When life hits ya, it hits hard.

In mid 2014 I moved from the fast city of Toronto to the cozy region of Waterloo to join a then-small tech startup.

I bought my first car, bracing for the commuter culture shock associated with low-density living.

I got my first place all to myself, furnished with patio furniture and TV-dinner tray tables;  it was all mine.

A few short months later, with my trusty wagon and an Ikea one hour’s drive away, I transformed it into some sweet /r/malelivingspace material.

read more »

Hacks Toys In The Attic

The Xiaomi Dafang, dafanghacks, and You

With the popularity of the Xiaofang camera from Xiaomi, I started my search in late 2017 when I stumbled upon the Xiaomi Dafang. This new model features pan and tilt functions at roughly the same price as the old model, so, I figured ‘why not’ and bought both to try out.

This camera is appealing because it’s a 1080p pan-tilt camera for $30, however the stock firmware does not have RTSP functionality for streaming video.

Ultimately, the Dafang arrived first, and trying to set it up with the official tools got me nowhere. Elias Kotlyar has developed a fork of the popular samtap/fang-hacks project on Github, called Xiaomi-Dafang-Hacks.  In this post I hope to explain how I’ve been able to use this camera here in Canada.

read more »


The Scott 222C Restoration, Part 3

Welcome back! You can find Part 2 here and Part 1 here.

At this point I decided to load all the tubes up and run a voltage test, verifying the operation of the power supply and the circuit as a whole. Now, the original circuit requires two pairs of matched tubes (ideally a matched quad). I have a modified Eico 667 tube tester which has a set of tip jacks added to it that allow me to measure cathode current while the tube is under test (I’ll give that its own post in the future), and I managed to pluck out two pairs that were close~ish.

I unfortunately have no photos from this testing session, but it sounded… off. Some quick measurements and I was able to get the tubes balanced before running out the potentiometer. Still, I was at the extreme for the bias adjustment and I knew that (a) I wanted to run old-stock tubes without paying $hundreds for them, and (b) new 7189 tubes are expensive!

I put on my robe and wizard hat.

read more »

Toys In The Attic


I bought a car!

So much room for activities!
Lots of room for activities!

A 2007 Subaru Outback 2.5i: it’s not diesel, but it’s all-wheel drive and it’s a wagon, so two out of three boxes ticked isn’t bad. Leather and sunroof for bonus, plus, it has a silly boxer engine!

read more »


I’m Still Here!

Wow, what a whirlwind!

In the past four months I’ve abruptly changed cities, changed careers, and wow have I been busy! Aside from some moving pains, I’ve never been happier! Quick update:

  • I moved from a city with ubiquitous transit to one where I literally could walk to work faster than take transit, this resulted in my need for a car that works 100% of the time; I bought a Subaru station wagon because horizontally opposed engine.
  • I’ve seen more national parks in the last two months than ever before in my life, and I might even try camping at some point in the near future.
  • I’m participating in a Duathlon this coming weekend as the cyclist on my team, and I built a bike up from scraps for that task.

I have a few posts in the works and they’ll get published eventually, just sit tight! The Scott 222C has been a completed project for a couple years now, I just need to get the article wrapped up. I’ve started tackling the restoration/retro-modification of a TV-7A/U tube tester, there’s a post coming up about metrology in electronics and why meter specifications matter, and finally the Tektronix 7854 ROM repair is ongoing.


Keep your stick on the ice!


Construction Toys In The Attic

A DIY’d Eico 615 Adaptor

This is a quick one.

I’ve recently been looking into playing with directly heated triode single-ended triode (DHT SET) amps, particularly 45s, 2A3s, and their cousin, the 6B4. So I’ve been buying them piece by piece on eBay, as inexpensive parts pop up here and there. The upside is the low low price! The downside is that my ‘modern’ Eico 667 tester doesn’t have the old UX4 socket. Eico did make an adaptor, however–the 615:

Eico 615 Tube Tester Adapter
Eico 615 Tube Tester Adaptor

It isn’t a terribly easy thing to come by these days, nor cheap when you can find one.

read more »

Toys In The Attic

FIRST Contortions

I’m a manufacturing/electronics/design/theory mentor on a FIRST Robotics team. The last six weeks have literally been a blur. This post is a sleep-deprived ramble.

You’ve been warned.

read more »