USB Charger Project

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USB Charger Project

Postby Jack Crow » 2017-Sep-Fri-13-Sep

Hi all,
From prior posting you know that I have been making these battery boxes for the ham radio community.

One of the requests i got was to add a USB charger to the box. Made sense.
Found an inexpensive USB charger board for about a buck each.
When they came in, took some measurements and then developed a house to hold them on the top of the Harbor Freight 'ammo' box that I convert to a battery box.

Couple of things. Some of the internal items are smaller than the print head's opening. Used a stock .4mm, and needed a .2mm. Will consider buying one.
It did work, just not all that great.

This is the space I started with.
I had already used the center of the box for the Anderson connectors and volt meter panel, did not have a lot of options.

9-1-2017 001.JPG


The first generation of the holder was a big flat sided square thing. Not going to show that here.
Ham's like to 'stack stuff', so I wanted a holder that would survive this.
The horizontal mount so the cables would not snag or crush.
The sloped sides that won't bash things pushed into them.

9-1-2017 002.JPG


With this in place it became clear that the low spot in front of the housing was not a good idea.
Any cable plugged in can be smashed down, breaking the connector in the charger.
Same issue if it's tugged to either side.
Worked up this guide / protector to take care of that issue.
It's not near ready for 'prime time'.
Need to make it a little bigger and add some sloped sides.
A possible top cover as well.
This is a place holder part until the next revision comes along, most likely on Saturday given the speed of things here.

9-1-2017 005.JPG


The back view can use some help.
That switch is exposed.
Not much I could do about it for the moment.
As things turned out, that switch may not be necessary.
This thing draws so little current on it's own.
Under 1mA standby.
With a depleted phone it draws about 450mA at 12 volt input
Switching power supply's are amazing.

9-1-2017 006.JPG


Top view of three sample units.
On the left is one I made with a semi transparent printed at 100% fill.
With a little squinting you can see the inside of the thing.
The center is complete with hardware and it's switch.
The one on the right is how it comes off the printer.
Needs a bit of clean up to work properly due to how tight the internal dimensions are.

9-1-2017 007.JPG

Flip side views.
Two with boards and one to show the innards.
That inner box is to support the electronics of the charger.
Even at full draw, the parts do not get hot, and don't soften the plastic.

9-1-2017 008.JPG


One nice feature is the USB charger board has a built in LED.
On the black printed parts, I left a little hole for the LED to shine out of.
It works but not great.
With the semi clear it lights up the housing rather well, and I can eliminate that shine through hole.
May put a 'light pipe' to the LED to improve the 'shine' function.
Variants of variants.

9-1-2017 009.JPG


Ive shown this around to some of the area ham's.
So far so good, they like it.
My boss took one for his commercially made battery box.
No reason why these can't be added to boxes of the type that are used to jump start cars.
Or hard mounted into glove boxes or vehicle dash boards.

Share a thought as time permits.

Jack Crow aka Radio Mike in Virginia Beach.
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USB Charger Project

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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby Mooselake » 2017-Sep-Sat-11-Sep

Looks nice! Like the see-through LED too.

Mine is just a car charger stuck in the "power outlet" (guess "cigarette lighter socket" isn't used anymore) in one of those 12 Ah SLA powered car jump starters. Should really convert it's onboard charger from a 317 to a switcher, any recommendations for something that doesn't generate a lot of RFI and will work off of 15V?

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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby Jack Crow » 2017-Sep-Sat-12-Sep

Kirk
This is what I used.

"WINGONEER 5PCS DC-DC buck module 6-24V 12V 24V turn 5V3A car 97.5% USB mobile phone charger"

On Amazon five for about $11.
Ive learned that posting links here can be a touchy subject.

Don't know about RFI, so far have not noticed anything on the broadcast set or the ham radios.
Im not an HF guy.

Did make some changes to the holder.
Got rid of the switch and pushed the module far back into the housing.
This protects the plug from most anything destructive except being pulled out.

I see no reason to make any more modifications on this design.
It's done, time to produce them if people are willing to pay.
The ethnic Italian in me says "If they know what's good for them".
Organized crime is a good job except for the retirement plan.
Don't panic about the 'look', I sanded the thing. Need to visit the hobby shop and pick up a black paint pen.

