Posts Tagged ‘electronics

12
Apr
21

on the bench

TaoTronics Humidifier Model TT-AH006

Today’s fixit is the humidifier, worked faithfully during the winter months when the air is dry. Even though it has a large tank it required filling practically ever day during dry spells. Usually I set it at 45% . It also has a heater warm mist function which I don’t use

It stopped producing vapor, the float and water valve was ok so it’s was time for a disassembly, something I haven’t done ( can you believe it?) since I received it from an auction at the Goodwill site. Just a cleanup from time to time for the water passages in the base and filling was all that it required. It does also have a hepa type filter in the air input and a small pullout drawer for a smell well type essence..

One of the LED segments of the humidity readout is non functioning. But you can still figure out the display and for some other reason the ability to change the temperature reading from Celsius to Fahrenheit does not function. None of these impairs function. Item is a Taotronics , now to the bench….

disclaimer: be careful, if you follow, you repair at your own risk.

bottom cover removed
circuit board removed
ultrasonic driver board and transducer
, transducer and cover removed, aha! solder pad and wire lifted from transducer
blower motor and fan assembly removed for cleaning, also most of the white residue seen on the components was brushed away.
reed switch, (mates with a magnet on the removable water tank) , and led water level indicator board, a novel design the led shines up through the water tank to indicate level to the user. But why have a plain old single color LED?
now a color changing LED for my hack….

Solder pad on the traducer was repaired and the attaching wire soldered to return the humidifier to service. Used much less during the summer months , it will still monitor the humidity level and even with air conditioning will cycle to keep the humidity level set to user setting. But of course can’t de humidify and bring the humidity level down.

NEXT…….

13
Mar
21

on the bench

The continuing series cataloging repairs, tear downs and random stuff.

Now on he bench is an Retro Oreck Air cleaner. some of you folks (sounds homey right ?) might remember these from it’s TV advertising. Some are probably already familiar with the Oreck name. I did a quick search on Oreck and those unfamiliar with it’s history may find it interesting reading more than the scope of this posting.

Another item is the fact of air purification. You can easily find yourself in a whirlwind of information on air purifiers and filters, air quality and health condition, all beyond the scope of this blog. I as more often than not acquire items on their merit of design and components rather than the best rated and reviewed results, even though the device is usually discontinued or no longer available. So on with the show…

At the time when these were offered for sale, comparatively speaking they were expensive (to my demographic). It’s advantage is that the air cleaner never required filters , so to speak. The electrostatic filter is the main filter element, basically sheets of metal separated and each other layer charged with a high voltage to trap particles in the air. This was later referred to as the “truman cell” filter and I’m stumped as to the reference of this marketing terminology. I’ve had some experience with electrostatic commercial units, basically a larger implementation of the truman cell. It also harks back to the day when it was legal to consume tobacco products at your pleasure and many restaurants , bars and lounges used a “smoker eater” to keep the air cleaner.

All components of the filter are removable and washable. It can be equipped with a charcoal filter, still available. The model purchased was the AIr 8 , they may be (as more research is needed) first generation of the Oreck air purifier and came in a few colors including the wood grain variety. One striking feature is it’s layout, unlike many other home air purifiers, is that it’s designed to a rather large footprint type device that would be on a tabletop, not like a floor model. The retro wood grain looks of this model disguises it to be a table top console device that would look good in a living room setting. It probably could be placed near an ashtray, cigar humidor, or a stand holding a collection of pipes (tobacco that is) but most of that has disappeared from our lives.

The fan design is similar to a elongated squirrel cage blower, cylindrical with axial vanes that allows a low profile. Since there is no input airflow to the center of the rotating vanes, like many squirrel cage blowers, it moves the air, by the design of the case, by just the outer edge of the vanes while rotating. Air flows from the rear of the filter assembly around the edge of the vanes and exiting up through the top of the device. Adjustable vanes allow some limited direction of the exiting air flow. The design also requires that airspace is clear over the top of the unit.

As with other Oreck devices manufactured in it’s time, it’s expensive price is justified in it’s design. Ironically to me is that some reviews (some misleading) classed this as a device needing frequent service as that the time Oreck had it’s chain of retail stores and repair centers. In my opinion the device is well built as we will see. some of the shortcomings of reviewers of the time placed it as a mediocre filter system, but again it doesn’t matter to me.

More technically the 120 volt powered device has a low voltage transformer feeding the high voltage supply for the electrostatic filter, The speed control slide switch selects the motor windings for 3 different speeds, a basic but effective system other than an electronic speed control system. A specialized slide switch of both two and three pole combination and wired to switch the fan windings, while supplying the power to the low voltage transformer. A separate high voltage supply, 120 vac in and high voltage DC out is for the ionizer, another controversial system of air rejuvenation, which operates by a simple switch. The high voltage output terminates in a needle located close to the fan blades to provide the ions to the air stream. The final switch is actually a latch to access the fragrance cartridge holder which springs open allowing insertion of the fragrance cartridge I think still available. I utilized some soldering iron foam cleaning pads and use scented essences as necessary. Another small circuit board on the front panel rear is the LED indicator assembly to indicated power, filter condition and power applied to the ionizer.

All of the components are easily removable and as with other older devices a good number of fasteners are used versus plastic clips of newer devices. The entire unit can be disassembled and cleaned, even the louver assembly is made so it can be taken apart, there are no plastic “welds” in the device. The case is of heavy thick plastic. Mine was missing the rubber feet, some chipped areas on the feet projections. The unit was also engineered for wall mounting but I can not find any reference to a wall mounting bracket offered through research. This device could be mounted on the ceiling if you were so inclined to fashion a bracket or mounting plate for it.

