The Welding circuit

30082012 1821

rayloke asked if I could whip up a electronic solution that can simulate the flash of arc weldings using LEDs. And so, I told him I could. Easily.

But if he were to ask me years ago, I could not even say yes. With the limited time I had during jobs, it was not possible to learn more about chip programming. Thankfully, there are sample programs on the Net which I can download and analyse.

And so, within 24 hours, it was done and he was so impressed with it (and two out of the five LEDs are really realistic) that I was suprised since he has an eye for details and also, is very particular. Initially, I asked if he would just like the board only and connect his own LEDs but in the end, I soldered some resistors to the LEDs and gave it to him because its enhances the whole 'first impressions' concept.

I used the remaining of the four General Purpose prototype boards for this.
[Update: ]
A week later, he sold it to another customer who wanted it urgently. Which brings me to a possible third product as a General Purpose Board which can be for Arc Welding, Motor speed control or even, Engine flickers. But I would have to further enhance the design since I want to make it as compact as possible and also, be programmable on the fly.

Tamiya Thin Cement

30082012 1803

Learnt something new tonight. And it was all because of the Academy's 1/48 F-117 Stealth Fighter kit which I am entering for the SFTPMS Group Build. The problem was in gluing the wings. Apparently, my 10-year old Mr. Cement which I found from my AMT Price Xizoer's ship is considered thick cement. In those days, these were your 'normal' standard off the shelf stuff, apart from that Tenax-7R (The Space-age welder) which was like a miracle glue. Knowing my Mr. Cement, which surprisingly has still not gone bad or dried up, would dry itself halfway when I finished applying one side of the wings. And so, by the time I have applied the glue on the remaining wing, all I have are just two slightly glue-marred plastic parts. What I need is a glue which can really glue those two damn long, stupid, irritating, and black wings together.

Ideally, the Tenax-7R is the answer as it acts like thin superglue, which seeps into the plastic's cracks and unreachable places via capillary action. And unlike superglue, it literally welds the plastic together. If you're not careful, any plastic that unintentionally comes into contact with it also melts of have some horrible consequences.

Oh, and it causes cancer. Don't believe me? The label said so; "This product contains a chemical known the state of California to cause cancer, birth defect, or other reproductive harm.". And so, years later, they became harder and harder to get and some even say it was discontinued.

Then came along Tamiya' Thin Cement, as shown to me by rayloke from ICW. Since I have not used Tenax before, I would have to guess that the Tamiya is almost the same. Because when I applied it to the joints, the glue disappeared and moments later, the joints felt as if it was a single part...

I was so happy because it solved my problem with the Stealth Fighter's wings.

All I have to do is clamp the the wings and then apply the thin cement part by part.

Oh-oh... why is it that good things are always bad?

Bogus Flag

30082012 1552

Kaelynn got a flag today from school and she wondered why hers has no National Anthem. 

Say what?

Yeah, she mentioned that her flag has no song.

OK. A flag with song. So, this is how far our country has come. And I happy? Well, I can't say until I have a look at the flag...
OK< so the flag looks ordinary because it can... wave.

Hang on. What's this green thingy here...

Ah, this is the singing part. Unfortunately, the batteries have corroded everything inside. So, there is no pint in repairing this since that type of  batteries are not readily available.

Accident on the Even of Merdeka

30082012 1530

How do you know that there is an accident? Very simple. There are usually three signs:
1. An engine being revved slightly above normal.
2. The unmistakable screeching of tyres
3. The sound of crumpling metal or metal against metal.

When you heard the last one, you know its very near, especially when you're in an air-cond room.

This was the scene which greeted me. Theory is that the car reversed and the bike banged it because I overheard the motorcyclist telling the Guard that he has the right of way, etc. I cannot blame him because during school session, every parent has only one thought on their mind and hence their selfish ignorance on other vehicles. I am guilty of that too. At least a few times a week...

Kid looking at Momma's dented car which cannot close because the alarm would go nuts

The motorcylist. And a Lady next to him, saying that its unfortunate that such thing happened and on the Eve of Merdeka too.

Momma realising the car can't be locked tonight.

The fall

30082012 1530

At about quarter to one, Wife rang up and told me that Kristine had a fall at school and the teachers have asked us to pick her up. Before my Wife could even finish the conversation, I was already heading towards the door. That is, right after I put on my pants, drank a cup of water, comb my hair, changed my shirt, etc.

It was panic time for me because well, I mean, if a teacher asks you to collect your kid after a fall, it must be serious, right?

