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

 

 

 

 

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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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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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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Choosing A Battery Tender For Your Classic Car

If you have read my blog in the past you would know that I picked up my first classic car about six months ago. A 1985 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS! So far it has been a blast to drive and I have been enjoying it every chance I get. However through the month of November I was away for a couple weekends and the weather was poor for the rest so my SS went unused for about 6 weeks. Finally in mid December I had an opportunity to  take the car out only to find the battery was drained and not enough juice left to turn her over. After talking to a few friends that also own classics they recommended I keep the battery topped off with a Battery Tender!

What is a battery tender and why do I need one?

There are a number of devices that can assist you with tending to your battery and starting your car. Continue reading “Choosing A Battery Tender For Your Classic Car”

Emerson 888 “Atlas” Nevabreak Pocket Radio

I was cleaning out the closet again and stumbled across this Emerson 888 Atlas radio. It was given to me by my grandfather and according to the internet it was released by Emerson in 1958/59.

An over view of the Emerson 888 ATLAS
Atlas 888
The Atlas 888

It is amazing how technology has changed in the last 60 or so years! This radio was capable of tuning the AM band radio stations using 4 AA batteries.

It boasted 8 transistors, and said it was a pocket radio. Pocket? It is way too large to fit in any pocket. Think Mr. Spock’s tricorder. The radio came with a leather carry case with a strap. Continue reading “Emerson 888 “Atlas” Nevabreak Pocket Radio”

Repair A Mouse With A Broken USB Cable

Recently a coworker of mine purchased a Logitech M500 corded mouse on Amazon. Its relatively inexpensive at $24.99 and perfect for office use.  As you can see from the image below, its a nice size mouse with a few extra buttons. I believe Logitech has been selling them for years.

Now I get why amazon has frustration free packing!

The mouse came in retail packing and upon cutting open the sealed packing he accidentally cut the USB connection off the mouse. He immediately tossed the mouse in the trash and proceeded to order a second. I saw this and said, hey don’t toss the mouse, let me attempt a repair.

Easy Mouse Repair

I considered soldering the wire back together, but that would prove to be messy and there would be a large bulge close to the base of the mouse. My second idea was simply to replace the entire USB cable from an older mouse that was sitting in my parts bin.

STEP 1 – Open the mouse

The Logitech M500 has the screws hiding under the 4 pads on the bottom of the mouse. Remove the 4 pads carefully and set aside. Then remove the 4 black screws to gain access to the mouse.

 

 

Carefully pry the top of the mouse away from the base to revile the internal components .

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Father’s Day Round Up! Great Gift Ideas For Dad

Father’s Day is approaching again and if you’re like me I always wonder what would be a good gift for Dad. There have been years where a bottle of wine was the gift of choice, or maybe a couple of dress shirts. How boring! Hopefully your Dad is as great as mine and not only deserves a fun cool gift, but would also appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Father’s Day Gift Ideas!

Is your Dad into computers? Maybe a fun USB drive would be the perfect gift? Low cost, yet thoughtful!

16GB Mercedes-Benz USB Flash Drive in the style of a Car Key!
$12.99 GeekGearStore.com

This is a very cool gift for Dad, especially if he drives a Benz and enjoys electronic gadgets. On sale at GeekGearStore.com $12.99 Continue reading “Father’s Day Round Up! Great Gift Ideas For Dad”

Protect Your Internal Network With A LOW COST Honey Pot

It would appear that more and more companies and home users are becoming victim to bad actors intruding on their network. Weather it be a targeted attack or drive by malware, network security is a hot topic in today’s IT landscape. In this article I will describe how you can build a low cost Honey Pot that can help alert you to an intrusion before its too late.

What is a Honey Pot?

In simple terms a Honey Pot is a device  on your network that looks appetizing to a hacker.  Like drawing a bear to a pot of honey. This device will advertise services that appear vulnerable and maybe draw an attacker in for further investigation. At a minimum it can simply be used as an internal “trip wire” to alert you someone poking around.

Why does a honey pot work?

Stop Hackers WIth A Honey PotI’m Joe hacker and I have just installed malware on one of your employees workstations. I have quickly gained access and I am now able to execute code and commands. What is the first thing I’m going to do? If you said start poking around you would be correct. After I look for anything of value on my host computer I will quickly begin scanning the subnet looking for hosts that are alive. I will also begin mapping the network for services that are possibly vulnerable to attack. This is where the Honey Pot fits in. It has been patiently siting on your network waiting for someone to direct a packet of data in its direction and alert you to possible trouble.

I’m in! How much does a honey pot cost?

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