Old Version - Frank's Workshop

Click here for the new site.

Welcome to Frank's Web Site, last updated: 19/04/10
16/5/17 I have moved to the NBN and lost my static IP address, so I am now hosted by www.winhost.com. I've also replaced my Roomba
2/12/13 GenericHID 1.5 released. This is a minor bug fix release, correct some firmware issues. See the Change History for a list of the changes.
1/12/13 GenericHID 1.4 released. This is a minor bug fix release. See the Change History for a list of the changes.
28/11/13 GenericHID 1.3 released. This is a linux source code only release. See the Change History for a list of the changes.
17/10/2013 FingerVU 436 Drivers. Video and touchscreen drivers for FingerVU 486 for Ubuntu 10.04.1 LTS. YMMV.
17/10/2013 Mini Linux LCD Monitor. This is the next iteration of my LCD display for use in my  LinuxCNC pendants.
11/04/2012 Hidcomp 1.6 released. 
8/10/2011 Posted my MachPCBDrill program, for aligning and drilling PCB boards.
21/3/2011 New project! I've got a Roomba. I want to monitor it, gather statistics, etc. Details here.  
20/3/2011 A bit late, but my New Years resolution is to finish all my incomplete projects before starting anything new.  On my todo list is...
  • PhotoPlotter
  • TreadMill
  • CNC Lathe Alignment
  • CNC Lathe 4th axis
  • CNC Router Chinese spindle
  • CNC Router ATC spindle
  • CNC Router 4th axis tailstock
  • CNC Router 4th axis tombstone
  • RT-Net interface for EMC2
  • Orbee MAX
  • Model Rail DCC Controller
and I'm sure there's more...
20/10/2010 24 hours of downtime today because the power supply in the PC died. It was a Antec Phantom 500, 1 month outside of the 3 year warranty. I've replaced it with a Corsair HX750W, which comes with a 7 year warranty.
18/4/10 GenericHID 1.2 released.  This release adds support for teensy++ 2.0, upgrades USB library from MyUSB to latest LUFA version, removes broken PB4 Timer2 PWM, add option to specify the number of bits the counter of an encoder uses.
1/11/09 Hidcomp 1.4 released.  This release fixes a bug with the "reverse axis" option not working.  This release is built against EMC 2.3.4.
20/10/09 Big update day.  I finally finished my CNC Lathe Pendant.  It uses a custom LCD Display, and is built with updated version of GenericHID and hidcomp.  Hmmm. That didn't sound too big.
28/9/09 Moved GenericHID and hidcomp to sourceforge.  My hosting options didn't give me enough space to host all packages.
27/9/09 GenericHID 1.0 released.  GenericHID is my DIY USB HID/Joystick/Game Device/Pendant.  The CNC pendant is why I built the project.  Using an inexpensive $30 board, buttons, potentiometers, encoders, LEDs, LCDs and more, can be connected to the device to make a USB input device.  This works with hidcomp and EMC.  I have an out of date Mach3 plugin that I may update, but I'm still waiting on a firmware update on my Smooth Stepper before doing more work in that space.

hicomp 1.2 released.  Update LCD handling to bring it in line with GenericHID release.  Add user characters.  Add MRU list.

7/8/09 hicomp 1.1 released.  This is a minor change so emc.nml doesn't need to be changed if the LCD features are not being used.
2/8/09 hicomp 1.0 released.  hidcomp is an EMC component to interface with USB HID devices.
27/6/09 Orbee lives!
31/1/09 An update on Bellows folding.  Polypropylene has grain, so you need to be careful when you fold it.
31/1/09 Added a write up of my Rotary Table Controller project.
24/1/09 Domain name update.  I'm now www.franksworkshop.com.au

Why?  Last week, I stopped receiving emails so I contacted www.godaddy.com, my email provider and domain registrar to see what was up.  They said my domain name had expired and they couldn't contact me because I had the wrong email address registered.  At this point I thought what an idiot I was for letting it happen and started planning a new domain.

However, I started researching what had happened and came across lots or articles about godaddy's deceitful practices.

My domain name expired on 3 December.  Godday's policy is to park the domain name after 5 days.  After 5 days, my web site and email should have stopped working, but Godaddy kept it going.  Because everything was still working I didn't find out my domain name needed to be renewed until they had sold it to someone else, 45 days later.  Given their shady practices, I can't help thinking I am another godaddy victim.  Yes, I'm bitter.

