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Everything posted by Strider

  1. 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?
  2. @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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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...
  7. 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.
  8. @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.
  9. 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!
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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"?
  13. 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.
  14. 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!
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. @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.
  22. That makes perfect sense. I also wonder how much "silicon lottery" is involved. My Pi3's, using the CanaKit adapters, both run at full speed no problems. I haven't seen the old lighting bolt since I got them. Same for the Pi 4, and I just had that thing running at 2GHz with an overvolt of 6 with no power issues. That also explains why my buck converter worked so well, it's a bit over 5V at 5.2. Or maybe that issue was addressed at some point? Both of my 3B+ units were purchased in late 2020, I think... Can't remember now. From Element 14, well, one form Element directly and one from their Amazon store. Do you like that buck PS you have? I was actually looking at it recently. I currently use these... For testing: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NALDSJ0/ In final projects as needed: https://www.amazon.com/MP1584EN-DC-DC-Converter-Adjustable-Module/dp/B01MQGMOKI/ And I am thinking of building my own "bench power supply" using one of the many good spare PC PSU's I have lying around, since I really only need 3.3V, 5V, and 12V anyway. Plus, it's another project to keep me busy, and it's easy to do. lol Either way, I want a good variable buck PSU for testing, and that one was on my list. I have had good luck with DROK products. I know I am rambling, but I am also seriously looking at an EspoTek Labrador. For what I do, it's all the scope I need. Plus, I get to build it up how I want it. Ever mess with it? Or hear much about it? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CVB7ZJG/
  23. Been messing with the Pi4 for the past couple hours, and here is what I get out of mine. Notes: Bluetooth is disabled (dtoverlay=disable-bt) in /boot/config.txt. Not currently overclocked. GPU mem set to 512mb, becasue why not, got 8GB available that I will never use. lol Wired net connection, WiFi not being used. These are the apps I use the most on mine. Performance in all these apps is great, with two exceptions, listed below. Boot to desktop: About 15 seconds. (Cold boot.) LibreOffice: About 2.5 seconds when closed. About one second with base loaded. Fritzing: About 20 seconds (has a TON of assets to load). Arduino IDE: About 4 seconds. Geany: About 1.5 seconds. Thonny Python IDE: About 1.5 seconds. Chromium: About 3.5 seconds. (See notes below) Firefox ESR: About 3.5 seconds. (See notes below) VLC Media Player: About 1 second. GIMP 2.10.8: About 5 seconds. Synaptic Package Manager: About 4 seconds. Thunar File Manager: About 1 second Games & Emulators Beneath a Steel Sky (ScummVM): About 1.5 seconds for ScummVM to start game. ScummVM Alone: About 1 second. Chocolate Doom: About 1.5 seconds. DOSBox: About 1.5 seconds. FS-UAE: About 3 seconds. Steam Link: About 4.5 seconds. (Has no issues streaming 1080P games from my primary desktop PC.) RetroArch: About 4 seconds. Both Chromium and Firefox perform about the same. Their performance on sites like YouTube are most definitely painfully slow when it comes to loading the page and or video. Once a video is playing, the playback is hit and miss. Some videos play fine, others hiccup, and require you to bump down the resolution. That being said I really don't do a lot of video streaming on the Pi, today was the first time I really appreciated how slow it was on YouTube. Image heavy sites like Amazon load slower on the Pi than on a desktop as well, but it's more than fine for someone like me, especially since again, I don't really do it much on the Pi. A vast majority of my Pi's web use is forums and searching for information, and in those cases, both browsers are plenty fast. I ran across several posts claiming the reason they are so slow with some sites, like YouTube, is more of a software/driver issue than hardware. Time will tell I guess. Video playback from a local source using VLC however is flawless, at least it was with all the videos I tried, mostly all 1080P, streaming from my NAS. While I most definitely would like to see better storage options and much improved performance on the image/video heavy side of the web. I can honestly say I am still pleased with it's overall performance. Then again, it's all going to come down to what you're wanting to do with it. Now I guess it's time to overclock. These Argon cases have good cooling, so why not. Edit: Well, I just pushed it to 2GHz on the ARM, and 750 on the GPU, with an overvolt of 6. I can confirm, YouTube is still slow. lol Honestly, I really didn't notice any real improvements over the stock operation. The system was "snappy" already, and the software I use already ran good. I will have to check it using something that will actually benefit from the faster clocks, maybe some more demanding console emulation. I know one thing, I wont be leaving it overclocked. It does what I want it to do at stock, so no point in shortening it's life if it's not necessary and there is no real benefit to it for my specific use case.
