Affordable Oscilloscope?

Posted: July 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Tags: , | Comments Off on Affordable Oscilloscope?

Just saw this scope over at Make. Don’t know much about the specifics and so I will definitely wait until someone does some tests with it.  But $300 for a full functioned dual-channel scope? Incredible. Check it out here.

via Make

New Bridgeport Mill

Posted: July 28th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on New Bridgeport Mill

After years of searching for a good deal, last month I bought a beautiful used Bridgeport milling machine for the shop.  Awesome!

I bought it in Bridgeport, CT from a guy selling a lot of equipment from a mold making shop that closed. Originally interested in a small M-head Bridgeport with a small work surface, I saw this variable speed beauty and couldn’t resist.

I got a great deal with all this, and was able to throw in all kinds of extras! A vise in good shape, a rotary table, a high-quality drill bit chuck, a box of misc. mills and a bunch of collets! Here it is at the warehouse with all the good stuff:

And transporting wasn’t as much a problem as I thought. I drove a Penske truck up to the warehouse in Bridgeport, popped the head off (with much friendly help from the forklift operator) and they loaded the beast onto the truck with a pallet. Strapped that sucker down & good to go:

Off-loading was not TOO bad. It would have been a bit easier if I had (a) borrowed a forklift, or (b) asked for any help whatsoever. But amazingly I did get it off the truck and into my shop with nothing more than a pallet jack. The tricky part was compensating for the fact that the truck was too low for the loading dock at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I had to back the truck up on ramps I made from some 2 x 10 boards lying around. Then I had to work the pallet slowly toward the back of the truck (since I was working against a bit of a slope). This took some time, moving forward a few inches at a time, and screwing a board to the floor of the truck to keep everything from sliding back again. Anyway, it all worked out. Here it is safely on the loading dock:

Once in the shop, I borrowed a friend’s chain hoist & popped the head back on:

Moved everything in place with the pallet jack, and all was done!

Hooray! Time to get to work:

Milling plastic with Bridgeport Mill

Deciphering Stuxnet

Posted: July 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Tags: | Comments Off on Deciphering Stuxnet

Most viruses try to do stuff like steal passwords, credit card numbers, or secret information. Very few try to actually affect our physical world. The Stuxnet virus, on the other hand, was developed for one purpose: to surreptitiously and gradually destroy centrifuges at a specific nuclear facility in Iran. It was deployed via usb sticks, expoited four zero-day weaknesses in Windows, and executed subtle but damaging changes in centrifuge speeds in very specific machines. There’s a great article over at Wired about how computer security analysts (in particular Liam O Murchu at Symantec) analyzed & eventually determined the purpose of this unique malware.

via slashdot

Canal Rubber Mug

Posted: July 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Blog | Tags: , | Comments Off on Canal Rubber Mug

Canal Rubber Mug
Canal Rubber is one of those indispensable supply stores here in nyc, one of the last remaining useful resources in lower Manhattan. I was just picking up some rubber sheeting today (a quick – but hot – bike ride away) and spotted this beauty behind the counter. They’ve faithfully reproduced the storefront sign on a coffee mug! They just got their first batch of them made and I think its gorgeous.