Noise wise the unit is very quiet on medium speed and practically silent on the low speed. Occasionally there is a slight sound from the bearings barely perceptible on the low speed. Noise form these devices is very subjective to the user.

Lets take a look…

unboxing… I didn’t know this would be as popular as it has become
The “before” picture. Unit powered up but the fan blades were jammed for some reason.
first glance, top removed, motor mount cracked
The right side
left side bearing assembly plate, easily removable
a bit of dust and dirt expected when buying on the used low price market. Some buyers actually like to bring the item back to original condition rather than buy a totally refurbished item,. Plus you get the best part… to take it apart and see the design ! It’s a learning experience !
The fan motor mount may have gotten jostled around during shipping as the seller said it worked.
ground wire from the ionizer just sitting in there ?
cracked motor mount, was eventually glued back to normal.
slide switches and LED display board, the control panel also slides out from the case.
another view of the control panel pulled form the case
broken motor mount
The stud for the ionizer chipped, later epoxied
repair of the motor mount
fan motor removed (right)
the brass bushing pressed on the motor shaft provides coupling to the fan blade assembly
not a through cleaning yet reassembled for testing, fan now rotating.
case together, run testing
days later full disassembly for cleaning appears that the high voltage ionizer supply does not output the high voltage. The high voltage for the electrostatic filter is good.
As stated practically all of the components can be broken down for cleaning.
three separate windings for this motor, would be hard to find a replacement 120 vac
ball bearings
mates to the grommet on the fan blade end
detents for positive switch position
The “after” picture. ionizer power supply replacement on order. All bearings were cleaned and greased also.
order from Ali Express, a replacement, not the exact replacement for the high voltage power supply
This one terminates in a carbon brush end instead of a needle. Not sure of the voltage of the original one , this one definitely more compact. No pictures of the repair just connected to the 120 vac and ran the output to the original bracket that held the needle termination. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001652041536.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.357b4c4dKRyOVm

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001652041536.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.357b4c4dKRyOVm

After almost a month of running practically full time, the fan blade assembly was starting to slip and squeak on the bushing at the motor drive. Previous I used a piece of heat shrink on the outer section of the shaft. That did not last Then tried a vacuum cap to bush up the diameter for a tighter fit. Nope still a no go.
Finally I repeated the heat shrink application , this time covering the entire shaft with the heat shrink even over the bushing then applying heat. The ridge on the bushing fits into the grommet with the grommet completely covering the bushing
seen here the grommet fully pressed onto the shaft covering the bushing
on duty today

I do like the design and operation of the Oreck. If needed it could be modified for instance, for smoke extraction when soldering Or if you needed a high voltage supply or some type of fan for moving air. It can be operated on it’s side Hasn’t collected much dust yet , the filter light has not come on. there is some fine dust on the electrostatic plates On occasion you do here the snap of the high voltage could be a large dust particle etc. Does it make a difference on the quality of the air in the room ? I can’t really say and by delving more into the subject of air quality ………………

New Toy , review to follow.
24
Jul
20

ON THE BENCH

WHATS BEEN ON THE BENCH LATELY ?

REPAIRS, PARTS AND ASSESSMENTS

MOSTLY PURCHASED USED, OR PARTS OR REPAIR STATUS, FOR REPAIR. CLEANING, REFURBISHMENT AND RESALE. OR PERSONAL USE. SOME ITEMS FROM OLD COLLECTION , DUST GATHERING AND PERSONAL EQUIPMENT . FOREVER NEVER ENDING COLLECTION. HOBBY , CRAFTING, ELECTRONICS, EDUCATION, WHY BUY NEW WHEN THERE’S A CRAP LOAD OF STUFF OUT THERE. BUY, REPAIR, USE, SELL AND REPEAT.

PANASONIC TAPE DECK , BELT REPLACEMENT, ALIGNMENTS, CLEANING ETC.

BEATS PILL ASSESSMENT AND TEAR DOWN , CLEANING ETC

PANASONIC TAPE DECK SHUTTER WHEEL BELT REPLACEMENT

ANCIENT LAPTOP TEAR DOWN CLEANING ASSESSMENT , VARTA BATTERY ONBOARD NEEDS REPLACEMENT,

PANASONIC TABLE TOP TUBE RADIO ASSESSMENT, CLEANING AND TUNING

WHAT THE INSIDE EQUIPMENT SEES

EXTERIOR CLEANUP AND MAINTENANCE , NICE WARM TONE TO THIS RADIO. FOR NOW AS IS DIDN’T GET INTO RECAPPING, ALL WORKING

CHEAP PLASTIC SPEAKER, BATTERY OPERATED AMP, IF IT SCREAMS “60’S” I’M IN !

WOW MINIATURE WOOFER AND TWEETER !

BREAK TIME !

OUR SQUAD DOESN’T HAVE ENOUGH FOR UNIFORMS YET

PARTS COMING IN

PAT 4 PRE-AMP CHECKOUT, PLASTIC ROCKER FROM ONE OF THE SWITCHES IS BROKEN, OTHER THAN THAT SEEMS TO BE FUNCTIONAL. SELLER NICE ENOUGH TO INCLUDE BROKEN PARTS FOR SIZING. DECENT CONDITION, NO MAJOR ISSUES FOR AGE. SOUGHT AFTER FOR THE AUDIOPHILES THAT PREFER COMPONENT SYSTEMS . ANALOG SOLID STATE. NO DIGITAL CONVERSIONS. INPUTS SET UP FOR DIFFERENT TURNTABLE CARTRIDGE TYPES SET UP. STILL SERVICEABLE EVEN UPGRADES AVAILABLE, STRONG FOLLOWING. OH ! MAYBE JUST PLAIN FUN !

