Archives May 2011

Saturday 14th May 2011 - 18:39:34


I've started building my DSE signal generator kit. I bought the thing literally years ago, when I still worked there - before Woolworths destroyed the staff discount.

It will be built into a nice sloped console box and will include the DSE frequency counter kit.

Friday 27th May 2011 - 07:11:18


Finally, my 10 turn pot has arrived from Element 14, I can complete my EEVBlog based active load! It was out of stock and had to be shipped from the US. Last week I got the rest of my stuff from Element 14 including a 0.1R 25W aluminium clad resistor, an LM3302 comparator to fix Dad's strobe tacho, some CMOS 4000 series to play with - 40106 (hex schmitt inverter), 4030 (quad xor), 4027 (dual J/K flipflop), 4081 (quad and).

Saturday 7th May 2011 - 16:51:41


Added photos to gallery:

Wednesday 4th May 2011 - 11:50:53


I have uploaded some photos of the LED Downlight Display circuit.

Saturday 4th December 2010 - 22:59:33


I've started on a big project involving a LAN design and implementation. I'm going to be busy for a bit! This is the first project of this size that I have taken on. I'm sure it's going to last a month or two. The electrician team (yes there are about 8 of them, this is a big install) F%@king hates me because there are over 250 outlets and 3 45U racks of gear. The project is actually for a gaming arcade, so the layout needs to be flexible and cover the floor space. I will be designing the LAN, speccing the outlet requirements and once the sparkies are done - I will be installing and configuring the 2 servers, 6 POS systems and Elastix (Linux Based) phone system.

I will also have the opportunity to use a few TG watchdogs for environmental monitoring. They will be tied to nagios running on the Elastix box, which will also be monitoring the LANs.

Today I've been setting up the racks from scratch. The cement floor isn't sealed, which may kill some gear with dust - they seem aware of this and want to push the deadline. It took a lot of time (more than I expected) to unpack all of the switches! I'm putting in 9 24 port switches. The reason for this is that all 250 ports will never be patched at the same time, there is just a huge amount of them to cover the floor area.

The other minor (hah!) problem I have is that there is no f&*^%king power. Minor details. It looks like there won't be for some time.

Monday 2nd May 2011 - 22:54:43


Lots of work on my site today. Cleaned up a lot of old PHP crap, primarily deprecated functions.

I found earlier today that I could not log into my sites admin page. This is because it displays an event log when you log in - which should be fine right? The problem was, not having logged in for ages, that there was a substantial (15,880,000+, 3.8GB) of database table that the poor admin page had to join the user table against! Oops. All of these messages were about PHP deprecation. I must have been crawled by google or something, most of the problems were in my galley. There are over 2000 images in there, each image and gallery generating multiple warnings. So, after lots of careful ereg() and eregi() and split() replacements it's all good.

Sunday 20th June 2010 - 18:34:54


I have managed to get my 16f877 working with an LCD at last. The ICD2 definitely had a hand in getting it to work...

Saturday 1st May 2010 - 22:31:39


May Already?!

Kel had lot to do today so I looked after the Kids. If only I could get them to dig in their sand pit and not in the dirt.

I showed Liam an episode of The Mysterious Cities Of Gold, both he Emily were GLUED to it. The Mysterious Cities of Gold is a cartoon that was on when I was little in the late 80s. I used to like it alot. Liam even said that he likes it better than BEN 10!

I had some time today to build an ICSP attachment for programming 18 pin pics. My JDM serial programmer doesn't seem to cut it any more. I designed the link cable from the ICD2 so that it fits the headers on the attachments for the JDM so I can now do 18, 28 and 40 pin pics. The JDM has become unreliable for some reason, I have trouble verifying the code once it's written - and it takes aaages to write. The ICD2 takes only a few seconds.

I built up another MAX232CPE serial prototype circuit on the breadboard for my next round of tinkering with the 16f88. Although, tonight I did manage to get the UBW firmware D (USB CDC) to compile after lots and lots of messing around on and off over the past few weeks. If I can get that built and the bootloader then I can go direct to USB rather than serial. I have a Sparkfun UBW with the 18f4550 on it and also two 18f2550s for breadboard work.

The workflow using the ICD 2 is going to be different. I am used to pulling the chip out of circuit to program it. The next target is to test the ICD functionality - I've never tried it before.

I added mod_python to apache on my server at home so I can play with Django. I went through the first two parts of the tutorial and it was pretty cool (using the dev server). Under mod_python the paths are screwy - I must have misconfigured it. Will go back to it later! Oh - the built in dynamic admin functionality is just awesome. It takes so much crap work out of putting up the back end of a site - forms, fields, validation etc etc (all the tedious stuff)

Tuesday 5th April 2011 - 21:36:22


I've got myself a freshly imported Rigol DS1052E! It's got a Chinese manual, but meh. There is a PDF version of the manual in English if I really want it. I guess watching Dave play with all his scopes over at EEVBlog convinced me to get one.

The thing is awesome! I love it. DSO is entirely new to me. I've currently got a Dick Smith 60MHz CRO. I think my favorite thing so far is the single shot triggering and the timebase zoom it has, where you can show a magnified (by time) view of the triggered waveform below the normal display.

Thursday 4th November 2010 - 21:41:15


I have just put my first order into Mouser. Most of the TG board is based around what I can get from Electus and Mouser. I also got a few extra bits to play with.

I am building a dummy load based on Dave Jones' design from EEVBlog, so I need a 10 turn 50K linear pot.

Other goodies:

  • 20 and 24 meg crystals for my new pic 18f2550
  • A few SMD USB mini-B connectors to evaluate
  • 0.1R 25W aluminium clad resistor

Friday 30th July 2010 - 21:54:21


I've just sent the gerbers into BatchPCB for my first run of TG Watchdog boards!

Sunday 10th October 2010 - 11:53:47


I found an awesome project for the kids. On there is a mood lamp by Pete Griffiths.

On the last trip to Shenzhen, I asked my boss to get me a few handfulls of 10mm LEDs in colours. They will work great for this.

I've built it up on vero and programmed the chip with Pete's code. It works great! Even managed to get the ICSP to play nice.

Sunday 10th April 2011 - 14:34:46


I've finally found a use for these DPDT switches which I've had stashed for aaaaaaaages. They are DPDT, but one side is momentary. So they are ON, Centre OFF, MOMENTARY. I will incorporate one into the LED downlight display. I will also add a 40106 to the selection to help de-bounce for me. I tried a plain RC de-bounce, but I can never get them to work properly.

The customer will be able to switch the 'cycling' of the lamps from up 'Auto', to centre 'Stop' and also multiple presses on the momentary side they can manually select the lit lamp.

I am considering whether it's worth it putting an ammeter and volt meter on there.

Should be pretty cool.

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