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Member postings for Paul H 1

Here is a list of all the postings Paul H 1 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Disposable Gas Bottles
16/01/2021 16:08:00


I too live in France and I reckon I know the type of bottle you are talking about. Being Argon and CO2 there is no explosion risk, but you can put your regulator valve back on but let the valve vent to the open air and leave it open for a bit. Often on the bottles like that you can remove the little valve on top. I used to use the disposable oxygen bottles that are used with the little Camping Gaz oxy propane set, till I bought an oxy acetelyne set 2nd hand. I have found that those bottles when empty are quite useful. I have used rings cut from them on my press. If you don't want them, after full depressurisation cut them in half and stick them in the same local recycling containers as your tin cans.

If you need more gas it is long term more economic to buy a small "real" bottle of gas, Air Liquide for instance and then go and change it for a refilled bottle. Yes there is the bottle outlay to begin with, but there are some French welding supply companies who sell on line. That is how I bought my argon bottle for my TIG set.


Thread: capacitor droppers and power factor
17/08/2020 14:29:15

Capacitor dropper power supplies can in fact be found in small appliances. For example, we have a hot air fryer, sold in the UK as a Tefal Actifry. It decided after the warranty ran out to shutdown regularly with an error code. Being me, I took it apart to investigate and found it has a small controller board powered by a capacitor dropper 1/2 wave power supply (on the same board), It powers the mcu (an 8bit ST model) display etc direct from the mains with no isolation. A bit of research indicates these types of supplies are more common than one would think, because they are very cheap and in the case of the Actifry saves putting in optoisolators to sense the AC zero crossing point detection and for the triac motor control.

Be very careful with these supplies on the bench. I do my test work with the board connected via an isolation transformer as otherwise they are dangerous (even then working carefully).

If anyone is interested in knowing more about the capacitor dropper design the following Applications Note from Microchip may be of interest, which is quite often referenced by other sources on the internet..

As for power factor I have not investigated as I don't yet have a meter for that.

On the point about wall warts raised earlier, the limited number I have taken apart have either had a transformer, the older type, or have a genuine switch mode power supply, both types giving genuine mains isolation.


Thread: HSS replacement tool tips.
09/08/2020 11:39:06

Try this link for the manufacturers on-line shop for inserts.

Thread: Further Adventures with the Sieg KX3 & KX1
29/07/2020 14:00:23

Jason, regarding older computers and parallel ports. Parallel port cards are available and not expensive. Older computers can be refurbished to keep them going for many years more. In my experience the main problems are the electrolytic capacitors. These can be readily changed, but do use quality top tier makes with low ESR (Badcaps forum has loads of info and help). I change the caps on both the motherboard and the power supply. I have done this precisely because I want to have older pcs with parallel ports available for some cnc experimentation and or with very specific software. I realise not everybody wishes to get into component level electronics (and switch mode power supplies can be quite a rabbit hole to go down) or has the equipment but it is a way that works for me.


Thread: DC-DC converter
11/04/2020 14:12:41

Dave (SOD), I've been following your experiments with great interest. Regarding the LCD, from the PCB photo it looks like the LCD has a zebra strip that presses against the PCB. Having an appliance I have been trying to debug/repair for several months with one of the same style of connections, it only takes a slight misalignment for the contacts to be in the wrong place, so perhaps a bit of fiddling around with the alignment and pressure would help.

Are you going to try a decoupling cap on the position you have shown?


Thread: Amadeal Lathe failed - customer service appalling!
09/03/2020 13:53:06

Adam, I took at the link to the nearest current Amadeal lathe. Providing your lathe is using a DC motor, which I strongly suspect it is, the KB Electronics board should be fine. I have seen posts elsewhere (I can't remember where) that some owners of similar Warco lathes also had the KB board.

09/03/2020 13:22:56
Posted by Russ B on 09/03/2020 11:11:29:

These come with a 5 year warranty. If I'm going to buy a Chinese lathe, I'd rather buy a one without the speed controller board for a discount and fit one of these.


This is the type of board I fitted to my lathe from the same supplier. These are first class, well put together speed controllers with an excellent reputation.

08/03/2020 11:42:17

Sorry to hear about your story and abysmal service. Note by the way that Amadeal are linked as a shopping partner on this site. If you don't get a result from Amadeal there is always a solution.

