Showing posts with label Electronics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Electronics. Show all posts

FLIR TG130/TG165 Spot Thermal Camera

I have been seriously interested in the value of Infrared photography ever since I had my home inspection almost ten years ago and the inspector went around taking pictures with his ten-thousand dollar thermal camera. A DIY'er can know the value of insulating and caulking like a pro but to actually visually quantify and identify issues in your own home is amazing. So why didn't I just run out and buy an infrared camera ten years ago? Expense. Ten years ago infrared cameras were so price prohibitive that a home owner would never see the return on investment from energy savings.

Automatic Power Saving Power Strip

The fear of summer electric bills is upon me and I am dead set to do anything I can to minimize them. In my quest for lower utility bills I found the easiest and cheapest green home a power strip? Yep. 


DIY Lancape Rock Light

Ever see those neat landscaping lights that light up your tree at night but stay hidden in the day acting like rocks? Ever notice how the store bought ones look fake? Plastic rocks are hard to make look like real rocks, and even if you find one that looks like a real rock, does it look like the other rocks in your garden? Probably not, and you just paid $20 to $50 to have a plastic rock in your garden. We can do far better for far cheaper.

Simple Desktop Power Supply Hack

Power Supply
If you do small electronics projects and you're just beginning you probably do what I did for years to power your projects while working them which is to cut the business end off the the cord on a wall wart power adapter with the appropriate voltage. This works but keeping around a pile of plug-less adapters for project possibilities is kind of a pain. There's the ever common 9 volt and 12 volt adapters, but who has a 3 volt adapter to test battery driven projects or god forbid; a drawer full of spare batteries to blow through while working out your latest design? If you've reached the breaking point and started looking at desktop power supplies you have probably noticed the stupid high price on most desktop supplies designed for the job or maybe you've stumbled across the PC power supply DIY option. I've seen both and I neither wanted to spend a Benjamin on a supply nor wanted a monstrous PC power supply sitting on my desk all the time. I came up with a quick hack that makes for a nice, small, inexpensive desktop power supply.

World's Cheapest Noise Canceling Headphones

When I'm in the shop I usually like jamming to my music but the tunes don't sound good over the buzz of saws, routers and vacuums.  I do what I can to keep the noise down for my neighbors so turning the volume up to eleven is out of the question. Besides being rude to the neighbors, extreme decibel levels can be quite damaging to your ears.

I've tried wearing ear buds or headphones in the shop but even though you can still hear the music, you can also hear the tools and the two don't mix.  I looked at noise cancelling headphones but they can be insanely expensive.  What I needed was inexpensive headphones mixed with great noise cancelling capabilities.  I saw these inexpensive hearing protectors and when I ordered them they actually worked quite well, but still no music. I had some inexpensive headphones laying around and wish the two could be combined somehow.  Once I started playing, it was amazingly simple.

Desktop Air Conditioning

There's heat and then there's heat.  Usually when I get too hot I go inside, but some heat is inescapable, like at work.  I work in a building who's age has come and gone. The on again off again air conditioning system is older than I am and I've been around since man first landed on the moon.  It is not too infrequent that temperatures in the office get in the 80's and one hellish day was 98F.  The only relief on days when the temperature rises, without burning a sick day, is a tall cup of ice water from the ice dispenser. Jokes fly about knocking holes in walls and sticking in window units but as you know they have to vent heat somewhere.  If only I could build an air conditioner that didn't need to exhaust heat.  hmmmm...I

MAME'ing Around Part 3

Finally.  The cabeling is done for the control panel and amazingly has tested out fairly well with WinIPAC.  A few of the original buttons are flakey and I may be replacing them in the future, but onward we go on the build.  The wiring seems AOK so I felt comfortable in cinching them up with wire ties to straighten the whole thing out. 

My buddy Stan (also a fellow OHMSpace member) pointed out that I should be doing a shared grounding ring for the buttons and joysticks instead of consolidating the individual grounds...Stan didn't point this out until the panel was mostly wired.  The lower portion of the panel with coin drops and player start buttons has been wired with the shared grounding ring.  I blame Stan for the inconsistency, he should have been watching me closer.

MAME'ing Around Part 2

Quick update: I have added the PC (notice JEG'S logo), test monitor and keyboard (The actual monitor is a large 24" tube that is mounted in the cabinet already).  The I-PAC works well as a pass-through but since the ground connections aren't hooked up on any of the inputs I have not yet tested the "wedge" functionality for buttons and joysticks. 

The PC is a simple XP SP3 box with WinIPAC installed.  I have not installed and configured MAME yet, but the WinIPAC software will allow me to test the controls and debug wiring.

MAME'ing Around Part 1

I have several makes in planning, but I fight the constant issue of starting a make before finishing the last one.  I have dug up a half-done make from years back due to the amount of space it takes up indexed with it's coolness factor. Several years back I purchased a defunct video game cabinet (Captain America and the Avengers) in the hopes of resurrecting it into a fully functional MAME cabinet with hundreds if not thousands of games available on it.  I have added roller wheels to the bottom of the cabinet for ease of access, added a large 24" monitor (a tube, I know...the price was right) with plexiglass shield to hide the fact that it's not original, added a light and speakers to the marquee space and a power switch on the side to juice the whole cabinet.

My current part of interest is the control board.  I have expanded the button layout to a 4-6-6-4 configuration above Captain America's original 2 buttons per player.  All the buttons are currently being wired into an Ultimarc I-PAC to convert button and joystick movements into keyboard strokes that will run the input for the games.  This is a long and tedious task as there are four joysticks with eight wires (four signal and four ground) and twenty player buttons using forty wires, four player start buttons and four hidden "coin" buttons as well as the possibility of wiring the actual coin doors to operate with the plink of quarters.  We're pushing close to one hundred wires that need to be cut to length, stripped and connected at each end before testing can begin.  No wonder I put this project off so long.