In The Lab With Jay Jay – November 30, 2023 – Teardown of Homemade Continuity Tester

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

Silly Job Title: Grounding Genius

Old Book: Industrial Electronics Reference Book by Electronics Engineers of the Westinghouse Electric Corporation published 1948 with 680 pages.

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Today we teardown a homemade continuity tester which I put together for use before I had a multimeter, so that was in the early days of my new lab, circa August 2021.

While I was preparing the links for this blog post I discovered that the plastic case I used for the continuity tester was the HB5610 Black Hand-held Electronic Enclosure from Jaycar. I purchased one of these for AU$9.95 back in August 2021, which was around the time that I made this continuity tester.

I subsequently purchased a ten pack of similar plastic cases from AliExpress for AU$64.55 (inc shipping) in March 2022. I went to find the AliExpress listing so I could link you to it, but it’s an old listing and has been taken down. I did search for an equivalent product but didn’t find what I was looking for. The dimensions are roughly 70mm x 135mm x 24mm and there is a facility for 2x AA batteries built in.

The multimeters I use/mention in this video are:

The multimeter I mention I want to get is this one: EEVblog 121GW Multimeter.

What I say in the video about active vs passive piezoelectric buzzers is correct. The active buzzer will do the buzzing for you, all you need to do is supply some power. The passive buzzer will need an input signal in addition to power, so some sort of oscillator if you want to generate a tone.

I knocked up a schematic for this continuity tester, something like this:

Continuity tester schematic

I’m gonna try getting some PCBs made for this circuit from PCBWay, because I’m still trying to learn everything I can about that process!

Here is a table of products I use which may appear in my video with affiliate links to vendors if you would like to buy. The link given here won’t necessarily have the best price so please do shop around to see if you can find a better deal. If you have thoughts or questions please feel free to let me know. Let’s go shopping!

Equipment Affiliate Link Notes

Rigol MSO5074 Mixed Signal Oscilloscope

OWON XDM1041 Bench Multimeter
Owon XDM1041/XDM1241 Digital Multimeter 55000 Counts High Accuracy Desktop Multimeters AC/DC Tester True RMS USB Multimeter notes

ANENG AN-999S Bench Multimeter
ANENG AN-999S Desktop Voice Multimeter Digital 19999 Counts Professional Bluetooth Tester True RMS AC/DC Voltmeter Current Tools notes

DigiTech QM1323 Multimeter
DigiTech QM1323 Multimeter – Grey/Yellow notes

DT830B Digital Multimeter
DT830B AC/DC LCD Digital Multimeter 750/1000V Voltmeter Ammeter Ohm Tester High Safety Handheld Meter Digital Multimeter notes

Brother P-Touch D210 Label Maker
Brother P-Touch D210 Handheld Label Maker TZe 3.5mm 6mm 9mm 12mm with Free Tape notes

‎OUSFANAM Capactior Discharge Pen
Portable Capacitor Discharge Pen Fast Discharging Tool Digital Sparkpen Discharger 1000V For Industrial Sparkpen Battery Capacitor Fast Discharge 1000V Repair Tool Discharger For Safety notes

ALKOY Capactior Discharge Pen
1000V Portable Capacitor Discharge Pen High Voltage Quick Discharging Tool Constant Discharge Pen Electronic Repairs Discharge Pen ALKOY notes

Kaisi Repair Mat
Kaisi Heat Insulation Silicone Repair Mat with Scale Ruler and Screw Position for Soldering Iron, Phone and Computer Repair Size:17.7 x 11.8 Inches notes

MMOBIEL Helping Hands
LED Light Helping Hand Magnifier Station for Soldering, Assembly, Repair,Modeling, Hobbies and Crafts – 2.5X /4X LED Light – Hands-Free Magnifying Glass Stand – Incl. Clamp and Alligator Clips notes

QWORK Helping Hands
QWORK Glass Stand notes

Legion Tools Mini Screwdriver Set
Precision Mini Screwdriver Set 11pc Jeweller Laptop Phone Watch Repair Tool notes

Sudake SDK07 test clips
10X Universal Chip clamp micro IC clamp SOP SOIC TSOP MSOP SSOP SMD IC Test Clip pin Socket Adpter Programmer for logic analyzer notes

