You can make perfectly good slits using nothing more than a hacksaw. If you need wide slots you can load two blades in the same saw. i know that hand tools have passed out of fashion but they still have their uses, and often are the quickest way to achieve an objective.
Regarding the cam lobe measurer, I feed the rotary and linear encoder outputs into an Arduino for decoding and then pass it on to a Laptop via USB where it gets processed and plotted in analysis software that I wrote, which also combines it with flow bench data.
In the 70s and 80s I had a business in the UK making bike chassis, many of which have won championships around the world. Since the late 80s i moved to live in Spain and since then I have not done any physical construction for others, finding it easier to tell others how to. In other words I became a madam. So I turned to writing, doing seminars and developing software etc. You can see more of my history and activities by looking at the following links in addition to a few posts that I have made on this forum, Homemade Tools built by tonyfoale - HomemadeTools.net . Although I seem to have gained the reputation as the chassis guru it has always been engines that have been a stronger interest.
TONY FOALE DESIGNS - Home page
Making stuff and having fun.
Darn, I found a similar indicator to the one just purchased, and it states a 10micron accuracy, so 10X it's display resolution. I guess you have to pay for accuracy.
I came to this site to get pointers on my missing knowledge.
Tony I could not agree more with your comments on the use of hand tools, I use them a lot ,files, hacksaws, scrapers etc. I see so much taking a sledge hammer to crack a nut these days and very often the task is done by the time it takes to set up a machine.
By the way I watched on of your post grad seminars in spain on u tube and found your background work fascinating, what surprised me a little was the lack of technical questions, mostly about plastics and batteries, sign of the times I suppose.
On my camshaft reader i use a quadrature rotary encoder for angular position and I wanted to use interrupts to count the linear motion pulses and a quadrature linear encoder is the easiest way to link the two. This was the principal reason for going the encoder route. If I had had to pay dealer prices then I would have somehow worked out how to do it with a digital dial gauge. I wanted to do it all more or less automatically and before I fried the original encoder it took about 3 secs to get the whole profile measured and plotted. To do it manually using a rotary table to set 1 degree intervals and then reading and recording from a gauge would take around 2 hours.
I tried several years ago to get one for the Mititoyo vertical mill quill digital indicator, and had zero luck finding a cable that could interface to some affordable SPC reader. I had only tried eBay. I was hoping there would have been an ISA card for the PC (now a PCI or USB card would be wanted). I did find a web site that discouraged me, with the lack of any data standard for the many digital scales out there (as you stated). If you can't get it into a data stream and captured in the PC, makes it tough to go the cheep route, as I don't want to fit the mill with ballscrews, and felt this would provide a feedback means of a low cost CNC.
Yes I could get some micro controller, but then I'd be spending many hours horsing around with software code, and that's not really how I want to spend my time these days.
Even finding a quadrature decoder/counter off the shelf requires a micro controller to read and transfer the data.
I'm whittling metal with out the CNC help, and at this moment, I have no project held up for this.
eBay item number: 172578890127 but no detail photo, to determine if this will fit.
And then there's bunches of cables at this site: Mitutoyo Spc Cable | Factory Brand Outlets
It's a job to figure out which will work. And then you still need to reverse engr. the pinout for data and clock, and then write a bit banger to decode the data stream.
I did that in my past life, it just is not something I want to do. If some simple PLC box with an interpreter language existed, that had 16+ I/O with quadrature decoders built in along with up/down counters, so you would not have to do interrupt driven code (did lots of that too), I could see working through to make some machine enhancement devices.
I bet Mitutoyo, does not want anyone to de-crypt their SPC port, as they want to sell the hardware and software. But your right, why wouldn't the low end of China manufactures want to do this, other then they too can sell the reader hardware, as it's useful for a DRO.
I have looked into the Arduino, but my interest in learning ANOTHER program language just does not 'titillate' me.
Just this morn, I was looking at how to get Mach3 to work on a computer that does not have a printer port. So I go down the path of GRex or ncPod (learned this was the path to USB), and this opens an enormous chasm of how ignorant I am to PC hardware. And then reading posts from a few blogs, my mind gives up. I want something super simple, download the code, plug in the interface card to a USB port, hook up the servos, and encoders, and watch the machine move the desired amount.
Then there's the CAD to learn, and how to build the G code from this. I have several dials that need to me made, so engraving with a 4th axis would be handy.
We'll see if I ever get there.
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