Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year! along with.... Power Supplies and SNOW!

 Hope you all have a very Happy New Year this coming year. Several of "us" have had some medical issues during the past year, and hopefully those are all behind us. Several of you had surgeries, and I had some issues with my medications putting me into The Twilight Zone for a good chunk of last year.

Let's hope and pray 2022 goes better for us all.

I'm still waiting for the LM-317/337 Regulators to arrive, so I went ahead and got their new home semi-prepared. I'll be making two almost identical little board assemblies, to be mounted on the inside of the rear panel of the THD Analyzer. It's way overkill for this application, but the parts are cheap, most of them I had, and it should enable this old analyzer to continue chugging along for another fifty years.

This is what I have so far. The boards are drilled for the regulators, and mounted to the back panel to see how well they fit.

The transistors on the boards are not the regulators, but are the same "TO-220" package, so I used them for mock-up. The boards will have a couple of resistors to set the voltage, some bypass capacitors,and a few enhancements to the regulator circuit courtesy of the manufacturer's data sheets. I'll fab up a little wiring harness to carry the unregulated 35 Volts to the boards, and then carry the +/- 24 Volt regulated voltages back to the OEM Power Supply board for distribution to the other circuit boards in the analyzer.
While this is Down For Parts, I'm attending some other little "housekeeping"  items, like scrubbing all the old solder flux off the circuit boards. As Heathkits go, this one is built pretty nice, and the soldering is quite good, except that the builder used a bit too much. Considering the kit was built in 1978, I doubt the builder was using a modern, temperature-controlled, "Soldering Station", and was most likely using a "pencil" type soldering iron.

And we're getting SNOW! Supposed to get 1~3" today, and another 3~5" overnight.
At 1430 local:

And at 1700 local:

I'll call it 3~4", and we'll see what accumulates overnight.

Meanwhile, sleeping in the garage, and soon to be awakened....:

Took it out yesterday for a spin up and down the sidewalks and driveways. Ran it another good 30 minutes or so, and got used to the speed control, and going forward/reverse. It steers beautifully, thanks to the Ariens clutch-type differential. We'll have an AAR around this time tomorrow.

And taking advantage of a  no-work day (or two...) my son finished his birthday present:

 All One-Thousand, Nine-Hundred and Sixty-Nine parts, and 40" tall fully assembled.

Biggest Lego kit I've seen. Even has a Lego version of the tanks and pumps under the skin. Now all he needs is a launch tower......

Be safe out there!


  1. Looks like the snowblower maiden voyage is about to happen.

    1. You betcha! SLW wants me to show her how to run it. I'll be luck if I can teach her to start it tomorrow!

  2. I look forward to hearing how pleased you'll be with the new tower. And that Saturn V looks awesome.

    1. If it drives as easy in the snow as it does in the dry, I'll be quite happy.

      Yeah, he slammed it out in just two days!

  3. I love the neat-o perf board and mock-ups. Been a long time since I was into homebrew, but I vicariously enjoy your projects, Jim.

    1. Glad to oblige! I'm just finishing up a breadboard with my selected parts values so I can see how close I hit my design params with my guesstimated values. I'd use a trimpot, but I don't have any 10k trimmers in house. Probably should order a half-dozen each of the values I see in use. They'd come in handy for stuff like this!

  4. Happy New Year drjim! Glad ya got your blog role fingered out and up to snuff... Lego's have sure gotten more sophisticated and accurate since the days I played with Legos, Lincoln Logs and Erector sets (used to build whole towns out of all of them.)

    1. They're pretty amazing toys. I've put several little Super Hero kits together for the grandson, and yep, they've evolved. I had the Erector set, the Lincoln Logs (now made of plastic!), and the Kenner "girder and panel" sets.


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