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Salvaged Circuitry

CNC Operator Troubleshooting Controls

1990s Millport CNC Vertical Mill Revival


The 1990s were home to manual tuning radios, Polaroid 600 film, Microsoft Bob and the never ending audible onslaught of manufactured boy bands - not necessarily reliable and easy to use CNC milling machines! This is a guide on how to make a very sad servo-drive, DOS 1.0 based, Intel 486 powered CNC shift some 1s and 0s on an ISA memory card and throw chips again.

Oscilloscope PCB UART connection

Agilent 2000a / 3000a Oscilloscope NAND Recovery


As a resident member of the EEVblog Test Equipment Anonymous support group, I have picked up my fair share of old test equipment boat anchors, but my knees buckle at broken recently manufactured oscilloscopes in the sub $200 range. In this case, the Agilent / Keysight Infiniivision X-series oscilloscopes have been an engineer's darling since their introduction around 2008. A lightweight, small, 8-bit oscilloscope with up to 1GHz bandwidth, full MSO capability, protocol decode and a waveform generator - what more could you want? Despite the incredibly successful launch of the 2000a and 3000a, some ugly problems developed over time that crippled the oscilloscope range. One of those is NAND memory corruption. This article details the complete recovery procedure and offers insight into the source of the problem.

Sigma 45mm Lens rear disassembled

Sigma 45mm f/2.8 Lens Repair & Analysis


I stumbled across a broken Sigma 45mm f/2.8 Art lens for a very cool $58.65 USD that I simply could not resist. I've been eyeing an AF lens in the 50mm range for my recent endeavors with L-mount cameras and this looked like the perfect fit. This lens is commonly found as a kit with the very excellent full-frame Sigma FP camera series. Here is my comprehensive guide to bringing the lens back into service. I delve into the nitty-gritty details of lens PCB repair and lens disassembly techniques.

Olympus Lens disassembled on table

Olympus 12mm f2.0 Lens Flex Repair


My trusty Olympus 12mm micro 4/3 lens met its demise after a brief internal cleaning: The lens mount ribbon cable tore. Flex cables are incredibly fragile, especially in tightly integrated electronic assemblies. Chuck it and move on? Not a chance! Time for a KiCad flex PCB design! This article details the complete lens repair process and includes the KiCad files to make your own flex PCB.

Meidum Format Film Camera Repair

Reviving a Legend: Mamiya RB67 Repair


There are only several times in life when you get a chance to meet your heroes. Sometimes they don't measure up to the shadow they produce. With the Mamiya RB67, this is far from the case. This 6x7 medium format film studio camera is a heavy, well-built device that is highly treasured among film enthusiasts of all kinds. Its simple operation is complimented by large solid levers and grippy dials that provide pleasant mechanical feedback for all those operating to enjoy. Legend has it that UNESCO considers a non-working RB67 a crime against humanity. This post details the process of bringing a true film workhorse back to the racetrack.

Portable Air Solder Fume Extractor

Portable Professional Fume Extractor

I was debating which fume extractor to get for my personal electronics lab when I came to a surprising conclusion: none! Every sub $300 fume extractor I came across consisted of a cheap PC fan shoved in some fancy enclosure with a simple spray carbon mesh filter. I happened to pick up a large 120W centrifugal fan from e-waste a few years back as It killed me to see something so useful get so easily disposed of. That fan turned out to be the perfect platform to make a portable fume extractor. The goal of this project is two fold: to make high filtration solder fume extractors financially accessible to anyone and to remind people that e-waste should be treated as a second-hand parts bin, not as ready-for-landfill.

Computer Monitor Electrical Adapater

Open 3:2 Adapter

Tired of boring 16:9 monitors? Can't stand the growing presence of 21:9 aspect displays? Don't you just want a plain Jane 4:3 aspect desktop monitor like the CRT days of old? This one's for you! This project involves adapting a 28in 4500 x 3000 surface studio monitor to a standardized DisplayPort interface. Modern display interfaces are very demanding and adapting to a proprietary interface will require high-speed signaling and an integrated controller to handle the appropriate handshakes. A complete mechanical and electrical solution is detailed involving multi-layer PCBs and stamped aluminum brackets.

Camera Slider Timelapse Machine

Hyperlapse Camera Slider


Is there anything more satisfying than a good timelapse shot? As someone who appreciates the art of recording and documenting projects, displaying the change over time of any item under observation is incredibly useful and having a tool that makes this process easier and repeatable is a no-brainer. Around the time when the acclaimed cinematographer Philip Bloom was reviewing manual Kessler Crane CineSliders, I though, why not make a better one? This project details the coincidental chain of events that transformed my rough-sketch automated slider into a one-ton iron gorilla of a camera slider, and one very awesome college engineering project.

Cinema Camera Battery Adapter

Cinema Drillpack Project

The introduction of high capacity drill batteries such as the Dewalt Flexvolt, Hitachi Multi-volt and Makita XGT have made the proprietary yet well established cinema camera battery formats irrelevant overnight. Not only are cinema batteries esoteric, they are prohibitively expensive and not multipurpose. The shear manufacturing volume of the power tool market outshines the entirety of the cinema market by several orders of magnitude, making drill battery production costs substantially less than cinema batteries while still providing high quality cells. The wide availability of drill battery packs sidesteps the hurdles needed to transport high capacity cinema batteries on planes, which is a bear for filmmakers shooting on location for a paying client. This project is my approach to adapting drill batteries to cinema cameras.

