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Topics - stringsthings

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Open Discussion / Funny Arrow packaging
« on: December 29, 2017, 01:30:14 PM »
Just got a package from Arrow today.  I needed a few SMT parts.
Shipping was free so that was pretty cool.
Here's the bag that held 4 SMT transistors:

And here's the 4 transistors next to the scanning matrix:

And the cardboard box ( with 4 other slightly larger parts ) measures 10"x8"x4".


P.S. ignore the date/time on the pic.... it's my silly camera....

Open Discussion / New, inexpensive DMM
« on: December 10, 2017, 12:03:49 AM »
Just got me a new DMM!  ( I'm strangely excited as my other DMM is a cheap futurlec meter that's really old )

brand/model:  ANENG AN8008
I got mine on sale for under $20 from banggood.  You can also find it on Amazon for around $25.  ( search: AN8008 )
If you don't mind the longer shipping time, it's all over ebay. 

One reason I was shopping for a new DMM - I wanted a meter with more resolution and accuracy for matching transistors.
This meter is 9999 counts which essentially means it has very good resolution.  For Vbe matching, it has a resolution of 1 uV.
It even got a good review from EEVblog.  ( the guy really doesn't like cheap equipment, but he liked this meter )
The digits are nice and big.  It's got a backlight.  And it comes with a nice set of leads and some extra stuff.
I wouldn't recommend it for high voltage work, but it's perfect for hobbyist work like pedal building. 
It also has a frequency meter that goes up in to the Mhz range so I can use it to calibrate some of the trickier builds.

Open Discussion / sheet cake FTW
« on: August 18, 2017, 03:08:42 PM »

Tech Help - Etcher's Paradise / Mudbunny - Verified
« on: August 12, 2017, 08:36:43 PM »
I've recently completed two mudbunnies:  one ram's head and one triangle.
Haven't gotten around to posting pics in the build report section.  My etches for the enclosures
didn't turn out as well as I would've liked them to. 

Build Reports / Collosalus Flanger
« on: August 02, 2017, 10:30:05 AM »
Started this build last year (!) and finally got around to finishing it.  I had the circuit board all populated
with a MN3007 that I bought off ebay and it wasn't working.  So I finally got around to getting a good chip
from smallbear and the circuit fired right up.   Lots of flanger goodness!  Many years ago, I had an original
MXR 117.  One of my faves that I've missed ever since. 

Ran into a bit of a prob with the output jack.  When a plug was inserted, it was hitting the feedback trimmer.
Drilled out the hole to a larger diameter and moved the jack far enough to not cause the problem.
Apologies for the blurry pics ... need to pick up a cheap tripod for my extremely cheap camera.

VFE Projects / 125B question
« on: August 02, 2017, 03:18:00 AM »
Is it possible to put a VFE circuit in a 125B, or does the use of mounted in/out jacks make this not doable?
I'm thinking that using open jacks with the same specs as the mounted ones would work, but I could be wrong.

Or perhaps, just keeping the mounted jacks, and drilling holes large enough so that the plugs just go inside the
enclosure sides.  ( pretty poor stability issues, I imagine )

Build Reports / Hunter Fuzz
« on: January 31, 2017, 04:41:46 AM »
I finally got around to picking up a cheap camera.  ( walmart special  :)
Excuse the glare.  I need to pick up a tripod on ebay.  It took me a while
to get some pics that weren't too blurry.

This is a build I did a few months ago after learning how to etch an enclosure.
It's one of the boards first offered from flanagan0718.   I was really happy with the way it turned out.
I'll probably pick up some metal washers for the 3PDT's.  Excuse the sloppy wiring.
That's never been my strong suit.  I've never sold a build, so I'm not picky on neatness.

Open Discussion / Saw this over on DIYSB
« on: January 27, 2017, 05:18:18 PM »
There was a post about a TubeScreamer question and somehow, there was an outbreak of haiku's.

the first one was semi-serious:

Electrolytic or film
For blocking DC"

the 2nd was funny:

"Printed circuit board
Components connected there
Together at last."

by the third i was lol'ing:

"I used dirt cheap parts
Home-etched phenol resin board
Please help me debug"

I couldn't resist adding to the silliness:

My Tube Screamer build
Clouds and Puffs of Magic Smoke
Tears and Tears Falling

Open Discussion / Who's your dog in the Super Bowl?
« on: January 24, 2017, 04:10:44 AM »
Or do you not care?  :D  ( you worldwide soccer fans .. you know who you are )

I'm rooting for Atlanta.  Their offense is scary good.  I was surprised at how they
dismantled Seattle and crushed Green Bay.  Also, New England has not faced a top 10 quarterback
all season.  ( Big Ben was #11 )

Let's talk football!  :)

Open Discussion / It's freezin' outside!
« on: December 19, 2016, 05:38:26 AM »
I have a part-time, early morning job delivering the newspaper so I'm driving around for
a couple of hours long before the sun comes up.   It was about -4 degrees farenheit ( -20 celsius ).
Super cold.  It's so cold that paved roads which are usually almost black, turn to white and have little crystals in them.
Here in the midwest, it usually doesn't get this cold until January or February. 

( It is supposed to get above freezing on Wednesday )

How Do I? Beginner's Paradise. / Tip for holding parts in place: Fun-Tak
« on: December 10, 2016, 08:28:50 PM »
Here's a tip for beginners and veterans.  I saw somewhere that someone was using Blu-tack to hold parts in place.
I found some Loctite Fun-Tak for a couple of bucks at the local walmart and picked it up.   It works great for holding that odd shaped
component on the parts side while you solder on the other side.  Before this,  I was using scotch tape which could be hard to work with.
Now, the fun-tak is just sticky enough and reuseable.  I've been soldering for years and years and never picked up on this tip.
( probably because I learned to solder before blu-tack was invented ... man, I'm old  :) )

For many components, such as resistors and caps with long leads, I still just bend the leads at an angle to hold them in place.  The fun-tak
works really well for things like IC sockets and SIP sockets.  Stuff with leads to short to bend.

Open Discussion / Cubbies Win the World Series!
« on: November 03, 2016, 11:36:47 AM »
And there was much rejoicing.  :)

I've finished many enclosures with spray paint and just prepped them by hand-sanding.  For the most part,
they turned out very well.  But I always wanted to know how to get a really shiny, polished finish.  Even using
several grits ( 100-220-400-600-1000 ) I couldn't get a smooth surface.

So tonight, I picked up this inexpensive sanding block and I'm amazed at the difference.  I've only used 220 and 320
so far on a 125B and it already looks better than any previous attempts.  I never knew what a difference the block made.

DIY money well spent !

Open Discussion / Useful workbench tool (tester) from tayda
« on: August 06, 2016, 10:09:36 PM »
I just got one of these in my latest tayda order:

It's a very handy tool to have.  I originally bought it to test transistors ( which it does well ) but I found that it's great for double checking resistors and capacitors.  I had been using my DMM for this, but it was kind of a pain making contact with component leads with the tester probes.  With this new tester, you just stick the component in the tester like you would into a PCB, hit the button, and it gives you a readout.  It turns itself off and has a nice low insertion force socket.

BTW, I think there was a thread on something similar on ebay but I couldn't find it.  ( and I don't work for tayda  :)

Tech Help - Etcher's Paradise / Abcfab is back !
« on: July 11, 2016, 07:56:56 AM »
Great news!  The copper clad man is back!  I've been waiting a while to get some good double sided boards.
His stuff is really good.

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