Planning to succeed

I was sitting here in my lab this morning and reflecting on all the things I want to do in it. The thing about getting things done is they don’t get done unless you actually take the time to do them. A book will happily sit unopened on your bookshelf for your entire life if you don’t take the time at some point to pick it up and read it.

In this light I thought perhaps I might stand more of a chance of actually completing some of my projects if I put some structure around getting them done. To that end I have one specific activity to do for each day of the week:

  • circuit day (make a Maxitronix circuit or similar)
  • programming day (write some code, pick a project, there are lots)
  • old book day (review and document an old book)
  • Xbox day (recap an Xbox, or work on an otherwise broken one)
  • writing day (write something, e.g. work on my book, a long form blog post, etc)
  • new book day (read and document a new book)
  • holiday! (watch a movie! play a game!)

On circuit day and Xbox day I will make a video of the activity and publish on In The Lab With Jay Jay. The outputs from the other activities are not video but a lot of that will end up on the web somewhere too.

The sub-pattern is:

  • Video
  • Writing
  • Reading

I repeat that twice in one week and then give myself a day off.

Traditionally I’m very bad when it comes to having structure in my life, so I can only hope that this attempt to introduce some structure actually works out… wish me luck!

In The Lab With Jay Jay – August 29, 2023 – OGXbox Recapping, Thermal Paste and Pro’sKit SS-331 Demo

This post is part of my video blog: In The Lab With Jay Jay.

In this video I recap an old OGXbox. I also redo the thermal paste. I use my Pro’sKit SS-331 desoldering pump in anger for the first time. I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out my new tools. In the end the Xbox is still broken!

I sold this Xbox on eBay but it was returned to me during the warranty period (one month) as it was faulty.

In this video I mention a trick you can do in your browser when you’re watching videos on YouTube. Ordinarily the YouTube user interface only allows you to set playback speed to 2x, but if you want to set it at 3x or higher you can do so by pressing F12 to bring up developer tools, then open the Console, and enter this code:

document.querySelector("video").playbackRate = 3.0;

Change the number to change the playback speed.

In this video I mention that it was in a video from Bruce from Branchus Creations that I got the recommendation to try a beveled soldering iron tip. Having given it a bit of a go and not really having great luck with it I am going back to a small chisel bit instead.

I comment in the video about how you don’t need to replace the clock capacitor on a v1.6 board, but Harcroft on the original-xbox Discord forum reminded me that sometimes you do need to replace this capacitor.

The capacitors I use for this recapping are Chong 6.3V 3300μF Low ESR caps. Of course the board didn’t work after recapping so it’s possible these are dodgy caps.

I’m pretty sure I did damage the tip on my desoldering pump by putting the temperature all the way up to 480°C. Maybe don’t do that yourself. I believe anything over 380°C can damage iron tips (basically they melt!).

TOWOT Industrial Tweezers

I purchased some high-precision tweezers which arrived today. I got these ones: TOWOT Industrial Tweezers (SA11-15) from Amazon for AUD$58.95. Haven’t used them in anger yet but they look pretty good. I got these because I tried working with my cheapo tweezers which I already had, and they weren’t up to the job. So hopefully I have better luck with these ones.


This is a part of the homework feature of my blog, which is an ongoing conversation with my mate S.F.

I said I found a microscope cheaper on AliExpress than on Amazon, but actually I was wrong about that. In fact I found it cheaper on eBay ($333.29) than Amazon ($733.42). Nevertheless, my point stands. It pays to shop around!

I mentioned my video jj5 feels hardcore!. Let me know if that doesn’t play for you, I think I have the original kicking around somewhere… If this video doesn’t make you happy, nothing will… :)

You told me about Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends.

The I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-satire lawyer/jailer thing I mentioned is documented here: Um, America?

The academic accident I referred to was in The Hardware Lottery by Sara Hooker published in August 2020. In the essay the author says “risk adverse”. Of course the idiomatic expression she is aiming at is “risk averse” and she just got it horribly wrong. Not once, but twice. As I said, for a professional academic ignorance at this scale is… unbecoming.

My comment about academic whinging was: “There’s nothing more sleep inducing than a pompous academic having a whinge.” (If I could refer you to section three of the policy document, subsection five, article three A, there is a discrepancy regarding some thing I do not give a shit about…)

I mentioned How It Works (girls suck at math!)

