Saturday, August 6, 2016

Removing a comma *

One of the comments made on my Instructable for a holocron was that it would be nicer with an external USB jack. I've been struggling to fit one for many months, trying both "raw" jacks and surface-mount ones on breakout boards.

Today, I'm removing those attempts from the laser files, and going back to a slot for USB cable. This simplifies construction and wiring and cuts the parts cost by up to five bucks per holocron.

I still have to finish the magnets. Unfortunately acrylic is sold in millimeter thicknesses and supermagnets are available in fractional inch sizes. So I can't just laser out a simple slot in one piece of acrylic and use the other piece to hold it in place. Making things more complicated is that the "Stolen" design has a very narrow rim that only barely covers the inner acrylic seam in the first place. So I'm struggling now with fitting in the magnets so that they are both secure and not visually distracting.

(The former was an issue with the Imperial Highway kit I made a few months back; the magnets used to hold the deck to the arches are themselves merely secured by superglue, and at least one of them has pulled off in use.)

Another experiment from today was to try an array of surface-mount LEDs to see if I could solder WS2812's directly to the circuit board and save on expense and assembly time of Neopixels. Unfortunately, no. Two planes of surface-mount LEDs cast a nasty boundary shadow that four discrete LEDs manage to erase. And I haven't been able to dream up economical ways of either pointing circuit boards in four directions or encasing the circuit board in a primary diffusor/scattering lens.

So the circuit board needs to be redone anyhow. I need to add a USB jack for recharge and "to computer" functions, fix a resistor I put in the wrong place (the only actual error in this board!) and I'd like to shrink the dimensions. Oh, and change out the indicator LEDs for ones a lot less bright (I had to cover the one with a bit of tape for this photograph).

But the laser files are almost done (laser files...hey, if River can have a Sonic Trowel, then what's wrong with a Laser File...?) and once I've slapped some paint on the latest prototype I'll be ready to start taking orders. Finally.

* It's an Oscar Wilde story. Oscar meets a friend for lunch. Said friend considers writing a less-than-serious occupation anyhow and asks in a facetious manner if Oscar has been busy. Yes, indeed, a most productive morning; he inserted a comma. The two friends meet again for dinner that evening. More productive activity, asks the friend. Indeed, Oscar refuses to be baited; after intense deliberation he removed the comma he had inserted that morning.

(Well, if said comma was punctuating a phrase like, "Eats shoots and leaves...")

No comments:

Post a Comment