See the photos.

9-2-2017 001.JPG

This is on the small Harbor Freight box.
Had to make the part in front since I had already drilled the holes for the prior cable holder.
Don't look too bad.

9-2-2017 002.JPG

Up close and personal with the revised holder.
At 1mA draw w/o anything plugged into it, the switch was over kill.
You can see the insides.
There are stand offs that keep t he board seated to a specific level on the walls of the channel.

There is a square raised pad, that makes contact with the tiny 'coil' on the board, more travel limiting.

The round thing is the "light pipe", it's positioned over where the surface mount LED on the board is located.

9-2-2017 005.JPG


On the big 18 amp battery.
Elected to use the semi clear for effect.
Most anything looks good on blaze orange.
What the innards are.

9-2-2017 008.JPG



All installed.
Note how the circuit board's LED shines up into the holder.
Hard to miss when in service.

9-2-2017 011.JPG


I think this is fairly cool.
At the moment, making up one for a harbor freight battery box client who has already taken delivery.
Post market upgrade.

It's fun making something fairly delicate robust and tough to mess up.

Keep it sane.
Jack Crow
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby Mooselake » 2017-Sep-Mon-13-Sep

Thanks for the switcher reference!

Links are only touchy for new users, because of the issues caused by the spammer community (one bad apple...). You're past that point; link away!

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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby Jack Crow » 2017-Sep-Mon-14-Sep

Kirk
That is good to know.
Let's put that to the test.

You might get a kick out of this.
I take old two way radios and convert them to APRS.
The Maxon SM4150 and the GE Monogram VHF are the same radio with different badges.

Worked out this 'photo article' on how to convert them to APRS.

Made four of them then Byonics discontinued the TinyTrack 2 SMT variant.

Have one of these in my car.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/90108848@ ... 3846552785

If you look up KA2ZEV-8 you will see where I have been. One of the few times I get out and around.
What I tell my clients, you can ride it hard and put it away wet. Don't care. One very tough robot.

In other news...

Got a radio club meeting tonight and will be bringing one of the battery boxes and a loose charger along for a show and tell.

More when I know more.
Jack Crow aka radio Mike
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby RetireeJay » 2017-Sep-Mon-14-Sep

Boy, that USB unit looks tempting. I have a 12V battery sitting around doing nothing (removed from a battery backup supply for an earlier generation Uverse modem). And of course my wife and I have cellphones that might need charging if the power goes out. Now if I just had a good way to trickle-charge the 12V battery without over-charging it... Years ago I saw a similar battery fail after two or three years sitting with a trickle charge. But maybe now there are smart chargers?
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby Mooselake » 2017-Sep-Mon-17-Sep

I put the trickle chargers on one of those push button plug in timers and only charge them 15 minutes a day, get 2 or 3 winters out of a motorcycle battery instead of none with one of the nicer brand "smart" chargers. Of course "smart" means they replaced several dollars worth of analog components with a few pennies of microcontroller and then charged more. Go figure.

I had good luck with one of these for the net control station battery, at least until I hooked up an Astron SS-25M at the same time and let the smoke out. With a 15V wall wart it wouldn't reach the float voltage for the AGM battery, but at least it kept it topped up and never fried it.

You only have two USB charging devices? I've lost track, although my G5 Plus is a bit newer than your phone and dies quicker. I have a 10Ah USB battery(10000mAh power bank sounds more impressive, I guess) that I keep in my backpack, wife got a 20Ah version as a present a while back, likely could start cars with them. Have been doing a periodic charge em up session today with one of the 5 port chargers. If we're home and somebody hits another power pole (the wood, not Anderson, kind) there's always the chargers in the cars if those run down. Remember when all you needed was a spare 9V battery for your transistor radio?

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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby Jack Crow » 2017-Sep-Mon-20-Sep

RJ
If you shoot me an e mail, I can send you the .stl for the usb charger holder if you don't want to work one up yourself.
It's tight for internal dimensions.
Also making internal parts smaller than the .4mm of the nozzle on the printer.

