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Member postings for Simon0362

Here is a list of all the postings Simon0362 has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Fridge problems
02/11/2016 22:21:55


I responded to this already but it seems to have disappeared into the ether...

Anyway, prompted by the comments about fans, I opened the freezer and discovered that the fan is functioning. However prising the cover off the fan in the fridge revealed a stationary fan - and this blows (sucks?) down a 100mm or so wide plastic cover that runs down the back wall of the fridge - which was as iced up as the rest of the back wall.

Not had an opportunity to absolutely confirm its not working but this looks like the fault - now the next problem is the root cause...whatever kicks the fan on if the fan itself is operational

I don't think the thermostat is failing since food is kept cool and the drains are clean (ish!) and unblocked - I had this problem in the past as well.

Thanks for all of your suggestions.

02/11/2016 13:31:09

I am sure someone will be able to offer some useful thoughts...

We have had our fridge for about 6 years - its the variety that 'self defrosts' so you don't have to go through that old rigmarole of stopping it and removing the caked on ice. Except that it doesn't do anything of the sort - for the third time in as many months, I have had to attack the inch or so thick layer of ice on the back wall with a heat gun and a spatula.

Apart from the irritation and having to deal with a full sink of ice, we are working our way through spatulas as I chip away at the ice.

Sooooooo.....any thoughts on what may be wrong - I have a suspicion that my wife is over filling it but you didn't hear me say that!

The obvious things seem to be ok - door fits, drain hole at the back is ok, food remains cool (icy if its touching the back wall!). Our climate is very dry, low humidity and there seems to be no connection with the weather at all.

It seems to be getting worse - but we have only been in the house for less than a year so I am not sure if its this environment, more food being bought, or a general and steady failure...

Your thoughts (especially the learned ones) gratefully received.


Thread: 3D mouse
02/11/2016 11:41:59

I bought a refurbished 3DConnexion space mouse soon after I started using OnShape (and before they offered support for them - duh) - cannot believe how easy it is to use - I still use the ordinary mouse for all of the move-add-draw etc and the keyboard for other inputs using my right hand but the 3D mouse in my left hand is a revelation - highly recommended even for this amateur, once-a-week user.


Thread: Alternative to PC based Cnc controllers
26/10/2016 22:19:56

Well my DDCS1.1 is installed and functioning - a bit Heath Robinson at the moment because the workshop is still in a state of flux but it runs.

Installation replacing an existing Mach3 solution took about an hour - 20 mins to wire it and 40 to find the tools...all the parameters were taken from or derived from the Mach3 setup which helped a lot.

It has now machined half a dozen items, seems fine, no obvious faults nor any instability - it just works. Only issue so far is that I don't think it supports a tool change pause - in Mach 3 you can force a pause at a tool change to manually exchange tools but I cannot see any support for this. Part programmes are an obvious way around.

Frankly, happy. One small box replaces a large and clunky PC plus all of the paraphernalia - the screen is a lot smaller but I haven't missed all of the extra Mach stuff.

Will now think seriously about the lathe controllers for my Compact5PC - awaiting the reports with baited breath!


Thread: what do you use when designing?
24/10/2016 19:03:13

I have stuck with Onshape since being a beta tester (thanks to you!) and its getting better and better and over time. However I export the results to either .stl for my 3D printing CAM programs (Slic3r or Kisslicer) or 2.5 D CNC CAM program (CamBam) to generate the Gcode.

Yes, it would be wonderful to have a fully integrated version but I don't have the time/effort/energy for yet another solution set - and it is a very long way from my day job in telecoms so I don't have the advantages of being able to 'dual task' and learn it in parallel.

However you have triggered me to go and look at Fusion - when I have a spare moment!


24/10/2016 11:00:45

I do the basic work with a fineline pen on the 5mm squared paper that is available everywhere here in France - its sketching but to a grid and you can easily do a swift 'to scale' drawing to make sure the basics work - thats for the basic work.

After that, if I need to take it into either the 3D printer or to the CNC mill, I use Onshape which now allows the creation of dxf drawings from the 3D model. But I still need the squared paper sketch for the initial information.

I used to use SolidEdge for 2D but this was primarily for 'after the event' drawings for articles and not really for my own use.

Thread: The Worden T&C grinder
17/10/2016 17:24:32


My Worden which I bought second hand has a 'loose' fit on the block to the 3/4" shaft.

I had the same idea as you but using commercially bought in oilite style bushes on 20mm shafting - and replacing the block with something slightly larger if necessary. However my aim is to have a functioning Worden rather than enjoy making it!



Thread: Alternative to PC based Cnc controllers
05/10/2016 19:44:14

Bob Warfield on the CNC cookbook site has some useful background on CNC control systems today:


04/10/2016 09:21:20

Martin, PM'd you.


