I really liked the Nuts & Volts Magazine project “Garage Parking Assistant” in January 2010, but I don’t ‘do’ Basic Stamp – no reason really, just not my favored platform and N&V seems to base a lot of projects on that platform.
So, I translated it to Arduino and replaced the Basic Stamp with a minimalist Arduino (Atmega 168, a clock resonator, a couple of resistors and capacitors, and an LM7805 voltage regulator). From there, code translation (BASIC to “C++”) was easy. I’ve written up a project listing and I make no originality claims and I’ve only provided a code translation.
I was repairing one of the two Astron RS-50A power supplies I picked up recently and when I swapped the tips to get more heat out to the massive transformer center-tap… nothing. No clicking. The neon light was on, but no heat was home. It was a terrible discovery.
I’d had that old iron since Mostek. I think I bought it at some employee discount. Lots of projects from the old days and from recently were completed with that good ol’ tool.
So, my choices were to buy a replacement soldering pencil from Fry’s for $69.99, or just get a new one; the WES51 is not much more and is ESD and has a variable heat control. So I sprung for the new iron. But now: what to do – part out my old friend? Can’t let that 2A transformer go to waste. But I can’t hack apart an old friend. Aw, heck, went right back to Fry’s and snagged a TC-201A pencil to go with it. Now it’s the garage soldering iron. I think we have soldering covered here at the house.