X-Mas 2016

Merry Christmas to the visitors of the blog!

Now it is already two years, in which I feed the „technology and retro blog“ with contributions. Who would have thought that … By now some readers have strayed here and asked if I could introduce one or the other device here. Of course I will try to realize it if possible. Unfortunately, the rubric with the computers of the 80s is still empty. Here I still lack the „thread“, as I should process the whole – it floats me to every device before a small video in which the devices are to be shown in the living state. If someone has ideas for that … like.

I would like to say a big thank you to my colleague Mario Wehr, who provides me with the WordPress environment and thus offers excellent service!

In this sense: Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

 

 

 

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Retro controller brand new

NES – Nintendo Entertainment System is certainly still a household name. It was the 8-bit game console from Nintendo, which was also sold in Europe in the mid-80s and had influenced the youth of the time. It is now a museum piece that already deserves the title „Retro“. Maybe for this reason, she begins to revive in the Retrogamergemeinde. For example, this year a remake of the NES in miniaturized form with modern technology and pre-installed games on the market.

dsc_2760Also via emulators for all kinds of platforms you can bring the old NES game titles back to life. In order to be able to serve these games „in the right way“ (of course, it is also possible with the PC keyboard or via the touch screen on the mobile phone), the company 8Bitdo Tech has launched the NES30 GamePad Controller. It is a wireless bluetooth controller which was modeled on the original NES controller. It is equipped with an integrated rechargeable battery that can be charged via a MicroUSB cable connection. The controller is designed to be configured as a PC game controller, as a joystick, as a Bluetooth keyboard, and as a USB joystick. This can be realized via five different modes. These modes can be selected by keyboard shortcuts during power up. The table below shows the different modes:

  Mode1 Mode2 Mode3 Mode4 Mode5
  Joystick BT-Keyboard iCade Emu-Touch USB-Joystick
Power ON START START+B START+A START+X Kabelverbindung
Blue LEDs are flashing 1x 2x 3x 4x
OS WIN Android WIN/Apple Android Android Apple Android Apple WIN
           

dsc_2759The picture shows the USB charging socket, to the right of which are two status LEDs.

dsc_2816The battery is located on the back of the board

dsc_2817die Platine des Controllers; der die Firmware des Mikrocontrollers kann aktualisiert werden

dsc_2818Contact mats represent the buttons. Under the two shoulder buttons are real micro buttons …

dscn0763Here is the emulator „NES Emu“ served on an Android phone with the NES30;)

 

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WordPress to Word.doc

If you wanted to save your Blogposts from WordPress, you will definitely know the XML export function in the Dashboard of WordPress itself. Here you can create and save an XML file in the menu „Tools“ under „Export data“ , This XML file can be used in a – for example – server error again to create the blog.

But what to do if you want to save your blog content in a Word file, or as a PDF, or even print? There are several possibilities to realize this. I will briefly list these variants here.

The latter tool I find personally very convenient and convenient, since it is very easy here to export his entire blog, including images in a Word document and postprocessing. All you have to do is export the XML file from wordpress.

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chooese XML-file

After specifying the XML file, the blog posts are displayed directly in a list. Now you can choose which blog post should be converted and whether it should be a Word or PDF document.

 

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window with exportable posts

Now you can start exporting …

converter2Depending on the number of posts and their length, the corresponding document is quickly available and can be edited as needed …

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Wickie, Slime & Paiper

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ISBN 3-205-98989-9

It does not have anything directly to do with technology, but perhaps fits under the title „retro“ as a post very well in the blog: A book for browsing memories of the 70s and 80s is the band „Wickie, Slime and Paiper“ by Susanne Pauser and Wolfgang Ritschl. The book was published in 1999 by Böhler-Verlag Wien. It is a printed summary of an online forum as a souvenir album for the children of the seventies. It mentions numerous products and fashions, television and radio programs that were up to date at the time and is discussed and commented by the protagonists of the forum, themselves children of the seventies. The print is accompanied by scanned images of posters, catalogs, advertising slogans.

 

wsup2
Eskimo  ice-pricesheet(prices in Austrian Schilling 😉 )

 

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Beware of electrical goods from the Far East

DSC_2196The other day I noticed with a cold-device connection cable that the cable sheath has come loose in the area of ​​the strain relief. The wires came out. By itself, this is nothing special, if not here, apart from the unusual colors, the unusually small diameter of the wires in the eye would sting.

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left: cable without CE marking right: standard cable
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Plug without any test marks.