28/09/2016 13:18:10

I am with Zebethyal on this - I moved house some 10 months ago and I am just in the process of making my CNC converted BF20 operational again - which went down the classic not-so-old PC, MACH3 route. However the 2nd parallel port board I use for extra inputs and outputs lasts for about 6 months before something stops working, MACH3 refuses to output whit it should when running some special code, the driver boards date back some 7 years and only run at 30V so all in all its a bit outdated.

On the strength of this thread, I have bought the DDCSV1.1 along with a driver board running at 48V and a spare new PSU to completely update the system. It sounds like it will be a step backwards in some ways (missing the conversational aspect) but that will just mean an alternative way of working. What it does mean is that I won't have to maintain yet another XP machine, buy printer boards on a regular basis and have to find space for a PC and a largely unnecessary mouse and keyboard - which are not really workshop compatible any (not in mine anyhow!).

I have a background in electronics, am well versed in the deeper aspects of PCs/Windows from DOS 2 through Win7, have built 2 CNC systems and the mill has been through a constant upgrade since v1.0 in 2007 - but I use it to make things, not as an amusement in itself. And like many others I am tired of having to fault-find obscure bugs - e.g. the bug in the MACH3 threading canned cycle where I discovered duplicate instructions - not the cause of my problem at the time but a pain nonetheless...

Don't get me wrong, MACH3 and the whole PC based solution has been brilliant - but like many things, it IMO has had its day, time to move onto the next generation which is absolutely not MACH4 (IMO again).

Maybe the DDSCV1 is not the right solution - but either it gets a firmware upgrade or I buy the next box as the 500£ plus functionality permeates down to the cheaper boxes - maybe DDCSV2 or even 3...

So waiting for the cheapest supplier of the box to get it to me from somewhere in China - did it through the usual auction site but realised too late that alibaba had even better deals to the tune of some 20€.

Thread: MEW 246 and ME 4543 Paper magazines delivery
19/09/2016 13:27:24

Hi Ketan,

ME arrived on Saturday to deepest Southern France - much earlier than usual, so please keep sending the cats...

And I am still using bits of various packs I bought from Whiston although many of my purchases have long since been consigned to the "keep because it might come in useful" bin and 30+ years down the line, I am wondering at what point 'might' will turn into 'will'.....

Actually found an old catalogue recently as part of my post-house move filtering - n°107, Winter/Spring 84 with gems such as "Surplus self tapping screws, 6 x 1/4" hex 1000 for £1.20, 10 000 for £9.60, over 1/2 million available...", and

"3MT left hand twist drill, 37x230mm", and

"Solid tungsten carbide strips 1 7/16"x1/8" wide by 0.055" thick, 47p, 100 for 37.42".....



Thread: I am impressed and Her indoors approves :)
04/05/2016 08:15:14


CAD - My preference is OnShape which I found to be immediately intuitive unlike many of the others available as free or not-so-free downloads. Its cloud based so a reasonable connection is necessary and it suffers from a visible slowing down from mid afternoon onwards as the US West Coast wakes up. Really good though and generates .stl files as a direct download for the entire object or for individual parts.

Threads - unless you are modelling large threads, don't bother to do anything more than a hole of roughly tapping size. For small threads in PLA (think up to say 4mm), just screw the bolt in, for larger ones, treat it as any other material and drop a tap through first.You can model threads if you need something complex though - I did a LH 45mm(?) square section internal thread as a connector for standard swimming pool floating tube. It took almost as long to remove the support material for the thread as it did to print but successful in the end. Needed to watch the tutorial on creating threads several times though!


Thread: Magnetic centroid
13/04/2016 22:53:19
Posted by Mike on 13/04/2016 09:17:10:

Unless things have changed in the last 20 or so years, it doesn't take much steel to trigger the light-changing mechanism. A pal who was a traffic lights engineer for the local council used to test lights by walking over the mechanism carrying a dustbin lid. I don't really understand the technicalities of this discussion, but I suggest there is enough steel in an aluminium-bodied car to do the business.

Having run a number of fibreglass cars over the years, I can recall several occasions where I had to wait at the traffic lights for somebody else to trigger the sensors - rather frustrating.

On the up side, the old radar traps that the Gendarmarie used to use were insufficently sensitive to detect me at speed.

Thread: Buying a 3D printer, but which one?
31/03/2016 13:48:56

My limited experience with the 3D printing world is that it can be split into two parts - those machines that are kits and require time, effort and a stream of upgrades and eventually become a project in their own right and the commercially available models that are ready to print more or less out of the box.

