Status of camera accessory projects

Another train ride.
Too cramped to continue with my 3d printed tripod on the laptop.
As for the 3d printed super battery grip for the GH1/GH2 , I'll probably leave out the phantom power and just provide USB power out for space reasons.
Then modify a cheap XLR2USB cable to take USB power and provide 2.5mm stereo out for the camera.
That is much more flexible to use and has even less weight and bulk to carry.
I ordered a cheap Chinese copy of a foldable camera rig that I want to modify to carry an optional rod system and microphone mounts.
Making a custom bag for it, I could have a lightweight shoulder rig that I can take straight out of the bag and be ready within seconds.
I'll probably have to replace all the cheap bolts and custom make the missing front support but being able to create any custom shape on the 3D printers, that should actually be fun.


First draft: 3d printed carbon tripod

On the train ride today I designed the very first sketch of a 3d printed tripod for heavy loads. It shall be made of CFK = carbon fiber. The rods seem to go for a sum of <100eur for 2x3 rods per leg. Way less then what even a light CFK tripod costs. And I have the option of adding mounts for sound recorder, microphones, cables, batteries,... directly into the design of the tripod. (e.g. sitting next to the fully extracted tripod on a chair and having the remote control on one of the legs.) A first search turned up 10x9x1000mm CFK tubes for 5,71eur (4,70eur). That would be 102,78eur(84,60eur) + some plastic, nuts and bolts for the entire tripod. (No head)


phantom powering batery grip

I got the idea to add 2 6.3mm sound connectors to my battery grip since XLR is physically too large but XLR to 6.3mm is common. The battery grip needs to connect to the microphone+remote shutter port of the camera anyway for the shutter button to work. The grip would add the ability to connect microphones that need phantom power without having to sync external audio from the Zoom H4n recorder. I got me one PP2B, thinking that without the XLR-connectors and the battery the electronics should be very small and possibly insert-able into my Battery grip. Well....the electronics are small. But distributed over an overly large PCB. No way that is going to fit into the battery grip. So...back to square one. I guess I need to build my own phantom power injector.
Maybe using an inverter to get >48V from the camera supply voltabge of 7,2-10V and then an TL 783 + 2 resistors would be small enough. Then have 2 injectors from http://sound.westhost.com/project96.htm (4 zenner diodes, 4 resistors, 2 capacitors per stereo-channel.)


black PLA arrived

The black PLA for 3d printing just arrived.
They even included some sweets in the package. :)

To get my RepMan running again I'm currently mounting it on an IKEA table that fits 19" equipment.
I'll drill some holes into the table instead of using feet. This should keep the RepMan from moving at high speeds or when there's a know in the filament and the strong stepper motors pull the complete roll of filament up or the printer down.

power for the new workshop

I just installed a box of fast tripping circuit breakers and an additional FI for the workshop. Each of the 3 sections of the woprkshop "Electronics", "Documentation" and "Mechanics" has it's own 10A circuit breaker and it's own main power switch. All run through an FI and then into a common power outlet and thus through the 16A circuit breaker that governs that room (including the lights). So if anything ever breaks, one of these 10A breakers or the FI should trip and the tables are out of power but there is still light in the room to fix the problem. I do not yet have large, red emergency-off switches and there are not as many power-sockets as I want to end up with and the XLR-cable for the microphone has no hole in the table yet and..... Oh any my new vice has arrived! I really like this one. It can grip objects of any shape and be turned upright.


I'm planning on finally mounting that dual-head upgrade to my Repman. That means I need a test-object that is uses 2 different plastics. so....to not waste any material I designed the HOWTO -logo in Alibre to create a triangle-shaped microphone screen with the black logo. ...in 3d...with the tools reaching over the edge of the actual microphone flag to make it obvious that it's the 3d printed logo of a 3d printing "home-improvement" show.

[REPORT] Part Time Scientists - Moon Mission (at CCCamp 2011)

Interview with Robert of the Part Time Scientists. One of the competitors of the Lunar X Price to send a rover to the moon. Recorded during the Chaos Communication Congress 2011 in Finowfurt Berlin.


