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Personal Projects I've Done

(except professional computer projects on my resume & Company web pages.)

by Julian H. Stacey


Page written for these reasons:
  • For pictorial entertainment.
  • To provide hints for others trying to fix same machines I have
  • For me to refer to if my machines need repairing a 2nd time.
  • To list some DIY things a systems engineer is not afraid to do in his spare time that a programmer might less likely do (there being some programmers who claim to be software engineers, who maybe aren't really engineers, IMO Real engineers aren't afraid to use electronic, electrical, & mechanical tools etc, as well as software tools).

A few Projects I've done (excluding professional computer projects on my resume) & various software things on my remote servers & local computers etc

  • Stripped & rebuilt lawn mowers.
  • Analysed & re-tuned a Fiat 500/ Lucas voltage regulator.
  • Washed out & resusitated a car battery (with goggles, but not reccomended now, risk to eyes, + pollution risk).
  • Stripped & rebuilt a washing machine,
  • Fibreglass insulated a loft. - Pig of a job ! Normal breathing mask insufficient. Sticks in hands (or write with gloves). Best for in dead of winter else far too hot & sweating.
  • Written device drivers (M6800 parallel & serial & Z80 SIO) tweaked others (inc Minix floppy).
  • Built & programmed a stepper motor driven device,
  • Designed own computer, chips upward, inc circuit diagrams, timing, wire wrapping, hand assembling, logic analyser debugging etc.
  • Installed a plumbed large hot water cylinder & thermostats for a house, ground & installed pipes & taps.
  • Removed a large Volvo B20B car engine (Not advised, can be unstable when high, esp. if front of garage slopes away sideways, could tilt & crush one), changed the clutch, & big ends, & reground the cylinder head, & re soldered the radiator (& made the enhanced heat torch to do the job), brazed the tail gate (& made a hash of learning to weld - still my weak point!)
  • Soldered all own constructions & repairs (except just once, when an ace solderer friend did some really fine work at high pitch density as he was more used to it)
  • Built a pre-designed kit computer PCB, Analysed & fixed the burnt out middle layers of a friend's.
  • Repaired a colour television at least twice (dangerous that, don't do it !), & a VHS
  • Written lots of source code programs & enhancements etc,
  • Built massive satellite unfixed TV mount, & wrote code to determine position (when no others were visible in Munich & it was hard to align).
  • Repaired big TV a couple of times. Yes, & been damn scared, especially after a friend distracted me, & there was damn great bang, & then I had Twofaults to fix, not just One, but at least I was still alive :-)
  • Mastered bootable CDROMs including complete operating system installation & rescue kits.
  • Computer monitor Trivial removal & replacement of sheared screw needed unusual improvised structural support to avoid anything else breaking during repair.
  • HP ScanJet conversion from NT to FreeBSD (conversions purchasable)
  • Dishwasher repair (with a power saw on chassis).
  • Washing Machine
  • Chair upholstered (during creation of this page).
  • Fireworks & Bonfire construction periodically for GEA
  • UPS battery renewal
  • Laptop repair

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