A very small Ben 10 Omnitrix

I have had this toy for weeks and since I have some free time tonight, I decided to open it up. I was fascinated with this toy because of its design, nevermind if it resembled an Onmitrix. If you look at it long enough, it could be a limpet mine, a door security seal, a time-bomb, some equipment you can attach to another prop via magnets, etc. The main aim is to open up the toy and see how much space it has inside it. Not only that, how much plastic I would need to carve way if I needed more space, especially if I wanted to put in bigger sized batteries in there.

So what will I modify the toy to be? Only time will tell but definitely, I want to have lots of green LEDs in there!

So, this is the toy, which measures about 2½" x 2"

When I removed the green lens, there is only 3mm depth
so this means I would have to remove the plastic more
as a normal circuit board is about 1.6mm thick and
a normal LED is anything from 1mm to 7mm tall. I
am suprised the green LED is so bright!

The toy opened. Although it uses a small loudspeaker,
but by housing it in a small resonant chamber and
with some slots as speaker grill, the sound is quite
loud. This design is very similar to the Playmates
toys for Star Trek. Unfortunately, if I want more
space, there is a LOT of plastic I need to remove.

Minutes after I closed it back, Kristine came over and
started to model the toy for me.... ha ha ha ha ha

Panel Volmeter

Well, well. My PC Power Supply project has been kept on hold for awhile and I almost forgot about it until I saw this panel meter at WIZE electronics last week. Because the I wanted the PSU to have variable voltage, I needed a digital meter of some sort. One of the ways to get it was to design the meter myself, using the ICL7107 chip. The other was to buy a ready-made meter. Since the DIY option needed time which I do not have, I opted for the latter. Ha ha ha ha!

Now, all I have to do is to design the variable part and the front metal plate.....

This is the panel meter. One the box, it says (or I assume)
it has 7-segment LED displays
in Blue, Green or Red. But
sadly, it only comes
in Red. Whats more, it has a ready
made bezel and also the red LED filter. Saves me a lot of
work already.

The circuit is based on a double sided fiberglass PCB
which is, I think 0.8mm thick! Maybe one day, I will
change the RED 7-segments to Blue but its costly.

On the other side, are the components and the chip. I
supposed they could use SMT versions but this would
make the product slightly more expensive. Judging
from the components, I think the manufacturer took
a page out of the chips datasheet and designed it from
there. On second thoughts, I could be wrong because
there is no mention of the second chip (4069) in it

A quick test! The panel uses 5 volts so I connect it directly
to the PC's PSU and also did the same to its sensors. I think
its quite accurate. There is also a current (Ampere) version
but i don't think I am going to get that one yet since volts
are more of my concern. The display goes nuts in the first
few seconds before settling down. Quite ok, what.

My first custom project!

Thanks to Pol, I can finally start to make some cash out of electronics! Actually, I do have a lot of electronics projects in the pipeline but somehow, I never did have the time to get them to the demo stage and make proposals (due to a lot of commitments). But this is (kick) step towards that direction which I am quite happy.

However, this is a last minute project and with my day job, I was uncertain how it would turn out. But since Pol thought about me, this means he has confidence I can do it and so, I took up the challenge knowing the risk of failure would be great. I have had a few people putting me in the front like this before and most of the time, I failed and also in the process, lost some friends as I prefererred to be in the comfort zone. But now, I am determined to make things work and if I failed, at least this time, I will know why.

Overall, with less than two days and minimal tools, I have succeeded and learnt a lot from it as well. Apart from electronics, I have utmost respect for Mr. Tan and his son (of OnLine Components Sdn. Bhd. and WIZE Electronics) who, helped me in getting the circuit working through closing time. His patience and customer service was outstanding.

I cannot show you the whole picture but if you click on
it, you can read the whole story