Archive | June 2012

The Ad Astra Labs blog

We had a wiki up for a while, but it got spammed half to death. The server is back up(, but pretty bare. In the mean time I set up this blog. It’s also pretty bare, but at least it’s something. I’ll be inviting members to contribute.


CNC Torch Table from Open Source Ecology

One more piece of the Global Village Construction Set has been knocked out. Congrats to you fine people.

Also check out their wiki.

I’ve just ordered my Raspberry Pi!

A waiting list has been open for a couple of months and I guess it’s my turn. It will be here in about 6 weeks.

If you don’t know about the Raspberry Pi project, the goal is to make a 64-bit ARM GNU/Linux computer for under $25. The current model is about the size of a credit card and it costs $35. Not bad.









I’ve heard talk of using one of these to drive a CNC machine. I’m not sure I’ll be doing that. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it at all, actually. Maybe a server. Maybe a pirate box. Maybe just a desktop PC. I’ve got 6 weeks to think about it in any case.

Never pass up an oportunity to take apart a printer or scanner

I mean, really. If there’s the remote possibility of getting your hands on this sweet-ass NEMA 16, how can you resist?

I got this out of a fancy Canon combo printer/scanner/copier/fax machine thing at the temporary home of Ad Astra Community Laboratories in Topeka.

By the way, NEMA stands for “National Electrical Manufacturers Association” and the number that comesafter NEMA refers to the width of the motor. For example, a NEMA 16 motor is 1.6″ by 1.6″. A NEMA 23 motor is 2.3″ by 2.3″.

The NEMA creates a lot of standards for electrical manufacturing. They’re all very important in one way or another and also very boring.