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Do It Yourself science and laboratory gear can save a lot of money, and provide plenty of opportunities for learning in the process! DIY-SciB.org specializes in Arduino sensors and science projects.

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Toys and things

It has been a while since my last blog. My new job keeps me quite busy, but I really enjoy it. I should write about it sometime. But Its late tonight, and I need to go to bed soon. So I decided to keep this one short.

Terastation TS-X4.OTL/R5 won't boot

So after some success with a couple of Terastations at work, I decided to dig out my own broken unit, hoping to get it up and running.

Unfortunately it is a much worse problem than the units at work. It boots up to error  E06. TFTP MODE.

I followed this guide, which explains how to set up an TFTP server, but unfortunately the machine wont fetch the files.

Pinging to the IP address given on the Terastation LCD screen returns no results.

Bringing a Terastation TS-X2.0TL back from the dead

This post is relatively short. The bulk of the steps are described in the related article regarding the TS5400.

However, there are a few differences with these older machines:

Bringing a Terastation TS5400 back from the dead

At work we had a few Terastations laying around, and the word was we needed some proper file sharing in the office. We also would like some backup and web server space. While I dont advocate using a Terastation as a full blown server, it is sufficient for small jobs, and has all the benefits of a RAID array to store your web data.

Unfortunately, these units had "new" drives in them, and do not boot. One is older, and I will have to walk through getting that one up and running in another post.

Working with KiCAD's terrible library management

KiCAD is a great tool. For the cost of free, you have no limits on board size, layers, pin count, or parts. Sure it does not include an auto router, but who really uses one. In fact, the current build of CERN's additions adds such great automated features to the manual router that you really dont even need an auto router, even on complex boards.

FreeCAD PVC pipe assembly

I dug out my FreeCAD drawings and made images of the drawing. I am adding those images now, and will link the mechanical file. You can open it in FreeCAD, explore the mechanical design of the spindles, find the parts and make your own modifications.

Weather Station Acrylic

For flat materials, I have long been using CorelDraw. I began with it back in 1994, and have been loving it ever since. Recently I have been trying to use Inkscape more and more. However, as many of you know, Inkscape has some dimensional issues when working with laser cutters.
Typically, laser cutters use Corel as their go to application for import and cutting. Inkscape files imported in Corel are out of size.
So, in one small escape from totally open source, I have used CorelDraw for my acrylic files.

A very unusual PCB

The PCB above is mounted inside of a 40mm T PVC pipe fitting. It is part of my weather station project, and gave me some interesting challenges to overcome in EagleCAD.

The project called for an array of 8 micro reed switches, arranged in a spoke pattern around a central hole. Further, the whole pcb had to be circular to match the shape of the pipe. it also needed to hold resistors for each switch, a cable connector, and an IC. The hardest part is that the reed switches needed to be recessed INTO the PCB.


This was a 2006 capstone project for three students at ITT Technical Institute in Tucson Arizona. The project is a shallow depth submersable ROV, with RS232 communications. The team included myself and two lab partners Ron and Tom.
We had a budget of about 300 dollars. We brainstormed several ideas, including one which would be a giant rubber duck floating a pool, measuring water quality and dropping chlorine pellets when required. After a few days of research, we found that, at that time, electronic monitoring of pool water quality was quite difficult and expensive.

Just for fun


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