Stepping Up…

Tonight, I did some prep work on a new EasyDriver (on breadboard) that I ordered for an upcoming project. I mounted a 4-pin Molex Floppy connector for the motor output, and pin-headers reversed for breadboard mounting.

I also milled the gear off of a scrap stepper motor and built a coupler to a fancy leadscrew I had laying around. The leadscrew in question (pictured foreground) is about 9″ long, has 5 starts (5 parallel sets of threads) and has a twist-rate of 1 inch per turn (one TPI).  The screw is further teflon-coated and uses a (probably Delrin) plastic nut.

Brandon questions if “that wimpy stepper” can drive such an aggressive leadscrew, but I don’t think it’ll be a problem.  If it does become a problem, building a new coupler (or finding a motor that has the same shaft size) shouldn’t be hard.

HTC TouchPro as Wireless Webcam

I’ve started to accumulate quite a heap of old smartphones, and would really like them to either get useful or get gone. It was my initial intent to “simply” hook one up as a networked webcam, and have it serve images via HTTP, not unlike the units sold by everyone from Axis to Panasonic.  Sadly, however, this proved more complicated than I’d imagined.

After quite a bit of procrastination and some help from the guys down at the Makery, I found a package called WebCamera Plus, which only partly fit the bill.  Half of this packages’ functionality requires a client installed on a PC, where the actual web serving happens.  Without that “server” PC, the best it can do is FTP photos out on a timed basis.

Adding insult to injury, about the time I was ready to bite the bullet and spend the $20 on this thing, the company sorta disappeared.  On the upside, the company’s website did resurface a few weeks later, with the software now priced at $9.99.  The decision had already been made, however, to go in a different direction.