Category Archives: 3dprinter

BinarySpace HAB Launch – Binary – 04 – 4 Aug 2018

Hi Everybody,

We are doing another High Altitude Balloon Launch on the 4th of August (Saturday). Everybody is invited to join us for the day to launch and chase the balloon. We will be launching from the NWU Vaal Triangle Campus in Vanderbijlpark

This launch is all about the data, we have a multitude of sensors connected to a Lora blackbox that will both log and transmit the data during the flight.

The flight prediction for this flight a bit rough and indicates that the balloon will come down about 220km from the launch site. We are hoping to bring the payload down a bit earlier with our payload seperation system. If the failsafe fails then we have a bit more driving to do. The main chase vehicles can also be tracked on aprs (ZR6TG, ZS6MDV and ZR6MUG)

The SSTV camera was popular last time and we are flying it again, this time with a better bracket to hold the camera in place (so hopefully less transmitted images of the inside of the payload). QSL cards will be sent to all radio amateur participants that receive and decode SSTV images. The SSTV camera will point outward and we are hoping for some great views.

Our gopro for this launch will be pointing upwards to the balloon for this one as we want footage of the payload release system, or if that fails of the balloon bursting.

This launch will also contain 3 additional third party payloads:

– MakerLabs Science Payload – Various sensors that will be logged. (http://makerlabs.co.za/)
– Matthew Varkevisser – ZS6MDV – Parrot Repeater listening on 145.525 and is activated with a 88.5hz tone
– Michael Bernhardt – ZR6MUG – GoPro + ZCoin Logo

Previous Launches:
9 June 2018
17 March 2018 – https://youtu.be/nckxiX4dIJg
15 April 2015 – https://youtu.be/80kGEs5-vcI

About the Mission – Binary 04

Equipment on this flight:

SSTV Camera Transmitter (400mW-500mW) – Will take a photo and transmit it every 5 minutes.
Transmitted on 144.500 FM, Martin 1 Mode
You can use MMSSTV to decode (http://hamsoft.ca/pages/mmsstv.php)

Lora BlackBox Telemetry Transmitter (100mW) – Will transmit telemetry data continuously

Sensors include pressure, temperature (inside, outside), humidity, gps. All data will also be logged locally on sd card for retrieval

APRS Transmitter (300mW) – Will transmit position and altitude every minute

Technical Info:
Callsign: ZR6TG-11
Transmitted on 144.800
You can follow on https://aprs.fi/#!call=ZR6TG-11&timerange=3600&tail=3600

We will also have the following on the payload:

1x Gopro camera
1x Science Lab (Raspberry pi based with lots of sensors) designed and deployed by https://www.pishop.co.za
1x Payload Seperation Fail Safe
1x Data Blackbox

Sasolburg Amateur Radio Club (ZS4SRK) will join us with the tracking and recovery of the payload. As usual all amateur radio enthusiasts everywhere are invited to come play with us 🙂

Please also share to any Amateur Radio Groups/Clubs
We are using a 1000g balloon (white). We are estimating a 3 hour mission from launch to recovery.

We have the following challenges happening during the launch:

(1) First person to recover the payload gets a box of craft beer (from http://www.degarve.co.za)
(2) Footage of the Payload coming down will be rewarded with 1 box of craft beer (from http://www.degarve.co.za)
(3) Special Awards (QSL Cards) will be given to everyone who captures the SSTV images. Please mail tvdbon@gmail with the decoded information, time of transmission (bonus if you can provide a recorded sound clip) and your location and equipment used (optional)

Primary launch window: August 4 2018 – 7:00 (we start setting up somewhere around 6:15)

Depending on weather or technical difficulties the launch and/or the payload contents can change at any time, check the telegram group for up to date information:

Telegram group used for tracking and comms: https://t.me/joinchat/AjadWA9ghb4D4pvdCGO5gA

Launch Site: North-West University, Vaal Triangle Campus, Vanderbijlpark – 1174 Hendrick Van Eck Boulevard, Vanderbijlpark, 1900

Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/uar8DZMPFM82

Fun Facts:

This will be the 4th BinarySpace High Altitude Balloon Launch
This will be the 4th launch using the Trackduino APRS tracker
This will be the 1st launch at the North West University Vaal Triangle Campus
This will be the 3rd launch utilizing new homebrew tracking equipment
This will be the 2nd launch with SSTV camera
This will be the 1st launch with Lora Black Box + Telemetry
This will be the 1st launch with Thirdparty Launches

Everybody is welcome to come and join us 🙂

PlenZA – Our own PLEN Fork

So we are big fans of the Plen robot. Unfortunately the motors used in the original Plen are hard to find and/or expensive. We decided to create our own version of the Plen called the PlenZA. It’s essentially the original plen, but modified for different cheaper 9g motors that are very much everywhere, especially in SA.

