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Member postings for Howi

Here is a list of all the postings Howi has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Issue 249 Arduino Controller Indexer
23/05/2022 09:18:43

the basic NEMA stepper motors do not normally come with integrated drivers, 12v should work fine so long as the load is not too great. When I made my Ward controller, I used an old laptop power supply at 19.5v and 3.5 amps and is more than sufficient to drive the NEMA 23 stepper. The more demanding your application on the stepper the higher you need to go on the stepper voltage, 24v is typical if windings in parallel but NOT critical.

Thread: Advice on DROs for a mill
21/05/2022 10:08:27
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 19/05/2022 10:13:05:
Posted by Howi on 19/05/2022 09:29:52:

Touch DRO using the TI launchpad is a complete working solution, why re-invent the wheel just because you have bought an Arduino. All the hard work has been done for you. You either want a working solution oir you want to design your own, one route is simple, the other can lead to a lot of frustration.

I do not know why people think the Arduino is the best/easiest solution, it is like saying I will only use a particular make of end mill rather than ones that suite my particular use.

The solution is already out there, save yourself a lot of hard work/frustration and cost, Yuri has put a lot of work into the proiject, it's cheap and it works.

The Arduino IS NOT the solution to everything.

Horses for courses.

The Arduino is popular amongst folk who want to learn a microcontroller because it's development environment is friendlier than most - it hides a mass of complexity providing beginners access to C/C++ efficiency, without swamping them with complicated details. The relatively electrically robust chipset reduces the chance of wiring mistakes causing magic smoke. And Arduino's success as a hobby platform has created a large community offering help, cheap peripherals of all sorts, and hundreds of off-the-shelf software libraries.

In terms of capability Arduino sits above microcontrollers running BASIC or Python (both useful and easier to learn but too slow when performance matters), but below a professional development toolset. The latter are hard to learn, probably over the top for most amateur purposes. Arduino provides a good balance between power, functionality, ease of use, and cost. It's a good choice for starter and more advanced projects.

When I wanted a DRO I bought one. But - out of interest and to understand how scales work - I've also experimented reading them with an Arduino. In a clean room with an oscilloscope and other tools that have no place in a mechanical workshop! Different hobby.

Although TI Launchpad is an excellent platform, the steep learning curve and relative lack of support make it unattractive to me. So far I haven't needed any of it's particular virtues. When I need more oomph than Arduino can provide, the Nucleo family does the job.

Lots of choice out there.



I too use arduino devices in a lot of projects, I also use ESP8266, ESP32 etc as and when,

Yes! I agree the Arduino is a great learning tool with lots of info BUT my suggestion to go with Yuri's solution i.e the TI board was to save having tyo re-invent the wheel, Yuri has done all the hard work on youre behalf.

The board is cheap and easy to program so why noit use it. I have biult it and it works great. This post reminds me of someone who wanted an electronic rotary table and was insistant in using an arduino board, when again there is already a solution out there (a number of solutions as it happens but one is much cheaper than the others).

Circuit boards and kits of parts were available when I built mine and again it works poerfectly.

I look at it this way, do you want a working solution or do you want to start from scratch, all the effort going into programming the arduino and learning all about C++, then if and when you have successfully created your program you have to implement it mechanically.

It is wrong to think anyone can program the arduino with little effort as they soon find out.

19/05/2022 09:29:52

Touch DRO using the TI launchpad is a complete working solution, why re-invent the wheel just because you have bought an Arduino. All the hard work has been done for you. You either want a working solution oir you want to design your own, one route is simple, the other can lead to a lot of frustration.

I do not know why people think the Arduino is the best/easiest solution, it is like saying I will only use a particular make of end mill rather than ones that suite my particular use.

The solution is already out there, save yourself a lot of hard work/frustration and cost, Yuri has put a lot of work into the proiject, it's cheap and it works.

The Arduino IS NOT the solution to everything.

Thread: Drone advice needed, please
13/05/2022 10:30:50

the test is easy, have the rules and regs open while you do the test paper.

