Slayer Exciter Circuit Observations

A Slayer Exciter Circuit seemed like a simple exciting project to build. As a pseudo tesla coil circuit, it was low enough voltages (starting with 9 volts) that it did not seem as life threating as a real tesla coil. So I build the circuit, and here are my observations.

First, there was not any lightening like sparks coming off of the secondary coil. That was disappointing. But there were weird voltage readings midair from my multi-meter. You did not have to make physical contact with the circuit. You just had to have the multi-meter leads in proximity to the circuit.

Second, it did not light up a compact fluorescent light. Oh, well.

Third, the transistor in the circuit got hot to the touch, and you could smell it slowly cooking. Maybe something was wrong?

Fourth, my LED in the circuit never did light up. I checked and recheck the circuit, but everything was correct. Oh, well.

Lastly, when I upped the voltage by attaching a second 9 volt battery to the circuit, there was a startling POP! The transistor split in half.  Such is life.wp_20160916_19_10_11_pro

One thing that did confuse me was how the circuit switching worked. It took a lot of digging online to find an answer.  It was simple. It is based on the fact that electricity likes to take the path of least resistance. At first when the transistor circuit is OFF, the battery current flows through the 22k ohm resistor to the (B leg) base of the transistor. As soon as that happens, the transistor circuit is switched ON, and the new path of least resistance is 0 ohms through the (C leg) collector of the transistor. Since all the battery current is now running through the collector, the current at the (B leg) base goes to 0. The transistor circuit switches OFF, and the cycle repeats.

How to enter a pause for a speed dial number on a Nokia Lumia 635?

On my old phone to access my voicemail, I had a speed dial entry in my contacts list that entered the voicemail phone number then paused and then entered the password.

Last spring, I purchased a Nokia Lumia 635, and I was trying to set up a similar speed dial number in my contacts. The problem is the lower case “p” represents the pause (approx. 2-3 seconds per “p”). The non-numeric options on the phone are a dash, an underscore, a period, an asterisks and the pound key. Those do not work for creating dialing pauses, but there is a work around.

Since this is a windows phone, you can edit the synced contacts through your Live account’s contact list (ref. Through the Live account you have all the alpha numeric options via your computers keyboard. I simply edited the phone number adding the correct number of “p”s then the contact was updated on my phone (see example below).

Example VM dial-in number: 1-800-345-6789ppp876543#

(Where 1-800-345-6789 is the voicemail dial in number and 876543 is the example password followed by the pound sign.)

The downside of this is if your Live account is hacked, your voicemail password is exposed.

Note, if the contact does not show up or update on your phone then go to your phone’s settings, tap Email+accounts, then tap-and-hold Microsoft account (or Windows Live) and then tap sync.

That’s it.  Just thought I would share my work around.

Good Luck.

Gateway 2000 P4D-66 – Update (Problem Solved)

My computer issue has been solved (see previous blog post)!!! I found a CMOS chip that has an onboard battery. The problem was definitely a dead internal CMOS battery. When I ordered the first replacement chip, it was not clear if the chip had an internal battery. Even after receiving it, based on documentation, it was still not clear if the new chip had a battery. I now know that it did not. In addition, there was not enough information on the original chip to know if it had a battery or not. It did. It was dead, and that was my problem. But it was all unclear at the time. After some contemplation and some searching online, I found a chip that specifically stated it had an onboard battery. I took a guess that maybe the old one did, too.  When the new chip arrived, I installed it and the battery error was gone. Yay!! For reference, below is the old chip’s information and the new chip’s information. Old Clock Chip: Dallas DS12887 Real Time 9414AZ 044328 Korea 230AA (On bottom of the chip) New Clock Chip: Dallas DS12887A Real Time 13256F 390245 Phillippines + Ah, but my troubles were not over.  Even though the battery error was gone, my machine would not boot.  I got two errors: “2F8h IRQ Com Conflict” and “Failure Fixed Disk 0” For several hours, I rummaged through old boxes and piles of floppy disks (remember those?), looking for installation help. I had a lot of custom configuration with this machine to support a larger hard drive, SCSI, and everything else. It seemed to me (via some faint memory) that I had to do something custom with BIOS to get the hard drive to work. It was a long time ago and my brain is getting old. Playing around with BIOS setting, I did solved the IRQ error by disabling the COM B port. I don’t use it, and it seems to me (again via some faint memory) that maybe it was previously disable.  (Oh, the woes of changing your CMOS chip.  Nothing like loosing your BIOS setting, especially on an old machine.) Now to solve the fixed drive problem.  There was a lot of trial and error. Eventually, in the BIOS settings, I found a setting that did the trick. Under the “Advanced” menu by changing the “Large Disk Access Mode:” to [Other] (versus [DOS]), this caused the fixed disk to be recognized. The machine booted up. Yay!!! Because computer also had EZ-BIOS load on it (which I forgot about) to handle the large hard drive, EZ-BIOS took over after the normal BIOS was done, and everything booted up just fine.  The Gateway 2000 P4D-66 came back to life. All is right in the world again, and I have my favorite scanner back.

