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Everything posted by Strider

  1. This is AWESOME! I had completely forgot Super Star Trek even existed, and I played it a lot on the C64! I played just about every version of the classic games across several platforms (C64, Apple II, TRS-80, TI-99/4A, DOS), since I have always been a huge Trek fan. Most were cart or disk games, but this one being BASIC was always cool to me. Love to see this! The very first Star Trek computer game I ever played was on my TI-99/4A, my first computer. Star Trek: Strategic Operation Simulator, and it's always been a favorite! The TI-99/4A started my love of computers in general, and started my many year fascination with Trek games too. It was the first home video game to truly amaze me, and many more would come. Good times!
  2. That it is... lol Now I need to build an Arduino based signal generator so I can test out the Espotek Labrador, becasue, I don't own one. I should have everything I need here, and why not, what's one more small project. I verified it's working just a bit ago by using an Arduino to output a varying PWM signal, ramping up and back down between 0V and 5V, and it works. So far, I guess. There is very little documentation on it so I am muddling my way through it, thankfully it's a really simple device to hookup and use. It has a few different functions and each use it's own pins, so I will end up having to test all of it, hopefully tomorrow. EDIT: I forgot, it's got a built in generator. So I mimicked a simple test circuit from their highly limited wiki page, and was able to get readings that appear to be consistent. The only issue I have now is getting it fully calibrated. It's readings are ground referenced, and when I ground out the scope pins at the end of calibration, it fails saying it's expecting to see close to 0V, makes sense, that.s grounds to the USB ground, and it still fails to complete calibration. So I need to try a different ground, see if that makes a difference. Still, it's coming along, and it's fun to play with!
  3. I dug way further into this than I had intended, but in the process, I found some really nice enclosures for projects I am working on, and even more than give me ideas. I even managed to find some that resemble the Maximite and WeeCee cases, though the WeeCee cases are pretty common aluminum ones I have seen a lot of. So far, here are some of the ones I have either already ordered, or will as soon as I can find them. Current Projects: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005T8YCOI/ / https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005T5GQ04/ / https://www.hammfg.com/electronics/small-case/plastic/1592?itm_type=similar-product Maximite Style: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005T9JGCK/ I really like what this Hammond Manufacturing has to offer! @TomXP411 Wonder if you could tare this board down and make it fit into one of those? https://www.amazon.com/Keyboard-Portable-Professional-Industrial-Computer/dp/B07DZZWD9W/ Smallest one I can find on Amazon that's not a handheld.
  4. Those things are nigh indestructible! Thankfully, you just need your hands to mold them into any shape you need. No tools necessary. What sucks is when you forget about it, then it vanishes.
  5. Project boxes, there are so many types out there, so many things you can use. You can DIY your own, or buy one, or modify one to fit your needs. Lately, I have been shopping around for quite a few of them. I have specific wants and needs for my purposes, as do most of us, and in that search I found two companies on Amazon that sell some really cool enclosures. Not just your average rectangular or square small plastic boxes, though I use those more often than not. I wanted to share them here since some people's minds may work like mine, you may look at them and think of some cool retro project ideas. I sure did! Zulkit: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08NGGMKC3/ BUD Industries: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005T592P0/ & https://www.amazon.com/BUD-Industries-PC-11495-Plastic-Natural/dp/B005T98PQS/ I really like those designs from those compaines, they really have a neat retro vibe to them, and they're not badly priced. How do you do your project boxes?
  6. @TomXP411 I think I know why it's happening... I went in and adjusted the input reading down to fix the output reading, and it worked, and it was then I realized what may be going on. The battery I was using for testing is a 12V 9Ah SLA, the type used in UPS units, it's actual output is 12.56V at full charge. So that's where I set the buck converter becasue that's where I tested it at. I neglected to check the battery again once I had it hooked up to the converter, and under the load of the converter. This time I did just that, and the battery output drops down to about 12.44V. Low and behold , right where I just set the input reading, and of course I get the proper output reading. So I hooked the converter up to the PSU I will be using, and it's spot on. The PSU output does not drop off when under load, at least not the loads I am going to be putting it under, not like a battery. So it's working as it should, it was my fault to begin with. I was only reading the output and not accounting for the fact the battery drops off when under load. Mystery solved. Guess I should message the seller back and let them know I figured it out. It amazing the silly things one overlooks when they are rushing. Glad I have the next 3 days off to work on these projects.
  7. Micro Mages is a great little game! As soon as I seen it, I bought a copy on Steam, and it comes with the NES ROM included. https://store.steampowered.com/app/1065020/Micro_Mages/ These are the types of indie devs I love to support, and would happily still pay for new "NES" style games. The great thing they did here was not only sell the cart for the actual NES, they made the ROM available if you buy the digital version of it. It's cool to play the game both natively on my PC, and on Pi units. I wish there were more devs like that out there, but being such a niche market, I can see why there's not. Still, it's cool as heck in my book.
