I made a bit of progress with the line-scan camera, mainly by adding automatic exposure control. I also need to speed up the data acquisition so that it'll work in bright daylight. I have a plan to use some laser line generators to make a sort of laser harp or hand-tracking device.
We had a merry Dorkbot outing to see the Bristol Model Engineers show in Thornbury. Lots of steam engines, the usual home-made jet engines, and a few CNC machine this year. Outside, the weather was not great but the jet engine builders did get a chance to start one up, and a petrol-engined radio-controlled tank was driving about:
After the trip, we headed into Bristol to visit the ScrapStore, where we acquired a small shopping trolley full of silicone rubber tubing, various out-of-date medical tubes, some nylon hot-air balloon fabric offcuts, some rubber sheet and a lot of spools that I think must've been used for the thread at the balloon factory.
FreeCycle once again came up with a superb bit of kit, this time a Roland DXY-990 eight-pen plotter. None of the pens worked, and the rails were filthy with a thick layer of grime that made the X-axis motion quite rough, but it's A3 size, has electrostatic paper hold-down and has both serial and parallel interfaces. I've cleaned it up and fixed the rough spots in the movement, and I have found a way to drill out old, dry pens to make pen-holders for new rollerball pens:
I took the plotter (and some demo software on a laptop) to Dorkbot last week, which was a big success. One of the Dorkbotters was kind enough to make a couple of short video clips: http://yfrog.com/0p50ktz http://yfrog.com/jpzufz
Last weekend was Bristol Doors Open Day, so I went along to Underfall Yard as usual:
My parts from Deal Extreme have arrived, namely some UV LEDs, some spudgers, four red line laser modules, a tri-wing screwdriver and a vacuum pickup tool for SMD. The Readers Digest Guide To Sewing is at the Post Office, pending collection, which I'll do tomorrow, on the way to the Cappuccino's MOT.