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About ckoba

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  1. Relinquishing my citizenship does not invalidate my opinion about the sun rising in the east, nor my opinion about the competence of the officers I served under and with, nor my opinion of the direction your country is heading. I could be right, I could be wrong, but I do not apologize for my beliefs. In my estimation, sir, your understanding of the term "credibility" needs a size-nine adjustment, as is your belief that the US will not force its laws on foreign citizens (been there, done that) nor that US policy intentionally and directly affect the policies of other governments... but you are entitled to your opinion. As I am to mine. Ain't that how America was supposed to work? Even for foreigners? Or is that right reserved only for citizens when posting on US-hosted forums now? But we're very far off-topic now. Now, in general: taking your "this is an American forum, hosted on an American server, and I'm offended that you don't think America is the bestest country in the world" (and that's only slightly paraphrased) ... I'll take that as my cue to leave. Good luck with your chess program. I'll stay in touch via email with the AA members that I respect. I'll ask Albert to delete the "ckoba" account and all content that I posted. I don't know if he'll go along with it, but I will at least try.
  2. Mix of both. Grew up there, joined the military, left, stayed out of the US after leaving the military, no longer a US citizen due to previously mentioned concerns and the strong belief that one should be a citizen of where one has put down roots (if possible). Look around the forums and you'll pick up where I went. I've earned the right to bitch about the US, and I voted with my feet. And I'm still surprised that amateur rocketry is legal.
  3. Tomorrow's switch replacement might not happen: "Mine. Not yours."
  4. (somewhat off-topic -- if the content offends those I've tangled with before, I don't apologize, just click "ignore" on me and be done with it) I'm still somewhat in shock that amateur rocketry is a thing in the US. When I was a kid (back when Centauri existed independent of Estes), the decent-sized engines (triple-D?) for things like the Mars lander required a license. With the US as wussified and paranoid as it is, I'm surprised that amateur rocketry is even possible there now. 'Cause, you know, the flash circuit in that nosecone camera can be easily repurposed to make something go *boom* ... instant RPG.
  5. Careful, you're starting to tread into Omega's trademarked "I'm just an ideas guy" territory Schematics for nearly everything you'd want in a open-hardware nanoPEB are available. Much of the non-TI designs would need to be reworked, due to a perverse desire in the TI community to use battery-backed RAM for hardware drivers (DSRs). That would mean Thierry's IDE card (with *two* competing and equally broken DSRs), The Project That Must Not Be Named, and so forth, would need to be reworked before build. All it needs is a bored and qualified engineer to look at the TI schematics for the RS232 sidecard, reverse-engineer the Axiom (because the TI design is crap), and ask someone nicely for the TI DSDD schematics/firmware ... then turn it into VHDL, get really familiar with Eagle, and do a few hand-soldered prototypes before handing the PCB artwork off to any reasonably-priced fab. Like I said, easy
  6. The TI cassette power port *is* a relay. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opto-isolator
  7. Make friends with someone enrolled at your local community college that's taking basic electronics courses, and ask them to freshen up *all* of the solder joints on the device (especially under the EEPROM). That will save you a lot of grief in the long run. I've got the PDF manual for the CF7/nanoPEB around here somewhere (the guy making them took down the main page, but not the subpages, so it's still available online). If you can't find it, and no one else steps up to the plate, let me know and I'll send it along. (everything in xdt99 is fantastic. Screw the Windows tools; portable python is where it's at. I've argued that point several times on these forums in various contexts, especially the Hardware Project That Must Not Be Named, but you're the first proof-of-use case that I've seen. Thanks for that.)
  8. No pictures of the swapout, because I sealed the console before I'd thought about sharing this. I'll do the basement console tomorrow; perhaps I'll remember to take a photograph of the power board then. Attached are photos of the switches in question. The left is the replacement, the right is the original. There are no manufacturing marks on the replacement -- it's probably a generic Chinese PoC, but it's in better shape internally than the origiinal. With photos, you can see what I was talking about getting the replacement switch geometry right. The replacement can have lugs instead of pins, as long as they can be bent (with a pick, not pliers!) into the solder holes topside.
  9. Both of my production consoles have been quasi-unreliable. Up until recently I've ascribed it to the heat expansion/contraction of the aging solder connections, along with not yet having removed the 4116s from the basement TI, when I realized something: The console glitches when it gets bumped. A bit of experimentation, and I narrowed it down to the power switch. The power switch is a dual-position dual-throw (DPDT) type mounted straight up on the power board, with a plastic actuator connecting it to the front slider. After forty years, the bottom contact terminals have developed grooves, and a minor bump will momentarily interrupt power with catastrophic results. I opened one up to prove my hypothesis -- deeply grooved, which explained a lot. I was not able to find an exact replacement with PCB mounts and the same wide footprint, but a similarly sized DPDT sliding switch will serve. The critical factors in choosing a switch are: * will the bottom connectors line up vertically with the PCB? * can I bend the bottom connectors out horizontally to make contact with the other power rail on the PCB? * will the result be as tall as the original power switch? * is the slide on the switch roughly the same size/shape? Before writing off a glitchy console or going on a snipe hunt replacing RAM, try replacing the switch. Odds are the console will be much more reliable.
  10. It would be trivial to activate a model rocket engine igniter through the cassette port motor control, which is simply an optoisolator. You'd have to learn enough about the TI to flip that CSR bit. There is a redneck way of doing it without understanding the underlying hardware, but I won't promote redneck hardware hacks.
  11. Use xvm99.py in https://github.com/endlos99/xdt99/on UNIX/Linux/anything that runs on the rPi. Python-based. Edit: ralphb is the developer of the xdt99 suite. He knows what he's talking about
  12. External power is required, won't work without it. Use a +5VDC wall wart to power the board. I'm surprised that the knowledgeable users at the PNW meetup didn't tell you that. *BUT* If you have the device that Omega was selling, be aware that it's only barely functional. It has (at the very least) bad solder joints. See http://atariage.com/forums/topic/251299-rat-farts/page-2?do=findComment&comment=3488720and http://atariage.com/forums/topic/251299-rat-farts/page-2?do=findComment&comment=3488888 for details, but the executive summary is that this unit (if, indeed, it was the one we were talking about) was known bad prior to PNW and should have been flagged as such.
  13. Close, but not quite. Three major problems: * non-existent quality control (bad solder joints, missing solder joints, etc) * Ancient CF-card driver that didn't work with any card made after the early 2000s * (on the nanoPEB) A serial port that didn't work with common comms packages like Telco. I'll leave for others to speculate as to why he didn't fix his production problems and the DSR, but those were the technical issues. I had one, I sold it because I had no faith in it whatsoever.
  14. From what I've seen, that's correct (although, counting Changshu and Suzhou, I spent more time at more factories in the greater Shanghai travel radius)... but the bigger players (Foxconn) have been building CMs out in the middle of nowhere (Taiyuan first, but also Zhengzhou and Chengdu) because even Shenzhen wages are getting too expensive. They'll do EVT/DVT/PVT with their A players in Shenzhen, and when the product hits sustaining mode it gets shuffled off to someplace in the sticks. Last I heard, they were going to expand into India because *Chinese* wages are getting too expensive. That'll end well. Anyway, sorry about equating you with factory ops. I see "PVG" as a location, and I think "poor engineer semi-permanently stationed at a CM".
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