Overheating Laptop Fix

I have a Dell Precision M4400 laptop running Windows 10 Insider Preview. Lately it’s been crashing due to overheating of the CPU and GPU. I figured it was time to open it up and check out the thermal paste on the heat sinks. The stuff that gets put on at the factory is usually wax based which can degrade over time resulting in less transfer of heat from the chips to the heat sink. I purchased some Arctic Silver Ceramique 2 thermal paste from Ebay along with their cleaning solution and set about renewing the thermal paste. Arctic Silver’s website offers a page of instructions on how apply the paste to specific chips. Some require only a small dot of paste, some a vertical line and some full spread.

My laptop now runs much cooler with the fans cycling more often than they used to.

Keep on hackin…

How To Make A Water Level

I had a project this week that required a level piece of ground prior to erecting a metal storage shed. I decided to use a water level to help with the site leveling. A water level is an old and very useful tool. It dates back to Roman times when they were used to engineer the slope in aqueducts. You can build one yourself in little time with just a few hardware store items. The one I use in this video cost about $10 to make.

Keep on hackin…

73 Honda CB 750 Custom Build Part 25 – Engine Installation

Lots of viewers suggested that I install the engine by laying it on it’s side then lowering the frame onto it, bolting it in place then tip it back upright. This seemed cumbersome to me and I just had to come up with a better solution.

This idea popped into my head one day at work. It’s simple, just the way I like it. Lisa helped out in this one too. :)

Keep on hackin!

Mini-bot Build Part 2 – Wiring

It’s not uncommon for video viewers to make suggestions to projects and since this entire project was based on viewer demand I’ve once again listened to some input. YouTube viewer Pete Prodoehl suggested that I use the DRV8835 Dual Motor Driver Carrier from Pololu instead of the motor driver shield that was using. I ordered one from Pololu and two days later it arrived in the mail. In this week’s video I removed the old motor driver and installed the new one which takes up less that half of the space the other one did. This makes more room on the perfboard so I decided to mount the battery in the available space.

Another suggestion from YouTube viewer cfavreau was to use a 5 mm LED as a low friction tail for this little tail dragger robot. I’ve since installed one.

Thanks guys!

Here’s a parts list for that parts I’ve used so far. They can be purchased from Pololu.
Prices are as of 5-2015

Item #   Item Description                                                                                Price US$

2356   14×4.5mm Wheel Pair for Sub-Micro Plastic Planetary Gearmotor     1.95
726      Maxbotix LV-MaxSonar-EZ1 Sonar Range Finder MB1010             24.95
1939    USB Cable A to Micro-B, 5 ft                                                               2.49
965      0.100″ (2.54 mm) Breakaway Male Header: 1×40-Pin, Straight          0.99
2358    136:1 Sub-Micro Plastic Planetary Gearmotor 6Dx19L mm              11.95
3101    A-Star 32U4 Micro                                                                              12.75
2135    DRV8835 Dual Motor Driver Carrier                                                    4.49

The 3 Volt coin cell batteries and the dual bettery holder are from SparkFun Electronics

PRT-00338   Coin Cell Battery – 20mm (CR2032)                                          1.95
PRT-12618   Coin Cell Battery Holder – 2xCR2032 (Enclosed)                     1.95

The perfboard is from Radio Shack.

Here’s the wiring diagram:

Mini-bot wiring diagram


This week’s video. Keep on hackin!