last updated 22 February 2017.
On Saturday 21 January 2017 I went to the London Model Engineering Show at Alexandra Palace. Having not been for many years I found that I was in heaven. I really mean it, the whole experience was magical and gave me ideas for several Things I Must Do. One of these, after watching the British Model Flying Association demonstrating flights in a very small area of the show indeed, was to build a model autogyro. I was fascinated by these machines when I watched a documentary on them many years ago. I had found that flying my Piper J3 Cub RC model didn't really work for me: staring into the sky, with watering eyes, at a dot in the far distance that I cared deeply about (after 6 months of construction work) yet was in imminent danger of crashing... this didn't float my boat (though I still have the RC kit). An autogyro, on the other hand, flies much more slowly, is less difficult to build and should, I think, be more fun. I verified with a guy on the British Model Flying Association stand that autogyros work at model scale and then found what is now the classic Atom design on the internet: a set of autogyro plans on four side of A4. What could be easier than that?
|Maze: My First
completed 24 December 2016.
A month or two ago, in anticipation of future projects, I bought myself a High-Z/S-400T CNC milling machine from cnc-step.de. While waiting for my next lathe to arrive in order to complete the Stirling Engine, I had a go at my first milling project, which I decided would be a maze cut into brass plate.
Engine Bengs Kit "Laura"
completed, 14 December 2016.
Having bought an Emco Unimat SL lathe a few years ago, I had been looking for a starter project for it. At lunch John had already suggested making a Stirling Engine and, while bored waiting for someone in China to fix the [non source-code part of the] driver for the QHY guide camera used in my astrophotography project, I found the perfect thing: a kit made by Patrick Bengs in Germany, called Laura, in which no milling is required but some machining is required. Just the ticket.
completed 15 March 2016.
I had been looking for something that would remind me to water the plants. I didn't want an app, or anything that sensed the need for the plant to be watered, I just wanted a thing that would raise an alarm every three days. This doesn't appear to be a need that anyone has anticipated, at least not that I could find on the web. Discussing this over lunch at work it became an excuse to play with a PIC microcontroller from MicroChip.