Pencil Case Fix

Today I fixed the USB storage in my pencil case.

I have an analogue drive – I keep pencils in a 2.5″ hard drive caddy, and that goes in my pocket along with a moleskine. It’s got a milled down pencil sharpener, and it’s also got a microSD card in a caddy that I soldered to a USB connection, so the whole kit and caboodle takes up about as much internal room as the pencil case.

One of the pins had snapped, because the pencils had jammed against it. A while back I put in a protective plate to stop that from happening again, and today I pulled out the card, stripped off the heat shrink, and resoldered the pin where it had broken off. The trickiest bit was holding everything to test it, so in the end I just put on more (seethrough) heat shrink, and that held the card in. It’s not held in fully, but it’s against the spring of the conversion caddy, so it’s in enough, and I have a USB drive again.

At some point, I need to put a better pencil sharpener in there. The one I currently have has the great advantage that it was free, and the massive disadvantage that it doesn’t work very well, or fit the new blades I bought for it. The moral is that you get what you pay for.

ZipPi – rethinking the power switch

I’ve had another look at the case I want to put ZipPi into, and it’s already got separate power and reset switches, so I’ll probably use those. Which I should have all along. I still want to make a power switch for a separate, smaller case, but ZipPi the Computer will probably have the external hardware kept working.

ZipPi – melting a breadboard

breadboard with melted holesAs it turns out, a power supply with a switching MOSFET is probably unregulated and probably going to be passing a lot of electrons around really really fast. So, it gets hot.

I have holes in my breadboard that are not how they were originally designed.

Pi-Puter – Name

The Pi-based building a computer project needs a name. It’s really just a bunch of small, separate solutions. Everything takes input or is there for output, and I just need to join things up.

Solutions -> Pi Lab/Lab Bench/Benchtop Pi
Joining things -> Sew What?/Popper Pi/Glue Sniffer/ZipPi.

ZipPi. I like ZipPi. At some point the spelling may change, or the capital letter may be decapitated, or I might decide it’s too much like Sparky, but for now, it’s ZipPi, pronounced Zippy.