Category Archives: COMPONENTS AND TOOLS

How to Modify a Servo for Continuous Rotation

modify a servo for continuous rotation

As part of my voice panning fixture—which I’ve been working on and hope to show off a completed version very soon—I had to modify a hobby servo for continuous rotation. This is not a new technique, but it’s something I’ve been putting off learning how to do for quite some time. I was surprised at how simple it was, and after modifying the servo I had for the project, bought another model and made a video of the process.

As seen in the video, doing this mod involved taking out the potentiometer and replacing it with two resistors, basically tricking it into thinking it still needs to move to reach its position. Also, you have to cut out a piece of one of the gears that physically interferes with it moving 360 degrees. Somehow I lost the video where I used a Dremel on it, but at least I had the part where I finished in with a file.

Wired Potentiometer

The first servo that I modded had wires going to the potentiometer, rather than it being attached directly. As seen in the gallery below, Read more »

Endurance DIY Laser Engraver Review

I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a laser cutter and/or engraver for quite a while, and I finally obtained a unit from Endurance Lasers. You can see the video below, but I have a few more thoughts on the matter, a few of which I didn’t really go over, so hopefully this article will be informative as well.

Edit 12/19/2016: It was pointed out to me that the laser itself is made by robots everywhere (L-Cheapo Mk 2), and that it’s capable of cutting acrylic using the Z-axis, though at 2.1 watts, it will take a while. Also, the logic board is a prototype.

If you’d rather just watch the video, check it out below:

First Impressions

So in the video, Read more »

Drill Fixture for Small Aluminum Plugs

fixture-crop-scaleAs part of a larger project, I had to dill eight aluminum plugs to fit inside the carbon fiber rods that I was using. The best solution would have been to use my lathe and drill from the tailstock, but my alignment there was fairly poor and I needed another way to do it. Lining up each piece of aluminum rod would have been a pain, so I instead made a fixture that I could line up once, then put the same type of plug in over and over.

Perhaps this isn’t a new concept, and I’ve in fact made something similar for golf balls and ping pong balls, but what was novel (at least to me) was the way that I made three cuts to allow it to act like a spring. Generally, if I was trying to attach a shaft like this, I would just cut a slot in one side through the hole, then clamp it down with a screw or otherwise, but since the entire thing was in a vise, I had to put the other two cuts on the back to allow everything to flex. Check out how it was made in the video below:

Sometimes it’s hard to justify making something to make something else, but, especially when there are multiples involved, this can be quite beneficial. Someone told me once that you should spend half your time making fixtures and half your time actually making the final product. I could be remembering what he said incorrectly, and the ratio seems a little high for fixtures, but considering my natural instinct is to not make them, at least I can try to meet somewhere in the middle. And if you’re wondering what these cylinders eventually went on, check out this quadcopter camera rig!

On two related notes:

  • For another jig example, here’s one for drilling holes in golf balls.
  • On that golf ball jig, you may notice I’m using a different vise – a cheap drill press vise from the hardware store. I’m absolutely thrilled with my new milling machine vise (Amazon), and probably should have bought one to begin with. After spending quite a bit of money on the mill, however, I didn’t initially pull the trigger!