Clockin’ it

Been really trying to move along with this project, keep that wave of enthusiasm going and all that. I’m happy so say I have the first board complete!

Quite a rat's maze, I know

Quite a rat’s maze, I know


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Neon lamps, flashy LEDs, and soldering along the Nixie trail

Over the last couple days, I really sat down and sorted a couple of things that were unknowns. Either I had forgotten why I designed it that way on the schematic or had only roughly figured it out in the first place. One was the flashing LEDs from the last post. I had subsequently tried other resistor values for different effects, but in the end stuck with the 1.5kΩ one. I did like the blanking and hopefully it will be a nice effect once i have it all assembled. I can always change the resistor later if I wish.

neon_and_led
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Steady on the Nixie trail

I’m trying to keep going and have some bench time every day to keep things going. So far, so good.

I figured the next bit to sort was how to move the decorative flashy LED feature over to the 12V rail. As mentioned before, I want to keep the 5V side exclusively for the clock and digital logic so it keeps its time when I unplug it (provided I have a 9V battery in it of course).

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Nixie tube clock gets a revisit… after a few years

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything about… anything. As always, I’m happy if anyone finds the information here useful, but I don’t expect anyone to read it really or give a toss. Really use it as my open lab notes which I refer back to when I take these long breaks to remind myself just what in the hell I was doing!

I have a fairly good memory. To the surprise of some I can recall conversations verbatim from twenty years ago… but I know the instant I say “oh I won’t bother noting that, I’ll remember for sure…” is the moment that said information is forever wiped from existence, never to be seen again. One such, happened when I revisited my Nixie Clock project which I’ve been working on since… 2012 probably?

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Site redesign

For those of you who actually look here, and I’m thankful for all that do, you may have noticed a rather drastic change in colour scheme and an entire redesign of the home page.

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The mythical “musts” of computing

I’m regularly asked for advice, and do very much love helping people out in choosing the right computing solution for them. One of the greatest joys in such a role is not only showing people how easy it really is to make their computer do what they want, but that they don’t have to hold to old, outdated, or even purely mythical conventions that they had accepted as fact.

In this article, I’d love to share some that I have come across.

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Mac Malware Myth Management

There are always a lot of myths floating about … about Macs and about malware. There always seem to be two camps with diametrically opposed positions. Some hold on to the rather antiquated “Macs can’t/don’t get viruses” which is inaccurate, and in fact never was accurate at any point in time. The other camp is claiming with each new news story that it’s the thin end of the wedge and soon OSX will be as much of a helpless victim as Windows always has. This is also incorrect, and probably not true of Windows any longer either.

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Panel Pooper

Institutionalized Dumpster Dive

Over the weekend, I had occasion (in other words I made an occasion) to visit A1 parts and surplus in Etobicoke. I have mentioned it before as a candyland for the junk enthusiast and this is essentially correct. Despite its remote location, it is well worth the visit, just be prepared to dig and expect no help from the rather cantankerous guy at the counter. Total comic book guy for the electronics store which I find endearing rather than offensive. Anyway, if you ever end up there, be prepared to wade through tons of unsorted junk, find a few gems, and score a few surplus deals.

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Lipstick on a Dummy

Or how I just love to overcomplicate things

Lights, buttons knobs and dials have always fascinated me. In fact, it says so in my baby book pretty much exactly. I think that was genesis of my love for technology, electronics, sci-fi and general science and nerdom. After all, what could be cooker then “techy shit” as gmunk puts it?

With every project I do, I tend to dream up ways of making the interface and functionality as flexible (read: complicated) as possible. I want to feel like I’m flying the frickin’ Enterprise when I do my thing.

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Dummy load acquires stability

Just a quick test and a quick solution

Had a few minutes to just check up on why the load would change when the voltage does. A simple test of trying a higher voltage power supply seemed to do the trick. Stayed within 10mA of where it should, and probably did better than that, but my multimeter can’t measure that. The new power supply is a 200mA 12V wall wort which is very unregulated. I measure 16V off the bugger with no load. Makes me wonder if what is printed on the box is merely a suggestion. Still, nice to have the headroom. Now the opamps have enough swing to really kick that MOSFET into regulating the current flow reliably.

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