Introduction to myself and my workshop

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Hellmut1956

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Dear friends. Allow me to start warning you that same as I love to read threads were things are explained in detail, my own style is very lengthy. As I have serious trouble with my health, reports I do write in threads also have the purpose to bring me up to speed when I have interrupted my activities around any certain topics.

I have been since early in my life a fan of science fiction and so my goal was to study space and aeronautical engineering in Germany. I only pursued this study for 4 semesters, as pretty soon I realized that the main difference between designing and building a rocket to a washing machine was that the manufacturing tolerances were tighter with rockets and also the material used more expensive. So I did find myself at the university between students that have passed their live as kids working on their cars and motorcycles. Luckily I found a job while studying with a german steel company building container handling equipment and i got the charter to translate all their documentation to spanish and work as a translator when the company head to do with spanish speaking people. In that time, as laziness has always the engine driving my creative thinking I did develop a system to support the translation process. The supplier failed and so I had to get into the electronics subjects related to that project to educate my lawyer so that I could win the process. This way I fall in love with electronics in general and with graphic processors and controller. The outcome was that National Semiconductors in Germany hired me as a "Field Application Engineer" in short "FAE" and this was the beginning of a decade long career in the Semiconductor and Telecommunication industry. Her a picture of the first evaluation kit National created to support their DP8500 product family. One of the key marketing managers, I have kept a friendship with him until still today due to our common love for flying single engine motor planes:

This board had a "ENGR-SAMPLE" of the DP8500 so i do have a special affinity with it. This was in 1986, when national with its DP8500 and TI with its 34010 were the first 2 companies to offer processor based graphic engines opposed to the mainstream still using graphic controllers like the then famous NEC7220.

When the Internet bubble burst in 2000/2001 I lost my job as a Business Development Director at Lucent, a spin-off from ATT and then one of the largest suppliers of equipments and services for telecommunication providers. After realizing that I would never again find a job to be hired for, in Germany the age of 45 was impediment, i did reactivate my old hobby from y days as a kid, building models. As I had to care about spending as little as possible money for my hobby I decided to switch from airplanes to naval models and there to sailboats. So I did purchase a plan of a long keel body sailboat and started to build it. After some time I started to focus my efforts towards developing my own solutions for electronics in the sailboat.

Over many years i did start to work on building myself a workshop and get order into the many things I did have in inventory. Luck of enough financial resources I had to switch from buying a part I knew I already had to get order into the stuff that had accumulated over decades.

Here a few photos to entertain you and to make the reading of this thread easier. Here a view of the body of my sailboat. Working with wood is a very sensual work as wood feels nice and moving your hands over the surface of the body shown here is pleasant.

As one of the purposes in working on this model was learning about the technologies I was encountering in this process, first wood as shown in the previous image, then plastics while working with fiberglass and epoxy to working with aluminium which I did use to build a deck completely detachable from the wooden body of the sailboat and brass. I will not go into the countless issues that fascinated me as this is outside the scope of the community.

While talking to a fellow aficionado about using our own electronics and to digitize the PWM signal coming out of the R/C receiver we succeeded to have the 8 PWMs coming out of the 8 channels of our R/C receiver to be digitized and displayed on a screen like the one shown in the above picture. We were surprised about how easy this was to be accomplished and what endless opportunities this offered for naval modelers to implement proprietary functionalities in their models. My friend did develop and publish a course that taught naval modelers how to read a schematic and implement it of something he called "Experimental Board" that consisted of short and simple steps which resulted in the feeling of accomplishment by those building it. Naval modelers are intimidated when it is about electronics. Along with it the students were given small programs to verify the implementation after each step of building the hardware. The compiler we used and recommended was "BASCOM". A basic compiler with an extensive library that made instructions available to implement what we called the "building blocks" which recombined would enable the naval modeler to realise most of the functionality he might be interested to do. Kind of a "Lego system".

In those days neither Arduino nor Raspberry Pis did exist and our process used AVR controllers from Avnet, mainly the mega8. In our experimental board we had the students to implement the circuitry connecting the devices using colored cable to be ironed. This procedure was intentional as it forced the student to learn to read the simple schematic and connect the pins using colored wires on the rear side of the board. While this also teaches about how to debug a circuit, remember each individual step was just a small addition to the circuitry, so while it teaches how to debug, how to do the implementation methodological so that errors could be found easily and learn what was the reason for those errors! using a pre-build board that just has to be populated does not offer this learning opportunity and promotes to see electronics as a black box.

