Posts Tagged ‘DIY’

  • Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

    DIY: Building a Solder Reflow Oven – Part 2, The Oven.

    … continued from Part 1

    The donor oven arrived and I began the modifications to make it turn on when it’s plugged into power bypassing all the safety and panel controls.  This unit will be plugged into an outlet switched by the PID controller which will control the temperature and feature a safety override switch (to be covered in Part 3).   The modifications to the oven were pretty easy.  Here are the steps needed to turn the Black & Decker Infrawave oven into a Reflow Oven:

    1) To get access to the board and relays that control the heating elements you first need to remove the following screws from the bottom of the oven.

    2) Once the six screws are removed the bottom panel comes off easily.  The board is mounted to the plastic bottom with screws.   You can chose to remove the board or work with it mounted.  I removed it and soldered 12 gauge stranded wire, you could use anything from 12 to 16 gauge (as the power cable on this unit is 16gauge, I wouldn’t run anything smaller).  There are three bridge points you need to make.  You can also ground the relay to keep it permanently on, I like the idea of bypassing any electronics completely as the solid state relay/PID will be doing all the controlling.  Here is a photo of which points you want to bridge:

    3) Once you solder everything, mount the board and bottom panel back to the oven.  There is one last thing you need to do.  There is a safety door switch which turns off the oven if the door is open.  You will want to disable this.  I drilled an 1/8″ hole and used a screw to hold it down.

    4) Plug in the oven, the heating elements should turn on automatically.  You have completed the oven mod.

    In Part 3 we will be drilling the back of the oven and installing the thermocouple and wiring up all the electronics in our project box.  Stay tuned…

    Please Note:
    Your safety is your own responsibility. These projects are not intended for use by
    children. Use of the instructions and suggestions on Mavromatic is at your own risk.
    Mavromatic, disclaims all responsibility for any resulting damage, injury, or expense.
    It is your responsibility to make sure that your activities comply with applicable laws
    and building codes.

    Posted on Apr 20th | 7 comments
    Filed Under: DIY, Electronics, Hacks & Mods Read more
  • Friday, April 15th, 2011

    DIY: Building a Solder Reflow Oven – Part 1

    I’ve needed to step up production of Myro:Bridge and that means I need a better way to solder all the small SMD components on the boards quickly and with higher quality.   After hours of researching reflow ovens, I decided instead of purchasing one (which can cost thousands) I’ll do it in the tradition of Mavromatic and build one myself. I compiled a list of components needed and placed the orders.

    Here is a list of what I’m getting:

    > Black & Decker Infrawave Oven – This will be the donor oven.  What led me to this oven was the folks over at Silicon Horizon.  They have a reflow controller and recommend using the IR based oven because it seems to work with many reflow profiles nicely.  It seems like they are on hiatus right now so ordering their controller was not possible.  And that led me to the following critical component…

    > Shinko JCL-33A PID Controller with Ramp/Soak function –   I searched high and low for a controller that offers MM:SS timing as the typical seems to only be HH:MM.   This controller only offers one program and up to 9 steps which works perfect for my application. I also wanted a RS485 (programming and charting via PC) interface and SSR driver output.  The end result was the JCL-33A from Shinko.  (I went with a true PID controller versus an Arduino or PIC based controller because I wanted something more reliable and the programming and charting software comes free with the JCL-33A).

    > 25A Rated SSR DC/AC – Solid State Relay - This pretty little device is what the PID controller controls and the SSR (solid state relay) controls the IR element in the oven.

    > Omega K-Type Thermocouple Probe with Fitting – This is what connects to the PID controller and reads the temperature very accurately.

    A few other parts (which I already have) include: outlet with box, wiring, RS485 to USB converter, project box to mount PID and SSR in.

    Now, I just need to wait for all the parts to arrive and begin the modifications to the oven.

    … Continue to Part 2, The Oven >>

    Please Note:
    Your safety is your own responsibility. These projects are not intended for use by
    children. Use of the instructions and suggestions on Mavromatic is at your own risk.
    Mavromatic, disclaims all responsibility for any resulting damage, injury, or expense.

