Welcome to the N1IR Electronics Website. Totally off the cuff, one take, unrehearsed video projects for anyone interested in amateur radio, electronic design, makers, hardware hackers and science.

Get off your duff and build something!
Training the hand and mind since 1982.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

10,000 LM324 Donated

Hi All,
In the shop we had over 10,000 LM324 Quad Opamps donated to us.Thank you MASSA Corp http://www.massa.com/.

Now what the h3ll do we do with 10,000 LM324. The only answer?? Design kits for exploratory students! In our school we have a program that during the first year of 9th grade each student get to tryout 8 shops for the first half of the year, then they get placed in the trade they whant to study for the next 3.5 years. It's a huge expense for our shop we see anywhere from 80 to 100 students in 45 shop days. Yes 45 full 6 hour days, we can use a lot of parts! Project need to be design as easy beginner projects and we have order PCB from china at about 50 cents each so total cost should be under 1 dollar each project.

First Idea: Insanity Alarm Kit Ver 1

Second Idea: LED Fade Effect Kit Ver 1

Third Idea: Blinking LED

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

SPARKFUN Clockit Kit Review

Hi Bloggers,

I recently purchased a Clockit kit from SparkFun Electronics to evaluate it for my students.

Overall this is a great kit for beginners there are a couple of really good hits and a couple of misses

The first and biggest miss is the DC power connector doesn't fit right! it's way off I mesured about 6.53mm O.D. a huge difference in size of the 5.5mm O.D. plug, producing a very sloppy connection (see video n1ir.com) and would cut power as soon as I move the PCB even the slightest.

I replaced the original jack with a Switchcraft 5.5mm X 2.5 mm Jack (RAPC712X). I have a solid connection now without problems, hopefully sparkfun will look into this and change the jack to the proper size.

The second miss but can easy be changed with programming is setting the time, there is allot of switch bounce (one press can register as 2 or more presses), It's annoying but I can live with it. With a simple subroutine for advanced users can fix this.

The third miss WTF? display is used ????? It's stamped YS on the side. After doing some research I crossed it over to a Lite-On (LTC-4627B) the crossed part has a grey face instead of the black that comes with the kit but still blue in color. Please add this info in web site.

Big Hit I really like the PWM of the display LED's that reduced the parts count. It's a very clever, a novel solution to reduce parts. Usually you see current limit resistors for each segment this would be 35 resistors in this design, by using PWM it eliminated the need and reduced the cost of the design, excellent idea!

Big Hit Bright flash when going into set mode, to set the time. Three flashes to know it's been accepted.

Big Hit ICSP Header, can be reprogrammed in circuit as a timer or modified. Wish they had some more example code on the kit web site.

Big Hit comes with a power supply, usually kits don't included this, A++.

WISH LIST Would love to see:

24 Hour Mode (software solution, press up, down, snooze same time for 10 seconds)

Brightness control (software solution, press up 5 times, high, med, low, and off)

SIP connector PCB pads for +/- supply for battery backup (hardware solution, optional NI-CD cell/ super-cap in paralleled with supply) just for a few minutes of backup for any surges or power outage. Possible sleep mode while in backup (hard to do without a redesign....need an open port and support circuitry)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Pneumatic Antenna Launcher

Hello all again, here is a project I did some time ago. A Pneumatic Antenna Launcher, a bit of CAUTION! treat this like a firearm, you can recived major injury if not used properly. SAFETY FIRST!

On to the videos, a list of parts are located at the bottom of this form.

Parts List
3" End Cap
3" PVC pipe (12"Long)
3" to 2" Adaptor
2" to 1.5" Adaptor
1.5" to 1.25 " Adaptor
1.25" to 1" Adaptor
1" PVC pipe (two of them 2" Long)
1" Threaded to 1" Pipe Adaptor (two of them)
Sprinkler Valve 1" Threaded
Metal Schrader Valve (auto store)
1"to 1.25 Adaptor
1.25" coupler
1.25" Pipe (24" Long)

Batteries (24V)
Switch Toggle (safety)
Switch Push Button (fire)

LM555 One Shot trigger (3 Second pulse)

UPDATE: here are some shots of the finished version