Monday, November 4, 2013

TVRR 3D Printing at ECOS

On Saturday the 2nd November I had the pleasure of attending the Electronic Organ Constructors Society ( ) meet up close to Euston station in central London.
My visit had been inspired some weeks earlier by an event at the Bracknell Gadget Fair where I was displaying the Thames Valley RepRap Users Group (,uk) demonstration of 3D printing machines
Alan Douglas was visiting the fair and had been coincidentally requested to do a talk on 3D printing at their meetup. Seeing the 3d printer so he took great interest and we discussed some advantages and opportunities that the TVRRUG approach offers
I arrived early in London and found a parking space close to the church hall where the event was taking place.
At 10 o'clock I took my TVRR RepRap around to the hall and found inside a welcoming cup of coffee, some biscuits, and a group of people of varying ages, and unsurprisingly, all male. In the church next door the sound of an organ playing and many men and women dressed smartly for a service.
To prepare for the event Alan had sent me a drawing of, what is known as a “stop”, a piece of an electronic organ which is often used in construction projects. One of the members has been casting them in plastic and it seemed a good example of something that could be 3d printed
I worked on creating a design using the OpensCAD software and printed out a sample which I took a long to be event.
A feature I had not been able to reproduce, using the OpensCAD software, was a radius on the top of the stop, this is the main difference between my reproduction and the original drawing, it is something that is possible to do, but would have taken me more time than I had available.
Alan presented his talk to the animated audience and it covered a lot of areas of general 3D printing, the opportunities and limitations. Afterwards he handed over to myself and I talked through the specific areas around the Thames Valley RepRap design,  in particular a involvement and cooperation with the Reading Hackspace (, and other hackspaces in general.
There were lots of questions and discussions about 3D printing and its role in electronic organ construction. I thank everyone I met for a warm welcome and wish you well with all your projects.
In this document I want to add some links to the sources of information and resources that I referred to in my discussion.
Thames Valley reprap user group -
Reading hackspace -
Manchester fablab
Faberdashery filament supplier
Open Source Hardware User Group

Friday, October 4, 2013

No comms in the age of comms!

The downside of number porting.

Yesterday I was woken by an unsolicited text from an online bingo provider, not for the first time. Getting fed up with them I searched and found a number that I could forward them to that deals with spam.
I duly forwarded the msg, and received a reply asking for the originator callerID. I had to tell them that it was sent from 000000, and expected to hear no more.

I have a new phone in addition and wanted to update the contacts so I know own number. I called my old phone number and found it was reported as "Temporarily Unavailable". I found I could send texts and make calls but not receive them.

Thinking the phone was faulty I swapped the SIM to another phone and now there was no signal at all. Back to the other phone and now no signal there either.

I checked the O2 status page, and it said all the network was fine.

I had a spare PAYG SIM on the same network, so I tried that and it worked fine. So I thought that it was the SIM with my main number that was faulty. I contacted my MobileSP to ask for my credit to be moved to the working SIM.

Then at 2am today I get a series of txt msgs on the 'dead' phone over a 30 min period. These turned out to be messages from yesterday, including test ones I had sent to myself.

So what did I learn. My current analysis is that the problem was caused by using a 'Ported Number' on the SIM

The working SIM is on the same network, but with a 'native' number. OFCOM documents indicate that there may be routing changes underway at the moment. 

If this is the cause then maybe porting your number is not a good move, not only does any spam follow you, but it adds another layer of 'service' to fail.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Spring 2013,

As the real Spring starts to arrive, somewhat late this year indeed, I am reviewing my Social spaces and what which offers to me and those that follow me. There are still lots of places, although with the loss of Posterous, there is one less.

G+ is quick and easy to post upon, but a recent discussion I had there did indicate that it is more image orientated than here.

So I am thinking "where does Blogger fit in?", being a G property, it is one egg in basket that should not contain all my eggs, on the other hand they have just revamped Blogger to integrate it more with G+, so it could be useful for more "page" orientated posts than G+ and more personal posts than GCommunities.

Any followers thoughts are most welcome.