So while for the experimental board ironing of wires was the way to proceed, for my own electronics i wanted to be able to make my own boards. So using a facial UV device used to get brown skin, just 20 USDs at ebay I build a device to have the image of the circuit surface printed with my canon Inkjet printer using overhead transparency foils I could pass the image to a photo sensitive surface of a raw board. In this picture you see the device I bould with a foil having the images of a bunch of boards to take SMD LEDs!

As I will be using a great number of this LEDs in my model i had to build a device which would enable me to build identical boards and to be able to build more of such boards in the future. The requirement to place the holes at their exact defined locations prove to overstress the equipment I used until then. So I decided to my a mill shown on this picture:

This peace of equipment came at a time when the additional possibilities it offered allowed me to get even more ambitious.

Now I decided to update my workbench to be able to take a huge number of sortiment boxes so that I could start to place the endless number of devices I had laying around!

So the next mayor piece of equipment I did purchase was a lathe:

So by now I was able to take a picture as to how my sailboat would look like when finished:

Vaving pursued diverse approaches I did decide to use a stepper motor to implement the winch functionality within my sailboat. I have the plan to use to 8 NM torque stepper motors and I had no clue for how long I could operate this. my goal became to achieve the maximum possible operating time. Doing experiments with the stepper motor and a very advanced stepper motor controller from a german company based in Hamburg, a board called "stepRocker".

To my own surprise during the recording of the video published on YouTube the Stepper Motor achieved dramatically higher step rates that I had assumed in my most wishful thinking. But just see for yourself!

I remember a response I got many years ago from a spanish speaking electronics forum where I published what I called an advanced stepper motor tutorial! As you can hear in the above video I am a very untalented speaker, so the tutorial referenced pictures and graphics which to use I was authorized by the Trinamic head of marketing. This gentleman wrote that he knew stepper motors as the devices that get very hot, he had burned his arm more then once! The reason for this excessive heating of a stepper motor is due to the fact that simple controllers are connected to devices that offer at least the maximum torque required plus some safety margin and are constantly fed with the current required for a specific stepper motor to achieve this torque rating! The pair of L297/L298 are good examples of this traditional stepper motor controllers. Another mayor performance limiting factor in stepper motors is due to instabilities and resonances.

The step rates I do show in the above video was demonstrated using the 24 VDC power coming from a modified PC power supply. In my sailboat I will use 12 cells LiFePO4 batteries with 16Ah of capacity each. When the battery pack is discharged to the point it has to be recharged the voltage supplied will be 24 VDC, when the Pack is full I do get nearly 40 VDC. If you consider that the video shows one of the motors to be used as winches in my sailboat with just 24 VDC, here showed to be dropping from 25.1 VDC to below 25 VDC and the current consumption just before the motors stops just being 1.1 A, while the motor can handle up to 2.8 A! It is important to realize that stepper motors do generate an induced voltage of opposite polarity reducing the effectively available voltage, than you have one of the reasons why a stepper motor is good and efficient at low step rates. The induced voltage has a low value so the effective voltage generating the torque is the applied voltage when the stepper motor is standing still! The higher stepping rate, the higher the absolute value of the induced voltage and the less the torque available. So the video shows the stepping rate of the stepper motor at no load and a bit more than 1/3 of the maximum current allowed! I do plan to experiment with a newer version of the Trinamic stepper technology:

Here a picture of the sheet drum I plan to use. Together with the stepper motor and the control circuitry it makes up the winch. I had to stop my work on the drum as my milling machine got damaged. I did use a rotating table mounted on the coordinate table of my mill to mill this raw version of one of the 2 drums I will have in my sailboat! here a picture of the rotating table mounted on the coordinate table of my mill:

The next picture shows the side of the drum that will be connected to the stepper motor!

Next the picture of the next generation stepper motor evaluation kit from Trinamic:

Great about this evaluation kit is that it allows to look into the operation of its TMC2130 stepper motor controller. The right board contains exclusively the TMC2130 and it can be operated with supply voltages up to 60 VDC! The left board is the containing an ARM Cortex controler with the firmware that allows to control the kit via the Trinamic IDE downloadable for free from Trinamic and the source code of the firmware is available. It communicates with the controller via the ARM Cortex CMSIS API, what makes it relatively simple to migrate this software to another ARM Cortex M controller that offers all the peripherals required! The middle board makes all the signals between the two board accessible, so that i.e. they can be viewed and analyzed using logic analyzer i.e.!

