11 Apr 2012

RFID + Reprap #2

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This Wednesdays meet day (11th April) was a huge success! Started out with a Jelly co-working during the day and ended in the Techspace open night.

The agenda for this months open night was:

  • Get RFID module working with Arduino.
  • Print more 3D plastic parts for our next 3D RepRap printer.
  • Install RedHat Linux on a powerful 2U rack server ready for a Linux Terminal Server project.
We also managed to throw on an impromptu BBQ (thanks DaveT!)

RFID:

Our RFID module gave us quite a bit of trouble in the beginning. Some Arduino programming expertise from Ben solved our problem after hours of fiddling, and some helpful code snippets from the Brissie Hackerspace guys went down well too. We successfully connected the RFID receiver to the end of a 10 meter cable and could authenticate different keys via the Arduino. Great progress!

Next up for the RFID receiver and Arduino is:
- print a plastic mount for the RFID reader and antenna (replace the current cardboard + stickytape holder)
- mount the RFID reader somewhere safe (bathroom window was suggested) and run the cable to the arduino.
- adjust the current garage door arduino to also deal with RFID codes.
- assign RFID codes to members who wish to use a swipe key instead of phone to open the door
- re-wire the current garage arduino breadboard into an arduino shield – it’s *very* similar to the RFID lock shields we received with the RFID keys, will be able to use one of them.

Once members have RFID access we will modify the http://gctechspace.org/door/ website to show who opens the door, and if they used RFID or their mobile phone.
Also considering automatically taking photos of the door with a webcam as it opens. That should be a fun script to program.

Reprap:

We also got 3 new big parts printed for the new reprap yesterday, and they are much higher quality than what we have running the current reprap. Excited!
One of the bearings snapped on the reprap X-axis, the cable was a bit too tight for the thin plastic. All fixed though, ripped a pulley out of one of those printers and bolted that to the side of the reprap. Works great!

Redhat Linux:

The Redhat install on the rack server went smoothly after some firmware was sorted out. We also installed Linux onto a few visitors laptops who were interested in trying it out. I’m interested in giving Lubuntu a go on my old XPS laptop (hopefully USB behaves better in Lubuntu).

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