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Click to view Blog upgrade issues

Blog upgrade issues

Posted Tuesday 28 May 2013 19:55 Page View Counter 277

Following a recent update to the new BlogEngine 2.8 version it seems that some of the blog posts have vanished and didn’t transfer to the new system correctly. I have been able to recover some of the posts but others are no longer available. The...

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Click to view TECHNO SD 240 Manual operated stencil printer

TECHNO SD 240 Manual operated stencil printer

Posted Saturday 18 May 2013 15:19 Page View Counter 512

After struggling for some time using homemade stencil holders and bits of tape to hold the stencils down we decided to buy a commercial stencil holder. Most seemed to be around the £2000 mark and only take large framed stencils and then I found...

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Click to view Dangerous LED Outdoor Floodlights

Dangerous LED Outdoor Floodlights

Posted Sunday 05 May 2013 16:55 Page View Counter 668

A few weeks ago I ordered a pair of “20W 1600Lm LED Garden Outdoor FloodLight 85-265V Pure White Wall WashLights” at £35 each to replace the pair of 150W halogen outdoor lights in the back garden. The seller claimed to be: Item location:...

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Click to view Kent Hand Morse Key Restoration

Kent Hand Morse Key Restoration

Posted Monday 29 April 2013 23:44 Page View Counter 648

I had been looking for a Kent hand key from eBay for some time as I plan to try to learn CW (Morse) to use with my Yaesu FT817 on the HF bands. As the Kent keys are around £100 new I thought that a used one would be a good way to try to learn morse with...

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Click to view Apple ATI Radeon HD 5870 Fan Upgrade

Apple ATI Radeon HD 5870 Fan Upgrade

Posted Sunday 28 April 2013 20:00 Page View Counter 518

The factory fan on my 2 year old Apple ATI Radeon HD 5870 1Gb Graphics Card finally failed last week after over 8 months of rattles and worsening noises before finally stopping and the graphics card getting a bit warm! As my Mac Pro tower is a 2008 model...

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Click to view Android Tablet and Arduino DIY pick and place component selector

Android Tablet and Arduino DIY pick and place component selector

Posted Sunday 14 April 2013 20:58 Page View Counter 1078

Following from the Arduino pick and place update blog post video and Automatic component feeders post we have now completed the first version of the Android tablet control software  which uses bluetooth to communincate with an Arduino Mega to control...

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Click to view Etching your own PCBs

Etching your own PCBs

Posted Monday 01 April 2013 23:07 Page View Counter 489

Below is a photo overview of how we make our own PCB’s using a UV box and developing the boards. Disclaimer: Wear appropriate safety equipment when handling chemicals and when using UV boxes and lights. Don’t try this at home unless...

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Click to view Vacuum Pickup upgrade

Vacuum Pickup upgrade

Posted Wednesday 27 February 2013 23:31 Page View Counter 523

The basic Chinese Vacuum Pickup pump we have been using on the DIY pick and place machine has been giving us problems with its lack of suction when handling larger SOIC components and didn’t hold them still when moving fast or rotating the parts. I...

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Click to view Automatic component feeders DIY pick and place Part 2

Automatic component feeders DIY pick and place Part 2

Posted Wednesday 27 February 2013 19:42 Page View Counter 632

Following from the Automatic component feeders DIY pick and place Part 1 post we have now redesigned the Y axis which pushes the activation arms on the Panasonic component feeders to use a new leadscrew from Reliance Precision Mechatronics...

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Click to view Low Voltage Cut off using MAX8212

Low Voltage Cut off using MAX8212

Posted Sunday 10 February 2013 10:53 Page View Counter 1020

Since upgrading our solar charge controller to a MPPT model we lost the facility for the charge controller to shut down the inverter when the battery voltage dropped too low. This resulted in a few days when the battery voltage dropped to a very low level...

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Click to view Raspberry Pi model A vs Model B

Raspberry Pi model A vs Model B

Posted Wednesday 06 February 2013 17:36 Page View Counter 594

The new Raspberry Pi model A arrived today after a mixup where Farnell sent us another model B yesterday. The new Model A on the left with a Com Pi board and Wifi dongle. Older Model B on the right. As the new Model A is supposed to use a lot...

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Click to view Yaesu FT 817 Cat Control Headaches

Yaesu FT 817 Cat Control Headaches

Posted Wednesday 23 January 2013 10:49 Page View Counter 548

After treating myself to a new Yaesu FT 817 HF, 6m, 2m & 70cm transceiver, I also ordered a CAT to USB control cable from Radioarena (Yaesu USB Programming / CAT Cable for FT-100 / 817 / 857 / 897) which arrived 8 days later. After struggling to...

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Click to view Small Space Workshops

Small Space Workshops

Posted Saturday 05 January 2013 10:46 Page View Counter 309

After seeing other blog posts about people’s workshops, I thought I should add a post about our small home workshop which is in the loft of our terrace home. The loft space is 4.1m long, 3.2m wide at its widest point and 2m high in the middle. At...

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Click to view Automatic component feeders DIY pick and place Part 1

Automatic component feeders DIY pick and place Part 1

Posted Saturday 01 December 2012 20:08 Page View Counter 489

Following from the Panasonic component feeder mods and the build of our manual pick and place machine (pick and place part 1 & pick and place part 2) we have started to build an automatic stepper motor driven controller for the component feeders which...

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Click to view Magnetic PCB holders

Magnetic PCB holders

Posted Saturday 01 December 2012 19:46 Page View Counter 394

While building pcbs on our manual pick and place machine we have been looking at various options to hold the PCB boards still while placing the components but without having to use complex clamps to hold the boards in place. To solve the problem we tried...

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