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    Restoration & Repair

    Enter Your Electronics & Design Project for a chance to win an $200 Shopping cart of product!

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    Congratulations to aspork42  for  Midi Synth rescued from the junk bin!  You are the winner of a $200 Shopping Cart and earn the Grand Prize Trophy Badge!

     

    Congratulations to gecoz for Fix that Power Supply, or bin it!dougw for This Device Tickles My Fancy,  and jancumps for Service my Philips 212 Turntable!  You are the First Place winners of the $100 Shopping Cart and earn First Place Trophies!

     

    Thank you to all the community members for your patience with this winners announcement.  The  Restoration & Repair launched in the middle of March as our normally scheduled monthly competition but it soon became apparent that anything would be normal about the month of March or any of the months that followed it.  In this time of COVID-19, perhaps you could argue that there was no better time to focus on a project competition that centered around fixing something that was broken. In that same week we launched the  NanoRama competition and rather than waiting a full month to see if the members picked it, we launched the  Fighting Germs competition which centered around projects around the cause of fighting COVID-19.  In April,  in lieu of a project competition we launched a bit of an experiment by opening up a workshop under Project14, PYNQ Workshop.  While this was happening Project14 quietly celebrated its 3rd birthday, taking a bit of backseat to everything else that was going on.

     

    Now in June, there is talk of re-opening and going back to business as usual in most of the world.  While things are a long way from going back to normal for most of us.  We can take inspiration from projects that are built around restoration and repair.

     

    Without further ado here are your winners.......

     

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    The Winners

    The Grand Prize

     

    Midi Synth rescued from the junk bin  by aspork42 :

     

    Community Member Scoring:

     

    Grand Prize: 8 points, First Place:  1 point  Total Points: 9 Points

     

    aspork42  took on the challenge of repairing a Midi synthesizer which was sitting in a co-worker's junk bin for a few years. While they discussed electronics, his coworker mentioned that he uses for DJ'ing, but had to stop using it because it was messing up. A repair had been attempted, but it didn't go well. So, the project ended up sitting for a few years. On March 15th ("Evacuation day" when everyone was sent home due to the pandemic) his coworker handed him the device in a case with a bag of parts. His description was "I think the problem was over here somewhere" while pointing to about half the circuit board. 

     

    This kit is the Audiothingies P6 Virtual Analog Polysynth. Think of it as a pass-through mixer for adding sound effects. It is used to take in a Midi signal from an instrument or playback device, add all sorts of filters, envelopes, mixes, shifts... any sort of different effect. It then outputs a new Midi signal for downstream devices (all digitally) and it also has stereo analog outputs in the form of two 1/4" jacks; standard in Audio equipment. It appears to be originally sold as a kit that the end user can assemble. This means lots of through-hole parts and a decently labeled board.The kit was discontinued around 2016 as Audiothingies released newer versions with more surface-mount components not friendly to soldering for the inexperienced. There is an ARM processor doing most the work on a daughter board, and a DAC daughter board for the audio generation. The main IC is the ST Micro STM32F405, the same as used in the Adafruit Feather Express and other boards.  For I/O, this kit has an LCD, 9 tack switches, 6 rotary encoders; each also having a 'press' button. To handle all of these inputs, it uses shift register ICs SN74HC165N to essentially 'serialize' all the digital inputs into a single pin on the Micro. Each of the three shift registers handles two encoders and two buttons. They are daisy-chained together so that the final result is a bitstream of 24 bits on a single pin. The software could then just look at this input with a simple bitmask to see button status. There are a few signals required to run these (clock, Shift data) but they can provide good flexibility in adding inputs to a lower IO count IC. The 9 LEDs are mostly driven from a similar shift register 74HC595N. This chip takes in serial data, and assigns it to 8 digital outputs. It can also be daisy chained for 'distributed IO' around your board.

     

     

    Midi Synth rescued from the junk bin

     

    "He has done a good investigation job, recovered the issue and also made a good demonstration video of both the phases, the work and the result." - Community Member Judge

     

     

    "Repair process was well documented and nice video of post repair testing" - Community Member Judge

    "Nice clean up and detective work to restore this non-functional piece of audio gear.  James did a great job breathing new live into this long dead device." - Community Member Judge

    "Great research tracking down the schematic, a challenging repair with multiple issues to fix, good use of a development board as a test tool." - Community Member Judge

     

    First Place Winners:

     

    Fix that Power Supply, or bin it! - Part 1 by gecoz:

     

    Community Member Scoring:

     

    First Place:  4 points Total Points: 4 Points

     

    Back in 2008 gecoz  bought a power supply (12V – 5A) to be used with his CCTV system (cameras and recorder). It failed in 2015, after 7 years of 24/7 service. At the time, he didn’t have time to troubleshoot the problem, and he just replaced with a more powerful model (12V – 10A, which is still currently powering the CCTV system), with the promise he would come back to it to try and fix it. 5 years, with a gentle push from his wife who, because of the lock-down for the COVID-19 pandemic, is in a permanent “let’s get rid of your junk” mode: the only way to save his beloved power supply from the bin is to fix it!

     

    Fix that Power Supply, or bin it!

