Monday, 30 December 2013

West Wings Merlin, completed at last!

Back in October I started constructing a West Wings Merlin glider, however, I got distracted and never got around to finally completing this kit.  I refrained from any fancy paint job as I wanted to keep as light and clean looking as possible, sometimes less is more.

Over the Christmas holidays I managed to find a spare couple of hours to make a new tail (since the last one warped during the final doping) and to finally glue in the wing and tail-plane dowels.

I am rather pleased with the final result.  I just need to balance and trim the glider and give it a go once Spring arrives and the winter storms are behind us.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Fixing power issues on my Dell 1525

The family laptop is a rather old and well used Dell 1525 laptop that runs Ubuntu.  Over the past few weeks it has had difficulties charging the battery and last week it finally gave up the will to live.

I found a handy service manual online and stripped the laptop down and found that the DC power jack daughter board had failed.  After some more research I found that this component has a history of failing this way, so I felt more certain to risk spending some cash and getting replacement. I managed to find a new replacement part for less than £5 (including postage and packaging) on eBay which promptly arrived a couple of days after ordering.

Is was both annoying that the board had failed perhaps because of poor design, yet also a relief that a cheap daughter board replacement could fix the issue without the need to replace the entire motherboard.   Within half an hour I had replaced the daughter board and re-assembled the laptop and fortunately it worked first time.  I later discovered that there is a video on YouTube explaining how to do this fix, which I wish I had found earlier!

Anyhow, the machine lives on, hopefully I can squeeze a few more years of use before it finally succumbs to old age.