Andries Smuts, one of our BinarySpace members have modified the original files and we have been printing and testing.

plenza2 plenza1

We also have some quick videos of the first movements:

All the mechanical files can be found on our github repository.
We are currently looking at the original electronics, but we are also keen on designing our own.

Stay tuned for more updates 🙂

Pointr – Our #opendatahack Hackathon Entry

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On 21st and 22nd of October we participated in the Microsoft Open Government Data Hackathon. The theme around this hackathon is that you build/develop something over these two days that make use of the openly available government data. There has been numerous hackathons like these all over the world. The prize was R50000! That is the kind of money that could mean a lot for BinarySpace in terms of getting tools and equipment for the space.

While we were a bit uncertain about what exactly we were going to do, we decided to form a team and enter the hackathon (this required some emails and a few leave forms).

Before the hackathon we started looking at various open data sources to see what is out there and what we can do. After lots of discussions on our local telegram group we decided on an idea. The requirements for this hackathon was basically; build something over the two days that use the government data to give it a better meaning and make it available to everybody. There was also a mention to make it fun!

The Idea

From the beginning we knew that most of the open data hackathons ended up in various cool websites and apps. We wanted to do something more physical and different. We got the inspiration from the Points Sign, which is essentially a smart street sign. The hack was to build something like that from scratch over a period of 2 days, and using government data in a meaningful way. From the beginning this was a very ambitious hack in the timeline we had. We settled on a more basic government data set which was the positions of every public government facility in the country. This includes Hospitals, Home Affairs offices and even schools.

So the plan was to create a smart street sign. It would have a control panel so that you can select which government facilities you are looking for and also have some emergency feature. Press the button for the facility you wanted and the signs would point to the 3 closest facilities while showing how far each one is from the sign.

We are calling it Pointr! The smart logo you see above was designed by our Isobar assigned team member and new friend of BinarySpace Rico Smith.

The Mechanics

The biggest challenge in this project is the mechanical side of things. Making 1 sign rotate is easy, add 2 more on top of that and it becomes more difficult. Each sign needs a motor, power and communication lines for the sign. That is a lot of wires that need to go through the same pipe with the rotation mechanism. Granted we could have left the wires hanging on the outside (it’s a hack after all), but we wanted it to look nice.

Andre and Chris handled the mechanical side in terms of design and printing. Andre made a very cool design that involved a pvc pipe, a steel pipe welded onto a base and some 3d printed parts

Pointer_2 Pointer_1

 

The motor is essentially offset on the inner side of the pipe, a belt/pully mechanism used in 3d printers is used to do the rotation. This leaves space to bring through the wiring for the next rotation mechanism. Our sign can do a full 360 degrees, but not continuously.  This means that if the sign is pointing at 340 degrees and needed to go to 10 degrees, it would basically move counter clockwise to 10 degrees instead of just moving forward over 360 to 10 degrees. For our purpose this wasn’t an issue at all.

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mechanism

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The sign was cut from 6mm acrylic, and the plastic parts were printed with PLA.

sign

 

 

On day 1 we had the first movement up and running, and we were very happy with how smoothly it went 🙂

 

Unfortunately on day 2 we decided to spray paint the pole. The not-fully-cured paint messed that up and we spent a while scratching off paint where the rotational parts go. Lesson learned 😉

paint

For the main control panel, we had originally planned on just drilling a few holes in the pipe and mounting buttons with a printed piece of paper indicating which buttons to press. We are however suckers for a challenge so we decided to 3d print panels, and while we were it 3d print the icons as well

buttonpads

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Rico designed the icons, which Andre converted into something printable, which Chris then printed … good teamwork 😉

Since there are lots of various government departments we decided to only take a few for our prototype. We decided on 4 emergency buttons; panic button, police, hospital and fire department. For the information side we chose Home Affairs, Libraries, Child Services and Courts. Press the panic button and police would be notified that someone needs help close to the sign. Press any of the other buttons and it would point the 3 signs to where you want to go.

 

All in all our mechanical side worked and looked beautifully 🙂

 The Electronics

For this hack the electronics were relatively simple. Michael and myself (Tom) tackled that part of the challenge.

The electronics side basically have to decode the location data and then depending on which button was pressed it needs to to calculate the rotation of the motors (ie. the location of the destination) and send a message to the led displays.

wip

Our biggest problem was the led displays. For our size we needed a lot and the few places that had them at an affordable price didn’t have enough. The suppliers that had enough were not cheap.

