Author Topic: Maplin mini-lab  (Read 213 times)

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Offline cowasaki

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Maplin mini-lab
« on: January 28, 2019, 06:59:25 am »
In the mid or maybe late 80s I remember building the Maplin mini-lab.  It was quite a challenge to build it with my rather poor soldering ability (I was self taught and it was terrible - it wasn't until college that I learnt how to actually solder correctly!).  I completed it and used it for years then earlier today I found it on the shelf and decided to check it out. After checking it's earth I hooked it up and the variable voltage worked as did -12v and -5v.  The 12v, 5v and all the 8 switchable outputs were out with a couple of broken switches as well.

Taking it apart it became rather obvious that the original Maplin design was a bit crude, to say the least, and the mechanical design was terrible.  I've had a look on the internet and there are a few issues people have had in the same areas.  It's something I'm never likely to ever use again but nostalgia took over and I'm going to re-build it  :scared:  The main board is a single sided board but the maker had to solder components to the board on the side that the component was located!  This was NEVER going to help its longevity with voltage regs and two large 2200uF electrolytics sticking out of the board soldered on the top side and hovering a cm above the board  :palm:

Oh well, I'm still going to rebuild it, maybe with a slight mod as the the regs......

It's a good job my soldering improved over the years.

Has anybody else re-visited something they made years ago?
« Last Edit: January 28, 2019, 07:31:55 am by cowasaki »

Offline tggzzz

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Re: Maplin mini-lab
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2019, 07:28:38 am »
Has anybody else re-visited something they made years ago?

Yes. Although my first computer no longer exists, an earlier hack does. While it was the first one most people had seen, nowadays they are ubiquitous - so I recently updated it to be a little less ordinary.
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