Sudake SDK08 test clips
10pcs x Universal Chip IC clamp SOP SOIC TSOP MSOP SSOP SMD IC Test Clip Socket Adpter Programmer for logic analyzer notes

Victorinox Swiss Champ Red Swiss Army Knife

Scotch Titanium Scissors
3M Scotch Precision Ultra Edge Titanium 8″ Scissors Stay Sharp Smooth Cutting notes

ATmega fuse bytes

A quick search for arduino fuses programming turned up a bunch of results:

PCBWay: Educational 555 Board

I got an email from one of the marketing people from PCBWay who said they could offer me free PCB printing services in exchange for a review of their service on my blog. I am very happy to do that!

Today I signed up for an account over here:

The signup process was extremely painless: email address, password, terms of service, privacy policy, done.

(Note: I am not a lawyer, but I did read the ToS and privacy policy, and basically they claim the rights to your design files for various purposes and might transfer your data over an insecure network. I think these services are fine for hobbyists dealing with open hardware, but if you’re a commercial entity dealing with higher value intellectual property or larger volumes you might like to get legal advice before engaging.)

After logging in I got an email confirmation code emailed to me. I updated my account settings including my basic information and contact information so they know where to ship my PCBs. In exchange for my having filled out my full profile they gave me US$35 worth of vouchers with various terms (e.g. minimum spend).

I then used their shared project service to search for a 555 timer circuit that would meet my requirements. I found this one: Educational 555 Board.

I clicked “Add to cart” and accepted all the defaults (shown below) on my order for 5 PCBs. So far I am a happy customer! (Update: as part of our sponsorship deal PCBWay covered the shipping costs too! I was a bit worried they might ask me to cover the shipping, but they included it, which was super excellent, especially as the shipping was about five times as much as the boards themselves!)

I’m just getting started with PCB printing. I expect that in future I will do much more of it. I have been working my way through PCB design with KiCad – updated for KiCad 7 to learn how to design PCBs using KiCad. Apparently there is a PCBWay Plug-In for KiCad, so that might be something worth checking out.

When my PCBs from PCBWay arrive I will make a video of me putting together the 555 timer circuit and then using it to test my IC test probes. Stay tuned for that one!

In The Lab With Jay Jay – November 21, 2023 – Mail Call! Cheap Stuff From China!

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

Silly Job Title: Science Officer

Support this channel on Patreon:

Today we’re gonna take a look at what arrived recently from AliExpress. They were having a sale so I purchased some natty tools and a few consumables. Details below. I made some notes at the time of purchase if you’re interested in what I paid for this stuff.

In the video I refer to the workstation I am planning to buy for the studio. When I get this new computer I should be able to improve the quality of my YouTube videos. If you’re interested in the details the new computer I’m planning is ‘victory‘. In the video I say this new computer will cost me AUD$6,000, but it’s looking like it will cost more like AUD$7,500 (roughly USD$5,000), so I will have to save my pennies! The Dell OptiPlex computer that I am presently using is ‘wonder‘.

In the video I refer to “box openers”. If you know what these things are actually called, please do let me know!

The spider who popped up on my bench during the recording of this video was found later. He, um, didn’t make it…

Following are some links to where you can buy any of the equipment seen in this video. These are not affiliate links because AliExpress doesn’t support affiliate links for this merchandise. So you get these links for free and from the bottom of my heart. :)

Equipment Link

Digital meter
Digital Voltmeter Ammeter DC 100V 10A Amp Voltage Current Meter Tester 0.28 Inch Dual LED Display Panel with Connect Wires

Heat Shrink Wire Connectors
100pcs Heat Shrink Wire Connectors Red Heat Shrink AWG 22 To 18 Butt Electrical Connectors Tinned Solder Sealed Terminals

Heat Shrink Wire Connectors
300pcs Box Solder Sealed Wire Connectors Heat Shrink Solder Butt Connectors Solder Connector Kit Automotive Marine Insulation

JST XH2.54 Connector Kit
230 Pcs XH2.54 2p 3p 4p 5pin 2.54mm Pitch Terminal Male And Female Housing Kit Pin Connector Terminal Connector Kit

