2016-06-20

Ultimaker II upgrade with Low Friction Spool-Holder


I'm currently upgrading my Ultimaker II with a "Low friction UM2 spoolholder" the YouMagine user IRobertI.

As I print a lot, I use huge and heavy Colorfabb 2.2Kg spools.
So when a spool is fresh and heavy, there is a lot of friction involved that the extruder needs to overcome.
My hope is to reduce this friction a great deal with this simple upgrade.

Notes:   
  • Print "608 mount" ith lots of infill, a large nozzle and thick layers. It needs to be strong.
  • M8x140 is plenty of length. It should have a hex head, so you only need 2 M8 nuts
  • You can use counter nuts (4 in total), so the nuts stay in place even with lots of vibration over a long time period
  • Use a bolt that has threads all the way (no smooth shaf and only threads at the tip)
  • Clean up the inside of "608 Core2 90mm" and "core 1", so a 608 bearing can be inserted into the far end
  • check the order of assembly:
  1. insert M8x100 hex headed bolt into "608 mount
  2. add M8 nut and 608 (skateboard) bearing, so "core 1" has a small air-gap wi "608 mount"
  3. add "core 1"
  4. add spacer
  5. add another 608 bearing and M8 nut (don't overrighten)
  6. add "608 Core2 90mm"
  7. add final "608 nut"



2016-06-18

Panasonic YAGH for GH4 disassembly

Project

I received a broken Panasonic YAGH unit for a GH4/GH4R camera.
The description was that it simply failed at some point and was dead. The original owner has a second YAGH in operation, so I'm ruling out handling error.

Since the Audio part also did not work, I can rule out any ground loop or static electricity issue with the SDI ports as the cause.
If the SDI ports  are broken, I'm still left with a good XLR audio preamp for my GH4. ;)

My educated guess is a burned protection diode/0 Ohm resistor/fuse in the power supply due to a power spike or ground loop.

Disassembly

This unit is all nuts and bolts.
Don't start this disassembly unless you have
  • a LOT of table space to lay out the bolts
  • a means to print photos you made of each board/side/layer to put the bolts on
  • I learned the hard way that putting the unit onto a photocopier does NOT produce good results
You have to remove all visible screws on all sides to remove the outher plastic hull.
Use the photos I made to get a good understanding of how the different parts inside connect to disassemble them later.
You can have to disconnect the board with the 2 XLR audio connectors to physically separate "Main" and "Power" board.
You have to disconnect the front panel "SW-Audio" board from the "Main" board to to physically separate the elements
You have to remove the lower board "Main" with the SDI connectors to remove the plastic on top of the "Power" board. 

Aparently you can reconnect things in a way to run the YAGH without any case and easily reachable contacts. Just the upper side of "Main" and lower side of "POWER" are blocked because they mate to each other.

What surprised me was, that the unit actually contains an micro-HDMI to HDMI cable and a full sized HDMI socket inside!
My guess is that this is to easily replace a broken cable but then again...you need to completely disasembly EVERYTHING to reach that cable.

Power supply

 

The unit accepts XLR power with
  • 12V applied on Pin 4 and 
  • GND on pin 1. 
  • Pin 2+3 are not connected
  • Rated for 11-17V (1.4A at 12V) -> 16.8V D-Tap  power is fine but very near the top limit

Setup: I'm testing the unit with a DTap to XLR power adapter cable.
I could also use a lab power supply but attaching it would be difficult as the cables are very well insulated and leave no place where I could attach clamps.

Lessons learned: aparently you CAN insert a chinese D-Tap plug THE WRONG WAY without any resistance.

Found the problem? The Power board is not supplying power to any of the other board. The fuses are intact and there are no obviously burned capacitors or diodes that I could easily replace.

