Sunday, September 25, 2016

Teardown: Sharp Air Purifier FU-Z31

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Air purifier has become an essential appliance in every home and especially during the hazy season, it sells like a hot cake. I bought this back in 4 years ago when the haze problem became intolerable in Malaysia. This is a basic air filter with HEPA filtration with Plasmacluster Ion feature from Sharp. I took this opportunity to tear it down when it requires thorough cleaning since the day I bought it. Let's get our curious mind going and look what's inside.

This is what inside the air purifier looks like. Simple isn't it?

Up closed at the motor and ionizer unit

Basically there are 3 sections on the controller board.
Left section - Front panel controller circuit. Middle section - AC switching circuit, Right section - Power supply circuit

Rear view of the controller board and where the brain is located

To know more about and which one suits you, visit air purifier guide

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Makerspace in Penang Heritage Building Opens

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Come all Penang "lang" (people in Hokkien dialect) to our new makerspace at Wisma Yeap Chor Ee, opposite the ferry terminal at Georgetown. Penang Science Cluster now opens a new center that equipped with cafeteria, training rooms, makers exhibition area and makerspace in the heart of Georgetown. Just officially launched on the 5th Dec 2015 by our Chief Minister of Penang Lim Guan Eng. We have yet to announced the membership process for public to use the makerspace but do come and check it out first. 

Here are some of the facilities available at the makerspace and more to come soon...
-Laser cutting machine
-T-Shirt & badge printing
-3D printing
-Woodworking machine & tools
-Metalworking machine & tools
-MMA/TIG/MIG welding machine
-PCB making tools (coming soon)
-Soldering equipments
-Bench multimeter, power supply, scope, etc
-Electronic kits & modules (Intel, NI, Arduino, Cytron..etc)
-Personal workspace
-Sewing machine (coming soon)
-CNC milling machine (coming soon)
and more to come... 

Personal electronic workbench equipped with instruments
Electronic measurement instruments from Keysight Technologies

Monday, November 30, 2015

Learn to Solder - Maker Fest 2015

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The makers were here again in Penang at sPICE arena on 14-15th Nov 2015 for the Penang Maker Fest after we had the Penang Mini Maker Faire last year.  More stuffs, more things, more excitement and more crowds. How can I run away from organizing the Learn to Solder workshop after we had good response last year. However this year, I made it simpler while making it more fun and exciting for everyone to solder. Luckily this year I had more volunteers also to help me out in coaching the enthusiastic visitors to solder. The volunteers were great and tirelessly helping from 10am to 7pm on both days until we ran out of boards. Thanks to Motorola Solutions Penang and Penang Science Cluster for sponsoring the parts and PCB. I will let the picture below speaks to you.

Learn to Solder Workshop commence on the first day
One of the volunteer trying to pin the blinky LED on our
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng

Friday, January 30, 2015

Teardown: Malaysia SmartTAG

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The "Touch 'n Go" card was first introduced in Malaysia in 1997 is an electronic payment system using Philips MIFARE system. The card is not only used in toll payment but also widely used in parking and public transportation system. Soon enough an on board vehicle device toll collection SmartTAG - acronym in Malay Sistem Membayar Automatik Rangkaian Tol  or "Toll Network Automatic Payment System" was introduced to complement with Touch 'n Go card. SmartTAG was designed, developed and manufactured by Teras Teknologi Sdn Bhd, a local company and with the intellectual property rights by an Austrian company known as EFKON Gmbh. The main function of the SmartTag is to relay data between the card and toll system using infrared technology. 

Taking the SmartTAG device apart is pretty straightforward. Just removing the battery cap and one Philip screw head will separate the casing. Basically there are three main electronics parts: main board, pick-up coil and the liquid crystal display. In order to to have a better view of the main board, I will need to desolder the 6-pin header connector from the pick-up coil board.

