Chapter 3 – CNC laptop podium

Still no airplane work as I focus on finishing up the major tasks to get the mill CNC capability online.

Part of that capability is to be able to use the primary interface with the Acorn CNC system, which is of course some type of computer.  I will be using a laptop and need a place to set it up for use somewhere in close proximity to the mill and lathe.

So I designed a wheeled-podium to be built all with scrap lumber.  I bought the four 3″ wheels at Harbor Freight when I picked up the grinding disks to notch the mill saddle.

It was quite chilly outside today, but thankfully no rain… I powered through over 4 hours to build this CNC laptop podium/cart, and am quite happy with how it came out.  As you can see, I have a work surface to place my laptop.  I also plan to have a mousepad on the right side and will velcro the E-stop switch to the left front corner.  The shelves will come in handy for miscellaneous stuff as well.

Here’s the front side of the podium.  Again, I used all leftover/scrap lumber to build this guy.

Here’s the wheeled podium inside the shop near the mill & lathe, with the laptop, mousepad and E-stop switch all in the positions I described above.

I then plugged the laptop up to the Acorn board via the included shielded CAT5 cable, but found that after all these years there was apparently an issue with the laptop connecting to Acorn CNC board.  After a good bit of research I ended up completely blowing out all the old Centroid Acorn CNC12 software on the laptop. I then reset/rechecked all the Windows 10 configurations as per Centroid Acorn CNC requirements, and then reloaded the latest CNC12 software onto both the laptop and Acorn board.

It took a few hours and dozens of reboots and power cycles, but I finally got the laptop to synch with the Acorn CNC board with the new software.  I then updated a number of CNC12 program parameters and wrote out a list of a half dozen more that I needed to do more research on.

I then spent about 30 minutes measuring out and designing the front “L” bracket cover for the X axis home/limit switch.  I annotated all my measurements on a sheet of paper to finalize and construct it all tomorrow.

And with a successful software update and login/interface with the Acorn board, I called it a night.

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