author
9Instructables82,086Views67CommentsJoined January 8th, 2010

Tell us about yourself!

Complete Your Profile

Achievements

10K+ Views Earned a bronze medal
Digital Life 101 Challenge
Contest Winner Runner Up in the Digital Life 101 Challenge
Space Challenge
Contest Winner First Prize in the Space Challenge
Show 2 More »
  • Sun, Earth and Moon Model (Tellurion / Orrery) With 3D Printed Parts

    Hi - really nice job! I like the transparent sun orb. It's good to see how people vary the design based on their tastes and component/PLA availability. Thanks for the positive report on the knob and for sharing the file, which I've now referred to in the main text. I'm still determined to get the crank working but when I've fixed the burned-out wires in my printer (a rite of passage, apparently) I'll probably make and fit the knob. This will make the tellurion easier to use for not-so-delicate fingers.

    View Instructable »
  • Sun, Earth and Moon Model (Tellurion / Orrery) With 3D Printed Parts

    Hi and thank you.1. The first bevel gear STL I uploaded was incorrect, as pointed out by Styxman53. I corrected this error the day it was pointed out, so just download the bevel file again (it's got a different name, slightly).2. I also included a revised orbit arm with increased 48m1 clearance on the final page, along with some improved drive-train gears with dogs to prevent slipping on machines that have been dismantled several times.3. Have you used bigger marbles than me? I think the spindles are okay - any larger and they will detract from the appearance IMO. Hot melt glue worked really well for me and there's plenty of contact area for a reasonable bond.4. I agree but a crank is aesthetically preferable. I think the crank will work really well if some weight (not much) could be ad...

    see more »

    Hi and thank you.1. The first bevel gear STL I uploaded was incorrect, as pointed out by Styxman53. I corrected this error the day it was pointed out, so just download the bevel file again (it's got a different name, slightly).2. I also included a revised orbit arm with increased 48m1 clearance on the final page, along with some improved drive-train gears with dogs to prevent slipping on machines that have been dismantled several times.3. Have you used bigger marbles than me? I think the spindles are okay - any larger and they will detract from the appearance IMO. Hot melt glue worked really well for me and there's plenty of contact area for a reasonable bond.4. I agree but a crank is aesthetically preferable. I think the crank will work really well if some weight (not much) could be added to the end of the orbit arm. I'm wondering if some washers could be embedded in the crank housing or something. Try gently pressing down on the crank housing as you work the crank and you will see what I mean.I'm delighted you are building one of these. Please post an 'I made it' photo when you are done.

    View Instructable »
  • Sun, Earth and Moon Model (Tellurion / Orrery) With 3D Printed Parts

    Arie - that place looks great. I will add it to my list! I love this sort of stuff...

    Hi Brian and thanks. I'm delighted to see you are making your own. Sorry to hear you can't find a baseplate; try looking at bread/chopping boards on ebay. Your alternative sounds good though. I considered some sort of ornate 3D printed base but my imagination failed me. Ultimately I just wanted to finish the job quickly and didn't want the base to distract from the mechanism. You will need to ensure that the base is fairly substantial, otherwise working the crank will just make the whole tellurion shift around which would be very annoying.I think that 'rounded section' of brass you refer to is the bearing assembly for the orbit arm. It actually shows (on my original) a piece of 7 mm tube x ~10 mm long surrounding the sun axis of 6 mm OD. In practice there should be no gap between the or...

    see more »

    Hi Brian and thanks. I'm delighted to see you are making your own. Sorry to hear you can't find a baseplate; try looking at bread/chopping boards on ebay. Your alternative sounds good though. I considered some sort of ornate 3D printed base but my imagination failed me. Ultimately I just wanted to finish the job quickly and didn't want the base to distract from the mechanism. You will need to ensure that the base is fairly substantial, otherwise working the crank will just make the whole tellurion shift around which would be very annoying.I think that 'rounded section' of brass you refer to is the bearing assembly for the orbit arm. It actually shows (on my original) a piece of 7 mm tube x ~10 mm long surrounding the sun axis of 6 mm OD. In practice there should be no gap between the orbit arm axis and the spacer above it, but then this detail would be lost from the schematic. Good luck with the build and please post an 'I made it!' when you are done.

