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Member postings for Danny M2Z

Here is a list of all the postings Danny M2Z has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Old Computers - why do people bother
06/02/2020 08:47:12

G'day. I have been holding back but following this thread with interest as the subject is dear to my heart.

The first PC that I built was from a kit in 1983, an Australian Microbee Microbee Wiki Linky

This little Z80 based machine inspired me to participate in a programming course for the mighty Z80 processor at Wangaratta TAFE. Just a weekly 150km round trip but well worth the effort,

No mucking about on this course, the teacher knew his stuff, Straight into the the architecture, the registers, interrupts and addressing the number of clock cycles to cycle a traffic light.. I wish that a modern microprocessor had as much access to the core and registers,

Built an expansion board soon after and moved most cassette programs into EPROMS after building an EPROM burner.

The Assembly Code tutorials were well worth driving through the fog from the Ovens River and so the Microbee still has a place in my workshop.

Currently monitors and graphs battery charge cycles via a home made A/D converter on the old green screen. Sure beats watching an ESV with a stopwatch.

I have a BBC Master Compact packed away btw, Never used as it came without a boot disc (demo model)

* Danny M *

Thread: How to hand grind 55 degree cutter for 32TPI?
03/02/2020 05:14:00

I made one of these 10 years ago and what a lovely tool for precision sharpening HSS tools HH's Grinding Table

Not quite a Quorn but excellent for a home workshop.

Thread: Desoldering how to?
27/01/2020 10:04:20

To desolder a through hole component a hollow tipped soldering iron with a vacuum pump is pretty handy.

Many years ago I attended a RAAF course for High Reliability Soldering Instructors. This was based on NASA best practices.

Imagine my amusement when some of the solder joints that the class had made were projected onto a large screen, microscope photos magnified to over 2m across and the class were invited to inspect our work and offer a critique.

This was very educational and as many of the class were working on aircraft instrumentation it was vital that our work was as perfect as humanly possible.

One thing that I did learn was that many (cheap) commercial solder suckers (especially with a Teflon tip) can generate a large ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) pulse if they have a plastic body so nowadays look for an ESD safe solder sucker if that's what you use

As for soldering braid, it;s useful to remove solder from the base of a 1950's valve base and indeed I still have a few reels which are useful for repairing model aircraft fuel tanks but for printed circuit boards it's only good for lifting tracks.

After I left the old job I managed to find a decent soldering station at a mil surplus auction along with lots of tips.

I paid a lot (lot) less than the original price so pretty happy.

soldering station.jpg

* Danny M *

Thread: Why does everyone disagree with you
27/01/2020 08:45:28
Posted by Brian H on 27/01/2020 08:28:48:

You must be a young'un Steve, as a child my chips were 3d (proper money) a bag!


Mine were wrapped in newspaper and we ate them on the way home on a single decker #108 bus from Bow to Homerton.

Lots of vinegar and if I was good mum paid for a huge pickled onion.

Ask away Stevie, you shall soon learn who are fair dinkum and who are the keyboard warriors.

* Danny M *

27/01/2020 08:17:53
Posted by Steviegtr on 27/01/2020 01:06:27:

This is going to be bad I know but come on give it your six peneth.

No it isn't Argument

* Danny M *

Thread: scam alert
26/01/2020 06:24:29

Not exactly a scam but lately I have noticed that a lot of 'reputable' charities offer to send one a booklet to save an animal or how to apply basic first aid. (Reply by mobile phone text message only)

My neighbour's daughter responded and discovered that her phone is now inundated with begging requests for donations and soon her mailbox we suspect as if one gives one's contact details them under Australian consumer law it is ok for an organisation to contact a 'customer' if they initiated the contact by sending a message to their number.

Pretty sneaky IMHO.

A few Australian charities have been dropped from my list of where to donate my funds.

* Danny M *

Thread: Digital verniers
25/01/2020 13:57:35
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 25/01/2020 11:54:40:

I've covered up the millimetre scale because that's too easy, but what's this vernier reading in inches?


0.742" ???

* Danny M *

Thread: Ian S C Back again
22/01/2020 13:11:59

G'day Kiwi.

Glad you got things sorted. Docs on your Xmas card list?

Welcome back.

* Danny M *

Thread: Robot Wars
21/01/2020 08:19:03

Model Engineering, you bet!