Your choice can also be tempered by your experience - if you buy a kit then you will have the construction side to achieve (and many kits are not 'production' quality) as well as the learning curve on the printer settings if you open source slicing software as well as the learning curve on 3D CAD to create the files to print in the first case.

At least with the out-of-a-box solution, you can expect the printer will operate with minor adjustments (getting the print platform level primarily) and maybe the software is bundled and therefore avoids some of the open source issues.

My own choice was slightly random but partly made thanks to JS who mentioned his own 3D printer - which is an UP! which comes with its own slicer software with most settings pre made and their own brand of filament to keep control over the quality. I still had to understand how to get everything level, to make the plastic stick and a myriad of other issues as well as the 3D CAD learning curve.

Nonetheless I would recommend a commercial printer (mine was 2nd hand) just to get to the point where you are actually printing things - not trying to work out which of the electro-mechanical, electronic or software parts of your printer is not right...

Best of luck though, I have found mine to be immensely useful as you may be able to see form the article of mine published in a recent MEW.


Thread: 3D printing seems to have gone quiet. Where are we all at?
29/02/2016 22:12:08


Since this is effectively reverse engineering, where do you break the patent for the concept and where are you simply adapting someone else's idea with your own to create something (maybe marginally) different...?

I suspect the practical (not ethical) answer is that even with a gang of printers, you are unlikely to rival proper mass production methods. I also find that it is necessary to beef up some aspects of a component to compensate for the relative strengths of injection moulded plastic vs. printed so there are potential 'fit for use' questions too.

Ethically (and maybe legally) I would see the line being drawn between making a replacement for a broken item or one that is further modified with your ideas and the point where you are removing revenue from the original supplier since its cheaper/easier to make your own than to buy them. But even this last point has the caveat that (IMO) assumes that you would have bought more of the item at the list price - and are not simply making them because you can at what you consider a reasonable price for the volume!

I am reminded of my early teenage years when I mass produced wargaming tanks by silicon moulding from purchased masters and then cast armies of tanks using roofing lead. I still have them and would never consider selling them but I can see a very close similarity here!

I am however unconvinced that this will become any more of an issue than any other product copy issue in the past. I do not believe that the general public will equip itself with printers and software to design bits and places setting themselves up to generate copied parts will be equally in competition with the existing Far Eastern (and others) who produce look-alike fakes and equally targeted by anti-counterfeit people.

I still love my printer for what it can do though!


Thread: Slip Gauges
25/02/2016 15:27:16

Rather by chance I bought a carbide set of slips which have the supreme advantage of not rusting as well as a much lower co-efficient of expansion - reduces the effects of hot fingers but complicates the issues when measuring against steel components. They are also more resistant to wear, although since I use mine 3 or 4 times per year, that is not a major advantage.

They cost me no more than the steel ones which were all listed as 'slight staining' or worse - maybe there are other disadvantages to carbide but I have yet to discover them!

I also have a tatty set with various degrees of surface rust which are only suitable for parallels or similar - they have long since gone past the point of being able to be wrung to anything and since they cost me next to nothing, it pleases me that I have some use from them.


Thread: Onshape CAD
05/02/2016 09:21:10


The trick with document size is to 'create a copy' of the document that you are working on. This cleans out all of the past history where you have made changes and resets the project to the current version. Then move the original document to 'trash' and.....when you are really sure (I usually check that the copied document opens and looks right), then 'empty trash'.

After a couple of moments you will find that your doc is probably barely a couple of MB in size.

Alternatively, you can make the doc 'public' and let anyone look at it - or make a copy for themselves. This is my approach with most of my stuff since I don't really care if people can access my 90° tumble dryer bend and adapter....


Thread: Back issue of 4526
04/02/2016 19:23:36


Many thanks

04/02/2016 19:12:14

Hopefully the title says it all - I want a copy (actually two) of the current-1 copy of ME which has apparently just disappeared from the shelves.

Not living in the UK I can't run around looking for odd copies that may be available - and I really want the paper version.

Subscriptions referred me to the MyHobbyStore site which has nothing more recent than issue 4493.

Suggestions gratefully received!

Thread: 3D printing seems to have gone quiet. Where are we all at?
02/02/2016 16:57:21

I strongly recommend OnShape - if you are careful with your admin and don't worry about whether your drawings are made public, it is very very powerful - and free.

Drawings and 2D generation of 3D faces are now possible - although I have not looked too closely into that area. It is also possible to import certain types of .dxf files as a starter for sketches (think gear wheels, etc from 3rd party sources)

For 3D printing you can export a part or the entire selection of parts as a .stl file rady to be printed. On several occasions I have adjusted and remodelled parts then downloaded them to the 3D printer whilst the bed is still warming up (~15 mins or so)


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