Archive for January, 2010

Need a Name for a New Site Feature

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

I have a lot of old electronics equipment that I thought I wanted to save at the time I got it but is of no particular use to me. I’d love to find new homes for it; some I’d give away for the cost of shipping and some I’d take offers.

I’m thinking about setting up a new area on my web server to post pictures of and information about things I have available, and I’d like a good name for it so I can link it as and, but I don’t know what that name should be.

I’d love to call it, but it won’t all be quite free. I don’t want to call it “store” because I’m hoping to turn a couple of my projects into kits soon and I’d like to reserve that name for information about the kits.

The best I’ve come up with so far is “fleamarket,” and I’m not wild about that.

Suggestions welcome. Free junk for the “winner.” :-)

Electronic Circuit in Panduit Labelmaker Cartridge

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Panduit labelmaker cartridge

I don’t remember exactly where at work I found this empty labelmaker cartridge, but this view isn’t what caught my attention.

Panduit labelmaker cartridge, PC board visible

Here’s what piqued my interest — a tiny PC board inside the cartridge.

Panduit labelmaker cartridge, edge view

I’m aware of inkjet printer manufacturers adding PC boards to their ink cartridges and then perverting the intent of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act‘s anti-circumvention measures to prohibit third parties from producing compatible ink refills. Would Panduit stoop to such depths? I had to know. What was that chip???

PC board from Panduit labelmaker cartridge

Easily answered — the sole IC on the PC board looks like a harmless 24C16 I2C serial EEPROM. It probably informs the labelmaker of the label size and shape. No big deal!

And now I have another 24C16 in my parts bin.

Blu-ray Theft-Prevention Case and Hard Drive Magnets

Monday, January 18th, 2010

I don’t have a Blu-ray player yet, but I’m doing the same thing I did when I switched from VHS to DVD — buying in the new media when I think prices are reasonable, then buying a player after I have enough media to justify it.

Blu-ray movie in theft-prevention case

Here’s one of my first such purchases, with the cover image obfuscated to protect the copyright-holder’s interest in their artwork. (Note that this is one of my highly-favored movies and I already have two different DVD editions. Wouldn’t want anyone to think this was the first copy I was buying.)

You can see that Target somehow neglected to remove my purchase from their theft-prevention case. I don’t know how that happened, but I do have the receipt. I could easily have ruined the case (bandsaw) to remove my movie, but that would have been so inelegant.

Please use this information only for good.

Blu-ray movie case theft-prevention mechanism

The case hinged open at the bottom of the movie and was held closed by a sliding black plastic strip at the top, shown disassembled here. The strip locks the case shut and in turn is prevented from sliding to the open position by two ratcheting leaves protruding from a metal strip that’s pinned to the case.

Examining the case, I couldn’t find holes where pins could enter to withdraw the leaves, so I guessed magnets. The metal strip did seem to be attracted to magnets, but the ones I had on hand weren’t strong enough to pull the leaves. I knew I had to find a sacrificial hard drive to take apart.

Seagate Barracuda hard drive with PC boards torn away

I got this drive that had been removed from a decommissioned PC at work and, um, “read-protected” by one of our technicians. (I’m afraid it may not have been zeroed first, and I’m hanging onto the platters until I can figure out whether I have something strong enough to degauss them.)

Magnets on Blu-ray movie case

The permanent magnets from the head-positioning assembly retract the leaf springs quite nicely, allowing me to slide the locking strip and open the case. Of course I actually held one magnet on each spring to unlock it, but I wasn’t able to keep them that way for the photo.

Voila! One open case, and one more Blu-Ray movie for Keith.

“New” Crumar T2 Organ Part 2: Easy Fixes and Investigation

Monday, January 4th, 2010

As mentioned previously, I recently bought a Crumar T2 organ manufactured in 1978 and started ascertaining its condition. Here’s what I’ve been able to fix so far and what I’ve been able to determine about the parts I haven’t yet fixed.

Crackly Volume Knobs and Stuck Master Tuning Potentiometer

Several of the volume knobs were pretty crackly.

Crumar T2 organ with control panel lifted

Most Crumar keyboards are wonderful to service because of how easy it is to get inside. After removing a few screws, the top panel lifts back on its rear hinge, without even having to take the knobs off all the controls.


Reconing an Eminence JAY7010 Subwoofer Driver

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Earlier this year I bought some PA speakers at auction. The auction company was cagey enough to list them all as “untested / condition unknown,” but I suspect they had a pretty good idea of the condition.

Eminence JAY7010 18-inch driver on chair

I ended up with a Yamaha SW1181VS 18″ 500W subwoofer, a Yamaha Yamaha CW218V dual 18″ 1220W subwoofer, and a spare Eminence JAY7010/7011 18″ driver. All four of the Eminence drivers were nonfunctional — some dead shorts, some open. This was a bit disappointing.

My four drivers all look the same, but are labeled JAY7010, J7010, and J7011. From what I can tell, Eminence OEMed these drivers for Yamaha and they don’t seem to be available for direct sale. I found a forum post with specs sent by Yamaha listing the drivers as 600W. I also found a Google listing summarizing an expired eBay auction claiming that these are the same as the Eminence Sigma Pro, which is a 650W driver widely available at around $160.

For the prices I paid for the Yamaha speakers, new drivers at $160 each would go a long ways toward the cost of entire new speakers — the CW218V (dual) is available from Musician’s Friend for a little over $700 with free shipping.

I had never before heard of reconing drivers, but quickly ran across it in my Google searches for J(AY)7010/11s. The idea is that the basket and permanent magnet are still good, that a new voice coil and cone cost less than the whole thing, and that you can replace them yourself at home with a little time and care. Eminence offers recone kits for all their consumer drivers, but recone kits for custom and OEM drivers are available only to the OEM customer.

Although has a great instructional video on the reconing process, I ended up getting my kit from for $69.23 + $13.95 USPS Priority Mail flat rate. Over the holiday break, I took the time to install the kit, and the results have been fantastic.

The Kit

Speaker reconing kit instructions: contents

Speaker reconing kit in box