So, I've now got a .com.au domain being hosted by www.netregistry.com.au. I've also switched to Google Apps for the email (and for free).

22/11/08 A quick write up of my lathe DRO and speed controller before I start pulling it apart to CNC it.
21/11/08 I found some photos I took during the construction of the 4th Axis, so I expanded that section.
19/11/08 Added a write up of the bellows I built for my CNC mill.
11/10/08 Here's my CNC Gantry Mill.  And the 4th Axis.  And dust extraction.
8/10/08 Train update.  I've added the DCC servo controller and my plan for a model railway.
7/10/08 Robot update.  I've added the servo controller, and my plans for robot world domination.
6/10/08 Another update. Here's my SerialMon project. It started off as a Serial communications spy project, but now it's an I2C interface with SPI to follow.
6/10/08 I still have the flu, so no playing with dangerous machines.  So here's another project update.  The RGB matrix display.
6/10/08 Dang!  What is it with IIS stuff.  Unfortunately, Multisite didn't delivery.  It crashes too much, and didn't work with virtual applications.  So now I run my test web server inside a windows Virtual PC. 
4/10/08 OK, I take that back, the bit about XP Pro IIS Admin allowing you to run more than one site. It creates mulitiple sites, but you still can only have one running at a time. Gee Microsoft sucks. Luckily, I found another tool. An ISAPI filter, Multisite that simulates multiple sites by redirecting pages based on the target hostname. Now I can debug. Fingers crossed.
4/10/08 I remade the CNC mill limit switches. A different connector, and more coloured LEDs.
4/10/08 The menus should now be debugged. I found a cool application, XP Pro IIS Admin which will create more than one web server on XP Professional. (Microsoft's IIS Admin tool limits you to 1). So now I can debug the web site before deploying it. (I now use server side includes to load the menu on each page).  The menus are based on the Simple List Base Menu from dhtmlgoodies.com.  I made a few changes to suit my needs.
3/10/08 Tidied up the website. Added menus. Used CSS to render the pages. Menus are still a bit buggy though - expect more down time as I debug them.
7/8/08 Updated the Photoplotter page. Added the schematics and firmware.
29/5/08 I made a Box!
7/4/08 Depth sensor solution found.
29/3/08 The Armoured Tank!  Tank repairs.
27/3/08 Panic! The dam is about to burst.
26/3/08 The small filter on the tank inlet clogged up with leaves immediately, so I "Engineered" a new one.
25/3/08 Phase 3 is complete!  The garden is now up and running. I'll let it run a while before tweaking and upgrading the front garden electronics
22/3/08 My garden is now online.  That's just the first cut.  I need to collect a bit more data before I decide what to do with it.
21/3/08 Dancing Desktop
21/3/08 Windows Demolition.
21/3/08 Balloons!
12/3/08 Large Lathe Steady
9/3/08 First bit of CNC - Limit Switches
9/3/08 Added my PCB Agitator
7/3/08 GWS Phase 2 is complete
7/3/08 Garden Watering System
9/10/07 Some progress on the photoplotter
9/10/07 Completed Lathe Bench
11/04/07 Started thinking about the doorbell extender
11/04/07 Added Lathe Bench
29/03/07 Added an initial description of Thomas.
30/06/05 Added the Spindle Arbor.
28/06/05 Added Lathe Leadscrew Hand Wheel
04/12/04 Added the RSS feed (see link above), and I finally have a domain name, www.FranksWorkshop.com
02/12/04 Work is progressing on the DRO.  More project ideas.
09/10/04 Completed the top half of the light box.  Completed the Splash Guard.
18/09/04 Added the light box and spray booth.
18/07/04 Some real updates.  I've switched to SwiftTel and I'm back to hosting locally off my PC.
03/10/02 A long time between updates, but the new TrackTimer Ex has been completed and added to the site.
01/04/02 Added Mini-Z stuff.
01/04/02 Revert back to this local, static web site while I'm hosted on bigpond.
06/06/01 Hosted web site locally on my PC.
28/01/01 Added RASMonitor to the Software page.
16/01/01 Grand opening.

Future Project Ideas