Friday, 28 March 2014

Simpson 260 Series 7 & 8, Reverse Banana Test Lead Adaptors

I was lucky enough to score this mint condition Simpson 260 Series 7 (1981 Vintage) on eBay, for the princely sum of £30. It came complete with the original Simpson outer case and  test leads. The meter was in such good condition I doubt it left the case much at all.
Simpson in the USA, have been making the 260 series since 1939, even today it has not really changed in appearance since the Series 1, you can still purchase the meter as a Series 8 for around $300.

There is one issue with the Series 7 , 8 though! 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dr Brown's Capacitor ESR Tester

 I finally got round to making my capacitor ESR tester this week after finding a nice simple 5 transistor version by EEVBlog member Jay_Diddy_B. Unfortunately, for me, the design was only SMD so, I decided to replicate his schematic in Eagle PCB using a through hole component design.

I will not be going into much detail regarding ESR or Equivalent Series Resistance Meters as, there is already plenty of other sources of information on the subject. Yet, every tinkering  knows capacitors are guilty of a lot of sins in electronics. Capacitors love to throw red herrings! They can appear physically fine (no bulge), show good capacitance and hide in circuit, standing to attention like the Queens Guards hiding shorts and high resistance under their big hats. This is where the  ESR tester can be a saviour, with the ability to test for "out of specification" high resistance, within the capacitor. They can also be used to test "in circuit", without the need to remove every capacitor in the circuit.

I included a few Easter Eggs in the Meter Scale!

Friday, 14 February 2014

uVolume Mk2 USB Volume Control Prototype

Prototype test of the of the ┬ÁVolume Mk2,  USB volume control. Now adds IR remote control with multimedia features.



              Arduino Compatible (Atmel Atmega32u4)
              Manual volume adjustment though the rotary encoder
              (IR) Infra red  remote control of volume and multimedia controls.
              Apple remote or user defined
              Visual and audible Feedback

 Manual Control:

              Volume Up Or Down,
 IR Remote Control:

              Volume Up Or Down,
              Previous Track,
              Next Track,
              Play/Pause Track,
              Stop Track.

Previous version link

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Midas 2004 OLED Character Display

Updated 09/01/2014 Arduino IDE V1 Library Support

After playing with its' little brother, the Midas MCOB21605G1V 1602 OLED, I was hoping for a smooth transition to its "Big Brother," the Midas MCOB42005A1V 20x4 character display...
Unfortunately, the previous Arduino OLED libraries gave nothing in the way of a working display.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

ENGINEER SS-02 Solder Sucker Picture Showcase

After seeing the  "ENGINEER"  SS-02 Solder Sucker, I just knew I had to have one! The construction is second to none, featuring machined aluminium components, plus a easily replaceable heat resistant silicone nozzle...

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Arduino LCD Smartie OLED Project

Updated 04/01/2014

"LCD Smartie is open-source  software which allows a character LCD display to be used as an auxiliary display device for a PC. The program has built in support for many systems statistics (i.e. CPU Load, Network utilization, free Disk space...), downloading RSS feeds, Winamp integration and support for several other popular applications. To support less common applications LCD Smartie uses a powerful plugin system."
After being totally unimpressed by the overpriced, under featured & uninspiring  "Official LCD Smartie Hardware".
I decided it was time to build my own version with the features that should have been in the official hardware.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Arduino: OLED PCF8574 I2c Back Pack

After the success using the Midas MCOB21605G1V 1602 OLED display in my previous article. My next challenge would be connecting the module to my  i2C backpack custom PCB, Using the PCF8574 i2c IC .