Interlock Progress

A couple of you have been asking about how the interlocks are progressing so I thought I’d quickly write down what I’ve done and what my plans are.

I started working on the interlocks a couple weeks ago during a week off. During that week I got to figuring out what was what and did a little bit of construction. I’m currently building 11 interlocks - one for each contactor we have. I didn’t make as much progress as I had hoped, I was only able to complete the connectors and solder the RFID readers. The jobs that still need to be done are as follows.

  • A replacement for the LED needs to be sourced. Any WS2811 or NeoPixel thingy should be compatible. Preferably with an inbuilt diffuser. I don’t anticipate any issues.

  • I’ve been having some trouble with the code, although I haven’t had an opportunity to sit down and work it out. I’ll be looking into it closer this weekend, time permitting. Once I get this sorted I’ll also be able to fix the front door. The code is on the HSBNE Github for those interested.

  • The 230V mains wiring needs to be done. I’m not an electrician so I won’t be able to do this myself. I plan to do these interlocks slightly differently to what we have now. Instead of splicing the interlock into the power cord on the machine I plan to set it up as a “smart extension cord”. This way interlocks can be moved between machines and it makes them less of a pain to install.

  • There’s some back-end to do on the portal but I’m not sure exactly what that is yet. I would appreciate a pointer from anyone in the know.

I had been hoping to make more progress on all of this but I’ve been a bit burned out from Uni lately.

As far as helping me out goes, assuming you’re interested, anything on the list is fair game. just let me know what you’re working on so we can coordinate our efforts. I’ll eventually need some help building all of the interlocks but I would like to have at least one working before we go crazy on building them

Final note, there’s been some talk about adding additional features to the interlocks, lots of great ideas floating around. For the moment I want to focus on getting what we already have deployed. There are machines that have been waiting for an interlock for longer than I have been a member and my goal is to get them turned on ASAP. After we have everything working nicely we can start looking at upgrades

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Hi Ryan

I am happy to help in daylight hours, maybe this weekend?

However my electrical skills range from turning a light switch on, and then turning it off. However not always in that order. And I some times forget to turn them off, there for failing at the half of my skill set.

If I can so anything with that skill set let me know, I haven’t worked on interlocks before so I dont know the routine.

To clarify I can help with soldering qnd assembly, I have no skills in coding

I think the key feature for them being spliced into the machine power was to stop people from unplugging the system and plugging it directly into power.
If you don’t think that’s an issue then sure go with the extension cord solution.

Thanks @Zac_Crow, I’ll hit you up when we get to the mass building stage.


I think the key feature for them being spliced into the machine power was to stop people from unplugging the system and plugging it directly into power.
If you don’t think that’s an issue then sure go with the extension cord solution.

I didn’t quite elaborate fully on the idea. Where the machine plugs into the interlock there would be a secure box preventing people from unplugging the machine from the interlock.

Yes, splicing the cable was made to prevent tampering. But i reckon the extension lead idea is better. We could simply put the pplugs in a normla box with a anti tampering sticket. I think that should be enough to prevent people from mistankenly think that plugin the machine into the wall is the proper thing to do.
The key to prrevent people from trying to fix things in their own, is to keep down time to a minimum and fix thing s quickly.

If the interlocks can be replaced simply enough and we keep a smal stocl of them, we should be able to keep up with the high availability.

Hey everybody! I would like to know how we are doing with this project.

I know that @Ryan2 is quite busy with uni, but at the same time we know this project is one of the main roadblocks for some other projects and even some key infrastructure is being neglected.

I’m happy to help in anyway possible to move this project forward, I believe at this point we are struggling with some coding problems (@Ryan2 should be able to put more light into this). As well i believe in the last weeks @nog3 has passed the last working code for the interlocks.

I think that we should put a join effort into getting this at least working in the shops with this minimum standard:

  • Getting the interlocks assembled and sign off and in the machines that need them.
  • having a code version that is stable enough so at least we can complain about how bad it works instead of having the machines standing without use in a shelf.

I’m happy to learn some android coding to resolve this, but obviously this is a substantial learning curve, but i know that at least informally @Ryan1 was keen to help out getting this working. Probably @devians can help as well in this department.

I am as inviting all the other teams to post here what are u needing related to the interlocks. The woodshop atm is facing the following problems:

  • Door is not working: literally the door is not working and people can’t come in, and they could possibly get lock inside the shop. I believe this problem could be fixed without the need for the above.

  • The following machines need interlocks to be deployed properly:

    • Pantorouter
    • Bosch Mitre saw
    • Lathe
    • Cabinet Saw
    • BE CNC
    • Drill press

Around the space I know one thing that needs fixing is the main door as well. Probably some others could report other interlock related issues.

Can the people I’ve tagged state their interest in this problem?


Hey ale theres a bunch of interested people, its just everyone is super time poor with all the other things on fire hah. I know myself, ryanm, ryank, badbiki, murry, cameron were all talking about how to proceed late tuesday before last. Perhaps we can formalise this a bit more and have a catchup with all interested parties on tuesday, outline the plans/options and figure out how to progress?