All of this made it evident that I needed further upgrading my workshop!

First, with the help of a good friend while I was recovering from my first stroke, we separated as much as possible the dirty work function is my workshop in one area of it and we build a second workbench!

This picture shows that area of my second workbench with the lathe!

Hellmut1956

Member
This picture shows the right side of my new workbench with the milling machine. The new workbench has a L-Shape and is placed in front of my old workbench:

This picture shows the lower left side of my old workbench. The big "door" is the door for my "hangar" where I do store my sailboat! The large drawer above it I am currently splitting it into 3 drawers as the one large one proved to be the starting place for more chaos as it was too big and 2 heavy! On the right border of the picture you see the left of 2 drawer cabinets with each 5 drawers.

Here you can see the "hangar open and the sailboat hull in it!

This is the upper part of my old workbench, now with all the sortiment boxes placed On both sides of this center part I have a large cabinet and on top a third one. Above of all this is room where I can place wooden laths and other long stuff. On the working surface of the bench, behind all the chaos are the two sets of power connectors. I am a believer that you newer have too many! it is this chaos that I an working to remove finding an orderly place for all of it. For this I am working to have drawers all over below the working surface of the new workbench!

Here pictures, the first below the lathe:

As you can see, while my health problems slow down my progress, my perseverance keeps me moving!You can see how the 4 drawers on the left side of the cabinet I have the drawer panels mounted. What makes progress slow, besides my inability to work concentrated is that the panels of the drawers have to fit to the surrounding panels of the cabinet. In the corner to the right the panels of the cabinet have to be made in such a way that the drawers can pass by the handles of the neighbouring drawer when opening the drawer. I am using this special plexwood asit has a hard surface that cannot be attacked by chemicals. When done my objective is to always have all surfaces empty and clean! The cables on the floor will be stored in the "big drawer" for which you see the opening.

The second below the milling machine:

here you can see part of the drawers below the milling machine. To the left you see 2 openings meant to store large and heavy stuff like the rotating table, the 4 drawers above und the 12 to the right will first store all the accessories needed by the milling machine, so as it is with the drawers below the lathe. The "big drawer" on the bottom will also be divided into 3 smaller ones. This way I have sorted all the cables that I have been getting, organized and stores in 4 different drawers. This alone helps to improve the degree of order in my workbench!

Early in the life span of my workshop electronics had a lesser importance and I build my electronics lab using an empty space next to the door:

As you can well appreciate, chaos is the common property of my whole workshop! As electronics became the main focus of my activities in the workshop and as a consequence of building my second workbench just presented to you, I did start setting up a much better electronics lab:

Here you can see the way my whole workshop should look like so that finally i can really continue my projects! Hidden in the dark to the top right of the picture is my PC power supply, 600 W, with the tension doubler from 12 VDC to 24 VDC and 10 A. This way it was possible for me to build a power panel that you see on the picture in aluminium color! on the bottom y build another cabinet to have my electronic components well organized and handy! To the left you see my white band modem to the Internet and in front of it a wooden board with a Raspi mounted on it. So i could display the desktop on a screen connected to it and also have the keyboard.

Here a "real life" picture of my electronic workbench! To the right you can see my PC and to the right of it is my office desk! You also see the osciloskop integrated into the electronic workbench. My traditional problem. Still too much stuff that needs to be put in order. To the left of the picture you see some early stages to expand my electronic workbench to the rack. I had already build 2 drawers below a cabinet for more sortiment boxes.

here you see that the simple wooden board that had a raspi on it developed into a unit with 5 different Raspis on it and with switches in the middle with adequate red LEDs to be able to switch those boards individually ON and OFF! The power is supplied to the unit from an additional power panel I did make and that you see mounted on the left side of the workbench's surface! Receptacles and indicators colors follow the color rules for the different DC voltages. For each voltage I have the possibility to switch it ON and OFF and I have additionally 5 screwable connectors per voltage. The unit for the breadboard was done in the same way. The main reason for this was that taking the voltage supplies from the power panel shown before crowded the space above the surface of the workbench with a spiderweb of cables. Now this waay I could reduce it as much as possible and could switch the power supplies off individually!

Here you can see the 6 drawers with the m3 screws to mount the handles the same way those are done with the drawers of the electronics workbench! So I am getting close to the point in time when the degree of order in my workshop enables me to continue focused work on my hobbies.

