semi-OT: do you routinely attempt projects out of your comfort

Tony Duell ard at
Wed Mar 10 13:03:57 CST 2010

> Tony Duell wrote:
> >> There are certain exceptions... if I needed some mechanical component 
> >> machining I'd probably look for a local machine shop and ask them (my 
> > 
> > You are lucky to have a 'local machine shop'/ There are, AFAIK, no such 
> > places round here.
> There's an engineering company in Huddersfield (Pennine Radio) that does 

There was a mention of a Pennine Radio set in The Radiophile magazine a 
few months back. I assume it's somewhat related :-).

> sheet-metal and machining work. I'm toying with the idea of asking them 
> for a quote on doing the CNC work on the DiscFerret front/rear panels.
> If I had a CNC rig I'd do it myself, but the idea of drilling out the 
> front panels for even a small production run does not appeal to me...

Err, you could always get the purchaser/constructor to drill his own 
panel. A large number of kits that I've assembled over the years required 
you to do that.

I much prefer thigns to come as kits (toally unsoldered), since then I 
can use solder and techniques that have been used for many years and 
which I trust, unlike htis lead-free stuff which is certainly not 
reliabel if soldered at too low a temperature (which it often seems to be 
on commertical boards...)

> > [Silly example/ I was cleaning up an old Epson printer nad dropped a 
> > plastic bush from the paper feed mechansim. I looked for it for over an 
> > hour and couldn't find it (I've still not found it). In the end I grabbed 
> > a bit of brass rod and turned a suitable replacemnt in a few minutes...]
> Knowing Epson kit, that "non-factory replacement part" (GRIN) will 
> probably outlast the rest of the printer.

THis weas an old-ish Epson (An FX-80 or MX-80 or something). It's 
actually quite well made. It'll probably end up with an HPIB interface 
board in it (which I do have) although I don't have the replacement 
firmware ROMs to turn it into an HP82906.

> The last two Epsons I had (a C84 and a C86) both died from Blocked 
> Print-head Syndrome. The ink dries in the head, then when the piezo 
> actuators are triggered on power up for the "cleaning" cycle, they 
> break/blow. Ugh.

This is a good old-fashioned 9-pin impact matrix printer.


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