WHAT IS IT ?, OOPS IT SAYS IT RIGHT ON THE BOARD

PARTS FOR THE PAT 4 ARRIVED , RATHER THAN BUY THE ORIGINAL REPLACEMENT SWITCH AT ASTRONOMICAL PRICE, FOUND SOME CHEAPIES WITH THE SAME TYPE PLASTIC ROCKER, THE SWITCH TYPE AND METAL BODY DOESN’T MAKE A DIFFERENCE, IT WONT BE USED, JUST THE PLASTIC PART.

THE PROBLEM ! THE ROCKER OF THE SWITCH BROKEN, SWITCH IS STILL OPERABLE .THEY ARE ACTUALLY SLIDE SWITCHES WITH A ROCKER COVER HINGED AT THE CENTER

CHEAPIE SWITCH AND THE ORIGINAL BROKEN ROCKER, DIRECT MATCH FOR THE BROKEN PLASTIC ROCKER

REMOVE (GUT OUT) THE PLASTIC ROCKER FROM REPLACEMENT DONOR AND DRIILL OUT CAREFULLY AND REMOVE THE RIVET AXLE OF THE ORIGINAL, REPLACE THE PLASTIC ROCKER AND REPLACE THE AXLE PIVOT PIN AND SOLDER OVER THE END WHERE DRILLED OUT. B I N G O ! THERE’S MORE WORK CAREFULLY DE SOLDERING , REMOVING AND SOLDERING IN THE SWITCH !

CLEANED UP POTS , SWITCHES, EXTERIOR ETC. ETC , IN SERVICE AT THE BENCH, SERVICED CASSETTE DECK BELOW.

RCA STEREO CASSETTE PLAYER, NEW BELTS, SOME RECAPPING ETC, FEED THROUGH CAPS TO MOTOR. EITHER BENT OR MISALIGNED CAPSTAN. A LOT OF WOW AND FLUTTER, TOO B AD

PARTS IN FOR GARRARD TURNTABLES, ONCE AND A WHILE A GOOD DEAL SHOWS UP FOR A CARTRIDGE AND HEAD SHELL. SOME OF THE GARRARD PARTS ARE PRICEY, OWNERS HOLD THEM CLOSE ! TIME IS ON YOUR SIDE FOR THE HUNT, IT MAY TAKE MONTHS OF SEARCHING FOR THAT ONE PART AT A PRICE THAT’S REASONABLE.

BEATS WIRELESS HEADPHONES IN FOR REPAIR AND ASSESSMENT. WANTED A SET FOR MYSELF AND ENDING UP STARTING A REPAIR SERIES FOR SALE AT A LATER DATE. GOT TIRED WITH THE QUALITY OF EARBUDS, AND THE NEED TO CONSTANTLY CLEAN THEM AND POKE THEM IN MY EARS. ONE PLUS IS THAT THE CORD FOR THE HEADPHONES ARE PLUG IN AND INEXPENSIVE REPLACEABLE. NOBODY MAKES THOSE 4 CONDUCTOR 5 MM CORDS WIRED FOR EARBUDS THAT LAST AND THE BRAND NAME ONES THAT ARE $30.00 TO START !

NOT ONLY ELECTRICAL ISSUES, SOME ABUSED AND BROKEN HINGE AND HEADBAND MECHANISMS TO REPAIR. SOME OF THE EAR CUSHIONS AND HEAD BAND CUSHIONS DON’T SURVIVE OVER THE YEARS

CHECKOUT AND TEAR DOWN

BATTERY ISSUES, REPLACEMENT BATTERIES ARE EXPENSIVE IF YOU BUY THE “KIT”. SOURCE THE BATTERY ONLY, BY SIZE, ORDER FROM CHINA. SOLDER THE ORIGINAL CHARGE BOARDS TO THE NEW BATTERIES, YOUR GOOD TO GO . GENERIC CHARGERS ARE LESS EXPENSIVE THAN THE “BEATS”. SAME FOR THE CORDS. ALSO SOMETIME ONLY ONE BATTERY NEEDS REPLACEMENT AS WITH THE BEATS PILLS THERE ARE TWO THAT CONNECT VIA A CHARGING BOARD.

REPAIRS ARE DONE AT YOUR OWN RISK , USE CAUTION WHEN WORKING WITH LIPO BATTERIES. OBSERVE SAFE PRACTICES WHEN WORKING AROUND LINE VOLTAGE AND VOLTAGE MULTIPLIERS.

Hitachi STEREO CASSETTE AND AM , FM RADIO ASSESSMENT

BELT AND IDLER RUBBER REPLACEMENT

CLEANUP , TUNING, A COUPLE OF DINGS TO IRON OUT OTHERWISE NICE RADIO SETUP AND PLAYS NOW “VINTAGE CASSETTES” ORIGINAL SOUND WITH THE ORIGINAL SPEAKERS. FOR NOW, STANDARD BENCH TOP RADIO TO LISTEN WHILE WORKING

MORE BROKEN BEATS HAVE ARRIVED

I WANTED TO STICK WITH JUST BEATS STUDIO MODELS, BUT THE SOLOS ARE INEXPENSIVE SOMETIMES. SOME OF THE BEATS LISTED AS “WIRELESS” ARE ONLY NOISE CANCELLING, NOT BLUETOOTH BEWARE AS WITH THE BEATS PILLS THE SELLERS ARE NOT ALWAYS ACCURATE AS THEY ARE JUST SELLING AND NO FAMILIAR WITH WHAT THEY HAVE, IT PAYS TO MESSAGE THEM TO CONFIRM. SOMETIMES IT CAN WORK IN YOUR FAVOR. COMB THE AUCTION SITES OFTEN, RESEARCH THE MODEL AND TYPES. LIMIT YOURSELF TO A PARTICULAR BRAND, BUY SOME PARTS ONLY UNITS AND TEAR DOWN FOR PRACTICE. YOU TUBE AND IFIX MAY HAVE INFORMATIONAL VIDEOS. IT’S A LEARNING EXPERIENCE!

