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11Instructables81,663Views43CommentsUKJoined August 2nd, 2015
You can also find me on iFixit.com and Twitter @pleriche. Volunteer with TheRestartProject.org and keen to share my knowledge and skills and do anything I can to encourage girls to follow STEM subjects.

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  • p_leriche commented on p_leriche's instructable How to service a sewing machine3 weeks ago
    How to service a sewing machine

    Glad you liked it, and thanks for stopping by to say so. Have fun!Kind regards - Philip

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  • p_leriche commented on Nematic!'s instructable How to Fix Broken Headphone Jack !4 weeks ago
    How to Fix Broken Headphone Jack !

    At therestartproject.org we very frequently fix headphones with around 90% success rate but more usually with a replacement plug which you can get quite cheaply. Most replacements are bulkier than the original though, and make sure it's got a cable clamp or it won't last long at all. You need to use the continuity tester to see which colour wire goes to which jack contact as the wire colours in step 4 aren't universal.An interesting idea to use heat shrink sleeving, but it may not stop the connections from breaking if the lead is given a yank. I'd prefer to use Sugru (see sugru.com). Sugru is also good for protecting the lead when the outer sheath starts to fail but before the earphones stop working.The wire can be a little tricky to solder. First of all, twist the strands together to s...see more »At therestartproject.org we very frequently fix headphones with around 90% success rate but more usually with a replacement plug which you can get quite cheaply. Most replacements are bulkier than the original though, and make sure it's got a cable clamp or it won't last long at all. You need to use the continuity tester to see which colour wire goes to which jack contact as the wire colours in step 4 aren't universal.An interesting idea to use heat shrink sleeving, but it may not stop the connections from breaking if the lead is given a yank. I'd prefer to use Sugru (see sugru.com). Sugru is also good for protecting the lead when the outer sheath starts to fail but before the earphones stop working.The wire can be a little tricky to solder. First of all, twist the strands together to stop them fraying, then feed the twisted bundle into a blob of molten solder on the tip of your iron. Withdraw and repeat until the wire is tinned. The trouble with using a lighter is that you have little control of the length of wire that is bared of insulation.

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  • USB Volume Control and Caps Lock LED - simple, cheap, extensible

    You're right - I'm sorry I'd forgotten that I'd had to install additional board descriptions from a SparkFun Github repository. This url gives you the files and very clear instructions:https://github.com/sparkfun/Arduino_BoardsHave fun!

    Make sure you have a recent version of the Arduino IDE. Under Tools -> Board -> Boards Manager, select Type: All and search for pro micro. It should be in SparkFun AVR Boards, but you have to read the list of boards supported by the package fairly carefully to spot it.Setting it as a Leonardo might work but if it doesn't you'll probably kill the bootloader and then have to use ISP programming. The Pro Micro (and probably Leonardo) can be a bit finicky in that respect. The Leonardo indeed uses the same processor, but there are fuse bits which set certain low level processor options and I'm not certain these are exactly the same.

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    • USB Volume Control and Caps Lock LED - simple, cheap, extensible
      13,936 views
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      12 comments
  • p_leriche commented on p_leriche's instructable Fibreoptic Christmas Tree Upgrade1 month ago
    Fibreoptic Christmas Tree Upgrade

    You don't want to be doing it in a rush before next Christmas! There are various parameters in the sketch you can play with to change the speed or the program, or you could devise your own completely new one. I especially liked the way I got it to change seamlessly from one program to the other.

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  • USB Volume Control and Caps Lock LED - simple, cheap, extensible

    I'm afraid I can't undertake to do custom variants for people. Coding Arduino isn't hard and it's a lot of fun, and there are loads of Instructables and other tutorials to get you started. Read up all you can and start learning - hey, it could even lead you into a new career!

