Here is a list of all the postings SillyOldDuffer has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.
|Thread: Gents impulse clock|
Or the other way round.
After the GPS has got a satellite lock, wait for it to send a timestamped navigational fix over the slow serial link. Use the timestamp set a 'clock' in the microcontroller. This time is correct to the last second but offset by a small processing delay, several tens of milliseconds.
However, although GPS timestamps aren't spot on, the GPS emits hardware second pulses that are. By connecting them to an interrupt pin, the micro-controller's 'clock' can be ticked once per second by the GPS, keeping the microcontroller very close to GPS time. It's wrong by however long it takes to process the interrupt, perhaps a few microseconds.
Not sure this is the best strategy but it seems to work.
|Thread: Super Mini Lathe belt problem|
Nothing to do with communism.
However, the comment helps answer Haggerleases' earlier 'what lathe' queries. He should not buy a Far Eastern Machine! Nothing wrong with this. Better to be comfortable than irritated by your tools, and it's a good reason for paying the extra.
I suggest Cowells. On the small side maybe, but nice lathes and a milling machine with plenty of accessories available, plus the purchase supports British Industry. The cheapest Cowells lathe, (with no accessories?), is £2145.00 + VAT. (£2574) Not sure if carriage is included or not.
|Thread: Gents impulse clock|
I've got a stalled Arduino 'Clock Analyser' project due to not solving the accurate clock problem!
My clock analyser compares pendulum swing times to a high accuracy clock at microsecond levels, which reveals all sorts of interesting effects, like vibration due to people walking nearby. It also logs performance data over long periods with temperature, humidity and air pressure in hope of linking misbehaviour to environmental changes. It's intended to be portable, so that pendulum clocks can be tested without moving them.
GPS is an excellent time source with the better modules accurate to within a few nanoseconds of International Atomic Time. All GPS modules output printable date-time strings but these will be several milliseconds wrong due to the time it takes to process and display them. Fortunately, some GPS module also produce accurate seconds pulses, making it possible to closely synchronise display time to atomic time.
On my dining table everything works a treat. Downfall! The GPS unit only works properly when its antenna has clear view of the sky. Likely this isn't possible when the test clock is inside a house. Same objection to the time standards broadcast by long-wave radio, with the additional problem that receivers are hard to buy without paying for a whole clock. Broken into, the receiver may be an electronic mystery.
Using the analyser on a real test pendulum was 'Quite Interesting'. It seems that the precise timing of individual pendulum swings vary slightly but the errors mostly cancel out. Provided the errors cancel, an imperfect pendulum can still keep good time. For that reason, perhaps an ultra-accurate pendulum analyser isn't as useful as I imagined. Oh dear...
Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 15/06/2019 10:00:49
|Thread: Hardening a form tool made from Gauge Plate|
Have a read of Wikipedia on spark testing. Simple to do, though don't jump to conclusions without practice.
When you push steel against a grinding wheel it produces a shower of sparks characteristic of the metal. Mild steel is least sparkly and usually easy to tell apart from a tool steel like gauge plate.
I doubt it's a quality problem, more likely it's heat. I've failed and succeeded hardening bits off the same Silver Steel rod. The weakest link was me!
|Thread: Super Mini Lathe belt problem|
It's the Ryan Air model; dreadful reputation but most of the time they get you were want to go cheap!
Don't forget these are Hobby Lathes, built down to a price for a rather small customer base. It's perfectly possible to buy much better machines from China and elsewhere. Few hobbyists do, because they are 5 to 20 times more expensive!
Thing is, if you are unlucky enough to get a dud, a British seller will stand behind the sale. In this case Warco supplied another motor, it's not unknown for entire machines to be replaced or money returned. Given that new 'quality' machines are unaffordium, the beginner either takes a small risk on a new hobby lathe, or a bigger risk on a second-hand professional machine.
Satisfied with my Far Eastern machines. May not be excellent compared with big money purchases, but they all do what I want.
|Thread: Hardening a form tool made from Gauge Plate|
Sounds like one of my attempts! First, no point in tempering if the initial hardening step failed. After quenching try running a file across it - the file should slide off, not cut.
Very likely the form tool wasn't hot enough OR, it cooled off enough on the way to the quench to spoil it. What's needed is to heat the steel hot enough to change its internal state without burning it (ie remove carbon), and then cool it so rapidly it doesn't have time for form the usual soft structure.