Now to another event that has forced me to delay continuing with my experiments to in the long term design and implement a control system for the sheets in my model sailboat. When I started after a number of iterations I made a block diagram of how I had planned to make the control system for the sails of my sailboat model.

As complex as the block diagram may look like it consists of 2 parallel blocks to control the operation of 2 sails connected to a central intelligence unit. Today I will probably replace it by a makers board with the new i.MX8 and not the LPCXpresso 1769 I did plan for so many years ago! To the left of the "Central" is the R/C receiver that supplies to the control electronics the control information from the user at the border of a pond! Each winch is controlled in the diagram by a stepRocker, today this would be a board of the kind of the Trinamic evaluation kit introduced earlier. The angular position of the boom of each sail is tracked by a magnetic 14 bits resolution magnetic sensor. This sensor is installed below the deck surface next to a small opening covered by a thin plastic sheet. A magnet that follows the rotation of the boom is mounted above deck, just a millimeter from the magnetic sensor. A second magnetic angular sensor is mounted on the case in which the sheet drum is mounted and tracks, via a magnet mounted as a prolongation of the drums axis. The board vom Trinamic used has a quadrature encoder peripheral that takes as input via 3 pins the 3 PWMs from the magnetic angular sensor. This allows the software controlling the stepper motor to verify that the drums position is equal to that it internal registers track to catch step errors. This "digital input" has 12 bit resolution and is called "incremental position". The absolute position is monitored by the sensor with 14 bits of resolution. So both, drum and sail booms have a closed loop control circuitry that calibrates itself every time the boom passes the center position that is equal to the hulls centerline! I am planing to implement the same scheme to control the sails as the one used on the original sail ship "Endeavour".

This objective had as a result very emotional reaction from 2 different communities! The "experts" in building model sailboats claimed that the friction between the sheet and the blocks would render the system inoperable. The community of physics equally emotional expressed that the friction would be neglectable. Contacting a person from the local technical university of the Physics department told me that it was more likely that the "experts" in sail ship model building would be right, as physics have the tendency to idealize the behaviour of technical systems! Being the subject so emotionally with conflicting positions I decided to enter the field of modelling and searching for software that would be financeable I took the decision to take software from Wolfram Software. Their software "SystemModeler" uses the modelling language "Modelica" and in tandem with the software Mathematica this were 2 pieces of software I could afford to buy legally personal licenses. Just to make it brief. I soon realized that in the nearly 4 decades since I was at the university my knowledge of mathematics had eroded and that I would need to learn the topics related to bachelor studies of physics, mathematics and electronics. I soon found that courses from universities of highest reputation offered access to their courses via the Internet for free. Videos of lectures and all additional reading material was available either for free or at very reduced rates! Starting to learn this topics became fascinating in its own right.

Now it is crucial when you make a model in software of a certain function you verify the quality of the data generated by the model against real hardware and software systems. The terms related are HiL and SiL, meaning either hardware or software in the loop. mathematica then became available for free on the Raspi and ways to have Mathematica and the Raspi interconnected at symbolic level and to the data streams generated required me to go in depth into studying the raspi and the Linux OS, as well as the programming language Python. Soon I was able to have the desktop of the Raspian OS of a Raspi to be displayed within a window in my Windows desktop. This way I would not need a display and a keyboard connected to the Raspi, but control the device directly from the desktop of my PC. of course y used secure shell, SSH and passwords to secure the communication. But when I made my raspi boards accessible via the Internet, an interesting option for later use in my sail boat model by giving them an entry in a DNS from a free supplier my PC was penetrated and rendered inoperable. After many vain tries I updated my Windows 7 Ultimate to Windows 10 Pro and my PC was fully operable again. having had all processes in place to secure maximum safety on my PC, I decided to learn enough about Windows and Linux to be able to establish a safe environment. Exactly during this time the recognition of the need for safety for IoT and similar devices connected to the Internet made the development speed of such techniques explode! ARM published its TrustedZone for ARM Cortex Mx devices and published the IPs for the ARM Cortex M23 y 33. The best device to have this technologies and many more available proved to be Freescale with it new i.MX8 device family. Topics like hypervisors and virtualization expanded the scope of my investigation beyond taking valuable courses of cryptology available as MOOCs! As I started dealing with it in experiments building a virtual machine on my PC running Windows 10 Pro with Hyper-V, required to run 64 bit OS's inside the VM I started to learn about containerization and Docker. Different publishers became valuable sources for affordable eBooks, Packt becoming my preferred one. So my objective now became to have the PC as my development workstation run a VM with a 64 bit OS. Remember, I want to display the desktops of my Raspis on the desktop in my VM. With Ubuntu I was unable to change the screen resolution, what rendered this OS useless as of now. I have read that the support for this is being developed. having an additional license for Windows 10 Pro I did install it on a Hyper-V VM. First fascinating result was that I could the desktop of Windows 10 Pro within my VM to cover the desktop offred and used by my copy of Windows 10 PRo running on the host over both displays! next, waht I will do as soon as my health allows me to do it is to activate the Hyper-V services within my Windows 10 Pro running within the VM so that I can use Docker. I also found out that this resulted in having so called nested VM's, as Docker for Windows to run needs a VM called MobyLinuxVM in which the required Linux Kernel is executed.