ANALOG MULTIMETER FOR ASSESSMENT

CLEANUP OF MINOR BATTERY LEAKAGE, LUBRICATION,AND GENERAL CLEANUP, NICE WORKING METER FOR BENCH , PREFER OLD SCHOOL ANALOG METER FOR SOME REPAIRS , NEEDLE SWEEP SHOWS CHANGES NOT EVIDENT WITH DIGITAL METERS

CAPS FOR RECAPPING EQUIPMENT

THE RCA STEREO CASSETTE DECK, SOLD AS IS, ONE OF THE VU METERS WAS WORKING BUT FAILED, INTERNAL WIRE BROKEN, SHOWS THE FRAGILITY OF THESE OLD UNITS.

BEATS REPLACEMENT HEADBAND ARRIVED, TRIED A REPAIR FOR THE HEADBAND BUT DID NOT HOLD

REPLACED HEADBAND ,BACK IN SERVICE, COLOR NOT EXACT MATCH, BUT FOR OWN USE WORKS OUT WELL FOR A INEXPENSIVE BEATS BLUETOOTH WIRELESS. SIZE AND CUT EITHER OLD DRILL BITS OR SMALL BROKEN SCREWDRIVER SHAFTS TO USE AS HINGE PINS INSTEAD OF PRICEY REPLACEMENTS.

NEW EAR PADS IN , WORTH THE WAIT FROM CHINA, LESS EXPENSIVE

CROWN AMP FOR ASSESSMENT , PRETTY CLEAN INSIDE FOR IT’S AGE. A LOT APPEARING ON THE MARKET. COMMERCIALLY USED IN RACKS BY MULTIPLES FOR SOUND REINFORCEMENT . SOME ON THE AUCTION SITES LOOK LIKE PULLS. NOT MUCH TO LOOK AT BUT FAIRLY BULLET PROOF FOR THE HOME USER AND GOBS OF POWER. DECENT SECONDARY MARKET FOR TRADERS

BIG ASS CAPS AND MONSTER HEAT SINKS

MORE EAR PAD CUSHIONS REPLACEMENTS

IN GOOD CONDITION, BUT NEW REPLACEMENTS SHOWS THE OFF COLOR AGING (NEW LEFT, OLD RIGHT) CAMERA DOES NOT SHOW TRUE COLOR EITHER

SOME GENERIC MIC, EARPHONE CORDS, GOOD FOR EARPHONES FOR ZOOMING AND GAMING

NOSTALGIC “GAS PUMP” CASSETTE PLAYER AND RADIO. BELT REPLACEMENT AND ASSESSMENT. MINIMALIST PLAY ONLY CASSETTE MECHANISM

OLD SCHOOL LIGHTING ! INCANDESCENT BULBS STILL WORKING

THE WARM GLOW OF THE INCANDESCENT BULBS, ALSO HAS DIAL LIGHTS WHEN FUNCTIONING , CONSIDERING ADDING LEDS FOR MULTICOLOR DISPLAY . UPGRADE SOUND AND SPEAKER POSSIBLE , ADD BLUETOOTH ?

CUTE VERY JAPANESE STYLE “IDOG”. MIC PICKS UP AUDIO TO FLASH COLOR DISPLAY LEDS IN HEAD AND HAS SOME ANIMATRONIC MOVEMENTS, , ALSO CAN CONNECT AUDIO VIA CABLE. CLEAN WITH CUTESY TRAVEL BAG. IN NICE SHAPE FOR AGE. FROM THE ANYTHING TO CONNECT TO SMARTPHONE COLOR LED ERA

MORE BEATS IN FOR ASSESSMENT, HINGE BROKEN.

REPAIRED, REPLACED MISSING HINGE PINS , INTERIOR PLASTIC CLIP COVER BROKEN , ON ORDER, ANOTHER BLUETOOTH SET WORKING

REPLACE MISSING HOSE ON THE GAS PUMP, ORDERED BLACK RUBBER TUBING

SILVER BEATS, NOW PARTS , REMEMBER TO CHECK YOUR BENCH POWER SUPPLY THAT IT’S SET AT 5 VOLTS VDC NOT 12, FOR CHARGING , LIVE AND LEARN ! IF YOU DECIDE TO EXIT FROM YOUR MARKET OF BUYING SELLING REPAIRS, YOU CAN MARKET THE SPARE PARTS FOR SALE THAT AREN’T COMPLETE FUNCTIONING UNITS.

SO WHOSE TO SAY THERE’S NOTHING TO DO !!!!!!!

BE GOOD !

20
Dec
19

TRONIC TONIC II

Closing out the 2019 year 2020 looks to be a nice even number to either put your new project on the map so to speak, or end out a project to focus on your core abilities

Whats on the Blue mat? (the soldering pad/mat on the workbench)

project de cluttererzation continues

projects over the years buried in the archive, repair, refurbish, and sale or donate or dispose

testing old equipment that was stored returning to proper operation for use or sell parts if not repairable

 vintage repairs

purchasing vintage or newer equipment for repair, education, re-calibrate,and/or modification  and sale,

Repair selected equipment purchased for auction sites listed as is broken etc or parts lots. (tube valve) electronics, electro mechanical record turntables etc.