The battery box it's self is a bit more complex.
I made these 'cup' adapters that hold the battery in place, those are bolted to the floor of the ammo box and a top strap is bolted to the tops of the cups.
This keeps the cell from banging around.

In life dam little is as simple as it looks.
Had an x boss give good advice.
"Test it like the client is going to use it.

For a charger I use the HP bench power supply, set for 14.4 volts limited to about 3A's of current.
I like Kirk's idea of putting a comercial charger on a timer, might be the best overall answer.

Of the five usb chargers I got, four are in service, and one is my pass around demo unit.
If I make some money this week, I will buy more. Seems to be something people want.

Big day on Tuesday.
Got a major job interview.
Perhaps I can stop being chronically broke.

Keep it sane.

Jack Crow
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby RetireeJay » 2017-Sep-Mon-20-Sep

Jack,

You can attach an STL to a post (use the same starting procedure as attaching a picture, but don't put it inline), or you can put it up on Thingiverse. Truth is, I'm probably not going to get around to that project for quite a while. It's intriguing, but I'm trying to push some other ideas through the pipeline first.

RJ
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Printrbot Plus operational January 2013
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Cable chain to reduce probability of fatigue failure in wires
E3D V5 Hot End, 0.4mm nozzle, also 0.8 and 0.25 in use occasionally
PB fan mount + 40mm fan -- using printed mount adapter, not the E3D supplied fan
Injection molded extruder gears
Optical Z "endstop" (custom designed and built)
Have used many pounds of T-Glase filament. Now also doing some work with Ninjaflex SemiFlex
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby Jack Crow » 2017-Sep-Tue-05-Sep

Boss,
Have no idea if this is going to work.
Jack Crow aka Radio Mike
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby RetireeJay » 2017-Sep-Tue-06-Sep

Yes, Jack, that works. Good show.
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GT2 belts & pulleys
Cable chain to reduce probability of fatigue failure in wires
E3D V5 Hot End, 0.4mm nozzle, also 0.8 and 0.25 in use occasionally
PB fan mount + 40mm fan -- using printed mount adapter, not the E3D supplied fan
Injection molded extruder gears
Optical Z "endstop" (custom designed and built)
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Print on glass with Scotch Craft Stick or other glue stick
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby Mooselake » 2017-Sep-Tue-11-Sep

Thanks! Want to add one or two to the Hamper, right after I finish up the cabinet/shelf install and the DC wiring.

Good luck on that job interview!

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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby Jack Crow » 2017-Sep-Tue-12-Sep

Guys,
Thanks for the kind thoughts.
The interview did go well.

Ended up in a small room with their HR rep and two other guys at first I thought were there for the same gig.
After a little while, I noticed their CAC cards. (CAC is the mil ID card. This was at a major navy shipbuilding operation.)
So they were my possible co workers.

Got all kinds of questions and shot back a few surprising answers.

One was about high voltage, as in what is the highest I worked at?
I casually sent back "A quarter million", they gagged and said I would not have to work above 600V.
Managed not to tell them it was for only nano seconds at a time.
How many guys have you met that did blow out a 100M ohm resistor?
I killed one dead one day with a pneumatically driven voltage source.
In electronic weapons work, you get to play with unusual levels of voltage and current.

When I used the term 'electro explosives' that got a reaction as well.

Apparently they wanted someone who can work on a bunch of different things.
Machine repair came up. Mechanical, electrical, electronic, hydrolic.
Told them about freon compressors I used to help service.
Valves, un-loaders, that kind of thing.
Servicing electric motors by changing out bearings.
They also seemed to like that I knew how to look up and find replacement parts.

Safety is a culture there as it is in most shops. Face it if someone is killed on the job, it's a huge issue to resolve.
Not to mention the paperwork.

On electronics servicing, gave them the 101 lesson on ESR meters.

Offered to send them an electronic copy of my 'book' from Kuwait about fixing mil generator parts.

Made it clear I did not like to waste money.

Apparently I said the right things.
Will see what happens in the next few weeks.

