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    Forum
    Recent Down Time
    "The hosting company say the database was locked by the security team as SPAM content was detected in the forum table. Getting it unlocked proved slow and now it is unlocked, I can't see any issue with it." That raises a lot of questions! Did they know that locking the database would drop the site for 24 hours? If not, they made a technical error. If they did, I would like to see the security justification for this. Malicious
    software
    - maybe close down the site if you can't clean it immediately. Spam - surely inform the webmaster and ask what should be done? The spam would have to be very bad to take the site off-web. And surely you would be able to show the webmaster what the problem was later? I wonder if there was a technical balls-up and this is a convenient excuse? Security is NOT about closing things down if you hear a rumour that there might be a problem - it's about running a business so that there are no nasty surprises. The security team is responsible for running a service just as much as the ops team are. Security should be running things safely - with the accent on 'running'. If they don't, they are just another DoS threat. I would ask for a report from security which includes the reason for the locking decision...
    1 month ago by DodgyGeezer
    Forum
    Brushed to Brushless upgrade
    ".....brushless motors the main question is speed controller as I would need forward and reverse...." Simple answer. You can get reversible brushless ESCs. However, watch out, as boats are a minority interest and many cheap reversible brushless ESCs are designed for car use. These may have a 'braking' feature, which means that the controls work like this: forward stick = forward backward stick = motor braked quick forward and backward again = motor goes in reverse which is optimum for cars, but cumbersome for boats. A proper boat designed brushless ESC will be fine, as will be a cheap car one where you can turn off the 'brake'. RNinMunich recommends the Quicrun series of Chinese brushless ESCs, but of course products change all the time. So check that the ESC you are after is reversible, and has a 'no-brake' setting.... Rather more complex background explanation. This is my understanding of how one particular 'brushless' system works - there may well be other technologies out there... : 'Commutation' is the process of switching each coil in an electric motor on at the right time to get attracted to the nearest magnet and off when it passes the magnet, so that the armature will rotate in one direction. In a brushed motor this happens mechanically, and we don't need to worry about it. If you want to know a bit more, get a Taycol motor and start reading papers like this: http://what-when-how.com/electric-motors/commutation-electric-motors/ In a brushless motor, commutation is done by
    software
    inside the ESC. So the ESC is essential to a brushless motor - it won't run without one. What the
    software
    in a brushless ESC does is start the motor with a pre-programmed series of activations of coils. Once spinning, the
    software
    detects the generated back-emf as a magnet passes each coil, and uses this to work out the motor speed, timing, and hence which coils to activate next, depending on the throttle signal. Obviously, this happens very fast. If the motor went round slowly, the generated back-emf would be very low, and the ESC would have difficulty detecting it. So a typical brushless motor has a minimum speed which is quite high compared to a brushed motor. In a sensor motor, the ESC can be much more precise about timing because it reads it off the Hall-effect sensor. It can also run at much slower speeds. But the extra kit, and the low production levels mean that these are going to be more expensive motors. For a brushless ESC the starting process, and the reversing process, are much more complicated than they are in a brushed motor. In each case the
    software
    has to try to detect what the motor is doing and adjust the timing to get it running in the right direction 'blind', with possibly odd feedback from the coil back EMF. For a brushed motor, the ESC just reverses the polarity and the mechanical commutation automatically applies a force in the direction you want. The result is that brushless starts can be a bit jerky, and brushless reverses need 'setting up' with a process of signalling from your transmitter or using a program card. Since cheap brushless ESCs are often turned out with little documentation, making them reverse can sometimes be difficult for an inexperienced purchaser.
    1 month ago by DodgyGeezer
    Forum
    Fatal Error - Half my Profile is missing! ;-/
    I have also had that error message occasionally. Seems as if this board
    software
    is rather buggy...
    2 months ago by DodgyGeezer
    Forum
    Fatal Error - Half my Profile is missing! ;-/
    Yes Stephen, I have had similar problems with notifications in my emails. Thought it was my phone
    software
    . Cheers Colin.
    2 months ago by Colin H
    Forum
    CNC boat kits...?
