HP 6644A refurbishment – front panel, back protector (#P14F)

Time to finish the HP 6644A revamp!

tl;dr for the last post: Here’s where I stopped refurbishment after cleaning and replacing caps and fan:

First off, those leads stick out quite a bit at the back as well. I can’t really say which diameter I used, judging from the yellow cable lugs these were 4mm² for the power lines and 1.5mm² (red lugs) for the sense lines. Apart from not fitting the old protector, that one already has seen some damage. Probably because it is so tiny…

So: Redesign. Twice, as the first version that closely resembled the original design had really flimsy legs that suffered the very same fate. […]


AliExpress order list aggregator script and more (#R8)

Things you might already know: AliExpress is a shitty website.

Don’t get me wrong, I shop a lot at AE. But the page is extremely slow due to massive amounts of JavaScript bloat, and aside from JS, it’s hacked together like I would do for a quick proof of concept. That shit would never fly with me, but for AE, it just does the job. When adding bling and JS spinners has priority over code quality…

It also annoys the fuck out of me for resetting to German translation pretty frequently. I. DO. NOT. WANT. YOUR. FUCKING. TRANSLATION. DC-DC buck modules are not money modules. […]


Hiland M644 Multifunctional Transistor Tester LCR Resistance Inductance Diode Capacitance ESR Frequency Meter PWM Signal Generator (WHL #50)

Another component for one of the upcoming projects – a refreshed transistor tester.

I’ve been using these for ages now, I actually built two of them before they got popular (what a hipster thing to say?) and every Chinese seller decided to roll his own. The original thread on mikrocontroller.net dates back to early 2012 and the SVN repository even contains a few fixes of mine to the manual, as I was proofreading this thing at the time.

Times have changed, and the ready made versions are so cheap nowadays that homebrew really doesn’t make any sense any more. […]


Failed Philips 46PFL8008S/12 display repair (#P15)

And now for the thing that didn’t make it #100 ;)

A while back, I was donated my second “defective” TV, a 46″ Philips 46PFL8008S/12 with the large ambilight (left/2x top/right with 9 LEDs each). Unlike my first donor which pretty much suffered a direct lightning strike (as described in rant #R2), this one turned on just fine. What’s wrong with it, why would you give away a former 1500€+ device?

(bonus brownie points if you can name the show currently displayed here!)

Well, story is this poor fella cracked a glass table. […]


Useful Arduino libraries (#R7)

Here’s a random thing: I’m currently tidying up work projects and I decided to stick all Arduino (and later: Kicad) libraries into one company git repository to not only back up local progress, but also to make it easier to sync a few lesser used machines with my main one. And as I often ping back and forth with my home gear (yes, idiots like me like to tinker at home as well), I always run into troubles manually syncing those.

git submodule add does a great job here – no need to upload all stuff to the main git, it’ll record independent submodules and clone them as required. […]


Post #100 HP 6644A refurbishment (#P14)

Not that anybody cares, but this is actually post number 100 already. I prepared something else that failed (to be reported!), so this one has to do instead ;)

My “lab” power supply situation is ageing and often no longer up to the task, think of LEDs north of 35V or anything that takes more than one amp at voltages that cannot be provided with common computer supplies (3.3V, 5V, 12V, 19/20V) easily. So this is part one of the refresh.

I bought a HP 6644A power supply around six weeks ago off eBay, at 245€ including shipping and rack mounts via best offer. […]


DIY USB and SATA panel mount connectors (#P13)

Next batch of connectors incoming! (yes, I’m onto something)

I bet most of you are familiar with USB panel mount connectors, which (I guess) are a by-product of the slot mounted USB ports of PC mainboards in the late 1990s, early 2000s. Back then, boards had none or few USB ports on their back I/O panel, but often one or two available via pin header. So people obviously needed some slot adapter for them, something like this:

If you slap on a different connector on the other end and omit the metal bracket, this is basically what you get these days when buying USB panel mount connectors. […]


DIY Phoenix VS-PSC style connector (#P12)

Okay okay, “project” is a big word for this. It’s a teeny tiny DIY thing, sparked from MOQ/packaging size worries of a rather unique connector.

In preparation of other things, I wanted access to the data lines of an USB port that is panel mounted. Just tinkerer stuff, you know, seeing if there’s any communication effort happening at all, being able to set current (allowance) sense resistors, you name it. I could have looped all wires to a second/third USB port and made an adapter for it, but that would be a lame one. Instead, I googled for IDC connectors, ideally female to allow easy resistor insertion, which can be panel mounted. […]


Bosch Professional GAA 18V-24 USB charging adapter 1600A00J61 1600A00J5W (WHL #49)

Something out of the ordinary for today, a brand new item, bought for disassembly and kind-of off-label use. A Bosch Professional USB charger which happens to have a 12V port also…

Contrary to my very first thought when I found this charger, it does NOT allow 18V batteries to be charged from USB or a 12V source. Maybe I should test that, but I doubt it. However, it does convert the other way – stick in a 18V power tool battery (ranging from 1.5Ah to 12Ah as of today) and get a USB charger with a lot of oomph, or a “heated jacked” power source with a lot of potential for baggy pockets. […]


Fujitsu P20-2 finalized CCFL to LED conversion (#P9F1)

Canned content, for when I’m busy with stuff that’s not definite yet.

A while back, I tried the CCFL to LED conversion on one of my Fujitsu 20″ monitors. I only had warm white LED strips available at the time, mostly because I no longer require cold white DO STUDY NOW atmosphere at home ;) However piss-yellow doesn’t really shine behind an LCD, so I ordered some cold whites. AliExpress -“2018 New 1m 1200LEDS 2835 SMD LED Strip 24V 1900lm 240LED/M Gold Line LED Ribbon LED Tape Light Cool White Warm White Natura”. 6000K color, 12V, “14-18W”. […]