  8. I forgot to mention, yes, I ran it under load just to see, used a 330ohm resistor with an LED. The results were identical. I am also much more interested in the actual output voltage, and that works great, so the converter is working perfectly. The reading I get on the converter itself is just a matter of convenience. I still use my meter to verify before use. I did reach out to the seller and I am just waiting to hear back. I will update this when I hear from them. It may indeed just be an issue with this specific unit, or design, either way it still works and I am not all that fussed about a 0.07V discrepancy at 12V, what it will be running at 100% of the time. Nothing I am doing with it will be sensitive to such a small variance. Like I said, I am just curious as to why it's happening.
  9. That would be cool to see, and if it was to ever happen, then there would be 4 versions of the game I would "have" to own. Especially if it was ported over to a "modern" engine. Though, there are a lot of games on Steam that just use emulation as well, mainly DOSBox, for "classic" titles. Some use proprietary emulation, like classic console collections. One thing I do like about modern computing is the wide range of options open to developers and creators. Either way, that's nice to hear!
  10. I forgot about that. Though, that will likely make me want the full version more. Every so often, a game would come along where I would end up buying it on all my favorite platforms that I had at the time. I thought those days were long gone...then Attack Of The PETSCII Robots shows up...
  11. I bought the Amiga version, but darn it, I want the C128 version just for the dual monitor setup. I also want the C64 version just to put on the C64 Mini... Yes, I have a problem, but there are no programs for retro gaming addictions. Personally, I think it would be cool to see a version that could be released on a platform like Steam. As good as this game is, it's a shame it's currently limited to classic computer systems, I think it would go over well with indie gamers in general. Plus, make some more money for David to dump into his other projects. All that being said though, it's getting a lot of good press in the retro/classic computing market, especially since it's being ported to so many different platforms. It's been a long time since we have had such a good game across so many classic systems.
  12. @TomXP411 Did you find a way to calibrate the output reading on your buck converter? Adjusting the input calibration is easy enough, but doing so throws off the output reading. Using a 9V source, it's off by about 0.20V, and using a 12V source, that discrepancy drops a lot, to just 0.07V. All with it adjusting to output 5V. I tried 3 sources, 2 were fully charged good batteries. They were a standard new 9V and an APC 12V UPS backup battery (I have a couple of these lying around for the UPS units I use, all are new). The last was the PC PSU's 12V output. The readings were the same. All verified using 2 multimeters I know to be accurate. I did the 9V battery just to make sure the unit was working before digging everything else out (I know the lower the input voltage, the less accurate it can be. ), but I ended up digging it all out anyway. lol The converter itself is working perfectly, it's just the output reading that's off. I am just nitpicking, since it will always be on the 12V PSU output. I can live with a 0.07 discrepancy just fine. I may just adjust the input reading to get the output where I want it. I really don't care if the input reading is off, since the input source will always be of a known voltage. The output reading is all I care about. I just figured I would ask first, just in case you stumbled across something I missed.
  13. Excellent, I will check that out! I use a Skil 4.8V "Twist", it's several years old now and not well suited for "precision" work. So I want something newer and better for use on project boxes, electronics, enclosures, and other such light work. Plus, $27 seems very reasonable. Thanks for the info!
  14. We use the same Thermotronics tip tinner and Easycargo heatsinks I see. haha What's funny, as if the timing could not be any better, I was literally looking at them just a few hours ago, I am in the market for a good electric screwdriver for light duty and there is one on the list! @Perifractic, if you don't mind, do you still use that ORIA Electric Screwdriver and what do you think of it? I just want one for PC and small project work, and the pen design is something I would also probably like.
  15. Well, I broke down and ordered one. This one to be exact. They mostly all seem to be the same design and work the same, so we will see. Parts are starting to arrive! Got my probes today, and the enclosure the Labrador is going in. The unit itself should be here Monday (tomorrow), as well as the buck converter I ordered for my bench PSU. I have Tuesday off so I will be testing them both out then. Sadly the BNC connectors I ordered are going to be late. I just hope they are here by next weekend, that's when I had planned on putting it all together. Though, my L7805CV voltage regulators and their heatsinks showed up today too. Need them for a couple other projects.
  16. Both the hobbies and programs sections sound like excellent additions. One other idea that comes to mind for me sometimes would be a "Modern Computing" chat. For people to share or discuss modern hardware, software, games, or maybe get help with things not "retro"?
  17. Most definitely, if you want exposure, FB and YT are a must these days. YT is a fantastic resource for countless things, for both the content creator and consumer of that content. FB is excellent for easy interactions with your base since most everyone uses it. I just choose to consume information where I find it, but only interact on forums. I guess I am just old school. Forums are more my pace, always have been. Also, I tend to lurk on here more than I post, I often save the posting until time permits.
  18. Personally, I just see the site, forum, and X16 project evolving as time goes on. Maybe not in the same way some may want, as opinions are personal and different, but in the way it all has to evolve so it can continue to exist. I came here becasue the X16, @The 8-Bit Guy and @Perifracticlead me here, but I stay becasue of the people I met here, and the fantastic interactions with like minded retro enthusiasts. This is the first "retro" forum I have ever actively participated in, and is the only forum I am currently active in. Outside of support for Pi/Arduino stuff on their forums that is. Since I left the world of social media behind many years ago, this is where I choose to "hang out". That being said, congrats to everyone taking up the mantle to help keep the forums going!
