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Member postings for An Other

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

Thread: warco 918 bench lathe
25/04/2022 19:50:03

Nope - SoD is not ignored. A couple of others are ignored - but they don't disappear. Don't worry about it - life is far too short.

Edited By An Other on 25/04/2022 19:50:52

25/04/2022 19:25:50

Just noted something very odd - I was browsing this thread without being logged in, and read SoD's latest post about the comparison between hobby and professional machines. I agree with his comments, but wanted to point out that many (most?) of us are in this as a hobby, and many of us are 'knocking on a bit', so I for one am cannot give much thought to professional machines. I can only continue my hobby by using these 'hobby' machines because thats all I can afford on a pension - there is no way I can go out and spend thousands on a machine. I suppose if I and others could do that, there would be no need for all these websites outlining improvements to these machines.

However, this is where I found a problem. I logged in to make this comment, but found that SoD's post had disappeared. Scrolling back through the thread (now logged in)_ - SoD's post has disappeared completely. I had 3 pages of posts on this thread, but now there are only two. SoD's post appeared just before the photographs from Ron Laden, but now it has gone. If I log off, it reappears - very strange.

Thread: DRO Z-Axis /4th axis "combiner"
25/04/2022 09:05:52

Re the comments on which bootloader to use, and connecting to Arduino NANOs or UNOS. In the Arduino IDE 'Tools' menu is an option to 'Get Board Info' - if the Arduino is connected Ok, then clicking this will show a small window giving (IIRC) the board Serial number and other information - this doesn't appear if there is a connection problem - AFAIK this is the quickest way to know whether your particular board is connected without having to upload a sketch. Note the comments other have made regarding the 'Use Old Bootloader' option.

spelling edit

Edited By An Other on 25/04/2022 09:06:45

25/04/2022 08:53:10

This has been a very interesting thread (for me) to follow, and I would like to make a suggestion - instead of using the Arduinos, which run at 16 MHz, try using an ESP32, which runs at up to 240 MHz. They are also usually even cheaper than Arduinos, but can be programmed using the Arduino IDE, or PlatformIO.

I went this route after I had a timing problem on a project, and now always use the ESP32. It also has a WiFi and BlueTooth interface built-in, so its very easy to add remote controls if required. It also has a much bigger memory space, so larger, more comprehensive programs are possible. They can be used with all the usual Arduino modules.

There is plenty of information online - I found this site very helpful when I first started using them:


and also this:


Many others if you search ESP32

Thread: warco 918 bench lathe
25/04/2022 08:39:34

Hi, Wally - good luck with working on your lathe. Sadly it seems to be a 'feature' of modern engineering that 'tuning' has to be carried out to make stuff work 'as required' - on the other hand, I have two lathes and a mill that I could never have afforded if I had got them from Western suppliers, so I had to buy 'Chinese' and do the work. I have seen ludicrous prices for (for example) Myford lathes, even second hand, such that it was cheaper to buy and modify eastern machinery. I think also some reputable companies buy these chinese machines, strip and rebuild them and still make a profit.

At least II learnt my way around my machines by having to do this kind of work, and it kept me happy for weeks!

24/04/2022 18:48:14

I bought one of these lathes years ago, and quickly modified it to use a 3-phase motor and VDF - similar to the picture shown earlier in this thread. When I bought the lathe, I also bought two spare drive belts, after reading a load of bad advice in various forums that these belts break repeatedly while I was deciding which lathe to buy.

I modded my lathe at least 12 years ago, and I am still using the original belt, despite stalling the machine many times over the years. This mod also allowed me to dump the strange manual clutch (slipping belt) arrangement that it used to have.

There is a a lot of information about improvements and modifications on this site: LINK , and many others.

I modified the compound clamp, increased the cross-slide travel, and other odds and sods. I have found the lathe to be perfectly adequate for all the work I have used it for over the years. There is also some stuff online about these lathes arriving from the seller in questionable condition - still caked with casting sand, loose bolts, misalignment, etc, etc, so it seems a little unfair to condemn the lathe until it has been checked over.

Thread: New series by Tim Hunkin
21/04/2022 19:56:10

Try this link to locate TIms stuff on YouTube. The first 'Components' episodes started online early in 2021. There are also one or two 'one-off' projects he was involved in. The man is a genius, with a knack of imparting useful and fascinating information.


Thread: Domestic Chemistry
15/04/2022 17:14:47

I've always found the most efficient method is to let the wife do it (she is usually the one that makes it dirty anyway)cheeky

Thread: Before calculators
15/04/2022 17:10:58

I think Dr R.V Jones, during World War 2, used to get quite irate about making calculations to unmeasurable decimal places!laugh.

