Review: Building the HobbyCNC 4 Axis Stepper Driver

I've recently become interested in the possibilities for homebrew CNC tools. A first step in homebrew CNC is having a driver board for stepper motors. There are kits for multi-axis stepper motor controllers, and one of the least expensive and full featured comes from HobbyCNC. Over the Christmas break I put together one of these kits. Here is my review of the HobbyCNC 4 Axis Stepper Driver.

Build an RS232 PIC Programmer

Back when I was a youngster my first active circuit component was a thermionic emission audion that I stole from the trash can at the back of Lee de Forest's workshop in Palo Alto. Actually- that's a lie. It was a 555 timer. (It would have been a ZN414- but that circuit didn't work). These days a first circuit might well contain a PIC CPU made by the Microchip company of Arizona, USA. Being a CPU these chips will remain inert until you program some code in them, and for that you need a programmer. You could buy one I suppose, but where's the fun in that? Instead why don't you engage your brain, warm up the soldering iron and read along as I build an RS232 PIC Programmer.

Building and Using the Gingery Foundry

Want to melt metal and cast stuff? Are you a pyromaniac obsessed with flame and the smell of charred flesh? The Gingery foundry is a good homebrew way to enter the hobby of metal casting. Here's my take on both building and using the Gingery Charcoal Foundry.

Building the Gingery Milling Machine

In the fourth book of Gingery, Dave describes and builds a small milling machine. Join me as I walk in the steps of Dave and build the Gingery Milling Machine.

Calculating Change Gears for Thread Cutting

Alot of people don't know this, but the screw form sits at the very heart of modern technology. Think of all those CNC machine tools cranking out parts accurate to 1/10000". They all have stepper/servo motors attached to ground ball screws, and if the screw isn't accurate neither is the work. So how do you make a screw? Typically you use another screw, which raises the question- who made the first screw and how accurate was it? These questions are far too deep for me, so instead here's an article on working out change gears to cut various thread pitches.

Build Your Own DDR Dance Pad

You know about the Dance Dance Revolution and you want to bring the arcade experience home to the family. Those foam roll-up pads you can buy just don't cut it. Nothing but socks on metal is going to let you bust-a-move on those 9-foot catas. What to do? Get out into the garage and build your own DDR dance pad!