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3Instructables15,448Views30CommentsBrookfield, WIJoined August 9th, 2015
Electrical Engineer by training; Electronics Nerd before it was fashionable.

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  • ee_eng commented on Cam647's instructable Variable Lab Bench Power Supply! 9 days ago
    Variable Lab Bench Power Supply!

    ve6cmm -- I think the way he shows the metering, he is using ground lead (low-side) current monitoring between the variable voltage power supply and the load. I've used this type of meter before and it only works with low side (ground lead) monitoring. It can look a little funny as the meter needs to be connected to the + power supply lead as well since it is both powered by, and measures the output voltage. I believe he's got the meter setup & wired properly.

    18 to 20 AWG may work okay, but again, it depends on the current draw of the device under test, the wire length, the total voltage drop one is willing to tolerate, and the wiring temperature rise one will accept. I am not sure how you determined the "the regulator is limited to 10A" spec. Perhaps you are referring to the added, adjustable regulator board output limit. However, I would point out that other outputs of the PC power supply will usually deliver much more current. The attached photo shows a typical rating plate from a ~400 Watt PC power supply. Here, you will see that the 5V output says it will deliver 35 Amps. If your external circuits routinely draws that kind of power, heavy wiring inside the case is warranted. Even if you never intend to use that much pow...

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    18 to 20 AWG may work okay, but again, it depends on the current draw of the device under test, the wire length, the total voltage drop one is willing to tolerate, and the wiring temperature rise one will accept. I am not sure how you determined the "the regulator is limited to 10A" spec. Perhaps you are referring to the added, adjustable regulator board output limit. However, I would point out that other outputs of the PC power supply will usually deliver much more current. The attached photo shows a typical rating plate from a ~400 Watt PC power supply. Here, you will see that the 5V output says it will deliver 35 Amps. If your external circuits routinely draws that kind of power, heavy wiring inside the case is warranted. Even if you never intend to use that much power, but it is available from the PC supply, an unintended shorted-circuit wire across the 5V output will easily over stress small wiring. The weak spot in the wiring (either a small wire gauge or a weak crimp/solder joint/poor termination/etc. can act like a fuse by heating up, and/or burning up. Hopefully the power supply has some "fold-back" circuitry for short circuit protection, but if not, on the order of 150W of power will have to go somewhere.I've seen things go bad in high current/power connection conditions. Specifically, I've have had an under-tightened terminal screw on my 3D printer heat bed actually result in an overheated condition that begin to unsolder a terminal block from the PC board it was mounted on. All of this happened with a nominal current load of only about 15 AMPS! With that problem fixed and every thing working, I can still feel a noticeable temperature rise (about +5 Deg F) within in the roughly 3 ft of 12 GA wire between the bed controller power MOSFET switch and the bed itself. While I agree with your assessment based on a max Current of 10A and the wire size chart you cited (Great link by the way!), I continue to recommend that larger gauge/oversized wiring is inexpensive and worth it, if only as an insurance policy for a dead short condition.Take care.

    Overall, a nice project! I did wnat to say that the wiring going to the front panel banana plug ports looks pretty small in the photos. I would recommend that anyone making this power supply use large gauge wiring, 16 Ga at the smallest and perhaps a large as 12 Ga if you have it for these runs. Note: Smaller wire Ga (gauge) numbers have larger capacity.If you only have smaller gauge wire, you can also double-up or tripple-up smaller Ga wire (careful to use the same length!) in parallel runs to increase their current carrying capacity. Why use gibe wire? Using larger gauge wiring will minimize the the voltage drop in the internal wiring between the power supply and the front panel. This keeps the project a little cooler and makes the supply safer (internal wiring won't over-heat)...

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    Overall, a nice project! I did wnat to say that the wiring going to the front panel banana plug ports looks pretty small in the photos. I would recommend that anyone making this power supply use large gauge wiring, 16 Ga at the smallest and perhaps a large as 12 Ga if you have it for these runs. Note: Smaller wire Ga (gauge) numbers have larger capacity.If you only have smaller gauge wire, you can also double-up or tripple-up smaller Ga wire (careful to use the same length!) in parallel runs to increase their current carrying capacity. Why use gibe wire? Using larger gauge wiring will minimize the the voltage drop in the internal wiring between the power supply and the front panel. This keeps the project a little cooler and makes the supply safer (internal wiring won't over-heat). After all, we wouldn't want the internal wiring to heat up whenever your project is drawing a lot of current (ie: when running motors, heaters, high wattage lamps/LEDs, etc).

