Category Archives: CNC

Volume Control Knob and Start/Stop Button Accessory

After signing up for Spotify Premium, I found that I often needed to stop and start songs to concentrate on various tasks, as well as adjust the volume. My keyboard had shortcuts built in, but as seen here the ergonomics weren’t exactly to my liking.

What I needed was something that had start and stop buttons, and a knob to control the volume. That way I could do these tasks without moving my mouse or trying to stretch my fingers to hit the function key and whatever else was required. What I came up with can be seen in the video below, using an encoder to indicate which way is turned by the knob to the computer. Along with a button, this should give me all the control I need:

To interface with the PC, I chose a Trinket board from Adafruit (also available here on Amazon). After a very brief amount of searching, I found that someone else had already thought of this, providing code and schematics. Originally, I thought I’d use a series of resistors in order for me to use multiple buttons, but this was easier said than done due to the way the board is made. I instead settled for pretty much their exact setup. Here is my very lightly modified code.

Given this, I could have done away with the yellow button, and just used the one built into the encoder. For whatever reason I kept it, and it did make for a nice display in the end. In order to get the button to stick out just a little bit, I put a piece of scrap MDF under it before soldering everything, making the world’s worst Read more »

New Romaxx CNC Router Setup

After using a Zen Toolworks 7″ x 12″ CNC router for several years, it’s finally time to upgrade to something bigger, a 3′ x 2′ router from Romaxx. The size of this “WD-1” model means that I’ll have roughly 10x the work surface that I had before, and, incidentally costs in the neighborhood of 10x what the little router did.* The device can also handle an “actual” wood router, instead of the smaller spindle I was using before, so I attached a Dewalt 611 to it (Amazon).This is a fairly small router as far as handheld models go, but works well for this application. Plus it has a light on the bottom, which is neat to help view the workpiece when running.

You can see me setting everything up in the video below, importantly attaching the wire from the router motor itself to the hose from the Shop Vac. This should keep things from getting tangled up, necessary if I ever want to take my eyes off of it, even for a second!

The video’s not exactly a “review,” but more of a “how I set this up.” The bearing damage seen there was inconvenient, but after changing it and tightening up a bearing on the opposite side, it seems to be working very well. The good thing about dealing with any problems that arise is that I can actually reach out and talk to the founder of the company, who is featured in the video after the “read more” link. On that note, he pointed out that the cooling feature of my router may be interfering with my vacuum as set up in the video. Perhaps I’ll have to examine that for “rev 1,” but if you feel like copying/modifying my design, you can find the DXF file here.

As for the build, 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 »