Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ionic Spinner

One of my inventions that I have been working on requires the use of an 'ionic spinner'.  I had seen one of them several years ago made by the son of a friend who lives in southern Texas.  I asked him to put it on YouTube but alas I could not find anything about it anywhere.  So I tried making one for myself but it does not work so far.

Basically the idea is to take some needels and mount them in opposite directions on the ends of a wire that has a loop in the center that goes over the top of a Tesla Coil or similar high voltage device.  Then when the high voltage is turned on and sparks fly off the ends of the needels the spinner starts rotating in circles.  Turn off the lights and you have a very nifty picture.  So I will keep working on it and hopefully post some pictures of it running some day soon......

It is up and running, although it is not working all that well.  There are two videos uploaded on YouTube already.  video1  video2

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another encounter with a fake anti virus

Back in March 2009 I had to replace my hard drive in my laptop and start over once again.  There was some sort of virus on there and nothing could find it.  About 6 months later MalWare Bytes (MBAM) found about 5 infections on the old hard drive and fixed them.  That was my first encounter with the fake anti-virus virus.  Now I see that about once or twice a week.  When I google for something I try to look at the URL and make sure that it is a valid, well known web site before I click on it.

Recently I was looking up my moms address to help my daughters find their way there.  One of the links I clicked on went to mapquest and I went there because I wanted to see if it had her road properly identified.  However when I tried to exit that web site this poped up on my screen.

I did a 'control' then 'print screen' and then exited the fake warning screen.  Neither Kaspersky or MBAM have found anything on my computer so an infection might have been avoided this time, so far the warning message has not come back.

Another new weapon in the virus war is 'auto runs'.  I have used it to fix a Windows Vista machine as well as my computer at work.  You can use 'auto runs' to go in there and shut down all kinds of things.  It is easy to get carried away and shut down too much, but then you can go back and re-enable it. 

I need to use 'auto runs' on my laptop because every time I use it I end up doing an 'alternate', 'control', 'delete' and shutting down a bunch of junk before the computer will behave properly.  No anti-virus has found any virus on that computer.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Network cable testers

Years ago I invented an in-circuit network cable tester.  It has been on my web site for about 10 years, but no one makes anything like it.  So I thought I would re-post it to my blog as the search engines seem to find things here much faster.

The in circuit network cable tester is only made by me and it is found no where else in the world that I know of! The in circuit network cable tester works on the principle that each cable pair is attached to a coil at both the hub and at the computer ends. So with a volt meter you can measure what almost looks like a short between the blue and the blue white wires. I eventually built this tester based on this principle because using a volt meter to test a cable was a pain in the but. This tester can also tell if it is a 10 only or a 10/100 device at the far end of the cable. A 10 only device only lights up the LED's for the orange and the green pairs. A 10/100 device will light up all 4 LED's if it is working properly. This device may fail to detect a short in some rare cases, but over 90% of the time it will tell you if there is a wiring problem.

The scanning tester is also my own design but several other people make very similar devices. It just uses a 555 timer and a 4017 to sweep through all 8 wires to verify that they are connected and that they are in the right order. This is a great device for testing home made network cables or ones that may have been damaged while they were in use. It also tests and detects network crossover cables.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thyroid Synthroid and medical problems

Well this is a never ending subject.....

My history was that I was sick for over 10 years.  During that time I saw three primary doctors but they all said that I needed to see a shrink because it was "all in my head".  Then a physicians assistant discovered that my TSH was 8.5 and put me on synthroid.  Problem solved...right?  NOT!

This year for Christmas I got an electric blanket.  What a relief, I can finally sleep at night. Going back 20 years I used to sleep in my underpants.  Then I eventually added PJ's then I added some extra blankets, now I am up to about 10 blankets, and finally this year I have added an electric blanket!  I like the solution they used for King David in First Kings chapter 1.  LOL

A while back I blogged on how that when all my symptoms came back after I had been on the synthroid for several years I went to the doctor and was told that it was all in my head once again, because all my tests are fine.  So I added something called 'Thyroid Activator' from the health food store.  Now I have also added Ionine I think those pills are called "Iodide".

Thursday, December 17, 2009

2400 Volt Can Crusher

This is an old post that somehow made its way to the top?  It is from the summer of 2009.