Keep it sane.
Jack Crow aka Radio Mike
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby RetireeJay » 2017-Sep-Tue-13-Sep

Jack,

That interview sounds pretty positive.

I still remember one question from my interview 30 years ago. The interviewer (who turned out to be my first boss) asked "what is 2 to the twelfth power" and I answered "4096" almost before he could finish asking. He looked at me blankly, apparently waiting for me to to think about it - and then realized I'd given him the right answer as if it was written on the back of my hand. I'd been working with microprocessor applications so much that the powers of two (up to the sixteenth power) were just part of my vocabulary. In the course of that job, I learned about pneumatic and hydraulic controls, PLC's and so much more; it was a great job.

RJ
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Printrbot Plus operational January 2013
Brass threaded rods (5/16" X 18) & nuts for Z axis
GT2 belts & pulleys
Cable chain to reduce probability of fatigue failure in wires
E3D V5 Hot End, 0.4mm nozzle, also 0.8 and 0.25 in use occasionally
PB fan mount + 40mm fan -- using printed mount adapter, not the E3D supplied fan
Injection molded extruder gears
Optical Z "endstop" (custom designed and built)
Have used many pounds of T-Glase filament. Now also doing some work with Ninjaflex SemiFlex
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby Jack Crow » 2017-Sep-Tue-15-Sep

RJ
Done a few things like that.
An ex boss had candidates take a little 'test'.
Most guys frankly sucked at it. If they got half right, they were good at guessing.
Think I did 19 out of 20.
Also showed him two errors in the questions.

Then it gets better.
Was there for what I call an 'audition', or "do I truly have the skill set".
Got past that demonstration.
Then asked about an instrument they were having trouble with.
An IFR1100S is a complex beast of a two way radio service monitor.
Theirs was blowing fuses.
Offered to try fixing it.
Inside of 20 min I found a fried transistor in the CRT display section.
Surprised the heck out of them.

Another time/job was required to take an electro explosives class in PA.
The guy that ran the school had some 'slides' that showed circuits that had killed blasters in the past.

One including a conduction path between a blasting cap, a whizzing dog, and a power source.
Who ever thought a Rube Goldburg device could be lethal?

Modern blasting caps don't need much energy to be touched off.

Blasting caps are a tiny electrical filament, like what you have in a 'grain of wheat' lamp, and three chemical stages, the last one being a gram of C4.
Get the filament hot, the first stage goes off, taking the second and lastly the third. That will supply the shock wave to set off the main charge.

So there I am in class, looking at the slides and hearing the lecture on how people got themselves torn up or killed. (Explosives are a kind of binary business.)
I see a slide with an error in it.
This topic is too dangerous a situation. I can't let that error stand.
I explain it to the instructor and he starts to see the problem.

Im a novice at this stuff, sitting in a room full of experience oil field and mining experts, and they missed it too.
I don't give a rip about their ego's, I don't want people to die because I failed to speak up.
Two slides later, another error.
A few more slides and the last one shows up.

Each time they could not argue, there was a genuine problem with the slides.
These slides had been in use for years, them my fat butt comes along and spots the problems.

That is the day I learned why blasters (people who handle and use explosives) paint the walls with souls.
I've met true geniuses and don't belong in that class of mind.
But Im fairly sharp at what I do.
Seems expecting senior blasters to be sharp was asking just a little bit too much.

Most of them are smart enough to 'do what they do' and live to retirement age.
Hopefully not kill them selves and others.
Found this on UTube, some smart butt sets off a cap in a ballistic gel.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wtu6mqbuTDk
Start at about fifty seconds in, and turn down the dumb music, wait for the bang, then shut the thing off, they get stupid after that.
Don't trust these jokes with tooth brush let alone energetic materials.

What that film is not showing is the explosives propagation rate.
That 'void' in the gel opened at about 25k feet per second.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-4_(explosive)

Bad things happen to humans and that small blasting cap has a serious amount of energy to it.

The stuff we remember from working life.

One of the fun ones, was one hot August day got the chance to 'throw a snowball' at a smart ass.

At one job we had a 2000 gallon tank of Liquid Nitrogen.

