Saturday, April 28, 2012

Parallax projects ready for show and tell

To get ready for the Parallax Expo 2012, I pulled all my boxes of projects and parts. I had no idea I had this much stuff. Parallax is a great source for parts that are plug and play plus lots of documentation! Also they are located in my back yard so its a good combo! Thanks Parallax!!

Fluke 233 Power Saver Hack

My first Fluke, got the wrong one last year. Turns out this flexibility of this meter--which appealed to me--is the down fall for light use. I discovered that between uses, the batteries would die. This seemed odd since the $3 meter I bought from Harbor Fright is still using the batteries it came with several years later.

While researching this, found out that the meter runs RF and or IR data links even when off. This translated into power drain.  The meter uses 5 AA batteries.  At times I wouldn't use it but once on one set of batteries. This was a bummer.  Considered selling, but there are lots of these meters for sale. Also noticed that the place I bought this meter no longer carries it.  I didn't do enough research before plunking down he cash on this tool.

Per my research, Fluke recommends putting paper between the contacts of the battery to prevent the power drain.  This is a no go given that it takes screw driver to open the port. I did the next best thing - hack on a couple switches. It takes two switches given that the screen has a batteries and the base unit too.  The batteries are in series with + to - connector.  I cut one set of the connectors and soldered in switches. Shrink wrapped the switches and hot glued them on--total hack but works great so far.