richfiles

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Everything posted by richfiles

  1. Production circuit boards. They're not that particularly complex, but I'm mounting through hole magnetic field sensors (hall effect sensors) to one side of the board, and leadwires to the other side. I have to maintain both spacing between the insulation of the leadwires and the board, and the angle they sit at, and flush cut the leads, and have a requirement to reflow the flush cut with solder. I do a 100% functional test of every sensor on every board. I have to clean the boards in Isopropyl alcohol and then bake the boards to evaporate anything left on them, conformal coat them, and bake them again to cure the conformal coating. Individually, the boards aren't complex, but there are a lot of very "fiddly" requirements for them to pass. I think they go into medical centrifuges. Not me, for the past three days... Verizon, Sprint, and Comcast/Xfinity have all had spotty service. For three days in a row, I've found myself with periods where I have no terrestrial internet, no mobile data, and no mobile service at all. Like, I couldn't even make a call or send a text, much less an email!
  2. Recent announcements, combined with both recent and not so recent (but consistent) bad behavior by Take Two make me worry. It drives me crazy that such an awful company like Take Two bought such an amazing game like KSP. I will gladly concede that they've handled KSP well enough in the past couple years, but they still do not have my trust. I've seen how they do things in relation to other games, streamers, and creators, and it always worries me. I hope my fears are entirely unfounded, but it still nags at the back of my mind. I trust Take Two about as far as I could lob a Saturn V by hand. That said, I have some hope in this new team Star Theory. They seem passionate about KSP, and I think they will do a wonderful job... I said this elsewhere, but it bears repeating... I'm exited to see what Star Theory creates... But we can't forget who their publisher is, and who owns (and thus ultimately controls) the game. My concerns over KSP's future nags at me. This especially sucks, cause it's distracting me, and I should be getting back to work... I normally build 25 circuit boards a week for my job... I got 85 this week! Oof... I really need to get on that! Yikes!
  3. The developer understands, but Take Two has a documented history of not understanding this concept well. From what I've seen of Star Theory, they seem like a great dev team with a lot of passion for KSP, and I'm exited to see what they create... But we can't forget who their publisher is, and who owns (and thus controls) the game.
  4. Thank you for bringing up Take Two's fiasco with GTA V. I was gonna mention it, but you beat me to it. When Take Two first bought KSP, they were mired in the controversy over C&Ding Open IV, the modding tool used in GTA 4 & 5. The C&D originally occurred because people were creating mods that introduced GTA Online exclusive elements into the single player game. Never mind the fact that Rockstar pretty much abandoned the single player to focus 100% on the monetization of Online... The fact that they were creating content exclusively for online (to draw people away from single player and into monetization land), then attempted to kill the entire modding community by attacking the modding tools themselves for people daring to try to have fun in single player... Yikes. This is why no one trusts Take Two, and why everyone with half a mind fears the reach of their monetization. Lets not forget that in the two years since Take Two took over, we've had 75% of the value of the game (when not on sale) already monetized in the form of DLC. We never had DLC before. We just got feature updates. Take Two has already been testing the waters of monetization in KSP. THANKFULLY, it's been quality content with substance, so I'll give them credit on that. They did it RIGHT... But they did it. There in lies the fear. They tested the waters with KSP1 with substantial DLC. I think free feature updates are probably a thing of the past. I do suspect that we'll be at least dropping $15 annually on KSP 2 for "new feature DLC". I guess as long as it provides substantial features, I can tolerate that, as it supports the dev... But it marks a drastic shift, regardless. Micro transactions are something I NEVER want to see come to KSP, ever. If Take Two intends to monetize KSP 2, then restrict it to the way they've handled it for the past two years... Feature updates. I don't like fragmenting the player base with paid upgrades, but I'd more tolerate that than the exploitative micro transactions Take Two are notorious for. At the very least, They need to come to understand that Modding isn't something tacked onto the game, but an intrinsic feature of the game, and a core aspect of the community. If they EVER DARE to attack the modding community, mods, or modding functionality, they need to understand that what they are actually doing is attacking KSP 2 itself. I won't even tolerate DRM on my KSP. The ability to pull KSP into it's own folder with it's own mod set, and launch it independently of any launcher has been a crucial aspect of the game. I keep different "eras" of save games. That's something I'm not okay with losing. The wild success of KSP is a TESTAMENT to DRM free software. And that's something else that terrifies me about Take Two looming over KSP 2. I don't trust Take Two. I need to see it to believe it, and even then, I'm still gonna be skeptical of KSP 2 till some time passes, and I'll never stop scrutinizing it for Take Two corruption.