What was so frustrating for me was that I needed to fill in a lot of forms and even had to go to the office for one of them. All this just to get her out from school, before the session was over. It did not help that I was the only person who is in a hurry to get her home while everyone seems to be moving in slow motion. And by the time I reached her class...

Nothing wrong with her. She just fell and her knees bent and hit the floor.

Once we reached home, the pain subsided and I got her to change her clothes. After she ate some lunch, I switched on the air-cond so she could sleep.

The Sleep cycle

29082012 2129

And there she is... sleeping on the couch, all tired out

One sleeps while the other is awake and vice versa.
Just like when they're babies. When Kristine was sleeping, Kaelynn was awake playing. And when it was time for her to sleep, within minutes, Kristine was up, ready to play. Those were the times which really wore the two of us out.

So, we fit our lives around their schedule. When one was awake, one of us would take care of them and vice versa. And to tell you the truth, it worked. And then things got worse because these napping sessions really made us more tired and unable to focus on pretty much... things.

Anyway, these were the experiences I am glad to go through although at that time, it was a very, very tiring episode.

Revell 1/72 C-160 Transall

Yep. I made up my mind and got a Revell 1/72 C-160 Transall. I am not sure why but all I know that for the past few days after seeing those planes, I wanted one. So, why the interest in Transport Planes? One of the reason was that I was fascinated by the fact that these transport planes deliver their cargo via air-drops and in order to achieve this, their cargo ramps open. Yep, the sliding cargo and opening ramps got me. No, it was not because of the game Uncharted since I don't have an up-to-date games console to play them.

OK, granted that everyone has seen the C-130 Hercules but why the C-160? When I wanted one, the Hercules was not there anymore except the three; C-160, G.222 and the C-27J Spartan. Originally, I was about to choose the Spartan (because it sounded nice and macho) but eventually, the size of the C-160 won me over.

Oho... the gigantic 1/16 King Tiger is up for sale!
The owner got it for RM1699 at t hat time.

The Revell 1/72 C-160 Transall on my workdesk!

The moment I set the sprues on the table, I realised that it is a very big model. I could not take all this in while I was at the model shop because well, buying it was the only thing on my mind. Oh, and thanks to Mr. Low for treating me a cup of Iced Coffee.

Out of the two choices, this was the one that I bought since I was looking for some seated pilots.

At first, I was hesitating on buying these 1/72 figures for fear of getting those soft plastic soldiers which was normally used for tabletop wargaming. But since I helped Bruce open one, I was glad that its hard plastic.

For a 1/72 scale figure which is about as tall as a single notch on the finger, you can see the fine details.
And so, once again, I have bitten off more than I can chew and  this is going to be a problem since my itchy finger wants to do up this model for the SFTPMS Group Build which ends in November. 

I mean, I don't even have an airbrush let alone paints to start with. what am I going to do?

HMMWVs of differing kinds

I just found back the Revell Model kit which I bought quite some time ago. And right before that, was the model from Military Wheels. At that time, I wanted them in 1/72 scale because of the earlier B-377 Stratocruiser which I wanted to covert it to some kind of space travel/explorer ship. But during the time of purchase, the Revell kit or any kit other than Military Wheels were not available.

I am not saying Military Wheels are bad but once I have seen the crisp details on the Revell kit, the comparison was very obvious.

Although both are Humvees but in actual fact, they're variations. Military Wheels's is M1025 Armament Carrier while the Revell (surprise!) gives you both M966 TOW Missile Carrier & M997 Maxi Ambulance!!

Its quite amazing that there are two vehicles crammed into one box. But anyway, this is what you get. A bag of plastic sprues, an instruction sheet, some decals and very thin windows.

Military Wheels on the other hand, has the same offering but I am not sure why the plastic has brown spots.

This is what you get from Revell. The first four sprues are identical as these contains the parts you need to create two basic Humvee base vehicles.
The next four sprues then gives you the parts to make the M966 and M977.

Also, the decals are very nice.

This is the offering from Military Wheels. It has transparent plastic parts which is one up against Revell.

However, there is a small problem with scale. The Revell model, looks a tad smaller than Military Wheels. However, I do not know the actual length of a real Humvee so I am not bothered for the moment.

All the following images shows that Military Wheels's humvee is slightly longer than Revell's.

Both instructions are quite clear at a glance. Since I have not made any of the models, I cannot compare them.