  19. That was pretty much my case, and for a while I solved it the same way, dual boot. Eventually I built myself 2 different systems, my XP rig, and a maxed out Windows 95 OSR2.5/DOS rig using era appropriate hardware. I had that second rig running well into the Windows 7 days. I eventually parted it out and just went full emulation using DOSBox. @martinot My first Windows was 2.11, but I rarely used it. I used and liked Norton Commander. By the time Windows 3.1 was released, I started using it a lot more. Windows 95 I loved. I didn't initially view Windows as an OS, just a piece of software like anything else, a fancy file navigator. It wasn't until Win 95 that I really started to see it for what it was, and the power it had. I have very little issues with stability on my DOS/Win systems, thus I never had a reason to move off it. So while I messed around with OS/2, I never ran it myself. I played a lot of games, and everything I used was designed for DOS/Windows, was easier to find, that's where all the support was, and I got good and getting them to run and do what I wanted. So I just stuck with it. I wish I had had messed with it more in retrospect, but like I said, I was happy with DOS/Win so the need never arose.
  20. At first, I hated not having a DOS backbone sitting under Windows, I really liked DOS and didn't want to give it up, even though I liked Windows. I got over it of course, but I was not happy about it at the time. Old dog, new tricks, you get the idea. It sucks to watch things you grew up on, used for many years, slowly go obsolete before your eyes.
  21. I really do want to try one of those portable irons, and with the generally good reviews I have seen the Pinecil get, that's the next iron on my list. Powering it off a quality portable battery bank is an attractive idea to me. I currently use a butane one for my portable and automotive needs. I like it, but it stays in my cars toolbox. This one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M9ZKK9T (Got it on sale for $25). @Cyber I have been looking at getting one of those fixed rotating PCB holders, in addition to the "helping hands" one I have already that uses alligator clips, I just haven't needed one yet. They would be handy for kit builds and such I think. Do you like yours? I have never used one like that, but they look like they would be a bit "easier"than bending helping hands around.
  22. I do use Smile, when I remember, buying my own items. But when posting links, it's often just to show the item, I'm not posting it trying to push it for sale.
  23. Oh yeah, there are a lot of "DIY Electronic Kits" on Amazon, and other sites as well if you drop that same search in Google. I have bought a few, just little fun kits to build for others, like a colorful LED heart for my wife (that I posted here with some other stuff), a star one for my daughter, and an "RGB" clock for the heck of it. All very simple but fun kits. Though I did make a handheld game one for me. I haven't tried any of the kits for tools though, since I either have them or can just do it myself. My primary reason is for fun. I enjoy it, and it will be useful to me. It's how I relax on my time off. @TomXP411My DIY bench PSU will include this regulator, like the one you have (I bought it after you mentioned it in the other thread), minus the barrel jack since it will be powered by the Corsair 450W SFX PSU that will be in my bench. It's been sitting in my closet for a long time, so I figured I would put it to use. It was an item sent to me for review, and that I have not needed since. I picked up a new soldering iron a few months ago as well, and so far it's working great. I also got a spare iron with it, and a set of tips. What's funny is I never knew what I was missing having flux under my brass wool until I got this station and it came with it that way. I kinda want to try the Pinecil and see how well it works one of these days. As far as my other tools, this is what I currently use. Kaiweets Multimeter and Leads Set. Helping Hands - A MUST. lol Desoldering Pump - This thing works surprisingly well for my limited needs, when I don't or can't use braid. Various magnification items for my old eyes. Camera, Magnified LED lamp, Headset, classic style magnifying glass. Logic Probe. Same USB tester. Component tester - Works shockingly well. I am looking at a rework hot air gun, maybe this one. Not sure yet, for SMD work. Of course, I have my breadboard, PCBs, and a lot of components all over the place. lol
  24. As you all know, I have been doing a lot with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, and a lot with electronics in general. Now I am putting together my own tools like a bench power supply using an old computer PSU, building my own buck converters, and now I want to do my own basic oscilloscope. I don't want or need anything fancy or expensive, but I also didn't want one of those cheap handheld kits you see all over Amazon. So... I just broke down and picked up an EspoTek Labrador and everything I need to put together a DIY scope, as least as close as I can realistically get. I am also curious how good it will work for it's $29 price. So I got the unit itself, a project enclosure, BNC connectors, and probes. I have everything else I may need already. I will run the software on my Pi 4 since I use that for most of my electronic work anyway. We will see how it all goes when the parts arrive and I'll post my results. That being said, after talking about buck converters with @TomXP411 in a different thread, I wanted a thread to talk about DIY things that don't necessarily fall completely under other specific categories. So what kind of "things" do you DIY, or would like to do, and why? Or do you just prefer to buy what you need like a sane person? Or maybe buying kits is as far as you want to do DIY? I have a feeling with all the retro tinkerers here, there is a lot of DIY being done.
  25. @SlithyMatt and @Scott Robison summed up my feelings on ME pretty well. Personally, I liked ME, even though I never ran it on my own personal systems. I liked it because it made me money on service calls.
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