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  • Philco 48-214 Part 1

    First Part of the restoration process has been completed for this classic AM radio. All pieces have been removed from the case, including the grill clothe and plastic dial cover. So far I have put in about 4 hours to get to this point over the past few weeks to take apart, sand and order parts and supplies.

    Cost so far has been —

    Decal – $6.95

    parts + S&H ~$27.00

    sandpaper ~$9.00


    total so far $42.95


    still need the wood stain, polyurethane, white latex/oil paint, and brushes, also any other components that need replacing.


    Parts ordered from mouser, BOM-philco-48-214 (spreadsheet).

    Decal ordered from Vintage Radio Labels.

    Sandpaper was bought at Meijer.

    circuit diagram and repair guide from Nostalgia Air.





    Next steps, re-cap the radio, stain, sand, paint and coat the case, find a suitable grill cloth, since the one that it came with is a little stretched because someone, decided to poke it too hard.

    So far so good.

  • Winter project Philco 48-214 AM Tube Radio

    Hello, been awhile.
    I finally have some time to work on projects, and this one can be incremental where I can put 5 mins here, or 10 mins there to work on this. My goal is to restore this radio to working condition, replace all the old capacitors, refinish the wooden cabinet, and replace the speaker clothe.

    I have already started to strip and sand the cabinet, and I have found decals to replace the Philco Transitone decal that’s on the front.

    So far I am really looking forward to finish this by Christmas.

  • Life


    sorry for the lack of posts. i have been starting a family and have been very busy.
    I am starting to do projects again very soon.

    Thanks and enjoy this pic of me and some sand people at c2e2 2014.

  • Fun with Plants (experiments in Hydroponics)

    My freind Jason came to me one day and pointed out a $70 hydroponics kit that used some buckets and a pump. He thought it was pretty cool, so I said “I can make you one for a quarter of the price” and so the challenge was accepted.

    This is the story of me building my first hydroponics system.

    When researching on what was needed and how much everyone was charging, thought this was a piece of cake! And it was!!


    So to get started you will need a few things……. and prices I paid

    5Gal bucket with lid. $2 from Firehouse subs
    submersible pump. $14.95 + free shipping
    Tubing. $2.50 for 10ft at Homedepot
    Growing medium. (i used Fish tank gravel, but rock wool or ceramic pelets or what ever you think is a good growing medium….its up to you) $free
    basket (hydroponic growing basket) or a plastic flower pot. $3.00 from meijer
    Airpump (optional). $8.00 from meijer

    Total = ~$25.00

    My design was simple compared to his setup, but he wanted to grow strawberries so he made one that was vertical. His was a little more expensive and requires a little more work, but well worth it. (pics of his at the end of the Post).




    To build this little fun project, you need to drill some holes in the side of the bucket, as close to the top as possible…….if you drill them too low you will spill water when trying to move it.

    2x 1.5 in holes, one for the water tube, the other for the power cord

    1x .5 in hole for the airation tube (optional)

    and 1 large hole on the lid for your basket or baskets….(depending on how many you want to fit on top of it)




    the rest is just fitting everything in the bucket and making sure the water does not collect in the basket.


    The pump I selected


    You will need some fertilizer.  I bought this from amazon.com for about ~$20 and depending on your setup, this should last you along time. Just make sure you follow the ratios and using less then what is recommended, because you don’t want to kill off your plants when first starting.


    Box of the plant that I bought on clearance from Meijer for $2.50


    Now some ideas to make your own…… here is one that i helped my friend with.

    .facebook_1050859991.facebook_606566432.facebook_-906886312It is nearly the same setup except for smaller baskets and is vertical farming/planting.


    As this plant gets bigger and I find out more about hydroponics I will have more posts and updates.


  • Pile of crap, or how I plan to start updating again.

    Ok I am really sorry for the lack of updates. I lots of progress and projects to post about but in OCT,  I had some crap piled on top of me.

    I have f5510 usb stuff, a ultrasonic distance sensor like ping thats nearly done. some cool project boxes that I sprused up, new LFS builds and fixes that I have done.
    custom battery for my heli,  I’m sure I have forgotten a few……also I am super excited I have new happy hardcore vinyl!!
    but lets not forget my plant hacks and a very quick ultrasonic cleaner that i needed for my ecig stuff.

    so lots to come in the next month!
    Continue reading  Post ID 1721

  • more fun things


    I just went to a Halloween themed flea market, in Dupage county, IL. not a lot of good picks, mostly junk (the all night flea market is much better).  But I did find one thing. I found and purchased a Futba vintage receiver, from the 80’s I think. The guy originally wanted $80 for the thing, but I worked him down to $40. I know the battery is no good, but the servos work, transmitter is untested, no battery corrosion and all wires are in good condition, the receiver is also untested but I am sure it all works.

    Now just to find a project for it 🙂



    Another new piece of equipment that a coworker had sitting in there garage, I bought it from them, since it was collecting dust and probably would have been sitting there for years to come, unloved and unused .

    This tube tester was made by precision apparatus company, model 10-12, I couldn’t find a manufacture date on it but google shows that this one was made 20-40 years ago and is a top rated mobile tube tester.
    Supposedly it can test antique and new tubes with out a problem.

    I can’t wait till I can get this thing tested and up and running, because I have some tubes I need to test. I really hope it doesn’t catch fire when I first plug it in.





    Advise for the day, you can find cool things almost anywhere, from your friends garage to that old rickety shop on the corner.

  • New Toys, Bigger msp430 and a stellaris launchpad

    New toys came in the other day from the 43oh.com store.
    I ordered 2x msp430f5510 USB dev boards, created By Robg , also I received a Stellaris Launchpad (on loan till mine come in) .


    These are Nice little boards, and will work great for any one trying with a Launchpad and would like to try some of the bigger flagships. These are very easy to solder and get up and running.




    To program them, all I did was connect the RST, TST, Vcc, Gnd between the launchpad and the dev board. Ran mspdebug, and it worked on the first try.

    Sorry for the poor screen shot.





    As of right now, I am working on porting msp430USBDev API from TI. It is both IAR and CCS code, and both will not work out of the box with mspgcc.

    But with some minor changes I think I can get it to work.

    There is a Port of the devpack, but It has an autogen.sh file that makes the makefile and links things automatically…… and in general I had issues with it, it compiled correctly but did not run on my 5510, even after I changed the minimal configuration options it gave.
    Now I don’t know what the guy changed or what he did to get it to work other then some linker options about the usb buffer/ram.

    I will give an update on this as soon as I get it to work.