    View Instructable »
  • Sun, Earth and Moon Model (Tellurion / Orrery) With 3D Printed Parts

    No problem - it was the least I could do after you went to the trouble of making it all!I have added dogs to some of the gears and shafts in the drive chain which has eliminated the occasional slippage. I didn't want to use adhesive as it's effectively irreversible, whereas these gears can still be removed in principle (with a screwdriver blade). I will add an extra page to this instructable with the revised parts and also a new orbit arm with extra clearance for the 48m1 wheel.

    View Instructable »
  • Sun, Earth and Moon Model (Tellurion / Orrery) With 3D Printed Parts

    Wow! What an amazing piece of work and faithfully reproduced so fast, too. Thanks for your kind comments. I have checked out the files that I uploaded and I put the wrong version of the bevel gear on the page, so I'm going to correct that now. It should be 12bevel.stl. Sorry about that and well spotted. If you want to check operation just wind the 54/11 gear clockwise with your fingers. You will get plenty of torque this way. I am experimenting with a modified drive arrangement that will get rid of the occasionally slippage of the bevel gears on their shafts and will post when I have it.Beautiful job, again....

    View Instructable »
  • Sun, Earth and Moon Model (Tellurion / Orrery) With 3D Printed Parts

    Hi and thank you. I don't have any videos at present but will look at making a short one. I think donating a tellurion to your local school is really laudable. This version is quite a delicate machine though, so you'd need to consider what the likely usage might be (or be prepared to make plenty of spares!).

    View Instructable »
  • Sun, Earth and Moon Model (Tellurion / Orrery) With 3D Printed Parts

    Thank you. I am a bit limited on free time so my typical working pattern was to design a new or modified part every Friday late afternoon and set it running on the printer during the evening. Then I'd have the rest of the weekend to incorporate it into the tellurion. Even so, the most complex part probably only takes a hour and a half (at the speed I print). Take it slow and enjoy it. You can build a simple version (just showing how the months work) with a subset of the parts, to keep you motivated...

    View Instructable »
    • Sun, Earth and Moon Model (Tellurion / Orrery) With 3D Printed Parts
      8,934 views
      181 favorites
      34 comments
  • Sun, Earth and Moon Model (Tellurion / Orrery) With 3D Printed Parts

    Thanks! I think these devices are more for casual demonstration of phenomena than for making predictions, so I didn't really consider a motor to be necessary. I also didn't want to mess around with power supplies, switches, wiring etc. which would detract from the overall appearance of the device. I'd also need to shift the drive from the circumference to the sun axis. This job was effectively a feasibility study for an astronomical clock build that stagnated a few years ago. My plan for that device is to have an earth-centric depiction of the heavens that will be motorised and will reflect the current state of the sky. Watch this space...

    View Instructable »
  • Sun, Earth and Moon Model (Tellurion / Orrery) With 3D Printed Parts

    Thanks. I think it's a pain to have to rotate the earth because a day is 1/365th of a year and the gears involved can get onerous. Nevertheless, when you see it going with the earth whizzing round it's definitely worth the effort...

    Thanks for your kind comments. I should probably have varnished the baseplate before I published but I was worn out by that stage!

    View Instructable »
  • Sun, Earth and Moon Model (Tellurion / Orrery) With 3D Printed Parts

    Now that would be an interesting challenge, but not for me! :-) Thanks for the kind words, anyway!

    Thank you very much. The module 1 gears have quite small teeth (~3 mm pitch around the circumference) so you'd need a very dense wood to do it. You could always scale everything up I suppose. Then there's the press-fit bearings, which might also be more challenging in different materials. Perhaps start with PLA to get the orrery bug out of your system! You might decide that it's sufficient to tick it off your 'bucket list'. Best of luck and please post an 'I made it!' when you are done, whatever medium you go for.

