I operate three PC type computers in my workshop and each controls a separate CNC machine. I have two Taig CNC mills and a home brew (HB2) CNC gantry router. Two of the computers are refurbished., small form factor size. I paid no more than $100 for each of them. One is an HP Compaq and the other is labeled a Compaq. Their styles are different. The third is very similar but larger bare bones built up. Probably $250 invested in it.
None of them have great internal cooling as they were designed to operate in conditioned spaces. My shop operates at outdoor temperature. It’s been running 95 degrees in there for the last two weeks. Outside it has been very near 100.
The larger case unit running the HB2 has stopped suddenly twice in the middle of a long run. It ruined one piece and almost ruined the re-run second. It is not going to be put back into service again in this hot weather.
The HP-Compaq computer is a sweet little machine, or at least it was. I just let it upgrade from Windows 7 pro to Windows 10. I use it with a smooth stepper so I don’t have to be concerned about pulse timing. The upgrade took many hours of loading and saving files. It converted just fine and MACH3 and the Smooth Stepper were performing well with Win10.
I left it on for a day with it doing nothing but staying on the network. I wanted to see if WIN 10 was going to do any self-updating since the install. When I came back to it the computer was dead. There is a single blinking LED on the motherboard constantly flashing at about 1 Hz with a slight audible click.
I did a lot… Continue reading
Well maybe not my mind but just about everything else in the shop. The Texas heat spell got to me and I finally splurged for a new fan. I had a cheap house type fan for many years (plastic construction). You may see it in some old shop photos. It gave up at the end of the last heat season. This new fan is all metal and much more powerful. Note the description (in the store link) of the fan clearly states “High Velocity”.
I purchased it from Northern Tool and Supply for $89.99. With Texas tax the total was $97.41. I had it shipped to the local store for free (they didn’t stock them) so for less than $100 it is a good deal in my opinion. Here is a link for everything you might want to know about this fan: FAN LINK
A workshop minded coworker (at my real job) and I discussed the merits of high velocity fan size for garage size shops. We were first attracted to the 30 inch fans but when I did the math (the engineer in both of us) of how much air at 8000 CFM those fans could be moving, the small 2 car garage would have served as a wind tunnel flight testing facility. 20x30x10/8000 = 0.75, a complete shop air change every 45 seconds! The purchased 20 inch fan is still able to deliver nearly 6000 CFM on high speed. My testing so far shows the lowest setting very adequate in my shop.
There is no escape from air noise when moving that much CFM with a small fan at high velocity. So yes, there is some fan noise with this fan. It goes with the work and is definitely a function of velocity.… Continue reading