Divergence Meter releases the Magic Smoke

Well all of you know that the Divergence Meter runs on Magic Smoke right? Well somehow today for some reason it has let it out…. After running for 3 months or so continuously on a plug-in Power Supply, I wanted to change the batteries and bring it outside for someone to see. And so I did. After leaving from a  show and tell session in which it ran somewhat perfectly, the voltage regulator namely the TPS62160 5V DC-DC converter IC turned red hot and poof…..*insert poker face* well I don’t know the cause but all I know is that it broke and I have to fix it….or remake the main circuit board altogether. Thank god I designed it with a somewhat modular design or else I would have to replace the whole freaking thing =___=

On the bright side, I have a chance to video record the assembly of the the new board if I choose to remake it. But still *poker face x1000* -______________-

Nothing beats some molten BBQ Voltage Regulator
Nothing beats some molten BBQ Voltage Regulator

Well if you look closely you can see the molten blob of metal where it burned red hot 🙈 and wow I really didn’t notice the amount of flux still on the board :/ I’m pretty sure I washed it all off with alcohol and water after baking…well anyways I definitely can conclude this is the organizations doing….

El Psy Congroo,

waicool20

Blast from the past hardware: Nixie Tubes

nixieclock01
Taken from: http://www.illuwatar.se/project_pages/nixieclock/images/nixieclock01.jpg

According to personal experience, Nixie Tubes are really awesome. My Divergence Meter Project made me realize that. But what were they exactly?

Basically a Nixie Tube was a type of Cold Cathode Display, so unlike most cathode displays ( e.g tungsten light bulbs ) they didn’t rely on heat to create their light, but instead it uses a process called glow discharge. Though of course this didn’t mean they stayed cool during their operation, if the current were to go over allowed ratings for prolonged times then it could potentially heat up the tube.

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Divergence Meter Project Update 4: Are you excited? Because I am! It’s finally complete \o/

*Drum Rolls* *Cheers* YES it’s finally complete :’) THE DIVERGENCE METER IS COMPLETE !!! It took me a long time, it took me a lot of effort, it also caused me a lot of headaches but hey its complete!!!! Really awesome indeed, though I still have to tweak it a bit in the software, somehow release 0.1.0a of the software uses up a whopping 6KB out of 8KB of program space, I really hope to optimize the code and make the world line rolling much more visually accurate, otherwise it’s really awesome to look at especially at night 😀 the way nixie tubes display numbers gives that really special retro feeling yet it gives a futuristic feeling at the same time.

Now for some power consumption reports, well so far I’ve only had the thing on batteries with the longest duration of 2 hours but according to my estimations, measurements and fooling around(writing it down makes it science ;D ), I’ve found that it should run for around 4 hours on the lowest brightness settings and 11 hours on the highest. One thing I did though design in an “adaptive brightness” feature into the thing. Basically it uses an LDR (Light Dependent Resistor) and the device measures the environments brightness, when it’s dark it turns the display darker to save power and when it’s bright it turns up the display to make it easier to see.

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