I could not leave the idea of vertically crushing a soda can into an hourglass shape, so that is what I am working on next. This power supply will hopefully deliver 2400 volts. The problem is that I do not have a SCR that can handle 2400 volts. So some sort of mechanical contacts will have to be used. They may have to be replaced after each use.
This cabinet was purchased last June at the Rochester Hamfest for $15 I think. The front will have a digital meter, and connectors for power and ground. Note the size of the 470 ohm resistor, it is rated for about 250 watts, no more smoking resistor.  The panel meter is connected to a 1 meg ohm resistor that is in series with a 9 meg resistor, not across a capacitor like it shows in the schematic.

Friday, December 11, 2009

WordPress With Better Meta Tags

Once again I am back with another WordPress fix. Google will report problems with a WordPress based web site unless you fix a few simple problems.

One thing that is needed is to put a description under each and every picture on your web site. Google looks for some text that is near to the picture to identify the picture. Then Google will use that text to place your picture into google image search results. That text can be done by using the caption tag that is available with every picture that you upload into your web site. Just make sure that you fill it in and do not just depend upon the name of the picture to get it listed.

Another problem is the lack of good meta tags in WordPress. There is a fix for this problem in the WordPress codex but it only places the post title into the meta tag. The results of doing this is that Google will then report that the meta tag is too short. The solution is to put your blog title, the categories, and then the post title into the meta tags. This is usually long enough to make Google happy. The code below does that with a "-" in between each of them.

< meta name="Description" content="< ?php if ( is_single() ) {
bloginfo('name'); echo " - "; foreach((get_the_category()) as $category) 
{ echo $category->cat_name . ' - '; } single_post_title('', true); 
} else { bloginfo('name'); echo " - "; bloginfo('description'); }
?> " />

< meta name="Keywords" content="< ?php if ( is_single() ) {
bloginfo('name'); echo " - "; foreach((get_the_category()) as $category) 
{ echo $category->cat_name . ' - '; } single_post_title('', true); 
} else { bloginfo('name'); echo " - "; bloginfo('description'); }
?> " />

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wordpress show make model & price

Wordpress is a great CMS system but it is a little tricky to display any custom Fields. Displayed below is the code needed to be added to the archives list so that it will preview the make model and price of your items. Of course you need to create the custom fields and fill them in for each item in order for this code to work. Another trick is to add a link to the item itself when you click on the tag. To do that you need to add your own 'a href' and then strip the code off the 'get_the_tags' response.

< a href="< ?php the_permalink() 
?>"> <?php echo strip_tags(get_the_tag_list
('Item: ', ', ')); > </a>
< ?php $key="Price"; if 
(get_post_meta($post->ID, $key, true)!="") 
echo "Price: ".get_post_meta($post->ID, $key, true); ?>
< ?php $key="Make"; if 
(get_post_meta($post->ID, $key, true)!="") 
echo " Make: ".get_post_meta($post->ID, $key, true); ?> 
< ?php $key="Model"; if 
(get_post_meta($post->ID, $key, true)!="") 
echo " Model: ".get_post_meta($post->ID, $key, true); ?>  

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

WordPress Fast thumbnails

I have an idea on how to make fast WordPress thumbnails. There are two methods used inWordPress. One is to use a special custom field that contains the thumbnail name, this requires filling in that field for every item and also uploading the thumbnails for every item.

The second method is to use an add on program like 'TimThumb' that makes thumbnails from the images and then sends the thumbnails to your computer. Your computer then caches them so after the first time they are instantly there. The problem is that it takes time for the web server to shrink the images down so a cache of images is maintained on the server as well.

I have a third solution that works very fast. When pictures are uploaded to WordPress it sets them up with three sizes, large, medium, and small. They are 600x600 pixels, 300x300 pixels, and 150x150 pixels. They are identified by 600x600, 300x300, or 150x150 being added on to the end of the pictures name. You select the size that you want to use for your article.

Now notice that the 150x150 size is 1/16 the total size of the full 600x600 sized image. Why not just select the 150x150 image, send that as the thumbnail and have your browser shrink it to 100x100 or whatever thumbnail size that you want? The images could then be selected totally automatically and sent with very little work by the web page server. All the work would then be done by the user's computer and that would be very little work they would have to do.

The program would find the image reference in the post, then strip off the last 4 characters (usually '.jpg') then add '-150x150' on the end, then put back the last 4 characters. It sounds simple but it is only about 90% successful so far. The problems are that if the image was smaller than 150x150 to begin with then there is no 150x150 image, so it would have to go back to the original image. The next problem is that if you selected the 300x300 image. In that case the last 7 characters would have to be stripped off before the 150x150 was added onto the end.