    View Instructable »
  • Sun, Earth and Moon Model (Tellurion / Orrery) With 3D Printed Parts

    Thank you. Yes, I thought about it. The sun tube is hollow so it would be an easy matter to route some wires through to an LED or something similar in a hollow yellow orb. I wanted to keep it all low-tech and hand-powered though, not wanting to mess around with wires and batteries, which would need a thicker baseplate, on/off switch.... and I'd already paid for the Sun marble!

    Yes you could, in principle, but in practice it would need some modest redesign. A motor would naturally sit in the centre so you'd need some form of drive arrangement coming over the sun tube, terminating in a bevel gear to drive a radial shaft which works the 12m1 bevel gear through a second 12m1 gear. Then you would do away with the crank.I thought about using it as a living almanac but it wouldn't be proof against gears slipping on their shafts. Also, it's an easy matter for someone to set up all the positions correctly then just turn the handle once each day.

    Thanks WannaDuino - have a go at making one yourself!

    Thank you and I wish you well with your own version. Please get in touch if you need any help.

    View Instructable »
  • Sun, Earth and Moon Model (Tellurion / Orrery) With 3D Printed Parts

    Thanks for your kind comments. I'm glad it's off the bench now so I can look at something else...

    View Instructable »
  • HF Antenna Analyser With Arduino and DDS Module

    Good work - you are clearly more patient than me! I said I would do something similar probably a year ago, but never got round to it. So sincere thanks for getting me off the hook! :-)

    View Instructable »
  • HF Antenna Analyser With Arduino and DDS Module

    HiYep I'm sure these will be fine. I think I used 47Rs instead of 50Rs. This is not a high precision instrument, after all. Cheers...

    Hi PaoloI only just noticed your questions. You do have to replace the 3rd and 4th values as they appear in the relevant line of the array declaration. These are referred to as columns 2 and 3 in the text because the first column on Arduino IDE is column 0. Sorry for the confusion - I might clarify this. Anyway, it sounds like you sorted it all out in the end. Good work and I hope you find it useful...

    Hi Robert - interesting to hear that you've successfully modded a DDS module (have you published?). It's really hard for me to help remotely on this one, particularly without screenshots etc. The best I can suggest is that you attempt an all-band sweep and monitor the serial output. At least you can determine whether it's the display routine or the maths which is not working properly. Let me know how you get on...

    View Instructable »
  • HF Antenna Analyser With Arduino and DDS Module

    Oh yeah - sorry. You need the adaptor to go from the nano to the rear panel, so it's a mini plug. I'll correct the text.Thanksdr_phil

    View Instructable »
  • HF Antenna Analyser With Arduino and DDS Module

    Hi PaoloV22I couldn't get this one (it's on a little PCB, correct?) to work reliably with the existing code, which annoyed me because it was cheap. Currently the code needs a two detent per step encoder, because I borrowed someone else's code to use it. Since then I've worked out how to get a standard encoder to work but haven't bothered changing the code. You should be able to hack it without too much trouble I think.Cheers,

    Hi hl2daa.Looks fantastic - it's amazing to see someone on another continent using my instructable and modifying it for their own ends, particularly as those broad-band graphs with multiple resonances look really good!I probably haven't quite caught the meaning of everything in your message but please ask again if I have missed anything.Cheers

    View Instructable »
  • dr_phil commented on dr_phil's instructable Wood Pile "book End" Supports From Pallet8 months ago
    Wood Pile "book End" Supports From Pallet

    Thanks - mine haven't collapsed yet! Not even close, as far as I can tell!

    View Instructable »
  • dr_phil commented on dr_phil's instructable Arduino-controlled HDMI Switch8 months ago
    Arduino-controlled HDMI Switch

    Hi Edward - you could probably substitute the high-side PNP transistor switch with a relay, if you wanted a conceptually simpler circuit (albeit with an extra wire). The transistor method really is easy though (even I could manage it...!). I don't know how the current draw would compare between a transistor and a relay coil, however, but suspect that the relay will be more power-hungry.Good luck.

