Posted on Leave a comment

Amano PIX 3000x Timeclock

Front
Front

This is a late 90’s business timeclock, used for maintaining records of staff working times, by printing the time when used on a sheet of card.

Front Internal
Front Internal

Here is the top cover removed, which is normally locked in place to stop tampering. The unit is programmed with the 3 buttons & the row of DIP switches along the top edge.

Instructions
Instructions

Closeup of the settings panel, with all the various DIP switch options.

CPU & Display
CPU & Display

Cover plate removed from the top, showing the LCD & CPU board, the backup battery normally fits behind this. The CPU is a 4-bit microcontroller from NEC, with built in LCD driver.

PSU & Drivers
PSU & Drivers

Power Supply & prinhead drivers. This board is fitted with several NPN Darlington transistor arrays for driving the dox matrix printhead.

Printhead
Printhead

Printhead assembly itself. The print ribbon fits over the top of the head & over the pins at the bottom. The drive hammers & solenoids are housed in the circular top of the unit.

Printhead Bottom
Printhead Bottom

Bottom of the print head showing the row of impact pins used to create the printout.

2013-02-13 18.00.09Bottom of the solenoid assembly with the ribbon cable for power. There are 9 solenoids, to operate the 9 pins in the head.

Return Spring
Return Spring

Top layer of the printhead assembly, showing the leaf spring used to hold the hammers in the correct positions.

Hammers
Hammers

Hammer assembly. The fingers on the ends of the arms push on the pins to strike through the ribbon onto the card.

Solenoids
Solenoids

The ring of solenoids at the centre of the assembly. These are driven with 3A darlington power arrays on the PSU board.

Gearbox Internals
Gearbox Internals

There is only a single drive motor in the entire unit, that both clamps the card for printing & moves the printhead laterally across the card. Through a rack & pinion this also advances the ribbon with each print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

AutoFace HID Ballast & Bulb

Ballast
Ballast

I bought one of these cheap HID kits from eBay to build a high-brightness work light that I could run from my central 12v supply.

At £14.99 I certainly wasn’t expecting anything more than the usual cheap Chinese construction. And that’s definitely what I got 😀

Potted PCB
Potted PCB

The casing is screwed together with the cheapest of screws, with heads that are deformed enough to present a problem with removal.

As can be seen here, the inside of the unit is potted in rubber compound, mostly to provide moisture resistance, as these are for automotive use.
The ballast generates a 23kV pulse to strike the arc in the bulb, then supplies a steady 85v AC at 3A, 400Hz to maintain the discharge.
This module could quite easily be depotted as the silicone material used is fairly soft & can be removed with a pointed tool.

 

Hi-Lo Bulb Assembly
Hi-Lo Bulb Assembly

Here is the bulb removed from it’s mount. Under the bulb itself is a solenoid, which tilts the bulb by a few degrees, presumably to provide dim/dip operation for a headlight. This functionality is superfluous to my requirements.

Bulb
Bulb

Closeup of the arc chamber of the bulb.

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

IDE Zip Drive

Top
Top

An old IDE interface Zip drive. This fits in a standard 3.5″ bay.

Cover Removed
Cover Removed

Top cover removed from the drive, IDE & power interfaces at the top, in centre is the eject solenoid assembly & the head assembly. Bottom is the spindle drive motor.

Head Assembly
Head Assembly

Head assembly with the top magnet removed. Voice coil is on the left, with the head preamp IC next to it. Head chips are on the end of the arm inside the parking sleeve on the right. Blue lever is the head lock.

Controller
Controller

Controller PCB removed from the casing.

Spindle Motor
Spindle Motor

Spindle motor. This is a 3-phase DC brushless type motor. Magnetic ring on the top engages with the hub of the Zip disk when insterted into the drive.

Magnets
Magnets

Magnets that interact with the voice coil on the head assembly.

Head Armature
Head Armature

Head armature assembly removed from the drive. The arm is supported by a pair of linear bearings & a stainless steel rod.