Learn new repair and troubleshooting technics, the internet is a rich source of information through blogs , videos, user groups for education re enforcement

New devices

Small inexpensive devices that can be integrated to projects, usually from the China/Asian region.

audio/video/micro computer/hobby/lighting/videogame projects

IMG_20190124_153524-COLLAGEIMG_20190519_162542-COLLAGEIMG_20190728_190714-COLLAGEIMG_20190823_160446-COLLAGEIMG_20190908_185948-COLLAGEIMG_20190913_133436-COLLAGEIMG_20190919_194243-COLLAGEIMG_20190928_140050-COLLAGEs-l400-COLLAGE

fun

29
Jun
19

Rebuilding the past……

Some good luck with reparations ! I won’t bore you with all the details but the Atari XEgs just needed the RF unit tuned. The Colecovision, in my haste to repair the loose connector RF output, I separated several connections between the Mobo and the RF upper board, wasn’t visible until a closer later inspection. These old units don’t take much to upset them. The audio was missing and the color output was off. After tracing the audio output, (while contemplating a chip replacement), I reflowed and resoldered a few connections that had tiny cracks at the solder pads. That brought everything back to normal. Like I said I won’t bore you with the details!

The accessories like joysticks, super controllers , and expansion modules were just pulled apart for a cleaning and lubrication as necessary and game cartridges were checked. Sounds simple but this is over few days at the least working at my leisure.

Bout now a quick climb to the attic retrieved a Vic 20 from ages ago. What did I find? Another problem with the RF converter. Back in the day these games were attached to the television antenna before things like composite video and audio input were available.

The Vic 20 though does have video and audio available if you fashion or buy a cable. The Colecovision will require and modification . The Atari XE system has both available without modification.

BTW to correctly test these you need an ol time CRT TV or tuner. Of course years ago I tossed one in the dumpster during a decluttering thinking I would never need it. But I found a better small screen CRT TV with a ol school tuner AND audio and video inputs. Reasonably priced on eBay , bought and delivered. (13 inch Sanyo ). The vintage video gamers will point out that any conversion to an LCD ,LED widescreen of these vintage machines is a NO NO ! As the conversion process will modify the original pixel size and it isn’t just cool to run vintage equipment without going all the way. Similar to analog sound records though digital amplifiers.

So if your interested in photos and teardowns of the equipment, scroll away. Some will be annotated.

A spectravision controller.

Top trigger fire button.

Disassembled unit

BTW still didn’t work reliably after assembly, the to get out the multimeter.

The coleco supercontroller, nice design all working now , have a baseball cartridge to test them

Joystick, keypad, 4 triggers, and a scroller roller type wheel , what more do you need ? A trackball is a add on module to the base unit.

The standard controller used a joystick and keypad with 2triggers. Coleco like keypads and overlays.

Here’s the roller controller. Used actual roller bearings , quite heavy duty.

Though alot of technical info can be found online, I always (usually) take a pic of the wiring connections

Coleco motherboard, the metal box is the RF modulator.

One of the chips was not fully seated , I left it alone rather than desolder and reseat.

Dishes are done ! BTW those small baskets were an optional purchase for the dishwasher and solve the problem of loosing those small parts in the dishwasher.

Looks like a factory correction.

On the Vic the shift key was broken. After contemplating a glue repair, parts purchased on eBay restored to original. There is a large following online with alot of vintage equipment online that sources schematics and parts even if they are out of production.

Replacement and broken key plunger.

The keyboard was in excellent condition contact wise.

Inside the Vic 20 external RF modulator. Look closely for the corroded connections.

Up and running.

Commodore had basic built in.

Game time!

You can’t have a Colecovision without donkey Kong !

Looping around !

Atari paddle controller s, still need work.

Atari standard joystick controller.

WICO command joystick cleaning.

Atari joystick disassembly.

Connection pic for the WICO

Atari keyboard circuit board

Other eBay POR finds ,(parts or repair)

Another Vic 20 preliminary check working, broken key #4.

Beats pill needs lipo battery ? Multimeter time.

That’s all folks for now ! The decluttering continues with a break for repair and possible flipping back to eBay. A good hobby to make some spare change while cleaning out the stuff ! Alot different than yesteryear, trips to the library for Sam’s photofacts then to the electronics shop for vacuum tubes and transistors (or Radio Shack). Solder, smoke and more research.

03
Mar
19

Tronic tonic

ATARI RE CONNECTION

Among other projects , reviving some video games systems that have been stored over the years. Will eventually list them on eBay as part of de cluttering. An Atari  XE game system ,810 disk drive, to check out, thought the floppy drive would be a loss, but disassemble the idler (center spindle) and lube bushings as it made a racket. Clean and grease the rails for the reading head slide. Swing up the pressure pad and clean the head. After a couple of tries with different disks, finally heard the familiar sound and boots up a game simulator. The ol’ XE MOBO needed the start switch disassemble and cleaned. Missile Command is default game stored in the MOBO. Needed the video to VGA adapter since I dumpstered all of the old TVs and monitors had to use a VGA Lcd for bench test. The XE has a very basic self testing that passed after figuring out that the start switch was not working. More checks, but most game cartridges after a few in and outs fired up as the contacts probably need cleaning. Some chroma problems as the output lacks real depth of color ,but will check on a different TV. There’s certainly a lot of info available to restore these machines and parts available. Now, after a few rounds of missile command and a few other games, my hand feels like it did about 35 years ago✓. A few joysticks picked out of a box came to be working but probably need a cleanup.

img_20190302_1653271830141961392324018.jpg

Pardon me for the sloppy bench and the lack of automated test equipment

img_20190302_1712182958507129015344788.jpg

All in all a working bench system at least to check games and disks.

