A box labelled 'Precursor' is open on a table revealing a device with a screen and qwerty keyboard that looks like a Blackberry phone. Next to it is a small screwdriver. Below the box is a small circuit board in an anti-static bag

We had an interesting new bit of open hardware kit turn up this week. The Precursor secure messaging platform from betrusted.io. It's a lovely example of how polished open hardware can be. As Adrian said back in week 793 when we ordered it, the sort of bar we're aiming to clear with our products too.

Aside from unboxing new toys, Adrian has been pushing the wind/solar charger PCB forwards. It's not quite ready to send off to manufacturing, but a USB charging option, and some test points for us to check its performance have been added, and the windmill rectifying circuit is laid out in the copper.

Chris is continuing to look at how best we can manufacture Ackers Bell with the CNC mill, using FreeCAD. A lot of sawdust has been milled trying to create a chamfer toolpath for a V bit using the Path workbench

The Path workbench follows the same pattern as others in FreedCAD,they are the first to admit that work is still in progress on the UI.

The route to generating a suitable toolpath is just about there, although there are still some minor geometry issues relating to V bits and Chamfers that still need to be tweaked. One alternative Chris tried, with reasonable succes was to generate the 3d model in FreeCAD but use the online tool Kiri to generate the toolpath.

The video below shows were we are at the moment, hopefully just a tiny step from being able to manufacture in greater volume from good quality wood stock.