So it's 90 degrees out, hot summer day on Long Island, and there is a cake of ice on the LN2 pipes leading to the building.
Went up to the pipes, took off a layer of frost (aka snow) packed it into a ball, and let fly.

Priceless reactions from the public.

Not the kind of thing people expect to see going past their heads while concentrating on beach weather.

Some day I will tell the story of Rocky the Frying squirrel.

Keep it sane.
Jack Crow aka Radio Mike
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby Mooselake » 2017-Sep-Tue-16-Sep

Jack Crow wrote:Some day I will tell the story of Rocky the Frying squirrel.


Keep it clean, one of Bulwinkle's relatives reads these :)

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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby Jack Crow » 2017-Sep-Tue-18-Sep

Kirk
It was a fate that not even the Fearless Leader would wish on a capitalist swine.
Boris and Natasha still ain't right.

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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby RetireeJay » 2017-Sep-Tue-20-Sep

Wonder if anyone under 60 has the slightest idea where the last two comments came from... :D
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Printrbot Plus operational January 2013
Brass threaded rods (5/16" X 18) & nuts for Z axis
GT2 belts & pulleys
Cable chain to reduce probability of fatigue failure in wires
E3D V5 Hot End, 0.4mm nozzle, also 0.8 and 0.25 in use occasionally
PB fan mount + 40mm fan -- using printed mount adapter, not the E3D supplied fan
Injection molded extruder gears
Optical Z "endstop" (custom designed and built)
Have used many pounds of T-Glase filament. Now also doing some work with Ninjaflex SemiFlex
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby frankv » 2017-Sep-Tue-23-Sep

I'm under 60 (just) and have a vague idea of what that was about :)
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby Jack Crow » 2017-Sep-Wed-06-Sep

Hi all,
How quickly our tasteless heritage gets run over by political correctness.

For the record, I take great pride in making the PC crew gag on their own thoughts.
One of the few delights in getting old, experience brings this stuff to the forefront.

Remember when Courageous Cat had a gun for every application?

The off color jokes built into Jonny Quest episodes?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonny_Quest_(TV_series)

On youtube there is a good docu on the subject.

Remember this?

"KAOS is a (fictional) "international organization of evil" formed in Bucharest, Romania, in 1904; like "CONTROL", "KAOS" is not an acronym. They were supposed to be, but Brooks and Henry were so busy, they forgot to have the names stand for anything. In an episode of the series, after making a series of demands in a recording, the speaker mentions the demands are from "KAOS, a Delaware Corporation". When Smart asks the chief about this, he mentions they did it for tax reasons."

Or

"In another episode, Siegfried and Max casually discuss the various flavors of cyanide pills they have been issued. It is raspberry that month at CONTROL, and Max offers Siegfried a taste."

Or

" Another of the show's recurring gags is the "Cone of Silence". Smart would pedantically insist on following CONTROL's security protocols; when in the chief's office he would insist on speaking under the Cone of Silence—two transparent plastic hemispheres which are electrically lowered on top of Max and Chief—which invariably malfunction, requiring the characters to shout loudly to even have a chance of being understood by each other. Bystanders in the room could often hear them better, and sometimes relay messages back and forth. The Cone of Silence was the idea of Buck Henry, though it was preceded in an episode of the syndicated television show Science Fiction Theatre titled "Barrier of Silence", written by Lou Huston, that first aired on September 3, 1955, ten years ahead of the NBC comedy."

Stolen from....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Get_Smart

So you get the idea. Ideas of the past are not that far from now.

Want a fright? Look up an old story called "A Logic Named Joe"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Logic_Named_Joe
PDF's and an X-1 episode on the subject can be had on the web.
In 1946 this guy invented the internet.
VP Gore, get lost!

Be well all
Jack Crow with extensive poor attitudes
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby RetireeJay » 2017-Sep-Wed-17-Sep

I've posted a little quiz for my techie friends on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jay.sinnett/posts/10155312876618301?notif_t=like&notif_id=1504733944830672. It's private, but I'll be willing to friend interested parties from this forum so you can see it.