  5. Oh boy... I hope all that fresh mod-ability they talked about in the KSP 2 announcement translates well to the KSP serial IO mod needed for this instrument panel project to work! Very importantly, I hope that the data packets can be maintained between versions. It'd be awfully inconvenient to have to change things to make this work on KSP 1 vs 2.
  6. I certainly hope that KSP 2 cooperates with the level of mod access needed to continue this, and that you continue to support this amazing mod when KSP 2 releases.
  7. I am both interested, AND concerned about the Kerbol system. As much as I'd LOVE for it to be extended to include Kerbalike variants of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, I happen to also be a HUGE fan of OPM. I'd be very saddened if all the work that went into OPM was rendered useless. I'd like for OPM to get ported to the new KSP 2, but whether the Kerbol system has new planets or not could drastically effect how modders systems get implemented (or whether they even bother to remake their planet mods into KSP 2). If new planets ARE added, I feel there should be a setting toggle that allows the new planets to be distributed around another star, and to permit modded planets to replace them, or alternately, to take a planet mod, and assign it to a star, to make it's own interstellar system.
  8. Given my dislike of Windows, and the fact that Apple is constantly being rumored to switch to ARM CPUs in their Macs... I feel like the days of Hackintoshes may be numbered. I currently run a Hackintosh, as I much prefer using Mac OS for everyday use. Should Apple make the switch to ARM someday, I will definitely favor Linux as my primary OS over Windows, so Linux support (and by extension, Mac OS support, as that's what I currently use) are very important to me.
  9. I'm gonna be honest... KSP has seen WONDERFUL success since it first released, and has a passionate community. I keep backups of every single version release and the associated mods that are compatible with it in a separate folder, not attached to Steam. I have long running games that broke between different versions, and If I ever wish to go back to any particular one, I'm set up to be able to independently launch any version. KSP has had incredible success, and it definitely helps that it's been available on not just Windows, but Linux and Mac OS systems as well, and has been DRM free for all this time. If I give only one piece of feedback, it is this... KSP needs to remain DRM free, capable of launching independently from any launcher, and people need to be able to retain copies of it to back up different versions. People like me run far too many mods to rely on version selection. Please keep KSP DRM free Please support all the major OS platforms, Windows, AND Linux and Mac OS. I also have no problem if you make it available on multiple launchers... Just so long as there is NO EXCLUSIVITY. I'm fine if Epic gets KSP 2 as well, but only so long as Steam also keeps it too.
  10. Screenshotted... For posterity. I don't trust Take Two at all, but Star Theory look to be a passionate team, so I hope Take Two doesn't pressure you. As angry as i am with Take Two for many other non-KSP reasons, I'll gladly buy the new game because I love KSP, and want it to succeed. Good luck, and Godspeed.