After that it is on to Coleco game console system, games and components I got from a classified ad in the newspaper many years ago ($75.00) remember them?, When I could quickly leave work on lunchtime and run an errand without worrying about being late back to work. .

the lamplighter project

Another project done was a conversion of a combination pole light and reading lamp, originally powered by quartz bulbs. Prime candidate for a LED makeover. Also wanted to add remote control for the reading light. The top light indirect light was replaced with a 50 watt 110 volt AC Led module. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/LED-COB-Lamp-Integrated-High-Power-Light-AC220V-110V-Lamps-With-Smart-IC-Driver-30W-50W/32804129731.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4dH4WrHT.

I used the quartz light ceramic holders for standoffs to allow air circulation under the cob element.

The reading lamp attached to the pole would be lighted with a cob https://www.aliexpress.com/item/G4-COB-LED-Bulb-Light-Spotlight-15-18-30-63-Chips-Replace-Halogen-Lamp-Pure-Warm/32777558447.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4dGxgsnm or equivalent.

 

To step down the voltage to 12 volt DC, a https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Lights-Transformers-Power-Supply-for-Outdoor-LED-Strip-Bulb-18W-28W-72W-48W-100W/32828952819.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4db9v6t7 was utilized for the proper wattage.

After that a common type remote https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1Set-12V-RF-LED-Strip-Light-Mini-Wireless-Switch-Controller-Dimmer-with-Remote-Control-Mini-In/32802706310.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4dXBnzC5 was used. These components fit within the lower light casing.

The three way rotary switch was rewired to provide constant power to the reading lamp power module and wired switched for the 110 volt module for the upper light.

A magnet was glued to the back of the remote control which sticks to the pole light for easy access while seated.

The top light provides bright white light to the ceiling and at a cooler more efficient use of the power for both the upper and lower reading lamp. When these lamps were first made they were considered to be a hazard as the upper quartz light even though protected by a glass plate generated too much heat.

Oh well back to current video gaming…..
1551589643033

 

08
Jul
18

Electron maneuvering

Just a post about current electronics , hacks etc. while everything else is going on.

Computer power supply project.

Since computer power supplies are plentiful, utilized an old video tape player case  to enclose a power supply, digital readout meters serve as a power indicators. 12 volt, 5 volt and 3.3 volts. On /off switch mounted to case. The on/off switch is connected to a soft control 2 wires on the ATX power supply, not the mains voltage input. Opening in top for fan exhaust.

Most projects are a work in progress. Power supply is short proof , the on/off switch will reset power. Should add some banana jacks later, for now alligator clips to the appropriate connectors and USB jack for 5 volt appliances. When necessary, a voltage/amperage digital gauge is used in line to monitor current as this is a several 100 watt supply that will provide quite a bit of amperage at the outputs. Now a stable bench top power supply is available when needed.


***************************************************************************

 LED lighting

Some single color, not RGB for now, low-cost modules to control low voltage LEDs either cob, strings or other low voltage lighting that can benefit from dimming, strobing, or speed adjusting dimming with or without  remote control. Installed in-line to LEDs. Under cabinet strip lighting, re-wiring of lamps to a low voltage LED illumination are some of the uses. Could they be used for other purposes other than lighting?

In line push button controller on LED tape lighting, no  on/off switch,  so one will have to be installed if necessary. Note: found out later that centre button is On /Off switch long press for off , short press for on stepped dimming when on.

The remote control module has more control with on/off and of course more convient to use (as long as the remote doesn’t get lost!).


One concept, edge lighting a prototype stained glass art project. LED tape sandwiched in the channel. Remote lighting control. Inexpensive 120vac to 12 volt modules (wall worts) are used for the low voltage supply.

Cob LEDs project

Analysis, fragile, not flexible but very bright for the size.

Know as filament LEDS

Inexpensive and could be used for a variety of lighting projects.

These are higher voltage models.

A round 1 watt Cob LED, now my desk light, in comparison to a strip led tape. Both are 12 VDC. The LEDs on the cob are extremely tiny.

img_5024

 

 

 

*****************************************************************************

LiPo battery charging

The USB chargers that come with 1s batteries either charge slow since they are limited to a USB amperage or quit working. Small 3s battery balance  charger boards (other varieties available) fed from 12 volts wired with JST connectors to provide multiple battery charging. An education of the wiring of a balanced charging plug (multiple connector)  LiPo  batteries. With the use of small adjustable voltage regulation boards, these batteries are excellent for  portable battery-powered projects instead of non charging alkaline cells. One note of caution, this technology can provide amps of low voltage power from a small package, an accidental short can easily melt wires and weld contacts together. There is usually no fusing within the battery. As you go up the ladder to higher capacities batteries, a LiPo safe (container) should be considered. The larger batteries can pump out amps for high current applications and should be handled carefully.  With some high capacity drones and radio control projects a small fire extinguisher may be cheap insurance.

The ALPHA1 250 Class Drone Construction.

Not to be satisfied with assembling a kit as usual, the 250 ZMR project continues. Wiring can quickly evolve to a mess. The flight controller , receiver and associated Electronic Speed Controllers are miniature computers. After mounting these components, there is little room for wiring, also utilizing PWM receiver controls results in a rats nests of wires. (this may be changed to single wire receiver). The supplied plug-in connectors were removed and ESC control lines were hardwired to the flight controller. The main DC power to the ESCs and battery connector wires also hardwired with both  a single 2S or parallel  2 in  series 2S connectors (for 4S power) available. The DC main and possible battery location will be below the main deck along with the ESCs. Some drone designs utilize a 4 in one ECS, mine of course are separate units. A variety of aluminium spacers were ordered to attach the deck plate(s) that will be used for a lower profile.

one iteration
another design, lower top plate.

