Bike generator for 18650 battery packs – Part 1

Part 2 of the Bike generator for the 18650 battery packs. In this one we build the mounting frame for the treadmill motor, 3dprint an axle connecting sleeve and do some tests with the multimeter to see what kind of voltage we can!. Getting closer to starting to record power generation data to the home automation system!

 

 

Bike generator for 18650 battery packs – Part 1

Welcome to part 1 of the bike generator build.

This build will add a pedal powered bike generator to help charge my 18650 battery packs. This will be in additional to the small solar panel currently in use.

The charge controller and statistics will be build on an arduino controller and tied in to my openhab home automation system for tracking and graphing.

The controller will connect wirelessly using mysensors and an nrf24l01 radio.

 

Progress on the green sprinkler system project!

I have made some progress on the green sprinkler system project.   I even shot some video recently!!!

 

Here is some testing of the water quality…. WHO PEED IN MY BARREL!!

 

Now for the big update!!! Built a battery from recycled 18650 laptop cells.  Hooked it to my pump.  Drained my rain barrel!!  Then charged the battery back up via solar!!!

Man I am feeling kind of green!

Like this guy?

Oh and I am the one that peed in your barrel

Oh %^&* you’re back too huh.

You do realize I am you, you are me right?

Man I had a long night last night.  Don’t do that deep %^&* on me.

Ok Ok.  Check out his (my video)

MineCraft Nightlight Christmas Present

Ok, so my son is 8 and that means he automatically likes Pokemon and minecraft.
He also likes anything with LED’s (geek in training I believe… blinky oooooh shiny…. sorry, distracted.)

So awhile back I came across this post BLE controlled Minecraft nightlight.  I figured, this is perfect.  So I started order some parts (making a few changes of my own along the way) and printed out the cube and base.

Parts:
Adafruit Pro Trinket – 3V 12MHz
Adafruit Neo Pixel Strip
Capacitor
3d Printer
Adafruit BlueFruit LE Bluetooth module

 

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I then soldered up the led strips I had from a different project.  Finished wiring everything up based on Mr. McMillan’s guide.  One of the changes I made was I needed to make a different base piece.   The cover originally designed required some larger feet than I had for it.  So I designed a new piece.

Here is the alternate piece.  Thingiverse

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Had an issue the weekend before christmas and had to order some replacements.  So here I was Christmas Eve soldering everything up.

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And I got it all working just in time.  So Christmas morning it was sitting beside all the presents already lit up.  I didn’t get a pic of it under the tree.  Kind of wish I had.  But here is a pic of it light up on my desk.

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My First 3d Printer (final)

So you have seen my woes.   I learned ALOT about 3d printers during the build and trials and tribulations.   But once I had it pseudo working the first thing I wanted to print…. UPGRADES!!!

“#$%^& YES!!!! Print your own upgrades!”  I yelled at the printer!

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I printed a new fan shroud that has a vent to help cool the plastic as well as a slot for a 9 gram servo motor..  Why you may ask?  Well, its for the auto bed level!

This seemed like the holy grail at the time, it is still pretty cool, but I have found it does put some extra wear and tear on your z-axis nuts and rods.

I basically build it based of this guys videos

This is still a pretty cool feature.   I have even used the time it takes to auto level to change my heat bed temps by using some custom “start gcode” in CURA

M140 S65
G21 ;metric values
G90 ;absolute positioning
M82 ;set extruder to absolute mode
M107 ;start with the fan off
G28 ;move Z to min endstops
G29

 

In short, my CURA profile has the heat bed set to heat up to 55 degrees.  I personally like it at 65.  So once that initial 55 is hit for the heatbed and the hotend it starts this custom G-Code.   That first line says “set the head bed temp to 65” then it moves on to some of the other settings.  The G28 and G29 are related to the auto bed leveling.   So while its probing various points, the bed is heating up to my desired temp.

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Its funny I have this little guy printed in black abs, black pla, red pla and gray pla in my house.

This hurt.  For over a week I had my printer ripped back apart.

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My First 3d Printer (part 2)

Wow, its been 6 months since I wrote part 1.

I will show a few more pics of the build and then go into some MAJOR things I learned.  Some links to really good resources and some pics of various prints I have done.

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This was the picture after I got a lot of the main support structure together.   I thought I was getting close to being done.  Oh how wrong I was..

All of this info so far happened in the time between Wednesday and Saturday that first week.  So Saturday night the wife is off to work, the kids are pre-occupied.  PRINTER TIME.  2015-04-23 22.03.16

So I am putting on the heat bed the the y-carriage support (that acrylic plate in the middle.)  You have springs you put over the screws so that it has constant pressure keep the plate level.  I am pressing these things in…. crack!!

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Yep, broke a piece of my printer before I even plugged in it.

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I was devastated.  However, not the end of the world.  I continued on and just jammed a sticky note pad in there… don’t judge me.  Desperate times called for desperate measures!

At that point I stepped away for 2 days and began working on it again going into the new week.  Electronics time!!!

Now we have to hook up all that stuff.

Look how clean a RAMPS board looks before you hook everything up.2015-04-24 18.27.08

So I get everything hooked up.   I’m done.  Lets hook it to the computer, upload a test pattern for the motors and make it move.

 

 

Nothing…

 

Why isn’t it registering….  Why is that power light coming on and fading out…. Did I get a bum arduino mega?  No worries!!! I have an extra one from another project, lets test it.

Out comes the magic smoke….   1 of those little green stepper motor boards was on backwards and fried not only the arduino mega, but the mega, the RAMPS and 4 of 5 stepper motor drivers.  Thank you amazon for having just that kit available for someone like me.

 

Now I am considering just setting it all on fire, molding it into something, and calling it “3d printer art” but we have it powering up now.   So I had to give the dining room table back to the wife (she hates when I take over the table for projects)

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So its time to start trying to print.

HA!!!  I wish it was that easy.   1 simple word for anyone considering 3dprinting.  CALIBRATION!!!!  Do it.  Do it again.  Keep doing it.

That clicking sound in the video.  Yeah turns out that is bad.   I was having problems with the motor being able to push the filament through the nozzle.

Calibrate your temperatures!  Make sure you aren’t too close to the bed.   Sigh.  This went on for awhile.

Good calibration cube http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:214260

 

Then I ran into this lovely issue.

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So much heat transfer into the extruder that it softened and jammed up.  I cleared this SOOOO many times.

Look on the top of that heat block.  See that little bit of leakage?  That became the bane of my existence.  Long prints and I would get a random build up of that plastic, it would drop on my print, cool, and snag the head.

Fixed the jamming with adjusting my cooling settings and print head temp.

Fixed the leaking head by pulling that throat tube out and putting some plumbers tape on it.  Shouldn’t have needed it, maybe it was a bad tube, but worked like a champ since.

I had another problem later with all the vibrations my heating element fell out of the heat block.  That was weird.  Had to tighten everything down again.

Thermister broke…  Replaced that.

Replaced nozzles a couple of times due to bad clogging (nozzles are cheap, order spares, you may be able to get acetone to dissolve a lot of the clogs, but who wants to wait multiple days)

 

 

My first 3d Printer (part 1)

I have been looking for a 3d printer for a long time.  Finally had a chance to get one so I did some looking around and found a great price for a prusa i3 kit.

The kit I got was folgertech.

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The price has dropped from $299 to $289 just since I got my kit.  So the price is insanely cheap.  Especially for a US based company.

So I order said printer along with a display.

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The kit shows up after almost 2 excruciating weeks.  I knew I had to build it so this wasn’t a surprise.

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More coming!!