Posted by: jaseatthebar | July 10, 2014

Christmas wish list – a Stirling Engine

There are many model Stirling Engines available on ebay, however none to match the quality and artistic flair offered by this company:

Stirling Engine HB14 - Big Bonsai


Posted by: jaseatthebar | January 23, 2014

What makes a good PCB

Give the same schematic to 100 different layout engineers and you will get at least 100 different layouts. We can then debate the trade-offs and compromises to SI, EMC, power integrity and so on and there’s plenty of reference material on these matters. But there is another factor. A ‘good looking’ PCB in my experience is often a well designed PCB. Why? I have no idea. I can only think that the best layout engineeers I have worked with also have an artistic flair and that this helps them in their design. I recently met a very interesting chap who takes the art of PCB design a step further. You can see some of Saar Drimer’s work here:

Posted by: jaseatthebar | March 25, 2013

DIY CNC milling machine

I really must find a better way of collecting and organising websites that I find interesting. For now I’ll continue to post them on my blog as it works for me…


Posted by: jaseatthebar | January 11, 2013

A Toy Train in Space

A lovely idea and great video.

Posted by: jaseatthebar | October 31, 2012

Does competition lead to a reduction in quality?

I was thinking about the quality of many electrical and electronic goods. With increased competition comes the need to reduce margins and the term “good enough” is almost always used as the acceptance criteria. Add to this planned obsolescence and the ability to ‘fix it later’ with a firmware upgrade and all leads to products with short life cycles that will need disposing of.  Not very environmentally friendly. Still, to compensate just take a look at all those ‘green’ wind turbines. I do hope Miele are not forced down the “good enough” route.

Posted by: jaseatthebar | October 18, 2012

Instant price for prototype aluminium and acrylic panels

Thanks to Doug for this link to a panel manufactuer for prototype quantities. What makes this company special is the free design tool that provides an instant quote with cost breakdown. Want to know how much an additional hole or feature will cost? Find out instantly without phoning the supplier!

Posted by: jaseatthebar | June 13, 2012

Raspberry pi with wings

An interesting news article has lead me to discover Solderpad. There’s one or two things of interest on Solderpad, and a few things need to be done to improve the site, but it has potential. Certainly worth browsing occasionally.

Posted by: jaseatthebar | April 13, 2012

China’s Bournville

I was always impressed with stories of how great industrialists in the 18th and 19th century would build towns, amenities and create communities for theie employees to feed the need for labour. Having visited the Samsung campus in Korea on a number of occasions one appreciates that this idea continues, just not in the UK. It moves to where things are made, where a large workforce is needed. Another nice example is the 250,000 employees at Foxconn, Shenzen. If only this country had 250,000 unemployed 18-25 year olds who needed to work and the factories to accommodate them.


Posted by: jaseatthebar | January 30, 2012

More than Moore’s Law

An interesting post from Pilgrim Beart,

Posted by: jaseatthebar | January 23, 2012


Note to self: An interesting looking project. Maybe something worth considering for a STEM demo:


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