Normally, such a jacket cable with 16A / 250V and a CE mark is marked on the plug. The cross section of the stranded wires is 1.5mm².  The cable here on the photo but an indication of 10A / 250V was printed and NO CE sign available. The strands have a cross section of less than 0.5mm² !! Who uses such a cable and for example operates a heater with it, then may not be surprised if a quick fire breaks out … Unfortunately, I can not understand with what device I got this cable included. But it does not conform to the valid standards and represents a danger in the enterprise. In any case: Keep away from such products!

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IPhone 5s under the wirebonder

IMAG1839
IPhone 5S the maginfier glass 🙂

If the screen of an IPhone 5S gives up its ghost once (that is, it breaks or something similar), then the only thing that helps is swapping it. But beware ! The screws that hold the shield plate over the three Flexiprint connectors from the display are NOT the same length.

There are screws of different lengths here – even if you don’t necessarily recognize it optically. If you don’t take great care to screw all the screws back into the original threaded bushing during assembly, then it has already happened. The screws, which are approx. 0.1mm long, protrude over the socket and touch and damage the surface of the circuit board. If someone then takes it very carefully and tightens the screws firmly enough, then these are pressed into the second layer of the board. And that’s exactly where seven parallel conductor tracks run, which together require a width of almost 1000um (1mm). Now you can imagine what the tip of a screw can do here.

Exactly – chaos and destruction. The almost 50um wide conductor tracks have no chance against the colossus of screw with 1000um.

The result: Several of these conductor tracks are cut and the mobile phone cannot find all of its electronic components after switching on and starts the boot process again cyclically (with a brief flash of a blue screen)

Usually the device is now ready for the bin, or at least a new mainboard would be required. Just such a cell phone recently landed on my table.

IMAG1829_1
figure 1

The connections to the display can be seen in Figure 1. At the bottom right, at the black spot, was the threaded socket into which the screw that was too long was screwed. If you now remove the socket, you can examine the damage.

 

The enlargement in Figure 2 shows clear impressions of the screw and a slight copper shimmer can also be seen.

However, the extent of the damage can only be determined if the layer is exposed in the area. With a suitable microscalpel I tried to expose the plane.

IMAG1827_1
figure 2
IMAG1831
figure 3

Figure 3 shows the conductor tracks and their interruptions. A repair with a soldering iron and repair wire is no longer possible here.

 

 

 

figure 4

But since I have the opportunity to work on a wirebonder, I had the idea to use it for a repair attempt. The bonder from TPT-Wirebond offers the functions of wedge and ball bonding in different wire diameters. I could imagine wedgebonding as a suitable and feasible variant. The 25um diameter bond wire should fit. Only for the problem with the temperature of the chuck I had no solution. Because it is certainly not a good idea to heat up the iPhone. So I tried to bond cold. Without further ado, the chuck was disconnected from its power supply, the ultrasonic energy of the bonding tool increased and an attempt was started. Lo and behold, the bond holds. So, without further ado, six of the seven lines were made conductive again with gold wire bridges (Fig. 4) and then the display was connected for a start attempt. Lo and behold, the iPhone started normally again.

 

IMAG1837_1
figure 5

Now it was only a matter of protecting the sensitive bond wires from damage.

Here a synthetic resin two-component adhesive offered itself, from which I mixed an amount the size of a pin and covered the repair area with this droplet. After hardening, I was able to put the phone back together (at the repair site, of course, without a screw. A short function test was positive.;)

 

 

 

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The storm glass – the weather forecast

Some time has passed since the last blog entry. On the one hand, I put this down to a lot of work, both professionally and privately, so that a bit of the energy for blogging was missing. The last days is the beautiful weather to blame. I preferred to spend my time riding a motorcycle instead of sitting behind the PC … But I also got a little gimmick again.

IMG_3952
FritzRoy storm glass

A colleague told me about it and at a large Internet mail-order company, I quickly found it. It is a so-called „FritzRoy storm glass„.

A storm glass is known for a long time from the seafaring. There it was used to predict weather changes. The storm glass is a glass cylinder filled with two liquids and hermetically sealed. The fluids are usually camphor and alcohol in saturated form, which do not mix but form small crystals. The formation of these crystals is related to the weather change. For a long time it was believed that the crystals react to changes in air pressure. Recent research allegedly suggests that the crystals react to electromagnetic fields called sferics. These sferics are preferably formed in low pressure areas. Thus, the storm glass shows the approach of a low pressure area and thus the bad weather.

 

IMG_3956
Crystals as weather forecast

The table (from the CarloMilano user manual) shows the different crystal weather relationships.

