Everything for Electronics



When Fans Go Bad!

Here’s my tale of a Drake L7 amplifier cooling fan explosion, the aftermath, and the rebuilding process, with a twist at the end.


The Chaostron

Like many “Tom Swift” type readers of N&V, over time (at least 70 of my 81 years so far), I’ve accumulated great quantities of “junque.” So, I decided to make the “Chaostron:” a giant version of my past chaotic creations, using a few innovative approaches with my inventory of relays, light bulbs, and defective PC power supplies.


Turn a Typewriter into a Printer

I bought a Smith-Corona PWP 78DS typewriter from Good Will for under $20. The daisy wheel print quality was perfect, and it included a self-contained word processor. However, there was no way to use it as a printer. I decided to emulate a membrane keyboard with an Arduino Nano Every, so that either an added serial port or the existing keyboard could input text.


Virtual Collaboration – Pre-Internet

For readers who grew up with the Internet and social media, virtual collaboration is commonplace. However, it’s easy to forget that technical collaboration between utter strangers miles and continents apart predates the Internet.


Custom Markings for Project Panels

It seems there is no one good way to label our project enclosures based on the many different material types, colors, and surface finishes to be found out there. This article will discuss some of the methods that I’ve employed and will point out the pros and cons of each method.


An Altair Clone: Then and Now

When I read the article “Build a Pocket-Sized Altair Computer” by David Hunter on building an Altair clone, I was reminded that I too had designed an Altair clone, but I built mine in 1977. Mine required seven boards in a 19” rack. This article details the resources I had then in a comparison of what resources are available today. I’ll also describe how I designed and built my clone.


Can’t Keyboard? Use Morse Code Instead

A few months ago, I accepted a challenge: Design a way for people who can’t easily use a keyboard to create text for applications such as Word, OpenOffice, eBay, or Google via Morse code. It takes only two fingers to create them, and learning to send Morse code proves easier than learning to receive it, which requires much practice. See how I used a $10 Cypress Semiconductor CY8CKIT-059 MCU board to mimic a USB keyboard but without software drivers, code libraries, or special USB-interface ICs.

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