Building a Network Controllable RGB LED Lamp from an Old Scanner

EthernetLamp

Being able to use one of your old projects to make a new one better can be quite satisfying. [Steve] from Hackshed did just this: he integrated an Arduino based webserver into a new network controllable RGB lamp.

What makes this lamp unique is that the RGB LED bar comes from an old Epson scanner. Recycling leftover parts from old projects or derelict electronics is truly the hacker way. After determining the pinout and correct voltage to run the LEDs at, the fun began. With the LED bar working correctly, the next step was to integrate an Arduino based webserver. Using an SD card to host the website and an Ethernet Arduino shield, the LEDs become network controllable. Without missing a beat, [Steve] integrated a Javascript based color picker that supports multiple web browsers. This allows the interface to look quite professional. Be sure to watch the lamp in action after the break!

The overall result is an amazing color changing lamp that works perfectly. All that is left to do is create a case for it, or integrate it into an existing lamp. This is a great way to use an LED strip that would have otherwise gone to waste. If you can’t find a scanner with a color wand like this one, you can always start with an RGB strip.

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Epson projector LED mod

Projector bulbs can be incredibly expensive to replace. Sometimes it’s more cost efficient to just buy a whole new projector instead of a new bulb. [Shawn] recently found a nice deal on an ‘as is’ Epson EMP-S4 on eBay and decided to take a chance. He assumed it probably worked with the exception of the missing lamp the seller mentioned. His suspicions were correct, and one custom LED mod later, his projector was up and rolling.

Without a stock lamp installed, the projector would give an error message and shut itself off. So, the first step was to wire up a little bypass. Once that was taken care of, [Shawn] installed a 30W 2000 lumen LED and custom fit an old Pentium CPU heatsink to keep the LEDs temperature down. He also wired up the heatsink fan in parallel with the stock exhaust fan for good measure.  Optical lenses help focus the light, and some custom wiring makes the LED turn on and off just like the stock lamp would.

In the end, his first experiment was a success, but [Shawn] wants to try an 8000 lumen 100W LED to make it about as bright as the stock lamp was. Check out a little video walkthrough after the break.

[Thanks Shawn]

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Modding an inkjet for PCB production

Like all of us, [Ryan] is tired of waiting for board production houses. To reduce some of that turnaround time, he modded an Epson inkjet into a PCB printer. The Instructable of his build is extremely thorough and it looks like he’s getting some quality boards out of his project

The build started off by disassembling an Epson C86 printer he had lying around the house. Going with an Epson printer is important – Epsons have a piezo print head accepts ink that would clog other printers. After tearing all the plastic off his printer, [Ryan] set to work raising the printer (or lowering the bed, whatever) and was off to the races.

The cartridges were filled with etch-resistant yellow ink and a piece of copper clad put onto the printer. After printing, [Ryan] etched his board in ferric chloride. Sadly, he’s getting small pinholes in his traces where a bit of the ink was eaten during etching. He’s tried HCl and Peroxide, but those turn his boards into green junk.

If you’ve got any tips to help [Ryan] out, leave them in the comments. Before that, check out the printing demo [Ryan] put up.

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Emulating ink cartridges

[Smartie_on_computer] wanted to do some experimenting with an epson printer.  After getting a somewhat disassembled one, the first step was to simply get it running. Unfortunately, one of the ink cartridges was missing and these printers refuse to do pretty much anything without all the cartridges installed.  Rather than go purchase a costly cartridge that they didn’t intend to actually use, [Smartie_on_computer], chose to emulate the cartridge using a microcontroller. After some searching for the protocol used on the cartridge, the info ended up being in the patent. [Smartie_on_computer] now has a functional printer that is destined to be a 3d printer in the near future. You can see a video breakdown after the break.

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DTG: improved printing on T-shirts

[Jeff German] improved upon his DIY direct to garment printer an ended up with a machine he thinks is equivalent to anything you can buy commercially. We last looked in on this project in June but much has been done since then. Most notably, there are build instructions available (requires login). [Jeff’s] printer is based around an Epson R1900 plus the base that holds and feed a garment. Take a look after the break to see it printing full color designs in high resolution. From the YouTube description it sounds like he wants to go into production with this. Kudos to him for also sharing the build techniques.

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Servicing an Epson projector

[Socket7] got his hands on a projector that had some color calibration problems. Of course the servicing manual says that there are no technician serviceable parts inside, but he cracked it open and fixed it anyway. This is an Epson PowerLite 5500c which was showing blue and yellow bands around the outside of the projected image. He could hear something rattling around inside which happened to be the lenses. It turns out there are foam pads that hold them in place that had shriveled over time. After a bit of careful work he replaced them and now has a working projector.

We’d love to have a projector of our own; there’s a lot of cool stuff you can do with them. Fixing a broken one is a great way to get one cheap, [Socket7’s] was free!

1 Watt laser engraver

This laser engraver was built using printer parts, a CD-ROM carriage, and some homebrew electronic boards. The laser diode is a 1-Watt model similar to what we saw used as a weak laser cutter back in August. When the width of the material changes the focus of the laser is affected so the diode was mounted on a CD-ROM carriage (in the Z axis) for easy adjustment. The X and Y axes are made using parts from Epson Stylus 800 and Epson Stylus Color II printers. After the break we’ve embedded a video of the machine engraving some wood using EMC2 software on an Ubuntu box. It also boasts the ability to cut paper and some plastic but it can’t compare in power to a CO2-based unit.

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