Our DVD player stopped playing DVD's so I decided to open it up and see what I could see.
With the top off I turned it on and put a DVD in. The problem was that the motor for spinning the disc itself was not working and since the disc was not spinning the laser could not read the data. I took the tray out of the box and looked at the motor. It seemed fine, so I put it back in and tried again. When the CD was suppose to start spinning I just gave a spin with my hand and amazingly this seemed to get it going. I guess the motor was stuck somehow. Once I got it started I was able to remove and insert a DVD many times and it continued to function correctly.
Since I got the DVD part working I thought I'd take a look at the source of a vibrating noise which I thought was this rather large heatsink. Strangely the heatstink seemed to be wired up to receive power from the board below it as seen in the picture below. Once I got the heatsink off I reazlied that it had no fan or anything attached to it as I thought there might be. I really wonder why it needs power. Turns out the vibration was coming from the exahust fan. I removed it and rotated it 90 degrees and that seemed to fix it. It may have just needed to be tightened down.
I also recently ordered some cheap LCD screens. I was amazed to find this rather decent sized monochrome LCD display for only $4.50 on All Electronics. I haven't had time to hook it up yet. Hopefully I'll get it working soon.
A couple weeks ago Isaac dropped one of our cordless phones into his pool while playing outside. Liz quickly took the phone out, removed the battery, and set it on a towel to dry out for a while. When I came home that day I decided to try and open the phone up. This was actually not that hard and once opened we let it dry out for a little longer since it was still wet inside. Unfourtunately in the process of opening the phone I broke one of the wires that connected the external speaker to the main board of the phone. The phone would still work without the external speaker as this speaker is just used to make the ringing sound and if you want to put someone you are talking to on speaker phone. Initially we just put it back together and the phone worked fine, however a couple days ago I decided to go ahead and try to fix it.
When I opened it back up I broke the other wire which connected to the speaker. The wire was really thin and just a few bends back and forth made it snap. I got my soldering iron heated up and removed the old wire from the end that was still connected. I had plenty of extra wire so I went ahead and soldered in two new wires and after everything was put back together it seemed to work fine. We have been using it for at least a week now and it works great.
So a couple weekends ago I finally got around to trying out the soldering iron that I was borrowing from Levi at work. He let me borrow his Radio Shack Mini Butane Gas-Powered Iron. It was okay, but I decided to just get one that you plug in to the wall so that I don't have to deal with refilling it. Also the gas powered soldering iron seemed to have a lot of heat coming out of the sides which caused it to start to burn the board I was working on.
So anyways, I put together the little "power supply" that I had previously taking up one side of my bread board. The design I got from the Beginning Embedded Electronics tutorial on SparkFun. My ultimate goal has been to hook up the ATMega168 chip that I have to some kind of output device (such as the 20 character x 4 line LCD character display I bought) and then add in some kind of input also eventaully to make an interactive device of some kind.
After I got my power supply working the next thing I soldered was a bunch of wires into the actual LCD display so that I could connect it to the microprocessor on the bread board. Next step program the chip to control the LCD.