Gootee Curve Tracer

Gootee Transistor Curve Tracer and Electronic Component and Device Tester/Checker/Troubleshooter/Analyzer.

That is such a beautiful thing.

Includes complete, detailed assembly diagrams. Includes complete set of detailed board and component-layout diagrams and complete set of detailed wiring diagrams. Includes complete set of detailed, step-by-step assembly instructions (with Kit version). Includes complete set of circuit schematics, plus overall block diagram. Includes complete Adjustment and Alignment procedures. Includes certain internal test-points' DC voltages, resistances, and waveforms. Includes complete parts list (many parts have list of suppliers, part numbers, and pricing). Parts lists now include circuit-board grid-location data for every component. Now also includes a CD with PDF datasheets for many of the components and parts.

I wish more devices today did. The price has at least one digit too much putting it out of my reach and it is much finer than I'd need for personal use but I really have to admire that. If I was in the market for $500-1500 piece of lab equipment, this would rank very high on my list.


Slide copier

Won an auction for Panagor zoom slide duplicator and a T-mount to F-mount adapter. Mostly I wanted the adapter ring, because that happens to fit another adaptor that should fit a spotting scope. I'll see when I get around to getting those things together.

Testing the slide copier, I can't believe how long it took me to realize that 1:1 is actually some zoom since I have a DX crop body :-D It won't quite replace a film scanner then (or otherwise) but it might be a fun thing to have around. In effect it is a zoom macro lens with very little working distance.

I've been toying with the idea of building something not entirely unlike a rotoscope. And a small projector maybe. Just toying with optics.

2008-04-28: Yes, the T adaptor fit the scope. No, no good photos


Progress bars

I recently saw Liw's "Progress bars everywhere!" and now again I came across a related thing that's always been nagging me. Burning CD/DVD discs, the progress bar works fairly neatly until the end. Then it takes forever in some finalization and fixating phases.

How hard could it be to make the program record wall clock time for certain size disks and in particular how long those final stages take? At least a guess. I believe that time would be a fairly consistent value and measuring it for a given system should take out drive differences. Then you could put this in the time remaining bar and let that tick down. At least on handwaving level that sounds trivial and it would be immensely nice if that estimate did tell you when you can come back and your disc is done instead of when you can come back and stare at an unmoving progress indicator.