I just changed the background of my YouTube channel to reflect the logo I have taken up. There is quite a lot of new content in the pipeline but moving to the new house is still taking up most of my time and will be for quite a while. I'm currently planning:
  • A 3d printed conversion kit to build a battery grip for the GH1/GH2 camera that contains phantom-power for external microphones, connections for mains-power and to be powered by cheap USB-cellphone-power supplies and to supply USB-power itself (e.g. to my Zoom H4n USB-power-cable
  • A 3D printed, 3 dimensional, 2 color microphone flag and a 3d-printed QR-code being printed as a 2-color print as an example of how to use the dual-head modification of the BitsFromBytes RepMan.
  • a 3d printed carbon (CFK) ultra-lightweight yet very sturdy camera tripod (3 telescopic segments, 2 rods per leg, cross-supports made from sturdy fabric)
  • ....
My new workshop is still being set up. There is no light yet and no sound-proofing. Also my new black PLA for 3d printing is not there yet. So....yes, all of this will have to wait much longer.


New house and new workshop

I'm slowly getting settled in.
Properly secured electricity for the new workshop is underway.
(3 tables with their own small circuit-breaker,
one FI safery switch for everything except light
and a huge emergency-off always within reach.)
I have tables now and the sound-proofing for walls and ceiling is in the late planning stages.
Table drill (way too large but I like that for accuracy in terms of position and rotational speed) with many ways to adjust it's surface
and a small grinder for cleaning up 3d printed parts are already there.
I still have to decide on a good table-saw.

The large tools can be moved around the room to use them on large things freely.
One table will be reserved for small machine building
with a properly sorted collection of nuts and bolts.
M2-M12 as well as 1/4" and 3/4" in a number of standard sizes.
I'll then try to limit myself to these sizes where ever possible in later designs for the 3d printer.
Another table will be for electronics with a raised stand for soldering station, soldering fume filter, illuminated magnifying glass,... .
In the corner there will be my large microphone to document whatever I'm working on along the way.
Camera mounting points with markers on the tables where the recorded frame ends are also planned.

The room is very small with a low ceiling.
I'll try to sound proof it to protect both my hearing and that of the neighbors.

...still a long way to go but it's slowly taking shape now.


New Dropbox API

I just received word that Dropbox has finally published version 1 of their API.
I'll have a good look at it one of these days and probably update my Android Dropbox apps.

Of cause this will take a while as I'm still in the process of moving to a new house.
That's also why I haven't written much in the weeks after CCCamp 2011.


moving in

Sorry for not posting any projects in a while.
The reason is simple. I'm still moving and will be for a few weeks at least.

I'm building myself a really nice workshop in the new house and this takes a while.
Current status:
Way too large (and thus hopefully accurate in terms of positioning and rotational speed) drill press and a belt+stone grinder for cleaning up 3d printed parts are already there.
I still haven't decided on a large saw yet.
These will be the largest tools and mounted to very sturdy movable tables to not be restricted by the walls.
The first tables and drawers are now in place. So I can start stowing things away and get the cardboard boxes out.
Walls and work-areas on the tables are still to be done.

On the long table I want to set up set up 2 work-areas.
One for electronics (with soldering-station,.. and a wall of small bins to have a sorted set of the most common parts).
One for smart-parts engineering with a row of all typical M3-M12 nuts, bolts, wing-nuts, locking-nuts and threaded rods and of cause the usual tools like metric+imperial+torx hex-keys, wrenches and screw-drivers.

Of cause the large Repman will have it's fixed place too and the mobile Thing-o-Matic too!

The interesting part will come after these walls are assembled.
In the corner I want to set up my microphone and on both work-stations fixed 1/4 camera-bolts (plus markings on the work-table where the video frame ends) to document things I'm working on.
The walls and ceiling will be covered with acoustics foam both to protect my hearing and the neighbors from the noise of the table drill and to get a nice, dry sound recording when I'm speaking.