    View Instructable »
  • HF Antenna Analyser With Arduino and DDS Module

    Thanks Paulo. Sounds like you made it? If so I hope you find it useful (and worth the effort of building!).I have just updated the firmware to include 160 m and 60 m (and all the bands still just about fit onto the OLED display). When I've done the calibration I'll upload V7. Watch this space...

    View Instructable »
  • HF Antenna Analyser With Arduino and DDS Module

    Hi Chris - thanks for letting me know. I hope it proves useful to you. I've bought a phase-sensitive detector module from ebay recently which I'm planning to incorporate into the design instead of the bridge. Watch this space (eventually!).As far as the box goes, I just picked sometime that looked okay off ebay uk. It's broadly classed as an instrument enclosure (abs body with aluminium ends). I don't think it was branded in any way. Just looking at the layout of your board, you might be better off using a simple acrylic (plexiglass) sandwich with holes for the encoder and the antenna connector. Use PCB standoffs to support the plates. You get screen protection for free if you do this!Thanks again...

    View Instructable »
  • HF Antenna Analyser With Arduino and DDS Module

    Good work and thanks for letting me know! Did you reverse engineer my stripboard layout or do your own from the K6BEZ layout? I'm guessing that the arduino is hidden underneath the copper groundplane?

    View Instructable »
  • HF Antenna Analyser With Arduino and DDS Module

    Hi Steve. You make some excellent points. I like the idea of an in-built cal routine (but I have to remind myself all the time that better is the enemy of good enough!). Anyway I've just found out how to extract the hex file and will email you one if you want (if it's not a breach of protocol and I can figure out how to attach stuff!).I tend to put my projects together with cheap, compact Nanos and other import modules. Once the firmware is finalised I box it up and do nothing except change the battery occasionally. Your point about the OLED is a good one - in the driver file there is a huge range of options and you almost have to guess which display you have. It's worth it though, as these are crystal-clear, bright displays and even the graphing works well - I'm not sure how a classic ...

    see more »

    Hi Steve. You make some excellent points. I like the idea of an in-built cal routine (but I have to remind myself all the time that better is the enemy of good enough!). Anyway I've just found out how to extract the hex file and will email you one if you want (if it's not a breach of protocol and I can figure out how to attach stuff!).I tend to put my projects together with cheap, compact Nanos and other import modules. Once the firmware is finalised I box it up and do nothing except change the battery occasionally. Your point about the OLED is a good one - in the driver file there is a huge range of options and you almost have to guess which display you have. It's worth it though, as these are crystal-clear, bright displays and even the graphing works well - I'm not sure how a classic 'lined' LCD would work. Much of my stuff ends up using every pin so I'm a bit of an I2C fan. This project has quite a few pins left over at the moment.I'm keen to update this device to measure the magnitude of reactance, so I can plot minimum SWR and reactance null simultaneously. If it's easy it could happen quite quickly. If not, I'll move on to the next project in my brimming in-tray! Watch this space.Best regards, dr_phil

    View Instructable »
  • HF Antenna Analyser With Arduino and DDS Module

    Type "30dB low-noise LNA Broadband Receiver Module RF Wideband Amplifier 0.1-2000MHz" into ebay and you should get a few hits. I couldn't find a part number.I should stress that I make no recommendation as to the suitability of this device (as mine hasn't arrived yet). I think the problem of detector non-linearity will remain at low return signals. In my opinion the software-based calibration described in the instructable is the easiest and cheapest way to go. It is also fully supported in the sketch (version 6).

    I'm not familiar with this method of flashing the Arduino; it sounds very sensible for a production-type environment. In this instance I think the user community is best served by compiling from source, so they can calibrate the measurements, understand the code and customise the device if they wish.

