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© 2017 Ian Watts

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Some recent projects

Triumph GT6 (1971)
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I bought the GT6 back in 1986 with 31 failures on her latest (1984) MoT. She was a total rust-bucket in British racing green !

I did a body-off restoration and she became Porsche red. I drove her some 18,000 miles before I was squashed between a lorry and the central reservation barrier in 1990. I bought her back form the insurance company and began to renovate her again... Life got in the way... I'm still renovating her... but this time with a twist... 

Status :

Ongoing

e-Weld
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Most of my projects incorporate internal rechargeable batteries. Initially, I used Li-ion pouch cells left over from a finished GPS tracking project. Back in 2018 though I needed more capacity and switched to Lithium Polymer 18650 cells (a la Tesla) and quickly determined that soldering was painful - mostly for the batteries. I designed and made this Spot Welder thus facilitating my welding the battery connections to the interconnecting nickel busbar strips with very little heat. It also sped up the process by an order of magnitude. I currently use it to make up my LiPo cell packs...

Status :

In Use

LiPo Battery Packs
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The first three batteries I made with the spot welder :

  • a 3s1p12V pack

  • a pair of 20s4p / 72V13.4AHr (1Kw) packs 

All three with BMS protection and for the Scooter conversion project.

There have boon lots of others battery packs (usually in 3D printed enclosures) but these are the first three spot-welded units...

Status :

In Use

R2D2
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I fell in love with the whole StarWars 'thing' back in the early 80's and have wanted to have my very own R2D2 ever since. But not one I'd buy, rather, one I'd build myself.

I found Skecthup in 2017 and at the same time bough myself my first 3D printer... I was off... Here's my project so far...

Status :

Ongoing

AVR SDK 
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For a previous project for the Royal Navy I had to get to grips with AVRs and their programming. Ever since I've been using 'baby'-AVRs for various projects and, once the 3D printer and Sketchup came along, I was able to combine my requirements into one, lidded, rechargeable AVR SDK box... I've modified my designs a few times and this is the current result...

Status :

In Use

AVR I2C Scanner
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I found that various projects required I use I2C devices with my AVRs (mostly because it cut down on the GPIO pins needed (Beaglebone Black & Raspberry Pi). I designed this little rechargeable unit around a simple ATMega8 and an SSD1306 dual colour display. It simply scans the I2C bus and reports back device IDs that respond. This is where I am with it at the moment...

Status :

In Use

Portable Wi-Fi Cam
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I often find that my 3D printer and CCD2 router (noisy) can be in use for many hours at a time. Naturally, I can't always be there checking they're OK (I bore easily !). I ended up with enough unfinished / damaged 'prints' that I decided to design and build a portable, compact, battery powered 'cherry picker' for a standard WiFi camera. Then, using the app that comes with the camera I can check-up on a project's progress from anywhere. It's in use almost every day. This is the result...

Status :

In Use

Prusa i3Mk3 Extruder lighting
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I love my Prusa 3D printer and use it almost every day to print out something I need. After many months of use I continued to find it really hard to see exactly what the nozzle was doing (layer problems etc) especially during first layer calibration. My solution was to design a modified cooling head with built-in LED lighting. This is the end result...

Status :

In Use

Milk Saver
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Currently, not being able to sail, we spend our holidays in our camper van. It's great but I REALLY DO MISS my fresh coffee... So I got myself a hand grinder for the beans and I heat the milk in the saucepan. I dislike the milk too hot though and, pretty standard, I bore easily, forget to check the pan (even though I DO remember to put the thermometer in it) and end up making a mess !! My solution after cleaning up many a burnt pan and cooker top was to design and build a small buzzer/beeper 'thingy' that howls its head off when the correct temperature is reached... and does it howl !! Anyways, I now have milk at the right temperature, an un-burned milk pan and a clean cooker top. Here's the result...

Status :

In Use

Z-Stop
Z-Stop.jpg

My first 3D printer (I've only ever had two !) was a FlashForge Dreamer. It was great but I found that I wasn't too great at judging / calculating whether there was enough filament for it to finish a print job and I inevitably I forgot to keep checking... So I ended up with enough part-finished (useless) prints that I decided to design and build a device to monitor filament availability. Upon the end of filament being detected, it paused the printer (just like I'd selected pause on the screen) and enabled me to load a new reel and complete the current print. Saved me many a print thereafter. This is where it got to... 

Status :

In Use