The PCB (Christmas) Tree (#P32)

Epiphany has already passed and St. Knut’s day is next Wednesday, it’s about time to stop being lazy and get the Christmas tree out of the living room.
Well, yes, but not the usual way. As shown previously, it’s not an ordinary tree. It’s green and it has fancy little lights all around, but it’s also containing significant amounts of lead and it needs a PoE port to operate.

Meet the PCB Tree.

Made from scrap circuit boards, random bits of wire, leaded solder and a couple of Chinese ingredients, it’s a wonderful Christmas abomination that sat the entire last year in my office and received a significant addition in early December 2020. […]


3D printed switch repair parts (#P31F1)

Some more details on the Bosch oven repair. These are the replacement parts that I ordered from Sculpteo, which, according to its own website, is the market leader in online ordered printed parts. Sculpteo also happened to be bought by BASF this spring, and they’re mainly printing in France but offer support in German (with offices in Germany, I think). They offer laser cutting as well but charge additional shipping cost for those, which made me skip parts of my order…

The part in question was already featured in WHL #61 (crappy automated model generation) after which I recreated it by hand. […]


First Sunday in Advent & the PCB Tree (#E16)

Well, looks like it’s the first Sunday in Advent already and I’m too lazy preparing a new post. I’ve been working a bit more than usual lately due to our products likely playing a role in the whole temperature controlled Covid vaccine logistics thing. On the remaining Sundays I’ve been extending my old PCB Christmas tree. It’s been using diffused slow RGB (self) fading LEDs ever since (“100pcs LED Diod 5mm RGB Blink Slow Flash Diffused Light Emitting Diode Rainbow 2Pins Lamp Red Green Blue RGB Flashing 5mm LED”, around 2€ per pack of 100) and quite a few of old PCBs now, some bare and scrapped before assembly, some from tests or failed revisions, and some from defective commercial products like routers, access points, projectors, SAS backplanes, RAM, IoT gateways, hard disks, you name it. […]


Bosch Gourmet 8400 oven mode selector switch repair (Dreefs 4-DPS/260) (#P31)

A long, tedious blog post for today. This has been in the making for about 9 weeks and I’ve been looking for parts for another year or two. Pictures have been taken on multiple occasions in multiple locations, so it’s a hotchpotch that somewhat reflects the process. This is the use case for the 3D model generation of the WHL #61 post.

Our Bosch Gourmet 8400 microwave and baking oven has been there for as long as I can remember. It’s a huge and darn heavy thing for a microwave oven (27l volume!), and rather small for a baking oven with grill (broiler) functionality. […]


Ubuntu and Firefox update (#E15)

Funny how UI changes in some of the most popular websites on earth can nudge you upgrading stuff. Oh, and how crappy (defective) hardware can finally flip the switch.

I’ve recently heard about the Ubuntu 20.10 release (Groovy Gorilla), which made me remember I’m still on 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver). Since I’m only jumping from LTS to LTS releases as my hardware gets older, I was determined to make the 20.04 (Focal Fossa) jump once I hit 256 days of uptime with my laptop.

I didn’t. Testing some old, almost forgotten, Ultrabay slice battery last week

+++ ThinkPad Battery Status: BAT1 (Ultrabay / Slice / Replaceable)
/sys/devices/platform/smapi/BAT1/manufacturer               = SONY
/sys/devices/platform/smapi/BAT1/model                      = 41U4890
/sys/devices/platform/smapi/BAT1/manufacture_date           = 2007-10-10
/sys/devices/platform/smapi/BAT1/first_use_date             = 2012-07-20
/sys/devices/platform/smapi/BAT1/cycle_count                =     44

caused an unexpected shutdown. […]


Calore Z1362/R1 waterbed heating controller repair (#P30)

An emergency repair from last Friday night, you know, the ones with the deep green WAF that could offset all your wrongdoings of the entire week if there were any…

I’ve been sleeping on a waterbed for 12 years now; it was the first major (read: expensive) thing I bought after I started going to university. Sleeping on a sofa bed doesn’t really work long-term, but that’s what you do as a broke student with no family to step in. Said waterbed sprung a leak earlier this year on one of the corner seams, so the inner mattress part got replaced (plus the worn topper). […]


3D garbage model creation with your phone (WHL #61)

Virtual product review for today – an Android app that promises 3D model generation from just a bunch of photos. Extreme spoiler (yes, keyword placement for Google): It doesn’t work, and charging for it is basically a scam. It’s called Scann3D and it is brought to you by a company called SmartMobileVision in Hungary with a defunct website.

Ready for a quick marketing wank?

Scann3D deploys patent pending photogrammetry technology to enable true 3D model capture and reconstruction for smartphones and tablets. Your device becomes a standalone tool to turn images into 3D models – all your images are processed by and on it.

[…]

Server migration before server migration (#E14)

Quick update post: My all-time favourite hoster Uberspace veeery recently announced that the entire U6 generation of their servers will be moved to a different data center this very evening, as the old one will be torn down. Wan Hung Lo was hosted on those. Starting time about 8 o’clock in the evening local time, downtime probably four to eight hours in total, but servers are moved in smaller batches.

With two hours notice I decided to upgrade to the U7 server generation which everybody will be forced to until the end of the year (EOS of CentOS6 with EOM by Uberspace). […]


Kalorik JU1400 comparison (WHL #60F1)

Just a minor comparison post as I’m in the mood to clean up my place and take things apart. An intent that usually only achieves one of those things, as taking apart stuff makes a larger mess than just the original thing sitting somewhere…

This is (well, was, but it’s not broken in a destructive teardown, just taken apart so that it theoretically could be reassembled) the vacuum cleaner that I think my mom bought without asking in September 2007 when I was about to start studying. Clearly got less use than the family vacuum of similar vintage, just due to the sheer size difference of the places, let alone I did not friggen vacuum every week. […]


Sport exhaust pop and crackle of a…Dirt Devil M2881-0 vacuum cleaner? (WHL #60)

Someone had fun. With the old crap that everyone technical gets for free when visiting family. This time: An old vacuum cleaner, probably close to ten years old. Described to me as “makes weird noises, shut off immediately” (sure). Oh, and of course it was someone else that used the thing when it went from fully working to probably defective. Aah, family.

Plugged it in at home and had a giggle:

People spend thousands of Euros to make their shitty cars even more ridiculous, and here’s my extremely low riding Dirt Devil asphyxiating on pop and crackle noises :lol:

Alright, further disassembly just reduces weight and didn’t uncover anything stuck inside. […]