    Aluminium for stables? Perhaps a slab of oak would be more appropriate? I am cutting slices off old oak fence posts for use as coasters and think I can engrave them using the 'boat motor cutter' - so long as the cut is not deep. A laser would be ideal - but the cost and the danger mean that it needs a bit of thinking about. I must look up the Rumba and mega2560. One issue I have with the Uno and GRBL is that the
    software
    does not do 'tool radius compensation'. You have to do this in your conversion, and Dfx2Gcode does not do this either. I do not know if there is a GRBL version running on the 2650 which does do this. Essentially you need a GRBL which implements G41/2 commands, or you will have to do the compensation in your original drawing. I am using sub-milimeter cutting tools for balsa, so the compensation required is negligible and can be ignored, but when cutting ply I may need to worry about it. Your TMC2130s may not need endstops, but the limit switches are also used for homing. You will find that if you want to cut lots of parts out of a single sheet of material, it helps to be able to home accurately. GRBL allows you to have a 'master machine home' and then several subsidiary homes. So, when cutting, I start with the cutter in the master home position in the top right corner, then move it to a secondary home position which is directly over the workpiece top right, then do all of my cutting in relation to that secondary home position...
    2 months ago by DodgyGeezer
    Forum
    CNC boat kits...?
    A word about the electronics and
    software
    build.... Each stepper motor is driven by a 'driver' - a little switching unit like an ESC. This does the business of sending the power to the motor coils in the right order. They are quite cheap - about ยฃ10 each. To tell each driver to operate the motors in the right order you need a control box running the right
    software
    . You can use a dedicated laptop for this, running a stripped down system called LinuxCNC, but I opted to use an Arduino, which was the option advised by the vendor. So here is a picture of the Arduino (at the bottom - you can't really see it) with a breakout board on top carrying the four drivers (which have the little blue heatsinks on them). I made up an aluminium box to put them in, and attached it to the cutting gantry. The Arduino runs a control program called GRBL. I take the plans I have drawn in DXF format, run them through some
    software
    called DXF2GCode, which turns them into G-Code, and then send that file to the Arduino via a USB connection using 'Universal GCode Sender'. All these items of
    software
    are open source and free to download. The Arduino gets its power from the USB connection. The stepper motors get their power from a cheap Chinese 36v power supply, and the cutting motor gets its power from an old laptop power supply I had hanging around. If electronics frightens you then you probably won't want to do this, but the skills needed to wire up a boat motor are really as much as you need to put it all together....
    3 months ago by DodgyGeezer
    Blog
    Almost there.
    The Pilot boat is nearly finished. I have been fitting the seats and deck railings. I am reasonably happy with it but I have a lot to learn, some of which will be in my conclusion in the final post. My sailing river is in Hungary so I have spent part of this weekend making the shipping boxes. I have decided on a very simple screw face to edge design as there is not a lot of weight to send. The box is heavier than the model. I have used 12mm ply wood for the construction. My local B&Q cut the board to the sizes I supplied to them. A very useful service as it takes a long time to set up my circular saw as it has no table. It only took 15 minutes to cut out the twelve pieces. i then just added the fixing holes and countersunk them to make the screws sub-flush. They look suitable for purpose. I have sorted the problem with the lack of usable switches on my Turnigy 9x. As I needed another radio to take with me, I bought a Turnigy 9xr Pro. This one has the latest er9x
    software
    which is much more user friendly, I am told.๐Ÿ˜‰ I will upload a video of the trials over the next few weeks. Almost time to decide which of the three new and rebuild projects to tackle next. The Patrol Torpedo Boat upgrade, the Dusseldorf Fire Fighting Boat or the 46" Crash Tender.
    3 months ago by MouldBuilder
    Forum
    Locating Clubs on 'Boats Clubs and Lakes'
    I am sure that on the previous
    software
    when looking for Clubs, etc. they were in alphabetical order. They now seem to be in order of the last post against a particular Club, Lakes, etc. It was a lot easier to find Clubs before - is there any chance that this can be re-instated or the ability to sort by name or last post, etc. ? Alan
    3 months ago by ads90
    Forum
    Can't edit or add to boat in harbour
    This website certainly doesn't put any personal information of anybody on facebook. @4clubs, in the process of fixing the loading bug in the harbour, I've deleted some of your harbour photos. Sorry! Hopefully you can edit again and re-add them. Do realise, it's one man here, with a separate full-time job. There's no large team of developers. The old website had security vulnerabilities and used legacy code which had to run on older server versions. It wasn't possible to update the server until the website was overhauled and in the longer run, it would have been necessary to pay for extended server support to keep the legacy stuff going. Things cannot stay as they are. Nearly everything has been overhauled and it's taken 18 months to do so. Bugs like you mention will be ironed out, like with any
    software
    it's never perfect right out the box. My guess is that the number of photos in the post affected the loading screen. I'll do some further testing this evening on that. Thanks Stephen
    3 months ago by Fireboat


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