After you pass you will have to pay £10 to the Gov. you will get an OPERATOR ID and a FLYER ID, Flyer ID is foir you the flyer of the drone, the OP id is for the owner of the drone. The OP id is in the form GBR-OP-############ and should be displayed on the drone. Drones under 250grams are subject to less restictions than larger drones and can be flown just about anywhere ( subject to official no fly zones such as airports, prisons etc.

Another important must have is INSURANCE, what damage can a sub 250gram drone do?

Try telling that to the judge when you are being sued for taking someones eye out........

Basically the rules and regs have almost put paid to larger drones apart from commercial use.

the biggest impact has been on model aircraft flyers who are now subject to the same rules and regs..

ALL model aircraft are classed as drones.

they are good fun though........

Thread: Blobs on 3D print..
24/04/2022 10:02:27

with that many blobs and seemingly random, i do not think it is a retraction poroblem.

Are the blobs solid or hollow?

What material are you using?

How old is it?

One thing I would definitely do is reduce the teperature and see if it improives things.

It could be moisture in the filament that is expanding in the extruder pushing out more filament than is needed.

hence the randomness of the bubbles.


Edited By Howi on 24/04/2022 10:05:56

Thread: How to open a .dwg drawing created on a 32bit version of AutoCad drawing in Windows 10
08/04/2022 09:43:03
Posted by Paul Lousick on 08/04/2022 00:00:24:

I'm a bit confused with the question (does not take much to do that now days)

Updating the printer should not be a problem if you have the correct driver and should work with any computer. If your computer has been upgraded to Win 10, you should still be able to run your old Autocad. It should not matter if the .dwg drawings were created on a 32 bit or 64 bit machine. Newer versions of Autocad should be able to open older versions but the reverse is not always possible.


Me too, it should not matter what computer or what printer.

I suspect the printer has not been set up properly and rather than sort out the problem, some have chosen to go for a work around.

Thread: Why is electricity so expensive?
07/04/2022 09:02:21
Posted by Pete. on 07/04/2022 01:01:48:
Posted by Martin Kyte on 06/04/2022 10:09:30:
Posted by Pete. on 06/04/2022 01:55:14:

The demographic mix alters the calculation too. Add a baby to a household and there will not be much in the way for change in demand. Maybe a few extra lights on for night feed..

regards Martin

What alternative reality world do you live in?

Thread: Central Heating Control
05/04/2022 10:08:58
Posted by Peter Cook 6 on 04/04/2022 12:31:35:
Posted by Martin Connelly on 03/04/2022 12:59:26:

The higher the overall temperature the more heat will be lost. Lowering the temperature in any area of the house that loses heat to the environment will reduce that heat loss. When the heating is turned back on the temperature will be raised to the set temperature but it will never take as much heating to do this as it would have to leave the heating on. So in short any reduction in temperature for any period will save heating costs. It may be too small a saving to notice but it will still be on the side of better for your bills

My emphasis. I think Martin is correct, but with the high thermal inertia of well insulated rooms and fairly short (a few hours?) off periods I suspect as he suggest the difference in total heat input will be fairly close to zero. The savings will be nothing like enough to offset the £50/unit for the valves.

Howard - Lighting is different - there is no inertial effect so any off period is a saving.

Phil - search for electrically heated clothes - lots to choose from.

On a related conundrum - I am told that turning off devices left on standby will save me money. True in the summer when I don't need heating, but in the winter all the standby power converts to heat. If I turn off the standby devices, do I simply replace the losses with (more expensive?) heat from the boiler?

Edited By Peter Cook 6 on 04/04/2022 12:32:17

Electricity costs 30p per KWh gas cost 7p per KWh, so how is heat from a gas boiler more expensive than heat from standby electricals?

Thread: Hermes and couriers
17/03/2022 10:06:37

No! not lazy, but under extreme pressure to deliver far too many parcels in too short a time. This leads to delivery drivers taking the least path of resistance - it's human nature.

