Monday, January 06, 2014

Steptoes Parlour

I was going to do a nice silly post this morning to get you on your way to a new working week when I got a little distracted by this. It's a windup torch, I don't mean it messes you around but rather that it takes its power from a neat bit of gear ratio manipulation which you crank by hand. I'm not in the habit of carrying this around I may hasten to add, I don't lurk in bushes dimly lit by a spooky light waiting passers by, no, I gave that up last year, instead the torch is used to help with small spot lighting on my Impossimal models.

Only it's broke. Zip, kaput, no amount of winding will coax it into life so there is only one thing for it, time to experiment.

For an object that is supposed to be Eco friendly and saves oodles on batteries the last thing I expected to find inside though was a irreplaceable battery.

As you can see, as I opened it up the battery is encased in a yellow shell, normally you would be able to in most items simply remove this battery and replace it. I assumed the battery had reached the end of its recharge life (the handle on the battery turns a set of gears and ultimately a small motor that generates a current to charge the battery) so it should have been a simple matter but oh no, in their infinite wisdom the battery had been affixed both sides to the metal casing and no amount of force would release it.

So I did the next best thing, I gave up.

No I didn't, I jest, what I did was to take it to bits completely and see what I could salvage and build from its shell.

Well, I didn't do too badly out of it. I managed to remove the three bright LED's that are attached to their own separate switch system and got them powered up again using a different battery, all well and good. The small motor was removed and hooked up to a separate battery to give me a nice motorised system to power various movements on one of my new models. A change in voltage allowed me to vary the speed which was neat and I'm sure a bit of work with the plastic cogs will generate a few interesting results too.

I added my new stock to the growing pile of spares, one of which you can see here, a cooling fan from a PC, this again is battery operated and will be used to blow smoke and dry ice across an Impossimal set later this year. I'm excited about doing that, I love chemistry, electronics and technology, getting a chance to use all three in one model ticks all the boxes for me.

So Monday starts with me in a whimsical technical mind which will whir away whilst I paint my latest Impossimal painting. Some of you may have seen that I am bringing George back albeit with a new fuzzy fur look on Facebook or Twitter but I have plenty of other surprises lined up throughout the year including a few old favourites.

The blog will be back to its irrelevant self tomorrow with the complete guide to repairing your television on a budget and Your Stars For 2014 with Psychotic Brussel Rant but for now if it's your first full week back, good luck!


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