Bit of a wild guess based on my failures but I reckon it's more difficult to harden small steel items than big ones because small items lose heat much more quickly than big lumps. I blast the item to get it extra hot just before quenching, but I'm not sure it's effective. Perhaps a clockmaker can advise? What's the best way to harden small parts?
Changing the cooling fluid might help. Water (provided the tool is stirred violently to disperse cooling steam) makes harder steel than oil, and salt-water even harder. Often too hard!
The purpose of tempering is to increase toughness at the expense of reducing hardness. There's a risk of untempered steel shattering because its brittle. On partly hardened steel, tempering will leave the tool too soft.
|Thread: sulphuric acid|
Shouldn't be violent unless the Limestone is in powder form. If you have lumps of rock try adding one about the size of your fist and see what happens.
Sulphuric Acid is a common drain un-blocker and it's unlikely do much damage if you pour it straight down an outside drain. Especially if you dilute it with plenty of water. Adding Limestone will react to make Carbon Dioxide and insoluble Calcium Sulphate, a fine white powder. Don't put the sludge down a drain, OK to scatter it on the garden but it may look as if you've spilled paint!
Avoid getting splashes of dilute acid on your clothes. Unless washed off, it tends to concentrate and rot cloth.
Safety gear; just in case of splashes I'd wear googles, rubber gloves, and a plastic apron. Also a bucket of clean water handy nearby. Mildly sensible precautions, it's not Novichok!
|Thread: Gents impulse clock|
Installing the Arduino IDE should also all install the libraries apart from that needed to control the DS3213 real time clock.
The DS3213 library should be downloaded from www.arduinolibraries.info/libraries/ds3231 and installed using the Arduino IDE.
Start the IDE by double-clicking the icon on the desktop. (Light Blue, with Infinity sign in white)
Go to the 'Sketch' tab and click on 'Include Libraries', then select 'Add .ZIP Library'. Navigate to your Downloads folder and select 'DS3231-1.0.2.zip'.
To compile the program (aka 'Sketch' , plug the Nano into the PC with a USB cable. Then go to the 'Tools' tab and click on 'Boards'. From the list select 'Arduino Nano'.
Then go to the 'Tools' tab and click on 'Ports'. From the list select the /dev/ttyUSBnn or COM device identifying the Nano.
Clicking the Right Arrow button, top left of window, should compile and load the program into the Arduino and set the RTC. Provided there are no mistakes in the wiring, the display should start showing time, aslo the relay should click every 30 seconds.
If the Nano refuses to load, this may be because they are sold with two different bootloaders. (A bootloader is the short program the microcontoller uses to download and install an new program.) Go to 'Tools', and click on 'Processor'. Select the other bootloader and try again.
As a convenience the Sketch sets the Real Time Clock to the time the Sketch was compiled. Depending on the computer and Arduino used, the time may be a few seconds out-of-date.
To correct the time, go to 'Tools' and select Serial Monitor'. This will open a new window, which should be listing date times from the RTC. If garbage is appearing, the speed is probably wrong. Set it to 9600 bottom right.
Once the screen is listing valid date times, the RTC may be reset by typing in, top left, a string in the form:
for example: 14/6/19 13:02:00
Type in a string that will be valid in a few minutes. Then, when an accurate clock reaches that time immediately press the 'Enter' key. This will set the RTC to the typed in time. The website time.is is a convenient accurate clock.
None spotted by the limited testing I've done. I bet there's at least one and it's bleeding obvious! No prizes offered...
Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 14/06/2019 16:19:25
The source code may be downloaded from Dropbox.
To imitate a Gents pul-syn-etic Master Clock to drive a compatible Slave Clock, or clocks.
In real life, as implemented as a prototype lash-up for testing:
It would be possible to neaten up considerably by plugging modules directly into the prototype board. For a permanent solution, I would solder to Veroboard.
Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 14/06/2019 15:12:53
OK, watch this space.
I don't have a ST7735B Display, so that bit might be a wild guess! It's a graphical output. I'll show how to use the Arduino environment to set the RTC and then how it to make it produce 30 sec pulses. I can display hh:mm:ss to the monitor window to prove the RTC's working, or to an ordinary 1602 LCD without much trouble.
Ah, with you Mick. A look inside should reveal all. The coils, wiring, absence of gears and mechanical construction are very different from an ordinary clock.
The website above won't let me link to their image, but they have a photo of the insides of the master.
Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 13/06/2019 10:24:22
|Thread: Electricity Supply|
Not sure anyone is suggesting 'wind, solar, batteries and smart chargers will sort it' in the sense that life carries on exactly as it does today.
I don't see renewable energy as a one-for-one alternative to fossil fuels. Instead I see them as a way of softening the blow. Ideally most people most of the time can carry on. Otherwise, given time, people always adapt to what's available.
The good news for Alan and anyone else who absolutely must burn fuel is that everyone who switches to electric takes the pressure off the cost of oil. Electric Vehicles are valuable even if they don't happen to suit our personal circumstances.
More good news if you're Australian; not only does the continent have generous reserves of fossils fuels, there's also plenty of sun! It may be necessary for 60,000,000 winging poms to move in...
Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 13/06/2019 10:13:25
|Thread: Gents impulse clock|
Good description of the Master Clock on this web-site. If I read it right the master sends a pulse once every 30 seconds to a 4Ω solenoid in the slave(s). I'd use an Arduino and a Real-Time Clock module to produce a pulse every 30 seconds. If you don't require accuracy, an Arduino on it's own is will work the clock with moderately poor timekeeping. Also needed a 9V DC power supply and a transistor switch to drive the clock, also available as a module. That would allow a slave to keep good time after manually setting the hands. If you fancy having a go, I'll knock up a circuit and the simple software.
A synchronised clock expert will probably know, but the original system may have used other pulses to automatically set the hands of the slave clock to match the master. Watching a demented modern slave clock in my doctors waiting room, it was sent a signal setting it to 12:00 followed by a rapid series of minute pulses that wound the hands to actual time. Unfortunately after 30 seconds the master repeated the whole procedure, it was sicker than I was! Mechanical clocks probably do similar, but I expect the details vary by system.
|Thread: Noise Cameras|
One of my uncles dinged his car demonstrating a back-fire to my cousin; uncle had forgotten Mike's all important point about steering locks! Only his pride and wallet got hurt fortunately.
By the way, when did steering locks come in? I don't remember the mini I learned to drive in having one, but I'm fairly sure everything else I've driven since 1970 did? My memory is untrustworthy!
|Thread: Illegal CD copy|
In Fred Karno's Circus double values apply. 'Most readers would have realised that the reference to banknotes was a joke' whereas foolish me 'offered as a particularly ill-chosen example the copying of Official Secrets'. In other words Fred has a sense of humour and everyone else is an idiot? Oh dear! Who said, 'This is balderdash.' and 'There is something not quite right with your thinking.'?
I suggest you have hazy ideas about the Official Secrets Act and 'Fair Dealing'. The term is used officially to describe a range of activities where copying is allowed. It's a bit blurred round the edges. Exactly what it means in law is defined by the wording of the Copyright Act (all of it) in relation to other legislation, as interpreted by Case Law in the courts. (I.e where the meaning has been tested in front of a judge who sets a precedent.) There isn't a legally binding dictionary definition, but we know roughly what it means in practical terms. It's not legal armour plate!
Perhaps this statement highlights best where we part company. You said: 'Assuming that they obtained copyright from the original authors (and if they didn't they should be drummed out of the publishing profession), the scanning and publication by the copyright holders of their own magazine's back issues in the form of facsimiles does not raise any stateable copyright issues.' The logic comes clean off the rails at 'Assuming', because you can't assume anything of the sort. Jason made the point clear when he said earlier:
'One of the reasons the previous editor David Clarke declined the offer was that after scanning some older issues and making them available on this website certain parties wanted them taken down as it would have affected sales of books which were basically just a reprint of the articles so to save possible legal costs links to all of the scans were removed from the site. That would still be the case today and add to the cost of publishing a CD if there were legal challanges to be fought. '
You cannot assume Terms and Conditions agreed in the past are compatible with republication. Authors can reserve rights.
Copyright can be clear and straightforward, often it's not. That's the reality. While copying in private is safe enough, copying and distribution is a different ball-game.
I agree it's better to go back to the 'Horse's Mouth' rather than asking a Librarian, but there's more to Copyright than reading the Act. As soon as it gets murky, as it does when making DVD's, you don't take advice from 'Fred Karno' and 'SillyOldDuffer' for obvious reasons. A Copyright Lawyer is more competent!
