First game played

So since my last update as usual what progress has been made has been across a number of projects but not really anything pivotal. On the Lathe front several sections have been cleaned for painting and then install. The swing head assembly is ready now for masking as is the change gear guard backplate and the front and rear bearing guards.

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Once the swing head assembly has been installed the belt guard will be remounted as well as the first belt and the motor. The bearing guards are still waiting on the headstock to be painted.

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Several more coats of paint have gone on the top of the arcade machine. Some troublesome screw holes have required a lot of sanding and repainting to cover them up but they’re almost gone. A couple more coats on the top and I’ll focus on finishing off the sides in preparation getting a sheet of glass cut for the top. The first control panel was wired to the Jamma board in the weekend and then rewired as it had initially been connected to the player two connections as opposed to the player one connections.

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(Screw holes can be seen in the middle of the top reflection of light)

The car stereo that is driving the speakers was also wired up as well as a couple of fans for some airflow. I’m still going to have to check that the screen doesn’t get too hot lying down as that the majority of the cooling will be passive and to having the screen lying down won’t exactly be the most efficient.

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The first couple of games were also played with good results.

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The second controller has now been drilled and had several coats of paint applied so once this has dried the controls will be mounted and wired into the player two connections. After that the Perspex panels behind the controls will be mounted.

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Once the glass has been fitted to the top section that will be installed and the height and position of the screen will be adjusted to fit

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The petrol tap for the lawnmower arrived the other night, once installed the mower was filled with petrol with no leaks. The mower also started pretty quickly compared to the first time and after letting it sit overnight it started the next morning after only a couple of pulls. A cork gasket has also been installed between the mower deck and the engine which means that all three of the initial issues identified after it was initially restarted after being stripped down have been addressed.

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I still need to strip and paint the wheel mounts and height adjustment rods, once that is complete they’ll be reinstalled and the wheels and blade chucked back on. I still need to check that the carb and governor is running properly. At the moment the Heavy / Normal selector lever does nothing (although it shouldn’t really until the engine comes under load, all it seems to do is give preference to a more open throttle position) and the governor seems to be doing its best to throttle the engine back. I’m betting though that this is because the blade has not been installed. Hopefully both the air resistance of the blade spinning and the resistance between the blade and what it’s cutting should load the engine enough that the RPMs drop enough for the governor to control the throttle properly. We shall see….

One of the annoying issues that I’ve had with the motors used on my 3D printers so far is the motor shafts have a 4mm diameter as opposed the more standard 5mm shaft. This basically means that any of the readily available GT2 gears with either a 5mm bore or an 8mm bore don’t fit on the motors. I don’t feel like paying moonbeams either for a 4mm bore gear as investigations thus far have revealed them to be 3-4 times the cost. Thankfully the majority of the motors thus far have come complete with GT2 gears already fitted to the shafts and so I’ve been able to use those. On the Kossel however I decided that these gears wouldn’t be suitable, despite the fact that they have a low tooth count which helps with precision, they don’t have a flange on the outer edge to keep the belt from slipping off. On the shorter belt lengths on the I3 and the V2 I’ve managed to address this issue with careful alignment of the motor, idler bearing and carriages the Kossel doesn’t really have this amount of customization when it comes to the position of these components.

To this end I decided that the best option would be to order a low tooth count GT2 gear with an 8mm bore and then make a spacer to adapt the 4mm diameter of the motor shaft to make them fit the gears.

A perfect job for a lathe you might say! If only I was a month further along in reassembly I would reply. Bugger.

As a solution I went with an old trick. Mount a drill in a drill press the wrong way around, lower the bit into a vice and clamp, release the chuck and gently raise the press again. Insert the work piece, turn on the drill and slowly lower onto the drill. If you take it gently the drill should self-center and drill down the middle of the work piece. Imagine a lathe standing up on end.

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It’s less than ideal and a bit of a pain to get everything aligned but I managed in about 15 minutes to turn out 3 spacers with a hole only .1mm off center, should be good enough.

Until next time



The Mower Runs!

One of the big concerns I had with taking the mower engine apart was whether it would run once it was all back together again… After replacing all the gaskets, finishing the cleaning and then remounting it 3-4 minutes of yanking on the starter cord caused it to fire up and settle into a regular idle. Three things became apparent very quickly. Firstly there is a decent leak from the petrol tap down onto the carb and then onto the mower deck so this needs to be replaced. Secondly there is a leak from the bottom of the carb where the drain valve is. This is basically a small rubber grommet held to the bottom of the carb bowel with a spring so it’s not surprising that its leaking. Finally there should be one more gasket between the engine and the silver muffler bit that bolts onto the mower deck, then it won’t belch smoke, oil (maybe I poured too much in) and other crud out onto the top of the mower deck.

The carb bowel issue was perhaps the easiest to fix, remove the old rubber bit and spring completely and then replace with a stainless steel m3 screw with a nitrile rubber washer. Whilst this means there is no way now to drain the carb it has stopped the leaking. Some decent legwork on Google located some new old stock of petrol taps and even more legwork located a guy in Florida that is selling more new old stock of the exhaust gaskets.

The petrol tap is on the way at the moment, the gaskets still haven’t surfaced at the YouShop depot in the US yet though :S

We’re basically at this point at the moment (the shroud and gas tank were mounted but needed to be taken off to fix the carb and I decided to leave them off until the new tap arrives).

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On the lathe the motor mount has now been mounted as well as a few other parts (added after the photo was taken) Next step will be repainting the swing head assembly and refitting that. Once that is complete then the belt guard and motor can be remounted.

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The Arcade machine received its paint over the last week and with the exception of some troublesome screw holes on the top surface the painting is now complete. The green T-slot has been inserted into some of the slotted areas as has one of the control panels.

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This control panel has been wired up but not yet connected to any of the rest of the gear yet. A power supply and the JAMMA board have both also been mounted.

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6 more of the wireless nodes have been completed this week as well bringing the total working nodes to 12 good and 1 slightly suspect node (called such as it was the first one built and initially had the power connected the wrong way… It works but still)

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On the programming front all 12 good nodes work on a network now communicating back and forth to the base node. The single digital pin and both the analog pins that are broken out onto the node header on the remote nodes can be controlled from a small (and still WIP) bit of software on a computer connected to the base node. The remote nodes can also report back to base the voltage of their power supply and temperature. Basically a serial string sent to the base node causes a message to be sent to the desired remote node toggling the pins or flashing the LED’s for identification purposes. At the moment the focus is now on developing the PC side software and building a higher power base node.

I’ve also started building one of these…

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