This means that I will be using my IDE's installing them in containers that I could use within my VM. Combining this with the knowledge I am collecting about all the parameters and functionalities and related authorizations related to Docker and VM's will result in making my PC from which I am developing the objectives I have for Raspis and other boards as safe as a beginner like me can make it. What I am also starting right now is to define a workflow that I will follow and by reading the documentation of it I will be able to get up to speed whenever I do need. Parallel to it I am creating a Mathematica document to list all the parameters relevant with all the data related to it. A mathematica document is a tool that gives me maximum flexibility to apply changes and to combine all kind of data with a tool I already own!

On the raspi side I am not yet sure how to do it. from the principle i would like to use a hypervisor type 1, that runs bare bone so that there too I benefit from the security achieved through virtualization. Docker would be nice too, but i do not see as of now how to do it. The performance of a Raspi 3B is high enough to make possible virtualization and containerization and storage is no problem either!

So, by now, should you have had the interest and persistence to read this contribution, you should have a nice picture about who I am and what I am doing!

DerStrom8

Super Moderator
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Greetings, and welcome to Electro-Tech-Online! I think you'll fit in here very nicely. Great to have you on board!

Best,
Matt

ronsimpson

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Welcome,
Do you know there is a person hiding behind your boat?

Hellmut1956

Member
Yes, it is my son. The hand holding the sail from the left side is my wife and the picture was taken by my brother with his smartphone. I did not own one myself! That I got for Christmas after having had my second stroke.

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
Too neat and clean for me. I'd never get anything done in that environment.

Hellmut1956

Member
tcmtech: Dear fellow person exposed to chaos! Allow me to share some pictures from my workshop:

Still status quo in my electronics workbench!

Partial view to my office desk as it is right now!

I fully agree with you! In such an orderly workshop I can't work either! When I need to do something anywhere in my workshop I start by either pushing stuff aside to make room for what I want to do or I simply take in put it elsewhere in my workshop! The current status reflects the fact that at least I have placed all my stuff in my workshop. It used to be scattered throughout or house. One more place, but less stronger impact is expected is stuff I have in our garage! What specially annoyed me was that when I was looking for a screwdriver I only saw ones of the wrong kind. When I required a tool for my milling machine or lathe, searching began! So I have started by placing tools at defined places so the chance to end up searching for the tool is less likely!

tcmtech

Banned
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That looks a lot better!

For me cleanliness and detailed organization are a huge waste of time that I could be better spending on doing something more enjoyably wasteful with.

My key machines and work equipment have all their related accessories in tool boxes or cabinets near them. That solve the hunting problem easily enough. Hand tools and other low cost things as such just get bought in bulk and left where they land.

As of last year I have/had 6 vice grips sets yet I could not find one good one the other day so when I was in town I bought 2 more. To date in the ~ 17 years I have lived here I have bought about 20 sets of vice grips yet they all disappear somehow. Same with screwdrivers and torch strikers. I now buy them in sets of 5 or more at a time.

I couldn't find a Allen wrench set the other day that had the size of wrench I needed despite having at least 10 sets of them so next time I'm in town I will probably buy 3 - 4 more sets.

For me and the work I do tools get broke and lost all the time. Stuff invariably gets left behind or dropped someplace it can't be recovered from. Also, for me organization has proven to be by far the #1 way to lose large batches of tools and components. Like item stuff gets put in a box and that box gets put someplace where it will be easy to find yet when I go looking I don't remember where that is anymore so now a whole set of like tools and items is gone. I hate it.
I've found 30 of the same tool or item spread out all over everywhere makes it easier to find one when I need it than 30 of the same tool or item put in one box that then at some point gets lost resulting in all of them being missing.

