Making a soldering station Extractor fan from an old PC case fan

Created on: 29-12-2020  By Gee
Finished Extractor fan Finished Extractor fan
Smoke and fumes
Every time I solder something, I end up getting annoyed with the fumes. It comes up towards my face and I am forever blowing it out the way in an attempt to not breathe it in. For quite some time now I've been wanting to modify an old 80mm case fan to take care of this problem for me. I ordered some Carbon filters for solder fume extractors (opens in a new Window) and they had been lying on desks and getting moved around whenever they got in the way. Never actually getting used for the purpose they were intended for.
Finally building something
Whilst... Read More!

Associated files

  1.   80mm-extraction-fan.STL

Connecting a 3.5" floppy drive to an Amstrad 464 without modifying the drive or DDI-1

Created on: 16-12-2020  By Gee
Original schematics that I drew up. pin 27 on the DDI is now going to pin 10 on the drive side, not pin 8. Starting to solder my board Pin headers on with power in to the board and out to the floppy drive and the DDI interface
Quite some time ago I bought a DDI-1 interface to use with my amstrad 464's. Just the interface with the ribbon cable, no FD-1 floppy drive. Why did I buy that by itself? well I wanted to clone it and/or make it work with a regular 3.5" PC floppy drive. So far, I have it partially working! But it took until I eventually bought an FD-1 to make sure the DDI-1 interface was in fact working.

The birds nest of wires
So you should be able to see from the pictures above that this device has been made entirely on a prototype board. The wires look like they're going everywhere and connected to everything. Hopefully they aren't!
I started making this board by noting down the pinout on the regular PC floppy drive ... Read More!

Schneider (Amstrad) CPC 664 surprise

Created on: 11-09-2020  By Gee
The underside of the keyboard with the million screws New keyboard membranes So dirty inside!
As a collector of Amstrad machines, the holy grail to me is the Amstrad CPC 664. Only manufactured for a limited amount of time between the CPC 464 and the 6128 (although their productions never stopped either), they are getting rarer and rarer. However, now and again they pop up on eBay and the likes so I keep my eyes open. I never though I'd ever actually get one to add to my collection.
Lets go back in time a couple of weeks when I'm doing my usual search on eBay of all things Amstrad and Schneider. Up crops a Schneider CPC 664 with some branding on it that shows it as the state property of a German speaking country. Naturally I'm intrigued as I always wanted a Schneider to add to the collection, so this would tick two boxes with ... Read More!

Yet more Amstrads added to the collection - ALT-386sx and PCW8256

Created on: 29-07-2020  By Gee
a lot of wires going from the floppy connector to the gotek to get the correct signals. CMOS battery leaking inside the 386 damaged traces under where the CMOS battery was
If you haven't guessed already, I like my Amstrad computers. Purely because of nostalgia and curiosity.
Recently whilst scouring eBay for all things Amstrad, I came across an Amstrad ALT-386sx laptop and thought it would be a great addition to my collection as it was both and Amstrad, and a 386 DOS machine. When I had bought that I called the gent to arrange collection and he then asked if I was interested in an Amstrad PCW8256 that he had lying around. Sadly, it had no keyboard or system disks. He told me he'd look for the keyboard, but when I arrived he told me he wasn't successful sadly.
The first issue with the 386 machine was getting it to recognise the hard drive. The BIOS setti... Read More!

First delves into Assembly

Created on: 04-07-2020  By Gee
The two course books on amstrad CPC assembly language. Amstrad assembly language couse by Tim Herbertson The complete machine code tutor by Malcolm Evans
A good while ago I wrote my first BASIC program for the Amstrad CPC series. It's the first I wrote since I was a child copying from the CPC 6128 manual anyway. Back then I was too young to even know I was coding never mind know that the language was BASIC. After writing that and trying to condense the code down a bit, which I managed partially (It could still be better), I decided that I would try remake it in assembly language.
Why assembly? no real reason other than to learn another coding language. Also, if I can learn assembly then I should then be able to make more complex programs and possibly even games in the future. I thin... Read More!

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