The BBC series Robot Wars **LINK** has always fascinated me as a mix between model engineering, materials, tactics and skill.

Quite enjoyable if one is into mayhem but to me the most interesting part was the innovation of the designers to design a better robot that was reliable but packed a big punch,

Flippers are OK but spinning discs are deadly especially if they work when one is upside down.

I cannot fathom why the BBC abandoned this great adventure as it was a great incentive for young people to become interested into robotics, electronics, materials and engineering.

Adding an Arduino or a Pi with sensors could take this to a whole new level.

* Danny M *

Edited By Danny M2Z on 21/01/2020 08:19:29

Thread: What to blacken steel with
18/01/2020 08:39:07
Posted by Steviegtr on 18/01/2020 02:09:29:

Anyone know how to blacken steel or any other metal. Is it a dye or a process with chemicals. I use liver of sulphur for Zinc. But not sure about other metal's. By blacken I mean like gunmetal etc.


Just google "cold blue for barrels" then pick whatever you can legally purchase.

One tip, Cleanliness and de-greasing is mandatory.

* Danny M *

Thread: Australian Bush Fires
16/01/2020 08:17:09

I phoned a property at Burrowye where I occasionally go to help with the computers and hunt feral pest animals (rabbits, foxes and deer) to enquire about how the family were faring during the firestorm near their property.

A sad reply." Danny, the road is closed so when you can make it through bring your .22 as there are hundreds of animals to be put down, You can show your firearms licence at xxx as they have offered to donate ammunition. we have run out so grab a few cases."

* Danny M *

P.s. The smoke has cleared a bit and a waterbombing helicopter just dipped it's bucket into the lake

Thread: Driving Small Taps
16/01/2020 07:49:52
Posted by Paul Lousick on 16/01/2020 02:17:14:

I hold the small taps in a pin vice with the handle of the vice lightly held in the drill press chuck to keep it aligned with the hole. Then turn the pin vice by hand.


I must second this method, Only difference is that my Eclipse pin vice is held lightly in the chuck of my X2 mill - At the same table setting that was used to drill the initial hole.

* Danny M *

Thread: The blind leading the blind
10/01/2020 22:24:26
Posted by Cabinet Enforcer on 10/01/2020 10:40:46:

Danny, I don't really understand why you are complaining to the TAFE, they will obviously ignore you, why not make a complaint to your local H+S regulator, who might even have the actual power to do something???

All resolved.

I received an email from the head of the department (my message got through) and he said that the young person in the video was wearing eye protection but being of the wrap around acrylic type they were indeed not easy to see.

This would be addressed in any future videos and he assured me that OH&S is taken very seriously at the TAFE.

I am satisfied with this and plan to visit the TAFE to further investigate what courses they are offering and to check out what sort of equipment they have.

I shall get back.

* Danny M *

09/01/2020 22:06:04
Posted by not done it yet on 09/01/2020 11:48:15:

Video or pic? Could be a difference between ‘looking at’ and ‘using’. However, eye protection should be the order of the day whenever in that working area - there may be others making flying chips! Most certainly not a good advert.

It was a video ndiy, the chuck was spinning and the young operator had his hand on the controls.

When my son attended a basic electronics course at the same TAFE (prior to joining the Royal Australian Navy) he mentioned that all of the function generator kits that the students were constructing were going up in smoke. As he was yet to complete his I asked him to bring home the circuit diagram and the suspect part.

It was a 50µA analogue meter that had been 'converted' to read to 1A by somebody sticking a new scale onto the face. No shunt had been fitted. The students were also required to pay $20 for this 'conversion'.

I sat down with my son, explained the problem and asked him to calculate the value of the required shunt. It was some fraction of an Ohm and I said that such a low value would be impossible to purchase so we would make one. Went to the workshop, gave him a coil of nichrome wire and showed him how to measure the resistance of about 5m then calculate the required length, This was wound onto a 4.7MΩ resistor and worked perfectly. He also made one for his friend. They were the only two people to pass that phase of the course. (I still have the device in my workshop).

I went to the TAFE to complain, had to make an appointment in writing then went to a meeting a week later with the head of the department, his assistant and the teacher in question. Was served nice coffee and biscuits and told that mistakes happen. I simply requested that the students who had failed be re-tested and refunded for the faulty meters,

It was only after I threatened to visit the local newspaper editor that they reluctantly agreed. I also asked the 'teacher' to explain how to calculate the value of the required shunt resistor. He could not - mumbled something like 'he never had his calculator with him'.

