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Member postings for An Other

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

Thread: Royal Mail scam
13/09/2021 18:04:10

Might be of interest to those concerned about 'payment for delivery' scams


Thread: Computer Bewilderment
03/09/2021 20:53:25

Gordon beat me to it - my motherboard has 6 SATA channels, but channels 5 & 6 are not available if I use an M2 SSD, so you need to check which channels are in use - this was detailed in the handbook provided with the computer.

Thread: Overheated Drill
01/09/2021 11:05:11

While I agree with the arguments about getting the correct size and type of drill for the job, I have had some experience with a hamfisted neighbour - I had three drills of various sizes, one of which was a Skil drill I had owned for about 10 years - all the drills got extensive use by me, with no problems - then my neighbour borrowed two - one being the Skil.

Later in the day, I saw him using the Skil to drill holes in a brick wall, and obviously making heavy weather of it - bearing down hard on the drill, slowing it to the extent that it almost stopped. I suggested he just back off a bit, and let the drill do the work, but it was a waste of time - an hour later he came and told me it had stopped working. When I picked it up, it was still extremely hot. So clearly technique matters as well. (he never did replace the drills - and doesn't get any of my kit now)!

Thread: Not One but Two Odd items!
17/08/2021 18:18:00

My Grandad was a 'Gentlemans Barber' all his life, and always used a wooden 'spill' as it was then known, to singe off stray hairs. (I always went to his shop after leaving school and waited for my Mum). I would have thought the first device above was bit 'robust' just for singeing hair - it would be more likely to take the lot off! - I'm more inclined to go with the paint or wallpaper stripping suggestion, especially given its size and shape. The tap appears to be brass, and I would have thought hot steam would make it difficult to operate after a while, so I am guessing at some sort of gas burner.

edited after a rethink

Edited By An Other on 17/08/2021 18:20:12

Thread: 'Negative' PCBs - how?
11/08/2021 17:59:22

Hi, Martin.

It seems you are making PCBs on a professional basis - mine are just for hobby use, although I have been doing them for a long time. I use the traditional etch method with a 'bubble' etch bath, but I now have a small CNC router which I intend to try and use for milled boards - reason being I have a box full of 'rejects' over the years using the photosensitive etch method, and they are scrap unless I use a different method. I find 'spray-on' photolacquer is pretty useless. I was making limit switch boards for this router when I made my mistake and noticed this effect.

I have etched one of the boards - its definitely 'reversed'. I will try to get some photos, but my camera is giving me trouble, so I can't produce good close-ups immediately.

For info, my lightbox has 4 x 14 Watt tubes covering an area about 5mm less than A4 dimensions. It is made by Gie-tech GmbH in Germany. I usually use genuine Bungard photo-sensitive glass-fibre board, usually 1.5 mm thick, both single and double sided.

The effect is reproducible - I tried again this afternoon, and it did the same thing. I also tried the transparency both ways up, to see if anything was transferred to the board, or a chemical effect, but no difference. I also tried, as you suggested, putting a sample in the box without the UV light on, and nothing happened.

I did think that it was possible that if the ink on the transparency was not fully dry, it could transfer to the board, but on second thoughts, the copper which is now 'exposed' is under the ink, so when it is etched, it disappears - if ink was transferred to this area, it would at least hinder etching, if not stop it altogether - so its very puzzling.

I appreciate your interest and efforts, and of your colleagues, to find an answer - I must admit I am thoroughly stumped - its going to keep me thinking for a while yet. If I come up with anything, I'll add it to this thread and 'bump it up'

Just an idea, since it is reproducible, if the 'inverted' effect, however it happens, could be fine-tuned to produce fine detail, it would be a simple way to produce a double-sided board from a single transparency! - I might get rich yet!

Best Regards,

Thread: Making Tapered Castellations in Aluminium
11/08/2021 14:24:04

Looking at your photo of the castellations, would it not be possible to use a fine saw and cut straight across the end (e.g from 10 o'clock to 4 o'clock hope that makes sense), and similarly with the other flanks of the 'teeth', then use a small drill to remove the bulk of the metal from between the sawcuts, and finish off to size with a needle file?

Thread: 'Negative' PCBs - how?
11/08/2021 14:16:48

PGK - The light box is produced specifically for PCB exposure, and when shut, the aluminium box does not seem to provide much chance of extraneous light ingress - it closes tightly, and is clamped shut by the catches. Internally there is about a 1cm thick black foam cushion which presses down on the board, transparency - I usually do process in a 'fairly' dark room, because I need to handle the board for maybe a minute with no protection, to set it up in the box - then I just leave it in the room. I'll take a look and see if I can improve that, but again I have to note that the quality of the 'reverse developed' board is fairly good - much better than I would have expected under low light exposure conditions.