Top casing removed reveals the mainboard. This side consist of the main controller and Infrared LEDs

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Certificate of Appreciation as PMMF14 Committee

Certificate of appreciation from Penang Science Cluster as part of the organizing committee for Penang Mini Maker Faire 2014 (conjunction with Penang International Science Fair). First certificate received with Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng signature. Looking forward for 2015!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

My 8x8x8 LED Cube at PMMF14

I spent almost 40 hours to build this. This project test my patience and soldering skill. If you want to build one yourself, follow this site that has a detailed step-by-step instructions with source code. I also purchased an 8x8x8 LED cube kit from eBay which I haven't construct yet. Will post it up once is done. 

I showed this during the Penang Mini Maker Faire 2014 together with my friend's LED Message Board and 3D Cube booth. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

"Learn to Solder" at Penang Mini Maker Faire 2014

Preparing and ready for tomorrow
The first in Malaysia, Penang Mini Maker Faire 2014 is over two weeks ago. The feelings from the fair are still fresh as if it all just happened yesterday. All the preparation and efforts made it a rewarding and unforgettable experience.

For my first Maker Faire I decided to throw in "Learn to Solder" workshop during the two days exhibition. Prior to the event, I had a little expectation from the visitors to participate in this workshop. The initial responses from my colleagues when I told them that I was going to do this were.. "Are you sure?", "I wouldn't want my kids to go near these things" and "Don't expect the response is good". At first I was skeptical about it too. Nevertheless, I wanted to prove them wrong. 

To my surprise when we started at 9.30AM on the first day, people came streaming in non stop until we closed at 6.00PM. There wasn't a moment a soldering station was left empty. Luckily I have friends to assist me in the workshop, they were Hasrol, Derrick Teoh, Bernard Arokiasamy and YT Lee. We didn't have time for proper meals and our energy drained drastically in matter of hours. However, we splurged our energy to help the enthusiastic crowd. We were tired but exhilarated.

The sad part is when we ran out of the boards and components by noon on the second day. People who came later were disappointed especially the kids. We didn't expect the response to be so good. The first day has already used up two thirds of the total boards. So, we ended early and had some time to visit the other makers and exhibition booths. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

PISF 2014 and First Penang Mini Maker Faire is here!

This is first time in Malaysia and now is in Penang.
The Penang Mini Maker Faire. 

Calling all makers. Come and show off what you're making. I will be there to show some interesting 3D LED cubes and to conduct soldering workshop. Be there or be square.

Build: Vintage Sign Board with Running Lights - Part 3

Hi! Welcome back and staying with me for part 3 of my project - The Wiring & Electronics for the vintage sign board project. I know it has been 6 weeks since from the last update on my blog. I was busy to welcome a new member into my family. I'm now a dad to my beautiful daughter. It was a joyful and happiest moment in my life.

Okay, back to my project. If you were wandering what was I trying to build with the ATTiny13 microcontroller which I posted on my blog on 15-June-14, here is the answer. To build a simple running lights using Arduino on ATTiny13 chip. Basically I needed 2 inputs and 2 outputs for the switches and a pair of lights. With the UNO or the MINI would probably under utilize and also not cost efficient. So, I decided to use the ATTiny13 which I had a few lying around on my table. I managed to get the tips from the open-source community on how to program the ATTiny13 with Arduino core easily. Refer to the link for more information.

The circuit consists of  a +5V regulated power supply for the entire board, the main controller and lastly the high voltage AC circuit to drive the incandescent bulbs. The optoisolator MOC3023 purpose is to drive the triac and isolate between the high voltage and low voltage circuit. I picked the BTA12-600 triac for this project to drive nine 230V AC bulbs at each time. The connection MT1 and MT2 should be correctly connected to Neutral  and Live wire in order to work correctly. I had some problem earlier due to wrongly connected. Please be reminded that this part of the project involved high voltage electricity and can be fatal. If you're not sure, please consult a professional or don't do this project. Below is the schematic diagram.