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Cheap linear actuators

Discussion in 'Sensors and Actuators' started by Ian, Feb 28, 2018.

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  1. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

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    Howsabout some spiffy photos to give us some ideas?

    I Googled the ESP8266 IoT thingy and may order a prototyping/development kit later this year. I was a bit put off by the itsy bitsy teeny weenie size of it though. Geez... 5 mm x 5 mm package? That will most definitely require a re-flow soldering oven. But, OTOH, it sure as hell contains a LOT of stuff inside, including a 32-bit microprocessor, lots of I/O and flash memory... and that's not even considering all the analog wi-fi stuff all of that links up with. It's like ten pounds of circuit in a one pound bag. It might take me the rest of my life to figure out how to use all the features, so better to start sooner rather than later.

    Are we using wi-fi remote control on your lift? From a cell phone linked to your home's wi-fi LAN perhaps? Sounds veeery James Bondish to me!

    Hop
     
    Ian likes this.
  2. Ian

    Ian Administrator

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    Yep, there's a ~30cm void where the kitchen cupboards meet the corner of the room - I think I could fit a bottle of Lagavulin in there :D

    Thank you, that is very kind - I just wouldn't want to waste good components like that on a novelty project... but I'll keep this in mind if I do decide to make the lift something that requires a bit more pulling power!

    You jest, but that sounds great :cool:. There are already hidden RGB LED strips and Sonos speakers above it, all tied in to a homebrew home automation script, but I've not used it for anything yet.

    Good point - I'll get some photos taken!

    If you do go for it, it may be worth going for one of the development boards (like this one) - it's only a few £/$ and it includes a micro-USB FTDI interface so that it'll plug right in to your PC and work with the Arduino IDE out of the box. There are loads of useful libraries already made, so utilising the WiFi is a piece of cake :).

    Yep, I'll be using one of these to interface with the motors, as it'll mean I can tie it in to work with the home automation stuff. It all connects to a Raspberry Pi running some interface software, so I can control it from my PC or Phone - great fun :D.
     
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  3. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

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    Pffft.... no I don't! I'm serious! Now you mention it, we have exactly the same space going to waste in our kitchen too..... hmmmmmmmmm :D
     
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  4. BobK

    BobK

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    I built my own kitchen cabinets. One of the reasons is so that there would be no voids.

    Bob
     
  5. Ian

    Ian Administrator

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    So where do you store your linear actuators? ;)

    Here's a photo of the gap under the cabinets as of this morning - it'll be a couple of weeks before parts arrive, but I'll take a video of it in action and some assembly photos once I get started.

    20180305_115606_resized_1.jpg
     
    hevans1944 likes this.
  6. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

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    oooo and awwwww.... what a nasty place for someone to have run pipework. Spoiled a nice 'square' corner.

    I'm tempted to suggest a larger version of the 'most useless machine in the world' that just comes down, presses another button (i.e. big fat finger) and goes right back up again :D

    Neigbour - "so, what does that button do then?"
    You - " nothing....... ab. so. lute. ley nothing......"
     
  7. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

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    Two things: (1) it's a leap of faith to believe that pipework is concealed behind the drywall corner. It could be electrical wiring, or a structural support, or even a secret passage for house rodents; (2) convex corners, as opposed to normal concave corners, are nice because they may be easier to keep clean, although the builder did trade one harder-to-clean concave corner for one convex plus two more harder-to-clean concave corners. Yeah, I know, that's a stretch...
     
  8. Ian

    Ian Administrator

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    Yep, and I can't even imagine what it's for as there's nothing above or below it (a solid floor below and a roof above - water/elec/gas all come in elsewhere) - you've piqued my interest now though, so I'm going to have an explore and see what it could be.

    I think I like this idea even more than the whisky storage!!!! :D
     
  9. Alec_t

    Alec_t

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    Careful! That's the down-pipe from the upstairs toilet lurking behind there :).
     
  10. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

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    Not really - knowing the way they construct properties in the UK this type of 'boxing in' is quite common and as @Alec_t points out, is most likely the upstairs waste route....
     
  11. hevans1944

    hevans1944 Hop - AC8NS

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    @Ian says there is only a roof above, no toilet. It could conceal a plumbing vent pipe that exits through the roof and services the sanitary sewer drain of a nearby sink. Rodent secret passage beginning to look more and more likely.

    @kellys_eye: I, too. like your "most useless machine" idea, which would be easy to implement with a cellphone app and the motorized lead screw. Kinda reminds me of the box with a toggle switch-activated lid. You flip the switch and the lid opens to reveal a hand, which reaches out and flips the switch back, whereupon the hand retracts and the lid closes again:

    [​IMG].
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
    Ian likes this.
  12. kellys_eye

    kellys_eye

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    That's the one! I'm picturing a large red 'mushroom' button directly below the unit and a large 'pointy finger' comes down, presses the button and goes straight back up!
     
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