MavEtJu's Distorted View of the World - Electronics

Nintendo Wii hardware problems
Hypnocube needs maintenance
Hypnocube is finished!

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Nintendo Wii hardware problems

Posted on 2009-10-07 12:30:00
Tags: Happiness, My Computers, Electronics

Last weekend Hanorah managed to break the Nintendo Wii: Forcing a second DVD into the chassis kind of ruined it for everybody. On its own this isn't a big issue, but considering that this month everybody in the family got addicted to Super Mario Galaxy, the tensions in the house rose faster than a couple of neighbouring countries with old wounds and money to spend on armies.

As usual, fixing this thingie seemed impossible. This guide on how to disassemble your Nintendo Wii talked about a tri-wing screwdriver (which I didn't have (but found in a shop in Bankstown)) and a normal small screwdriver.

Thanks to the above mentioned guide, I knew which screws to unscrew. Three minutes later I had found the problem (some metal bars of the disk lifting mechanics were bended) and rectified the problem. The disk spinned again!

I had removed a total of 20 screws, in six different shapes and sizes. In the good engineering tradition I managed to put the Nintendo Wii back in into its original shape leaving seven screws on my desk which didn't properly fit in any of the holes currently still unoccupied. And this metal cover also didn't make it back into the box... Nintendo, please reduce the amount of different screws because this is just bad design.

Anyway, I'm off to collect Star Bits and Stars and Grand Stars, because Bowser still has Princes Peach in his captivity!

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Hypnocube needs maintenance

Posted on 2007-12-11 09:00:00
Tags: Electronics, Hypnocube

Something was wrong with the Hypnocube I build earlier, but I couldn't put my fingers on it: Sometimes areas of one colour had some strange shades over them, sometimes too many LEDs seem to be on etc.

The smart people who designed the Hypnocube did put a test pattern as the first fifteen seconds of animations, which can be used for checking when you build it (LIGHT! LIGHT! IT LIGHTS UP!) or when you suspect issues (all red... all green... all blue... wait, one blue missing. And then 64 LEDs showing individually... wait, why are there more on when this row is being shown?).

The symptons were: one LED didn't show the blue colour, and when that square of LEDs was tested, there were strange artifacts (for a better word) in the other squares.

Getting the one LED removed was kind of playing Doctor Bibber (or like the game is known in the English world with the very imaginatative name: Operation) but this time not with a set of tweezers, but with a hot iron which could do more damage to my favourite toy than a drunk chirurg with a blunt scalpel could do. Getting the new LED in was even worse, this time I had to hold the hot legs of the LED to get it stable and cooled down.

But at the end, everything got back in and the self-tests went fine. And my animations are smooth again!

When I talked to the people who made the Hypnocube about the broken LED, they replied with:

Sorry you had problems.
Sorry?!? It's half of the fun of self build kits! Try fixing a toy you get from one of these "Made in China" cheapie shops here in Australia and then you will know what "feeling sorry" means.

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Hypnocube is finished!

Posted on 2007-12-02 09:00:00
Tags: Happiness, Electronics, Hypnocube

About a month ago I ordered a kit of the Hypnocube (Things that go blink in the night). Having not touched a soldering iron in say eight years, AU$ 200.- was quite a big amount of money to spend on it, but it was worth it. A nice piece of electronics is now sitting next to the TV.

The score so far:

Little Dirk has managed to watch the test pattern (which shows up when you power it up) about ten times in five minutes, after which I moved it out of his range.

Quotes from family and friends:

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