Associated wiring of the flight controller outputs to  below main deck ESCs, removal of the supplied right angle header on flight controller and the wires hard soldered from below cleaned up some clutter. Next will be the addition and calibration of the receiver. Considering still using the solid hull sides (cut horizontal) enclosing the electronics on decks and /or more horizontal chassis plates (chopped and channeled). Antenna mounts ordered for receiver. USB extension cord used for programming after build.

Mains wiring to the motors is enclosed in carbon fiber conduit which further complicated the wiring scheme. The wiring for the receiver inputs is yet to be added.

You can see the previous difference if interested at repair of the UDI drone/ state of the drone/ updated

Dronin Flight Control is currently loaded on board, All other flight control software still did not work on a MAC laptop so  a Windows desktop system is used for calibration. May be a bad cable USB etc to the MAC but  time-consuming pointless troubleshooting at this point. Would be nice to a have laptop programming available for portability.

Wiring of the ESCs was time-consuming as the factory wiring was removed and soldered to custom length and some was rewired for proper motor rotation. Some jitter on the ESC motor testing but cleaning up and soldering of the ESCs and calibration cured the problems.

 

22
Aug
17

Spyder XL hybrid stunt drone motor replacement

A continuation of https://pmetro.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/multicopters-repair-and-comments

About the Propel Spyder XL

at amazon.com

more info on the spyder xl

https://fccid.io/document.php?id=3140117

spyderxlamazonmore  hobby time…

The challenge was to replace the motor on the Spyder XL purchased from Ebay, an impossible task to get an exact replacement motor without buying another used Spyder XL for parts.

The unusual method is to scour the internet for a replacement, of course the possibility of locating such a motor was small. For the hobbyist, a ONE motor purchase is like finding a needle in the haystack. The best chances are pacific rim suppliers particulary China, the Aliexpress and Banggood web site is a very well know sites for drones and replacement parts but getting down to the nuts and bolts of finding the exact replacement, is daunting. Most motor specifications are only limited to what drone utilizes the offered replacement motor. Some if any give the dimensional measurements of the motor let alone the electrical specifications. A voltage guess is by the supply battery of the quadrocopter. Even many of the online hobby shops don’t give exact dimensions a they assume that you are doing a replacement for a specific drone, if the model of your drone doesn’t offer replacement parts other than the standard propellers, your on your own. (is it possible that the distributor of the drone restricts replacement parts, since most of the electronics are sourced from China?)

(getting further onto the hobby one could test each motor for current draw and voltage , with additional test equipment one could measure RPM)

To further add to this task is the addition of the shaft size and pinion gear that is used for the gear reduction of the driven propeller. Sharpening your search skills, limiting the budget to purchasing motors instead of a brand new drone or another used drone modifications  for motor replacement are part of the hobby.

One other chance is the site Alibaba, which some of the  purchasing systems is arranged by contract. Also this buy and sell site collection of outlets usually deal in larger quantity. One vendor, after searching Alibaba, contacted me through email, a major dc motor supplier. I responded with the measurements of the needed motor but they were unable to find a replacement. This demonstrates the level of service that many of the manufacturers show their customers even if they are dealing with a small order.

OK ! long story short…. I did get some replacement motors, one set too small and one set too large. The best bet was to install the larger motors with some modification to the mounting protocol. The shaft size and pinion gear was the correct dimension.

But first the problem with the motor with low output.

IMG_2875

The worn brush of the low power motor. Not clear in the photo is a small amount of silicone type caulking at the corner of the brush leads which give it some tension to hold the brushes to the commutator. Later the small brush detached from the brush holder. When the motor stalls from a jammed propeller during a flight collision, max current flows wearing out the brush prematurely.  (Paper shown is for clarity)

IMG_2877

The motor with the end plate removed.

IMG_2881

wire color code of the stock motors. Capacitors are used on an otherwise standard DC motor

IMG_2882

IMG_2880

before and after view of the motor mounting modification. Trimmed  the plastic with a utility knife, elongated the mounting holes and increased the diameter of the motor main shaft hole to fit the bearing collar for a flush and secure fit. One of four.

Problem ! when testing the motors before reassembly for proper rotation, the power leads momentarily  shorted (and all most welded themselves together) and a puff emanated from the underside of the flight controller. DAMN!

Now the drone has lost all power to one motor and one side of the drones LED’s do not light.

Now to identify the components I took a picture of the underside of the board. Just making a random check of the board with the multi meter, I noticed a burned open in one of the traces!

Would this be so easy? Would any other components need replacement? I thought of scrapping the entire project!

IMG_2884

smoked trace, upper left hand corner to the top of Q6, it acted like a fusible link.

IMG_2885

the repaired trace bridged with a wire.

IMG_2887

motors now in place for testing, when I spun them up I had to reverse the leads on some for proper clockwise and  counter-clockwise rotation. All LED’s on the underbelly of the craft are now lighting properly.

IMG_2891

top view, blank connector is for top shell connection of the LED lighting.

IMG_2892

view of the top of the flight controller, D5 and D6 optional ? U3 also an optional feature?

Bonus pictures :sloppy bench

IMG_2887ventilation wall 12 volt fans wired to a power supply.

IMG_2888

the invisible gaseous substance aperture circulator for the removal of airborne particulates from the soldering area.

to be continued…

06
Feb
15

A Radio Shack is a room or structure used for housing radio equipment.

IMG_7275

Ok !any body over the years who ever has taken on an electronic project, messed with computers back in

the 70’s and forward most likely has crossed the threshold of their local Radio Shack.

They were so a neighborhood icon that most hobbyist would count on the Shack to be their

GPS so to speak, no matter where they lived the Shack could be found within a short

distance to gather parts, or find that last missing cable or component to complete a

audio, video, or digital project.