 SDI out

 

  • 1080p24/25/30 -> the same 1.5G SDI signal on all 4 outputs
  • 1080p50/60 -> the same 3G SDI signal on output 1 and 2
  • UHD at 24/2530fps or DCI 4K at 24fps ->4 FullHD segments as 1.5G SDI signals on each port
Conclusion: I can test the SDI ports using my Atomos Samurai Blade or shogun that both only have a single SDI input.

Audio board 


XLR inputs arrive in a small board "CJBB84417" with only passive componente.
They are then routed into the board "VJBB0F44" with 4 low noise amplifiers labeled "8202 304 JRC".
It also houses the Pogo pins to the large connector on the camera and a large connector to the main board.
Guesses:
My guess is, that this does all the audio pre-amp and hands these over to the camera.
It should also provide the volume level to the main board for display and get level information from the input board via the main board somehow.
All the other pins should just be routed through from the main board to the camera.
I fuether guess that if I supply this board with power and connect it to the GH4, it may work on it's own (with a fixed level value).
If the amplifiers are similar to the NJM8202, they should have a 15V power supply.

Links

2016-06-15

Ultimaker II filament sensor and remote control using Raspberry Pi


The Plan

This is still an idea, growing in my head. I don't know if or when I'll build it.

I want to attach a Raspberry Pi 3 to my Ultimaker II extended.
Obviously with Wifi and USB it will have
  • a camera, watching the print
  • a GPIO pin telling the Ultimaker to pause the print (via a tiny firmware modification)
I will replace the small, plastic filament idler pulley on the back of the maching (opposite to the extruder drive mechanism) and replace it with a ball bearing and 2 sensors
  • a trivial 2 bit rotary encoder to meassure the speed and amount of the filament and auto-pause if no filament is transported anymore
  • a load cell with a Hx711 module to tell how much pulling force is applied and auto-pause on no force = filament empty and too much force = something blocks the filament from moving
The too much force - part means it will also detect obstacles that would otherwise lead to underextrusion because filament is still being transported but way less then there should be.
  • a second load cell in the modified "Low friction UM2 spoolholder" will meassure the weight of the spool and thus tell me how much filament is left.
  • the modification is a 12-20cm arm with the load cell attached

Status

Waiting for load cells and Hx711.
Starting assembly if first prototype with reduced functionality.
Rotary encoder and Raspberry Pi arrived.
Designed most 3D printed parts for a first prototype.
Pinout specified.


 The parts

2016-04-18

continuous Multicam recording

I know, I have too many cameras.
What do you say. It's a hobby of mine.
But every now and then I actually use all of them... at the same time.
Lectures and events have a tendency of ending up as multicam events that need more then 20 or 40 minutes per camera and should have their highest possible quality because they simply can't be repeated. 


Surprisingly I got my hands on a used Ninja 2 on eBay.
Now I have completed my setup!
(inserts manic laughter here) 

Center

One GH4R with no internal recording limit can be powered by an Atomos Power Station and record in 4:2:2 onto a Ninja Assassin in UHD for the wide shot that also gives crispy sharp, post-stabilized, post-panned FullHD medium shots as a crop. It doesn't move or refocus and thus needs little monitoring.(for Wifi monitoring I would have to switch from 10bit down to 8bit and I won't do that)
An internal MPEG backup recording is running.
Zoom H6 does the sound as 6 wav including - 4dB  backup against clipping channels ,if not all channels are uses and has its line out run into the Ninja Assassin too. Channel 1+2  are the Mid/Side microphone because that gives perfect Mono down mix and can not have any stereo cancellations like the shotguns 3+4. 5+6 is a Rode VideoLink digital wireless channel to a Lavalier. 

Remote Right

One Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera on the far right. Powered from a Lanparte V-mount plate. An Atomos H2S converts the HDMI to SDI.
An internal ProRes LT backup recording is running.
It provides FullHD Closeups from the right .
The SDI cable runs to left side. 

