I haven’t had much time to spend on the 3d printer lately. I had a laundry list of minor repairs and was having some issues getting prints to turn out. Unfortunately ignoring it did not seem to make these issues go away so this past weekend I got to work.
I replaced the print cooling fan and printed a new duct for it. This seemed to help but I was still getting really stringy prints. It would also occasionally drop these weird brown discolored clumps on the print. This ultimately turned out to bee filament oozing out of the hot end. Replacing the tube and the nozzle seemed to alleviate these issues. Just for good measure I switched filament spools from the cheap Chinese stuff to the cheap American stuff made by Inland i believe.
Once I got things in working order I turned my attention to creating some functional prints.
This is an VHF yagi antenna insulator. I found these files on remoteqth.com. You can see how they are used HERE. I’m hoping these can be used when i get to the point of building my portable EME antenna. You might notice on the remoteqth page that they show this model printed out in a variety of sizes. I sent an email to Dan OK1HRA asking about the availability of the other models. He responded by asking me what sizes I needed and that he would just plug that into openSCAD and generate them instantly. I had to see what this was all about so I downloaded the application.
Dan had the source for the model posted HERE. After pasting that in the left hand pane the model popped up on the right after pressing F5. You can see in the source that there is a section called input parameters. Modifying any of these and pressing F5 again will recreate the model with the requested change but it will also scale the rest of the model to accommodate said change! Now i can make the insulator to suit what ever material I end up using to build this monster. Which will surely be easier than finding metric aluminum stock up in the mountains.
In the process of printing out a few of these insulators for testing the connector on the heat bed fried.
According to the internet this isn’t an uncommon thing with these Anets. I cut that connector off and just soldered everything directly onto the heatbed. I also upgraded the power cables to 14GA instead of what the kit came with which was considerably underrated. It seems like it’s always something with this machine but it really forces you to think about what is happening (or not) when things go wrong. I think this will serve me well in the long run if I ever decided to get a better printer.
Oh and i also made some more progress on the transverter. You can see that most of the passives as well as all of the relays are done. I’m nearly done with the base build of this thing. After this I think I’ll be building the rotor control board before moving on to the 144Mhz specific phase of the build.