Martin: the 70 seconds exposure time was arrived at experimentally - I exposed a number of sample pieces at differing times, until I arrived at what seemed to provide the best definition - 70 to 90 seconds in my case. Longer times (~ 200 secs) ruin the board - it appears grossly over-exposed, and when etched, small details disappear, so I think you are correct, and I would appear to have a brighter lamp than you. I have also noticed that old sensitized board has similar effects. From what you say, the board itself would be heated - I have to admit I did not check that (something else to check!). I am not sure what the wattage of the UV lamps are (will check), but the box is sold as a professional UV developing box for PCBs, so I just cracked on and used it. It does do the job perfectly if I load it up correctly - this effect we are discussing was due to my error in loading the board and transparency incorrectly.

I have tried the transparency 'turned over' so the ink is not in contact with the board - no difference, but I will try as you suggest and leave the lamp off, to see if it is some other cause (can't imagine what would do it though!)

Incidentally, I use an inkjet printer to produce the transparencies. It can be set to a very dense print, and I much prefer it to the Laser printer. I cannot seem to achieve anything like the same density of print with the laser (big disappointment - I bought the laser for this work - now its just a door-stop) - if I examine the transparency from a laser under a lens, it seems to show very thin lines which transferred to the PCB, whereas the inkjet printer produces a solid dense printout. (its an Epson 3150) - it has access to almost every printing parameter I could wish for, and it is possible to set the density of each colour (i use black) to a very wide range, and also brilliance and contrast.

I do appreciate that the laser printer could also be set up incorrectly, but does not seem to be able to produce as dense printout as the inkjet, and the inkjet is so much quicker.

Thanks for the thoughts, everyone - this has got me puzzled.

11/08/2021 10:54:13

Bazyle - I concede the substrate may be transparent to UV light, but how does the pattern get around to the other side of the copper? - if the substrate is transparent, then the light would impinge on the side of the copper 'stuck' to the substrate. The inverted print pattern appears on the outside (top) of the copper away from the UV lamp.

Martin - this was the way I was going, but I still have doubts - the UV tube is contained in an aluminium case, and the case has a 4mm thick glass (not plastic) above the lamp - the gap between lamp and glass is about 3 cms. The board/transparency sits on top of the glass. The exposure time is 70 seconds (in my case), and the lamp is off before starting (no preheating) and goes off at the end of the exposure, so do you think there would be any appreciable temperature rise? - bear in mind that the copper board is sitting on top of the glass, copper side up, and the pattern appears on the top side. The transparency is placed on top of the copper with the ink pattern against the copper (for maximum resolution if done properly). I tried placing my hand on the glass to see if it got warm (I know, but I'm too old to care!), and could not feel any perceptible rise in temperature after 2 minutes - a bit crude, but I have no easy way to measure the surface temperature of the glass.

Alan - a good idea, so I thought I would test it. The exposure area of the UV box is slightly smaller than A4, and the transparency material I use (Avery Inkjet Transparency) is A4, so I made sure the transparency was squarely placed over the exposure area - i.e. the edges are screened by the aluminium edges of the box - and the effect still happens. I agree this may not be perfect for 'screening' the edge of the transparency - but light has then got a very contorted path to the edge of the transparency. The resulting 'positive' pattern is also quite clear - it is slightly 'fuzzier' than one produced correctly, but if it was the correct 'way round', it would be perfectly useable - I would have thought an attenuated light path through the transparency would produce a poor reproduction.

The effect is reproduceable, so I'll try and post some photos if I get time, I'll also try a different transparency material.

10/08/2021 17:33:35

Perhaps one of the chemists/physicists here can explain a problem I had making a Printed Circuit Board.

I have made my own PCBs for more years than I care to remember by printing a 'photo-negative' transparency, then laying photo-sensitive board on this, and exposing it to UV light using a UV lightbox. The result is the copper I wish to keep is protected by the photo-negative, and the copper I wish to remove is exposed to UV light. The board is then 'developed' in sodium hydroxide, before etching. I have successfully made hundreds of PCBs by this method.

Today, I wanted to make another board (set of limit switch mounts for a CNC machine). I produced the 'photo-negative' in the same manner I always do - and this is where I was hit by encroaching senility - first I placed the PCB board on the light-box, copper side up, then placed the photo-negative on top of it (In the wrong order, and I know, but it comes to all of us eventually!).