Hellmut1956

Member
je, je,je! I only have started to put effort into being able to find stuff when I need it when my income dropped dramatically and I could not afford any more to do what you describe. A nice side effect has been already that I found stuff I even didn´t remember I did own! have a nice day!

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
I am working on adding better storage and general tool organization to a point for common used items but it's such a low priority to me it rarely gets anywhere fast.

I was married for about 4 years and early on the not yet Ex and I had an agreement to buy each other things we each needed for holidays and birthdays. Unfortunately that got to be a rather expensive one way road real fast. She got a ton of expensive things she wanted and I got the privilege of seeing her largely not care about any of it a week or two after receiving it. All I wanted in return was a large tool box set even if each part came one at a time and took a year or two for her to get for me.

That was the closest I ever came to having my tools totally organized. looking back for what I spent on her I could have bought several of the huge toolbox rigs I wanted plus put a concrete floor in my 32' x 64' shop!

Hellmut1956

Member
That sounds similar with the agreement I have with my wife: I am allowed to spend as much money for my hobby as she does spend for her cigarettes! Prices for cigarettes have increased so much that we with our family budget cannot afford to have me spend that much money! But I am with my wife a bit less ten 4 decades, we love each other very much, she has tolerated my spending so much time on my career and since I do not have a job I have no problems to accept her spending money for cigarettes. Anyhow, there is so little a husband can do in this case and lets face it: The wife is the boss and she has to tolerate our hobbies. Mine allows me spend a lot of time in my workshop! Before it was me travelling around the world due to my job, now it is me being in the workshop. So we succeeded to survive our marriage into the phase were I am not working anymore due to health problems and she generates the income for our family!

DerStrom8

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
My financial arrangement with my wife is very simple: I am the responsible one and am the only one with a checkbook and credit/debit card. Unfortunately she STILL ends up spending all the money and I have none left over for my hobbies....

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
When I got marred she wanted to run things and initially I was thrilled to not have to carry that responsibility so I set us up with each independent bank accounts and one combined one that all the bills came from.

The intent was we both put half of each of our own income money on the joint account and at a certain date every month after the bills were all covered the remainder would get split to where half of what was left went into joint savings and the other half was equally split between us to go to our independent accounts and we could do whatever we wanted. Seemed as fair as I could make it.

That lasted all of about 6 months before it became clear that despite our combined input being about double the maximum our bills took out there was never any money left and nothing going into savings I didn't put there despite at the time I was the one making 1/3 - 1/2 what she did.

Turned out that despite her having a high level background in architecture she had the mathematical sense of a grade school kid and the financial mindset that every expenditure was a critical expenditure no matter the cost, relevance or practicality of it provided it was her idea, not mine. Mine didn't count for anything.

When I had set up the bank accounts I had them set up to where I had access to see hers as well but she couldn't see mine. Turned out she had no clue what she made but felt that putting in ~ $400 -$500 out of every paycheck was about half even though her take home pay was ~3 - 4 times that. She wasn't being greedy so much as she honestly was that bad at even basic math.

Hellmut1956

Member
I am working right now in parallel advancing the work on my drawers of the "new workbench" and further learning about topics that will make my development environment in my electronic lab safer. I have decided to setup a motherboard I purchased at Ebay while I was trying to resolve the problems with my PC. This is an improved version of the motherboard of my PC, ASUS P6T SE, the ASUS P6T WS. This workstation version of my motherboard has 2 gigabit Ethernet ports so I can place it between my "FritzBox", my DSL modem, and my PC. This unit will have the job to implement I firewall using pfSense software, to be the new "Access Point" for my WLAN. This is currently hooking up to the FritzBox! This way my experiments setups connected to the PC, my development workstation, via WLAN, will now be behind the pfSense firewall. pfSense is a very powerful software that offers a lot of functionalities that will support me in having a safe environment!

It was great to see that the Intel i7 920 CPU now can be purchased for just under 30 Euros! Motherboard was 0 Euros costs as I had it already in my inventory. As RAM I will use the 3x 2 GByte RAM modules. My PC can live with 12 GByte, down from 18 GBytes! I also had a power supply available, 600 W and the proper cables to feed the Graphics boards, the HDs and the motherboard! As os I will use Ubuntu 16.04 TLS. Two recent news make me a bit worried. One is that Microsoft wants to discontinue the support for older Intel CPUs and second that Ubuntu seems to be reaching an end of life too!

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