnexion Space Navigator

I still don't have my 3D printer, but i decided to purchase another piece of gear for FreeCAD. And to my surprise, neither the seller not DHL completely botched it this time, so it arrived today (ordered 2 days ago) and works perfectly.

I think this is the most intuitive input device right after a baseball bat. There is no need to learn how to use it, you just push and twist it and the 3D model on the screen does exactly what you expect. Okay, in the beginning, it's bit like sitting in a 400HP car for the first time, but if you get used to the incredible sensitivity and accuracy of this device, it's just wonderful to work with.

I usually buy such stuff brand new, but i dared to buy a used one for half the price. This thing might be >10 years old according to the exact model number, but it looks and works like new, so i'm happy with it. The open source spacenavd driver on Linux is a bit tricky, mostly due to security features of X11, so i systemctl disabled it and start it manually when i need it. This way, i don't get plenty of error messages in the journal when i use the notebook away from the desk, with this device not being connected.

Looks like the original design of this input device is a German invention and not much has changed since the early 1980s:

If you use FreeCAD frequently, i can really recommend this thing if you don't already have it.

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Status von gerade eben. Freitag via Absender mal angefragt, DHL behauptet, es sei nur eine minimale Beschädigung der Verpackung, sie arbeiten zügig und es geht ganz schnell weiter.
Vielleicht sollte ich es als Zeichen sehen und das Thema 3D-Druck einstampfen, bevor ich es begonnen habe. Schade. schon wieder 600€ am Arsch. Aber passt zu den 2000€, auf die ich seit auch bald 2 Monaten von einem Garantiefall warte, da geht auch überhaupt nix mehr voran, nachdem ich schon wochenlang als Kunde die Kommunikation zwischen Acer und Voelkner "betreuen" mußte.

Vorsatz 2019: Offline.

Weniger Online-Shopping, mehr Baumarkt. Weniger Möglichkeiten, aber die, die man hat, funktionieren. Ja, ich denke, das ist eine gute Idee. G+ fördert das ja ab April sowieso.

Dieses Internetz da draußen, das ist irgendwie kaputt. Man sollte das mal entsorgen.

Cloud based planned obsolescence

This is why i try to avoid everything cloud based. This morning, my radio didn't work. Becuase i didn't use my 1960s tube radio, but my 2000s Yamaha RX-A3010, which was pretty expensive and has built-in web radio.

The problem is that this web radio functionality relies 100% on vTuner, a service providing this functionality for many brands of consumer audio gear.

And it looks like Yamaha is no longer working together with vTuner. Which means that my web radio functionality now just displays "Not connected". Wonderful. Idiots!

Several decades ago, i repaired radios with a multimeter and a soldering iron. Today, i need wireshark, dnsmasq and apache for this.

So this together with waiting for around 2000€ from a warranty case since many weeks and my 3D printer not arriving due to a transport damage hopefully isn't how the rest of the year develops... Oh, wait, g+ shuts down in April. So maybe it is.

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Designing footprints with 3D models for KiCAD

I didn't care too much about the 3D stuff in +KiCad yet, i liked the 3D view, but i didn't really use it yet. But for the step sequencer project and some related stuff, the coupling between front panel mechanics and the PCB behind it gets more critical than what i had before. I have rotary encoders, potentiometers, push buttons with LED and those small OLED displays. So first i need a footprint for the Raystar OLED module, and to care about the mechanical assembly, i also need some details to make sure that the alignment of all components is correct because after the PCB layout, there is no way back. In worst case, i would notice a misalignment of the displays after the first power-up, possibly rendering a board with 12 OLED modules, 8 encoders and 4 potentiometers trash.

So i started to learn +FreeCAD yesterday and liked it so far.

This morning, i started to model this OLED module. Not everything worked out as i would like and there were plenty of WTF moments, but at the moment, i have a 3D module, successfully associated with the footprint in KiCAD with all the connecting pads being correctly aligned. Wonderful. Okay, i think it took about 2 hours to find all the places where i need to take care about inch/mm conversions, but if you cracked those issues, it's really surprisingly easy to make your own 3D modules for KiCAD.

Next goal: export the 3D model of the completed PCB to FreeCAD to build the enclosure around it.

Merry xmas everyone!

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JVC KY-2000B

Another addition to the collection. Because it's orange! You don't run across those nice orange JVC cameras so often, but i had luck to get this one due to a somewhat realistic start price of 30€, which also was the final price because those cameras are not really worth a lot. At least nobody else placed a bit, people don't do so with such a high start price.

But i wanted a bit more color in the collection of color video cameras, i already had the luck to have only one black one, the most boring color (and for several reasons a really stupid one, especially when shooting outdoors in the summer).

So today it arrived. It has gone through the usual procedure, checking capacitors, cleaning everything a bit, making sure it will not explode right after power up - at least as far as i can with just a visual inspection.

The datecodes on the chips tell me that this one might be built in late 1981, which is interesting because other sources say the KY-2000 was sold from 1983-1996. And this is a B. But maybe they used B for the PAL version back then and not as an indicator of a second generation. Anyway, either they used very old components or this is really one of the first ones. Let's assume it has been sold in 1983.

The viewfinder, which is not the original one but from a KY-1900, has been built march 1983. I don't mind, the original KY-2000 viewfinder is incredibly ugly.

So what did i see after power up? A somewhat usable picture. The viewfinder has vertical hold problems but that should just be an internal adjustment. The rest was okay, given the light i had in the spot where i was shooting. Those cameras usually require a standard household supernova for correct lighting (okay, the manual recommends 2 500W iodine lamps in 4m distance, which comes close :), so the colors are washed out. And i didn't leave it on for half an hour to warm up enough, so the registration is also not perfect.