  11. I actually work at a machine shop. I have access to a large mill, and even the option to use it, but I also don't have the final dimensions for the tape meter, DSKY, and ∆v carriage meter designs finalized, so I've not cut anything out yet. One thing I may do is cut the space for the edgewise meters, the navball, and the vertical velocity meter. Not too worried about that. As for the arcade switches, I don't know if those ones you linked specifically are relegendable or not, but I have a pair of similar switches that definitely are. The tactile feel is "clicky". Most arcade style switches typically use industry standard Cherry style momentary switch hardware for the actual switch. Honestly, I absolutely hate Amazon for anything parts... They have very poor representation and search features... To the point that I avoid it. For basic components, I tend to favor Digikey first, then Mouser, then ebay, then aliexpress. I trust ebay to provide a better selection of arcade style switches, and aliexpress to provide the lowest cost (but greatest ship times), since it's a Chinese vendor site. Here is an ebay link for 10 of those switches, with clear covers, for $20. This video shows round buttons, but the rectangular and square versions tend to let you change the insert in exactly the same way. If you want flush or semi flush buttons, and the switch has significant height over the surface of the panel, then you can use two panels. The top panel would have cutouts sized just big enough for the actual button itself, and the second panel would be mounted below the top panel with spacers. The second panel is where the pushbuttons are actually mounted. The video effects panel switches I have are PC board mount, so you'd need to solder them to a board, then mount that board to your panel with spacers. I just used generic proto board PCB material and drilled the holes for the alignment posts with a small drill. You can see the pictures of how I mounted them on this thread. For the 5v vs 3.3v issue, look for level shifters. I definitely recommend digikey for finding specific LEDs, due to the parametric search, but if you know what you want, check ebay. I recently picked up 100 3mm UV, 100 5mm White, and 100 5mm slow changing RGB LEDs, Spent only $8-12 per 100 piece lot of them. I got the red/green bi-color LEDs from Digikey years back, and sourced them there, cause I knew exactly what I'd be getting. For indicators, I highly recommend diffusing LEDs. They will have a lower brightness rating than clear lens LEDs, but the diffused lens will more evenly spread the light out over the button. You don't need that much for indication, else it could be a distraction. 10-14 mcd is common for indication. I know the bidirectional LEDs in my DSKY keypad work well. If you need brighter, you might need to see if you can fit a pair of individually brighter LEDs in a back to back configuration, and fit it where the single LED would normally go inside the switch. Also, if you haven't already done so, I'd definitely suggest starting a build thread for your own controller project. I'd be happy to help out where ever I can.
  12. That Adafruit board looks perfect for the job. Nice controller plans too! Regarding the backlit keys, I think they were about $6 each when new, but all mine are salvaged. I have a bunch of extras. I think 107 of the smaller ones and I think 62 of the big ones. The small ones are about 0.45 inches square, and the large are about 0.7 inches square. They all support a 2 lead 3mm LED. Mine have red/green opposing polarity LEDs installed, which allows the creation of red, green, and any yellow or orange if I PWM it. You can fit any color 3mm 2 leaded LED in the switches. Given the difficulty in acquiring them, I'd really prefer to hold on to some of the larger ones. The small ones, I'm willing to let go of more readily, since I have so many. I know they are smaller than the Apollo ones, but you're also not wearing a space suit, so they would probably work. PM me if you want. Man, $25 a switch is nothing... I once price checked the Honeywell tab lever toggles... Oh boy... Three digit price tag... Each! It drives me mad that such an iconic toggle design hasnt been mimicked by the Chinese switch makers. Sure, they got plenty of Bat lever and paddle lever toggles, but nothing like the textured tab levers. You can get 3D printed caps from places like Shapeways though, to epoxy to a standard toggle. You just gotta find a toggle with a lever that doesnt spin. Some of the cheaper ones will spin.
  13. This is a sensation (or lack thereof) that I have had the displeasure of knowing. The return of sensation is a pain that I have had the discomfort of knowing.
  14. I was about to come back and change my post. I'll just add, I guess. I have done no software yet. Between getting hurt at work in 2016, The Nintendo Switch coming out (with a new Zelda) in 2017 (which was an easy pastime while dealing with a healing shoulder), and the latter half of 2017 and all of 2018 being absolute madness at my old job, with them trying to cut labor down, but not the workload, I hadn't touched this since way back then. Had I scrolled just another screen or two down, I'd have seen where I did come up with a scale of atmospheres, rather than percentage. Now I remember it. It's still a "relative" scale, like percentage, but at least this one has a unit (being a single atmosphere at sea level). As I said, it's been a long time since looking into this stuff, so I'd forgotten how the atmospheric density was sent. Sounds like it's based on an actual numeric value. Presumably, you'd want a lookup table with every body that has an atmosphere. You'd have to read your SoI, I think, to pull the right value, and then just divide that by the number of steps your output resolution supports (if it's an 8-bit output, then divide it by 255, for example). You would just divide the atmospheric density value sent by the plugin by that value. You could just store the result of dividing max atmospheric density for each separate body by 255 in your lookup table. The scale isn't a hard numeric translation either. I WAS correct in recalling one thing. The numbers are krackenspew. I derived them purely by taking the onscreen Atmospheric density meter and it's four shading divisions, and divided the graduations on the scale into seven divisions, simply to line up with an order of magnitude scale that looks pretty, has one end at 1 ASL, and has a low value at the other end that is more or less considered "near vacuum". There's literally nothing more to it. Their gauge is an awful jumble of graduations that the scale makes little sense to me. Software wise, it will be a proportional linear scale, based on the numeric value sent. If it displays wildly differently than what's on screen, then it probably will get tweaked, but I'm a long way away from software. If it is positionally similar, then I won't touch a thing.
