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Old 12-21-2009, 04:45 AM #1
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Default Possible very precise, easy XY scanner idea?

So, today I was struck with garage fever and decided to take apart some stuff for motors and optics. I found plenty of motors, but was struck with how completely hopeless controlling them was without a microcontroller, and how hard it is even with a microcontroller. I wanted a really easy way to move the dot by the tenth of the degree, and I was struck with what might be a good idea. I saw a box on the floor that I had forgotten about and opened it. It was my old lego NXT kit! These kits allow you to move motors included very precisely. So, if I theoretically glued a mirror to a bar on this motor I could get accurate sub-degree control of a laser beam, X and Y because I have 2 motors. Now these motors are not very fast if I recall, so I could not make a true "scanner", just a laser targeting deal. That's why I decided to put it in optics. Anyway, when I tried to program my NXT I realized my software is not compatible with my intel macbook. Too bad. Since I'm too lazy to install a VM and download the NXT software, I will have to wait until I can get a PC. But anyway, has anyone tried this? Just an idea.

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Old 12-21-2009, 06:00 AM #2
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Default Re: Possible very precise, easy XY scanner idea?

why virtual machine? install Windows XP directly on it!

Anyway, why would you want a laser targeting machine? even you manage to fully control it, what are you gonna do with it?
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Old 12-21-2009, 06:07 AM #3
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Default Re: Possible very precise, easy XY scanner idea?

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Originally Posted by Hallucynogenyc View Post
why virtual machine? install Windows XP directly on it!
This.

Installing XP is pretty easy to do and will run much better than a VM would on an older Macbook. Using a VM would be more pain than it's worth.

Anywho, on topic, it seems to be an interesting idea....
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:04 AM #4
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Default Re: Possible very precise, easy XY scanner idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob View Post
This.

Installing XP is pretty easy to do and will run much better than a VM would on an older Macbook. Using a VM would be more pain than it's worth.

Anywho, on topic, it seems to be an interesting idea....
Last time I tried to partition my hard drive it gave me a kernel panic and screwed up my permissions so bad I couldn't save text documents and it took me like 5 days to fix. The lesson learned is to partition your HD before it fills with crap, but now I can't install XP. So, It's really just wait for a new computer.

@Hallucynogenyc

I thought it would just be kind of cool if you could use something like this for aligning radio dishes or drawing micro-pictures with a laser (if I can figure out the response time of the motors)
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:47 AM #5
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Default Re: Possible very precise, easy XY scanner idea?

Kernel panic from partitioning your drive? That's weird. Do you have 10.6 installed?

My advice to you would be backup your stuff using time machine, then do a clean install and partition your drive from there. Just my two cents...
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:23 PM #6
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Default Re: Possible very precise, easy XY scanner idea?

this probably won't work, because these NXT motors have the smallest step 1 degree I think
btw how can someone forget about NXT??
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Old 12-21-2009, 02:38 PM #7
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Default Re: Possible very precise, easy XY scanner idea?

Nice project idea for learning mirror control mechanics/electronics..

Jerry
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Old 12-21-2009, 05:36 PM #8
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Default Re: Possible very precise, easy XY scanner idea?

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Originally Posted by Rob View Post
Kernel panic from partitioning your drive? That's weird. Do you have 10.6 installed?

My advice to you would be backup your stuff using time machine, then do a clean install and partition your drive from there. Just my two cents...
10.5. And I would, but there are 2 problems. First is that I can't find the disks I would need to do so safely, and second is that I removed my DVD drive a while back because it was failing and stealing CDs. Now there's just a hole there. But I do have a time machine back up, maybe I could just delete everything and start over. It's too bad macs don't have defragment tools.

@3zuli
Really? I forgot about that, it could put a damper on this project's effectiveness.

@laserbee
Yeah, I guess this would be kind of a cool classroom type project. Maybe we could pitch the idea to lego as a kit
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:29 PM #9
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Default Re: Possible very precise, easy XY scanner idea?

Mac's don't need to defrag, the File system they are built upon doesn't need it, one great advantage over window machines....
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Old 12-21-2009, 07:36 PM #10
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Default Re: Possible very precise, easy XY scanner idea?

Quote:
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Mac's don't need to defrag, the File system they are built upon doesn't need it, one great advantage over window machines....
Theoretically, HFS+ doesn't need to be defragmented, but my buddy noticed like 50% speed increase on his old mac when he copied the hard drive (not byte by byte, just copied every file in logical order), erased his HD and copied it back so all the files were in order. So I think the whole not needing a defragment thing is bull. Plus, most of my files are too big to be moved on the fly as HFS+ is supposed to do. Although I feel good because today I deleted every file on my laptop over 2GB. That's 45GB gone. Yay! Maybe it'll start getting faster now.

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Old 12-21-2009, 07:49 PM #11
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Default Re: Possible very precise, easy XY scanner idea?

Have you tried Carbon Copy Cloner? Literally makes a mirror image of your drive to a backup. Almost better than Time Machine in my opinion. You should look into it.

As to the HFS+ not needing defragging being BS, I can't really comment. I've never noticed a speed decrease as my hard drive filled up or was used over time. But then again my system has pretty good specs....
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Old 12-21-2009, 10:34 PM #12
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Default Re: Possible very precise, easy XY scanner idea?

Quote:
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Have you tried Carbon Copy Cloner? Literally makes a mirror image of your drive to a backup. Almost better than Time Machine in my opinion. You should look into it.

As to the HFS+ not needing defragging being BS, I can't really comment. I've never noticed a speed decrease as my hard drive filled up or was used over time. But then again my system has pretty good specs....
I'm pretty sure carbon copy would NOT be a good idea, as it wouldn't really do anything to copy my HD. I want to copy in logical order, not physical order. Maybe I'll try the windows 7 beta ISO I have on my mom's computer.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:08 PM #13
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Default Re: Possible very precise, easy XY scanner idea?

Things/BlueFusion did this with Lego Mindstorms (sorta), they built little control towers that hold the laser inside, and they control it. It's really cool, and I think a fun project.

Edit: Lego Laser Turrets
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Old 12-23-2009, 07:59 PM #14
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Default Re: Possible very precise, easy XY scanner idea?

Get a linux live CD and use the linux tool to resize the partition and to create a new one. All the people I know who have a MAC did it this way.
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Old 12-23-2009, 11:00 PM #15
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Default Re: Possible very precise, easy XY scanner idea?

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Get a linux live CD and use the linux tool to resize the partition and to create a new one. All the people I know who have a MAC did it this way.
No disk drive... and booting from a USB stick is a pain in the ass with EFI systems, plus I don't have a spare firewire drive to boot from.

@prototype
I'll have a look at that link!

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Old 12-23-2009, 11:28 PM #16
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Default Re: Possible very precise, easy XY scanner idea?

And then I have to hear that MACs are worth the money because you'll never have a single problem with them lmao
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