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I would agree that laser is the way to go with cutting paper. Marking, just thinking out loud here, you would need pretty fine control over the laser power level to ensure you didn't also burn through the paper. You could also probably rig up a fine pen to do the lines too.

I think a hobby-grade machine could achieve the precision you need. Below is my experiments with a diamond drag bit on brass and that emblem is less than 1.5" tall. There's definitely some artifacts from inaccurate steps but this is straight out of the box, no tuning.


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1 hour ago, luvdunhill said:

Question for those with CNC thingys:

i have a project where I would like to create a translucent dial. Something like rigid paper or plastic with a velum look. I need to put some markings on it, a scale from 0 to 100mA. 

How would you approach this? It would be less than a few inches in diameter and a kidney shape. So, I would need a method that could also cut out a complex shape. I also wasn’t sure how well CNC could ink? If not ink, a very thin line could work, perhaps not even all the way through the material - like an etching.

Of course I just need like two, so that’s a factor as well.

I'm pretty sure that I could do this for you on the Dremel Digilab that I have access to.  Give me a dimensioned drawing of what you want and I might have some scrap plexy that we could try out first before.  I should warn you, it might take me a while to get to it. I'm like Mikhail-levels of slow these days in getting projects. done. 

Speaking of project, COVID speaker project #2 is nearly complete. 


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@luvdunhill - I think there are certain autodesk products that you can get an education (free) license for that would be useful for you.  I'm spoiled and have access thru work so it's never really been a thing that I paid a whole lot of attention to. That said, I got your sketch and if time permits I'll try to turn it into a dxf tomorrow at work and see how the laser reacts to it. The challenge (for me) will be figuring out how to program the combined cutting/etching operations into a single program so that it does it all at once and there's no (or at least less) chance that centers get misaligned.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Draft of BIAS 580V regulator. Works in LTspice. After the voltage doubler is a Maida regulator. Q1 is a to247 mosfet, C1-3 are 27.5 mm film caps and rest of parts are surface mounted.


For Maida regulator see:


Edited by JoaMat
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Yes, you are correct. In the 21st Century Maida design R3 and R9 are power resistors.

When used for “BIAS 580V” the need for current is about 1 mA, mostly for the voltage divider R5/R9. Highest heat dissipation would be R9, 0.6 W and I’m thinking of two 0.1% thin film resistors here.

As for capacitors the C5 (220nF/630V) also needs to be a through hole.

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Here is my T2 power supply, now with Pro Bias Maida regulator style.


The small board with three blue filter capacitors is the 21st Century Maida Regulator by Tom Christiansen producing 580 volts after change of resistor. The Maida regulator replaces the 10m90s current source with Zener string and filters. I feed the regulator with unregulated 660 VDC. Only 5.1M resistor on psu board is used. Works great.

 P.S. still need some wire clean up…  will probably never happen:popcorn:

Edited by JoaMat
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Decided to finally see if I can fix up my HP 3582a spectrum analyzer that's been out of commission for a while since a water leak in the basement soaked the back panel. It would let out an impressive amount of magic smoke when plugged in. Fortunately, seems the water only really got into the IEC inlet and destroyed the EMI filter, as I haven't been able to see any signs of damage anywhere else (and it wasn't powered on when this happened).

Lots of melted plastic and even a hole straight inside the filter:


Corcom still make the same right-angle inlet/filter to fit the narrow space in the back of the chassis, so fingers crossed that once I install a replacement, it'll power back up like normal.

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