  15. In the end, I found the issue to be such a pain, I just went with a 0-100% scale. The issue ended up being trying to apply a scale based on the number of divisions the KSP onscreen atmosphere density readout shows. I think it was an odd number, and at one point I'd considered going with an order of magnitude scale, adding a decimal location and a zero to the density each time. (This is actually what I did, but with SI units). I decided I didn't like the guestimation nature of that, the fact that it might not represent actual numerical values, and the fact that even the onscreen one has no numeric values, I ultimately went with percentage. (went with an order of magnitude scale that references ASL density and scales over an arbitrary order of magnitude scale)
  16. My newest complaint... Is my oldest complaint... My Oscilloscope is from the 1970s... That doesn't speak well of my aches and pains, or the hair I find in my comb everyday... If only fixing those issues were as simple as simply ordering a new budget, made in China, Rigol scope. I'd take any make or model to roll back a couple decades of wear and tear on this old ugly bag of mostly water. Science, please get on this harder! On an entirely unrelated note, my forehead is peeling and painful because I got a sunburn watching my brother enter his recently rebuilt tractor in a tractor pull last Saturday.
  17. I know the feeling. I've bought MULTIPLE things from the same few cities. Living around the Washington DC area, New Mexico, or California, this stuff pops up everywhere. It's all cause of government, military, or big tech. Some office clears out a store room, and piles of this stuff go to the recycler. Some have learned they can flip this stuff on ebay. It's painful! My Smith Corona-Marchant Cogito 240 SR (1965 era) cost me over $400, once shipping was added into the price. The fact that these old machines can be quite large and heavy doesn't help with shipping costs either. I don't mind where I live, but it does suck that I can't find local businesses and government offices just throwing this stuff out either. I have several medium to large vintage calculators, and many more smaller models. I've got a few old computers too, Commodore VIC-20, C64, and C128, Apple IIe and IIgs, and some vintage Macs, including a Plus, an SE, and a Twentieth Anniversary Mac. I also collect vintage test equipment too. I also have an old tube oscilloscope, and a few sweep generators, tube testers, etc. Sadly, much of my primary equipment is starting to feel vintage! my regular oscilloscope is actually older than I am!
