Don's Electronics Page
Design, Diagnostics and General Electronics Information

I have been working in consumer, commercial and industrial electronics for many years. This area of my web site offers up some of the things I have done as well as some I am doing.


My first robot named TracksBot is a combination of hardware and software. It utilises a tri-track design engine frame with electronics on board.

A few years back I built an observatory with a ten foot diameter rotating dome with automatic shutter/window. It did not come with a controller so I designed one from the ground up. This Dome Controller worked out perfectly for both in dome and remote use of the observatory.

Test Equipment:

I work a lot on computers and monitors (particularly newer LCD flat screen type). I found my antique test equipment was lacking and slowing me down. I didn't even have a simple capacitor or inductor tester. I always enjoyed doing things for myself so I looked into my options. Shortly I came across (NOW DEAD LINK) ANATEK Corp. and found two kit instruments I wanted to try out. I selected the Blue ESR and Blue Ring Tester. These two instruments work very well to evaluate a electrolytic capacitors ESR

Having a good oscilloscope is also of great importance in electronics design and diagnostics. Here I was more budget minded but also wanting to get the most for my investment. Research on the web led me to the Rigol DS1052E Digital scope. By default it is a dual trace 50mHZ with storage. Web research also reveals many of these model can be made a 100Mhz model with a simple software patch. I will maintain the 50Mhz for the time being as it is sufficient for my needs.

My old Hickok DMM is wearing out and losing accuracy so here I decided on the newer B&K Precision 2709B DMM. It includes frequency and capacitance measurements to compliment the Blue ESR above.

I found interesting reviews of the Rigol and B&K here on EEVBlog.

Diagnostics / Repairs:

Recently I replaced the four Cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs) in a large HP-W2207h display. This LCD monitor has certain nice features such as portrait / landscape by physically rotating the screen.

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Last edited:12/13/2010, Last edit 04/01/2018 by Don Lewis