Upgrading a LEGO Power Brick

Do you remember the good times of LEGO? Or even LEGO Technic? Turns out that LEGO is a timeless classic and still very much fun. What is not timeless however, is battery technology. Several old LEGO models are powered by 9 Volts via six 1.5 AAA batteries. This proved to be cumbersome, because the batteries…

Pimp My 3D Printer

Adventures in tuning my Anet-A8 3D Printer. About a year ago, I purchased a rather inexpensive “DIY” 3D printer kit directly from the country that sells everything; China. My model of choice was the “Anet-A8” printer, due to its low price and big online support community. Not only the price and support led to my…

A DIY Handbrake for Simracing

Of course, there is always a Need for Speed in racing simulations. But sometimes, there is also the Need for Smooth Drifting Around Tight Corners. And pressing a button on my steering wheel controller just doesn’t cut it in terms of control and realism. So, I set out to acquire a handbrake controller, but quickly…

Building a Weather Satellite Antenna

During my adventures with SDR (software-defined radio), the need for a proper QFH antenna arose. This type of antenna is used to receive signals that are circularly polarized, such as APT weather maps sent by the NOAA satellites. I used a PVC pipe and a standard shielded coax cable from the local hardware store, and…

The Beer Crate Boombox

A few years ago, in 2017, I attended a rather large music festival. Apart from the music and general camping experience, one thing particularly got stuck in my mind: Someone wearing a beer crate as a backpack. While one could argue this not being an unusual sight at a music festival, the thing that impressed…

Building a Laser Cutter: Part 3 – Electronics and Control

After completing the machnical construction of the laser cutter, it was time for the control circuit. I used a perfboard PSB and soldered headers for the Arduino and stepper motor drivers to it. On the bottom, I connected everything up. The limit switches needed some simple debouncing and smoothing on their signals, because the cables…

Building a Laser Cutter: Part 1 – Idea and Plan

In 2016, I built a CNC laser cutter / engraver. I always wanted to document the whole process, but never got around to do so – until now. Enjoy a multi-part series on how my build went! Before I start, a word of warning: Lasers can be very dangerous to your health, eyes and general…