Very briefly, I am in possession of a fascinating 1966 Scientific American magazine about computers, and although many of the authors are very visionary (even to the extent of more-or-less predicting 3D printing) there are two unforseen major software advances and one unforseen physical advance that are foundational to our current connected, commercial Internet world. Can you guess what they are? Answer in a week. ;)

RJ
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Printrbot Plus operational January 2013
Brass threaded rods (5/16" X 18) & nuts for Z axis
GT2 belts & pulleys
Cable chain to reduce probability of fatigue failure in wires
E3D V5 Hot End, 0.4mm nozzle, also 0.8 and 0.25 in use occasionally
PB fan mount + 40mm fan -- using printed mount adapter, not the E3D supplied fan
Injection molded extruder gears
Optical Z "endstop" (custom designed and built)
Have used many pounds of T-Glase filament. Now also doing some work with Ninjaflex SemiFlex
Print on glass with Scotch Craft Stick or other glue stick
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby Jack Crow » 2017-Sep-Wed-19-Sep

RJ
That's a snag for me.
Not a member of FB.
Too many guys 'talk too much' on it and loose their clearance.
Not a member, no risk.
Thanks for the idea.
Willing to learn.

Be well
Jack Crow aka radio mike
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby RetireeJay » 2017-Sep-Wed-19-Sep

OK, here's the post as I originally wrote it in Word.
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Printrbot Plus operational January 2013
Brass threaded rods (5/16" X 18) & nuts for Z axis
GT2 belts & pulleys
Cable chain to reduce probability of fatigue failure in wires
E3D V5 Hot End, 0.4mm nozzle, also 0.8 and 0.25 in use occasionally
PB fan mount + 40mm fan -- using printed mount adapter, not the E3D supplied fan
Injection molded extruder gears
Optical Z "endstop" (custom designed and built)
Have used many pounds of T-Glase filament. Now also doing some work with Ninjaflex SemiFlex
Print on glass with Scotch Craft Stick or other glue stick
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby Jack Crow » 2017-Sep-Thu-06-Sep

RJ
Seems Kirk and I use expressions that are unique to our situations.

One of mine is "Preemptive Karma".

The working definition is...
"If it's something I want, then it's instantly disallowed"

or
To abuse Gene Kranz

"Success is not an option"

Story of my life Im afraid.

So with much forethought and ability you attach the link, and my elderly equipment can't do a thing with it.

If winning is being allowed to read your article, it's instantly not allowed.
Preemptive Karma at it's finest.

I think this thing can read a PDF.

Be well there.
Jack Crow with crippled computers and trash knees.
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby RetireeJay » 2017-Sep-Thu-09-Sep

Hey, no problem my friend. Here it is in PDF. No karma involved.
This thread has kinda moved on from the "Showcase" or "USB Charger" topic into "Off-Topic", but I'm not going to move it.
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Printrbot Plus operational January 2013
Brass threaded rods (5/16" X 18) & nuts for Z axis
GT2 belts & pulleys
Cable chain to reduce probability of fatigue failure in wires
E3D V5 Hot End, 0.4mm nozzle, also 0.8 and 0.25 in use occasionally
PB fan mount + 40mm fan -- using printed mount adapter, not the E3D supplied fan
Injection molded extruder gears
Optical Z "endstop" (custom designed and built)
Have used many pounds of T-Glase filament. Now also doing some work with Ninjaflex SemiFlex
Print on glass with Scotch Craft Stick or other glue stick
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby Jack Crow » 2017-Sep-Thu-17-Sep

RJ
That time it worked.
The capsule articles seemed to have their ducks in a row.
At the time I was 7 years old and not computer literate.
Some things still have not changed much.
Will digest this for a while.
Jack Crow
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby RetireeJay » 2017-Sep-Tue-14-Sep

Here are my answers to the most important, fundamental advances not foreseen in 1966:
(1) Fiber optics. Without that, our entire internet system would either be maddeningly slow or outrageously expensive. Imagine waiting hours to download a few minutes of video over a 9600 baud phone line modem!
(2) The RSA encryption algorithm. Without secure communications, banking and shopping on-line would be unimaginable.
(3) Google's Search Engine. Instead of "discovering" 1000 documents in an hour, we can find millions of "hits" in a fraction of a second.

