The Maturity of Kaelynn

Wife just related an incident to me:

Yesterday, she bought some Yau Chae Kuay and upon reaching home, called Kristine and Kaelynn to come and eat them. Both said, 'No' and ran off.

Minutes later, Kaelynn returned and asked my Wife if she is sad because they did not eat the Yau Char Kuai after she bought for them? And then she continued, I will eat it for you...

Vintage Presents from Richard

While Richard passed me the secret project, he also passed me some of his brother's unwanted model kits, which I gladly took. This was because he mentioned that the kits in question was done by his brother many years ago. And so, guesstimating his age and his brother, the kits could be very old indeed. The main reason why I said yes was because he mentioned submarines which you can see the insides.

And the only ones I know, apart from the Revell U-2540 which I was working on, was the Revell's Polaris and another German sub. And boy, was I right...

And so, these are the kits richard kindly gave to me. An aircraft carrier, which suspiciously looked like the Enterprise, Revell's Polaris Sub and the German U-47, A Matchbox instruction sheet for a Tomcat, an Airfix Gun Emplacement kit which I have never seen before and a Fujimi 1/76 diorama accessory.

A closer look at the aircraft carrier. Since I am not an expert at Naval Models, I cannot tell what this is but it just looks like the Enterprise.

And it came with some planes such as Phantoms and what looked like Ravens and they're all completely out of scale to each other. The only consolation is that this carrier will float on water...

Next up is the Fujimi 1/76. I think I used to see this in the 80's where the Anthonian Bookstore was the main source for them,

And when I opened the box, whoa!

This is so cool!

This is from Airfix, which, even during my younger years, I have never seen such model before. This is going to be very exciting...

OK, there were no instruction sheets on this but I think, I can modify it to suit my future projects.

Hokay, coming to the main subject. This is the Revell 1/125 German Sub U047. Its length is 21". which is a little bit longer than the 1/144 U-2540 Submarine. What is so nice is that its a cutaway too. Lighting possibilities? You bet!

And when I opened the box, it was partly built and the decals were, well, used

There were no instruction sheet and so, if I need to work on it, I would need to search for more information on the Internet. Oh, yeah, I have to remove the glued parts before I can do anything else on it. Still, let's see how my U-2540 works out.

This is the Revell 1/253 Polaris Submarine which I was waiting for. I am not sure why I like Submarines all of a sudden. Maybe because I missed out on the Bandai Shinkai 6500 or maybe I am still enamoured by the nuclear submarine, Stingray.

OK, so the instruction sheets are still there but the stand is missing, and so are some other parts.

However, one good thing is that MOST of the parts are still there

And the other half of the hull is not glued. If I were to light it up and put some sounds into it, I need to revise my design as due to the space limitation in the model, its going to be a challenge. And without the stand, its not that easy either.

All three ships lined up. Nice or not?

My new SMD soldering jig

Actually, this came to me by accident. I knew that with so many Cylon Raider PCBs that needs to be soldered, the normal way of sticking it to a piece of double-sided tape and making them less tacky does not work anymore. So, I have to think big, as in production line big. But how?

The first idea was to have a turntable. This would solve my first problem of the double-sided tape. It is very troublesome and time consuming ripping the PCB off and putting it back on another angle every time I need to solder a new component or, troubleshoot. And if the tape is sometimes less tacky, pulling the PCB off by force would mean accidents with the components. By having a turntable, I can eliminate this problem.

Secondly, with the double-sided tape, I can only work on one PCB at a time. By having a turntable with a large 'table' in theory, I can eliminate this problem too.

And so, by accident, I saw this for sale at the Multifilla counter. Initially, I was there to look for some clear 2mm acrylic rods which, ran out. Then, the Plastruct ladders are also, 'out of stock' as well.

Anyway, for RM20.00, this is worth it because, its not easy to find any used 5 ¼ Hard Discs where I stay and a real 'Lazy Susan' is out of the question too since its too big. So, this is a nice solution, where, a gutted hard disc space serves as a base for the upturned motor.

Alas, in my limited time, I could not go to the Pasar Road shop which sells the round glass covers for rice cookers (yes, it does exist) as the table and so, I got a Rm1.00 metal dish instead. It needs to be either metal, porcelain or glass since I am using a soldering iron on them. Unfortunately, the curved rim of the dish is causing some problems, which affected the quality of the soldering. I need to find another 'table'. Fast.

The tiredness of it all

Kaelynn had a very exciting night. This was the scene after we came back to the house from dropping Kristine off to school.

