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Surface Preparation and Finger Prints. How bad are they?

In preparing a surface for paint / glue / thermal paste / soldering / whatever, there is one thing to remember. A normal finger print is of similar thickness to cling wrap (0.01mm). A thick (eg post pizza) print, where the ridges are no longer visible, is closer to the thickness of a sheet of paper (0.1mm).

Rule of thumb. If you would you would not be happy with this kind of material on the surface of whatever you are coating, remove your finger prints.

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RGB Bias Lighting with Arduino (Part 1)

We are setting up an arduino with a WS2811 LED strip to do RGB based bias lighting effects.

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Cheap and easy temperature controlled cabinet fan.

Cabinet cooling hack. Because good entertainment units are still not heat dissipation savvy.

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What’s inside an integrated circuit? We broke one open and scanned it for you at 12,800DPI

Because you always wondered what was inside. See if you can guess which IC it was? Useful image for teachers, overhead slides etc. NB: This is not always a good DIY or classroom activity. Be aware that some electrical components create a seriously hazardous dust when broken open. Rectifiers, Hi Power transistors, Older IC’s & IC’s with certain […]

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Quick Graphs to make PCB Track Width and Silkscreen Ratios easy.

Recently I had to make a series of circuit boards using Eagle Cad.

I spent a lot of time calculating track widths to make sure my circuit board could handle the current I was using.
Then I had to do more calculations for font ratios. so that that all lines were wide enough to work with the silk screening process.

Sick of this; I quickly used matlab to create a few charts so I could look up the answers quickly.
I thought I would share these charts and the matlab scripts, hope they are useful.