Microchip -Ever Wonder Whats Inside?

We take electronics for granted in todays society. Microchips are in everything! Computers, TVs, Smart Phones, Microwaves even your car! If it plugs in and turns on there’s a good chance a microchip will be inside.

Have you ever wondered what is a microchip?  I don’t want to cover the history of chips or integrated circuits (IC)  in this article, however lets leave it as miniaturized electronic components on a die that is encased in a plastic shell. The components are  usually transistors and millions of them can be on a die to compose a single chip.

Microchips
Finished Chips

Here is a great example of some “dead bug” socket style microchips. 

EPROM Chips
Vintage EPROM style chips

These are older microchips and the there are a few where you can actually see the die through a small window. These chips were know as EPROMs and were programmable!

Actual Microchip Die!

This is the inside Die Chips found in sophisticated IC’s. The die was fully processed and the next step was to bond gold wires to the different connection points on the IC die and connect them to pins on a plastic IC package. This step was not done.

60 ICs
ICs in their carrier

These are fascinating to study under a strong magnifying glass or microscope. Great for making “electronic jewelry”, study and training.

I was lucky to get a few to share and I’m offering them in my online store basically to cover what I paid for them.

Each order will have about 60 die, I tried to mix them up a bit so there is more that one style to look at.

Magnifaction
Up close and personal with an IC die

If you’re interested, get them while they are in stock – GeekGearStore 

Microchip Cary Case
Microchip Cary Case

Again these are perfect for electronics class and can be used as a teaching aid. Very cool to study!

Again I have a number of these in stock at my online store. Don’t miss out, once they are gone I probably will not be able to get more!

Actual IC Chip Die – What a microchip really looks like!

Thank you for reading my blog!
-Joe

 

 

 

 

How To: Paint Correction On A 30 Year Old Car

I love cars, to me they are not just a functional piece of everyday life but more a work of art. Even the ugliest car had to be designed by someone who thought it was a good idea at the time. My kids are getting older and my youngest is learning to drive. We were fortunate to have a 1991 Toyota Camry dropped into our lap. A 30 year old “beater” that runs and drives and is in surprisingly good condition. The only problem is it has 30 year old paint, that has apparently never been waxed or polished. The goal is to do a paint correction that would give the car a great look from 10ft away (lol)

BEFORE!

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Building A Budget Gaming Computer During Quarantine

Who would have thought sitting home daily with my two kids during the Covid-19 crisis would lead to the kids each wanting a gaming computer. After pricing out what a “pre” made gaming computer would cost it was decided to build our own on a budget. The goal : How powerful a computer could be built for under $1000.

Gaming computer parts

The debate was on, which parts to spend money on and what parts could we save some cash.

Processor – AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (3rd Generation) $155.00
Ryzen 5 3600
Ryzen 5 3600

It was decided the 3rd generation Ryzen 5 3600 processor would be used. The Ryzen would give great performance at a budget price. At the time of this post the Ryzen was down to $155 on Amazon (I paid $175)

 

MOTHERBOARD – MSI B450 gaming Plus Max $110

Finding a gaming computer motherboard proved to be a challenge. I would guess due to the shutdowns in China, and higher demand (I’m not the only one building a gaming computer) many motherboards were out of stock.

MSI Motherboard
MSI Motherboard

You are going to want to look for a mother that supports the AMD Ryzen 3000 series. I original purchased an MSI Gaming Plus Max and it was broken out of the box. Then I went with an ASRock motherboard, only because it was in stock and it too was broken.  Finally  I found an MSI B450 Gaming Plus Max in stock and it was $110. Since I purchased the board the price has increased to $215 on Amazon. Keep searching and you will eventually find a good board in the $125 range. Continue reading “Building A Budget Gaming Computer During Quarantine”

Vintage 1973 Sencore FE160 Field Effect Meter

Another old meter to add to my collection. This Sencore FE160 meter was manufactured in 1973 and has aged quite well. I connected the meter to a wall outlet and it fired up and is working great! The only reconditioning was to give the exterior and interior a through cleaning.