Mundane observations

After taking Kaelynn to school, I needed to stock up some immediate groceries, namely, edible stuff that can be used to encourage some kids to eat their breakfast.

Am I seeing this right? It costs more not to have sugar?
With sugar, its RM3.99 while without, its RM4.69.

Bought some of this bread because well, it tastes great but the girls hated it. I am going to let them try again tomorrow.

Seeing things from another light

One of the girls' favourite Aunt gave them a desk lamp because one of their cousin has no more use for it. Knowing the girls, one of them must also have one of the lamps. And so, we went to one of the shops to select one of the lamps from one of the shelves and also chose one of the colours...

Kaelynn has the Ikea Lamp

And Kristine has one of the other lamps

Rushing for Kristine

Just after the euphoria at the Electronics shop, I realised that I have less than 10 minutes to reach to Kristine's school to pick her up. Because it was already very late in the afternoon, there is no time for lunchies. So, I bought some deep fried wan tans and slices of pork for the girls to eat while we return home.

The wan tans and the slices pf pork were so delicious I had to make sure that Kaelynn kept some for Kristine.

Once Kristine was in the car, she was so famished that she gobbled up everything. In the meantime, Kaelynn was 'full' and fell asleep.

It came!

After picking up Kaelynn, I had roughly less than an hour before picking up Kristine. And so, I decided to pop down to Pasar Road to get some stuff for R&D on another project. While I was there, the owner was at the shop too and we talked a bit on the life in KL. Also, while discussing about my circuit board, he enquired his staff about the progress since it is very odd that there were no news from the PCB vendor. This was because, on the last communique, the vendor promised that they would get in touch with him should there be any problems in my design.

They did not and so, they went ahead with the production...

Which we both found out, much to my delight. But I am also at a loss for words because this caught me by surprise and I do not have the money with me not could I get Bruce to come up with his half in such a short time. And so, luckily, they were quite receptive to Mr. Chart's services.

Perfect. Its right here, in mu hands, after so many to and fro, its right here!
And so, the next step is to get the necessary components and solder them. Easier said than done because this means mucho $$$, something which I readily do not have...

It costs more to be sugar-free

Left normal Yakult: RM3.99
Right 50% less sugar Yakult: RM4.69


The running ant

I just came back to the working table and saw an and running around the pile of paper which I used as a mouse mat. As I have found out that these ants not only love meat but when you slam/knock on the area next to them, they would run helter skelter. So I slammed on the pile of paper near it and surprisingly, the ant jumped about two inches in the air.

I believe it was caused by the pile of paper acting as a trampoline of some sort which bounced the ant up.

As soon as it came down, it ran helter skelter, which I think, was wondering what had happened.

Ryoga's first and (final?) Sale

Today is Saturday and its just not any Saturday. For you see, there will be a lot of people coming to Hobby HQ. The first 'attraction' would be Ryoga's first Sale, which he is offloading a lot of rare vintage Tamiya car kits. You can tell that everyone is excited because his phone would not stop ringing or receiving SMS since 0300 in the morning.

Secondly, is that Hobby HQ has received a shipment of more model kits. And this time, from the list, these kits are not your normal stuff but the of the bigger scale. So, its going to be a very good Saturday indeed. After I have bought the necessary items for Richard's Project, it was time to head to Hobby HQ...

Its 1108 in the morning, looking at the clouds, it
looks like it might rain. And Mr. Low is still not
here. The cleaning lady and another SFTPMS member,
Jackson was already waiting for Hobby HQ to open.

And so, while waiting, I decided to
try out Pokka's Mango Milk, which
I got from the 7-11 moments earlier

And I must say, the milk tastes
quite good. It reminds me of the
mango flavoured yogurt drinks.
This is a far contrast to the normal
mango drink which has a sharp taste

Anyway, moments after I have finished my milk
and introduced myself to Jackson, Ryoga finally
came. And all his stuff has been taken as you can
see from his car boot, where all the bags has been
labelled for each SFTPMS member.

Since I do not have his permission
to reveal his identity, I will have to
resort to the 'ski mask' mode.

There is another reason why everyone
is eager to come to Hobby HQ today;
The arrival of new stocks. And here,
someone could not resist in getting
more models.... *ahem*

Customising your Switch

I got this switch sometime ago and well, since I had about 30 minutes of spare time, I decided to modify it. The main reason is that this switch has been made to light up with 12volts of AC power. Because Richard's 3volts project agreed to use this switch, I might as well be nice to him and have it lit. No point wasting the feature...