Sorry the code listing here on BlogSpot is not turning out well. The code goes in the functions as a replacement for get_the_image that uses timthumb. In live testing this code is about 2 times faster using a database of about 500 items. However about 5 % of the thumbnails did not work, so thumbnails had to be manually created and uploaded to fix that problem. One last change fixed problems where the .JPG was capitalized in the uploaded image but was lower case in the thumbnails.

/* For Getting the Image FASTER */
//GET-POST-IMAGE1 quicker than the script by Tim McDaniels

function get_post_image1 ($post_id=0, $width=0, $height=0, $img_script='') {
global $wpdb;
if($post_id > 0) {
$sql = 'SELECT post_content FROM ' . $wpdb->posts . ' WHERE id = ' . $wpdb->escape($post_id);
$row = $wpdb->get_row($sql);
$the_content = $row->post_content;
if(strlen($the_content)) {
preg_match("/< img src\=('|\")(.*)('|\") .*( |)\/> /", $the_content, $matches);
if(!$matches) {
preg_match("/< img class\=\".*\" title\=\".*\" src\=('|\")(.*)('|\") .*( |)\/> /U", $the_content, $matches); }
$the_image_ext = substr($matches[2],-4);
if ($the_image_ext == ".JPG") {  $the_image_ext = ".jpg"; }
$the_image_num = substr($matches[2],-11,-7);
$the_image_src = substr($matches[2],0,-4);
$the_image_150 = $the_image_src . '-150x150' . $the_image_ext;
$the_image_src = substr($matches[2],0,-12);
$the_image_300 = $the_image_src . '-150x150' . $the_image_ext;
if ($the_image_num=="150x" || $the_image_num=="300x" || $the_image_num=="600x" ) {
$the_image = '< img alt="" src="' . $the_image_300 .'" width="' . $width . '" height="' . $height . '" /> ';
} else {
$the_image = '< img alt="" src="' . $the_image_150 . '" width="' . $width . '" height="' . $height . '" /> '; 
return $the_image;

I tried posting the code as a gif, but it was too small to read. Thanks to I now have readable code!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Digital camera evolution

For many years almost all camcorders used VHS tapes. I remember when they were two devices with a big cable that ran between them. Then they made the small VHS camcorders. In those days I do not think I ever owned a camera myself, but I shot about 6 VHS tapes worth of the kids with cameras that I was working on. Then along came YouTube and I bought my first digital camera to make YouTube videos. It was a Sony TRV-250 that I bought on EBay for $50 because it was dead. I fixed it up and used it for some video's but then I bought a Sony TRV-530 for $100 on EBay because it supported analog as well as digital tapes, it has a microphone jack, and worked at lower light levels. I must have shot 30 or 40 video's using that camera. It is on the left in the picture above.

Next I bought some Sony HDR-HC5's on EBay for $250 each. On one of them the tape door jammed because the white magnetic strip theft deterrent was in the way. Another had a steel anti theft cable attached to it, that was easy to remove. They used the mini-DV tape format, and feature a Full HD 1080i 4 mega pixed image sensor. One of them is in the middle of the picture above.

Now I have made another leap forward in camcorder technology, I have bought a Hard drive based Camcorder. It is a Sony DCR-SR82 that I bought on EBay for just under $250. It is on the right in the picture above. I picked this model out because it has the boot for adding a boom microphone, a 1 mega pixel picture, and forward facing built in microphones. Many of the hard drive based models do not have the boot and the built in microphone faces up!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

5 KV Soda Can Crusher

The 5 KV power supply got a big boost when I won a complete power supply on eBay for $100 including a 5 KV transformer, 100 uf Capacitor and a contactor. There were a lot more parts in there but I did not need them. I rebuilt it and almost split a soda can in half on the first test run. The video is on YouTube under bobdavis321 but I cannot get the link to copy right now. Then I tried to use it again but discovered that the power transformer was shorted and the diode was blown to bits. The problem was that there was no resistor to limit the kickback current.
So I rebuilt the power supply using the schematic of the other 5 KV supply. This time I used a resistor to limit the charge current and to protect the diodes during discharge. The schematic is shown below.
To test out the rebuilt power supply I used an apple and then a pumpkin. The apple was soft and mushy but it blew to pieces at 5 KV. The pumpkin did not blow up at all. So I filled it with water and tried again. There was a big bang but the pumpkin survived. After several tries it did split wide open as is seen in the picture below. The video is also on YouTube.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Gateway T6836 upgrade from Vista-XP

At work we have some almost brand new Gateway T6836 laptops. People tried in vain to use them but because they had Vista on them they were extremely slow, generally useless and quickly virus-ed to death. They told me they could not convert them to XP but that did not stop me! I managed to upgrade them from Vista to XP.To pull this off you will need a USB floppy drive and driver files from Intel or Gateway. During boot up press F10 for boot selection, select the CD ROM, press enter. Then press enter when is says press any key to boot from the CD. Next press F6 when the option to load SCSI drivers comes up.
Here is a step by step sequence;
1. Download D20258-001-001.exe from Gateway.
2. Extract it to a folder, then copy it to a floppy disk.
3. Attach a USB floppy drive to laptop, put an XP CD into the DVD drive.
4. During the boot process press F10 to select a boot device.
5. Select the DVD drive from the list and press enter.
6. When it says 'press any key to boot from CD' press enter again.
7. Press F6 when Windows XP starts loading to ‘load SCSI drivers'.
8. When the load the drivers screen comes up press ‘S’ Select the SATA drier from the list (may require trying every driver) The actual driver needed for the T-6836 is called ‘82801HEM/HBM'
9. Then proceed to install Windows XP as you normally would.
10. Next you need to find the drivers and put them on a CD or memory sick to install them on the laptop. Below is a picture of my CD with the drivers for the T6836. The first three were not needed. The wireless network and Video driver (The fourth and the seventh files) were from The graphics chip set is 945G. The sound driver was from RealTech I think.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Internet Security

Internet Security - what an oxymoron! I have a favorite quote about the Internet;

Surfing the Internet used to be like going to a library and looking at books, now it is like walking through a minefield.

Something needs to be done about it. If not there will be a backlash as people are scared away from the Internet just as they were scared away from email by all of the garbage that they received.

Here are some of my proposed solutions;

1. Ban Java. Java gives someone the right to download something unto your computer and run it. I do not know how many times have I had to delete all the java files on a computer in order to get someones computer to work again.

2. Close down ISP's that encourage bad sites. Actually they have done this once and hopefully that will slow the pace of all of this garbage.

3. Demand that Microsoft fix its bugs. Putting a computer running Microsoft software on the Internet is asking for it. Servers are totally out of the question. If you must use Microsoft software then at least get a hardware firewall (That is running Linux)! IPCop is a great solution, I wrote about that years ago on my website. Netgear firewall routers are a nice solution too.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dell X300 Laptop power problems

As you might know I am a fan of Dell laptop computers. In my experience they hold up the best in the long term. Here is another Dell laptop repair explained. The symptoms were that the laptop would shut off on its own and that it would not charge the battery. After some tinkering it was determined that the problem was in the power jack. So it was disassembled and the motherboard was removed. The power jack is in the back right corner in the picture below.
The power jack has 2 arms that extend back behind the jack. As you can see in the picture below they had become unsoldered from the motherboard. They were re soldered on the top and the bottom side of the motherboard. Then the computer was reassembled and sure enough the battery recharged and the laptop did not shut off on its own anymore.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Africa September 2009

I am attempting to post a blog entry from Accra, Ghana, West Africa. We have good Internet here because a year ago Fred and I upgraded their wireless routers BIOS. Ever since then it has worked great.

From Accra we traveled North to Tamale for the first ever graduation of students from the Video Bible School there. The church was packed to standing room only, there were 500 to 600 people there for the graduation service. It started at 9 AM and ended at 3 PM. Somewhere towards the end I shared for about 5 minutes.When the Bible school started in Tomale we bought a used TV for about $120 for them to use. On this trip I brought a Viewsonic Projector for them to use. The projector can be moved around on a motorcycle when a TV cannot be moved on a motorcycle, well it can be and would be but the long term survive ability of TVs on motorcycles is not good.
This makes about 7 video projectors that I have donated to churches in West Africa. When I started doing this the projectors were available on eBay for around $250 to $300, because they were refurbished. Now it is very hard to find any projector for under $500.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Electromagnetic Pulser - Zapper Revisited

My electromagnetic pulser or zapper died recently. To be honest I only use it about once a month to treat some aches and pains. When I opened it up I discovered that the current limiting resistor was disconnected, the push button was disconnected and several of the capacitors were unsoldered. The main problem was that the capacitors were not all glued in place. Movement and vibration led eventually to them becoming unsoldered.

Since I had to work on it anyway I thought that I would upgrade it to meet UL standards. That includes adding a power transformer, a fuse, and some other odds and ends. The primary requirement is that it be 'double insulated'.

One of the first test runs of the rebuilt zapper started in Africa. I accidentally fell into a storm drain. That resulted in a black and blue foot and hip, a scratched up arm and hand. At first I just wrapped the foot, but I still could not walk. So I added a high power magnet into the wrap and within an hour I could walk on the foot. As soon as I got home a week later I used the zapper and it reduced the pain in my foot by about 80% immediately!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Kingdom Bound 2009

Kingdom Bound 2009 is over. I went Monday evening to see Matthew West and then Casting Crowns. When I got there at 6 PM the parking lot was already full. The only parking spots available were on the lawn. Someone announced that they had sold out for the first time at Kingdom Bound! Sorry I did not take any pictures on Monday. Both Matt and Casting Crowns were really great!

Wednesday I went back again to see Natalie Grant and then Newsboys. One parking lot area was almost empty when I arrived at 6PM. We were able to get seats fairly close to the front as there were lots of empty seats at 6PM. Here is a picture of Natalie Grant. She was very good.

When the Newsboys took the stage the audience was on their feet and very excited. They did a combination of Newsboys and DC talk songs. They had a second stage set up out in the audience just a few feet from where I was sitting.

The lighting effects were very impressive. You can see how they overwhelmed the camera. I tried to shoot a video but the sound overloaded my camera as well.

Here is another picture showing some of the lighting effects. Those vertical bars are some sort of LED screen that works together like a big TV screen.

To be honest I do not think Michael Tait is nearly as good of a singer as Peter Furler was. I think that with time they will write songs that better match his vocal style and I am sure things will work out. Peter came on stage for one song and someone whom I will not mention her name, climbed onto her chair and started screaming and dancing. She was hitting me on the shoulder because I had argued with her that Peter was not going to be there.

Dodge Caravan wet floor problems

I have had some problems with the floor on the front passenger side of my van being very wet at times. After it rains I could sometimes even hear water sloshing around. Then on one occasion I saw what looked like a small waterfall coming from somewhere behind the glove box. The passenger side seat was even starting to rust around the base from all of the water.

The problem is that the windshield wiper assembly has a tray under it to collect water. Then a drain hose connects to the bottom of the tray to drain the water out. However that hose can get so clogged that the water cannot get out. Eventually it spills into the passanger side floor. The solution is to pull off the hose (it is dead center in the picture below) and then clean the garbage out of the drain hose.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Some more strange dreams.

The good news is that this is just some more of my strange dreams. In fact I have three dreams to blog about at this time.

In one dream I climbed up to an area where some friends were sleeping. Then I noticed that one of the friends had lots of bruises. So I asked him if the bruises were from the first or from the second major natural disaster. Yipes? The area was devastated by something like a hurricane or an earthquake. It resembled New Orleans after the hurricane, except that I think it was New York City.

The second dream was that a train was rolling to a stop. When it stopped I was told that one of the train cars was for me, when I looked in the car it was full of gold! I scraped off the corner of one of the gold bricks with a knife and it was really solid gold. Then Fred and I started discussing how we could send all of this gold back to the United States.

My thoughts on the second dream is, how can we send the revival we have seen in Africa (and India, and the Philippines) back to the US? That is something to think about. What are the keys to those revivals? How can we bring it back here with us?

The third dream may be an extension of an old one about watering corn that was posted a while back. It might also be an extension of the second dream above. In the beginning of the dream I was watering some plants with an ordinary garden hose. It seemed fruitless as it was never enough water this went on for days. Then I came back one day to find out that someone had connected up a three inch fire hose! Is the answer on how to bring the revival home from Africa to use a bigger hose? I have felt God saying that 'I am going to give you a bigger hose!' What that means or how He will do that I do not yet know. Stay tuned for further developments.

Do you remember the Godzilla Taco Bell commercial? The little dog had a cardboard box that was held up on one end by a stick. He was saying 'Here lizard, here lizard'. Then Godzilla roared a loud roar. The little dog looked a little puzzled, then he says 'I need a bigger box.' I LOVED that commercial. Talk about the power of positive thinking. I just need a bigger hose!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Facts about this economic depression

I am so sick of the economic depression being blamed on former president Bush. First of all congress was being run by democrats ever since the 2006 election so they were already running up the deficit. But the big problem happened in October when the media announced that Obama was going to win the election, look at the stock market index picture below. The stock market plunged when the media announced that Obama would win in October, then it plunged again when he won the election in November, then it plunged when he took office in January. Then it continued down as he had his first three months in office. JUST LOOK! The facts speak for themselves! What is going to happen next? Cap and trade. Take a look and you can see that since Cap and trade started winding its way through congress, the stock market has dropped about 300 points. If Federal health care goes through it will plunge again.

There is precedent for this. The stock market tanked three times during the great depression before the government could figure out the cause and effect. People are not going to invest their hard earned money in companies if they know the government is going to tax the companies to death. Companies are not going to invest, grow in size, and create jobs if they know the government is going to tax them to death. People will not have money to invest if the government taxes them to death.

The solution stop spending and cut taxes! It has worked before and it will work again.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The second civil war

The other day I heard God saying that there will be a wave of righteousness sweeping across this land. Evil has really abounded here and it is making many sick as they see the fruits of evil and corruption that is turning this land into a barren wasteland of high taxes and no jobs. It is time to turn this country back to God, and to leave the evil people standing by themselves wondering where everyone else went. All around this world the wave of revival is building, and as it approaches the shore it gets bigger and bigger. At first you cannot see it because it is just a swelling but as it gets closer to land it takes shape and you can see it forming into a huge wave that will sweep over the mountains.

Sometimes I have posted some of my strange dreams in my blog, this is another one of those dreams. Last November 2008 as I was praying about the upcoming election I woke up startled one night because I was dreaming that I was a soldier in the second civil war. The next day I looked it up on the Internet and the only references I could find were some people that were saying that if Obama did not win the election and become president then there would be a second civil war.

In my dream we were far out numbered, out weaponed, and loosing the war. We were retreating before the enemy. Then there was a pause and many many civilians poured over to our side, in a mass exodus. But that was only one of these dreams. Since then I have had many of these 'second civil war' type dreams.

In any case there is a spiritual war going on. On their side you have the evolutionist, the abortionist, and the white-supremacist, but on this side you have the God fearing, the creationist, the pro-life, the 'all men are created equal' people. BTW the white supremest is part of evolution because it teaches that blacks evolved from monkeys and then whites evolved from blacks. The DNA evidence has long since proven this to be false but the false teaching goes on. They still teach evolution in public schools and claim to fail to realize that they are teaching white-supremacy!

Monday, June 8, 2009

24 KV Power Supply

Years ago I wired up a quick 24 KV power supply. However I never got around to putting it into a nice little box. Well that finally is done, it is in a cabinet. However it did not work when I tested it out, I had to change out the Power FET to get it up and running again. So with it working, I wanted to see if I could get a spark to travel around in circles in the presence of a magnetic field.

After playing around with the magnets I also tested out a Rife tube that someone had given me. It was just sitting in a cardboard box while I tested it. Then I also tested out a big U shaped argon tube to finish up the latest experiments. The video is up YouTube somewhere.

I drew up my schematic and posted it here on my blog. This schematic design was borrowed from one that I had found somewhere else on the Internet. You could easily use a 24 volt center tapped power transformer or a 12 volt transformer with a full wave bridge rectifier. I have used several power FET's with little change in the performance. They can be removed from a sick computer power supply.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Poloroid TDA-03211 3211 32 LCD TV Repair.

The Polaroid 32 inch LCD TVs sell on EBay for as little as $250! Why? Because they have lots of problems. I know, I bought one of them for that price. The first problem is that the built in DVD does not work or last very long. Remove two screws and the DVD player is out of there and without it the power supply might just last a little longer.

However eventually the power supply will die. Mine would shut down sometimes and need to be turned off and then back on to get it working again. When it was working there was a dim area in the middle of the screen that was very obvious on white scenes. Then it smoked and gave up the ghost. The first thing you need to know is that you only need to remove one screw, the big one in the middle on the back side to remove the access cover. Then three small screws and the metal cover comes off. In the power supply there are two 10 uF 450 volt electrolytic capacitors. They sometimes die quietly and sometimes they will die with lots of smoke. In the picture below one of them is shown turned over so you can see the crud around the lead where the goo was oozing out. The circuit board was even damaged under the capacitor from all of the heat.
The best solution is to replace the capacitors with some non-electrolytic 'paper' types. I used some .47 uF at 400 volt capacitors. These capacitors are much more durable, they are used in Tesla coils because they can take a lot of abuse. If you look at the holes and the drawing on the board you will see that this was an option back when they designed the TV. The picture below shows the new caps soldered in place.
With the improvement the picture is back up and brighter than it had been. The dark area in the middle was caused by the lights being dim from the capacitors being bad. When the light bulbs are dim the light does not reach the center of the screen very well.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