After some searching Andre came across a place that sold these car displays. They were on special (leftover stock from a previous bigger order). At R200 these were a bargain so we cleared out their stock.

leddisplay

Upon arrival I opened one up to see how easy it would be to hack it to our purpose. Luckily the electronics were pretty simple. Basically a micro controller with some shift registers. We desoldered the micro, soldered some wires onto the pads to connect it to an arduino. A bit of code later the led display was working.

leddisplay2
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We did however have some issues with getting the scrolling and font characters to work properly so for our demo we pre-programmed a few messages for the demo.

For driving the stepper motors we settled on a ramps 1.4 shield with an arduino mega (the exact same electronics you find in most 3d printers). Our original idea was to use a raspberry pi that would decode the data and control the ramps board. Michael wrote python code that would handle all that. Again, we ran out of time and decided to hard-code the data and process directly on the arduino mega.

Most of the other teams did a mostly software project (Except the Bushveld Labs/Isobar Team) and I think we scared them with our impromptu makerspace table.

makerspace event1

 

Conclusion

I’m very proud of what we as a team managed to accomplish in those two days. And even though we didn’t win the prize money we had loads of fun, learned a lot and made some new friends. We have a nice project and we are taking it back to the space to make improvements and finish the parts we couldn’t at the hackathon. It will be a nice project to show off at the space and future events 🙂

Congratulations to #TeamBaby who won the Hackathon. We’ll see you guys next time!

finalpresentation

Thanks to Kerry and the other peeps from Isobar and to Microsoft for the grand prize sponsor. Hope to see more hackathons with this kind of prize money 😉

Additional Notes

  • The hackathon was held at the same building where the Diz MakerSpace is located. This place is awesome! If you in the area go say hi to Rick, Jarred, Daniel and all the others at the Space (111 Smit Street, Johannesburg)

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  • A few days before the hackathon I put together a little event cam that would allow the other BinarySpace members to join in the fun. It’s basically a raspberry pi with webcam. On it was a modified version of our BinaryBot. All the members in our Telegram group could request a picture from it at anytime. There are some improvements to be made but this was a good test for it and you can expect to see our event cam at future hackathons and events.eventcam_physical eventcam_physical2
  • eventcam
    eventcam2

Ham,Pi and a 3d printed Lawnmower… (Meetups February 2015)

I’m long overdue on a meetup update so here is a nice big post with things you might have missed the past month at BinarySpace:

Gary Immelman came to the space to give as an introduction into Amateur Ham Radio. It doesn’t take long to see that Gary is a very successful and passionate Ham Radio operator. He told us some very cool stories of his electronic and radio adventures. The people he has communicated with (even the Astronaut that came to dinner after a chat they had over the airwaves).

DSC_5085 (Large) DSC_5087 (Large)

 

Amateur Radio covers so many aspects and there is lots of toys to play and experiment with.DSC_5088 (Large)

 

It was a very interesting talk and inspired a few of the members (including myself and Michael) to start studying for the Amateur radio license exams happening in May.

We had a 3d printer themed evening with local ‘large scale’ 3d printing guru Hans Fouche as a guest. He brought along lots of 3d printed goodies including printed shoes, a vacuum cleaner and a 3d printed lawn mower.

Hans shared a few of his successes and failures (not a lot really) in his 3d printing adventures. If you haven’t heard or seen the 3d printed lawn mower in action then surely your living underneath a rock. It’s all over the interwebs!
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Also  check out the 3d printer that Hans built, it’s called the Cheetah, it’s fast, large and it’s awesome!
DSC_5150 (Large)

I’ve also showed off my scaled up 3d printed 3d racers.

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Between all the meetups and hacking we have also been hard at work at improving the space. It recently got painted, were adding more work space, shelves for various hacks, projects and our beer glass collection. A new keg system is up and running. It’s still a work in progress but it’s getting better and better every week. Thanks to everyone who helped out and all the donations we have received.DSC_5190 (Large) DSC_5191 (Large) DSC_5197 (Large)

 

Between all of this we still found time to check out the new Raspberry PI 2, work on our HAB project and build some Arduino game goodness:DSC_5173 DSC_5201 (Large) DSC_5196 (Large)

 

We also have a few new regular members. Welcome and we hope you have fun!

Lots of other projects also happening, but sometimes I’m just having so much fun that I forget to take pictures, so sorry if I missed something. But then again, if you attend the meetups you won’t miss anything 😉 Also, check out the project page for all current and future projects.

Until next time 🙂

T

 

Making, Etching and Printing

We had some awesome meetups the past two weeks. Last week we had our ‘Etch your own Arduino workshop’ which went great. We used the Nanino design for the pcb and they turned out great!

For the toner layout we used the blue Press-n-Peel, its very easy to use and you get great results. For the etching we used ammonium persulfate which is not as nasty as the usual ferric chloride (although you still shouldn’t drink it!), we used gloves when handling the etchant.