When cleaning equipment I like to use as mild a cleaner as possible and work my way up to something stronger if necessary.  I find automotive products to be very mild and since I’m always cleaning and polishing my cars I have many different types of cleaners at my disposal.

Great Cleaning Products to use:

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1940’s Zenith Radio Restomod

Old radio enthusiast please don’t send me hate mail after reading this blog. I know many of you will frown on what I have done to this 80+ year old radio. I promise you this Zenith will get tons more use in its current condition rather than in original form.

The project consisted of gutting the original electronics from the radio and replacing them with newer more modern tech. Resulting in a working radio that still has the spirit of the original.

Parts List – Hardware
MS Surface

An older Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – I don’t recommend you go out and purchase a surface for this project. Re-purposing and old laptop, or tablet is ideal to keep the cost down. I’m sure you could even use a Raspberry Pi with an external display. I just happened to have an old Surface that needed a new job. Continue reading “1940’s Zenith Radio Restomod”

Restoring The 1920’s Everedy Gear Top Bottle Capper

Covid19 has pretty much left me trapped in the house over the last few months. Needing to keep busy I started to clean out the basement, selling some stuff on Ebay while tossing the rest out in the trash. I did come across this Everedy Gear Top Bottle Capper under a table gathering dust and rust and decided it would be a good restoration project. Restoration would be very easy as there are only a few parts and the capper was simple to take apart.

Tools you can use

Since the bottle capper is made of cast iron and had some serious rust, I decided to go with a wire brush to remove the dirt and prep the surface for paint.

wirebrush
$9.00 Brush set

 

Wire wheel brush set – About $9 at amazon

 

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The Superior Instruments Dynarometer 1260 Vintage Electronics Restoration

I am still trying to figure out the back story on this restoration project. What I do know is this is a Dynarometer Model 1260, under the bezel of the meter movement is says Superior Instruments Co, New York NY made in USA. I am not sure if these were sold as a kit or even the exact model year. If I was to guess I would say 1950’s give or take a few years.

A friend was tossing this out so I adopted it and decided to keep it from the landfill. It was dirty and quite rusty. After a through examination to make it operational again would be virtually impossible, however restoration as a piece of art would be the second best thing.

TOOLS YOU CAN USE

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Keystone Moviegraph D752 Projector Art Project

We all accumulate stuff in our homes over time. In fact George Carlin has a great comedy skit about stuff. While going through my stuff  I came across this antique projector. A Moviegraph D752 made by Keystone in Boston Mass. The wiring was dry rotted and belts were broken, and I was going to toss it in the trash. The only question was does it have any value? After a quick check on eBay similar projectors in better condition than mine were selling for $50 to $100. Not worth my trouble to sell, but old enough to keep as art work!

Moviegraph Before
Moviegraph
Before
Tools You Can Use

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Is The Falcone TR-15 The Pitch-back of Hockey?

If you read my blog on a regular basis you may know that my boys are into youth & college hockey. We are always looking new training tools to try and even build. The Falcone TR-15 looked pretty cool so we thought we would give it a shot.

My boys are probably the biggest skeptics when it comes to new hockey training equipment, and after unboxing the Falcone TR-15 they immediately laughed and thought this device was going to be a waste of time.  Having many more years under my belt, I told them to give it a try before making any judgment and to my surprise they did just that.

Unboxing and Setup of The Falcone TR-15

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Turtle Wax 53409 Hybrid Ceramic Coating – WIN!

If you have been to my site before you know that I’m a DIY type of guy and that includes taking care of my cars. I have been hand washing and waxing my cars since I was 17 years old. Car care technology has changed over the last 30 years and I’m always looking for the next big thing to try on my vehicle. Lately there has been lots of talk about Ceramic Coating your car for the ultimate shine and protection.

I did a ton of research into different types of Ceramic Coatings and most of them have proven to be very expensive, and they come in small bottles so you could possibly need two to complete your car. Also, if you put too much on your paint could develop high spots and it could wind up worse than when you started.

Turtle wax 53409 hybrid solutions ceramic coating

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