After transitioning to Wordpress, I started writing up my newer projects as ‘blog posts’ rather than ‘pages’. Please find below a list of links to every electronics project related blog post:
- Building an Xi 8088 PC
- Z80 Retrocomputing 16 – Unix on RC2014
- Z80 Retrocomputing 15 – CP/M on RC2014 Revisted, Using RomWBW
- Qume 842 8″ floppy drive with a RC2014 Z80 retrocomputer
- Building a Zeta V2 Single Board Computer
- Z80 Retrocomputing Part 14 – RC2014 Floppy Controller Boards
- Z80 Retrocomputing 13 – RC2014 VFD Display Board
- Z80 Retrocomputing 12 – Talking Nixie Tube Clock
- Z80 Power-on reset circuits
- Z80 retrocomputing 11 – CP/M on the RC2014
- Z80 Retrocomputing 10 – RC2014 CompactFlash board
- Nixie Calculator Update – PCB availability, source code, design notes
- Z80 Retrocomputing 9 – CTC and dual serial ports for RC2014
- Z80 Retrocomputing 8 – Speech Synthesizer for RC2014
- SP0256A-AL2 speech synthesizer chips: Genuine vs Counterfeit.
- Z80 Retrocomputing 7 – RC2014 DAC (Digital To Analog Converter)
- Z80 Retrocomputing 6 – RC2014 TIL311 Front Panel Board
- Z80 Retrocomputing 5 – Single Stepper for RC2014
- Z80 Retrocomputing 4 – Bus Supervisor
- Z80 Retrocomputing 3 – Bus Monitor Board
- Z80 Retrocomputing 2 – Real Time Clock for the RC2014
- Intro to Z80 Retrocomputing
- Building the Dutchtronix Scope Clock
- Product Reviews: Mooshimeter, Raspberry Pi Black Slices Case, Powerhorse Surface Cleaner
- Magic Eye Tube Audio Spectrum Analyzer
- Magic Eye Tube PC Monitor
- Magic Eye Tube interfacing with a Raspberry Pi
- DIY Nixie Tube Frequency Counter
- Raspberry Pi Switching Power Supply Shield
- Eico 430 Oscilloscope
- Sparkfun third hand kit – review and modifications
- Aoyue 128 Soldering Tip Polisher Review
- Eico 369 RF Sweep Generator
- DIY Digital RF Attenuator
- Sinometer VC2000 Frequency Counter Review
- RGB Rotary Encoder on a Raspberry Pi
- Polaroid 312 LED Camera Light – Teardown and Repair
- DIY Variable AC Power Supply
- Pilotuner T601 FM Tube Tuner Restoration
- Hantek T3100 scope probes unboxing and review
- Ebay VCO module evaluation
- LM2576 constant voltage / constant current switching power supply
- DIY RF Signal Generator
- Learning to use the GALI-55 MMIC
- My new KG-650 RF Signal Generator
- Creating the ultimate home automation keypad
- Interfacing a VFD display to the raspberry pi
- GE iTwinkle 36 LED Christmas light teardown and hacking
- Raspberry Pi Powered Individually Addressable Christmas Lights
- Nixie Tube Calculator, Powered by a Raspberry Pi
- Raspberry Pi Nixie Tube Clock Prototype
- A temperature and humidity probe for the Elk M1 Gold
- Cooper Wiring Devices TR7735W-BOX night light teardown
- Propeller-powered IN-12 Nixie Clock
- Nixie Tube Web Counter
- Scott’s iPad digital audio optical receiver / amplifier
- Interfacing Dekatron Tubes to a Microcontroller
- The Packetron 9000
- Auto-dimming Chumby hack
- High voltage power supply
- Plasma Speaker
- Experimenting with IN-13 bargraph nixie tubes
- Project: Dancebot
- Using the LIS3LV02DQ accelerometer
- Conway’s game of life on a parallax propeller
I developed my first add-on board for the RC2014. This board is a real-time clock and an 8-bit output port. I'll use it to build a Nixie Tube Clock.
This is the first in my series of Z80 retrocomputing blog posts. It serves as an introduction. I started by building the RC2014, a popular retrocomputer platform that I found on Tindie.
In this post, I put together a magic eye tube spectrum analyzer using my two-tube boards, op-amp boards, and a spectrum analyzer board that uses the BA3830S chip.
I thought it would be cool to use magic eye tubes to visualize the activity on my PC, so I threw together a two-tube project that shows CPU utilization and network utilization.
I discovered magic eye tubes on eBay. I bought a couple of cheap and simple boards and assembled them. Then I tried to see what it would take to control the tubes from a Raspberry Pi.
I've always wanted a Nixie Tube Frequency Counter, but one has never come up on eBay for a price that I was willing to pay. So I just made my own using the same Nixie Tube boards as the calculator project. I learned a bit about frequency counter front-ends in the process.
There are many times when I want to power one of my Raspberry Pi projects from 12V instead of 5V. I built this switching power supply shield to make it easy to do so.
I bought an Eico 430 Oscilloscope, an old analog scope from the late 50s / early 60s. It's a cathode ray tube scope, with vacuum tubes used throughout. It works amazingly well given its age, and will actually be a useful addition to the bench.
