Posts Tagged ‘Downings Basement’

So over the next couple of days, my actual basement will be going though some pretty hefty upgrades which will more than double the actual working square footage of my shop. I managed to come into a decent amount of building lumber that was mostly throw away quality from work and spent a couple hours making it all into usable 2 x 4’s via table saw and sweat. This has allowed me to make use of a whole third of my basement which I couldn’t do anything with because the floor was nothing more than dirt, gravel and clay as well as being very very damp and sometimes flooded.

I’m in the process of building a large platform that covers over half of the 12′ x 14′ area which I will then be able to store all my household junk that is taking up real estate in usable parts of the basement. Once complete and everything is moved over, I’ll then be able to build three new work benches which will all have different concentrated uses. I’ll be using one for packing and shipping orders, and the other two for assembly and component storage.

Not exactly an exciting post I know, but it’s about a very important update to help improve efficiency in the space I have to work with and will therefore also increase the quality of the work and service I can provide to my current and potential customers in the future.

I’ll get a few pics posted soon though it might not be for a couple days as I expect to be completely worn out over the next week as this progresses. It’s gonna be sweet though, I can tell you that!


Through time and patience can come many rewards. After spending over 6 hours yesterday getting my CAD drawing done up correctly, today I both had a successful test and actual circuit board engraved. This has helped to bolster the confidence in my new found capabilities and my tiny little router is holding it’s own!

Now with that said, I still need to invest in a bit more tooling for it as most of these round circles need to have a hole drilled into the center of them for the actual project, however I do not have the proper bits to do so yet. I have found some nice 1/8th in carbide drill sets that will do the job nicely as they go from .03mm up to .2mm which will cover the range I need to drill this micro holes accurately.

But have a view of the video below to see this in action. Updates will be sparse for the next couple of weeks as my part time jobs are pretending to be full time, but that’s ok because I’m in need of the income! But at nights there is still plenty of design work to do and I will remain quite busy.

So, talk with you soon and if you have any questions or find a need for these types of services, please let me know. I’m taking on jobs as they come so I’ll gladly make time for yours!

Still up for grabs people! This is the only one of its kind and is a great bargain! I’d still like $225 for it but if you have a reasonable offer, I’ll gladly give it consideration. Please let me know, all proceeds go to help make me less poor…it’s a sad story. hehehe.

In a time span of less than a week, my knowledge of CNC work has grown over 100% and I still don’t feel like I’ve scratched the surface. As you can see by the video, I did my first test cut on a vacuum-formed casing. The results were nothing less than perfect in terms of how the machine performed. I had a few errors in my design which resulted in the cutting of right buttons twice making them far too big, but that was not the machines fault.

This was cut in about a 6 or 7 minute span and would have been only 5 had I had my drawing done correctly. But the cuts and the placement came out beautifully! This really is an exciting step for me as it gives me the confidence that I can take my work to the next level. Time alone will tell how far this goes, but I have to say that I’m more excited by today’s results than I’ve been with anything for awhile! (Modding wise of course).

I’ll have more projects coming up shortly (like today) that further shows the capabilities of this machine, software and user! Stay tuned!

So I did a commission for a forum member called [FarmerDwight] who was looking for a unique controller used for his emulated NES games on his PC. Though I’ve never been a fan of emulation for many reasons, after finding out his wants I really couldn’t pass up the chance to make this for him. Basically he wanted a controller for his emulated NES games with a USB input. Thats really not that difficult to find as the vast majority of PC controllers are USB anyway. The trick was to get that controller to work while using the original buttons in the Game Boy itself.

Now this really wasn’t much different in theory to many of the other controllers that I’ve built. You have two contacts, one signal, one ground and a tact switch (or PCB pad) that once pressed completes the circuit and registers as a button press for the duration you hold it down. However there was one key difference to what I’ve done in the past and that was the fact that the PCB pads in this case were already integrated with the mother board of the Game Boy.

To make a long story short, that doesn’t work so hot when you have two separate devices trying to function off of the same ground lines. I was getting all kinds of screwy actions when I first powered it on, not to mention the Emulator controller provided went against everything I knew about how PCB pads worked.  This project took me over 10 hours. 2 of which were basic labor and putting together and 8 hours of “WTF is wrong with this thing” troubleshooting.

In the end though, all came out well and though the Game Boy will never work again as a Game Boy, he can still play all the NES, Atari and whatever other emulated consoles out there with 8 buttons or less, including Game Boy.

More info and pics on the MBB forums. But I’m happy with it, and so is the customer which is all that matters! Now I just have to figure out how I’m going to sleep tonight knowing that my router will be arriving in the afternoon tomorrow! Expect a few more cool updates when I break that package open!

Well, it’s official! I’m venturing into the world of CNC milling and CAD. I suppose this isn’t much of a stretch considering where I am now in my modding career, but it’s still a pretty big step for me.

On Thursday, August 30th I bit the proverbial bullet and pushed the “Buy It Now” button and got my first CNC Router enroute from California. This is a very small, very basic unit which runs via PC software (Mach3). I’d been on the fence with it for quite awhile as starting out is always a very penny-pinching practice, but there is no question that if I were to move forward with this endeavor, I was going to need one and get good at using it quickly.

I spent close to 4 hours with MBB forum user Electro Modder from the UK  via video chat on Thursday and he gave me the basic run down on the design and conversion software. For being so young he certainly knows his stuff to a more advanced level than would be expected, but I suppose that’s what happens when you’re not chasing women yet. haha. Technically I’m in the same boat now too really, being married and all, so I think I’ll catch up pretty quick!

Anyway, back on topic.

After getting home on Saturday afternoon, I spent the evening (2:30 to 11:30) tearing apart my workshop as I needed to make a bench sturdy enough to hold the machine as well as house the XP computer I had hiding in my closet.  This made some very nice improvements to the shop as well as adding an entirely new workstation where the paint cabinet used to be.  I’ll post some new pics of the shop once the CNC Mill gets here (hopefully Thursday) next week.

But anyway, I’ve still got quite a bit of work to do to get ready for it’s arrival. Posts may be a bit further in between than normal because of this, but fear not, it’s just building for the next post which will have a lot of cool advances to read about!

With that said though, I’m actively taking commissions for work now, weather it be a portable, a case, a controller or something electronically related! Hit me up if you’ve got an idea you want to throw my way!