Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Changing a ligtbulb

Q: How many days needs a Software Engineer for changing a lightbulb?
A: 4.

It was complicated.

Saturday evening the toilet light refused to switch on. Obviuously my first thougt was that the problem had been the lamp.I took down the TL5 flourescent lamp and discovered some dark spots near the connector - a clear sign that the tube was burnt..

Sunday I went to Baumax and bought an expensive (~ 20 EUR) Philips TL5 lamp. Just after arriving home I have changed it but I was not lucky. The new lamp did not work either. I measured that I do have current in lamp's connector so I concluded that it must be broken. So I took it back to Baumax and they were helpful and changed it for me. I went home again and tried the new lamp. Failure again.

So I unmounted the whole lamp from the wall and measured the output of the electronic ballast aka."drossel".
Strangely there was no current flowing although the test light screwdriver indicated some voltage...
I concluded that the ballast was somehow broken. A new Philips Matchbox one was again extremely expensive (~ 18 EUR) and  I haven't found any original ballast in the stores nearby.

Monday was a religious holiday so I haven't done much.

Tuesday I finally found another electronic "drossel" at  Dedeman and I decided to buy it and adapt it to the Philips. After about two hours of work I finally succeed to repair the lamp.

Next time I will buy lamps with cheaper and easier to change spares...

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Happy Easter!

Even the Easter Eggs can take a hi-tech touch.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Sound of a Relay Computer

As a geek I have always been fascinated by the odd and old devices as valves and relays. The design of the old computers is still clever and there are still solutions that worth looked at. We are just reinventing the wheel sometime in our modern computers.
I have recently started to study if I can realise a small 4-6 bit computer with relays. After some initial designs
I looked on the web for some of the issues I had with the CPU. I found this extraordinary project: http://www.electronixandmore.com/project/relaycomputertwo/

Sunday, April 8, 2012


I have seen this movie a long time ago on TVR. I felt like watching it again and I am extremely happy I did it. A masterpiece.