Thread: Getting Old
15/03/2022 10:04:34

Getting old is a state of mind, I have seen and talked to people in there 60's who I would consider older than me (75 this year) because of their mind set. I know I am not 18 any more (thank God) but neither do I feel 74, I can outrun my grandchildren (for now). Yes! I have had my medical moments (Two lots of cancer, major operations etc), type 2 diabetic, worn glasses since I was 18 and currently going deaf, but I consider myself quite healthy. I have had all my flu and covid injections and still caught covid (I would not have known without a lateral flow test!).

I can pretty much do what I want when I want, My income is not large but enough to enjoy a reasonable life style and fund my many and varied hobbies.

Life can be challenging but one should always be up for it, as was said in "Monty Python" Always look on the bright side of life laugh

Thread: Electrical outlet search
13/03/2022 09:56:51
Posted by Chuck Taper on 13/03/2022 09:21:04:

The picture is a clip from a background of another picture. It's all I have.

Michael - made me contemplate rewiring then entire shop in the manner of a stage set - which might actually have merit.

DC31k - I know.....sigh!

Why is it that all (aka - the overwhelming majority) of extension sockets have the cable exit on the right. Sometimes you just need it on the left. Or is that just me?


Frank C.

I think you have answered your own question.....

My latest extension strip (10 sockets) has a bottom entry, bet that would confuse you?


Thread: How Many People Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb on the Forum?
12/03/2022 10:16:05

A few hundred to discuss all the ways, right and wrong, that it should be done, and one to actually change the bulb while the rest are discussing it.

Surely, thats normal for this forum, isn;t it? devil

Thread: Is this distasteful
12/03/2022 10:13:15
Posted by Peter G. Shaw on 11/03/2022 17:35:38:


I have had cancer now for something like 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 years, probably longer if you include the pre-discovery period. It turned out that there was a specific drug targetted at my type of cancer and which has had the effect of shrinking it down to a static state, but I'm told that the drug will eventually stop working at which point I will be changed onto another drug. I therefore assume that I'm likely to have cancer and the concommitent pill until I die. Oh well!

Fortunately, I am still completely intact - well, that's my opinion, but others may well disagree, especially after the headscan that said there was nothing there, thus proving that all those people who called me empty-head were correct! Unfortunately, I do suffer from cold which may be due to a side effect of one of the pills I'm on following a mild heart attack. Which means that workshop time comes to a halt in winter, my workshop being my garage. I do have some small heaters on the lathe and milling machine so they never achieve that bone chilling cold that the vice does, but even so ..... Still, it gives me chance to delve into the family genealogy.

As far as disposing of my workshop goes, it will be over my dead body - I hope. But in any case, I doubt very much that it will make much money as the main items are all out of production and were not particularly expensive to start with, and, it turns out were somewhat poor quality, so there is no incentive to try and sell it.

So, there we are, old, failing slowly, with a wife who thinks it her bounded duty to spend what she can, and so on and so forth. And with that,


Peter G. Shaw

p.s. As some of you may have gathered, I can be very facetious, these days deliberately so. In fact, it's one way of keeping my spirits up. And these days, I no longer care - lets be daft, lets be happy.

Facetious! You Peter, Nooooo.......

I am with you 100%

Thread: Internet access alternatives
12/03/2022 10:10:38

When I started back in the early 80's I built an accoustic modem at 300baud, computer was a Sharp MZ80K and the software was written in Fortran. Gradually moving up in spoeed to 1200, 2400 4800 and 9600 baud. I was lucky in that I had access to high quality high speed (then) modems.

Then we had PCI card modems at 33k baud which was a huge leap in speed from a much cheaper source.

Always wanting to go faster, I went onto ISDN, 2 * 64kbit channels (and twice the cost if you used both).

It was years later, when one of my sons got married that I found out everyone wanted to come to his house because we had the fastest internet.

Working for BT at the time, I was involved in planning work for the rollout of broadband, which was a game changer. I made sure I was on the list whyen it became available in my area.

