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John Wiltrout's Blog

126 posts
As if the nice weather wasn't enough of an incentive to move from my home in Wisconsin, where it is currently 10 degrees F and buried in snow, to sunny California, I recently came across this awesome retro electronics component store in Torrance CA.   After I wandered in and started to poke around time stopped. The seeming appearance of chaos to the untrained eye was to me a well packed compilation of 50 years of electronic parts and tools. Another fascination to me was that no one had b ...
In my wanderings today I had the honor of spending an hour and a half visiting with the Author of the wonderful Make Electronics and Encyclopedia of Electronics Books Series. These are some of the best entry level books available for those who want to learn the basics of electronics or for those like myself who want to have some enthusiastic materials with which to inspire children and grandchildren. I have been a promoter of the Authors books for some time now and we have had a couple email exc ...
I have no doubt that I am a little out of it. New things and ideas seem to come faster than I can assimilate them sometimes. This may be more common that I think but it is the first time I have seen one.     At first glance I was impressed by how nice this tree looked. Then the camouflaged antennas at the top caught my eye but I still thought it was a tree that had been repurposed as a pole for a cell phone array. It wasn't until I saw the access panel on the trunk that I finally re ...
Today Millie and I passed through San Antonio Texas and we had the opportunity to meet with genebren and his lovely wife for lunch. This gave us a great chance to compare interests and ideas about electronics. Face to face meetings add a new dimension to friendships on the forum. While the friendships that we make and develop on the forum are the best they are even better when accompanied with a firm handshake and a smile. We are all fortunate to have someone with the skills and competence of Ge ...
One of my sons Mario, who works repairing automated machines for a local manufacturer, was talking about the 3 phase power that they use. I told him about the interesting 3 phase generator that shabaz built and tested the other day and that I wanted to learn more. He suggested that I take a look at a small single phase 220 volt to 3 phase 220 volt  Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) that he had.     NOTE of CAUTION! This experiment involves lethal voltages and should not be attempt ...
Thanks to Christmas Vacation I had the opportunity to spend the day doing electronics with my 11 year old Grandson Ivan. We began with a small Chinese noise actuated clap switch.   https://www.ebay.com/itm/VOS-Voice-Operated-Switch-DIY-Kit-Voice-Switch-Electronic-Production-Suite/222649153280?hash=item33d6ec7700:g:1cAAAOSwnDZT5G~0     As you can see the kit comes with no directions other than the silk screening on the board. I had explored this kit a while back and reverse eng ...
While getting dinner tables ready today for the coming Christmas Dinner the boss (Millie) asked me to get some wrinkles out of a plastic table cloth. After retrieving my shop hair dryer I began to heat the plastic cloth to remove the wrinkles. After I had finished I noticed the little GFI Plug, on the end of the cord, plugged into the wall outlet. I thought to myself, you know I have never tested the GFI,and so I pushed the test button. The GFI however did not click and open but rather began to ...
For my 25th birthday in 1974 I bought a 10 MHz BK Dynascan 1460 Oscilloscope for $450.00. It was my first scope and I was servicing Audio Electronics at the time with an occasional TV thrown in. My primary job was as an independent service tech for 20 Radio Shack stores in Wisconsin and Minnesota. I had hopes that the scope would help me to diagnose some of the tougher puzzles that came across my bench. Since that time I have had dozens of shops and the BK scope has always been there for me.  ...
jw0752

Defective Caliper

Posted by jw0752 Top Member Oct 14, 2017
Test   This video can be ignored. I wanted to try the new video up load system. John ...
     When I first found this Chinese Ammeter kit I bought it, as at $4.62 and free shipping it was a no brainer.   https://www.banggood.com/ICL7107-Digital-Ammeter-DIY-Kit-Electronic-Learning-Kit-p-977902.html?rmmds=search     At +/- 1 mA resolution the specifications were very acceptable to the level of precision that I usually need. I love these inexpensive kits, not only for the low $ that I have invested, but also for the challenge that is introduced by ...
jw0752

My Muse is Gone

Posted by jw0752 Top Member Sep 13, 2017
For those of you who have known me and followed me over these last 4 years there has been one continuing theme. My Mom with deteriorating symptoms of Parkinson's Disease and me with furtive attempts to use electronics and technology to ameliorate her situation. In addition to countless little twists and hacks to everyday items, we had modified her chair so that it wouldn't over extend, built a pain creme dispenser, designed a power straw to let her drink when she was too weak to draw water up a ...
jw0752

Disaster Averted

Posted by jw0752 Top Member Aug 31, 2017
About a year ago I installed a Water Mains Shut Off system in my home. I blogged about it at the time and here is a link to the final Blog Post where I included a video:   https://www.element14.com/community/people/jw0752/blog/2016/07/12/automatic-water-shut-off-system-for-home-chapter-5-final-demo   Over the course of the year I have had two times where the system shut off due to a splash of water in the laundry room getting to the sensor. Both of these times the alarm and shut off ...
jw0752

I Love Wire

Posted by jw0752 Top Member Aug 17, 2017
Yes I admit it, I confess, I Love Wire!     A while back Alpha Wire announced the release of a new wire called Thermo Thin Hook-up Wire. Here is their announcement on e14 in case you missed it.   https://www.element14.com/community/groups/alphawire/blog/2017/06/08/alpha-wire-releases-all-new-600v-thermothin-hook-up-wire   The announcement offered a free sample so I signed up. That was June 8th. Today two months later I received 2 FEDEX packages each containing 2 feet of ...
If you have followed the previous 3 posts about this project you know that we are at the point where the rubber meets the road. I have now put the interface circuits, that were previously on bread boards, on to an Arduino shield board. The shield will make all of the necessary connections to the Arduino. The connections from the interface board to the rest of the circuit are being assembled so that I will be able to easily disconnect and remove the interface board for modification or service if ...
The purpose of the Process Duration Timer (PDT) is to provide a means to set up an experiment and time a process, whether it is the discharging of a battery, the discharging of a capacitor or some other process that one does not want to sit around and watch. The PDT allows the experimenter to set up the experiment and walk away. The PDT watches the voltages and pushes the button on the stop watch the second that the process voltage crosses the target goal.   In the last three blogs we hav ...