Thread: UK DRIVING LICENCE [ 2022 issue ]
15/04/2022 17:03:50

Sorry to stay 'off-topic', but have to agree with FF above - I have been fighting HMRC for years now. Latest is an appeal against a 720 pound fine for failing to send in a return for 2019 (I did send one) - first they fined me 100 pounds for a 'late return', which I paid, then appealed - after getting my money back after about 9 months, they immediately fined me 720 pounds for non-submission. I appealed that, and (shock!) someone form HMRC called me, and asked why I was submitting a self-assessment return each year - same reason as FF above. I was told it was unnecessary, and there was no need for it - so I asked why they fined me for not submitting something they didn't want, and got no answer.

- OK I'll stop now because its going off-topic, but it just indicates the unsuitability for purpose of HMRC, and it looks as though DVLA is the same - I did finally get my money returned a couple of months ago - more than 2 years after the event.

Thread: Central Heating Control
05/04/2022 10:54:32

I also have a chinese heated jacket as per Samsaranda - works well - BUT - the chinese EXTRA LARGE size is a very tight fit, almost uncomfortable for me, and I am average size, so if you order one, get the biggest one you can.

It uses a USB power pack for power - and all the ones I could find don't come with the powerpack, you have to order it separately - not mention of this in most of the advertisements - be warned.

Thread: Arduino mini/pro-mini
01/04/2022 18:53:12

Hi, Duncan

Are you sure you have the 'wrong' boards. The following was copied from the official Arduino site: - note the last two lines - you may have the wrong voltage. Elsewhere I found a comment that the Arduino Mini has been 'retired'

The Arduino Pro Mini is a microcontroller board based on the ATmega328.
It has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 6 analog inputs, an on-board resonator, a reset button, and holes for mounting pin headers. A six pin header can be connected to an FTDI cable or Sparkfun breakout board to provide USB power and communication to the board.
The Arduino Pro Mini is intended for semi-permanent installation in objects or exhibitions. The board comes without pre-mounted headers, allowing the use of various types of connectors or direct soldering of wires.

The pin layout is compatible with the Arduino Mini.
There are two version of the Pro Mini. One runs at 3.3V and 8 MHz, the other at 5V and 16 MHz.


Thread: Yet another AT1 VFD question!
30/03/2022 20:40:10

Don't know if I'm reading this correctly, but according to the manual, multifunctional Input 1 (P58) apparently must be set to 20 to enable multifunction inputs P50 to 55, but by default it is set to 0.

Thread: AT1 inverter 3 wire control
22/03/2022 17:08:18

Sorry to resurrect this thread, but I thought this may be useful - I found the following on Youtube, (Link at end of post) - I have three of these Chinese-made units, running a woodturning lathe (1.5HP), a mini-lathe and an SX2 Mill, (both 3/4 HP) all converted to 3-phase, with belt drive operation.

They all worked out of the box, and I have had no problems with them. They seem to be well-made, and certainly do the job. Mine are all 2.2kW rating, all connected in Delta. I have not seen any problems, or overheating. They are fitted with small cooling fans, which operate only when switched to 'Run'. (I also have a German-made Moeller unit rated for 1.1 kW, which has no fan, and gets quite warm after extended use).

The only problem was that the supplied documentation was 'minimal' to say the least, so I ended up Youtubing to find some useful data. (I wanted to use a pendant with two of them).

The units I have are marketed under the name 'Topshak' - there seem to be others, but it is the same inverter - it also comes in different output ratings. (I have no connection with the manufacturers).


Thread: Changing my Email client
17/03/2022 08:24:33

Agree with Peter Greene above. I use Thunderbird on three different machines, all using POP because I sometimes want to access my mail offline. I have three accounts in use, and they are not deleted from the server.

Thread: Internet access alternatives
11/03/2022 17:00:20

We live in Eastern Europe, and when we first came here (about 12 years ago, the service provide by the (state) ISP was lousy - very very slow, and prone to fail frequently - Friday evening was always a good time, then it would come back on Monday morning when the local engineer(?) came back on duty.

Eventually we got a mobile phone, but at that time, it could not be used as a hotspot, although later it was possible. About 5 years ago, by chance, we became friendly with the girl in the local mobile providers shop - she spoke good English, which helped. She mentioned that they could provide up to 50 GBytes/month of broadband data connection free using a fixed router using the SIM fitted in the mobile phones, but many of her customers had complained that it didn't work, and had returned their routers - she had a big pile of them. I asked if I could try one, so she gave me half-a dozen to test after she talked to her manager.