  18. In the span of a week, not one, but TWO of the "Holy Grail" vintage calculators that I want in my vintage tech collection have gone up on ebay. One is the first I've seen for sale since maybe between 2010 and 2012. The other tends to pop up 1-3 times a year, but both go for exorbitant prices. The Hewlett Packard HP 9100B went for $777 last week... Broken... With one repair attempt already failed... In pristine shape, with accessories and peripherals, I've seen those go for over 5 grand! I want one, because they are engineering marvels. The A model was released in 1968. The B model doubled the memory and added an additional subroutine function the following year. These calculators have NO DIGITAL INTEGRATED CIRCUITS! They don't even use transistors as their primary logic element. The most common logic used is resistor diode logic. All the various common logic gates are created with simple resistors and diodes. Transistors are only used for flip flops and for signal amplification or inversion. It has a 32Kbit capacity 64-bit wide ROM made with... NO components. Back then, ROMs were typically made of individual diodes. a diode for a 1, and no diode for a 0. Assuming half the bits were 1s, that would have taken possibly 16000 diodes, at a time when a diode cost 25 cents. That'd be $4000 in 1968 money! They solved the problem by creating a 16 layer teflon insulated circuit board. pairs of copper traces would cross each other. in one direction, the traces zigged back and forth, crossing parallel with the straight wires of the adjacent layer. Depending on if the one wire zigged left, or zagged right, when a pulse was sent through it, one polarity or the other would be electromagnetically inducted into the adjacent parallel wire. They were able to code the 32Kbits of ROM data using nothing more than the patterns in the PC board! They eliminated even more decoder circuitry by weaving wires either inside or outside 29 ferrite rings, creating what's called a Rope ROM. That was used as an instruction decoder. The display is a CRT, similar to an oscilloscope CRT, and the machine's RAM is 4416 bits, or just over 4K (The A model had 2208 bits, a bit over 2K) worth of magnetic core memory (RAM that uses wires woven into tiny ferrite beads to create non-volatile memory). This machine with measly PC board and Rope ROMs, Magnetic core memory, and absolutely no digital chips of any kind, that skimps on transistors, preferring to rely on diodes and resistors, is a fully programmable scientific calculator. It can be programed to self modify it's own programs, has an I/O port that allows it to control accessories like a point digitizer and an X/Y pen plotter (which with the right program, makes it into a graphing calculator... again, with no chips, 1968 style). ALL that functionality, with such limited resources, fits in a 16 inch (40cm) wide, 19 inch (48cm) deep, 8.5 inch (22cm) tall shell. As a person that loves retro tech, digital electronics, and marvels of engineering, this machine is the absolute embodiment of everything I've ever sought to collect... And I can't even afford a broken one that eluded repair once already... Now, less than a week later, there is a Sumlock Comptometer ANITA MK8 from the UK up for sale. The MK8 is the immediate successor to the ANITA MK7. The only difference is that the MK8 fixes a design fault that could affect the longevity of one of the calculator's dekatrons by replacing one of the two dekatrons with a string of 10 thyratrons. You might be wondering, what the heck is a thyratron, or a dekatron, and those are both excellent questions. Those are what are known as cold cathode tubes. In 1961, Bell Punch released the ANITA calculator, a tube based electronic calculator. The ANITA uses Nixie tube displays to show it's results, and contains decade counters made with rings of 10 thyratrons per display. Each thyratron is a tiny neon filled glass tube with a trigger electrode. When pulsed, the neon tube is triggered, and illuminates. the circuitry allows these decade counters to count from 0-9, then back to 0. Each ring sends a carry pulse to the next ring every time it counts back to 0. Other circuitry made it possible to do addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, using these ring counters to count up, or count up 9 steps (to count back one), in the case of subtraction and division. The MK7 and MK8 both use dekatrons. Dekatrons are much more complex tubes that have 10 primary electrodes, and a series of "steering" electrodes. You can pulse a dekatron to shift it's active electrode clockwise (and/or counter clockwise), making it possible to use a dekatron for counting functions. Both models use one to scan the keyboard. Since the dekatron is constantly shifting state, it'll wear at a normal rate. The MK7 used a dekatron in the multiplication and division circuit, and that was a problem. When the machine was idle, the active electrode wouldn't change, this would cause the dekatron to burn out prematurely. The MK8 solved the issue by replacing that one dekatron with an extra thyratron counter ring, which is less susceptible to idle state wear, known as "sputtering" or cathode poisoning. Sputtering is the pitting of a cathode as ions flowing from it erode the metal, and deposit it onto the glass or adjacent electrodes. Since neon, hydrogen, or argon filled gas tubes don't require filaments to function, they don't burn out in the same way as traditional tubes. They can suffer sputtering or outgassing, but other than that, can last for decades, which was why cold cathode tubes were used in the design, as opposed to vacuum tubes. Surprisingly, even though it uses tubes, it's actually slightly smaller than the HP 9100 (by weight, width, and depth. It is a little taller). These machines are fascinating, and thanks to the tubes being neon filled, you can actually see the machine processing if you were to open it up! And once again, I have no expectation of being able to afford this beauty... Unless I won the lottery or some such stupid pipe dream that'll never happen. While I do complain at not being able to afford these machines, I am, at least, fortunate enough to own six MK-7 decade counter/nixie display boards. The MK8 boards are identical. I hope to someday use them for a custom built "mini" ANITA style calculator. I'll be using rotary telephone dials for my number entry though. I mean, yes... At least I have that, but I have no doubt this machine will sell for an equally obscene cost. I'm also burdened with the sad reality that an already rare machine got taken apart for parts, and that's how those parts ended up in my hands. I keep the other four boards safely out of sight. The rotary phone dials are from "Princess" model phones, which place the dial in the handset, not the base, and thus are much smaller in diameter. Most of these types of neon calculator projects use one large phone dial, and either a rotary switch to select what digit you are entering, or have some manner of entry select that auto switches after each number is entered. I intend to just have 6 smaller dials. The additional dials are stored with the boards. This is a project that I totally expect to get to before I croak... At least it gives me something to think about doing while I don't win ebay auctions I could never win.
