Fixing An Old Microphone

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When I bought the TS-820S, one of the extra things that he gave me was this microphone. It doesn’t have any label on it and any decals or writing have long since worn off. However, with a little web searching, it looks a lot like a Shure 522, but maybe a knock off, or a different Shure model number, since the microphone cover is different.

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Either way, I had the simple task of replacing the plug, and doing some general cleaning. Looks like the previous owner was a heavy smoker.

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In any event, replacing the plug went fairly quickly and a quick radio check showed it keyed well. The only problem was that I didn’t find anyone to talk to on the 10 meter band, so I don’t know how well it sounds. But, it looks like it is functional from an electrical standpoint. I’ll try using it on the next net meeting and see what feedback I can get from the others on the net.

Linux – keep it simple.

BlueFruit Project: Extend the antenna range!

One of the issues that I have with my home made auto start is range. Obviously, Bluetooth Low Energy is only supposed to travel about 35 feet, when it is unobstructed, of course. The problem that I have here is that the BLE antenna was inside of a metal box, inside of a metal cab (the truck). Even placing the box up on the dash for “best results”, I could only be about 15 feet away from the truck to connect and transmit.

However, I decided to change that today. I decided to un-solder the antenna from the feather and put it on the end of some wire. Unfortunately, when I un-soldered the antenna, I broke it. But, Praise God, it still works after I wired in a makeshift antenna using about 6 feet of twisted, insulated, 20 gauge wire!

A few short tests, but I could now stand about 35 feet from the truck. Not only that, but I was able to successfully connect and start the truck from INSIDE the building, transmitting THROUGH a closed door!

Here are a few pics of the event:

I even took a few videos that you can check out on my GitLab!

Linux – keep it simple.

Solder time! Fixing a GPX LCD photo frame…

I don’t know exactly when it happened. I just know that it eventually quit working. It is one of those picture frame LCD panels with a slot in the back for a flash memory card. My lovely wife had purchased it for me a couple of years ago, and I keep it on my desk at work, occasionally updating the photos on the memory card, so I can have nice scrolling pictures of my family with me while I am working. I really like these things. If you don’t have one, you should get one!

In any event, at some point this past week it quit working. The screen was black, and there was no indication of what the problem was. A quick press of the power button didn’t revive it either. So I started troubleshooting.

The power supply says that it is 5 volts DC, and that it is 1000 mA of current. A quick check with the multimeter looked good at first, since it was 4.9 VDC, making me think it was a good power supply. But then I decided to check the amperage. Bingo! It was only putting out about 100 mA, not 1000!

Well, long story short, I couldn’t find another readily available 5 volt DC, 1000 mA power supply. Then I realized that all USB power supplies are 5 volt DC, and usually 800-1000mA. So, I chopped the old cord off, cut a USB cord in half, and did a quick test using alligator clips. Success! The unit powered right up with cheery images of my fun loving family!

I grabbed some heat shrink tubing, did some trimming, warmed up the soldering iron and got to work. About 5 minutes later I had a functioning LCD picture frame!

Linux – keep it simple.