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  • USB Volume Control and Caps Lock LED - simple, cheap, extensible

    Yes, I looked at this one. The LED colour is changed as you turn the knob but it has no way of knowing what the PC thinks the volume level is to start with. It simply colours the LED more blue as you increase the volume until it's all blue, or more red as you decrease it until it's all red. So for it to mean anything, you'd have to first turn the knob until it's all red AND the PC thinks the volume is zero in order to get it into step.You could do the same with mine if you wanted to. It has the advantage that no drivers are required and it's OS-independant whereas his requires a programme running on the PC to change the volume, the Arduino sending it conventional keyboard hotkey combinations.

    Silly misteak ;-) Well spotted!

    I'd love to be proved wrong but as far as I can tell the media functions are write-only, i.e. like a TV remote you can change the volume or toggle the mute but the on screen display is the only indication of the volume level or mute state.I don't have to reconnect mine - it starts up as soon as Windows powers-up the USB port. But if you connect it to a USB port that is permanently powered I suppose you might just have to reconnect it if the Arduino hadn't noticed that Windows had gone away and was coming back as a brand new session.

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  • ITTT HKU - Extended keyboard for Elite:dangerous

    Err, I don't think you uploaded the right sketch in Step 9.

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  • p_leriche commented on p_leriche's instructable Fibreoptic Christmas Tree Upgrade3 months ago
    Fibreoptic Christmas Tree Upgrade

    I've uploaded a new version containing conditional compilation allowing you to compile it with only Program 1 or only Program 2. See Step 5. Perhaps you could confirm it works on a Trinket. I don't have one.

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  • p_leriche commented on p_leriche's instructable Fibreoptic Christmas Tree Upgrade3 months ago
    Fibreoptic Christmas Tree Upgrade

    If it only overflows by a bit, try deleting the declaration of line[80] and all debug lines containing Serial.xxx or sprintf() and see if you can shoehorn it in. The technology has moved on a little since my first 2 sketches so rather than reposting them I'll see about making the current one configurable so you can select the code for just one function.

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  • p_leriche commented on p_leriche's instructable Fibreoptic Christmas Tree Upgrade3 months ago
    Fibreoptic Christmas Tree Upgrade

    I've just uploaded an updated version of the sketch which combines and refines the two I originally included with this Instructable, smoothly alternating between the two patterns. Take a look - I think it's a definite improvement.

    See my updated sketch for an improved "user experience"!

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  • p_leriche commented on p_leriche's instructable Fibreoptic Christmas Tree Upgrade3 months ago
    Fibreoptic Christmas Tree Upgrade

    Well done and thank you for the comment! Thank you especially for the very clear pics. Hot melt glue is wonderful stuff for holding things together and securing wires. And yes, the colours are so much more vivid, aren't they?I'm working on upgraded firmware to alternate the two modes and hopefully will post it in a few days - watch this space.

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  • p_leriche's instructable Fibreoptic Christmas Tree Upgrade's weekly stats: 3 months ago
    • Fibreoptic Christmas Tree Upgrade
      871 views
      13 favorites
      1 comments
  • How to Surface Mount Solder Using Solder Paste

    Excellent Instructable - thank you NemesisC! But for only very occasional use the hot air solder station isn't easy to justify. I recently hand soldered a few SOIC-8 chips and a SOIC 20pin device to breakout boards. The key is to stick the boards to the bench with Blu-tac and rest your wrist on the bench to steady your hand, and use a sufficiently powerful magnifier, a 1mm iron bit and flux pen. Flushed with success I then threw caution to the winds and attempted 3 SSOP 8 pin devices, and succeeded! But it's quite tricky not to get solder bridges between the pads, though not too hard to clean them up with solder wick. I wrote it up at https://therestartproject.org/wiki/Surface_mount_soldering - take a look if you like.

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  • Automatic cat flap monitor with intrusion detection and dissuasion

    We started out with a passive magnetic one - no electronics, just a magnet on the collar that was supposed to release a catch. But it didn't seem to be sensitive enough to work reliably, especially when the magnet stuck to the cat's bell. I got a cheap 125KHz RFID reader and some matching fobs but with a range of only a couple of inches it didn't look like it was going to work. If I'd wound a bigger coil it might have. But catching the wrong cat by behavioural analysis, then giving him a nice little surprise and watching him pop out again like a cork out of a champagne bottle was much more fun!