For MyTimeMedia it's a business decision. In the past they decided it wasn't worth the effort. Maybe they'll change their minds, maybe not. It's up to them.
|Thread: How to price up and sell a super 7 lathe|
Quickest and easiest way to get rid is to contact a dealer, like this chap. This won't get top price!
A house-clearer would probably take it, but likely they'd value it as scrap metal.
Selling privately via this website, homeworkshop or lathes.co.uk is more work and you have to negotiate a price. Maybe the deal will include the buyer removing it, which saves the bother of packing and organising shipping. Prospective purchasers are more likely to be sensible about price and practicalities, but they will probably want to inspect the lathe and see it running. This one opens the door to sensible cooperation!
Best way to maximise value is to put it into an appropriate auction. Not a local furniture auction because these are unlikely to attract lathe buyers. Ebay is the obvious choice because huge numbers will see it. You can specify 'Buyer Collect'. Downsides are Ebay commission, and an increased risk of meeting time-wasters. One advantage of selling a Myford bu auction is that they are highly-prized (dare I say overvalued), and you might get lucky and trigger a feeding-frenzy.
In the circumstances, you may value moving on more than raising cash. It's a difficult time.
|Thread: Illegal CD copy|
Only Banknotes Fred? Copying Official Secrets can drop you into deep poo, and there are plenty of other examples.
The big problem with the Law is you can't cherry pick bits and be certain you're in the clear. Section 29 is OK as far as it goes, but it only covers Fair Dealing, which is defined and clarified elsewhere in the Act. Once you've read and understood all the limitations, other legislation may still apply. Some of it is International, and Injunctions, Contact Agreements or even Royal Prerogative might also be lurking in the background. Copyright is a complete mess, a lawyers paradise. Particularly bad when the work covers several decades, and the original terms weren't consistent. Authors can reserve their rights.
Basically no-one is going to hunt you down if you copy information in private for your own use and don't boast about it. As soon as you start distributing and money is involved, then sparks will fly.
Because it's a muddle negotiating the details and permissions of anything copyright related can be very expensive, with a risk of getting it wrong. Legal and admin costs can far exceed those of the physical copying - that part of the job is cheap and easy.
Tell you what, why don't you prove me wrong. I'm sure if you take contractual responsibility for sorting out all the rights and payments and agree to cover any liabilities, then MyTimeMedia would licence you to do the job for a consideration. How much would you pay upfront for the rights? Negotiations start now!
|Thread: A Very Nice Freebie|
That's the argument for keeping a stock of spares; it keeps customers happy!
But the dreaded accountant takes a different view: he asks 'what's the value of doing this'. To answer that question he compares the cost of doing stuff against the cash it brings in. Accountants care little about customers, engineers, salesmen, or public relations. They only look at the numbers.
In my experience accountants don't make business decisions. Instead they use a spreadsheet to show the boss which parts of his business are profitable and which are losing money. It's the boss who actually makes nasty decisions, and its very convenient for him to blame the accountant. It is traditional to shoot the messenger.
On the shop floor and in the warehouse the lights may be burning bright, everybody convinced they're doing a good job. The balance sheet might tell a different story; maybe the business has been borrowing money to keep going for years. Maybe the company has to cut costs because they are suddenly competing for sales with someone who is more efficient.
Friend of mine got a high-paid job as management accountant to a moderately well-known furniture maker. Started with a quick tour of a bustling cheerful business with lots of new cars parked outside. In the canteen he got the first whiff of trouble when he overheard a chap moaning about not being allowed to replace some cheap kit. After lunch he looked at the books and within half an hour found the company was bankrupt, totally on the rocks, with no way out. He was in the job because his predecessor had jumped ship rather than manage the collapse. The brand-name still exists. Local rumour has it the firm was bought by a rival for £1.
Lesson learned, it's all about money.
Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 11/06/2019 13:25:30
|Thread: Class 22 Diesel (next project)|
My suggestion comes from Meccano lore, and may not be completely respectable!
By putting a loose washer or two between a wheel and frame, friction is said to be reduced because the wheel can slip on the washer and the washer can slip on the frame. Not sure of the logic but it seems to work.
I'd fit the Nylon washers; if nothing else they'd protect the expensive Oliite bearings from the Aluminium and stop the bearing grinding the Aluminium and making a lot of abrasive Oxide, which is not good if it gets inside a bearing. (Bit theoretical because even badly abused bearings might last donkey's years on a lightly used locomotive.)
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