Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy Holiday

I've been changing between PLA and ABS plastics over the Christmas holidays. Every time I flush the extruder from one plastic to another I seem to encounter blockages and general problems, which result at least in me having to dismantle the extruder.
Left to a single plastic, they seem fine. So I've decided to have multiple extruders, one for each plastic type.

So over the holidays, I made myself a new 0.4mm extruder hot end:

Friday, 28 December 2012

Mendel90 full kit build continued

See Nophead's post here for full kit details.

I continued with Mendel90 full kit build today. Due to my inability to follow English instructions I messed up the ribbon cable for the previous stage (might have been beer). So whilst awaiting for replacements to arrive, I progressed to the Z axis motors:

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Mendel 90 full kit stages 2 and 3

See Nophead's post here for full kit details.

With all the build up to Xmas I managed to sneak in enough time to complete stages 2 and 3 of the Mendel90 kit today with help from son Josh.

Stage 2 is quite trivial and involves bolting a fan to the side of the frame. The fan I had on hand needed some different bolts which I conveniently had lying around:

The X Idler assembly was quick to assemble and took about half an hour

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Mendel90 Full Kit Build Stage 1

Visit Tagbits to see the full range of tagger products described in this blog.

I've completed the first stage of my Mendel90 full kit build. Instructions so far are great, and once I'd taken the protective film off the Dibond sheets I could fully appreciate the quality of the CNC machined parts.

As mentioned in my last post, I agreed to take a some 'offcuts' from Nophead to get me going sooner, which is why the gantry is in silver Dibond, and the base and sides black. Normal kits will be the same colour!

One thing I really appreciated was that all the fastener vitamins were in labelled bags. This made it a lot quicker for me to find the right parts:

So here is stage 1 complete, total time, about an hour.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Mendel 90 full kit unboxing

Visit Tagbits to see the full range of tagger products described in this blog.

I ordered a Mendel90 kit from Nophead last week and finally got around to unboxing it.
Disclosure: I've known Nophead for 20 years and he agreed to let me have an early kit. The kit he supplied me had some parts in it that needed reaming, which I agreed to accept. Kits ordered here will be superior.
The kit has absolutely everything down to the last tie-wrap. Here are the printed and CNC machined Dibond parts:

There is so much in the kit I had to take two pics. Bear in mind that I already had the stepper motors and PSU/Mains lead which Chris agreed to leave out for me. Here are the rest of the parts:

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


Visit Tagbits to see the full range of tagger products described in this blog.

I've been ask to design several custom IR focusing tubes for lasertag systems.

The first was for a short focal length, wide beam unit for use against vehicles. Laser-like focus is not good in this scenario as it would require a large target like a vehicle being covered in sensors.

I obtained 3 lenses in the 40-60mm focal length range and did some tests at visible wavelengths. This suggested that all 3 would suffice, but the customer agreed to take all three and decide for himself which was best.
I had to supply two focussing tubes as one of the lenses was 1.6mm greater diameter than the type I normally use:

I was also asked to design a picatinny rail mount for an IR focussing tube. This involved the design of some clamps to centre the tube on the rail. Here it is fitted somewhat impractically to the sight rail of an Airsoft gun:

And here in a more realistic position:

Friday, 7 December 2012

New Toy

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My old 'scope has finally been superseded. Bought this Tektronik 100MHz DSO from EBay whilst I was in Tallinn, Estonia last week.

I'm not a great fan of PC scopes as the software always seems a bit crap. So I went old school and bought this:

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Lasertag bodies

Visit Tagbits to see the full range of tagger products described in this blog.

I've been manufacturing many lasertag bodies for Steve at Operation Lasertag. These differ from my standard kits in that they are designed to fit Steve's analogue lasertag boards, and they have coloured plastic parts to allow for easy team identification, as well as raised gun sights: