Thursday, August 25, 2011

TI MPS430 Launchpad development kit - $4.30

Found this today. If you are into microcontroller development, this is a deal;

"For $4.30, the LaunchPad includes a development board, 2 programmable MSP430 microcontrollers, mini-USB cable, PCB connectors for expandability, external crystal for increased clock accuracy, and free & downloadable software integrated development environments (IDEs) – everything you need to get started today."

And the $4.30 price INCLUDES shipping. I ordered two.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Pole Position and the Gypsy's curse

Atari Pole Position

My pole position is cursed. Not the main board, which oddly never gives me any trouble. It's the damn monitor over and over. When I got it, it was a messed up sync signal. No biggie.

Next during a brief gaming session, I smelled magic smoke. A bundle of wires in the matsushita TM-202G decided to short out. Who at matsushita thought it was a good idea to bundle the neckboard wires with the HV anode lead??

Most recently, a fellow KLOVer (Thanks again!) gave me a K4600 that needed a cap kit. Wheeled it into the shop, cleaned it, capped it, tuned it, and it looks great. Go to bring it back out of the shop, and a when I set it down a distinct delayed thud tells me that I forgot to install the monitor bolts. Crap... I pull off the back to find the neckboard split into two where it hit the cabinet back.

So here I am again with a dead pole position that has seen far more repair time than play time. With any luck, the tube neck isn't cracked, but lucky doesn't describe this machine at all. Anyone know how to remove a curse from an arcade game?

Atari Pole Position - Side View

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Samsung DLP TV repair - Part 3

The color wheel worked perfectly and the picture looks great!  Now to find a place to put this big beast.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Samsung DLP TV repair - Part 2

Pulling out the projector assembly and testing the fans, found them to be working perfectly.  So I started searching technical websites and disassembling the unit further. Many users seem to have experienced problems with loud buzzing and distorted colors, and most stemmed from a broken color wheel.  The color wheel is not visible in this image, but can be found to the right of the projector lens, underneath the black plastic cover with the square white sticker.

Getting down to the color wheel I find that it is clearly broken.  There are glass shards in the bottom of the housing and the wheel itself is broken (see below).

This is what the broken color wheel assembly looked like.  The edges should be uniform circular, and the wedge missing should be there as well.  It appears that the wedge came as it was spinning and then crashed into the wheel, shattering itself and damaging additional panels. Now unbalanced, the timing of the color system is shot and the picture appears as a black and white image with random colors applied.
Broken BP96-00674A Color Wheel

When ordering a new color wheel, take note of your model number carefully.  My unit is a model HLR5067WX (note the X on the end) and has an L3 chassis, which requires a model BP96-00674A Color Wheel (~$125 on Amazon).  The model HLR5067W has an L6 chassis, and uses a model BP96-01103A color wheel (~@88 on Amazon). Both model chassis' and color wheels look nearly identical, with the only apparent difference being a only a few millimeters difference in the mounting rails.  But they are NOT interchangeable.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Samsung DLP TV repair - Part 1

SamSung HLR5067WX 50" DLP TV
I recently got a free SamSung HLR5067WX 50" DLP TV from a relative. It was working and started making a loud buzzing noise and the picture went crazy. I figured that the fan had failed and a chip had overheated, so I brought it home to see if I could repair it.  With any luck the chip isn't cooked, and a new fan will bring her back to life.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Has Coleman betrayed it's heritage?

I was unsuccessfully searching for a replacement grease pan (p/n 9990-4651) for my Coleman 5300 grill, when I ran across this blog entry.
No Spare Parts; No More Coleman Grills: " I’ve purchased my last Coleman grill. The grease pan—a 19”x32” pan (p/n 9990-4651)that catches all the stuff that doesn’t stick to the other parts—is not usable and can’t be replaced. There is no replacement item. ..."
Oddly, they warrant the burners for life ($50/set) and the electronics for 7 years ($34/set), but a $10 tin pan that you can't live without is "Temporarily Unavailable".  That is, unless you call in which case you find that "temporary" actually means "permanent" Like the previous author, I too am unlikely to purchase another Coleman grill. Why pay premium for products with replaceable parts if the parts aren't in fact replaceable?

Anyway, I think that Coleman has lost it's way.  And I find that a bit sad given that my father and I have been depending on (and enjoying) Coleman products for well over over half a decade.