I've always wanted the Sparkfun third hand kit, ever since I saw it in their new products page. I finally bought one, and this post contains my review, as well as some modifications.
The Aoyue 128 is a soldering tip cleaner. It has two rotating brass brushes that clean and polish your soldering iron type. I bought it on a whim, and review it in this post.
I bought an Eico 369 RF Sweep Generator. The video covers my experiences with it, from the moment I unboxed it to when I made the first sweep.
I build a digital RF stepped attenuator. It uses a PE4302 chip, along with an RGB encoder and a VFD display. It attenuates from 0 to 31.5dB in 0.5dB steps.
I review the Sinometer VC2000 Frequency Counter. You can buy one on Amazon for less than a hundred bucks.
The video in this blog entry shows how to connect a rotary encoder to the Raspberry Pi. The particular encoder is from SparkFun and contains a pushbutton switch as well as a tri-color LED.
People may have noticed my Camera Light shut down unexpectedly during the Pilotuner video. I finally got around to tearing the camera light apart and fixing it.
I build a 0-30V adjustable AC power supply for the bench using a Variac, 28 VAC transformer, a digital panel meter, and a handful of other support components.
I restore a Pilotuner T601 FM tuner. This is an interesting piece of history, as it's one of the earliest FM tuners. It doesn't even have an amplifier and is designed to be attached to an existing radio or receiver.
I evaluate some Hantek T3100 oscilloscope probes. These are x100 probes, that I bought for using on high-voltage projects, such as tube radios.
I ordered some cheap VCO modules from eBay. Only $20, using an MC1648 VCO oscillator chip, and they work from 70Mhz to 200Mhz.
I design an adjustable voltage / adjustable current limit power supply using an LM2576 buck converter. For the current limit function, I use an op-amp to measure the current from a sense resistor, a second op-amp to compare that to a pot, and then feed that signal back into the feedback pin.
I build an RF signal generator from an article in Nuts and Volts. I learned many things about RF circuits during this project, and the blog post details some of the lessons.
I didn't know what the heck I was doing when I tried to use a GALI-55 MMIC in my RF signal generator. A few basic mistakes led to hours of diagnosing the problem.
I bought an old tube RF generator on eBay. It works surprising well considering the age of the technology. I use my Rigol scope to view some of the waveforms and play with the RF generator a bit.
I wanted a control center mounted to my monitor that I could use for important home automation functions. I build some custom keypads using Cherry MX blue keyswitches and interface them to a Raspberry Pi. I add a VFD display for status info.
I interface a vacuum fluorescent display to a Raspberry Pi.
The availability of GE35 color effects sets, the ones that have been hacked since 2010, is poor. In this article I tear apart one of the new iTwinkle sets to see if they are compatible with the same hack.
GE G35 Christmas bulbs are easily hackable. I wanted to control them with my Raspberry Pi, and this describes how I used a Parallax Propeller to do the intermediate protocol handling.
My latest Nixie Tube Project, a desktop calculator controlled by the Raspberry Pi. It's currently on Kickstarter!
Nixie tube clock prototype using IN-12 Nixie tubes with a Raspberry PI. 74141 / K155D drivers are used with 74HCT595 shift registers.
I design and build a temperature and humidity probe for the Elk M1 Gold Alarm / Home automation panel. A parallax propeller microcontroller and an SHT11 sensor is used.
A futile attempt to tear apart an LED night light in order to alter the sensitivity of the photocell.
My first self-designed Nixie Tube clock prototype. I use IN-12 Nixie tubes along with a parallax propeller microcontroller and a UP501 GPS module.
I design a hit counter for smbaker.com using a Nixie Tube display module and a parallax propeller microcontroller.
Unhappy with existing receiver options, I decided to build my own digital-audio receiver. I used IN-13 nixie bar graphs, a MiniDSP/MiniAmp stack, and an airport express. I even added an Alps MotorPot controller by a parallax propeller microcontroller so the volume can be changed from a web browser. Eventually modified this project to play Pandora using a raspberry pi.
Everything you ever wanted to know about interfacing an old soviet dekatron tube to a microcontroller. I use a parallax propeller and some MPSA42 transistors.
My favorite dekatron project. Using a parallax propeller to query my cisco router, I visualize my Internet throughput using old Russian dekatron tubes.
While my chumby has long since died, this page describes my efforts to modify it to add automatic dimming, because the thing was just too damn bright at night.
This is the high-voltage power supply that I use to power my dekatron, nixie tube, and geiger counter projects.
My efforts to construct a plasma speaker, which is basically an electronic arc modulated by a sound source. It all started from an Instructables article I found on the web, and there were several misadventures as I tried to turn it into a workable design.
Why go with some discrete LED bargraph when you can have a continuous Nixie tube bargraph display?
My first robot project. I try to reproduce Hanno's dancebot. It's a self-balancing robot that uses a parallax propeller microcontroller and some accelerators and gyros to remain upright.
While working on the dancebot, I had to get this accelerometer chip to work. I mounted the accelerometer to a QFN breakout board, and installed it on a parallax propeller professional breadboard.
One of my first successful propeller projects. I implement Conway's Game of Life using a propeller and some random eBay LED MAtrix display.