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Design, build, hack....zap and repeat!

Busy, busy, busy. . .

Posted on Jun 23, 2014 | Comments Off on Busy, busy, busy. . .

Wow, it’s been 2 months since my last confession! Yes. . .busy, busy, busy. Between work and work and work, there’s barely anytime to work. Just look at this mess on my workbench. Every time I set out to clean and organize the bench, I get caught up in a software issue or a capacitor replacement or a programming problem or the washer blowing a circuit board. Like Gilda Radner so profoundly exclaimed, “It’s always something!” And this weekend is Field Day so there won’t be much organizing soon. But I pledge that I will get this straightened out within the next 30 days or I’ll have to swear again in 30 days! Oh my! Related articles Workbench v1 (ajvtech.com) Building Your WorkBench (makezine.com) How to use a desoldered capacitor? (electronics.stackexchange.com) Tracking down bad caps (ajvtech.com)   Share this:Click...

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SMD Breadboarding

Posted on Apr 10, 2014 | Comments Off on SMD Breadboarding

So I watched Dave Jones’ EEVblog #555 video – 555Timer Kit where he puts together a kit of resistors, NPN and PNP transistors that recreates the famous 555 Timer integrated circuit in a large scale. It was interesting and nostalgic because everyone starting in electronics plays with a 555. So I figured I might go down to the bench, look up a circuit and try something new. . . .especially since I’ve got some new test equipment to play with, explore and learn the circuits in a new light. So I got the breadboard out and went looking for a 555 or 556 laying around in the parts drawers. Well I did find some but they were all SMD. . . .which don’t quite fit into the breadboard. Luckily, I also found a little pouch from Schmartboard which included a SOIC to...

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Test Lead Snarl

Posted on Jan 15, 2014 | Comments Off on Test Lead Snarl

So I was putting together all the test equipment on the bench. Each piece of gear came with their own set of test leads. It wasn’t long before they began getting all snarled up. . .the BNC leads with the banana plug leads with the alligator clip leads with the adapters. Rather than wait and spend 20 bucks for a test lead holder, I dug through all my pegboard tool holders and come up with a good one. Since many of the leads were over 6 feet long, (2 to 3 meters for those outside the US) I needed to put the holders up a ways so they could hang straight. I decided to clamp a small piece of pegboard at ceiling height about 8 feet and use a few tool holders I had lying around. They’re cheap at...

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TS930s goes digital

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 | Comments Off on TS930s goes digital

After playing with the TS930 for a week or so, I found that I can not interface to a computer since there was no RS232 or USB interface. I wanted to use a computer based logbook, DXLab,  to keep records of my QSOs and keep track of QSLs. That was not to be. The big problem with the 930 is that it that the radio wasn’t designed for computer control, and lacks any sort of computer port.  That’s what I get for buying a 80’s style rig. . . .I’m re-learning as I go. I found a savior though. PIEXX TS-930SE enhanced microprocessor board, which is  plug-compatible replacement for the original unit in the TS-930. The new board takes advantage of the advances in microprocessor design that have taken place since the TS-930 was designed, first and foremost to do away with the requirement for backup batteries The...

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Rewiring

Posted on Apr 11, 2011 | Comments Off on Rewiring

Spent the last several weeks rewiring parts of my 80-year-old house. It all started with me trying to get the front doorbell working. I had to change the transformer, rewire the back doorbell, and add a new AC line. In the process I thought I would add/split some existing lines. My office is on the second floor. There I have several PCs and a server, RoadRunner modem for Internet and a wireless router. When this particular room was rewired, who knows when, at least they put in plugs with a ground. Unfortunately, they probably didn’t have an inclination that someone would someday fill the room with electrical/electronic devices. When a space heater was on, it would trip the breaker and several battery backups would start singing! Well I ran some new lines to the office to split the computes and servers from...

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