The Lost Poem

Back in the 1990s, I hurriedly scratched out a whimsical poem. It got a positive review from a lone reader. Shorty after that, the poem went missing. Often I wondered what happened to it. Then several years ago, I found it. Naturally, I stored it in a safe place, and then I could never find it again. Well, last night while looking for my deck of magic cards, I found it! In order to make it easier to find, I told myself if I ever found it again that I would post it online, so here it is. It was not titled at the time, but I call it “The Lost Poem”



“The Lost Poem”

Dark blue mountains, jagged and high
Divide the earth, from the sky
The mountain streams, turn to lakes
The forest cooks, some pine cone cakes
The fairy whispers time in my ear
I ran from the wind, and hid in the clear
I wandered in, and with a thought
And pondered a, Shakespearian plot
Then I dove into, clouds up high
And touched the stars, in a wink of an eye
Stretched a thought, to its elastic limit
Lost some time, and found a minute
Counted stars, with a satellite
Did a dance, on waves of light
Played marbles with, a parasite
Stopped two doves, in a fight
Tickled a gnome, with a horse feather
Listened to, a piece of old leather
Then I stepped, in through time
And found myself, in a rhyme

Gateway 2000 P4D-66

Problem looking for an answer.

My Machine: I have a Gateway 200 P4D-66.  It has been upgraded several times.  It thinks it is a Pentium 100 now, and it is running Windows 95.  It has a 3.5″ and 5.25″ combo drive, 2 hard drives (one is to big and had to be partitioned multiple times to trick the computer into recognizing it).  It has a Panasonic 24x SCSI CD-ROM and a Phillip CDD200 CD write drive (used for making Juniper Planet CDs back in the 90s).  It also has a SCSI flat-bed scanner.  With the upgrades the machine has long out lasted its expected life span.  It is my primary machine for scanning documents and artwork.

Now the problem: A few months ago, I booted it up, and I got a battery error.  I’ve search the motherboard over and over and I can not locate a battery.  Newer machines have a little round battery right on the motherboard, but not this one.  Web searches have produced little results.  One thread mentioned a battery in the Real Clock chip, so I replace it.  Now, I get a clock error and a battery error.  I’m not an expert.  I just have been using trial and error.  Anyone, who is I’d appreciate any advice.



My Atlantis Location Theory (Old Blog Entry from Saturday, July 16, 2011)

Recently in the news (spring of 2011) a team proclaiming that they found Atlantis North of Cadiz, Spain in a Marshy area. So I check it out with Google Earth. It did not seem like it really fit Plato’s description of Atlantis being in front of the Pillars of Hercules (a.k.a. Strait of Gibraltar).

Plus, in order to logistically support the conquests of the Atlanteans, wouldn’t you need a descent chuck of land like a small continent? With the recent quakes in Japan (again, back in 2011), I was leaning more toward a collapse of the Mid Atlantic Rift. My theory being that North America and South America on one side and Europe and Africa on the other were holding up the Mid Atlantic region as a mini-continent. But then something gave way, and either Europe and Africa moved or most likely the America’s. The pressure was released and the Mid Atlantic rift dropped below the ocean surface.

Based on some web searches, it looks like others hold my belief about this as a possible location. With that theory in mind, I started looking for low lying areas along the rift using Google Earth. People seem to like to build near water. Most of the population of the USA is along the coasts, so if the Mid Atlantic Riff was raised then some where along the water line there would likely be found ports or cities. Interestingly, there was a grid system like a town at 31 24’ 29.52 N and 24 20’ 39.48 W. I am not sure what it is, but it looks neat.

Google Maps

The Cadiz team also found “memorial cities” built by refugees in that area. Maybe Cadiz is where they landed after the collapse, and not so much where they were from.

Anyway, I kind of like the Mid Atlantic Rift idea. If a lot of that rift was above sea level, it would have made up a nice chuck of real estate.