I have recently undertaken a journey of cooking*. What started out as complaining about the price of ground beef (ridiculous), has turned into an obsession over cooking the perfect burger. This is one of my better results. I’ll probably make a few more posts as time progresses about the equipment that I’m using, but suffice it to say that this was one delicious burger. Special thanks to my buddy Joe for the delicious homemade pickles.
*Despite a few more posts, I promise not to turn this into a foodie blog. If you like that sort of thing, check out A Hamburger Today, which I blame entirely for my obsession.
You have to remove almost everything to get to the power connector, which is what almost always fails.
This is what happens when you send your laptop home with me to fix it.
Things break. Sometimes it is sad. Sometimes it is beautiful. This is one of the latter times. In this particular case it is a 500 Watt theatrical lamp that burned out. I like how the filament melted into the quartz before it vaporized.
I was walking around the downtown area of a small town and I found this posted on the door of a store. Hit the More link for a cleaned up version.
When I was doing my CFL Teardown I mentioned that I thought the PCB would make a cool keychain. It does. I have had it on my keys for a little while now and it works quite well at helping me find my keys without getting in the way. I like the side with the components silkscreened on, most people like the green side with the traces.
To make it work as a keychain I had to widen out one of the holes to fit the key ring through. There are a ton of ways to do this, but I happened to have my Yankee Drill sitting on my counter as I was working, so I used that. Next I wanted to take off the excess solder so all the holes would be visible. I was feeling lazy so instead of using a solder sucker I just used solder wick. Once I was happy with the amount of solder I had left I put the keychain in my toaster oven to round off any sharp bits of solder that were left over. This made the board a bit discolored, but it also kept me from cutting myself when pulling my keys from my pocket.
After a few weeks using it the only problem I see is that I am slowly wearing the hole larger. I figure that in a few months I will wear completely through. I could cover the whole thing in a clear epoxy and it would probably last much longer. Probably I will just take apart another broken CFL and use the PCB again.
My Dremel burned out recently when I was using it. I was cutting through some thin aluminum with a grinding wheel when it got hot, then stopped working altogether. I received the Dremel as a gift for my wedding and didn’t have a receipt for it. I called up Dremel and they had me send it in without giving me any trouble. A short while later I got a box from UPS. Not only did it contain a perfectly working replacement unit, it had a nice letter, a CD of project ideas and a free accesory. Thank you Dremel very much. I think I may need to go buy some more Dremel products.
The accesory was a 120 grit flapwheel sander. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it, but right now just about everything is looking like it could use a good sanding.
In case you are wondering how I finished my project after the original dremel died, the metal was thin enough that I was able to cut through it with a box cutter. You’ll see that project in a later post.
One of my compact fluorescent lights stopped working recently. Instead of throwing it away I decided to crack it open and see what was inside.
<warning> Electricity can hurt you. If you don’t know what you are doing, get someone who does to help. </warning>
The first step was to remove the metal base and pry the plastic off of the globe. The plastic base, globe and lamp were disposed of. Be careful with the lamp, it contains mercury vapor, not something you want to be breathing.
The main circuit board. Everything was pretty tightly packed in. At first glance nothing is obviously bad. The plastic on the enclosure was a little browned, so I’m guessing something overheated. One part of the large yellow inductor was cracked when I removed it, so that is a possibility.
After a little time with the soldering iron I’ve got a nice pile of parts. I got six diodes, seven capacitors (two matching), five resistors (two matching), three inductors, two matching transistors, a fuse and a nifty circular pcb. Normally I would dispose of the pcb but I think it would make a really cool looking key chain.
Now all I need to do is check the parts that might be bad and put them away in my parts drawer.