Several years ago when I was looking round to buy my lathe I too took a good look at the Amadeal site, however I bought mine and my mill from SPG Tools as it was much better tooled. The products as far as I could tell from the photos came from the same factory. In the many discussions I had on the phone with SPG it was emphasised that when starting the lathe always make sure the speed was turned down to minimum before switching on to avoid damaging the electronic controller card and make a habit of turning the speed to minimum before switching off in normal use. This seemed to be to avoid a big inrush current, I believe, on the SCRs of the controller card. Despite doing this and the lathe serving me well it went wrong after the guarantee period. My problem was it went at full rpm with no control from the pot.

Being in France, so remote to SPG in the UK I took matters into my own hands and investigated. The DC motor was OK, no probs, the pot tested OK so it was the motor controller card. Investigations on the net revealed that the factory fitted a Chinese copy of a KB Electronics card, the KB original being noted for its reliability. So I found a UK distributor who sold online and ordered one and its heat sink. I did have to make some mods in the housing at the back of the lathe and in fact fitted the controller to the door so making future maintenance easier.

Since then I am a happy bunny with the lathe. I have also done component testing on the card and confirmed the 2 thyristors are shorted, so that will be a repair to do which will then give me a spare speed controller for other DC motors.

Thread: Old Computers - why do people bother
07/02/2020 09:57:15

It is quite refreshing to hear about the Z80 again, but does anybody remember MP/M the multi user version of CP/M. We ran in the 80s Altos microcomputers with 4 terminals and 2 printers on 1 Z80 powered machine. Running Wordstar, a spreadsheet and accounts. Worked really well.The Z80 is not dead at all. Look on Digikey for instance and you will find a range going from the original 40pin DIP at 6Mhz to square SMD packages at 20Mhz. There are also some sites offering Z80 kits to learn on with assembler.

Assembly language does seem to be getting talked about on the forums orientated to electronics engineers in a positive fashion at the moment. Personally I kept several NT2000 pcs and XP for legacy applications and to reuse if I manage to get to do a CNC conversion. Otherwise I stick to Ubuntu on recent hardware.

If anybody wants a really tight coding challenge have a look at the Padauk 3 cent microcontroller on Dave Jones' EEVblog Youtube channel and forum.

Thread: Is CAD for Me?
10/06/2019 20:20:17

Nigel, I know very little about TurboCAD, that coming only from posts I have read on this forum. I have observed however over many years of using different types of software that printed manuals seem to have gone out of fashion, replaced by various on-line versions. These can certainly vary in usability.

Perhaps I have been lucky with FreeCAD in that videos I have used are quite clear and in conjunction with the FreeCAD wiki pages I am making sense, slowly of the package.

Don't be led into the trap that the more expensive the software is, the better it is for your needs. Linux and the Open Source movement have liberated software for me. Quite often the packages are also available on Windows.

10/06/2019 15:15:08

Having only seen this thread today I would like to add my experience.

I came to CAD from an industrial conventional manual draughting background. In 1981 I started with Autocad on 8" floppies and never looked back (using it for 2D only) until a few years ago when my laptop with Autocad LT got messed up in a flood. Being already retired, buying Autocad was out of the question and at the time I was not interested in 3D modelling. In the meantime Windows 8 and then 10 came out and I just did not get on with them so made the change to Linux. For draughting I discovered DraftSight, free and for an ex Autocad user, easy to pickup.

What else was available Open Source? Answer FreeCAD. So I downloaded, installed and tried it just to have a try at 3D. From this experience I fully understand the comments about not getting on with 3D. At the time try as I might I just could not get my head round the totally different concepts. So frustrated I eventually I gave up and uninstalled it. As others on this thread point out it is a different way of thinking to do 3D design, compared to 2D.

However I now want to do 3D printing. For this I need to design in 3D. Obviously Alibre came to mind with the MEW series and offer. However it needs Windows and at the end of the trial savings must be parted with to keep using it. In the mean time I found FreeCAD 0.18 had been released to lots of good feedback so I have tried again. This time I have tried to put out of my head my preconceived ways of working and progress through relevant tutorials off the FreeCAD wiki and using tutorial videos and forum posts. Youtube has got loads of good videos, well thought out for FreeCAD. There are also the "expert" who is just showing off his skill but I don't bother with those.

It is taking some determined effort but I am getting somewhere in my learning, so my message to Nigel is don't give up. I am curious as to what problems you, Nigel, find with videos. One method I use is to run the video on the laptop next to my PC's screen, so I can stop, start, "rewind" etc next to the piece of work I am trying to do.

