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Various ramblings – Electronics, radio, old computers, cars & other junk…

Monthly Archives: December 2013

First milled PCB

After much tweaking, fiddling and procrastinating I have finally been able to successfully mill a PCB!

The only minor issue I had was with the drill file created by the PCB-GCode script which would not load correctly into LinuxCNC. Luckily this is a step that I can complete manually using my PCB drill.

The results are excellent, the finish is amazing and I am so very happy I won’t have to mess with PCB etchants and toner transfer ever again!

Mistakes on the mill…

While waiting patiently for the mill to finish running a PCB isolation route job I stepped away for a few seconds to skip a song on my music playlist. As I was fiddling with the music I heard the spindle motor starting to bog down and turned around to see that the cutting tool had started cutting deeper and deeper into the PCB material, the MDF board it was resting on and the PVC mill table…

I quickly hit the emergency stop button, killed power to the spindle motor and raised the Z-axis. At first I thought that the program had decided to plunge into the table but it quickly became apparent that was not the case. The heat of the spindle motor had made it slip down in the motor mount, the Z axis stepper had stayed perfectly still the whole time. I tightened the screws that clamp down on the motor and all seems fine now.

No real damage done to the mill, it’s just a little bit annoying… Ahh well!!