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Archive for category Machine Shop

Epson R380 Printer: Waste Ink Counter Reset

Following the same drill as before, the Epson R380 printer once again thinks I’ve changed its diaper before resetting its waste ink counter. Instead, I’ve poured what would be a moderate fortune of waste ink down the drain from the external tank, had I not grafted a continuous flow ink supply onto the thing.

To judge from how often I must reset the counters, I’m expected to buy a new printer every three years. For sure, it’s uneconomical to have anybody else (the nearest Epson Authorized Customer Care Centers is 68 miles away on Long Island) do the deed. As Epson delicately puts it “replacement of ink pads may not be a good investment for lower-cost printers”.

Epson now provides a utility allowing you to reset the counters exactly one time. Having a scrap Windows PC ready to go, I didn’t bother capturing the partition before firing off the previous Sketchy Utility™, nor did I restore it, so the whole process took about half an hour.

The hard drive platters will eventually become nightlights.

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The Last Tee

There’s a good reason this was the last pneumatic tee fitting on the rack:

Malformed pneumatic fitting
Malformed pneumatic fitting

The center fitting should be a male 1/4 inch NPT connection, but it’s completely un-machined. Alas, I no longer have a 1/4 NPT die in my tool chest, so it’s not an easy fix.

The two female connections are fine, so it must have been one of those rare QC escapes.

Lowe’s marked it down to $0.47 on clearance and I still couldn’t justify buying the thing.

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Fiskars Scissors: Preemptive Pivot Tightening

A new-to-us Fiskars scissors arrived with a loose pivot of a type I’d never seen before:

Fiskars scissors - pivot nut in place
Fiskars scissors – pivot nut in place

The nut fits into the slot in the upper blade, making the nut and screw turn together. Although there’s no torque between the two, the screw had no threadlock and, well, loosening happens.

The pivot parts include a thin washer between the nut and the lower blade to reduce friction between the moving parts:

Fiskars scissors - pivot parts
Fiskars scissors – pivot parts

With a dot of Loctite on the screw, it’s ready for reassembly:

Fiskars scissors - pivot ready to assemble
Fiskars scissors – pivot ready to assemble

After which, a drop of oil made it sooo smooooth.

That was easy …

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Fluorescent Ballast Caps: FAIL

After converting another fluorescent shoplight into an LED fixture, I tested its capacitors:

Fluorescent ballast capacitors - one failed
Fluorescent ballast capacitors – one failed

The ESR02 reports one as a 4.8 µF capacitor, the other as a “defective part” with a 4 kΩ resistance. Having a cap fail by turning into a resistor is surprising; I’m more surprised it didn’t simply burn up.

They’re visually indistinguishable, of course.

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Dragonfly Eye Re-Re-Repair

After not quite seven years, the acrylic caulk holding our garden dragonfly’s eyeballs in place lost its grip. Some cleaning of marbles and scuffing of copper sockets later, two rings of JB Kwik should do the trick:

Garden Dragonfly Sculpture - eye repair
Garden Dragonfly Sculpture – eye repair

It’s a family tradition, is all I can say …

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Heavy Object. Team Lift Required

So says the label on a recent Amazon package:

Heavy Object Team Lift - foam floor mats
Heavy Object Team Lift – foam floor mats

It contains half a dozen foam floor mat sheets weighing a bit under a pound apiece.

I don’t begrudge anyone working in an Amazon warehouse a bit of humor …

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Sony NP-FM50 Battery Rebuild

With six new 18500 lithium cells in hand, I rebuilt the three weakest NP-FM50 packs.

The Sherline CNC mill setup for sawing around the midline:

Sony NP-FM50 battery - Sherline saw setup
Sony NP-FM50 battery – Sherline saw setup

Adjust the saw to cut along the seam, set X=0 at the surface, jog to about X+0.7 mm, jog the saw along the seam, then repeat for the other three sides. No real CNC involved, but it’s much easier than sawing or breaking through the seam by hand.

These two packs came with the camera:

Sony NP-FM50 battery - 2003-era cells
Sony NP-FM50 battery – 2003-era cells

The cells have only lot numbers, no manufacturer ID. Wikipedia sayeth Sony Fukushima started in 2000; perhaps these were early production units with no branding.

The center strap running the length of the pack didn’t seem long enough, because I mistakenly thought I’d straightened its end while unsoldering it. As it happens, the end was straight and secured to the PCB by structural solder:

Sony NP-FM50 battery - PCB center tab joint
Sony NP-FM50 battery – PCB center tab joint

Moral of the story: pay attention, dammit!

The other end of the center strap required a snippet of tin strip to reach the tabs:

Sony NP-FM50 battery - rebuilt center strap
Sony NP-FM50 battery – rebuilt center strap

Aligning the cells that way allowed me to just bend the other tabs over the PCB pads and solder them in place:

Sony NP-FM50 battery - rebuilt PCB contacts
Sony NP-FM50 battery – rebuilt PCB contacts

Then a strip of Kapton tape across the kerf holds the case together well enough to survive our gentle usage:

Sony NP-FM50 battery - Kapton belly band
Sony NP-FM50 battery – Kapton belly band

The battery packs require a brief stay in the charger to reset the PCB’s lockout circuitry, after which they work fine:

Sony NP-FM50 - 2019-04-12
Sony NP-FM50 – 2019-04-12

The two oldest batteries (OEM 2003 A and OEM 2003 B) have new identities to suit their new innards: 2019 E and 2019 F. The DOA eBay battery retains its 2019 D label after the rebuild, as there’s little room for confusion.

Admittedly, it’d be easier / cheaper / faster to buy third-party NP-FM50 packs directly from eBay or Amazon, but this way I know the cells aren’t complete crap and I get some Quality Shop Time™ out of the deal.

What’s not to like?

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