Saturday, August 09, 2014

My New Boombox

Remember the boombox? Well I picked one up at a yard sale today. I’d been looking for a cheap but relatively good quality one for a while so that I could play content from my MP3 player or tablet while in the shower.

The one hitch? It didn’t have an auxiliary or CD input. So I did a Google search for “convert boombox mp3” (not in quotes…) and found a few good sites. The one that had the best advice was this guide to “Installing an Auxiliary input on any Stereo”. The basic technique is to find the input to the amplifier and graft the auxiliary input to it while disconnecting the other inputs. DSCF2974 I cracked it open. Quick tip: first remove every knob you can, then remove the screws and it should come apart easily.DSCF2975 This is my candidate for getting the sound in. That’s the radio board. I’ll snip those wires (the boombox will not have radio or cassette function because it’ll be a pain to keep those as well.)DSCF2976 The cassette assembly also needs some trimming.DSCF2977 I removed the whole motor assembly on the left and the majority of the gears, belts, etc.DSCF2979 The aerial clamp isn’t needed.DSCF2980 The power (L) and speaker (R) connectors.DSCF2983 Now I try and figure out what those 5 wires from the radio board are.DSCF2986 Yay, ground.DSCF2987 And a 5V DC line. It will be removed from the connector.DSCF2989 Ground and stereo left and right hooked into a 1/8” audio cable for testing.DSCF2991 I could just reassemble it without the other two boards but will need them for cosmetic reasons.DSCF2994 Some splicing, soldering and insulating of a new 1/8” cable to amplifier board cable.DSCF2997 After getting it all back together (with neither the cassette or radio board hooked up, but in place) I was able to play some tunes from my MP3 player.DSCF2999 I can stow the cord in the cassette tray.DSCF3001 And it pops open for use.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Heathkit VC-2 Voltage Calibrator

I picked this up at OSU last winter, finally got around to checking it out a bit. I’m not really sure what this is specifically useful for. It outputs a square wave of a settable voltage. I’d love a scan of the manual as I haven’t found one on the internet.DSCF2694 DSCF2695 Benny the Beaver.DSCF2697 The peak volts scale is obscured by a replacement graduated dial.DSCF2699 DSCF2700 Set up on the bench.DSCF2704 DSCF2705 4.26V when set to 4V…DSCF2707 DSCF2708 9.36V when set to 8. I’m guessing that the dial is not graduated correctly. Why is it there then? Who knows.DSCF2710 DSCF2713 DSCF2714 An internal potentiometer.DSCF2716 DSCF2719 The internals are typically simple and beautiful for the age.DSCF2724 Removed the aftermarket dial face. Have to give it to my friend SpudDSCF2725 DSCF2726 With the dial removed it seems more accurate?DSCF2728 DSCF2729 Almost spot on…DSCF2731DSCF2730  Not so much at the .1V multipler,DSCF2732 DSCF2733 Nor at the 10x multipler at 1V(x10=10V)DSCF2735 DSCF2736 At 2Vx10 I get 22.6V, so there’s a pretty consistent extra 2.6~ volts.DSCF2737 DSCF2739 But at 5Vx10, I do get almost 50 volts.
I don’t think this was meant to be a precision reference, although I may be wrong. I could play with the internal potentiometer I suppose. Anyway, a neat thing.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Making Some Croquet Hoops

I bought a croquet set at a yard sale that was complete but for 5 missing hoops.DSCF2620Measuring the length of some wire.DSCF2622 Using my Marvel #5 rod parter.DSCF2623 Lengths of wire.DSCF2629 Straightening it out, using the drill press vise as a bending aid.DSCF2630 Relatively straight.DSCF2631 I set up my Di-Acro bender.DSCF2632 I bending to the Sharpie marks.DSCF2633 One bend.DSCF2636 Two bends.DSCF2639 The originals had a hoopier form, but I prefer a square hoop. Ok, I don’t really care, it was just less labour intensive.DSCF2641 Trimming them to length.DSCF2645 Ready for a game of croquet.