    Posted on Apr 15th | 2 comments
    Filed Under: DIY, Electronics, Hacks & Mods Read more
  • Thursday, March 24th, 2011

    Arduino Shield: Video Experimenter

    Just found out about the Video Experimenter shield (via hackaday) created by Nootropic Design.   I’ve been looking for something like this for my screen masking controller project.  One has been ordered and will report back once I make some progress getting it tied into the masking controller (which has now been converted to an Arduino project as well).

    Here are a few details on the shield, peep the video below for the full effect:

    • Overlay text and graphics onto a video signal from a camera, DVR, DVD player, VCR or any other source of composite video.
    • Capture low-res video image frames for display or video processing. Give your Arduino the gift of sight!
    • Perform object detection for computer vision projects.
    • Decode closed captioning or XDS (extended data services) data embedded in television broadcasts.
    • Works with NTSC (North America) or PAL (rest of the world) television standards.

    Posted on Mar 24th | no comments
    Filed Under: DIY, Electronics, Home Automation, Home Theater Read more
  • Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

    DIY: Water Flow Meter For Monitoring Water Usage

    cp225 water flow meter

    I’m currently investigating what I need to get Water & Gas (Natural) monitoring added to my home.  I already have Power via Energy Inc’s TED 1001 & Myro:Home.  However, it would be nice to add Water & Gas to the mix so I can monitor and control its usage.   Currently, I’m checking out different flow meters from Flow Monitors Inc.  Anyone have any other brands that have an output that I could rig/modify/extend?  The nice thing about the CoolPoint line is that they offer outputs that I can use to interface with my automation controller.

    Universal Flow Monitors – CoolPoint CP Series Water Flow Meters

    Posted on May 26th | 20 comments
    Filed Under: DIY, Home Automation Read more
  • Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

    HAI Updates Benefits of HAI Home Automation Graphic

    hai wholehouse automation

    HAI has updated their “Benefits Of HAI Home Automation”  graphic and I’d love to hear what people think about Home Automation in general.   Since the economy is pretty tight right now and new construction projects  (even remodeling) has slowed down:

    • What are your current views related to Home Automation?
    • Does the thought of having a “Green Home” change your views on building in all this control into your house?  
    • Does it bother you that a new car has more “automation” than your home?
    • What would be the most important function to have automated in your home?
    • Would you pay extra for a house that is “automated”?

    Heck, I’d love to hear anything related to this… positive or negative — so sound off in the comments!  Cheers!

    HAI:  Benefits of HAI Home Automation Graphic (high-resolution image)

    Posted on May 19th | 1 comment
    Filed Under: Home Automation Read more
  • Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

    Sd-10 by Gilderfluke & Co.


    If you have been looking for a small stereo audio playback system for use in home automation or pretty much for anything you should check out the Sd-10 by Gilderfluke & Co.  This miniature stereo Mp3 and .wav AudioFile player holds up to 255 AudioFiles on MMC or SD flash cards and includes RCA line level outputs, two trigger inputs and TTL serial port. Five operating modes. It can be used in Store-Casting, Music-On-Hold, Museum, Haunted Attraction, Safety, Industrial or Entertainment applications. Anywhere you need a solid state, high quality audio system that will play for years. The Sd-10 can be dropped right into an audio system in place of a CD player.

    You should also check out some of their other cool gadgets!

    Gilderfluke & Co.

    Posted on Apr 23rd | no comments
    Filed Under: DIY, Home Automation Read more
  • Sunday, March 18th, 2007

    DIY: Part II — Replacing Front Rotors and Brake Pads on a Land Rover Discovery II

    In Part I, I changed the rear rotors and pads of my Land Rover Discovery II. Last weekend, I tackled Part II, changing the front set. The process isn’t much different than the back except that the caliper and pads are much bigger.


    The only additional tools you will need from the rear change is a 19mm 12pt socket with a short extension. The caliper is bigger, so are the bolts holding it. Also, you will need to be a bit careful with the ABS sensor. There is a mounting that holds the sensor in place, you will need to gently remove the wire from the mounting plate so you can get your socket wrench to the bolt. Once you remove the caliper, compressing the piston (two of them) and brake pads is exactly the same as the rear.

    Completed front rotor and brake pads…

    Posted on Mar 18th | 7 comments
    Filed Under: Automobiles, DIY Read more

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