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Gattaca's workshop

Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:48 pm
by gattaca
Hello guys, call me Gattaca -that's the title of a movie that was very moving for me- so that might as well be my handle here. The very trustworthy face as my icon - Tuco Ramirez - i got that from "the good the bad and the ugly" hah. Such a classic movie. If some of you want to call me by my old handle ok din lang =).

I have a small enclosed area for a workshop, but that's currently in disarray. I see some people's shed/workshop here, like doc V's, and we sure are taking parallel paths ...maybe with a few differences in time, area, budget, (motivation?) of course!!!! :angel: But there is some pressure - a good kind of pressure- to do better especially when you have to post your work. Lots'o room to improve in the being organized and clean for me. And ehem, output! So here's my thread!

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One afternoon project:
The LCD monitor I am currently using, as i googled the model, dates back to to 2007!!! It died after 2 years of use but i soldered in some new japanese capacitors and the result is that it's still chugging along till now!

Around last year, i bought 2 nitecore flashlights and one recently "died." If i was not a tinkerer i'll be putting it in the trash, get the newer model... an accelerated consumer cycle. Well, Google came up with this: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/sho ... ir-attempt

Cold solder joints are the issue in my case too, right down to the loose inductor leg.

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My soldering skills could be so much better, but this one i made is sound. Oxidation is the enemy so i scrape the copper leg with a tajima/ntt cutter blade till i see it shine. The lead solder i got is 15 years old and could be a bit dirty so i rub 1000 grit sandpaper on it just to be safe.


Honestly, I've had my fair share of soldering failures (overheated copper in PCB bubbling up, fried microchips, etc.) so i avoided it by just grafting new wires to the old and put heat shrink tubing on the connection. Tickling it tight with this torch had cleaner results than using soldering iron to shrink it.
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It must really get hot in there, check the white area where the inductor must be butting against.The OEM thermal paste (same one used in cpu's) is now powdery/flaky but i didn't have any replacement here.
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I really wouldn't be overly surprised if my repair didn't work- no pics, but my other solders were uhhh.. just about on par with the nitecore quality. I did check with a digital multitester and visually with a loupe. Besides, the damage may be on other parts like the irreplaceable led. I was hopeful but was ready for disappointment as i assembled it, then clicked it ON:






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The rewarding feeling of having fixed it put a smile to my face!!!

(Hmmm typing this post prolly took longer than me to fix the thing. Unto my next project! )

Re: Gattaca's workshop

Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:44 am
by gattaca
Am posting this as a bookmark.

http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/ ... -wire.html

Key interest for me are wire nuts and insulated butt connectors that are also used in the 220v mains electrical wires. At the relevant gauges of #14 or #12, both are good up to 600volts. Both incidentally are locally available too (at bigger true value stores, better yet in Raon.) Got me a good stash.

*butt connectors aren't meant for solid wires nor is often used in house wiring however so wirenuts wins on versatility.

After wiring just one t5 light, i realized these would be big timesavers. Makes a cleaner looking job too. (I do keep in mind that working with 220v is best left to proficient professionals, but heck i've seen a lot of work by contractors that are rather haphazard.)

Re: Gattaca's workshop

Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 9:49 am
by bigfoot
These are also nice, especially for junction boxes.

http://www.amazon.com/Wago-773-164-4-Pi ... words=wago

Re: Gattaca's workshop

Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:59 pm
by gattaca
^ That appears to be the european convention on how to solve the problem. I'm surprised price is not that far off from wirenuts.

Pre-twist the wires before screwing the wirenut or not? Add tape or not? Good for induction motor wiring or not? Reusable or not? Am amazed at conflicting techniques out there even in specialized forums. I just had to check the manufacturer.

As i don't often do it, i did a few practice takes and firmly tugged the wires off. Autopsy says that i made a bad one if i just eyeball the strip length. (On panasonic outlets, the strip length is not only written on the carton package, but there's a molded gauge on the back for practical measuring.)

Bottomline is that it's not idiot-proof and following manufacturer instructions to the millimeter (no guesstimates!) is crucial. Perhaps user-error is actually the culprit when one reads feedbacks that wago/wirenuts/etc. "sucks!"

Re: Gattaca's workshop

Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:18 pm
by bigfoot
Not a big fan of wire nuts, or I just am not using them properly. Are wire nuts good for solid wires or the Thhn/Thwn type stranded ones? Seems I can use them only on soft stranded wires, thats why I ordered the Wago push type.

Re: Gattaca's workshop

Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:24 pm
by gavin
I'm not a fan of those twist connectors either, they're a fire hazard waiting to happen, falling off way too easily. Back in australia we us "bp" connectors like these:

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Holds the wire in place with a screw connector with plastic insulation surround.

After swapping out all the power outlets in my house here to the three prong I was amazed at the number of wires that literally fell out of the outlet. Those push connect terminals are dangerous, even when installed correctly it doesn't take much to pull them back out.

Re: Gattaca's workshop

Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:29 pm
by bigfoot
I have pretty good experience with those push connector type outlets, maybe it depends on the brand and installer.

Re: Gattaca's workshop

Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:54 pm
by gattaca
Yes. See? Most people are entrenched in their own camps and it's as divisive as to talking about politics or religion! =).

But i do "believe" in systems that use a set screw are the best. Regarding push in connectors, that's how most electrical outlets (panasonice, toshiba) are too. Maybe not the best way but more than adequate.

I was dubious when i first saw wirenuts at handyman (3m brand, i don't see them now.) (Still is a level up higher than electrical tape alone, pinoy style. Two wires are twisted around one another, Cu to Cu- it doesn't rely on any connector to conduct like the butt splice or wago-style. And then you have this sharp conductive threads biting 'round the perimeter of the married wires for extra connection. Then tape with "nitto" butyl rubber tape for waterproofing. This is my process and it'll be good enough for me.

Irregardless of style of connection, (they made it to the market, and therefore up to code local or otherwise) products from a quality manufacturer coupled with good installation is the bigger factor imho. (I've dissected akari or omni outlets and it was of flimsy construction compared to known brands. I'd blame the manufacturer not because it was push-in type.)

Cheers!

Re: Gattaca's workshop

Unread postPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:20 pm
by bigfoot
Just because they made it to the market does not necessarily mean they are up to code, you know things are run here. Unfortunately, its difficult to find good quality goods nowadays, especially in mall hardwares. Mostly you see are Omni, Royu and AKari, which for me are all "blecch:. Even Panasonic seems to have downgraded some of their products, they seem flimsier than those of yesteryear s.

Those BP connectors seems cool, I see them in Deeco, but the plastic seems flimsy.

Re: Gattaca's workshop

Unread postPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:21 am
by balarila
Do those BPs and Wagos come in three-wire installations, too? I always include a ground wire in all my rooms.

Local availability?