    Good point; I agree. Fortunately, he suggested using a plastic panel which will isolate the ground on the variable PS from the others. HOWEVER, as I think you are indicating, if the user connects all of the grounds together EXTERNAL to the power supply (ie: by the circuit(s) being powered), one will certainly get invalid digital meter readings.

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  • ee_eng commented on hellboy's instructable The White Rabbit Nixie Clock6 months ago
    The White Rabbit Nixie Clock

    Neat Project..Rube Goldberg would be envious!

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  • ee_eng commented on ee_eng's instructable Make a Good Dupont Pin-Crimp EVERY TIME!8 months ago
    Make a Good Dupont Pin-Crimp EVERY TIME!

    Hi. The pins I discussed in my Instructable were NOT JST connectors. I did a little more WEB research on JST pins and I agree with your assessment - the IWISS SN-28B crimper is not the right tool for "JST" connectors. A quick search on eBay for a "JST CRIMPER" came up with the SN-01B crimper tool. On eBbay the tool is described as follows: SN-01BM Crimp Plier Tool 2.0mm 2.54mm 3.96mm 18-28 AWG Crimper Dupont JST Molex .This is DIFFERENT than the SN-28B. Take a look at the SN-01B photos as several show some of the pins as well. Are these the pins you are using? It appears to me that the JST connector is shorter than the ones I have used and referenced in my article. I can see that the SN-28B may mangle the pin. Also, the JST connector pin may have different st...

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    Hi. The pins I discussed in my Instructable were NOT JST connectors. I did a little more WEB research on JST pins and I agree with your assessment - the IWISS SN-28B crimper is not the right tool for "JST" connectors. A quick search on eBay for a "JST CRIMPER" came up with the SN-01B crimper tool. On eBbay the tool is described as follows: SN-01BM Crimp Plier Tool 2.0mm 2.54mm 3.96mm 18-28 AWG Crimper Dupont JST Molex .This is DIFFERENT than the SN-28B. Take a look at the SN-01B photos as several show some of the pins as well. Are these the pins you are using? It appears to me that the JST connector is shorter than the ones I have used and referenced in my article. I can see that the SN-28B may mangle the pin. Also, the JST connector pin may have different strip requirements as well - You will have to check that out.Good luck; hope this helps.

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  • ee_eng's instructable Make a Good Dupont Pin-Crimp EVERY TIME!'s weekly stats: 8 months ago
    • Make a Good Dupont Pin-Crimp EVERY TIME!
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      42 comments
  • ee_eng commented on ee_eng's instructable Make a Good Dupont Pin-Crimp EVERY TIME!8 months ago
    Make a Good Dupont Pin-Crimp EVERY TIME!

    Thanks for your followup. Glad to hear it worked for you.

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  • ee_eng commented on ee_eng's instructable Make a Good Dupont Pin-Crimp EVERY TIME!8 months ago
    Make a Good Dupont Pin-Crimp EVERY TIME!

    Thanks for your input. Good to hear that you've had good success with a simpler approach. I haven't had good success without the help of the Pin-Guide. Perhaps I just haven't terminated enough terminals to get good at it without some help from a simple fixture like the Pin-Guide..

    Thanks! Happy Crimping!

    Thanks for your feedback. If you regularly use Dupont pins, you will be well served to get a better tool. I think I paid less than $20 for the version I have and with some tender loving care (and a Pin Guide!) it works pretty well.

    Sorry, I am not familiar with the SN-48B,. Hopefully, someone else can help.

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  • ee_eng commented on ee_eng's instructable Make a Good Dupont Pin-Crimp EVERY TIME!8 months ago
    Make a Good Dupont Pin-Crimp EVERY TIME!

    Thanks for your comment - You are right! The cable I was using and thinking of was indeed a dead male-male interconnect cable.Good Catch!

    Thanks for your feedback and alternate crimp-tool suggestion. From my research, I think that the SN28-B is indeed a correct choice for for the standard 2.54 pitch, square-post female pins used for Arduino, etc. applications. There maybe other crimpers that will also do the job but I've only used the SN28-B.Have you actually used the SN-01B for the pins in question? How does it perform?

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  • ee_eng commented on ee_eng's instructable Make a Good Dupont Pin-Crimp EVERY TIME!8 months ago
    Make a Good Dupont Pin-Crimp EVERY TIME!

    Great! Happy Crimping

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  • ee_eng commented on ee_eng's instructable Make a Good Dupont Pin-Crimp EVERY TIME!8 months ago
    Make a Good Dupont Pin-Crimp EVERY TIME!

    Thanks for reading!Take care.