Cell Phone Repackage Re-shell

Surface Duo Repackage

I'm a big Surface Duo fan, but like many others, I can't quite make the Duo my daily driver just yet. This is my attempt at how I would re-package the Surface Duo to make it more usable on a day-to-day basis. I delve into the CAD process, design hurdles, feature explanations and comment on manufacturability. There's a full non-destructive teardown and some insight into various probing and measurement techniques. With a little persuasion, maybe a 3.5mm jack, NFC and larger pouch cells are in the near future? Fingers crossed!

Fancy Business Card

PCB Business Card


I had a very simple business card for years, but I was just plain tired of it. It was too bland and looked like all of the other business cards that I had amassed over the years. I was catching up on the Amp Hour podcast and in one of the episodes Dave Jones mentioned something that really caught my attention: bring your projects to social events. Most of my projects are not pocket-able, so I decided to make the best of both worlds and create a PCB business card.

Camera Balance Gimbal Repair

Three Axis Gimbal Repair & Optimization


I found a broken 3 axis gimbal in e-waste in desperate need of repair. Ironically, the carrying case was intact and without a scratch, but the yaw axis motor was missing, the roll axis motor had a bent shaft and the gimbal controller was buried in a birds' nest of wires. There was a whole slew of random carbon fiber bits, accelerometers, and controllers scattered about the case, so clearly someone was having fun with stabilization. This is my journey toward getting this gimbal back up and running.

Computer Keyboard Modification

Microsoft Surface Keyboard Modification


Growing tired of the skipping keys on my worn out Dell multimedia keyboard, I needed a suitable alternative. I checked out the Microsoft Surface Studio a few months back and really enjoyed using the included keyboard, so I figured I would start there. I enjoy typing on laptop-style keyboards, but I truly wanted a wired backlight keyboard, as I enjoy working late into the night. Not being able to find a keyboard that includes all these features, I decided to hack the Surface Studio keyboard into something more personal.

Electric Scooter Project

Scooter Two: Super Scooter


I built what would become my showcase scooter, featuring everything and the kitchen sink. I stuffed the battery cavity full of electronics, pushed the drive mechanics a bit too hard and broke far too many items to remember. I applied everything I learned from my first scooter build to this scooter with hopes of greater success and dependability. That was my original plan at least. The months following colored a totally different story.

Electric Scooter Project

Scooter One: My Daily


Sometimes you just want to go fast. Well, at least faster. This project involves upgrading a once under powered recreational electric scooter into a full-fledged transportation machine. Using custom batteries, modified controllers and a bit of electromechanical know-how, I was able to create every college student's dream get-me-to-class-now daily driver.

Micro Four Thirds Stainless Steel Camera Mount CAD

Micro Four Thirds Mount Technical Drawing & CAD


Ever wanted to make your own weird and oddball lenses for your camera? Tired of using Duct tape and cardboard tubes to make DIY optical assemblies? This guide includes the CAD, technical drawings and renderings of the Micro Four Thirds mount so you can keep creating to your heart's desire.

Micro Four Thirds Rodenstock Lens Modification

Adapting Rodenstock TV-Heligon Lens to Micro Four Thirds


Have you ever lusted after a brighter lens for your camera, but couldn't quite afford it? Here is an all-inclusive guide to adapt an old scientific/TV lens to the Micro Four Thirds mount. Don't have a spare Micro Four Thirds mount? No problem! This guide includes the CAD, technical drawings and renderings of the Micro Four Thirds mount, along with machining tips and a whole other wealth of information.

LED Headlight Dimensional CAD

27w Round LED Work Light CAD


This is an accurate CAD model of the 27w Round LED Work Light 30 Degree Spot Light, available on amazon for ~$10 each. It is an inexpensive LED unit which is decently constructed and moderately weather sealed. I have seen these used on everything from Jeeps to ATVs to scooters and even as auxiliary reverse lights on larger medium duty trucks. I modeled the version with the 30 degree projection angle. I have designed this to be as realistic as possible with PhotoView 360.

HP Oscilloscope Repair

HP 54502A Oscilloscope Repair


Repair of an '89 HP oscilloscope to factory calibration. Originally recovered from an e-waste bin while I was attending my Alma mater. This repair entails replacing the CMOS clock chip by soldering in female pin headers and sourcing a replacement. Calibration was reset to factory standards using HP service manuals.

Audio Casette Tapedeck Teardown

Tandberg Tapedeck Teardown


I could not resist saving a 1970s tape deck from its ultimate demise in the e-waste bins. I simply couldn't get over the build quality of this piece of machinery. This is a quick teardown revealing the assembly methods and construction of a Norwegian made tape deck intended for playback recording and editing of cassette tape. This would sure make a killer midi device rebuild. Oh the possibilities.