The SMD LED that blinks

That's right, folks. Somewhere in China, someone has managed to make White SMD LEDS blink at 1.5Hz!

OK, if you want to know how fast 1.5Hz is, just say, 'One Thousand and One' and that would be your 1 second.
So the 1.5Hz is you saying, "One Thousa..'. And I am hoping they would do 1Hz as well

It's great for putting them as navigation blinkers in small spaces but just like the Candle LED, I suspect that if some were put side by side, they might flash out of sync. Which, would be bad if they're connected on the same surface place. So, you need to place one at the top of the model and one at the bottom. And in a pinch, you can use them as 1.5Hz clock generators too.

Now you see it...

Now you don't.
And that's, 'One thousan...' for you of 0.6667 seconds

The 0805 LED is already very small but in modeling scale, its already a tad too big. There are smaller ones such as the 0603 and the 0401 which are great for scale lighting. Anyhoo, see that small square at the top left of the chip? I think that's the circuit to make the LED flash.

Sometimes, you just gotta Bling

I couldn't resist in getting some of these clear breadboards. For those who are into circuit design, breadboards are the best and fastest way to test if your design works before you move into the circuit board stage. Bigger circuits or chips with more ports would need more of them. Not a problem; you just snap another piece on and continue.

Although they're big and clunky, butdo bear in mind that this is just a prototype. I do have a choice of using spare finalised PCBs but it's not a good idea re-programming chips again and again when the Codes are not finalised.

Still, looking at the same old yellowing breadboards everytime can really be kind of boring and the monotony does destroy creativity fast...

They're small, they're inter-lockable aaaaannndddd clear!

Note that unlike the original breadboard, the clear one dies not have what I would call as power rails on both sides.
But gollee! The orignal is so full of dust and yellowing. Kinda like all my projects going to the limbo and back when parts arrives... or not.

I'm sorry, Sir. I won't be programming for you

Well, that sucked. Really sucked. And it was on a Monday too.

Let me tell you why.
(tl;dr - POS Test Clip not working)

Once I have finalised a program, it means it's code is ready for Production. So, the moment the chip has been programmed, it would be soldered onto the circuit board and that's it. So, if there is any changes after that, I would be expelling a lot of colourful expletives.

But, the codes still need to be changed. Unlike a normal chip which I can just pull it out of the socket, SMDs are a whole lot different. Desoldering SMDs requires a lot of work if your intention is to reuse them. Another alternative is what one would call ICSP (In-circuit Serial Programming) where you just connect the circuit board directly to the programmer. In this case, I would just need to solder the relevant pins from the chip to the programmer. No a problem until you realise there are tons of them lying on the table.

And so, to cut a long story short, I invested in a SMD test-clip. And after waiting for more than two months, it arrived. But after using/testing it for half and hour, it sucked. At first I thought it was because the solder got in the way. So I took a fresh chip and it failed 9 out of 10 times. Using this clip would have saved a lot of time, that is, if I had any last minute changes.

Oh well, maybe one day I would be able to find a more reliable clip but not today. I'll just let today suck monkey balls.

And so, here it is. That sucky SMD clip (black) connected to ribbon cables and then finally, to a DIL adaptor (yellow) to connect to my programmer

So, in normal sense, I would just plug this clip onto my circuit board and re-program the chip from there.
But it did not work. Damn it.

Flux Dreaming

Imagine this. You just work up from your dream. Very gently. And everything is still, serene, quiet. You're still comfortable in your bed, plus, the Sun has not come up yet. The only sensation you feel is some kind of a familiar and inviting warmth

And in a lazy way, you realise the memories from the last dream moments ago was still fresh...

I was in some college/organisation where I was being audited or something. Finally, when I was given the score, it was not a very good one with the Appraiser snarkily saying, "Perhaps you should have joined other activities/modules to improve that score." AND THEN I REALISED, (or recollected) THAT SOME OF MY RECENT DREAMS WERE ACTUALLY TEST MODULES!!!.

So, for the next hour or so, my mind was trying to remember which dream were the test modules, keep the score, and then went back to sleep to search for that room where the Appraiser was. I could not find her...

Then my Phone's SocMed notifications started...

Here no water, la

Day 3

There is still no water. The sudden water cut has affected the daily lives of those living in the area. In a weird way, some staff could not report for work and I do not know why. Most cafes and restaurants have started to close and the surviving ones have to use their wits for the first time, to survive. With one less shop today, the same amount of customers still needs to be fed. Some stalls have resorted to using disposable cups and things have not reached critical levels where customers have to use their hands to eat or bring their own cutlery.

On another note, it is believed that dihydrogen monoxide (aka DHMO) is harmful, thanks to the hours of research on the Internet. The authorities have launched a vigorous campaign three days ago, to eliminate traces of this dangerous chemical in the area...

I hope this water shortage is resolved soon before things come to a boil...

Mileage Recalculation

OK, I have recalculated my Mileage data again. And the figures feels wicked. I just hope I am correct this time because I am now calculating based on the mileage used and not some other crazy ideas like using the distance on the future tankfull.

Anyway, they are not as consistent as I wanted since I have to use my car on full load at least once in that same tank. Or even a drive into town. And that, gives me an average of perhaps, 13.8 Km/L?

Fighting Apocalypse

I had a very exciting and almost scary dream this morning.

We're in a wooden house of some sort, maybe a lodge and in the middle of the woods. In front of me was that Tom Holland kid, you know, the current Spiderman. And yes, he was in costume sans the mask. Not sure what were discussing intensely about, but at this point of time, I can tell you that we're seconds away from something big/dangerous. And his panicking face did not help at all. Either we're arguing or, well, it was something else

Then the sudden yellow blast from behind made toothpicks on my right, or rather, where Spidey stood an eye blink ago. Funny thing was, the blast was so close to my right ribs but I did not feel anything.

Oh, right. I was Iron Man. Tony Stark without his helmet.

I had to keep moving, from every corner of the house to the next, because if I stopped, even for a second, that bright golden blast would be heading my way. This went on and on for quite a while, maybe it's because my slow brain could not take over from the reflexes and adrenaline that was trying to save my very existence.

And then I woke up.

And the message in that dream?
Yeah, the green grass outside were beautifully maintained and it was dusk

What Goes Down, must come Up

It's more than seven years since VeeChai suffered from any damage costing more than RM50.00...

It started long ago when the front window's control button got loose. Well, it was not a problem since it still workied. But last year, one of the windows could not go up after it came down. OK, since it's the window behind me, I could just do some stretching exercise and tap on the controls at the back. And just a month ago, the same thing happened to the window on my left....

I did scout around Pasar Road for a replacement and even entertained the idea of doing some risky DIY repairs. I mean, why not? That small little thing, which does not even have any blinking LEDs, costs about RM80.00 is starting to look a little too expensive. After looking at the module and realised that there is a circuit board and some chips inside, I guess the asking price was OK afterall. Then again, the dream of wanting to repair it at my own leisurely convenience came to naught when the second window broke down. No way I am going to lean over to close that window when I'm doing more than 30Km/h on the roads.

And so, RM75.00 flew away just like that....

Removing this piece is quite simple and you do not really have to take out the whole door.

All you have to do is to remove the screw and just firm yank the cover upwards

Yeah, don't yank it up to your head as all the wiring could be affected

The (white) controller is held by two screws...

The replacement part is at the bottom and it really looked the same

Side to side comparison with the original on the left

Side to side comparison with the original to the right.
Anyway, just plug in the cables, test all four windows screw everything back and you're done!

While I'm at it, I might as well lubricate the windows as they struggled quite noticeably

All done and well, not that I noticed it, I have not though about the small light for many years