  19. Thanks! I got 'em surplus, but look at part suppliers like https://www.digikey.com (my favorite one), https://www.mouser.com, and https://www.newark.com for individual components. Those are all US based suppliers, but they ship internationally. You can also look up regional suppliers. For surplus, I mostly use https://www.allelectronics.com and https://www.goldmine-elec-products.com So, for me, I built the diode ROM to control the 14 segment displays just because I enjoy hardware, and retro stuff like that. I could totally have driven them from an Arduino or something, and it absolutely would have worked, but I simply chose a different route. the issue is most of the serial to row/column driver chips aren't meant for driving over 8 segments. The popular (and cheap) MAX7219 and 7221 chips are not really able to drive 14 or 16 segment displays. You could get away with it using shift registers, or even port expander chips, or even just using the digital I/O directly. You may need a transistor to drive the displays, especially if you scan them. Fortunately, you only need to cover the number of rows and digits with a transistor driving each line, but you'll always need to control it by switching segments. There ARE controllers for 16 segment displays, like the Maxim MAX6954, but they tend to be expensive... Mouser has them starting at $18.76 per chip, and they can drive up to 16 digits of 7-segment displays, 8 digits of 14 or 16-segment displays, or 128 individual LEDs. If you do get one of these chips, consider doing like I did, and ONLY place the 14 segment displays where you NEED them, and let the rest be 7 segment, That lets you use the cheaper, and much more common Max7219 on those. Since microcontrollers are dirt cheap these days, I honestly recommend using one controller as a display driver if you have any concerns over whether or not you can support the timing. Have it handle the segment switching and scanning, and it's input would be the plaintext data transmitted by whatever is handling that. I absolutely plan on spamming controllers in my own project. Maybe it's possible to efficiently code one controller to multitask between several things... Or I can keep the code simple and have a controller dedicated to one simple task. As an example, that's my plan for the FDAI controllers. Each axis will have it's own separate Arduino micro handling the packet input, and calculating the amplitude and polarity output that corresponds to that particular angle, and send that data tot eh DAC and analog switch IC. Since each axis is identical, with the only difference being the piece of data it reads out of the packet for updates, I can literally create code for one, and just copy it onto three microcontrollers, changing only the location in the data packet that it reads from. Depending on the memory available, I might be able to get away with an amplitude value lookup table rather than calculate it. Absolute value the number into a variable, add them together, if the result is 0, set the polarity output to represent negative, else set it to represent positive. So basically, I'd start with whatever command(s) lets me read specific data out of an incoming serial packet and store that data to a variable (we'll use PacketDataA). PacketDataB = PacketDataA + 120 If PacketDataB >= 360 Then PacketDataB = PacketDataB - 360 PacketDataC = PacketDataA + 240 Then PacketDataC = PacketDataC - 360 After generating these three angles based on the angle sent by the packet, we want to then convert that to a sine value that corresponds to the attenuation at that angle of a syncro control transformer. As I said, a lookup table probably makes a lot of sense here. I'd need to take the angle values in the three PacketData(A, B, & C) variables, and read out attenuation values out of the lookup table into three additional variables. We'll call them AttenA, AttenB, and AttenC. B = Abs(AttenA) C = AttenA + B If C = 0 Then PolarityPin = 1 Else PolarityPin = 0 ... And basically repeat that three times total for each of the three attenuator values and their polarity. Repeat all of the above three times, to get the outputs required for all three axes. Pardon my lack of coding skills, my foundations are in BASIC, so it's not gonna be syntax correct for an Arduino, but I think the math is solid. I imagine it might be possible to easily code this all on a single chip, but why make myself suffer if I don't need too. I imagine I could maybe just run it all on one, and it'll be fast enough to keep the FDAI updated, but honestly, either way is fine by me. So, back to the 14/16 segment LED displays. You can use a dedicated controller like the MAX6954, or you can drive segments with row and column drive. If you're better with programming, and want to keep things simple, get either 14 or 16 digit displays and control up to eight at a time, per MAX6954 chip. It's nearly $20 per chip, but at least they have a built in character font for the displays, and you can send the chip plain ASCII characters to display over SPI. I think the MAX7219 chips are simpler, and about half the price (cheaper ones are available on ebay, fully assembled on a PCB, with LEDs, but beware the quality and test them first).