  24. @BruceMcF I hear ya on the display, that little 2.8 inch screen on the GPi Case, while nice and sharp, is a pain for me to see. Even though I recently got it all fixed and working as it should, I am rarely using it becasue of the tiny display. I do wear glasses, but that's to help me see at distance, so I really only wear them while driving, especially at night. I don't wear them at home because I can see just fine, normally, at the close distances. Still, that GPi screen is only really viewable for me at full arms length. Go figure. I almost need two pairs of glasses, or bifocals. lol Also, I feel the holiday pinch in the pocketbook as well, we blow so much money each year. It's kinda crazy, thankfully it's only once per year. @TomXP411 I had that same problem with my first 3B+ Pi when I got it, and wasn't 100% sure why becasue I was using USB chargers with ample ratings, or so I thought, 5V @ 2A. This is where my path took me... After doing a bit of research, I found out what I sort of already knew but dismissed for whatever reason at the time, that most USB chargers suck under any "heavy" load that requires stable clean power, too much voltage drop, and their quality is a lottery for most brands. I seen a lot of recommendations to use Samsung 2.5A chargers if you had one, becasue they performed better under the loads the Pi puts on it and had that extra .5A of headroom, especially considering all USB devices are also pulling power from that same source. So my wife gave me an old one she had and my power issues went away. When I got my 2nd 3B+, this time I bought a CanaKit power supply specifically designed for the Pi, and I could not have been happier. Worked great from day one, even when overclocked. They have the extra headroom as well, and maintain a stable clean output under load. When I got my Pi4, I was originally powering it with a 5V 5A output buck converter because I didn't have anything else. So again, I ordered CanaKit's Pi4 power supply, and it's also been working great. So I highly recommend them if all else fails. It's an extra $10 to the cost of t he Pi, but I think it was worth it in the long run. Also, I want a MiSTer, and I don't. My tinkering retro loving brain wants one to play with, but my logical brain has trouble with the cost. I get the whole idea of it being better than software emulation, and I love me some FPGA goodness, but I am honestly perfectly happy with modern emulation. Besides, I am going down another rabbit hole thanks to the stupid Atomic Pi, and it's a lot cheaper. lol @Scott Robison As far as Retroholics Anonymous goes, sign me up! Though I think it will take at least a 16-bit...err...16 step program to even make a dent.
  25. That Tom's Hardware article is one of the reasons I gave it a try. Though since it's writing, performance has been improved and you can boot straight from SSD now, so boot times are better than before. One good trick is to disable Bluetooth in Pi OS, that speeds up boot time as well, if you're not using it of course. That helps no matter what boot media you use. I want to do some "benchmarks" on my Pi now that I am thinking about it more. I am putting in a 12 hour shift today at the hospital, but I have the next 2 days off. Gives me something fun to do. lol I can say that LibreOffice runs fantastic, but it should. I will test boot time, app launch times for whatI use, and mess around with 1080 video streaming more. I also use the Pi with Steam Link, and that works wonderfully as well. Now I can't wait until tomorrow to mess around with it. EDIT: @TomXP411 Best case for the Pi 4 in my humble opinion. Honestly, I don't think I would be using it as much if it wasn't for that case. It's just so darn convenient, tucks right where I need it.
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