     

    "Second first prize to the fixing of the power supply, interesting project and a good demonstration of the features of the recovered device." - Community Member Judge

     

     

    "Also good documenting and testing" - Community Member Judge

    "Fabio did a great job of understanding the proper operation (and taught me a lot it the process) and then found and fixed the issues.  Great to see another piece of gear saved from the trash!" - Community Member Judge

    "Detailed breakdown of the schematic and a systematic repair process." - Community Member Judge

    Service My Philips 212 Turntable  by jancumps:

     

    Community Member Scoring:

     

    Grand Prize: 2 points  First Place:  2 points  Total Points: 4 Points

     

    jancumps did a great project involving a turntable with his DIY LED Stroboscope to Check Turntable Speed project and does another really cool Restoration & Repair project involving turntables when he goes to to service a Philips GA-212 Electronic turntable that needed some TLC. When everyone switched to CDs, many moved their turntables to the attic. He observes that it seemed people got tired of keeping them and gave them to thrift shops around the 2010s. Taking advantage of this, he purchased a significant amount, with the only rule being that they had to look repairable  and he didn't spend more than 25€ per table. He would then sell the fixed ones for a perverse amount online. With the proceedings, I bought records. The ones I couldn't fix, he posted as pick'm'up for nothing on that same auction site.

     

    As for this turntable, Philips used a type of plastic in the power switches that deteriorates. Nothing you can do about that. They all have it. It's not even worth looking for a defective turntable with a working switch, because it'll break as soon as it's used. The plastic has gone brittle - losing all its structural coherence. His solution was to mount it in a way that you don't see it's broken, and include a switch in the power cable (from a dead IKEA lamp). A completer solution would be to look for a clunky power switch where he could mount the original button knob on, or "something else". he won't not include that in this exercise.

     

    Service my Phillips 212 Turntable

     

    "What a great dive into the inter workings of a classic piece of audio equipment.  If I still had any of my old audio equipment and it needed work, I would be sure to consult with Jan first." - Community Member Judge

     

     

    "Great use of service guides and creation of repair tool" - Community Member Judge

     

    This Device Tickles My Fancy  by dougw :

     

    Community Member Scoring:

     

    Grand Prize: 2 points  First Place:  2 points  Total Points: 4 Point

     

    dougw confronts the fact that he is in fact, a gadget-holic.  With all the lockdowns in place, he thinks it is important to stay connected, stay positive, communicate, find ways to relieve the stress, distract ourselves from obsessing over problems we can't solve, find ways to have some fun, maybe even find time to indulge in a few harmless vices.This blog is about a quest he's been on for several decades. It starts back from when he was a student….

     

    His best summer job was in an electronics lab where he had all sorts of miscellaneous tasks that taught him a lot that he didn't know, and a lot that he would never learn in my engineering courses. One of the things he did was simply sort components, which may seem pretty menial, but he actually learned a lot from doing it, and it is why he can read color code values at a glance without thinking or calculating. That lab had a General Radio LCR meter that he found intriguing and extremely useful for several of the tasks he had.  Ever since then he's had a disproportionately high desire (relative to actual need) to own a nice RLC meter, but they always seemed too expensive for him to justify purchasing. He still doesn't have a dedicated one like the GenRad, although he's collected a bunch of meters that more or less cover the functionality of an RLC meter.  His latest instrument is a bit more of a novelty than a serious meter, but nonetheless it is very cool because it is deceptively smart and very versatile. He like having it more because it is cool more than for any high performance capability.  It's the T7 Multitester. These instruments are quite fragile, both mechanically and electrically. This blog explains a few things he's done to improve the device and fix some of the issues.

     

    This Device Tickles My Fancy

     

    "Third first prize to dougw with his tested device. He has done a nice work, including the recreation of the case and really improved the device with an add value including the USB power and the restoration of the parts." - Community Member Judge

     

     

    "Nice upgrades and improvements to the functionality of the LCR meter" - Community Member Judge

    The Runners Up

    Runners Up:

     

    The following members received first place votes.

     

    Repairing a Generator Stator Earth Fault Relay  by three-phase:

     

    Community Member Scoring:

     

    First Place:  2 points, Total Points: 2 Points

     

    Repairing a Generator Stator Earth Fault Relay



    "Donald really dug in and traced the faults and restored a device that many would have tossed. Well done!" - Community Member Judge

     



     

    A Shocking Variac Made a Little Less Shocking!  by lui_gough:

     

    Community Member Scoring:

     

    First Place:  2 points, Total Points: 2 Points

     

    A Shocking Variac Made a Little Less Shocking!

    "First prize to the Shocking Variac by lui_gough Very well explained the process, as well as demonstrating how it works now, including a short but clear lesson on what are the possible applications of this device." - Community Member Judge

     

     

    Don't Be a Wimpy-Wrencher, Son - Cars are Actually Easier to Maintain Today than Ever by sjmill01:

     

    Community Member Scoring:

     

    First Place:  1 points, Total Points: 1 Points

     

    Easily LED Don't Be a Wimpy-Wrencher Son - Cars are Actually Easier to Maintain Today than Ever

    "A great selection of tips and tricks" - Community Member Judge



     

     

    Tektronix D10 5103N analogue oscilloscope repair  by memyselfandi:

     

    Community Member Scoring:

     

    First Place:  1 points Total Points: 1 Points

     

    Tektronix D10 51043N analogue oscilloscope repair

    "Great rescue of a classic instrument" - Community Member Judge

    PSU accuracy measurement and calibration by neuromodulator

     

    Community Member Scoring:

     

    First Place:  1 points Total Points: 1 Points

     

    PSU accuracy measurement and calibration



    In the comments below:

     

    Be sure to Congratulate the Winners and Keep Being Awesome!