  20. Man, another year gone... Yikes! Anyway, I've been getting the itch to build again, and some stuff showed up recently that I wanted to share. I recently received the Godspeed Minuteman key cap set from the company formerly known as Massdrop (why would they change a recognizable name to something as meh as "Drop"?). Honestly, I had forgotten I'd ordered them. Anyway, they are a space themed low profile "DSA" key cap set made from glow in the dark plastic. I ordered some 405nm UV LEDs recently, and experimented with illuminating them from underneath. The results speak for themselves... The UV LEDs have an interesting pattern in the camera. The green glow is the plastic glowing, not simply light shining through. The UV light fluoresces the plastic. Anyway, while I have definitely been out of the loop for a while, I'm not gone. I have had even more practice working with KiCAD, and have no doubt that the FDAI controller boards will be more than possible to produce. I need to finish up a few things that are already started, such as modding my analog meters and finishing the DSKY diode ROMs (I still have one left to make). Anyway, the reason I'm talking about these glow green mystery goo keys, is I've decided to return to the original keyboard concept for the controller. The original plan was to mount an Apple //c keyboard into the controller. Then I got the Danger Zone key caps and built my custom keyboard using those. My revised plan was to simply have a notch in the controller that the keyboard would slide into when the desk's keyboard tray was retracted. Now that 6 years have passed since I built my computer, I realize it's getting to that time when I want to build a new one, and my workshop definitely needs a computer. My plan is to basically migrate the old computer to the workshop, and build a new one as my main computer. This brings up some interesting questions... Could my new computer be squeezed inside the kerbal controller itself? My existing computer is bare right now, and the Philco Radio case is in the workshop getting work done... It looks GOOD sitting on the desk in there. I'm half tempted to leave it in there, but I DO like the thing to be more visible too... Thing is, it tends to be better lit and at eye level in the workshop, while it has to sit on a second level upper desk shelf to be in here. Anyway, regardless of what I end up doing, I'll be needing a Keyboard for each computer, so I may as well go back to building the keyboard into the Kerbal instrument panel. I'll still keep a retractable keyboard tray, and still have my Danger Zone keyboard, but it'll be stored away when not in use. I've actually got a set of typewriter styled keys that I'm seriously considering building up for the Philco Radio Computer. All that's up to whatever happens in the future. Next big thing to do is to machine the front panel. It has to get done, no question. One of my roadblocks is the fact that all my parts are well... Parts. Once things start fitting together, I can actually begin wiring, and once I begin wiring, I can actually begin to figure out how to make every part of the system function. The front panel is too big for my milling machine, so I need to deal with it in one of two ways... I need to either split it and machine each half separately, or finally try to get it done at the machine shop. My preference is to keep it in one piece. There's gonna be a lot of measuring to make it all fit. I am also definitely going to need to machine out a notch on the edge of one analog meter to fit it around the internal support frame for the front frame. I need EVERY MILLIMETER of space to fit everything... That's not a joke. I'm even probably going to have to mill a notch out of the outer chassis mount on the other side to make room for yet another meter to skirt right up to the edge. Another roadblock ended up being the tape meter. The screen printing shop that I went to completely flaked out on me. I guess they decided a one off job wasn't worth the effort. I can give it another shot, but it looks like I'll be forced to use those stamp kits and build some manner of jig and do the whole thing manually. That's not gonna be very fun... But, it's either that, or find another screen printing shop that's willing to take the job. I REALLY want the tape meter. It's such rare piece, and I wanna make it work, I wanna make it fit... I just really wanna make it a reality. So yeah... Popping back on the radar here. Plan for now is to finish steps that I started on but haven't completed. Top priority is finishing the last Diode ROMs for the DSKY, finishing and backlighting ALL the analog meters, and making progress on the main front panel. Once that's all done, I'll move forward from there.
