Full of hot air

my quick assessment of a “cheap” Yaugong hot air/rework station i received recently.
Looking all over the interwebs, you will find many “older” vids about the very common858D hot air station

I’m not going to discount those vids, maybe i got lucky and went with a different brand that appears to have some safety updates and fixes to issues i saw in many of those review posts/vids.

It looks like the issue fuse being attached to the neutral side of the 110vac line on US versions is fixed by having an all in one plug/fuse module. and the power cord itself is removable. i guess the hot-snot (glue) is there to keep the tabs from pinching in and getting pushed into the unit. :-/

It appears the device has better grounding than older versions and it checks out. checked ground pin, to chassi to nozzle to the plug that is in the back. the wires are still soldered and not crimped. the transformer seems a bit small for its use so it looks like a “bare minimum” rated trans, nothing more.

The controller board may be flashable but i wouldn’t know, this is one of those “binned” chips with zero markings as to what it is. (this is a major pet peeve of mine.) im only to assume it might be an atmega clone chip, but im not going to know until i dig up the schematics. (LMGTFY.com)

Its a common generic rework station that can be had for around 50$US and is just rebranded by loads of companies. this version has some safety improvements but i would say if you do the occasional hot air work, this is fine. If you are going to be using more than a few hours a day for a long duration, look at something that has better quality/safety checks like Hakko, Quick, or Weller.

UPDATE: soooo… I pulled the heat wand apart, and the grounding to the actual metal end was … well… sad, i found a small tab of metal soldered to the hot end, and a wire twisted around it. not the most reliable connections. never going to get a UL stamp.



just a quick idea

I’d like to start a sub page that gives lists of Bill Of Materials, or BOM’s for projects and lists of things like exact capacitors and other common repair parts for things like my Amiga 1200 restore project, or DIY kits and assembly without a crazy search through digikey or mouser. the list would have links to the parts, or category sections on those sites. I am actually planning on contacting electronic part outlets and other board assembly companies. this little bit is what is lacking in the electronics hobby/maker/learner realm

if you have actually read this and would like to contribute, or have ideas to get this going… contact me.

I think it would be fun, and a good learning tool for beginners.


my Amiga 1200 comes back to life

in my pile of not working but will one day, sat my Amiga 1200, between moving with it from New Orleans >Houston>New Orleans and it getting many hours of use, it stopped working.

first pin back in place, cooling, on to the next two. (pulled frame from microscope camera)

found two reason why, it was the accelerator card which dragged it from a blazing 14.### Mhz to a screaming 28.### Mhz (oh the raw power) and added a huge 8Megs of brutal fast memory. can you smell the sarcasm compared to today’s Ghz standards? The other reason was.. please dont laugh, i had a penny in the RTC battery slot. i have no idea why i thought that was a good things to do instead of buying a battery that fit. it worked like that for many years so i cant call it too silly of an idea.
the the 68030 chip had damaged pins, i dont know how that happened, and it must have been broken when removing the card at one point (maybe to put that penny in the battery holder) anyway. i carefully bent those pins back down to the pads (still intact) and carefully resoldered the 3 broken points. after putting the card back in, i booted up with the 80M harddrive i put into it years ago, and started my nostalga run.

all is not perfect, the sound barely works, and investigation points to the need to replace all of the old capacitors, so that project is now in its early stages and will be carried out AFTER i get ALL of my Amiga floppies to a modern medium since my 1200 never had TCP access. Im waiting on a kit that will use the PCMCIA card as a mass storage device so i can do a backup of everything. The internal floppy drives has issues, but im going to use the external on i have for as long as i can before opening the computer again. if the external fails, i have already done the “MOD” to to old PC floppy drives that should allow them to be dropped in if needed (untested).

Whats next? bit by bit, im going to get it back to its full glory, even if i just put it on a pedestal running old demo’s. im going to get it upgraded as far as i can with CF hard drive replacement, new kickstart, new workbench, scandoubler, and working sound so i could hook it up to my music gear and use it as an extra piece of music gear

in the meantime while waiting for parts to arrive, im also running a PC based emulator with the exact configuration and accelerator card as my real thing that can be loaded from my home file server. i will be making a raspberry pi version to hopefully replace the need to run the hardware (glass case pedestal time) and cram it into a mockup of the Amiga 1200 power “brick”.

an acquaintance of mine gave me an Amiga 500 and loads of amiga video editing gear and software. i haven’t even powered it on and have no idea if any of it works. i dont know what i will do with it. maybe try to upgrade it and use it… one day.


Jump into 3D

After my post in may, i purchased my first 3D printer, a prusa Mk3. This was after seeing many electronic “maker” posts and using machines to make models, cases, and prototypes. Of course i wanted to do all of this too. so i jumped head first into it, knowing nothing about the 3D printing. still i was being called a very knowledgeable person in the field only 2 months after getting this printer. see, when i want to learn something, i go all in. i learned how to debug issues in the printer, figure out why a print was not as expected, and about the different materials. 3D modeling was something i said to myself, “eh, im a very good drafter, how hard could it be”, in may ways, i was right. my Drafting knowledge and ability to visualize CAD models helped me. so, i took on several 3D packages.
Fusion 360 (free(ish)) – Excels in modeling prototype objects. i use this most of the time
FreeCAD – still in beta, but will do almost everything fusion360 can, its just more clicking and setting values, not much in the way F360 works where there is an arrow you can pull to place/size an object, you have to type in the dimensions and placement. it may be more difficult, but im finding it enjoyable to use. im still learning it how to work with it.
MeshMixer – mostly used by me to repair models, or reduce mesh model triangles (the triangles are what make up most 3D models.)
Blender – best used for making organic models such as figures and sculpting objects. it seems to focus more on being a 3D animation studio so its not something i will use or explain most of the time.
i will be trying several versions of AutoCAD soo, to see how well it works for 3D, i hope it is as easy do use in 3D as it is for me with 2D and ISO modeling.

while 3D printing is starting to take off (or i have put myself in that bubble and assume something that’s not accurate), there are many things that stand out about getting the devices to work and output as expected.
my Prusa works great, at times it didn’t, something as small as a 2mm grub screw coming loose on a main gear prevented pushing the printing material into the extruder (the part that heats the plastic filament and pushes it out of a nozzle onto the printing surface) and so ….nothing prints. this is not because this is a sub $1000 printer, its because its still new phase of the tech, and many places are working to improve the designs (while other companies just use and rarely innovate/contribute anything or go as far to make an improvement, and lock it up behind a overly broad patent they will licence out for amounts that would break the makers and lerners *breathes*). there is still a ways to go before “every household” will have a 3D printer in the corner of their room to make a replacement gear for their dryer. as it stands, this is still a tinker toy, its for those willing to get their hands dirty with a tool that needs care and attention sometimes.
its funny, when i show or say i model things for 3D printing, the first question i get is ” oh, have you printed a gun”, and i have to go explain to them how thats not how or why people do 3D printing. anyway, im going to be doing little tutorials on 3D printing, its good, and bad. problems/solutions.
and im about to go into CNC machines too.

i have a thingiverse.com account, and it has some of the things i have made, there are several other things im working on that have not been uploaded or are just not done yet, have a poke around.

for some tutorials about all of my projects, im debating on making a youtube channel or something like that. but if its anything like my updating of this site …
dont worry, soon i will be posting tutorial stuff, playing catch-up right now, giving my opinion and input. will add a few back tutorials on problems i had to fix.
im currently going through all my old “fix it one day” stuff and fixing or trashing. if i fix it there may be a tutorial. if i trash it, i may post something about its life.