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Printrbot Talk Forum • View topic - A modern 'do nothing' box.

A modern 'do nothing' box.

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A modern 'do nothing' box.

Postby Jack Crow » 2017-Aug-Sat-20-Aug

Hi all,
Was playing with an idea. An advanced 'do nothing box'.

Depending on your age my may not have heard of such a thing.

There was a time when people saw computers on TV as huge things with lots of flashing lights.
(Think 1965)

One of these would never fit in a home. Yet people wanted that look and pretend.

Someone worked out circuits using 8 NE2 lamps (small neon bulbs), capacitors and resistors into simple oscillators.
The product was a box with ten 9v batteries. All of this in a steel box.

Upon power up, it would start to blink in a semi random pattern.
It would keep doing so for up to a year. Then the battery would go flat.

Years ago I was able to buy a genuine 'do nothing' box at a ham radio flea market. Loaded in new 9v cells and it worked well.
Time and technology has moved on. Cheap Carbon Zink batteries are hard to find.
Care to guess what ten duracell 9v's cost these days?

This spring I removed the old style Neon's and refitted the box with these big 9mm led's that blink blue.
It runs on a small 12v wall wart power supply.

Works like a charm.

One idea points to the next.

Some time back I got these LED's from Amazon, that cycle between several colors.
Blue, red, green, yellow, and white. It's a tiny timer circuit in each LED runs the individual lamps.

Got to wondering what would happen if a bunch of them were run at the same time.
That answer is that the timing tends to drift, and they 'de sync'.

Why not take the 'do nothing' box idea and bring it up to date?

So I printed a 'puck' with holes for 24 LED's.
The holes do not go all the way through the surface, but come up below the surface.

Used a semi clear material that will defuse light.

All of this in a 50mm container.

Below are some photos.

Making the base of the unit right now.
Some early photos.

The first one is the back view.
Going to need to cut down the wire work a bit.
8-13-2017 001.JPG
The second one is the front view.
That pattern is constantly changing. The LED's cycle through their colors very slowly.
The effect is kinda wild. Peaceful.
8-13-2017 002.JPG
The last is the side view.
8-13-2017 003.JPG
As you can see the light shows up all over this puck.

Right now it's running on the bench power supply. With 12 volts input it's drawing about 450mA.
Roughly five watts in a small confined space. So it gets warm.

More when I know more.
Mike
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A modern 'do nothing' box.

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Re: A modern 'do nothing' box.

Postby Mooselake » 2017-Aug-Sun-12-Aug

I got a couple packages of those auto color changing LEDs off eBay, they come in "fast flash" and "slow flash" versions. Fun to play with occasionally.

We have a solar light that the hardware store had for around $5 some years back. The plastic hummingbird has disappeared, but it still comes to life in Mrs. Moose's flower garden every spring. Might be ten years old, but I've got sometimers and don't remember.
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Re: A modern 'do nothing' box.

Postby Jack Crow » 2017-Aug-Sun-19-Aug

Moose,
That's the idea. These LED's were cheap. I think they were 50 for about ten bucks or so on Amazon.

To get around the heat issue, was working on a 100mm puck.
Did not get the chance to finish.

Guess what, I saw the hot end heat heater element spark and fail.

A tiny reflection in the kapton tape, and the temp of the hot end sent down hill from there.

According to what I have read, this can happen and it's considered normal change out part.
When I get paid, the plan is to order an updated hot end from Printerbot and some nozzles.

Getting the post doctorate in small robot repair here.

Keep it safe
Jack Crow aka Radio Mike in VB
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Re: A modern 'do nothing' box.

Postby Mooselake » 2017-Aug-Mon-14-Aug

Well, a bad luck abnormal change out part.

I got one of the beta Ubis 13 HFs, way better then the first version of the metal Ubis (other than the 3.0mm original those are all I've tried). E3Ds are popular, but fiddly to install due to shorter size and the oddball thermistor (replace that with the same one the Ubis uses...). Cheap E3D clones are available, sometimes they're great, sometimes some extra work (like polishing the innards) will make them good, sometimes they are similar to sheep manure, think they call that a crap shoot for obvious reasons.

My younger brother just got some robot repair (his wife hates it when we call him Mr. Roboto), removing that organ that can become problematic as we men age. Went well, he says he's doing fine now it's been a couple weeks although heavy lifting and marathons are still in the future. A step up from the "Piggy Parts" my youngest brother calls him after the pig mitral valve a few years back. He got gipped on that one, only got the valve but paid for the whole pig.

Kirk
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Re: A modern 'do nothing' box.

Postby Jack Crow » 2017-Aug-Sun-13-Aug

Hi all,
Some follow ups.

The 100mm puck inside view.
8-26-2017 003.JPG
Outside view.
8-26-2017 004.JPG

Had it running for most of the weekend, did not overheat.

Now the wife wants one.

More when I know more.
Jack Crow
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