    View Instructable »
  • HF Antenna Analyser With Arduino and DDS Module

    Hi Ambroigo,I've put additional information on Steps 2 & 3 which shows where to connect the screen and encoder to the Arduino. D2, D3, A4 & A5 must not be changed (because they provide hardware interrupts & I2C support). The other digital pins to interface with the DDS etc. are optional and can be changed in the sketch.The sketch (.ino) automatically interfaces with the OLED and encoder. When performing a single or multi-band scan, frequency and VSWR values are sent out of the serial port on the back of the unit. The easiest way to get these is to connect up your USB Arduino Uno-style programming lead and start up a 9600 baud serial monitor via the Arduino IDE. Then copy and paste the results into a spreadsheet.

    View Instructable »
  • HF Antenna Analyser With Arduino and DDS Module

    er, sorry - Step 2!

    Hi and thanks. I will look at producing a schematic as there is a lot of unexpected interest. Nevertheless all the detail is in the instructable if you look carefully.

    Hi. You can find the schematic for the basic VSWR capability via the link on Step 3. Look on Page 7. This doesn't include the encoder and the screen. I didn't expect this project to create such interest so I will have a look at creating a comprehensive schematic for the whole system. It will take a little while though...

    View Instructable »
  • HF Antenna Analyser With Arduino and DDS Module

    Hi. See http://www.hamstack.com/hs_projects/k6bez_antenna_analyzer.pdf. Page 11 refers to a simple resistive bridge. I think the implementation on the board is more complex as Page 11 only shows a single diode. I haven't gone through it in detail, but I'm glad it seems to work!

    Thank you. If you want the schematic, check out K6BEZ's website for his original circuit, which I've borrowed largely unchanged. I have however added the rotary encoder and the screen etc. which hopefully any Arduino fan should be able to follow or adapt to their own specification. If not I'll try to answer specific questions. For what it's worth, it usually takes me ages to transfer a schematic onto stripboard and I'd love it if someone did that job for me; it's interesting to see so many people wanting it the other way round. :-)

    Thanks. I didn't present the schematic because a) the fundamental VSWR part is K6BEZ's work and is documented extensively on his site; b) the idea is to tell you how to make one of these, not go into the detailed function of the system. Hope that makes sense :-).

    Yeah, I just love those OLED displays - small but very clear and easy to read.You could probably convert this if you a) had an appropriate DDS module covering the relevant ranges; b) your resistive bridge (see comments above),and associated circuitry and wiring were appropriate to the higher frequency. If all that's okay (and I've no idea whether it is), you just need to change the contents of the array that stores the HF band information.If you do it, please publish!

    View Instructable »
  • HF Antenna Analyser With Arduino and DDS Module

    Hi again. Thanks for the tip; it certainly sounds very easy (once you know how). In my defence I don't have a key. I'm working on learning CW but haven't got far enough with Koch to justify buying one yet.

    View Instructable »
  • HF Antenna Analyser With Arduino and DDS Module

    Hi & thanks for your interest. I'm really sorry but I couldn't face making another one. It took me several months (off and on), but in fairness most of that was getting the code right (and making the rotary encoder work properly). The good news is that bit has now been done for you. It's really easy to build a bare-bones version (two or three hours work) and you just need to put my sketch onto it.Alternatively you may wish to consider one of the very cheap Chinese units from Ebay?

    Thank you. Sounds like you have way more experience than me in the field (that's not hard, mind you!). I'm usually really pushed for time and the finer points of antenna design and tuning are beyond me at the moment. I spent out a load on a new rig and didn't want to trash it with my inexperience! Hence the analyser, which gives me peace of mind and saves me time if and when I change the antenna.Your DDS seems has demanding supply requirements. The one I used cost about £6.30 and uses a 5 V rail. It will go up to about 40 MHz. Good luck with the project though.

