This is my first post here for a while but it’s quite long so deserves it!
A short while ago I acquired a VIC 20 for the price of postage (thanks Johnny Blanchard – Re:Enthused) but it didn’t work so I bought one from eBay.
I used this to start some diagnosis. After a few chip swaps I discovered the 6502 wasn’t working so I bought a replacement and it was up and running, but it didn’t recognise when a disk drive was attached.
Using a borrowed oscilloscope I did some diagnosis and concluded that one of the outputs of the 7406 inverter chip wasn’t giving any signal, so I ordered a replacement and some sockets.
This arrived today so I piggy backed it over the suspect ship and the disk drive was recognised!
As I knew it was bad I wasn’t worried too much about damaging the failed 7406 but I did want to try to remove it cleanly… I failed. 3 pins just wouldn’t clear.
A mangled (but failed) 7406 IC
I then soldered a socket onto the board and popped the replacement 7406 in and all is good! I did manage to break off the electrolytic surface mounted capacitor from the SD2IEC (floppy drive emulator) so had to do some more research and diagnosis to figure out which way around it fits then did my first ever surface mount soldering, and it all still works!
My SD2IEC – the capacitor is to the lower left of the SD slot
The small 14 pin 7406 in a fresh socket and the screen showing a directory successfully loaded proving the repair is successful is shown below. This is my first deep diagnosis and repair of an old computer and I’m quite happy with the process and especially the results.
A while back I planned to build a twin stick controller so I bought a large project case and one (to test) bat top stick and realised that the box wasn’t big enough for two of these so repurposed that to a 4-way arcade stick instead.
I went back to the drawing board and made a new plan, 2 of these boxes bolted together and a hole between them for wiring. I knew this wasn’t going to be cheap so it had to wait. That time has come!
The controller is an Arduino Pi Pico. The boards are just strip board to which I’ve soldered pin headers to reduce the soldering required later and make maintenance easier.
Next was to fit the arcade parts to the top panels.
Two panels here so top and bottom views in one picture! I did come across a new problem though. These Suzo Happ sticks are deeper than the bat top stick I used last time so pressed against the bottom of the case. A solution was found which you see here.
The hole in the bottom now provides ample clearance and the sticks move freely without actually touching the desk. I use a case mount MicroUSB socket which uses standard USB cables. I keep fooling myself that I’ll be able to create something with good cable management one day. I doubt that will ever happen given how these things go together though!
Here it is complete! Suzo Happ sticks and QanBa buttons work well together. Tested on Robotron 2084 and it really makes the experience of that awesome game!
I’ve reluctantly added Cookie Compliance notices to the site because WordPress was nagging me to do so every time I logged in. If it wasn’t for the stuff I’ve already posted here being of interest to me I’d just delete the blog but I’m biting the bullet here purely to cover my arse and I apologise profusely for the banner you now get when visiting this site.
So after a bit of a break (not really) we’re back with another action packed volume of arseholes I meet on my day to day commute.
As I have previously said I’ve upped the severity needed to make it into these videos because the everyday close passes and cut-ups are pretty humdrum by now, so this means releases will be further apart.
I’ll let the video do the rest of the talking. Enjoy!
This took a while. Due to shifts where I’m only likely to see a lot of traffic in one direction and for some reason it being relatively quiet on the roads I’ve only just got enough footage to make uploading worthwhile.
Future videos may be more spread out anyway because I’m going to stop putting the everyday crap I have to put up with in and concentrate on the more exceptional events (both bad and good).
When I was recovering from a hernia operation I designed a clock around an Arduino, real time clock board and temperature/humidity sensor. This was built onto breadboard and was as flaky as hell due to poor connections.
Recently I decided to build the project using perfboard, which is messy and caused 2 magic smoke release incidents, and bought a case to keep it all looking tidy.
Did I mention perfboard was messy?
The top does look a bit cleaner.
I decided to try my hand at PCB design so I got to grips with that at EasyEDA and sent of the design to PCBWay for production. A few weeks later I had 11 prototype PCBs.
The PCB wasn’t perfect (my fault). The silkscreen was slightly wrong and I found out after build that the SDA and SCL connections were reversed.
I patched the cock-up and everything worked!
Then I added some external buttons and all is complete!
I have corrected the PCB design and gave it rounded corners, sent off the order and now just await delivery. All in all I’m very pleased with this 🙂
I was seriously debating whether to keep posting here, as you can see from the last post, but here you go, I’ll keep updating while anyone is still reading 🙂
In this fun filled episode we bring you a wide variety of complete arseholes. From the classic paint scrapers and red light jumpers to selfish parkers, phantom doors and even a police van showing how it shouldn’t be done! Caution: strong language not censored in this video.
The bus driver in this video, after cutting me up later hung back and passed wide when safe, so seems to have learned that it wasn’t a good idea. This is what I’d rather happen. Education rather than discipline.
Given the prevalence of social media these days, blogs like this are not getting much attention any more. For this reason I’m not going to be posting much here unless it’s something I really want to keep archived.
If anyone is actually reading this (which I’m not sharing widely) then let me know and I’ll continue to post here.
Please note: I’m not abandoning this and will be updating very frequently! There is a lot of stuff on here I don’t want to lose and not updating will open a major security hole. That’s not going to happen 😉