Clear liquid The weather is sunny and clear
Flaky liquid It is cloudy. Precipitation is possible
Small flakes It is foggy or damp
Little stars A thunderstorm is coming up
Little stars on a beautiful winter day It will snow
Big flakes It is covered. Snow is possible
Many crystals on the ground There is frost
Crystals on the surface It is getting stormy
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An old tin …

… from the fund of grandmother’s cottage is this instant powder can.IMG_3873

The post does not have much to do with technology this time, but I’ve noticed this tin can because of the age and the designer graphics from times gone by. That’s why a few pictures of it must come in here. You do not see that very often anymore.

As can be seen in the photo, the instant powder can is the packaging of Ovomaltine.

Ovaltine contains the ingredients barley malt, milk powder, low-fat / de-oiled cocoa, whey powder, glucose syrup, yeast and honey. From the names of the ingredients is also the name Ovomaltine together: ovum (Latin egg) and malt (English malt). The high proportion of malt gives the Ovaltine their typical taste. Like the powder of instant cocoa drinks, Ovaltine is ready to drink after being stirred into cold or warm milk. (Wikipedia)

According to online research, the tin dates from the years 1954-1961 and was apparently used by my grandmother as a storage container for mothballs 🙂IMG_3880

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3879 IMG_3878 IMG_3876

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Walkman City Bummler from the 80s

IMG_3810From the early 1980s comes the „City Bummler“ a mobile, portable cassette player – in short a Walkman. At that time, I received it as a Christmas present during my middle school years. The special feature of this device was a built-in microphone and two headphone ports. So you could listen to music in pairs and if you wanted to say something without having to remove the headphones (or to reduce the volume), so you had to press only  an orange colored button and the intercom was active. The device was sold as a low-priced „replica“ version of the first Walkman from Sony, the TPS-L2 which came on July 1, 1979 on the market. The citybummler was distributed by UNIVERSUM via the source mailer.

IMG_3812
City Bummler with a self made coverplate after the original got broken

The device was delivered in a box with headphones, cassette pocket and carrying case with strap. For operation, three AA size 1.5V batteries were needed. The volume control is carried out with two separate sliders, so that each channel can be controlled separately. Unfortunately, the city loafer has not passed the last 35 years quite unscathed. Over time, the cassette cover was broken off, which I then replaced in my youth with a homemade tinplate lid. At some point I did not like the case color and I painted the device green. (or I just had green paint at hand). At least the „loafer“ still exists and it works too.

IMG_3814I was then on the Web in search of a well-preserved, in the original state city loafer. However, the offer is extremely low and the few offers on online auction houses are not interesting because of the immense shipping costs.

IMG_3807
Fellow FE-1

But a compromise and at the same time a new piece in the collection is the FELLOW FE-1 Walkman. I got the most cheap and fully functional on a second-hand stock market.

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left: Fellow FE-1, right: City-Bummler
IMG_3817
both devices in comparison

The Fellow is also a clone of the Sony TPS-L2. It differs essentially in the arrangement of the keys of the drive.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_3811IMG_3809IMG_3808IMG_3821 IMG_3812 IMG_3814 IMG_3819

 

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analogue multimeter – Goerz Minitest

Goerz Minitest
Goerz Minitest

The Goerz multimeter, model: Minitest FE5101 dates from 1969 and was manufactured by the company Goerz Elektro Ges.m.b.H from Vienna.

Introductory sentence from the operating instructions: „It is a multi-measuring instrument, which is particularly suitable for service work in the field of news and radio technology and electronics due to its small dimensions and low weight as a pocket instrument It allows the measurement of: equal and AC voltages, DC and AC, resistance, capacitance and frequency. „

The internal resistance is 20kOhm for DC and 4kOhm for AC. The achieved accuracy is 2.5%

IMAG1503
inside view

As overload protection, the moving-coil meter is equipped with antiparallel-connected diodes.

In this model, the measuring ranges are not to be selected by a selector switch, but each individual measuring range is designed as a socket on the device. The sockets themselves are suitable for 2mm banana plugs. The power supply for the resistance measurement comes from a 3V dry cell battery (type 2R10 duplex battery).

 

IMAG1497
scale

For the measurement of the capacitance with this device an external voltage is necessary, because here no own alternating voltage generator is installed. This said external voltage is the 50 Hz mains voltage which is connected to the device via its own supply cable. So a capacity measurement up to 500nF can be achieved. Measurements greater than 0.5uF are no longer possible due to the low measuring frequency. Goerz supplied a polystyrene transport case for storage and transport.

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