Posts Tagged Repairs

Epson R380 Continuous Ink Supply Tubes

After fixing the yellow ink tube, the Epson R380 printer occasionally gave off a horrible clunk as the tubes slapped around inside the frame. This routing seems much quieter and, as you can see from the marks on the tubes, leaves much less free to flop around:

Epson R380 Printer - CISS tube routing

Epson R380 Printer – CISS tube routing

I cut a small collar (to the left of the white block with the red cable tie) to guide the tubing up over the edge of the ink cartridge holder, with a ramp from the upper edge and raised edges to hold the tubes in place, from a block of black closed-cell foam. It seems perfectly happy to do its job without anything other than the tubes holding it in place atop the cartridges.

There’s also a block of foam filling a gap under the printer’s top frame member (along the far left edge of the picture) to cushion the tubes as they whack against the edge.

So far, so good.

I’ve dumped a few more tanks of waste ink down the drain. When this printer eventually gives up, I’ll get a color laser and move on.



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Compact Fluorescent Bulb Autopsy

I fished the failed CFL bulb from the recycling box:

Failed CFL - case damage

Failed CFL – case damage

The straight-ish crack between the tube ends looks like it happened as the (yellowed) plastic ruptured and hardened.

Not wanting to get a face full of glass fragments spiced with metallic mercury, I wrapped a blast shield around the spiral tube:

Failed CFL - tube wrap - shattered base

Failed CFL – tube wrap – shattered base

The terminal ends fit loosely in the crumbling base at the start of this operation, leaving the tube wobbling above the base. The plastic cracked as I wrapped the tube, so, for lack of anything smarter, I applied a pin punch to break away the rest of the upper base.

The tube doesn’t fit into a socket, of course, and terminates in four wire connections:

Failed CFL - tube terminals

Failed CFL – tube terminals

Those wires pass through notches on the edge of the PCB, bend around the board, pass through vias, and get soldered to pads. The solder side faces the tube, with all the components nestled into the base toward the screw terminals:

Failed CFL - PCB solder side faces upward

Failed CFL – PCB solder side faces upward

The component side sports a surprising number of parts:

Failed CFL - PCB components - 2

Failed CFL – PCB components – 2

A view from the other direction, where you can see the tube wires curling around the edge:

Failed CFL - PCB components - 1

Failed CFL – PCB components – 1

I generally harvest inductors & suchlike, but it got really really hot in there and, methinks, cooked the life out of the parts:

Failed CFL - overheated capacitor

Failed CFL – overheated capacitor

The PCB date code stamp could be “730”, suggesting either 1997 or 2007. In any event, it’s been a while.

I hope LED bulbs outlast these things, but I have my doubts …



Raspberry Pi USB vs. Arduino

Plugging an Arduino with GRBL into a USB port on a Raspberry Pi 3 with bCNC causes an immediate crash: the Arduino doesn’t power up and the Raspberry Pi stops responding. A hardware reset / power cycle with the Arduino plugged in doesn’t improve the situation, so it seems the Arduino draws more current from the USB port than the default setup will allow.

Most likely, the Arduino’s 47 μF power supply caps draw too much current while charging, as the steady-state current seems to be around 40 mA:

RPi vs Arduino - USB current

RPi vs Arduino – USB current

The solution / workaround requires a tweak to /boot/config.txt:

#-- boost USB current for Arduino CNC


# blank line above to reveal underscores

Update: As mentioned in the comments, the max_usb_current option doesn’t apply to the Pi 3 you see in the picture and, thus, shouldn’t have changed anything. Your guess is as good as mine.

I’d be more comfortable with a separate power supply plugged into the Arduino’s coaxial power jack, but that’s just me.

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Wouxun KG-UV3D: End of Life

Radio communication between our bikes failed on the way back from a grocery ride and the problem turned out to be a failed radio:

Wouxun KG-UV3D - defunct

Wouxun KG-UV3D – defunct

The Wouxun KG-UV3D radio seems jammed firmly somewhere in its power-up sequence, doesn’t respond to any buttons, and has no hard-reset switch. On the other paw, it’s been in constant (and rugged!) use for almost exactly five years, so I suppose it doesn’t owe me much of anything.

The new radio, another KG-UV3D from PowerWerx, has marginally different spacing around the screw attaching the plug cover preventing the previous screw from fitting, so I kludged up a screw from a 2 mm socket-head screw, a 2.5 mm (yes) washer, and a pair of 2 mm nuts:

Wouxun KG-UV3D - APRS plug plate screw

Wouxun KG-UV3D – APRS plug plate screw

Which looks a bit odd, but holds the plug adapter plate firmly in place:

Wouxun KG-UV3D - APRS Voice Plug Block

Wouxun KG-UV3D – APRS Voice Plug Block

I suppose when the radio on my bike fails, I must rebuild both APRS + voice interfaces for Yet Another Radio, because the Wouxuns will be completely unobtainable.

The weather abruptly became too cold for riding, at least for sissies such as we, but maybe we’ll get out later in the month …


Another Failed CFL Bulb

Unlike the last CFL failure, this time I noticed the faint smell of electrical death near the Electronics Workbench, but I couldn’t track it down until the can light over the the Bench didn’t start:

Another Hot-Failed CFL Bulb

Another Hot-Failed CFL Bulb

The date code suggests it’s been in the fixture for over a decade, so I can’t complain. Having two unrelated bulbs fail within a week, after years of service, is surely coincidence. If another fails within a week or two, however, it will definitely be Enemy Action.


Sandisk Extreme Plus: End of Life

The Fly6 rear camera on my bike started giving off three long beeps and shutting down. Doing the reformatting / rebooting dance provides only temporary relief, so I think the card has failed:

Sandisk Extreme Plus vs. Samsung EVO MicroSD cards

Sandisk Extreme Plus vs. Samsung EVO MicroSD cards

The Fly6 can handle cards up to only 32 GB, which means I should stock up before they go the way of the 8 GB card shipped with the camera a few years ago.

Some back of the envelope calculations:

  • It’s been in use for the last 19 months
  • The last 22 trips racked up 88 GB of video data = 4 GB/trip
  • They occurred over the last 6 weeks = 3.6 rides/week
  • Call it 250 trips = 1 TB of data written to the card = 32 × capacity

That’s only slightly more than the failure point of the Sony 64 GB MicroSDXC cards. The Fly6 writes about a third of the data per trip, so the card lasts longer on a calendar basis.

So now let’s find out how long the Samsung cards last …


Failed Compact Fluorescent Bulb

An overhead light in the Basement Laboratory went dark:

Failed CFL bulb

Failed CFL bulb

One end of the twisty tube got really really hot as it failed!

The Lab didn’t smell of electrical death, so the bulb must have failed while I was elsewhere. Metal enclosures with actual UL ratings suddenly seem like a Good Idea …