DSC_7521We used a regular steam iron for the toner transfer onto the blank pcb. Not sure if the guys would appreciate it if their wives saw that they can actually handle a steam iron …

DSC_7529 DSC_7524DSC_7525DSC_7532DSC_7535DSC_7537DSC_7567After some successful etching the board just needs to be drilled, cleaned and the components can be soldered onto the board.

DSC_7553 DSC_7556 DSC_7549 DSC_7558Just about everybody is currently at this point and we’ll finish soldering up and testing the boards next week!

Last year we started working on our own Cyclone PCB Factory. We were missing some parts back then and the project got shelved for a while. Last night Gerhard and Romeo started working on it again. They managed to get all the mechanical stuff sorted and next week we are hooking up the electronics.

DSC_7547Sebastian showed off his Perspex entertainment pc which is coming nicely.

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Myself and Sebastian are also currently working on a new monthly project for December which involves the new esp8266 wifi modules and some ws2811 LED’s. Sebastian gave a little demo of the code he has done so far. It’s going to be awesome … more info soon!

DSC_7546And lastly the 3d printer was running in the background printing another piece for our 3d printed chair project.

DSC_7565 DSC_7568 DSC_7572All in all, two great meetings. See everybody next time 🙂

Tom

This week at BinarySpace – 12 June 2014

It’s been a while since we did another update. So here is what happened last night at our regular meetup 🙂

Last week we decided it’s time for a new fun space project where everybody can get involved. We decided to start fixing up our beer dispensing. We have been enjoying beer on tap since the beginning of BinarySpace but our setup looked like this:

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It works, but usually takes a while for new members to learn to use a beer tap like that and we lose some precious beer in the process. We decided that our new space project would be to mount the tap and throw some tech in the mix.

We decided on adding some sensors for measuring flow and temperature. Also for some bling, convert to the top into a led matrix. The final idea is still a work in progress so we’ll see how much we end up adding to the system.

Last night we started looking at mounting options and got the rgb led’s for the matrix up and running.

Gys organised a killer mount for the tap:

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20140612_201548Also the led’s for the top are up and running:

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We still need a few fittings and hack everything together but with a bit of luck, beer will be flowing from the new tap at next week’s meetup…

Louis also joined us last night with his Morgan 3d printer. He is making some great progress and will be printing soon 🙂

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See everybody next time! 🙂

Games/Robots/3D Printing and Cold Beer

What you missed if you weren’t there last night 🙂

  • Lee has most of the issues with his PrintrBot sorted. Should be printing by next week.
  • Sebastian worked on his Inmoov, it’s looking good and also scary if you think that it’s only the lower arm, the complete torso is going to be huge!
  • Hein came for a visit, said some interesting stuff about a DIY pick and place, should hopefully have more information
  • I couldn’t do much with my arcade project so ended up playing a bit with the mFi port and sensors
  • Cold beer!

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See everybody next week!

 

Last night at BinarySpace :)

Hey Guys,

Another fun meeting last night. Tom played some more with the raspberry pi camera and got the user space (Thx Schalk) driver working with python. It’s running great.

RaspberryPICam

Sebastian sorted out his screw problem and started doing some basic inmoov finger movements.

Inmoo Movements

Don’t believe me? Check out this short and sweet video 😉

See everybody next week 🙂

Last night at BinarySpace – 19 September

We had another fun meetup last night at BinarySpace. Wynand has been working on his Prusa I3 Remixed 3d printer for the past 5 weeks and last night it was decided that she will print before the end of the night. Well after some beers and some on the fly modifications she started her first print!

DSC_5553 (Large)

 

About two layers in, Lee asked if that burning smell is normal but I assured him that the smell isn’t too bad … and then the smoke came. It seemed that the thermistor came loose from the hotend and the controller decided to keep on heating the hotend until the pla turned liquid …

After letting it cool down and a few more beers we fixed it all up and tested everything again, no permanent damage… phew. Goes to show how quickly and catastrophically a 3d printer can fail…

Wynand designed this printer by using the existing Prusa I3 parts and modifying them to a different design that uses extruded aluminium as the frame. His idea was also to eliminate some linear bearings and have the slides run directly on the aluminium. I was impressed how well this works. More testing is required to see how well this will work over long term usage.

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All in all it was a fun night, and our main goal of getting the printer up and running was achieved 🙂

Thanks to everybody that joined us and see you all next week Thursday!

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3D Print Fun Friday – 3D-Scanner Arduino Turntable

Time for another 3d fun print. As 3d printers get more and more popular people are playing more with 3d scanning. There is some great software out there that do great 3d scanning using only a line laser and a webcam. So let’s print a small arduino (or any other controller) turntable to scan miniature objects.

http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:37222

Check out http://www.david-3d.com/ for more info on setting it all up. Anybody have a local source for line lasers?