  21. I fell asleep early, woke up at about 3am... I saw the news of Kyoto Animation Studio fire. It was arson. All three floors were affected by the fire. A man entered, poured gasoline out on the first floor of the three story building, and allegedly shouted "die". There are worse details, and I'm not going to get into it here... He admitted doing it on the ride to the hospital. I think this now ranks as post war Japan's second highest WORST criminal death toll and possibly the third or fourth worst number of injuries. I couldn't fall back asleep after reading such a horrible thing... I'm saddened by the loss of life, angered by the maliciousness of the monster that did this, as confused as the rest of the world as to why... The studio employed 70 people. reports suggest 26 30 33 people may have lost their lives. (I swear, it keeps rising as I type this) Families and friends now must face a reality where they will never see a loved one again. Who even knows what we've lost creatively. This studio created numerous anime including The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, K-On! Nichijou, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, and Free!. I haven't watched all those, but Suzumiya, Nichijou, an Dragon Maid were shows I really enjoyed (even if that latter one gets a bit cringy sometimes). just really sad right now. I'm gonna try to see if I'm tired enough to fall asleep again... Absolutely horrible... No amount of justice will bring back the lives lost, heal the pain of the survivors, or create what the victims might have created, but given what I know of Japan's culture, and their justice system... They're gonna throw the rope at this man.
  22. The thing I'm not complaining about, is that I already got my renter's tax refund deposit pending in my bank account. I suppose I could complain that it's pending. It's a decent chunk, and I realize, I could do some nice things with it. One thing that I've wanted for YEARS, and never had, was a 3D printer. filament printers have the appeal of large print sizes, but the finished product is not really all that great without a LOT of finish work, due to the low resolution. Strength is also an issue. As a model builder, something with a much finer resolution is more appealing, and so 2K resolution LCD based resin printers have finally dropped into the $200-300 range. This is within the realm of affordability for me, AND I just got that refund... The GOOD one, as in the model that gets all the good reviews, is sold out. The other ones that are available in that price range... All of them have a fair share of meh reviews. Even if the good model did come back in stock, Delivery wouldn't be till sometime in August. Supposedly, there's also a massive temporary discount on that good model, that supposedly ends today. Don't know if that deposit will still be pending, and still don't see it in stock. I want... but I want the good one.
  23. At least the screwdriver is an option. Look at how much is just flat out glued together these days.
  24. Finally bought a router to replace my old junk one that barely gets a signal sitting in front of it... The replacement lasted 3 hours, then died.
  25. Regarding the cart sizes, many companies have actually been avoiding the 32 GB carts for cost reasons, however the Witcher 3 appears to be using a 32 GB cart, and Pokemon is a game that very often sells two copies to hard core players (there are always exclusive Pokemon that have to be traded between the two games). The prices of those 32 GB carts seems to be finally coming down, and with a mass seller like Pokemon, they certainly could justify it. Really, what it comes down to, is if Gamefreak were actually any good at coding, they could probably actually fit the game on a 16 GB cart. Their code, models, and textures are historically observed to be extremely inefficient. Even if the weren't the case, the sheer size of the franchise more than warrants the extra expenditure. They've always sold their games for $40, and this time around, they will be $60 each. That alone is an extra $20 per game, which easily absorbs the expense of the more expensive memory. It's just a bad situation, bad coding practice, and years of getting away with anything, cause the fans were rabid, and would put up with it.