In my opinion, these are the big three. Now, I'm sure there are thousands, perhaps millions, of other innovations that are vital parts of our everyday use of computers and the Internet. Moore's Law was not a statement of the inevitable, but a challenge to scientists and engineers to continually find new and better ways of making semiconductors. And magnetic disk drives have been in danger of becoming obsolete "within a year or two" for decades - but they keep on re-inventing the disk drive and beating out all competition.

I should give a nod to the USB interface. Anyone who battled with RS-232 and Centronics interfaces can testify to the incredible utility of USB!
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Printrbot Plus operational January 2013
Brass threaded rods (5/16" X 18) & nuts for Z axis
GT2 belts & pulleys
Cable chain to reduce probability of fatigue failure in wires
E3D V5 Hot End, 0.4mm nozzle, also 0.8 and 0.25 in use occasionally
PB fan mount + 40mm fan -- using printed mount adapter, not the E3D supplied fan
Injection molded extruder gears
Optical Z "endstop" (custom designed and built)
Have used many pounds of T-Glase filament. Now also doing some work with Ninjaflex SemiFlex
Print on glass with Scotch Craft Stick or other glue stick
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby frankv » 2017-Sep-Tue-18-Sep

RetireeJay wrote:Here are my answers to the most important, fundamental advances not foreseen in 1966:
(1) Fiber optics. Without that, our entire internet system would either be maddeningly slow or outrageously expensive. Imagine waiting hours to download a few minutes of video over a 9600 baud phone line modem!

Imagine it? I remember it! To be fair, 9600 baud modems are a long way from current copper-based comms... 56K over a dialup line is normal, and I currently have copper-based broadband in the 10Mbps region IIRC. (Fibre will be here in the next year or two)

I should give a nod to the USB interface. Anyone who battled with RS-232 and Centronics interfaces can testify to the incredible utility of USB!


I think that WiFi and/or Bluetooth are the modern replacement of RS-232/Centronics? USB's major innovations were a standard interface (at one end) and providing regulated 5V. And we're still battling with virtual serial ports over USB!
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby RetireeJay » 2017-Sep-Tue-21-Sep

frankv wrote:To be fair, 9600 baud modems are a long way from current copper-based comms... 56K over a dialup line is normal, and I currently have copper-based broadband in the 10Mbps region IIRC. (Fibre will be here in the next year or two)

Yes, I have a possible 27MHz over the copper pair leaving my house. But that pair terminates at a fiber 1750 feet away. I doubt that I'd have more than 56k max if my signal had to go over twisted pair copper all the way to an exchange. CATV can do better with coaxial cable, but there are limitations. And even then, without fiber optics, the cost of bandwidth to connect to "anywhere in the world" over waveguides, microwave, or satellite would be exorbitant.
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Printrbot Plus operational January 2013
Brass threaded rods (5/16" X 18) & nuts for Z axis
GT2 belts & pulleys
Cable chain to reduce probability of fatigue failure in wires
E3D V5 Hot End, 0.4mm nozzle, also 0.8 and 0.25 in use occasionally
PB fan mount + 40mm fan -- using printed mount adapter, not the E3D supplied fan
Injection molded extruder gears
Optical Z "endstop" (custom designed and built)
Have used many pounds of T-Glase filament. Now also doing some work with Ninjaflex SemiFlex
Print on glass with Scotch Craft Stick or other glue stick
User avatar
RetireeJay
My next printer is...
 
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Re: USB Charger Project

Postby Jack Crow » 2017-Sep-Sun-21-Sep

Hi all,
Been busy, could not find a moment to break off and type for a while.

Have a little time now. The local FM broadcast station is playing having a 70's night, so I feel more or less at home.

Got a follow on to the USB charger project.
The panel I use for DC in and out on the battery box has the potential to snap off the connectors if something is placed on top.
Had to re design the panel for horozontal mount connections. Wanted to retain the two inch mounting hole and features.
Not so easy.
Not quite ready for prime time, but getting close. This one looks a little rough due to the sanding operation.
9-17-2017 003.JPG


I was at the Virginia Beach ham fest last week and had a problem.
The USB charger most everybody liked.
Could have sold a bucket of them.
The power panel for the battery box, not so much.
The USB connections were flat, the power panels connections stood out.