Regarding Fusion 360, I had years of buying Autocad perpetual licences and upgrades from Autodesk for my design team as it expanded, so I would not trust Autodesk to keep F360 completely free. I suspect Neil's opinion of hobbling in some way will happen, since Autodesk will bring out yet more features making the package even more comprehensive than it already is. Probably lots of new features to come will only be available in paid versions.

Thread: Source of Machined Nuts
18/05/2019 12:33:50

Andrew, have you made any collets for this lathe yourself?

Thread: Nickel Plating Brass
18/05/2019 10:36:20

Mike, thanks for the link it's very promising. I'll have to look into delivery costs from UK.

Jim, point taken. Welding rods here can be rather expensive, so the anode route may be better for me. Fleabay fr has quite a lot, though not as thick as on Mike's link.


17/05/2019 08:30:08

Nickel strip is easy to get hold of on the two very popular on-line buy anything sites. Just search "nickel strip 18650". It is very popular for building LiPo 18650 battery packs. Not expensive at all. After watching the videos referenced on this thread that is the route I will be going rather than buying a plating kit.


Thread: Rotary table + cross slide ....... why ?
03/02/2019 13:47:46

Thank you for the link. Taking a look at the site reveals lots of other interesting stuff to look at. He has a lot on building the Gingery Shaper for instance.

Thread: Cold Saw vs Big DIamond Blade vs Bandsaw
20/01/2019 10:20:22

I've got the Rage, an abrasive cut off saw and a the ubiquitous horizontal/vertical bandsaw. The abrasive cut off saw I no longer use as the Rage is much better and the blade obviously does not wear down. The chassis of both is pretty much the same generic Chinese type. Both have clamping which is pretty crap. To be really useful the Rage needs vice mods/upgrades, but well doable in the home workshop. It does cut ally. Clogs points above on the Rage are spot on.

The winner for me is the bandsaw. I use it in both orientations, on cut off work I just leave it to get on with the job and do something else. I have been using it in the vertical mode on loads of Land Rover restoration work over the last 6 months and is invaluable. It does need some upgrades, but these are well covered by Mike Cox on his website and are on my to do list.

I have to say I do have a big bandsaw as well but that is left with a woodworking blade in as I am also always doing woodwork as well.


Thread: Bearing puller from hell
22/12/2018 15:12:46

Super video. As a home engineer rather than a model engineer it really appealed to me. There is a lot of single tip threading which they made look so, so easy. They do have a video for a hydraulic pack and another on making a hydraulic cylinder. Like Clive I wondered about a power steering pump for a stand alone unit, though if I was stuck I would just run lines of the tractor.

They do have what look to be some other very interesting videos on their channel.

Thread: Increasing cost of entry into model engineering
27/07/2018 13:44:08

My lathe and mill are both Chinese, bought from SPG 2 years ago and I am a happy camper. I live in France and before I bought did a very thorough research of not just the offerings in the UK but in France and the countries around me. What became very apparent was that pretty much the same products were being sold by many European vendors but at much higher prices than their equivalents in the UK, plus generally with a poor accessories spec with them. Delivery form the UK was very reasonable and quick.

Martin 100 makes the very valid point "Without the likes of ARC or Axminster etc I would suspect few here would ever have a 'new' mill or lathe."

Buying what I did at the prices offered, enabled me to fulfill a 40 year ambition and have new equipment as well.

Thread: New Milling Machine - advice requested
14/06/2018 13:52:14

Living in France and having bought my lathe and mill from the UK a couple of years ago, don't be put off by shipping. I put a lot of research into what I wanted to buy and including shipping I got a much better deal than buying from any of the mainland European suppliers I found. I do not know why but for what seemed to be the same machine the price was always much higher. All the companies in the UK I contacted were happy to ship to France and it was not an unusual request for them.

With respect to size my mill is an equivalent of the Warco WM18. I am not terribly strong but from the crate being unloaded outside the workshop to putting it into place on the bench I built, I did everything alone. I built an angle iron drilling machine stand with good sized castors and used that to move the machine. Afterwards I installed the drilling machine.

One question I would ask all the suppliers you approach is what kind of variable speed controller board they use, do they always stock the spare boards and what price. Same for motors. That is if you are going for electronic variable speed (most of the machines in this size) with a DC motor as opposed to gears.


Thread: How to grind failed prints to pellets?
28/02/2018 20:35:13

Take a look at this site They have created some pretty good machines with lots of info including plans for the build. The shredder is one of the machines there.


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