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  • ee_eng commented on androkavo's instructable Wooden Digital Clock1 year ago
    Wooden Digital Clock

    Very nice job. Great video overview of what/how you did it. Very well done. You've included a lot of general info on WIFI, Packaging, Display, etc. that can be leveraged for other projects.Thanks for your efforts, all the details, and wiliness to share!

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  • 3D Printer - Working Area 40x40x40cm

    Great piece of work! Thanks for the complete PDF design of the base parts. You have inspired me to go forward and build a printer! I will build need to recreate your design in Solidworks as that's the vehicle I use to make the g-code that drives my CNC mill.Based on your comments, I will look into using heavier gauge channels, components, and plate stock to drive up overall rigidity. This will be particularly important as need to eliminate the welded base since I don't have ready access to that technology.I will watch for your response to HOT END head choices as well as a few of the other question below. Take care and thanks again!

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  • ee_eng commented on replayreb's instructable Laser Box Music Laser Light Show1 year ago
    Laser Box Music Laser Light Show

    Interesting project. I was happy to see your cautions about metal cutting while fabricating parts for the unit. Excellent Job! However, I didn't see much mention of the hazards coming from the laser light beam. You have spec'd 100mw lasers, which relatively speaking, are very high power units. For example, the typical "cat toy laser" outputs less than 5 mw and even those are unpleasant to the eyes when viewed directly. 100 mw lasers should be considered EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS when viewed directly. At these power levels photochemical damage to the retina (retinal burn) is clearly possible, and highly likely if viewed repeatedly or for an extended period of time.This hazard exists for the builder (especially during setup and alignment) as well as the casual observer once this...

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    Interesting project. I was happy to see your cautions about metal cutting while fabricating parts for the unit. Excellent Job! However, I didn't see much mention of the hazards coming from the laser light beam. You have spec'd 100mw lasers, which relatively speaking, are very high power units. For example, the typical "cat toy laser" outputs less than 5 mw and even those are unpleasant to the eyes when viewed directly. 100 mw lasers should be considered EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS when viewed directly. At these power levels photochemical damage to the retina (retinal burn) is clearly possible, and highly likely if viewed repeatedly or for an extended period of time.This hazard exists for the builder (especially during setup and alignment) as well as the casual observer once this unit is put into use. Furthermore, REFLECTED LASER LIGHT (for example off of a shinny or mirrored surface) redirects the hazard at nearly "full power".This means that the laser box builder must take extreme caution and should wear color specific laser eye protection (different for each laser color used) to protect his/her eyes during setup. Then, once in use, the device must be located to prevent any chance a light show observer might be able to view the laser beam directly OR off of a non-diffusing (aka mirrored, shiny, or metal) reflective surface.Minimally, builders, buyers, and installers should review laser safety guidelines and wear eye protection before going forward with their task. There's lots of data available on the WEB for his topic. I suggest a starting point for laser safety information to be: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_safety

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  • ee_eng commented on makjosher's instructable The Ski Sled1 year ago
    The Ski Sled

    Great project & really good video's!Rarely is a design perfect first time. I really liked your videos that showed your early tests followed by iterative improvements. I did notice that as Toga_Dan commented, your videos showed that you had already moved the steering links to a below deck approach - a good safety improvement. You might want to consider using heavier (aka: thicker walled) channels as this would give you greater strength, increased design margins, and the ability to handle larger payloads (bigger people).Again, excellent videos and graphics.Take care and keep up the good work.

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  • Making DSO Nano V2 & V3 Oscilloscope Probes

    Nice job reviewing what's inside a scope probe and creating a low cost hobby version. Most certainly, these probes should work well with the scopes you show within your article!!It is quite common to adjust the compensation capacitor each time you move or attached a scope probe to the scope. In fact, most commercial scopes provide a calibrated square wave signal source on their front panel with which to connect and perform the compensation adjustment. I would expect the variable cap will hold up just fine for the occasional adjustment needed when moving probes around.

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  • ee_eng commented on taifur's instructable Complete Motor guide for Robotics2 years ago
    Complete Motor guide for Robotics

    Very nice compilation on motor technology and basic control methods. Lots of work pulling this info together! Your explanations were very clear and concise.Great background material that will help be down the rode. Thanks for sharing!!!

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  • ee_eng commented on ee_eng's instructable Arduino Project Box2 years ago
    Arduino Project Box

    Thanks for your comment...I agree, pretty crude, but cheap, quick, and rugged! Take care!

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  • 15 Minute Spindle Lock Upgrade for Your X2 MiniMill

    Thanks for your comment. I've found this upgrade useful in that I don't get frustrated looking for the lost spindle-lock-pin anymore! Enjoy!

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