There are still a number of older cars on the road that don’t have LED headlights. Before the LED Headlight craze we had HID (high intensity discharge) projector style lights, and before that halogen lights and even before that incandescent type lighting. It is amazing how far lighting technology has come in just the last 20 years increasing visibility and safety while we are on the road.
My son is a new driver and he was luck enough to be gifted a 1991 Toyota Camry. The car is in great condition for being 30 years old, and runs and drives like it was new! Wanting to make sure he is as safe as he can be in his ride, I decided to make a few upgrades. New dash camera, new radio with Bluetooth, and finally new LED headlights to replace the old halogen bulbs.
Picking a replacement bulb
The Toyota Camry was originally equipped with the standard dual filament 9004 type halogen bulbs. They still make replacement halogen bulbs and modern 9004 bulbs are quite bright. Here we have a direct replacement Philips bulb pair for $33.00 at Amazon
If you want to take your lighting one step further consider installing a direct fit 9004 LED Headlight replacement. The LED Headlights will connect to the existing wiring and should snap right into the same socket as the old bulb.
World War II ended 76 years ago, and at this point there are not many surviving service men and woman around to tell the tales of the time. I believe we need to preserve the stories of the past to enlighten future generations to insure history will never repeat itself. When I came across this Battleship lantern from the mid 1940’s at my local Goodwill, I felt it needed to be restored and preserved to tell its story for many more years.
I purchased the light for $20 from the Goodwill, which I felt was a bit overpriced for its condition. However hopefully some of my purchase price is going to a good cause. Researching a 76 year old flashlight proved to be more difficult than you would expect. According to Google, the 5293-L Lantern was attached to the US Navy Battleships and according to the letter that came with the lantern it was also used on cargo and merchant ships.
I never realized how much we take flash memory for granted. A little over 20 years ago the go to choice to save your game using a Nintendo Game boy color was a lithium battery. This was an excellent cost effective choice at the time since the batteries had a 7 to 10 year life span. Nintendo never counted on how resilient their games would be, or even how nostalgic their customers are.
Fast forward to present day and the lithium batteries have all gone dead making it impossible to save your game for later use. Luckily with a couple dabs from the soldering iron and a $2.00 battery your cartridge can be back up and saving games in no time!
TOOLS YOU CAN USE
You will need a good soldering station. Soldering stations come in all shapes and sizes and price points
Something like the one to the left sells for about $50 on Amazon. If you’re like me I would spend a little more for variable heat control and some extra tips.
There's noting more aggravating than having a fairly new appliance (that is out of warranty) quit working. However there's nothing more satisfying than fixing it yourself and saving $200+ on a service call. I have a 5 year old Frigidaire washer / dryer combo unit and recently the dryer stopped getting hot. The unit continued to spin /tumble, however no heat. The dryer is gas and giving it a good listen there was no attempt to even light the flame. It was time to take the dryer apart!
TOOLS YOU CAN USE
Some type of screw gun or drill with a Phillips bit set. I personally like this Makita, but never the less a cordless drill or screw gun would be helpful.
We need to test some of the parts. Any digital multi-meter with an ohms / continuity scale will work just fine. They are very inexpensive $25 at Amazon
Time to take the unit apart
I am going to describe to the best of my ability how to take this dryer apart, however there are some great YouTube videos that explain it better than I can. I still recommend you read my description as I will tell you what my personal experience was during the process.
First disconnect the power
Shut off the gas line I did not disconnect mine, but it might be a good idea to do so.
Shut off the water lines Again, I left mine attached, but it might be a good idea to disconnect
Remove the drain hose from the sink or stand pipe
Guess what, I left mine connected.
Remove the dryer vent (use the stubby screwdriver)
Now locate the dryer motor access cover and remove the two screws that are holding it to the dryer. You should see the motor, belt and belt tensioner. If you have never done this before take a quick picture of how the belt is set around the motor
Push the tensioner to the left, this will give the belt some slack and allow you to remove it from the motor
There are 4 screws on the rear of the unit (RED ARROWS) remove them (it will make life a bit easier later.
Work your way to the front of the unit. There are two screws holding a white trim cover on - (YELLOW ARROWS) remove them and set the cover aside
Under the trim cover remove the two screws that hold the control panel on, (BLUE) arrows. Then push down on the control panel to remove. *** IMPORTANT *** Disconnect the dryer door switch.
