Electronics

My experiences with a cheap 3D printer (part 1)

Submitted by martyn on Tue, 02/08/2016 - 22:14

I've been intrigued by 3D printing for quite a while now. Whilst I've liked the idea of playing with a 3D printer, I have not wanted to expend the time and effort required to individually source parts and, as I haven't really had a good plan of what to do with one once I've got it, the cost of buying the more consumer focused, pre-assembled ones has been just not been financially viable. After looking again a week or so ago I noticed that the cheaper kits, which (should - more on that later) contain all the parts needed, but require assembly, were reaching a price that I was prepared to pay on a whim. So after some limited research I decided to buy a "2016 Upgraded Full Quality High Precision Reprap Prusa i3 CTC DIY 3d Printer" from eBay.

PI2COM: Serial and I2C Board for the Raspberry Pi

Submitted by martyn on Sat, 30/03/2013 - 18:57

I finally succumbed and bought a Raspberry Pi. I'd been holding out for quite a while, I had a ARM based NAS box (NAS4220) that I had bought a few years back with the intention of learning a bit more about Linux on ARM and as that was the only real reason I could think of for buying it, I didn't feel the need. A need did however finally present it's self, I wanted a small device to use to do some simple temperature logging. The Pi with a custom expansion board seemed like a fun way to get there and I could have fun doing some hardware development along the way with my etch tank. The requirements would be (fairly) simple:

  • An I2C temperature sensor.
  • An I2C battery backed Real Time Clock (to make logging data worthwhile, the Pi lacks a proper RTC).
  • A transceiver for the serial port (not strictly needed for the scenario in mind, but would make the expansion board more useful).

So what is a PIC and how do I program it?

Submitted by martyn on Wed, 08/02/2006 - 19:48

So what is a "PIC"? Well, a PIC is a microcontroller sold by a company called Microchip. That's the short answer, the longer answer is that "PICmicro", usually shortened to "PIC" is the brand name for a family, in fact a series of families, of 8-bit RISC-based microcontrollers. RISC or "Reduced Instruction Set Computer" describes the philosophy of designing "a processor whose design is based on the rapid execution of a sequence of simple instructions rather than on the provision of a large variety of complex instructions"[1].