I love this switch. It comes in either momentarily (push to make contact) or latching (push-on, push-off). It also comes with or without a LED, double pole and also, you can rig it either as NO (push to ON) or NC (push to OFF). One last thing is, the lens can be in white too, apart from the usual red, green & blue which gives you a lot of modification. I'll tell you later.

This switch is quite long and so, you cannot just put
it anywhere you like. Not only that, I love pressing
on it because its so smooth and the click is very
satisfying. But remember, this is not an industrial
switch which means you cannot expect it to survive
thousands of presses in a day.

The first thing you must do, apart from buying the switch, is to remove the lens or the cap. You
can do this by gently pulling the cap until you see a small gap. Then insert your fingernail through the gap and gently pull the cap off. It will come off easily. If you have any resistance, don't force it but slowly do it as everything is plastic. Once you have remove the lens cap, you will see a tiny little circular assembly inside the switch. This is the LED for the switch and yes, it can be removed.

To remove the LED, all you have to do is to gently
rock it left and right with a screwdriver. You can
use a pair or tweezers or pliers but you will run
the risk of damaging the plastic holder, which is
very sensitive to force and heat.
Once the LED asssembly is out, please remember the orientation of the LED assembly as you will need to put it back again. LEDs are actually diode and they are polarity sensitive. Actually, in this case, you do not have to worry because, this strange plastic holder has a notch which only lets you slot it in one direction, which is good.

Just in case, I have marked it '+' because I saw the
sign at the solder tab. But it does not matter because
in reality, you need a multimeter to test the LED. Why?

This is why you need the miltimeter. The switch it was made to run at 12volts was because of the resistor and not only that, there is a diode too. In actual fact, this switch was to be used for 230volts AC while the LED is to light on 12volts AC. Not DC as I thought. The diode is to convert the AC into DC while the resistor is to being the voltage down to acceptable levels for the LED.

Because it has been soldered, and also there is no
marking to identify the polarity of the LED, you
really need to use the multimeter.

Using the desolder pump, you need to remove the excess solder as seen on the picture below. But you have to do this fast since the metal part is actually sitting on the plastic and the plastic melts very fast. So, you really need the desolder pump for the speedy job as you cannot remove the solder in any other way without melting the plastic. Once you have done this, gently remove the tiny plates but do not throw them as these are the contact plates that is vital for the LED to be connected to the switch.

You need something to hold the plastic while you
use the desolder pump. If not, the kickback from
the pump would push this thing away from your
table or worse, lose it. And when you desolder,
you have to do it fast as you do not want to melt
the plastic.
Do not throw these plates away!

Once the plates are kept in a safe place, you can now gently pull the LED out of the plastic casing. Or, you can just push the desoldered legs from the other end which can help push the LED out. What you need to do now is to replace the original resistor with that of another value. Note that the resistor is very small as it is a 1/8 watt resistor and not the usual 1/4 watt versions you buy from the Electronics shop.

I don't have the correct value, so I used the closest
(or next bigger) value, which is 68 Ohms. On hind-
sight, you can leave the diode alone. Now, use the
multimeter to make sure the LED is still OK. In this
picture, the resistor is soldered to the positive
leg of the LED.

Slowly attach the plates back to the plastic and
solder them. Again, do this fast so that the plastic
does not melt any further than it already is. Use
the multimeter to check that the LED is still OK.

Voila! All done. Check the LED with the multimeter
to see that it still works.
Remember I spoke earlier about the switch being very customisable? Well, here is another option. You can get some special 3mm LEDs such as blinking ones, RGB colours and so one, then get the same switch but with WHITE lens.


Imagine replacing the original red LED with the special 3mm ones. I did this when I was doing a CCTV tester where the same switch serves as an extra function of testing the CCTV's wiring. Green means wiring is correct, RED means Oh-oh.

Plug it back to the switch and test it again. Yes!

Put the lens cap back on and you're done.

Christian Temples...

10042012 2038

While driving on the way to the Hospital...

Kaelynn: Look!.... Plus!
Mommy: That is a Cross

Me: (mental face palm)

Kristine: Mommy, the Christian temple is called what?
Mommy: Church

Me: ...

Roofing the Stryker

Yes, finally, I have done the dirty and now its time to smear the crap. I have, in my own way, carefully cut out the measured shapes for the newly modified Stryker...

,,, and now I have modeler's block.

Haih. Back to the box it goes. I know I want to make it look like some shortened Armoured Car/Caravan/Lorry but halfway, I lost steam. This is one of those problems when you have planned for so long and when the time came to implement it, the idea seems absurd or well, outdated.

And I have cut the poor model into two... aiks