Unfortunastely I live on the boundary of two exchanges, which seriously affected the max speed available (I was lucky to get 2mbit, no chance to get the max 8mbit). there were some areas though that could not go on broadband at all as they were on aluminium cable.

As soon as Fibre was available, I signed up straght away and have not looked back. I have just been connected to FTTP @ 150Mbit (from 65Mbit on FTTC) which is fast enough for me (for now).

The land line has gone, did not use it much anyway, most of us have mobiles these days.

Now, before anyone gets up in arms about no land lines (the future of BT), I used to work for the fire service in the IT department, as I was responsible for Wan and communications I had to install and maintain an externally fitted land line for the use of the public to call out the fire brigade should there be an emergency.

When we moved on to a digital phone system I tried to argue that these phones were not needed and we could save a large amount of money (same principle with Fax machines).

Oh! no, can't do that they said, so I started to look for and gather statistics to prove they were not needed.

I gathered information for 12 months regarding use of these phones at every fire station we covered.

Not one call was from a member oif the public, the only calls on the system were test calls made by the station poersonel as part of their monthly routine.

Just because you do something a particular way, does not mean it should always be done that way, technology moves on and we should move with it or be left behind.

Just saying devil,

Thread: Is this distasteful
10/03/2022 09:48:52

It's not that THEY don't want to read it, but that YOU should not read it.

The WOKE brigade strike again, do as I say, not as I do.

Lefty Liberal elite who want to control everything we do, say or think.

If you think '1984' was fiction, it's just a bit later arriving.

The thought police are here and active.

Nil they say

Thread: Front door locks
20/02/2022 09:51:15

There are high security Euro locks available that are bump proof, anti snap, and can be opened from outside even if the key is left in the lock on the inside, they have special coded keys that can only be bought using the security card that came with the lock. ANY good locksmith will be able to advise.

Thread: Smart meter
19/02/2022 09:58:32
Posted by Samsaranda on 23/01/2022 11:21:51:


It wasn’t a smart meter that was involved in my daughters problem with BG, it happened about 12 years ago so was a bog standard meter, the confusion had arisen from when the houses were built, the developers plot numbers were not used for numbering the houses, different numbers were applied but BG were using the original plot numbers and were ignoring house numbers, therefore houses were getting bills for properties that weren’t theirs. BG should have checked the meter serial numbers but didn’t. Dave W

I had the exact same experience when I moved into a new property (three new properties on the site).

Took a long time and numerous meter readers before they managed to correct the records, fortunately not BG but other gas companies just as bad, they just would not beleive us when we sent them the meter information.

They thought we were in a block of flats rather than 3 detached properties.

Thread: Here's an interesting one
18/02/2022 15:26:34

Just looked at terms and conditions - number 3 is most interesting.


We are not responsible if information made available on this site is not accurate, complete or current. The material on this site is provided for general information only and should not be relied upon or used as the sole basis for making decisions without consulting primary, more accurate, more complete or more timely sources of information. Any reliance on the material on this site is at your own risk.
This site may contain certain historical information. Historical information, necessarily, is not current and is provided for your reference only. We reserve the right to modify the contents of this site at any time, but we have no obligation to update any information on our site. You agree that it is your responsibility to monitor changes to our site.

Definitely what you see is NOT what you get

17/02/2022 12:50:02

I thought all of you with shallow pockets (that includes me) might be interested in this BARGAIN (I use the term lightly)

Spotted on face book - YEUMANO Auto mini metal lathe 8" x 16" 1100W 1.5hp metal gear brushless 2250 rpm 2 chucks and just about every accessary you could shake a stick at.

This is discounted from $179.99 to $96.98

Now I am not one for believing in fairies but the lathe looks very much like my Amadeal 210 + a whole lot more.

No! ~I have not ordered one (though I was tempted, especially with FREE delivery).

Yes! I know it is a scam but for the life of me I could not see what you would actually get - whatever it is is will NOT be worth $96.98

I have pasted the link here.


Thread: Curling Stones
13/02/2022 10:15:56

Curling stone handles? Hmm, now where did I put mine............

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