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last modified: Wednesday 28 June 2017
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Halestrom's Peregrinations

Stories of electronics repair, home-made semiconductors and surviving the internet dark age.

If your emails to me bounce then please check your spelling of 'halestrom' (not 'halestorm').

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Tuesday 20 March 2018
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Blog Posts

Game release: The Echidna Menace Saturday 2 September 2017

Over the years I've dabbled making lots of small games, but I've always been afraid to release. This game isn't perfect, but it actually has some fun to it.

UI Gripes: Season 1 Sunday 6 August 2017

'HID' stands for 'Human Interface Device'. I don't think I have any of those, and if I do, then they're definately broken.

Making a bench PSU out of a cheap buck/boost module off the web Sunday 23 April 2017

Modding a LTC3780 board to use different pots, toroidal transformer rewinding and a bit of bodging gone wrong.

Diodes part 3: a working diode steering circuit Tuesday 28 February 2017

I've made something interesting with my aluminium and soda bicarb diodes: a 7-segment display encoder. Also includes instructions on how to make your own.

Mounting computers on wooden boards Thursday 26 January 2017

Putting a Pentium 4 rig, power supply and all, on piece of plywood for easy hanging.

The puzzle won Saturday 31 December 2016

A small coding adventure to solve a problem that was already solved. I think I should have left the dinosaurs as hybrids.

Christmas Wrapping Monday 26 December 2016

Christmas has ended and the family has upgraded. In the shadows I cover.

Project: Wooden synchronous clock Monday 5 December 2016

My first time-keeping device, using a stepper motor to control the main wheels and mains frequency counting circuits to keep the time. Full schematic included with bonus errors.

Homemade aluminium diodes Monday 5 December 2016

We're back in the lab trying some new combinations and methods to make diodes. This time: aluminium and wet electrolytes. Getting closer to the idea of just being able to 'dab' diodes onto PCBs, but not quite there yet.

Splitting apart lipo packs Sunday 31 July 2016

Or "how I managed to do it without cutting open the lipos with a knife" this time. Total success, no lost/damaged cells.

Inside HRC fuses: cheap vs brand-name Sunday 31 July 2016

An unrelated fuse blew in another multimeter, so I decided to buy some replacements for these white ones too. Previously I was using cheap eBay replacements. No *electrical* comparison/testing is done in this post.

Cutting open red COB Leds Saturday 18 June 2016

It turns out that red COB leds have blue LED dies in them. Dissection and thoughts.

Repair: DIADEMA coffee machine Saturday 18 June 2016

Problem: agressively clicking noises on startup lasting most of a minute. Investigations and repair.

Simpler PCB etching/making techniques for simpler boards Saturday 18 June 2016

Method and results for a few different techniques. No computer/printer required, all hand tools and etchant.

Experimental homemade aluminium and silicone PCBs Saturday 18 June 2016

Making copper-clad board substitute using aluminium foil and silicon caulk, then etching it. Partial success, lots of problems.

Meta: Quiet in the blogs Saturday 18 June 2016

Upcoming posts (hours, days), possible changes to the site

Selectable turns AM loop antenna Sunday 24 April 2016

Basket-woven 10-winding AM loop antenna for my radio. Number of turns selectable using rotary switch. Overview of how I made it. Works very well.

Archives: Robots and lab projects pre-2016 Sunday 17 April 2016

A selection of things I've made over the past several years. Pretty photos, lots of mistakes and a few miscellaneous parts.

Homemade copper diodes Wednesday 13 April 2016

My method and my results. Zener-like diodes made with a candle and water-drop technique.

Moving away from Arch Linux Part 2: Looking at alternative distros Tuesday 29 March 2016

Trying out new distros: gentoo and Void. First impressions of their live environments, package management and websites.

February element14 haul Sunday 13 March 2016

I buy electronics on the cheap. Looking around sometimes pays off -- in this case by a factor of a thousand.

Meta: Site fixes and various reflections Saturday 5 March 2016

Atom feed dates and duplication, thumnails and post summaries. A few thoughts on the present and future. Soon to be released init system.

Repair: busted laptop hinge mounting point Saturday 5 March 2016

Quick repair. Screws pulled, case damaged and inserts plucked. All hail Araldities, Greek goddess of glue.

State of my ARM Chromebook Saturday 27 February 2016

After years of usage my laptop has taken a bit of a beating. Stories and solutions to problems that I have encountered using linux on an armv7h laptop.

Moving away from Arch Linux Part 1: Systemd Friday 26 February 2016

Why I want to abandon my current distro and move to another. Stories of systemd breaking my systems and getting its tendrils into places that I'm not comfortable with. Ooh! Not there! aaaaah!

Rebuilding Tankbot Monday 8 February 2016

Fabricating aluminium wheel adaptors from scratch. Tanks, bandsaws, custom jigs and homemade tools.

Meta: Grand site unveiling Tuesday 26 January 2016

Backstory of this website. Why I chose to write my own backend and the architectural decisions I made.

Dwarf Fortress on old hardware Tuesday 26 January 2016

Running a game fabled for its system demands on 2000 era hardware that moonlights as a magnetic descrambler. Solid state IDE and minimising memory usage.

Repair: Jena 5020 vintage radio Sunday 17 January 2016

Repairing a hollow-state radio. Breaking everything and getting frustrated at documents that are just barely out of reach.