The transparent plastic sprue is from Military Whee;s while; the transparent strip is from Revell.
So, on one hand, I have two Humvees that has a lot of details and on the other, one that is just well, a very good effort. It is quite obvious that Revell comes out the winner on this little competition. What cliched the deal was not due to the crisp details which is now a standard feature on all modern kits but that it gave two Humvees for the price of one.

Being late

This was a very stupid morning. I did not realise that there were Merdeka rehearsals down the road from the Museum onwards. Normall, we were very early but just for the sake of this morning, we were running late by about 4 minutes because she was still sleeping and guess what?

There was a big jam there, and at the end of the jam, just before the Museum were two Traffic Policemen telling us to detour. And the only detour was well, that road to Jln Duta/Jln Tun Razak.

Well, that's that I suppose. So I had to crawl back, to Jln Damansara, and back to the Federal Highway, i.e. one big U-turn...

And also, it was raining. What a great morning, people. Kristine suggested that we turn back and stay at home but I was adamant that she goes to school, by hook or by crook. I do not want her to skip anything just because of some excuses.

By the time we arrived, it was already 5 to eight. And so, she had to fill up the lateness form for the very first time. And she was not the only one...

And it ended with the USB...

Finally, I bought the USB replacement part today and it was so expensive. For that price, I can buy a lot of resistors for that same amount. Yes it was RM1.00 and if it went any higher than RM100.00, I would have bought a new printer instead.

But it didn't.

And so, here I am.

In my room.

Taking the stupid PCB out yesterday was really frustrating. Its like trying to fish out a loose screw in the hot engine bay of your car..

Just to replace this snapped off USB port

Guess where all you extra ink went?

Yep. Its black, rubberish, soggy and when you step on it, you need to clean the floor on the whole house.

Before putting it back, some cleaning first. This is one of those alingment strip which tells the printer its current position. Since its the family printer, it is not funny to draw extra lines on it.

There. All done and off it goes to Papa Room for testing!

@#$&*! Its not working! And after an hour of doing this, one of the frail ribbon cable snaps and that's it. No matter how I tried to repair it, it won't connect. And this is not the main problem where the printer head just goes to one side and the rollers made stupid sounds.
And so, because someone snapped the USB connected, the printer literally died a gruesome death in the hands of a clumsy fat gorilla. Although it lasted us about nearly seven years, I don't think we're going back to HP so soon. It does its job well but there were no heavy jobs to make it stand out from the rest of the competition.

But then again, this is generally for home use and for the printer to last that long, it is actually very, very good.

Three motors

While we were discussing about stuff today, Kenny mentioned that he wanted some of the small motors I bought for Bruce for his SFTPMS Battle of Britain Group Build. I bought a lot because Bruce said he wanted about 20 but in the end, I was left with about 16 motors...

Soldered and tested the motor for Kenny for pick up.
I told Kenny he could have some because there are still a lot left. Not only that, I am worried that he might find the motors spinning a little bit too fast since these are designed to be vibrator motors for early mobile phones and pagers.

[Update: End August]
I really hope he finds the motor's speed just right because the last of the PCB boards which I used to control the motor's speed has been sold to another friend... as a welding flicker. Ha!

 [Update: Early Sept]
Whoa... just found that the last PCB I sold to my friend has been sold to another guy because he wanted it more than him. One thing that he told me that its sometimes very hard to describe things to people unless they see it and sometimes, when they do see it, they still don't understand... I offered to make another one for him but he said, no hurry. OK, so this PCB design might be a hit.

Trip to HHQ 27082012

I decided to spend the remaining hours of the day here after my Wife said she will pick up the kids. It was a long day, something which I would not want to mention for the time being.

These were on sale and they're very very old. I mean, look at the box. Its Matchbox/AMT, back during the days when they were very strong on the hobby scene. I like the Road Boss.

Although the parts looks the age, I would not want to build it but to frame it if possible.

I have not seen this before and again, this is nice but I would have problems fitting it into a diorama since most of the model kits nowadays are of modern types. Yes, do it as an antique show on a revolving stage, I suppose.

Quality-wise, the parts are very good but since I am spoilt by crisp details nowadays, its very hard to convince myself to get these anymore.

Aha... what a nice little place. This C-160. I was not sure why I am attracted to it but well, its better than a Hercules. Oh, hey, it has those landing ramps!

And so do these! The Spartan looks promising since the undercarriage looks 'fierce' and also, it looks massive from the box.

OK, a flying wing. If I did not check on the box, I would assume the size is the same as the box. But its when fully built. Which is 71.8cm, a little bit too big for me. But to be honest, I don't even know where to display it and because its silver, airbrushing it is also another problem since I do not have one.