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 you duff and build something!
Training the hand and mind since 1982.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My milling machine at work

T-Tech QC 5000 milling machine, PCB fabrication. This is one of my favourite equipment, wish I could get one for home but at $5,000 it doesn't look like I can get one for myself. What use to take me two to three days with a chemical etch-ant process I can do in 15 minutes with an environmentally safe mill. No chemicals! and the dust is collected by a HEFA vacuum system. At work we have 3 machines, 2 pneumatic Z Axis and on electric Z Axis. Machine #1 is over 10 years old and used everyday!

Here are some video's of the mill in action. This is from Texas Tech IEEE.

Breadboard Power Supply

Here is a great addition to you bread boarding tools, a breadboard power supply. This is a follow up on my video on how to breadboard.

This plugs directly into a standard breadboard and proved power on the rails on each side. Can be adjusted from 1.3V to 15V DC. This is a great first project, infact this is the first project our incoming 9th Grade students build.

Compact Linear Breadboard Power Supply

This project details the design of a adjustable power supply. A good power supply is essential to electronic projects. While there are many existing designs for adjustable power supplies, this one makes improvements that make it more useful for hobby designs

* LM317 regulator has guaranteed 1.25A output
* 1.25V Dropout Voltage
* Short circuit and overheating protection
* Input diode to protect circuitry from negative voltages or AC power supplies.
* 2.1mm DC jack voltage inputs
* Two indicator LEDs for high and low voltages
* Onboard pot for adjusting voltage from 1.25V up 20V
* Heat sink

Today marks 50th anniversary of first silicon integrated circuit patent (and the entire computing industry)


By Zach Honig posted Apr 25th 2011 4:23PM

There's little question that the last 50 years have represented the most innovative half-century in human history, and today marks the anniversary of the invention that started it all: the silicon-based integrated circuit. Robert Noyce received the landmark US patent on April 25, 1961, going on to found Intel Corporation with Gordon E. Moore (of Moore's Law fame) in 1968. He wasn't the first to invent the integrated circuit -- the inventor of the pocket calculator Jack Kilby patented a similar technology on a germanium wafer for Texas Instruments a few months prior. Noyce's silicon version stuck, however, and is responsible for Moore's estimated $3.7 billion net worth, not to mention the success of the entire computing industry. Holding 16 other patents and credited as a mentor of Steve Jobs, Noyce was awarded the National Medal of Technology in 1987, and continued to shape the computing industry until his death in 1990. If Moore's Law continues to hold true, as we anticipate it will, we expect the next 50 years to be even more exciting than the last. Let's meet back here in 2061.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

555 Timer Easter Egg? - Over Easy!

This is my video response to the 555 Timer Easter Egg by Dave Jones over at the EEVBLOG. I'm not toally sure how Dave got his to oscillate but my circuit is not. I've tried all sorts, used battery power reduced the voltage down way below spec, used different scope/probes, changes chips, but still can't duplicate Dave's problem. I've also had my whole senior class breadboard this circuit and all ten of them where fine, no oscillation. I'm at a loss on how to duplicate this. Check out the video, I have some other ideas what it might be. If you want to see me build the circuit check out Video 7 "Breadboarding - Pass the Flour?

Chip Info
LM555CN National JR34AD
7555IN NXP 9E1K410 UnG946D
LM555CN Fairchild K233

Breadboarding - Pass the Flour?

Hi All,
This episode is all about breadboard, some tip and tricks about basic bread boarding, proto boarding, what ever you call it, for the entry level technician. This is a test circuit from Dave Jones EEVBlog 555 Timer Easter Egg video. A note: in the video I forgot to tie both side + and - rails together but you'll see that in video 8 and the 4.7 I mention for the resistor between 7 and 6 is really 1.472K. Again no editing one shot deal totally off the cuff.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Video #6 TDA, RDF, WTF?

Hi I'm back, after being ill for a couple of weeks. Shout out to C Morgan my first follower.

Today we have my video on TDA Time Difference of Arrival Radio direction finding. A basic ciruit to turn your HT into a killer Fox hunting / ELT hunting piece of equipment. All you need is a few coat hangers, some coax, couple of diodes, resistors and caps and an audio square wave oscillator of your choice. There is an addition to the video I forgot to mention the inductor choke in the circuit, it to prevent R.F. getting into the audio oscillator circuit.

How it works:
Time Difference of Arrival RDF (DF) sets work by switching your receiver between two antennas at a rapid rate. When both antennas are the same distance from the transmitter, the RF phase received by both antennas will be identical, with the same impedance in both diodes. If the two antennas are different distances from the transmitter the RF will have a different phase at each antenna and one diode will conduct more than the other, like an analog OR gate. If we switch between the antennas 500-1000 times a second, this phase change will be detected by an FM receiver as a 500-1000 Hz tone. By turning the antennas for a null in the tone, your two antennas will be perpendicular to the transmitter. Additionally when a diode is conducting via switch and battery in forward biased mode the circuit operates in Yagi (Rec) mode and you can determine what general direction the signal is coming from. Eliminating the confusion between a front or rear signal of receiver signal that you would get in (DF) mode

Video 6 Part two, I go over what an ELT is and some basic RDF tricks.