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Year in Review 2020 Making Stuff

2020 making

2020 making efforts charged full speed ahead with lots of 3D printing and the addition of a small CNC for isolation milling printed circuit boards.

It’s been a busy time in my small makers workshop. I began the year by replacing my Prusa i3 3D printer with a new MK3S commercial version. You may recall that I put together the kit, saving a bit of money. One year on, the Prusa has performed well. I have pretty much standardized on PETG filament.

In May, with lots of time in the house, I followed the lead of my friend Walt in Arizona by adding a Sainsmart Genmitsu 3018 Pro CNC machine. My main interest is isolation milling single-sided printed circuit boards.

As part of 2020 making projects, lots of 3D printer users manufactured PPE support structures for health care workers. Above right, you can see some of my efforts making surgical mask straps, also known as ear protectors. Each one used about 30¢ worth of material and I made hundreds.

After a bad experience with squirrels importing dozens of pine cones into my electric dryer, I built some pine cone protection for the outside of the dryer vent.

But most of my 3D printing went into my radio hobbies, including the DIY antenna patch base shown above lower left. 3D printing 2020 making also featured a control box for my AAA-1C loop controllers, some modifications to the AAA-1C amplifier mount, and a unique plastic antenna cable feed through device.

Year in Review 2020 Making CNC Efforts

With the help of my friend Jim VE6JF, my first real isolation milled circuit was a high pass filter board, shown upper left above. This was a 1.7 HPF designed to reduce overload from local medium wave stations.

Next came my wideband loop helper project, a dual channel switched attenuator and MW bandstop filter. You can see the CNC cutting the board lower right and the final project upper center.

During the year, I also started shielding my plastic boxes with conductive paint from MG Chemicals. Finally, my cheap NanoVNA proved extremely useful in measuring filter performance.

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