The laser is up! (mostly)

May 24th, 2017 by danbackslide

I am quite pleased to report that the laser cutter is back in action mostly! Turns out it was the power supply, and the new unit has been bodged into place. I’ll put some decent connectors on the wiring next Thursday, but what’s there is good for now (just not long-term durable).

So about that ‘mostly’ part: The magnetic safety switch is acting up. It looks like the magnet on the lid has either moved a bit (unlikely), or has lost some magnetism (still unlikely), or the switch itself is losing sensitivity (more likely). It’s been temporarily fixed by taping a chunk of fridge magnet on top of it, which adds enough oomph to get the switch to activate. Another thing to get fixed next Thursday.

The plan is to put in the new laser tube, mirrors, and beam combiner on Thursday 6/1. If you’d like to help out, or just hang out and kibbitz, come on by. I’ll probably be starting around 7pm.

The laser cutter is down, oh noes! (Updated x2)

May 9th, 2017 by danbackslide

Update 5/24/2017: The new laser tube will be delivered on Tuesday 5/30. It’s likely I’ll be installing it on Thursday evening (6/1), as I have Friday off so I can take the time to get things adjusted nice. The new power supply will be put in this afternoon/evening; if that gets the old tube back to life we’ll at least have something to get us through the next week or so.

Want to help get the new tube and optics set up? Send an email to laser@tcmaker.org and I’ll let you know what the schedule is!

Update 5/20/2017: Most of the parts have arrived — a new power supply, mirrors and a beam combiner. The laser tube is unfortunately out of stock in LightObject’s US warehouse, so it’s coming from Hong Kong. The estimate is two weeks; I’ll update when I have more specific info.

Just like the weather, the laser issues are pouring down. The power feed into the laser room died on Wednesday, but thanks to Steven’s heroic efforts power has been restored. So when I can I’ll try putting in the new power supply, just in case that’s where the problem lies…

Original post:

It saddens me to report that our beloved laser cutter is down. Currently we’re still in the diagnosis phase — might be the power supply, might be the water flow sensor, might be the tube. We were going to replace the tube anyway, and I’ll be ordering a new one, plus new mirrors and a beam combiner, on Wednesday 5/10. I’m also going to check with our supplier as to testing the power supply. (Anyone got a voltmeter that can handle 35kV?)

I’ll update this post as soon as I have any further information. Rest assured we’ll get it fixed ASAP!

Shiny new storage*, shiny new storage rules

February 4th, 2017 by danbackslide

Update 2/6/2017: Storage rules are now available in the wiki. The links below have been changed to point there.

Hnewstorageuge massive thanks to everyone who showed up today to help clean out the member storage area! It hasn’t been this clean since we built the room (and I’m not sure it was this clean even then). Shelves have been rearranged, and we actually gained some extra storage space thanks to the discovery of some unused shelving pieces.

There were enough people at cleanup that we were also able to get a lot of work done in the wood shop and metal shop, so double thanks to everyone!

The member storage area is now open for you to start bringing your tubs and projects back in. We’ve got new rules in place, so here are the highlights:

  • Tubs need to be no larger than 29in x 27in x 19in. This is actually just a little bit larger than our previous loose guidelines, so check your tub. My old tub fits quite comfortably inside the new dimensions.
  • There’s no storage allowed in the aisles between the shelves. Anything found in the aisles can be tossed out at the discretion of the storage managers, so please don’t put stuff there!
  • You also can’t store anything in front of the door to the electrical room, or in the space for the door to be swung open. This area has been striped in red, you can’t miss it. There is no parking in the red zone!
  • Open floor space right now (that isn’t a red zone or an aisle) is available for projects. Remember to place a fully filled out parking permit on anything you place in member storage. Anything without a parking permit will get red-ticketed; red-ticket items will get thrown out after two weeks.

The new storage rules are available on the wiki. If you’ve got any questions, concerns, or comments on these new rules, please contact storage management at storage (at) tcmaker.org.

Again, thanks to everyone who helped out today!

* OK, so it’s the same old member storage area. Sure looks new though!

Member Storage clean-out is coming in February

December 14th, 2016 by danbackslide

When you come into the shop, you’ll see some scary red signs all over the place:

storagesignv2

The signs have got the basics on them, but you’re probably looking for more. Here’s a more in-depth explanation.

What’s going on here?

At our next quarterly cleanup, Saturday 2/4/2017, we’re going to completely clean out and rearrange the member storage area. All the nooks and crannies will be swept out, shelving rearranged, and probably a little bit more shelving added. To get this all done, we’re asking that everyone take their stuff home temporarily, by Friday night 2/3/2017. You’ll be able to start bringing stuff back in on Sunday.

Is member storage going away?

Not at all. We just need to get everything out of storage before we can get any meaningful work done. Also, there are new rules coming that changes the size of bin we’re allowing.

What? New bin size?

Yes. Bins will now be a standard model and size (Ikea Klämtare, which is 22.75″ x 17.75″ x 11.75″). That’s a little smaller than the 18-gallon size we allowed before, but not by that much. Having everyone use the same style bin makes them easier to pack onto the shelves, and ensures that everyone is getting the same amount of space. Bins will need to have their lids attached, no tall stuff poking up is allowed!

So where are these rules?

I’ll put a link up to the new rules as soon as they’re finalized. They’re mostly done, we’re just putting the last bit of polish on them. The basics stay the same: each member can have a bin; stuff that doesn’t fit in the bin has to be actively worked on; don’t store dangerous stuff in your bin. The new rules will formalize the process of requesting space for larger projects, and explain how we’ll be policing the storage room to keep things from devolving into chaos.

What if I can’t get my stuff out by the deadline?

If you don’t think you can get things out by Friday 2/3/2017, please contact storage@tcmaker.org as soon as possible. We’ll try to work something out. We don’t have a lot of additional areas to move stuff around, so we’ll work out details on a case by case basis.

Yes, another cleanup is tomorrow…

November 4th, 2016 by danbackslide

So the calendar says there’s a cleanup day tomorrow (11/5).

Yes, that’s right.

But didn’t we just do one of those like six weeks ago?

Yes, we did. But we’ve rejiggered the schedule of cleanups, and it was either put two close together or two really far apart. We chose close, because dirt never sleeps.

Why rearrange the cleanup days? I was just getting used to the old schedule!

The old schedule had two bad spots every year — the end of December (Xmas/New Year’s/assorted other winter festivities) and the end of June (one week before CONvergence, which many of our members are also involved with). That made at least two cleanups that needed to be moved every year. The new schedule is the first weekend of November, February, May, and August, which should keep us away from holidays and other fun distractions.

So, any focus for this cleanup?

Since this is the first cleanup on the new schedule, I’m expecting a light turnout. So I think we’ll focus on some of the smaller things that haven’t been hit in a while — get the lobby swept and mopped, do some classroom cleanup, maybe do some rearranging in the computer lab. It’ll be pretyy free-form, so come on by and lend a hand where you like. Thanks!

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