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  • p_leriche commented on p_leriche's instructable The Small Hadron Collider8 months ago
    The Small Hadron Collider

    I'm afraid it has to be Neopixels, or compatible WS2812B modules. Are you quite sure you can't get them in time on eBay?

    If you find the Adafruit rings too expensive you can get compatible ones from the Far East for a very reasonable price, though I can't vouch for the quality. Search eBay for WS2812B Ring. You can get a 24 pixel one for under £5, which is an excellent size for something that will still impress your friends but at a budget price.If you were thinking of a completely different type of display, then if you're into app development it should be possible to make a smartphone app that did much the same, using the smartphone's gyro to measure the tilt, but you'll have to work out the physics of the particle interactions for yourself.

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  • How to Coil Extension Cords with the "Shepherd's Knot"

    I always use this method for the lawnmower chord after being shown it around 15 years ago by our church warden. As well as for parachutes, it's also the only way to stow the multiple bridle lines of a large kite, having drawn them together first.

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  • p_leriche commented on fashla's instructable PCB Circuit Wall9 months ago
    PCB Circuit Wall

    I'd be interested to know the type number of that valve. From your description it would seem to be a "magic-eye" tuning indicator commonly used in valve VHF/FM radios in the '60s - see http://www.r-type.org/articles/art-137.htmI had a DM70 wire-ended type which I used to play with in my teens (goodness knows what happened to it) and I remember the EM34 (with a plastic or bakelite 8-pin base) was commonly used but this seems to be a B9A or B7G (7 or 9 pin) all glass valve as far as I can see.

    I'd be interested to know the type number of that valve. From your description it would seem to be a "magic-eye" tuning indicator commonly used in valve VHF/FM radios in the '60s - see http://www.r-type.org/articles/art-137.htmI had a DM70 wire-ended type which I used to play with in my teens (goodness knows what happened to it) and I remember the EM34 (with a plastic or bakelite 8-pin base) was commonly used - this looks like what it is. You should be able to work out from that link how to drive it. Find a 6V wall cube for the filament, then you'll just need some means of generating 150-200V at just a few mA for the HT supply - a boost switch-mode circuit should do the trick. To avoid the need for a negative supply for the grid, connect the grid to ground and put a 47k resis...see more »I'd be interested to know the type number of that valve. From your description it would seem to be a "magic-eye" tuning indicator commonly used in valve VHF/FM radios in the '60s - see http://www.r-type.org/articles/art-137.htmI had a DM70 wire-ended type which I used to play with in my teens (goodness knows what happened to it) and I remember the EM34 (with a plastic or bakelite 8-pin base) was commonly used - this looks like what it is. You should be able to work out from that link how to drive it. Find a 6V wall cube for the filament, then you'll just need some means of generating 150-200V at just a few mA for the HT supply - a boost switch-mode circuit should do the trick. To avoid the need for a negative supply for the grid, connect the grid to ground and put a 47k resistor (or 100K pot) between the cathode (pin 8) and ground.

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  • p_leriche commented on p_leriche's instructable The Small Hadron Collider9 months ago
    The Small Hadron Collider

    I'm looking for the properties of the particles, the significance of the different colours and brightnesses and how many different ways they interact or die. The binary is there for you to download in Step 7 but not the source. You'll find it much easier to analyse if you actually build it, even if initially only with a 12 or 24 pixel ring, as the intensity of the LEDs inevitably over-expose the videos, washing out the colours.To give you a little help, here's a preview of the Musical Hadron Collider which I'm in the process of commissioning.https://twitter.com/pleriche/status/739581560479985664

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  • p_leriche commented on fashla's instructable PCB Circuit Wall9 months ago
    PCB Circuit Wall

    Love it that you've even got a valve in there - you should light that up too! If you look up the designation you'll probably find the filament takes 300mA at 6.3V - drive it from a 5V supplu and it won't glow quite so brightly but will last a lot longer before burning out.

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