Beretta Neos with Vortex Strikefire


Just got a Vortex Strikefire for my Beretta Neos, plan on using it to shoot some bullseye, I’ll report back once I’ve been to the range.

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Printer Tower design


This is the design of the tower which I am building to house my printers. Misumi offered $150 credit to first time customers, and I took advantage of this offer to acquire a buttload of 20x20mm extrusion. Alas freight shipping on 4meter lengths was annoying, so it wasn’t as good of a deal as 1meter would have been.

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Mossberg 590A1 with 28″ 835 barrel

Just got the latest part for my Mossberg 590A1 – a 28″ Mossberg 835 accu-choke barrel.  Fits perfectly, and should make for a decent trap gun once I get the choke in for it.  I plan on pulling the back ghost ring when I’m using it in this configuration.  It’s not something Mossberg advertises, but the 835 barrels fit the 6 round tube 590 series (If you’ve got the 9 round tube you’re SOL).


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About time for some timelapses.

My printer has a camera connected to it and my slicing software generates Gcode to take a picture at every layer change in a print.  Yesterday I noticed that the camera was not taking pictures.  When I looked at the display, I realized why.  It had run out of storage space.  It only has an 8GB card, but I’d never come close to filling it before.  I guess my machine is a better photographer than I am.

Today I sat down with iMovie and turned all those pictures into timelapse videos and posted them to youtube.

For your enjoyment:


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Made more progress on the scale. 8 ball is complete. Need to finish the flames and even out the edges. Not quite halfway done.

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Scale progress

Got this much of the scale done at the event while i wasnt playing.

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First person mini

This is the first person mini I have painted. People are a lot harder than objects. I tried a darker recess on the pants to mimic shading and I think it came out well. The shape of the head at the hairline (fuse point on the plastic) is a little skewed so it looks a little off, but I think I did a decent job on the face, at least for the first try. This mini took close to 4 hrs to complete due to far more detail, double the time of the others.




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Dungeon stone alter/chest

This mini was easier due to fewer curved recesses. This one looks awesome.


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First fully painted mini


I painted this mini in a total of about 2 hrs. I used basic brown paint for the coat of the rat and created pink for the tail. I had to mix both gray colors for the stone using a small detail brush and tooth pick for the crevases. The eyes were painted black using the head of a needle because it was so small. The teeth were colored also with a toothpick and used a yellow bone color. There was a little bit of layering and I tried to use a two toned look on the brown coat using a light coating of watered down lighter brown to get at the tiny raised portions. Overall, not bad, but it is tedious and I may need a lot more practice. The use of my headlamp magnifier was very helpful, providing extra light and great magnification for the crevases.

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TimeLapse Rig

So the new electronics on the prusa allowed me to experiment with something that I conceived when selecting the electronics for bigfoot. Though they are not exactly the same boards, they do have one thing in common. An Expansion port. A number of expansion ports, actually but one was sufficient for my purpose. +5, GND, and two signal lines is sufficient to drive a pair of relays connected to the remote port of my SLR camera, and allow gcodes to tell the camera to take a picture.

The Sony alpha A100 which I have had for years has a remote port on it. I’ve never used it, because the remote costs more than half what I paid for the camera itself. But a little searching on the web(for a discounted remote) led me to this: a DIY remote for Sony alpha SLR
I managed to make a connector, and I was going to print a handle for it, then I realized that it would be much better to wire the remote up to the printer itself instead of a human-actuated remote device. I had a few relays lying around, which I could use to actuate the remote mechanism. In case you didn’t read the instructable; bridge two of the pins to activate autofocus, bridge the third to take a picture. Autofocus must be engaged to take a picture.
So I wired up the relays to the expansion port and issued gcodes which I thought would activate the relays. One worked, and one didn’t. The expansion port I was using had 6 pins on it; +5V, GND, D10, A3, SDA, and SDK. The SDA and SDK pins are for serial communication, and I didn’t really want to muck with them, but I only need 2 digital output pins to make the two relays work. Pin 10 worked fine first time. No surprise, since I was using a digital output as a digital output.

I knew that an arduino could treat an analog input as a digital out, but the Gcode M42, which controls a pin directly, just ignored the A3 parameter. So I looked up the spec for the chip, an Atmel 1284P, which my Azteeg X1 was built on, and noticed that ADC pin 3 is pin 37. So I tried M42 with pin 37: still no juice. So then I checked the schematic, just in case the wiring diagram was wrong, and a different ADC is on that expansion header, and noticed their schematic labeled ADC3 as Pin 34. So I tried M42 with pin 34: nothing.

Then I decided to try the spaghetti approach; throw everything against the wall and see what sticks. I turned off power to the motors, and started doing M42 with every pin, skipping those explicitly called out in the config file. Pin 28 made the relay trip. So now I had my answer, but damned if I know why Pin 28 controls what is labeled as A3 as a digital output. In any event, the relays both working, I plugged the connector into the camera, and flipped them both. The camera did not respond. So I tried them again, this time in the reverse order from before. Eureka, a picture was taken.

At this point I wrote a quick gcode script to take a picture at layer change(see below). And I sliced a quick test object. It homed between layers, but the camera did not activate, despite both relays tripping. The dwell time was insufficient. So I brought my laptop back up and tested the script directly(without printing) to see how much dwell was needed to actually take a picture. Turns out the camera needed almost 2 full seconds to take a picture with the relays on. And this is without autofocus enabled. I knew the camera would be taking a picture of a fixed object, possibly in the dark, so I manually focused on the bed. Also despite the spec for dwell listing milliseconds as the parameter, it accepted the value as seconds of dwell time.

Working layer change picture script:

G28 X0 Y0
M42 S255 P10
M42 S255 P28
G04 S2
M42 S0 P28
M42 S0 P10


And here is an example of the printed test object with a timelapse movie made using this rig.

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