    Thanks. Erm, seriously I would probably buy the cheap Chinese analyser for about £45. Getting my basic system working was pretty easy, but making it work well and look nice took ages. What's your time worth? Like all these things, it's economically usually a bad idea but you learn loads and get lots of satisfaction.The encoder is really nice but honestly, it would have been much cheaper and quicker to use push-buttons.For a future build it might be nice to try to incorporate resistance and reactance measurements, but at the time it was all about not blowing up my finals!

    View Instructable »
  • dr_phil commented on dr_phil's instructable Kids Screen Timer with Arduino1 year ago
    Kids Screen Timer with Arduino

    You're welcome and thanks for your kind words: sharing has helped me hugely so I try to put something back. The TV isn't getting much use at the moment so you'll have to wait for all those additional features I talked about... perhaps consider them a challenge and post your results when you've done them?! Good luck with Arduino...

    View Instructable »
  • dr_phil commented on SimonM83's instructable Improved Arduino Rotary Encoder Reading1 year ago
    Improved Arduino Rotary Encoder Reading

    Excellent work Simon - thanks very much for sharing. Adding to Githyuk's observations, I have also found that this works well with a two detents per pulse encoder. I previously tried a KY-040 'module' with a 20 pulse/20 detent device, and performance was too jittery for a menu system. This is a bit of a shame as the 30/15 devices are relatively expensive (~£6 or more), especially if you want a switch and a threaded body. Now if we could just figure out how to get the cheapo ones to work... :-)

    View Instructable »
  • dr_phil's instructable Coat-hanger hook for hotels's weekly stats: 1 year ago
    • Coat-hanger hook for hotels
      552 views
      5 favorites
      2 comments
  • dr_phil commented on dr_phil's instructable Kids Screen Timer with Arduino1 year ago
    Kids Screen Timer with Arduino

    Hi. Simply find the line in loop() which reads 'timeWindow=0' and change it to 'timeWindow=1'. Then the display should read 'xxxx tAG' all the time and all users can log in any time.Cheers

    View Instructable »
  • dr_phil commented on dr_phil's instructable Kids Screen Timer with Arduino1 year ago
    Kids Screen Timer with Arduino

    Hi. The concept is as follows:Let's say you have two kids and you think they should probably be allowed up to 2 hours of TV a day. This is already coded but you can change it.Let's also say you don't want them watching TV in the morning before school, and after about 6pm when they should be eating and getting ready for bed. These time 'windows' can also be coded separately for Mon-Fri and weekends.The kids will be able to watch TV when a) they have minutes on their 'account'; and b) when the time is in a permitted window (e.g. 3pm to 6pm). When these conditions are met, they still have to swipe their tag to 'log on' and switch on the TV signal.You know when the timer is in a permitted window because it says 'tAG' instead of 'off'. When it says 'tAG', the kids can switch on the TV signa...

    see more »

    Hi. The concept is as follows:Let's say you have two kids and you think they should probably be allowed up to 2 hours of TV a day. This is already coded but you can change it.Let's also say you don't want them watching TV in the morning before school, and after about 6pm when they should be eating and getting ready for bed. These time 'windows' can also be coded separately for Mon-Fri and weekends.The kids will be able to watch TV when a) they have minutes on their 'account'; and b) when the time is in a permitted window (e.g. 3pm to 6pm). When these conditions are met, they still have to swipe their tag to 'log on' and switch on the TV signal.You know when the timer is in a permitted window because it says 'tAG' instead of 'off'. When it says 'tAG', the kids can switch on the TV signal by swiping their RFID tags. Then their minutes start to count down, till they swipe again and log off / switch off the tv signal.A parent or holder of the timer tag can use the TV at any time (you pay the bills, right?). Only normal users (i.e. kids) have to wait for 'XX:XX tAG' to appear.Hopefully this make sense. Perhaps I need to check my write-up...Cheers

    View Instructable »
  • dr_phil commented on dr_phil's instructable Low-cost Bare-bones Bench Power Supply1 year ago
    Low-cost Bare-bones Bench Power Supply

    Thanks for your kind comments. It is, as you say, exactly what it needs to be (for me, anyway)...

    View Instructable »