2009 Rochester NY HamFest

The 2009 Rochester NY Hamfest was in a new location this year, It is on the west side of Rochester instead of being South of Rochester. The admission price was reduced to only $5 and there was no extra charge if you wanted to sell things. As a result attendance was way up and there was lots of vendors. This is one of the vendors places inside of the building. This new location also featured a large outdoor cooking area. There was lots of food, mostly hamburgs and hot dogs for $2.50 each. There was almost never a line to get to the food.

This is my van, the picture was taken late in the day so the nearby van had left leaving me alone. Also most of my stuff had already sold. I would leave the van with a collection jar and wander around to look for things to buy.

This is an overview of the large yard sale selling area. It was not nearly as crowded as it was in the former location.

This is another one of the vendors. They used a truck to bring their stuff and are selling all kinds of computers and LCD screens.

This is some of the stuff I found. The signal generator was only $10, and it works. The output jacks are broken so I replaced them with ones that only cost me 50 cents. Under it is a rack mount PC case that was free. It is the older AT style cabinet but I have converted them to ATX many times before.

This is some more of the stuff I bought. The Dialogic card is a 12 port analog card that fits a PCI slot. The part number is D120JCT-LS and it sells for $200 used to $1000 new, I bought it for $1. I might use it to test my auto attendant/voice mail software on a newer card. In the box is a 8 port relay board for $1, a digital volt meter for $2. a de-soldering tool and a fuse block that I bought. The fuse block was to use the connectors to connect to an 833 tube to make a new bigger Vacuum Tube Tesla Coil.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My opinion on gay marriage.

I thought I would give my opinion on gay marriage once again. I hear that we are no longer allowed to have our own opinion on the matter.

First a brief history. About 5 years ago Florida started promoting gay rights. Pat Robertson warned that there would be Hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires as a result. Then for 2 years in a row 3 hurricanes per year criss-crossed Florida. That was followed by fires so bad that the highways had to be shut down.

Next New Orleans was espousing its 'Southern decadence days' with phrases like 'Be as decedent as you want'. Then Katrina hid and destroyed New Orleans. Need I say more.

Next California was going to make millions by legalizing gay marriage. Then over 800 DRY lightning strikes in ONE night lit most of the state of California on fire. The devastation cost them BILLIONS!

Now the North East wants to enjoy the devastation with the rest of the country. Two states have started promoting gay marriage and New York wants to join them. I could say I told you so time and time again but the facts and the truth is as obvious as they can be. This promotion of gay rights will bring devastation on the North East. Is that what you want?

A while back I quoted the Scripture that says that 'if you do these things the land will vomit you out'.

Leviticus 18:24-28 'Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the aliens living among you must not do any of these detestable things, for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dell Latitude 1501 Dim screen problem

UPDATE - It was the cable to the screen that was bad. It cost $10 on EBay.

I need your help! I have this Dell 1501 laptop that has no light for the screen. Here is a picture with the bulb working fine with an external high voltage power supply. So then I bought a new inverter on EBay, straight from China, installed it and it still does not light up the screen. That narrows the problem down to something in the BIOS (I reset it to factory defaults) or perhaps the wiring harness? Maybe it is a fuse on the motherboard? Does anyone know the solution? I googled it and read about 100 posts of people complaining about the same problem but no one knows the solution, do you?

5 KV Soda Can Crusher

I purchased a defibrillator capacitor on EBay and have upgraded the old 2.4 KV can crusher to a 5 KV can crusher. I added a voltage doubler on the output of the Microwave Oven Transformer (MOT) to get almost 5 KV. The defibrillator capacitor is rated at 30 uF at about 5 or 6 KV. Can you imagine hooking that up to a person?

The video is now up on YouTube at:

Here is the guts that are inside of the 5 KV Can crusher. The 1 uF 2 KV capacitor that was removed from a microwave oven is mounted on a piece of plastic to insulate it from the chassis.
Here is the schematic of the 5 KV can crusher's power supply. The 10 Meg resistor in the voltage divider fried because it could not handle 5 KV. So I replaced it with 10 x 1 Meg ohm resistors. Technically I think it should have been 9 x 1 Meg ohm. The defibrillator capacitor was only 30 uF, I wanted to get a 100 uF capacitor that was on sale on EBay for $150 but the price was a little high.