Next there are two screws directly below the screws you just removed. They are holding a silver plate on. Just take the top two out. No need to remove the entire silver plate.
WE ARE GOING TO TAKE THE DOOR OFF
Two more additional screws hold the bottom of the door on. remove them.
Next work your way to the top front of the dryer. 4 screws need to be removed. Now the door can come off! Get some help. The DOOR IS HEAVY!
Ok we're in!
There is a little black piece of rubber in the top center of the dryer. Its called a drum stop and needs to be removed.
Now the entire drum needs to come out. You could use a helper with this step. The drum sits in a bearing at the back of the dryer wall. Its like a ball and socket. Lift up on the back of the drum to remove the ball from the socket. (this may take a little bit of effort.)
Slide the drum out (don't catch the belt on anything!
WHAT PARTS TO TEST
This is what the inside of the dryer looks like with the drum removed. Kind of simple, don't you think?
Lets get to testing, all the way in the back on top (RED ARROWS) are two thermal fuses. This is the most common part to die. Start w/ one of the fuses and remove one wire. Then check across the fuse (both legs) with your multi-tester set to continuity. A BEEP = GOOD!
The first part I tested was bad! Thermal limiter 137032600, I believe they sell everything at Amazon and was able to pick this one up for $20
Moving down the line, be sure to test the flame sensor as well (Aqua Arrow) same procedure here, pull one of the wires off and check for continuity.
The yellow arrow points to the leads for the igniter. Use the OHMs setting on the meter to see if there is any resistance. If is shows OPEN (or infinity) its bad.
Same goes for the gas valves, check for resistance.
The reason my dryer failed was because of lint buildup. Over the years lint collected behind the drum and it looked burnt. There was lint in the door, the sides the exhaust fan, pretty much everywhere. Use a vacuum to clean the entire dryer before you put it back together. don't forget the back of the drum.
A couple of closing thoughts
DON'T MOVE THE DRYER AROUND WHILE ITS APART! The sheet metal is so thin it will bend.
The door was hard to get back on because my dryers sheet metal shifted a bit.
The BELT GOES GROOVED SIDE DOWN. While you are in there you may want to order a replacement belt.
In our consume it and toss it world we tend to discard our old electronics for the faster, better newer items. I know we are pretty good at recycling our old electronics, but wouldn’t it be even better to repurpose our old gear, maybe give it a new life as something else? I had an old Microsoft Surface 3 sitting on my desk collecting dust for a while. The specifications were pretty weak. 4GB of RAM, 64GB disk, and a really slow mobile processor. Compared to today’s standards its barely enough to run Windows 10, at least the disk was SSD.
What I did with my Microsoft Surface 3
Looking at the Surface I saw a great opportunity to make a wall clock weather station! With just a few prep steps and a neat low cost trick to mount the surface to the wall I had this project done in under an hour.
I haven’t posted to my blog in over a month, and not that anyone cares, I do this because I personally enjoy writing. (even if I’m not that good at it) When I started this blog back in 2017 my mission was to write articles on things that I found useful, content that I could refer back to overtime and if it happened to help someone else GREAT. Three weeks ago on October 21st I was diagnosed with COVID. I am happy to say I’m still here and almost fully recovered. I would like to take a few moments to record my experience.
COVID-19 IS SERIOUS!
To all the people who said COVID-19 is not real, IT IS 100% REAL and will knock you on your ass! I’m not exactly sure when I was exposed to the virus, I’m not a “front line” worker. I take reasonable precautions, wash my hands often, wear a mask, but still managed to get sick.
IMPORTANT – LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
On October 20th I came to work and had a headache. Nothing strange about that. A couple Advil and pushed through the day. I remember going to bed Tuesday night feeling extra tired, but again nothing I haven’t experienced before.
On Wednesday October 21st I woke up with what I thought was a head cold. My symptoms were headache and a bit of post nasal drip. I went to work again and didn’t give it a second thought. As the day progressed I felt a cough develop, nothing Luden’s cough drops couldn’t fix. I completely ignored the signs and put everyone I work with at risk to catch COVID!
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.
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.
These are fascinating to study under a strong magnifying glass or microscope. Great for making “electronic jewelry”, study and training.
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)
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.
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.
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.