All in all, there are some minor tasks - the lens needs some lubrication (the optics are perfectly okay, BTW, so it's likely not a Fujinon lens :), and some adjustment here and there.

This camera uses 3 Saticon tubes, so matching the images of the 3 color channels (which is called registration) requires that 3 tube deflections work synchronously, compensating all the tolerances. It's amazing that this stuff was usable at all, but fascination for this old technology is why i collect those cameras.

Another interesting thing about this camera is the color separation. Most cameras use a special prism for this - in fact several dichroic prisms laminated together. This one uses dichroic mirrors, which is why the 3 tubes are in parallel and not going into 3 different directions. I didn't take it apart to see this in detail, but there are some photos of this detail out there.

All in all, this camera is an interesting mixture of ugliness and beauty, i just needed it for my collection.

Maybe i'll pick up the KY-210 also, but at the moment, the price is way too high.
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Bought cheap BNC connectors for my WordClock cables several years ago. What could possibly go wrong? They are just BNC connectors.

This was my spare cable. i already noticed this effect on another cable and replaced it (crimped more of them for a larger setup i had back then). I didn't use any nuclear bombs on it, i even didn't roll over it with my car. Okay, i just slammed the right one on the table to see what happens after it already fall apart. Not too much to avoid damage to the table. This crap breaks like glass. Maybe even worse.

There is nothing on this planet that can't be totally botched.

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Inspecting the inspection camera

Yesterday, i have shown you a small part of this Sony DXC-3000A i recently bought, the optical filter block that sits in front of the color divider, composed of an IR cut filter and an optical low-pass, and some third thing i don't know.

Today, i wanted to have a look at the CCD block's capacitors because this old Sony stuff is full of ELNA capacitors and i was already impressed that those on the other boards don't leak. Sometimes i guess Sony bought non-leaking ELNA capacitors but got leaking Nichicon caps while all the others got the rest :)

So i didn't find any issues inside the camera but took some photos to show you how this beauty looks inside. This camera is extremely maintainable, a very clean construction, nearly as nice as the JVC KY-17 i recently took apart. I forgot some important photos for the KY-17 so no teardown post of it yet. Back to the DXC-3000A, which not even is a broadcast camera, it was more targeted to the prosumer and industry, just look at that ridiculous built-in microphone, this is so totally consumer-style :) But at least from the construction and quality of the guts, i don't see a difference to comparable Sony cameras around that time. The DXC-327, which is slightly newer, even has much more problems with leaking capacitors. On the other hand, i think the whole DXC series was more for semiprofessional use, the broadcast video stuff was more the BV* line.

You can take the camera apart in a matter of minutes and you don't need much longer to put it back together. The connectors to the backplane are labeled, nothing can go wrong here, the board order is printed on the backplane as well as on an aluminum tab next to the battery compartment (which sits on top of the card cage), the whole CCD block can be easily removed by undoing 4 screws and pulling some connectors from the backplane.

On the electronics side, this camera already is microprocessor controlled (they were since a while), but has fully analog video processing. There is an on screen display in the viewfinder, the settings are stored using a supercap for a couple of hours, so no leaking battery for this. I think there are some more permanent settings that can be stored, maybe in an EEPROM, i didn't inspect it that deep yet. And then there are some internal switches for basic configuration like switching the output between Y/C and CVBS.

All in all a nice camera. I don't have a complete "normal" version, i bought it because i was curious about some PCBs that were mounted where the shoulder pad usually sits. Well, nothing spectacular, but the idea of having zoom presets was some inspiration for my soldering microscope, which i still have in the queue. And having a CCU connector is never wrong - i could convert one of my DXC-M3s to a camcorder by adding a Raspberry Pi now :)

So this camera was built into a machine or whatever to inspect something. I have no idea where exactly it was installed, but the changes/additions i found are:

- No carrying handle, no viewfinder, no shoulder pad, no battery pack holder
- The lens connector (carrying control and feedback signals between camera and lens) is removed
- The lens is modified, all the electronics are removed and the motors are directly interfaced to a connector which within the machine likely goes to the 2 additional PCBs
- An additional sensing device is installed in the lens, likely sensing the teeth of the zoom gear for feedback of the current zoom position
- An additional motor to control focus is added
- An achromatic lens and color filter has been added for a magnified view. The color filter is the same as the daylight filter you can dial in on the camera, i have no idea why they always add those filters, maybe they are of better quality than the internal ones. You get natural colors with the 3200K pre-set white balance of the camera, the filter wheel set to 3200K, this color filter in front of the achromatic lens and a cold light source like flourescent lamp - or for today, LED.
- 2 PCBs are added, connecting to the VIDEO OUT and CCU connectors, plus having several other connectors, likely going to the lens and the host system. Besides this "Zoom preset" board, there is nothing spectacular about them, the second board just seems to be an interface

I found a brand name for this conversion within the lens handle, but i already forgot it again. But i googled a bit and they still produce gear for QA purposes like inspection cameras and much more.

Not sure what i will do with this camera, but at least it fits into my collection of professional video cameras around the time when there was a switch from tubes to CCD sensors. This one was made in 1989, i think.

The last 3 photos are the view through the whole chain, the image quality is pretty impressive for a 30 year old camera with a new sensor technology back then, especially through a CVBS output. It might even get a bit better using the Y/C or even RGB outputs.
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