Sunday, December 30, 2018

Puttering the Shop - Junkyard Entertainment Unit Update

The DVD player in its new case

It's been a while, so I thought I should give a bit of an update on the junkyard DVD player project.

With my last update I had built a wireless sound function to the DVD player with the addition of a pair of infrared transmitters and receivers.

Now that the electronic part of the project has been sorted out, I now needed to look into how we should package everything up.

My intent for this project was to have everything contained in a wooden cabinet so that it could very easily fit in a home setting.  The woodworking part of this project will be separated into two parts; building a case for the DVD player, and a frame for the LCD screen.

For this update, I'll focus on building the case for the DVD player.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Puttering in the Shop - Building a Dark Activated Switch Circuit

A very simple circuit to turn something on when it gets dark out


In my previous post I extolled the virtues of using "electronic LEGO" as building blocks to put together some rather complex electronics projects.

While using these electronic modules certainly have their advantages, sometimes it may just be simpler to break out the soldering iron and build your own "LEGO"

I tend to build a lot of projects that have a need to do something whenever it gets dark out, so I have a real need for a switch that has the smarts to know when it gets dark outside and yet be small, simple and reliable.

This circuit is effectively the heart of a lot of everyday items such as solar garden lights and night lights.

While I could just have simply just cannibalized an old garden light in order to have this functionality in my projects, I really was a bit curious on what made these things tick.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Electronic LEGO

Basic electronic building blocks

While I never really got any formal training in electronics, I've been playing around with little electronic bits like transistors and LED's for a few years in an attempt to uncover the mysteries on how those devilishly complex things work.

During that time I built a few things that either blinked or made some kind of annoying noise. I also killed a good number of helpless electronic parts when the dreaded magic smoke was released whenever the power was turned on.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Project - Junkyard Radio to Table Radio



This project I was always particularly proud of.

Back in 2016 this project was a runner up in the 2016 Instructables Amps and Speakers Contest. I was pleasantly surprised by the comments that were generated by what I had thought was a fairly straight forward process of just hooking up a radio and putting it in a nice box.

Some of the comments I received were from people who were experts in car audio. Needless to say, I learned a lot more than I expected, and it has encouraged me to try other projects that utilize audio - for example the car DVD player that I've been playing with in my previous posts.

Two years later, the radio is still going strong. In fact it's playing in the background as I type this.


Details on how to build this neat little radio can be found by clicking on this Link


Sunday, December 2, 2018

Puttering in the Shop - An Easel for the Digital Photo Frame

Add a touch of class with a picture frame with this easel


In the last post I rehabilitated an old digital photo that was doomed to the e-waste bin at my local land fill. While I was quite pleased on how the old photo frame turned out, there still was one slight flaw with the frame - it only had the ability to hang on the wall. I really wanted something that could sit on something like a bookshelf.

The answer to that dilemma was resolved by creating this small "artist's" easel out of some of the remaining pieces of oak that I had left over from building the frame.

The nice thing about it is that this easel can be built in less than a few hours.