First Few Projects and Those to Come

Excited to have a few projects under my belt with the MPCNC now!

Here are a few…

First take at a LED lit acrylic and wood desk sign. The colors can be changed by touching the wood surface behind the letter D. There is a coil of wire inside a pocketed hole that can sense your fingers with capacitive sensing.

And this specific set of boards was not made with the MPCNC… but they were part of my motivation to build one! I would really like to replace the vinyl decals on the boards with a CNC’d logo that is filled with epoxy and lit with LEDs just like the other edges.

For anyone unfamiliar they are boards for a yard game called Cornhole. These boards are lit with WS2812b led strips that are controlled by ESP32’s. the ESP32’s communicate wirelessly and also have sensors to detect bag impacts and bags that make it into the hole. This was my very first arduino project!


I like the Blues/Cardinals carving a lot!

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I like the stl blues logo also. How can I get my hands on that file?


I just made it up in Photoshop. I can send you the svg if you would like.

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Yeah that’s would be great! Thanks

Made a new pedestal table for the inlaw’s tritoon! The included molded plastic tables were not very reliable drink holders.

Epoxy filled carving of Mark Twain Lake.


What a great idea – Very nicely done!

Thank you very much!

It really does look great. But how do you keep the compass always pointing the right way?

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GPS-controlled servo motor rotating the socket in the floor?

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I think you’re onto something!

Actually, that would run the risk of the corner of the table smacking someone in the knees, or some dog in the nose. Can’t have that. Hmmmm.

Better to put the compass rose on a bearing with a belt-drive so the stepper can still be hidden in the column of the table.

Unless you just inset an LCD compass, but where’s the mechanical fun in that?

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Big magnet in the keel…

GPS only has a 1s update rate, and doesn’t know heading, so you’d need to integrate it and it would have a lot of latency.

But with a proper IMU with an integrated Gyro you could use an EKF and combine the relatively fast gyro output with the “almost correct in the absolute” GPS sensor and really have something.

Actually, I think GPS would fail in this application.

GPS can tell you where you are, and what direction you are travelling, but not necessarily the direction you’re pointing

If you’re bow is pointed south, but wind or current are setting the boat to the north, the GPS will provide erroneous information.

Edit… @jeffeb3 beat me to it.

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In the ag industry we use 2 gps receivers that are spaced apart from each other. Knowing the location of these will tell you direction even when still!


I like the idea of a the compass being a round cut-out mounted inside a hole in the table. It could then be mounted to the top of a servo and spun to match your current direction!

I forgot boats can slide sideways. How about a digital compass?

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The IMU would work. As would dual widely spaced GPS receivers.

Some years ago, I tried to get my head wrapped around the methods used to integrate the data from the multiple accelerometers (linear and rotational) and magnetometer in the IMU’s. I barely managed a rudimentary grasp of the issue, and definitely didn’t get the matrix math being used at all. A bit above my college drop out understanding. 8^)

I have a lot of respect for the people who figured that stuff out.

Thankfully the IMU’s usually come “ready to wear”, and there are libraries for the arduino and such that allow one to just use the output.


It would have to be a pretty long boat for dual gps units to give you heading. Just sitting still all of mine drift around my actual position. Though I suppose roughly pointing east would help until you start moving.

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