Jun 03

Using the GY80 10DOF module with Arduino

I recently purchased a 10 Degrees of Freedom (10DOF) sensor from eBay called a GY-80. It’s a compact module that includes a gyroscope, accelerometer, digital compass, and a barometric pressure / temperature sensor.

GY80 Top Labeled

All of the individual sensors are accessible over I2C so you only need 4 connections to access all those sensors. SDA, SCL, Ground and VCC (you can use 3.3v or 5v).

GY80 Bottom Labeled

Each component can be accessed individually. I was planning on doing a write-up on each one, but it looks like Bildr beat me to the punch as they already have a great tutorial for each component. Here are the links to the datasheets and tutorials for each component:

L3G4200D

3 axis gyroscope from ST
L3G4200D Datasheet
Bildr Tutorial: http://bildr.org/2011/06/l3g4200d-arduino/

ADXL345

3 axis accelerometer from Analog Devices
ADXL345 Datasheet
Bildr Tutorial: http://bildr.org/2011/03/adxl345-arduino/

HMC5883L

3 axis digital compass from Honeywell
HMC5883L Datasheet
Bildr Tutorial: http://bildr.org/2012/02/hmc5883l_arduino/

BMP085

Barometric Pressure and Temperature Sensor from Bosch
BMP085 Datasheet
Bildr Tutorial: http://bildr.org/2011/06/bmp085-arduino/

Next steps

This module can be used individually as the articles above show but they can also be monitored at the same time. MultiWii is an open source software project that is used as the brain of multi-copter projects. The code runs on Arduino and it is compatible with a large variety of sensors (the GY80 being one of them). It does require a little tinkering to get it working properly. I’ll document the process in a future article. Also since this module works over I2C it can also be accessed using a Raspberry Pi.

Apr 21

Dissolve a Tap Broken in MakerSlide

About 10 minutes into my Shapeoko I hit my first snag. One of the steps in assembling the Shapeoko is to tap the maker slide in order to create threads where a screw can be put into. While tapping my first piece of MakerSlide I snapped the tap off inside the MakerSlide with almost nothing sticking out the end. I tried using pliers to get it out but the piece was lodged in there pretty good and I could not remove it. I did some research online and found I was not the first to have this problem. I found several people talking about dissolving the tap while leaving the aluminum intact. Thankfully it worked and I’m back on track. Here is how I did it.

Supplies

  • Aluminum, glass or Pyrex container
  • Hotplate
  • Alum (I used aluminum sulfate from a local pool supply store)
  • Wooden or plastic stirrer
  • straw or pipet

How It’s Done

  1. Boil water and put it in your container (enough to cover the tap in the MakerSlide)
  2. Put your container on the hotplate and turn it on (I used an old coffee maker)
  3. Add alum to the water and stir in until no more will dissolve
  4. Put the end of the MakerSlide with the tap into the alum solution
  5. Use the straw or pipet to drop some alum solution into the top of the hole the tap is in (this helps to dissolve the tap from both ends)
  6. At this point you should start to see little bubbles coming off of the tap
  7. It took about 8 hours for the tap to dissolve enough that it practically fell out.
  8. The end of the MakerSlide that was in the alum solution will be a little discolored. Just wipe it with some WD40 to remove the white residue

How to Prevent This from Happening to You

I made 2 major mistakes: I didn’t use lubrication and I was too aggressive with the tap. Please learn from my mistakes. Many people online recommend cutting oil but once I got a new tap I ended up using WD40 and it worked great. You should also turn the tap slowly. If you feel any resistance back off on the tap a quarter or half turn and try again.