The full quote is: “‘Why?’ is a stupid boring question to which all honest answers are a deception of the mind.” — John Elliot V

I mentioned Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin. I will bring you your copy next time I see you. :) In the mean time you might enjoy: Rick Rubin: Legendary Music Producer | Lex Fridman Podcast #275.

Don’t forget to send me the name of the Sony headphones you recommend.

The LCD Soundsystem you mentioned was You Wanted A Hit. Classic.

Let’s not forget: It doesn’t have to be a bad thing!

Also, let’s not forget: everything you do is indelibly wrought in space and time. (No pressure.)

Also: hope is not a strategy. (Although some do not agree)

What is the difference between hope and faith?


  • To wish for a particular event that one considers possible.
  • To have confidence; trust.
  • To desire and consider possible: synonym: expect.


  • The assent of the mind to the truth of a proposition or statement for which there is not complete evidence; belief in general.
  • Specifically Firm belief based upon confidence in the authority and veracity of another, rather than upon one’s own knowledge, reason, or judgment; earnest and trustful confidence: as, to have faith in the testimony of a witness; to have faith in a friend.
  • In a more restricted sense: In theology, spiritual perception of the invisible objects of religious veneration; a belief founded on such spiritual perception.

Serendipity and The Three Princes of Serendip.

I have a note about “deesterous”, but I have no idea what that means. What were we talking about? I think I wrote it down phonentically, but the search engine is telling me “dexterous”, but that is not it.

Also we were talking about “flapping around in affluence”. What was that all about? Lost to time?

We discussed the Spectacle. More reading may be required, particularly of Jean Baudrillard.

The string theory guy is Michio Kaku. I’m worried he might be a crank. Or maybe he is brilliant. Who could say. I watched a video of him recently: Michio Kaku | Quantum Supremacy | Talks at Google.

AI and the paperclip problem is described here. The problem is if you design an AI to make paperclips it might destroy civilization. Because, to begin with, it might sense that humans might try to turn it off, which would impede its ability to create paperclips, so it wipes out humanity and uses the atoms of our bodies to make paperclips… I mean, it is *very good* at making paperclips.

We mentioned Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star. Classic. On the web here.

The Chillout Sessions began back in 2001. They don’t make ’em like they used to.

The concept of enshittification is explained by Cory Doctorow in Tiktok’s enshittification.

I mentioned about Musk feigning thought in an interview I watched recently. Check this out. He totally pretends to think deeply about the question! It’s awful to watch, like bad acting!

I mentioned the video game Descent. I remember playing it back in the nineties, it was so cool! I think there is Descent, Descent II, and Decent 3. Apparently I can get them all on Steam. Gonna try that. Want to get myself a good joystick to go with them, maybe this Logitech G 4021846 H.O.T.A.S. RGB Throttle and Stick Controller X56.

You asked what brings me joy, it is this:

Love you brother. Can’t wait to see you again soon. <3

Op amp tester

I was watching How To TEST OP AMPS Using A Multimeter vs Op-Amp Tester Project Single Dual and I learned about this Operational Amplifier OP AMP Tester For Single Dual OPAMP TL071 TL072 TL081 TL082 Single/Dual Op Amp Test Board.

I have to cool it on the spending for a little while, but I’ve made a note of this on my shopping list.

Thermal imager FTW

I was just poking about with my new thermal imagers and I found one of my power bricks was warm, while the one next to it, on the right, was not. Turned out the one on the right wasn’t plugged in properly! It was supposed to be powering a USB hub, but the hub was bus powered, not mains powered, and I couldn’t tell. I mean, all of the lights were on, and the power brick was plugged in, so I hadn’t suspected anything. If I hadn’t made this discovery with my thermal camera I would probably never have learned that my USB hub was unpowered. I could very well have run into problems with devices plugged into it being under powered, and I would never have known why.

In The Lab With Jay Jay – August 24, 2023 – Unboxing of UNI-T UTi260B Thermal Imager with Macro Lens

This post is part of my video blog: In The Lab With Jay Jay.

In this video I unbox my new UNI-T UTi260B thermal imager with macro lens and compare it with my Noyafa NF-521 thermal imager.

I made a few mistakes with the production of this video, sorry about that. I made a mess of the side branding, I will have that fixed in future. And I managed to get my toes on camera. The height of professionalism!

In this video I refer to my lab equipment documentation. Particularly I mention the Jackcat Mini Cutter electric scissors.

Note: in the video I’m not sure what “ROI” means, but it turns out it means “region of interest”. The region of interest is a box in the middle of the display, and some settings apply to this area.