By the way, I do not know when I will have the time for it but I have a 833 tube that I won on EBay to build a really big Vacuum Tube Tesla Coil (VTTC) sometime. I cannot believe how big the 833 tube is!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Elim's newer Nortel Option 11 telephone system

Last weekend we changed out the old Nortel SL1 telephone system for a newer Option 11 telephone system. This is the old system's cabinet. I am turning it into a high tech book shelf. I just need to get the covers for the back.
To be able to move the old system around we removed all of the old cards and piled them in the corner. I will be selling some of them on EBay soon. Let me know if you want to buy some of them. I plugged one of the old cards into 110 volts for a YouTube video years ago. It was very explosive ;-) Here is the link;
When I arrived they had already removed all the old wires. They were lined up in the hallway. The new system had punch down blocks with jacks on them and then cables to match to the telephone system. That reduced the amount of wires to be punched down by 1/2.

There is Barry and Jeremiah with the newer option 11 cabinets and the telephone patch panels on the left. Barry had a spool of interconnect wire in the ceiling that he is reaching for. They could have done it without me, so I took pictures while they worked.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

VP181 Viewsonic LCD monitor repair

Here are some Viewsonic VP181 LCD monitor repair tips. I picked up a lot of LCD screens on EBay a while back and one of the last ones to be fixed is a VP181. It did not work because it would not light up the screen. The problem was most likely the inverter. However this monitor takes a 6 output inverter that lists for around $100. After some digging around I found a universal 6 output inverter that sells for less than 1/3 of that price.

Also here is a strange point about the VP181. It will not work without the base. So if you apply power to the screen and expect it to work, it will not. Also it has an unusually large AC adapter jack. I cut into the power cable between the base and the screen and spliced in power from a universal 12 volt 5 amp AC adapter. The universal adapters are available for about $10 each on EBay.

Universal 6 output inverter to Viewsonic VG 181 LCD Screen adapter.
Wire colors are from the cable from the control board to the inverter board.

Purple - Enable to middle wire to inverter
Blue - Unknown
Green - Gnd to Blue striped wire to inverter
Yellow - Gnd
Orange - Gnd
Red - +12V to wire furthest from ground to inverter
Brown - +12V
Black - +12V

The replacement inverter only lines up with one of the mounting screws, the one in the middle. The ends of the inverter are held in place by rubber stoppers. The wires to the CCFL tubes need to be unhooked and stretched a little. The order they plug into the inverter may have to be changed as well.

Friday, April 24, 2009

2400 Volt Can Crusher

The promised and much awaited 2400 volt power supply went through its first test run. The video is up on YouTube. It was a little disappointing it takes 4 firings to get the can into the hourglass shape. One of the capacitors might be bad. Anyway a Microwave Oven Transformer charges six 400 volt capacitors through a 500 ohm 250 watt resistor. The idea is to electronically crush the soda can into an hourglass shape.

The switch to connect the capacitors to the coil is made of two 1/2 inch bolts meeting head to head. They need to be filed off after every 5 to 10 operations as they will melt together if not cleaned up. A piece of plastic holds them apart and is removed by pulling on a string.

There are 6 turns of 10 gage wire wrapped around the soda can. The last time I tried this was at 800 volts and I used about 10 turns of 14 gage wire. The wire was turned into a jumbled mess and every solder connection melted. So this time everything is connected with two 10 gage wires in parallel and fastened together with bolts. The coil has been rewound into 2 layers totaling 5 turns and is now more effective at crushing the soda can.

Below is the updated schematic. The resistors are matched with a volt ohm meter for 10:1 correspondence so that the built in volt meter will read exactly 1/10 of the output voltage. The meter runs on a 9 volt battery, I could have used the filament winding of the MOT but the 9 volt battery was easier.

There are 2 Youtube videos;
Then it was improved with better results;
I have been thinking about the future of can crushing. It is hard to balance this many electrolytic capacitors when they are wired up in series. Some do not completely discharge and some reverse charge. The solution would be to use higher voltage capacitors. One easy source is microwave oven capacitors but they are only 1 uF each. So now I am searching for some capacitors in the range of 10 to 100 uF at 5 to 6 KV. I hope to find something at the Ham fests this summer.