That needed to be fixed.

Most anything that follows it's own path away from standard orthodoxy will result in complexity.
Connectors stick up because it is the easy way to do things from a design point of view.
You know the answer, 'that how it always has been done'.

Time to take the rule book out and burn it.

My first product was a one piece.
This one will need three.
A two inch disk to line up with a hole drilled into the battery box.
The center holds the meter and connectors.
The top puck covers it all.

They all need to line up and work together.

Like I said above, this is not ready for prime time.
Little mis alignments, hardware too long, and in one case a switch boss' in the wrong position.
(Printing a fixed part for that now.)

Non related topics.
Follow up to the interview. Was pitched an offer that seems good. About doubling my current take home. Will tell them Monday AM that I would like this opportunity.

Also want to follow up with the story of Rocky the FRYING squirrel.

Back in the mists of time I had a gig with the environmental test lab part of Hazeltine. Hazeltine made electronic warfare items, and anti submarine warfare gizmos. Not a trivial operation. My job was to set up the various 'shake and bake' tests, and fix the machines when they failed.
The repair office was on the back corner of our building. We had windows to the outside world. It was mid week, and a gorgous Long Island Day. Most of the staff would rather be someplace else than indoors.

Next to us was building 4/5. It's main power source was three pad mounted transformers.
The input side was 13kV at 100a per phase.
Each transformer was about four feet in diameter and about 6 feet tall.
Above them was a array of high voltage wiring.
On the bottom of each transformer was a plate to mount the heavy cables going from the transformer output to the buildings power panel.
The taps were for 208vac at a K amp.
Old school but nothing to sneeze at.

On three sides of all this high current hardware was a chain link fence with a gate.
Barbed wire on top, the forth side was the building it's self.

The boss and I were sitting in the shop with the windows open when a god awful loud 'BANG' rolled across the campus.
Within seconds the phone rang, someone was telling us to get to building 4/5 and shut stuff down, they went single phase.

Single phasing is very bad on three phase gear, and our test chambers were all three phase power inputs.

We get there and it's spooky.
Two thirds of the lighting is off, the machines are making unnatural noises due to being single phased.
Run around and get stuff shut off before it burns. The immediate crisis is solved. What the heck happened?

That is when I find my self with the facilities department staff behind 4/5 looking at the transformers.
On the pole two of the fuses are blown open and hanging by their brackets.

Then I see it, in front of the transformers on the overgrown grass is a supremely dead squirrel.
It apparent it's last act was bridging the 13kV phase to phase.
It took over a quarter million watts. Was worse for the experience.

There was smoke coming off the carcass.

Facilities department had called LILCO (Long Island Lighting Company or Long Island Looting Company depending on how recently you paid the bill) to come over and press in some new fuses.
They could not get there for over four hours.
We made a collective sound of WHAT? ARE YOU FING KIDDING ME!
Our buildings ran a 50K buck a month electric tab, and they can't get off their dead asses and put some fuses in?

Just for the record, they had a facility just up the road from us.
I could have walked there in five minutes.
Would not have any of their managers for an organ donor.
Useless people.

At this point the staff of building 4/5 are thinking the day is over and start heading to the beach.

I spread a rumor.
"Want another half day of work?",
the usual answer is "Yes".
The reply "Toss a bag of peanuts on top of the transformers".

The boss and I can't leave.
We have to restart everything for the nights test runs.

After three and a half hours LILCO gets a truck behind the building, and the lineman pulls the last fuse.

Facilities goes into the transformer cage and cuts back the grass and weeds growing in it.
Lock up the cage and the lineman pushes in fresh fuses.
No bang.
What a concept.

We get the building back on line again, with no technical casualties.

That is the story of Rocky the Frying Squirrel.
We had one small break in the whole adventure.
That quarter million watt spike, was on the outside of our metering.
That means Lilco paid, not us.

Hope it brings a tight smile.

Jack Crow
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