Left

There am I with an Atomos Samurai Blade, monitoring and recording it and giving instructions via PMR radio to match my own framing.
Myself I am with another Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, another Lanparte battery plate and the Ninja 2 for matching Closeups from the left side. Monitor is not as good and I have no scopes but I have my eyes and the screen of the camera.
Now we have wide shots from dead centered with any crop we desire and Closeups for dialogues from left and right.
Wenever something important is obscured from one side, we have 2 different angles to choose from.

Advantages

  • Each recording has a backup. 
  • I can see what the opposite camera is doing including focus peaking and give instructions
  • HDD (Fullhd)  and SSD (UHD) drives last forever 
  • so do the batteries 
  • audio from 3 locations +lav in case a chair chair squeaks and for a wide applause with no single shouts standing out
  • all recordings are in 10bit (or raw)  -  no banding when I pull the midtones up of down in post or pull up the shadows 
  • all recordings are in ProRes (or raw) - fine noise floor for NeatVideo to work with and no MPEG artifacts 
  • Editing off the 3 SATA drives directly with no need to copy anything

2016-04-11

GH4 und Lumix Club - Wie kriegt man die 100GB?


Mit dem V2.5 Firmware Upgrade für die GH4/GH4R soll man 100GB freien Speichersplatz bei Google Drive bekommen.
Kommt aus dieser Presse-Meldung:

http://www.presseportal.de/pm/14151/3293032
und wird auch so fleißig überall abgedruckt.

...bis man mal versucht das so zu machen.

Zitat:
"*Nutzer müssen sich zunächst im LUMIX CLUB (http://lumixclub.panasonic.net/ger/c/) registrieren, um dort den Speicherplatz für Google Drive zu erhalten und bis 30. September 2016 den Account Service aktivieren.
Eine Kurzanleitung zur LUMIX Club Registrierung ist verfügbar unter ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/camera/howto/compact_cameras_how_to_create_a_lumix_club_account_howto.html"



  1. Im Lumix Club findet sich kein "Google Drive"

  2. Einen "Account Service" gibt es dort gar nicht

  3. Auch die angegebene Kurzanleitung schwiegt sich zum "Account Service" und zu Google Drive aus.

  4. dafür aber das schon vor Jahren in Google+ aufgelöste Google Picasa
-> Der Lumix Club zeigt auf der Startseite dem Nutzer 3 Wartungsmeldungen aus dem Jahre 2014 

  5. Wird die Englische Sprach-Variante benutzt, kann für Support-Anfragen "Deutschland" nicht als Land ausgewählt werden

  6. Support-Anfragen sind auf ein Feld von nur einer Zeile und 20 Zeichen Breite beschränkt.


Wie zum Henker soll  man das machen?

2016-04-09

Film making power box MK II

As many of you know, amateur film making is a hobby of mine.
One particular topic I started to adress was having all these different battery types and their chargers for all the cameras, hdmi recorders, monitors, lights, ...
A while ago, I made a charging box. A euro-sized box with a 19" power socket strip and 2 velcro strips to hold all my chargers in place.

charging box MK II


I upgraded my charging box to twice as many power sockets.
Also there are 4 rows of velcro, to hold twice as many chargers.

I'm still waiting for a universal charger with 2x2A and independently interchangeable plates for NP-F, GH4, AA/AAA and BMPCC batteries. That one will take up additional space and an additional power socket and I was already running out of both.

proper labeling



All NP-F batteries are now labeled with their size on side add front and all chargers with their maximum current and battery type.

There is enough confusion and chaos as it is.
Simple, ubiquitous tasks like Batteries and charging should not be a part of that.
1 standard, stackable Euro-sized box, 1 power cable, 1 switch and it even has sockets to spare.
All my chargers are attached with Velcro also can be removed to use them elsewhere and exchanged for different ones.

Each camera has its box and you can see the size of the batteries just by looking into the box (front) or when it is mounted in some device (side).

Lanparte VBP- 01





Why this emphasizis on NP-F? Because that's my ONE battery standard that can power everything now.