Car Audio Disassembly Tool Stainless Steel PryClip Rocker Crowbar Bar Door Panel Disassembly Pry Panel Interior

Drill extension
3PC Hexagonal Quick Release Self-locking Extension Rod Electric Drill Driver Quick Transfer Rod Screwdriver Extension Rod Tool

Telescopic magnet
1pc 8lb Orange Red Handle Magnetic Pickup Stainless Steel Antenna Retractable Suction Iron Rod Strong Magnetic Suction Rod Tools

Dismantling tools
22 In 1 Multifunctional Disassembly Tool Mobile Phone iPad Laptop Screwdriver Maintenance Kit Repair Tools Opening Set For Hand

Telescopic Magnetic Pickup w/ Light
Telescopic Pickup Magnetic Iron Rod Household Automotive Repair And Inspection Tool Strong Magnetic Metal Screw Suction Rod

Knife blades
100/50pcs Knife DIY Wood Carving Fruit Food Scalpel Craft Sculpture Cutting Tool Metal Engraving Blades Knifes Wood Carving Disc

Heat Shrink Wire Connectors
100pcs Waterproof Solder Seal Heat Connector Shrink Butt Connectors Lug Terminals Electrical Wire Car Insulated Terminal

JST XH2.54 Pre-crimped Connector Kit
2.54mm XH Connector Socket + Pre-crimped Cable Wire 2/3/4/5/6/7 Pin Housing JST Adapter Cable Male Female for JST-XH Connector

Multifunction Hooks
4Pcs 160mm Car Auto Vehicle Oil Seal Screwdrivers Set O Ring Gasket Puller Remover Pick Hooks Multifunction Tools

Stainless Steel Tray
1PC Stainless Steel Cosmetic Storage Tray Tattoo Equipment Tray Doctor Surgery Dental Tray Fake Nail Tray Tool

Spudger set
5PCs Car Audio Trim Removal Tool Kit Anti-Scratch Pry Applicable Car Door Panel and Audio Dashboard

IC Chip Pickup Tool
IC Chip Pickup Tools Pen Extractor Electronic Parts Gripper Electronic Repair Tools

JST XH2.54 6pin pre-crimped
2.54mm JST Connector with 22AWG Pre-Crimped Wire, 2/3/4/5/6 Pin Housing JST Adapter Cable Connector 20cm Wire

Metal spudgers
6PCS Metal Crowbar with Two Ends Universal Mobile Phone Digital Home Appliance Product Dismantling Stick Shell Opening Tool

New motherboard: ASUS ProArt B550-CREATOR

Ordered myself a new motherboard today, the ASUS ProArt B550-CREATOR. This new board will replace my ASUS PRIME B550M-A in my new/upgraded computer ‘lore‘ (which is replacing ‘longing‘).

This new board has 2x M.2 PCIe 4.0 (as with the old motherboard), 2x 2.5Gbps Ethernet (compared to 1x 1Gbps Ethernet in my old motherboard), and 3x PCIe 16x slots (compared to 1x PCIe 16x slot in my old motherboard).

I will put in 2x M.2 PCIe 4x adapters and 2x M.2 PCIe 1x adapters which will mean I am able to install 6x M.2 drives: 2x Kioxia 256GB, 2x Samsung 990 Pro 2TB, and 2x PNY 1TB.

I will also put in a quad 2.5Gbps PCIe Ethernet adapter which will give me six 2.5Gbps Ethernet ports in total (two onboard and four on PCIe 16x).

When I’m done all four RAM slots will be full (4x Corsair Vengeance 32GB 3200MHz DDR4), both the M.2 slots will be full, all three of the PCIe 16x slots will be full, all four SATA ports will be full (3x Western Digital WD Ultrastar DC HC550 16TB and 1x ASUS BW-16D1HT PRO 16X Blu-ray burner), and both PCIe 1x slots will be full too. Also there will be a bunch of high speed USB ports available on both the front and the back of the case. I feel like I have really squeezed a lot of juice out of this system, it’s operating very close to capacity.

I’m kinda dreading plugging in the USB attachments to the front panel, but I guess if I RTFM and apply some thought I will be able to figure that out.