Sorry about the saga but it still makes me mad that such people are out there and protected by the system.

* Danny M *

Thread: New legislation that could affect us all.
09/01/2020 09:02:30
Posted by roy entwistle on 09/01/2020 08:44:25:

Danny M Will that be the same standard that applies to left handed spanners and hammers ?

Roy ( ambidextrous to a point )

Just visit this place left hand supplier

Only problem is that they are from down-under so your your items could also be upside down - but handy if you are a lefty and can stand on your head

* Danny M *

09/01/2020 08:21:49

So what ISO standard applies to left handed screwdrivers?

I am not joking, one can buy one here Cromwell Tools

* Danny M *

Thread: The blind leading the blind
09/01/2020 08:15:28

I saw a TV advertisment today for the local TAFE (Technical And Further Education) establishment in my nearby town of Wodonga.

As the place has some nice machinery I have been considering whether to sign up for a course.

Imagine my dismay when the ad showed a young person operating a running lathe without any eye protection or even a chuck guard.

So I attempted to contact the TAFE via their website ("Contact Us" to register my dismay and my message was rejected by their server.

This is the message that I attempted to send, I kept it for when I visit the place personally.

I noticed your TV advertisment today (#9 Go) showing a young person operating a lathe without eye protection. Not only is this a bad practice it is also contrary to OH&S regulations and a terrible example to present to the public.

Whomever supervised this advertisment requires either re-training or replacement.

Please edit or delete the advertisment in question.

* Danny *

All the required boxes were ticked re: contact details etc so it appears that a trip into town is on the agenda.

I wonder how many layers of red tape and petty bureaucracy I have to jump through to get the message through?

* Danny M *

Thread: Australian Bush Fires
07/01/2020 09:36:39
Posted by Zan on 06/01/2020 19:42:52:

My sis lives in Auckland is so bad that it’s affecting her there in New Zealand , 2000 or so miles away. The sky is orange and stinks of smoke..

Here are a few before and after photos taken from my verandah. The trout was from a few years ago. - After, still from the same location but just taken a few days ago.

yummy trout_1.jpg

view from veranda 5 jan 1230.jpg

This forum is not the place to talk politics, it's about Model Engineering. There are probably a lot of places online for people so inclined to discuss the whys and wherefores of what is happening.

My immediate problem is how to help the victims.

Managed to score/beg a heap of board games and packs of cards (from local business's that I shop at) which went down very well at the local evacuation center, As I learned in the Australian Army, people get bored just sitting around doing nothing.

There is a bit of a lull at the moment so warnings are being downgraded a little but things are set to get a bit warmer later this week.

TV showed a map of the fires in Vic and overlaid it with a map of Belgium which fitted in easily.

Still rather live here than in Belgium though (I have been there). Terrible beer!

* Danny M *

Thread: What Did You Do Today 2020
04/01/2020 02:34:34

XD 351 and the rest of the respondents. Thanks for your support and well wishes.

Getting used to the vagaries of nature in this part of the world so not a real hassle on a personal basis but I feel for the people have lost everything, including their lives. The stock and wildlife losses are horrendous.

Here is a linky to the local Vic warning map Vic emergency warnings

At least I know that my smoke detectors work. They normally only activate if I am brazing in the workshop. Now they activate if a door is left open

Was talking to my neighbour and we both decided that our fishing gear should be evacuated - Never caught a smoked trout before.

Off to the Bonegilla evacuation centre to see if they need a hand. 43°C at the moment so getting warm.

As Ned Kelly said (just before the trapdoor opened) - "Such is life"

* Danny M *

03/01/2020 09:36:33

Today I got my fire plan ready. All important docos and stuff packed and ready to go.

Visited neighbours and we decided on a course of action. Luckily we are next to the lake so smoke is the biggest worry. House and workshop are replaceable, so we got pumps and hoses tested and selected cotton clothing and decent boots and gloves laid out.. Surrounding grass/stubble mowed to the bare earth. gutters cleaned and generators tested.

Tomorrow is forecast 46°C/115°F and windy so it's going to be a bad day for this part of Australia.

I included a map, X marks our little town.

screenshot_2020-01-03 incidents and warnings - vicemergency.jpg

* Danny M *

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