Two Lanparte V-mount plates arrived.
With 2xNP-F to V-mount adaptors I can now power everything(5V accessories, 7.4V cameras and recorders and 12V accessories and 12-15V cameras) , from one type of battery and from mains power while charging these batteries in the Lanparte without taking them off.
AND I have the option of renting huge, expensive V-mount batteries without even having to rent an expensive charger for very, very long sessions.
(The charging and mains power is the huge advantage of the more expensive Lanparte plates.)


Future project:
Add a step-up converter into the dual NP-F to V-mount adaptors, so they also work with only 1 battery. Meaning I can replace batteries on the go. Downside is: I will loose the ability to charge the NP-F.

WARNING
The ground level on left and right side of the Lanparte is different. Some people have burned their BMPCC and BMCC HDMI ports by powering an Hdmi recorder and the camera from the same plate while they are creating a ground loop via the HDMI cable.
I GUESS using the same side (you have 12V on both sides) SHOULD be safe. 

Also the HDMI splitter in the Lanparte is incompatible with the signal a BMPCC outputs. I already knew this. 

Links

  • HDMI port on my Pocket melted!!
    http://www.bmcuser.com/showthread.php?10743-HDMI-port-on-my-Pocket-melted!!

  • Issue analysis and recommendations by David Green
    • only fiddle with the HDMI/SDI cables when both devices are OFF (the SDI/HDMI standard specifies insufficient ESD-protection against static discharge)
    • Connect HDMI/SDI first, THEN connect power
    • Make sure you are discharged when handling HDMI/SDI/SATA
    • The TRS(German: Klinke) Audio connection is safe against any ground loops.
    • These steps are against static discharge as well as against a discharge caused by different, floating ground levels on the regulators that power monitor and camera
    • Note: using 2 regulators that have a different ground level that is not isolated from each other, is a receipt for desaster.
    • Powering all devices from the same (e.g. D-Tap) output is safe because they all share the same ground level.
  • another thread about this issue
  • thread with an opned BMCC. SDI GND is connected to Power-GND.
    • analysis: source should be floating GND-levels on the different regulators in the plate to drift and thus build up a voltage different (that the ESD-protection can't handle when connecting HDMI after both devices are already under power)

+

2016-04-08

should I get a laser cutter?

Today the Kickstarter campaign for Mr. Beam II started.

Version I was a kit for 500-600eur.
That's the price of the very common Chinese laser cutter. They take a lot of reworking to make them safe and reliable and the kit takes assembly.
So it's okay and I considered and finally declined it.

The price point

Version II comes fully assembled for 1400eur on Kickstarter and +40% later.
That's a lot of money.

Why shell out so much when you can upgrade a 600eur one?

Why get a personal one when you can travel to the nearest FabLab for such a seldomly done thing? (Same thing with a lathe when I have a 4 axis mill. )

What to use it for?

Let's see...
I have a large and a portable CNC milling machine and a super reliable 3D printer.

Plywood constructions
Any (ugly) plywood T-Slot cases I can do on a mill just as well. More noise but no fumes and no 4mm depth limit.

Labels, front plates and stamps
Engraving I can do on mills as well and I'm not even limited to flat objects but can make use of the rotational axis as well.
Stamps are easier to on a laser but that's a very seldom use.
Front plates need  deep cuts in addition to labels.
Quite frankly I usually include the label, logo or QR code as an embossed part of the complex design itself instead of labeling things afterwards.

T-Shirts
Vinyl cutting I can do without heating and burning the material by mounting a knife in the CNC.

In addition to that I can do all kinds of complex, non flat shapes on the 3D printer.

Conclusion

I'll rather design a mount for the 4th milling axis with a vector knife in the spindle mount = vinyl and stamp vector cutting.
... and get a second 3D printer because the first one is running near 24/7 when I'm building another Robot Arm or other machine with lots of parts.
The large CNC mill was just as expensive then the - 40% Kickstarter laser and is much more versatile. But also louder and makes more of a mess.