I took them home, plugged in my SIM, and sure enough, it didn't work - then after a bit of checking, I found out that the SIM was retained in its socket by a metal strap - you had to slide the SIM under the strap - but it was so very easy to slide it in so it went over the strap (and very difficult to actually see) - so no connection. All the routers I had been loaned worked when I made sure that the SIM was correctly installed, and eventually I found about 3 truly dud routers from around 50. I got a free SIM for a year as a result as a thankyou from the manager.

Three months ago, the mobile provider (it also provides service in Western Europe and the UK), bought out the state Telecom concern, and now operates that as well - and its service is vastly better than it used to be.

I have no idea what the moral of this story is (was), but it worked for me.

Thread: Arduino/Stepper Motor Dividing Head
20/02/2022 17:18:54

Not sure if this is in the right place, but it might provide some helpful data - clocks, motor feedback systems, Arduino programming, gear-cutting and more. If its wrong, I'm sure a moderator will remove it.

Lots of stuff in the various links scattered around on the site.


17/02/2022 14:13:24

Hallo, SoD (Dave),

Re the membrane type switch. I have had problems with these in the past - On at least two of them, the top plastic layer apparently became hard and brittle over time, and eventually cracked. One of them was on a heating controller system - at the time I suspected that it was due to the temperature of the room it was in cycling hot and cold (the boiler was also in this room, hence the temperature variations).

However, I later used another one on a borehole pump control system - this was mounted on a box outside - and the same thing happened - in each case it took about a year to fail - the top surface where you press them cracked and flaked away. As I result, I don't trust them any longer, and prefer discrete switches. Of course, this is a pain when I need numerical entry, so I usually end up with an 'Up' button and a 'Down' button which cycle through displayed values, and a third button to initiate whatever action I need.

Some day I might get around to playing with using the proximity sensing capability of the Arduino inputs.

17/02/2022 09:35:38

Interesting links, John,

I did use a DRV8825 - perhaps I should change that.frown I did start with an A4988, but the motor took rather more current than it liked so I changed to the DRV8825 - these links show that was a backward step.

I'm not in a position to challenge the results in the link, however I still think that the effects of microstepping are dependant on the application. As I tried to explain earlier, I originally wanted a device which would rotate small objects a specified distance to allow regular drilling (wheel hubs and rims in my case). This does not require a rotation of more than 360 degrees (although it will rotate continuously if required - see my first post).

This means that it is rotating under virtually no load (except for the weight of the chuck) between between programmed halts. As your links appear to indicate, mis-stepping is apparent in all modes. Although I didn't consider this when I built it - I simply used 1/16 mode because I believed that multiple smaller steps would give me finer control. From the figures I noted earlier, I should get 3200 steps per rev, so a step of 1 degree should have 3200/360 = 8.8 steps. In practise, this works fine for me - the thing rotates sufficiently accurately for my purposes, and is locked by a separate brake when it stops, to counter pressure on the workpiece.

For me, its a question of building what sufficed to do the job. Practise has shown me that a purely mechanical dividing head was 'overkill' for what I needed, as would be a closed loop servo system, when this simple device does the job - and other people in this thread seem to have the same experience.

However, you make a good point, so designers should take this into account depending on the functionality required. When time permits, I will try to check its accuracy - the articles you have linked to make me wonder about the accuracy of some of the things produced on 3D printers and routers.

16/02/2022 20:45:29

Hi, John,

You may have just wrecked the whole 3D router/printing industry!laugh

I have a small 3D Router, and a 3D printer, the controllers of both of them are fixed at 1/16 steps. Of course, accuracy is probably not so 'vital' in these machines, but there are certainly no perceptible measurable or cumulative errors, and I have machined small metal parts on the router.

Given that 1/16 step mode on a 200 step motor produces 3200 steps per rev, then dare I say that single steps never happen in practise. I would guess perhaps that some 'averaging' takes place, but I don't know. I do know that for the indexer I built, I don't need steps of 0.1125 degrees (360/3200) which is what I (should) get with 1/16 steps - its more like steps of multiple degrees - maybe a few hundred steps (perhaps I should have used 1/2 or 1/4 steps). My main need was to make regular steps without having to faff about with index wheels and so on. That said, I haven't been able to detect any measurable errors with my indexer - Perhaps I am wrong, but I would expect this type of microstep error to be cumulative (slipping, perhaps?), but it certainly doesn't seem to be doing that.

I would appreciate your ideas on this - meantime I intend to see what happens with different stepping modes - these will introduce their own errors, because as each step becomes larger, so calculating the number of steps for a given number of degrees will inevitably lead to rounding - bigger steps, bigger rounding errors. This was why I used 1/16 steps in the first instance (I explained that I rounded the number of steps/degree in the software in an earlier post).

The only way I can see round these problems is to use some form of gearing - but I consider that a backward stepsmiley.

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