Can I recall my first visit to the Shack? Possibly I read the catalog first. There were

some competitors (Lafayette, Heathkit) ,but one’s first exposure could be by a snail mail

catalog back then. Radio Shack was also an advertiser in magazines like Popular Mechanics,

Popular Science and such projects in those magazines would also utilize Radio Shack

components. Any maker/hacker back than would quickly become familiar with the numbered

stock system. Hookup wire and tube sockets anyone ? Grab that high wattage Weller soldering gun !

Another brilliant move back than was the free annually catalog. One of The geeksters bibles

the shack catalog covered all current electronic trends from radios (real transmitters,

receivers,stereos, audio, video, (then televisions) and the real meat, electronic

components. Any one knows that a catalog is also an education tool. Perusing the pages

gave a wealth of info on the products. Don’t forget the book section at the Shack too.

The shack itself was an introverts playground as one would feel free to stay and spend an

hour scanning the shelves even though your total purchase might be less than $5.00 dollars.

The sales people would ask if you needed assistance and go about their business if you

responded “NO, just browsing”. Other retailers make you feel as though your are perusing

their store ready to stuff your pockets with their items or pepper you with questions

about what you didn’t want.

When digital started it’s transformation from the analog stream RS already had it’s

distribution in place for home and business computers. Also the shack transformed from the

vacuum tube era to the transistor to the Integrated circuit component supply not to

mention all the bells and whistles needed such as solder soldering irons, breadboards

power supplies etc.

Back then ,The quality of the Shack’s consumer electronics , even though they were from

off shore, tended to be better than other foreign goods as it seemed that the Shack

demanded higher quality. Even if they were at obscene markups, they were good enough at

the time. The other competition was a Kmart or local retailer or department store. Best

Buy, Circuit City, and comp USA didn’t exist yet.

It was the local Radio Shack that started my

education with home computers. A basic entry TRS-80 (affectionately know as the Trash-80) was

purchased and became a fixture on my living room coffee table. The blinking asterisk on the

screen indicated that the program recorder (a cassette recorder) was loading the program. I

learned how to play backgammon and lunar lander that was written in BASIC. With tutorials,

I learned BASIC and how to write save and load programs.

I wondered though as RS sold computers for home and business that the employees still

used the old handwritten pad of tickets for every purchase, That of course changed.

The Shack(s) was at that time a support center for makers as Heathkit, tended to cater to

the higher income hobbyist, closed it doors and later

my interest with the shack grew to a point there I went there once for employment.

Actually it was more of an interest, as a salesman I am not, and as customers entered the

store I would ask if they needed assistance and stumbled if they asked generalized

questions like whats a good calculator for school. Mostly knowing what I was going to buy

when I entered a store, I assumed most people did the same. The pay depended on sales and

the eager beaver salesman vied for the hours on the floor.

Not to sound trite but the rest, as they say is history your familiar with , the progress

of mass communication through the internet added another dimension to shopping and those

late adopters paid the price. Buy some consumer electronic devices on the internet today

and they come to your door directly from the overseas manufacturer.

Need components today and Amazon, and  Ebay, just to name a few will pop up in your search.

.http://recode.net/2015/02/05/the-shack-of-radios-in-the-shadow-of-internet-mansions/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=rc_email_daily&utm_content=the-shack-of-radios-in-the-shadow-of-internet-mansions

http://www.wired.com/2015/02/dear-radioshack-adored-love-wired/

IMG_7435

IMG_7405

25
Feb
12

Rotating hearts LED display

“An unique gift for any romantic occasion” reads the advertisement from Ramseykits.com. It’s been a while since I built a hobby kit and the last one I built  years ago was the Flashing LED Sweetheart. This year the Rotating Hearts LED display was ordered. It’s a CANA kit, made in Canada and for $29.95 seemed slightly expensive over the $6.95  Flashing LED Sweetheart, but it has 2 double sided  circuit boards, 46 LEDs, and an assortment of resistors, transistors and capacitors.

Lets take a look:

IMG_1889

 

  IMG_1890

You’ll need a soldering iron, rosin core solder (I can’t believe how expensive solder is now) , a set of nippers for clipping the leads flush to the boards, a small place to work and good lighting to identify the marking of the components, such as the color bands on the resistors.

The Rotating Hearts LED display Cana kit contains 2 instructions sheets. One general assembly guide sheet, and an assembly guide sheet specific to the Rotating Hearts LED display.

The general assembly guide sheet contains info on soldering tips, diagrams and instructions for mounting components, their orientation, and charts for reading component values. 

Unpack the kit and sort out the components, read through the instructions sheets before starting.

The circuit boards are  well laid out and marked for proper placement of components. Observe closely the parts that are polarity sensitive to avoid damaging them or resulting in inoperative results.

The assembly guide gives you the order to install components and as in the General assembly guide specific diagrams on component placement.

IMG_1891 

Neatness counts, avoid solder bridges and cut off the leads close to the board.

 IMG_1892

 

IMG_1894 

Double check all the components ,If all goes well when you apply power it should create a moving light display,

the speed adjustable through a trimmer potentiometer.

IMG_1897

 

Kit building is fun and if you interested in electronics, educational. This Cana kit provides a schematic but no theory of operation.

The small parts and small solder pads gives you exercise of manual dexterity and if needed, troubleshooting skills.

Assembling kits also can make handmade gift that is special.

This Cana kit  provides a power jack for a wall wart power supply but I used a 9 volt battery for now.

Ramseykits.com has a wide assortment of kits and electronics.  

After the Valentine chocolates, flowers and dinner fade away, two hearts remain.




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