I then exposed it for the usual time, and developed as usual. Then I had the first inklings something was not right - the developed board seemed to be a very slightly fuzzy negative of what was required. At this point I had not realised I had placed the negative/board in the lightbox in reverse order. Eventually I realised what I had done (so the board was scrap), but then began to wonder how this can happen - how did light get through (or around) the board to create a pattern on the top of the board - the side away from the UV light? And why was the resulting pattern 'reversed' - that is, the track areas were exposed (so would later etch away), and the areas between tracks left solid?

I could just imagine light leaking around the board to affect the top side, but this had the photo-negative on it, and when the UV light-box lid is closed, the whole 'sandwich' is pressed down by a layer of black plastic foam, so it is hard to see how this leakage happens. The board is 1.5mm thick fibre-glass, coated on one side with copper, which would also block light, I assume. So why did the pattern appear on the side of the board away from the UV light, and why was it negative?

Once I realised what had happened (but not why), I used the same photo-negative and a board from the same batch to make the PCB correctly, and it came out perfectly, so I don't believe there was a problem with the board.

I know the mistake I made, but am at a loss to explain why it worked as it did, so am interested to see any suggestions.

Thread: HB961 Digital Readout
04/08/2021 17:56:49

Hi Roger,

On Amazon, there is some limited data for this device, and if you scroll down there is a section marked 'Reviews with Images' - this includes a tiny two page data sheet in 'Engrish'. I was able to save this image, paste it into a LibreOffice document, then enlarge it to A4 page size. Naturally this ends up rather indistinct without further processing, but it is just readable - may be some help.


The first part of the 'chinese' document mentioned above is actually Bulgarian, and can be simply copied and pasted into Google Translate, when, as mentioned, it produces a reasonably intelligible output - Ii did try to copy it into here, but although Google produces a fairly well ordered text which is not difficult to read, it loses the formatting when pasted into this message, so difficult to read here.

Thread: E10 Petrol
21/07/2021 16:48:30

Forgot to add - there are two stickers inside the petrol filler cap - one says E5 and the other says E10.

21/07/2021 16:44:48

Brian H,

Don't worry about your Dacia (whichever model it is) - I have had all three models of the Duster, and a Logan, and currently running the latest Duster, and all ran on E10, which is standard here - never even knew it was any different until this forum started the panic.

Thread: Strimmer /BrushCutter any recommendations ?
03/07/2021 17:10:50

Just read this thread with interest, since I have several acres of land mostly used as a 'garden', and several areas are only accessible with a 'strimmer'. I have gone the allegedly 'quality' route (Stihl, Husqvarna, etc) over several years, and am of the opinion it is a total waste of money - either they are the same machine as the much cheaper machines one can buy (and appear so visually), or they are equally as questionable.

I ended up with the cheapest machine with the largest engine (usually 49cc) I can find, because none (including the expensive 'quality' machines) have lasted longer than three years, so buy the cheapest and junk it when it fails has worked best for me.

I have also experimented with different heads - as noted by someone else, nylon cord is sometimes a problem in long grass due to tangling. If you can find square section cord it works slightly better. I have found the solid metal blades (3 or 4 blades) fine for doing the job, especially brush-cutting, but don't do the works of the machine any good - many machines have a flexible drive shaft (looks like a large version of the old speedo drive cables) - guaranteed to shear off eventually - and you try to buy replacements. The versions with solid drive shafts are better, but I have ended up with the squared off drive section just rounding off and spinning in its coupling. If you are cutting heavy growth, it is difficult to be sure you won't hit anything which can stop the blade dead - and bye-bye drive shaft.

The best head I have come across looks like a disk or hexagon with 6 small toothed blades pivotted round its rim. these seem to deal with most things, even hitting the occasional rock, but they will also shred normal boots - beware. The teeth in the blades apparently catch on the grass and shear it off, rather than slide off it. I once made one from thick steel, with short pieces from a log-saw blade attached round the edge - it worked fine, except it was difficult to drill holes in the log-saw blade.smiley

There is also mention of fuel stabilizer - sounds like another con trick to me - I traced the gumminess in my engines to the fact that the engine was left with the residue of the two-stroke mix in it - the petrol evaporated, and left the oil to set in the engine - I had to dismantle several and remove the solidly gummed piston ring (sometimes unsuccessful, breaking the ring in the process). Since then, when I have finished, I drain the petrol, run the engine until it stops, then flush it with clean (non-two stroke) petrol through the spark-plug hole - and never had the problem since I started doing it.

