Industrial Design

Continuing in my 3D printing bender I have been finishing up a few projects that have been on hold due to missing bits. A few other prints have been done to improve the printer itself. While along the way there have been a couple things designed and printed just for fun.

Minimalist 3D Printed Lamp

I needed a lamp to keep the 3D printer bed illuminated without leaving all of the garage lights on. This light would allowed me to keep an eye on long prints using one of the little Wyze security cameras.

A bright LED supplied by the 24V power supply of the printer would be just the thing.

Continue reading “Industrial Design”

Keep it Running

Some equipment around the observatory is thirty or more years old. As you would expect, keeping it running can be a challenge.

A redesigned small signal PCB for an Inland Motor FCU-100-30 amplifier power supply
A redesigned small signal PCB for an Inland Motor FCU-100-30 amplifier power supply

There are two ways of dealing with this old equipment… Replacing it with something new is the preferred way. When it becomes difficult to locate spare parts, when it breaks down too often, just replace it with new gear. For much of the equipment this is the usual answer and is often a major part of the job.

Some equipment is not so easily replaced. When replacement would require wholesale redesign of a system it becomes more of a challenge. Sometimes the only choice is to keep that old gear running.

This is the case with our servo amplifiers. Twelve amplifiers supply the power that drives the telescope, one amplifier for each motor. Eight amplifiers and motors drive azimuth, four drive elevation. Three hundred and seventy tons moved by twelve relatively small DC motors. While much of the telescope control system was recently replaced, it was decided to keep the old servo amplifiers.

You might notice that these servo amplifiers are just a wee bit critical.

Continue reading “Keep it Running”