The other repetitive problem I have had is failed spark-plugs - I have no idea how long these are supposed to run - my estimate is about 8 to 10 hours. I have lost count of the number of times a dead machine was traced to 'weak sparks', eventually proved to be a dead spark plug - manufacturer seems irrelevant.

Thread: Bureaucracy with a tinge of Madness
23/06/2021 19:38:03

Hope you don't get my experience - I was penalised 100 pounds for allegedly failing to send in a return in time, when in fact I had sent it in some months before. I appealed, and eventually received a letter informing me that HM Robbers and Crooks had cancelled the penalty - no explanation, no apology. More to the point, no money either - I'm still waiting, weeks later - totally unable to get an answer when I call, or use their so-called 'chatline'. The entire "service" is entirely unfit for purpose.

Thread: Problem with a dremel
02/05/2021 12:34:58

Diogenesll has the answer. My Dremel was also erratic, and I suspected at first that the power lead had broken somewhere, but it eventually turned out to be the brushes. They had worn over time, and were making erratic contact with the commutator.

I couldn't locate any new brushes where I lived, and eventually made some new brushes myself, cut down from some spare motor brushes I had. Diogenes is also right about the poor fit of the brushes in the casing - I had a lot of difficulty getting them to fit and slide smoothly. I had quite a bit of difficulty making the new brushes parallel-sided, so they would slide easily. And as Diogenes says, take careful note of how things fit together - I nearly 'binned' the thing because of this.

I thought about making the brushes a little longer, so they would last longer, but there was very little space to do this. Since then I have bought a couple of spare brush sets for later use.

Thread: Source of 2 inch balls for water pump
09/04/2021 17:43:43

How about the hard rubber "super-bouncy" balls - we have two or three around the house (No idea why), and they are very hard, and as near 2 inch diameter as I can measure - they have lots of them all different sizes in a local toyshop, dirt cheap.

Thread: Replacing a Canon printer with a Brother Laser?
05/04/2021 09:36:28

Consider your computer operating system. I had to dump a Brother Laser printer because it was not well supported for use with Linux - it did work, but much of the functionality was lost. Brother did not provide a LInux driver, only for Windows and Apple

Thread: There may be a delay in some deliveries ...
24/03/2021 18:17:07

Apparently they have already moved it.


Thread: Modded 1" Minnie Progress
18/03/2021 18:37:48

Lovely piece of work.

Thread: Windows for the scrap bin?
18/03/2021 18:34:25

Noting the comments on 'Fast Startup", it may be worth noting that many BIOS systems also have a fast-boot option. Some of them have an 'extended' and 'short' boot sequence. On many of them, it is also possible to disable various functions - for instance on older motherboards, they would carry out a search for attached drives every time the machine was switched on - this could be disabled with no ill effect, because who changes hard drives every tie they turn on? Some machines can be configured for the length of time that the 'Flash' screen is displayed (if at all). This usually shows you which keys to press to get into the BIOS or Boot Menu. If these options are disabled, or set to the shortest option, then many seconds or even minutes can be cut from the boot time, and this is before it even tries to start Windows - There are more options than I have mentioned, but a web search for your motherboard can help with this.
I frequently have to make new Linux installations (friends, enemies, relations smiley), and even using 'old' hard drives, it only normally takes about 30 to 40 minutes to make a complete new installation of (say) Linux Mint, and restore the previous browser and e-mail settings.

Linux Mint has had a configurable backup facility to save essential data for some time now, and if you use Firefox and/or Thunderbird, there is a directory which can be copied over which will restore all your passwords, add-on configurations and bookmarks.

For my own machines, I use an external USB hard-drive (the old technology is perfectly adequate for this) and backup all the stuff I couldn't bear to lose onto this - byte for byte, hard-drives are about the cheapest way to store bulk data.

Linux also has the advantage mentioned by people on this thread that it is free - you are not tied to an expensive application relying on Windows, which may cost you money when Windows lets you down - you can just download it and install it again from the Linux repositories.

There was also a mention of using the command line to install stuff in Linux, and the poster mentions it is fast. Quite true, but for those scared of the (non-existent) complexities of the command line, almost all Linux distros have some GUI application to choose, download and install software (The Linux Mint Software Manager currently has over 60,000 'apps' (horrible term) available.

There are comments of not having access to Windows for hours while it carries out software updates. Linux Mint and Ubuntu rarely (if ever) take more than 10 or 15 minutes even for the largest updates in my experience - and if you have an SSD, the same update may be one or two minutes. Recently, in a moment of madness, I installed W10 on a netbook for a friend - it took hours, then it wanted to do an update, and spent the rest of the night doing it. Ok, not a fast machine, but also a waste of time.

Still - its your choice.

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