Path to #FAIL: Aqua Regia

December 08, 2018

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 That's a follow-up to previous entry. I collected unused simcards, expired credit cards, spare smartphone parts and melt them too into previously created hydrochloric acid+hydrogen peroxide solution.

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 After the third day, i got avg 4 grams of gold dust and asked some jewelry workshops to if they're interested. Common question was "how pure is your gold?" I did a quick research about that, noticed even market standard alloys are contains only 95% of gold. Determination of purity is simple, just drop it into nitric acid and observe if it's turning into green or not. if it's not, it's safe to buy.
 
 Well, i literally fucked up this time. wasted one week, around $50 to chemicals and whole box of electronics. that's how: i was preparing to melt the dust. But put them to nitric acid to clean up the other particles and see how pure is it. What i wasn't know is the leftover hydrochloric acid (which dust was still wet) interacts with nitric acid and creates the only solution that can dissolve the gold called Aqua regia

 Being away just for 5 minutes, returned back, wtf! gold was completely dissolved as a yellowish fluid, just the other particles was left.
 

 I should wash the speckles twice before dip them into nitric acid. Learned via hard way.

  

Modern Alchemy: Salvaging gold from electronics

November 25, 2018

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 I was onto that subject since last couple years but didn't have enough time and parts to try it. As mentioned in previous entry, i'm keeping my e-waste since my childhood and send them to trash at earlier months. Except precious computer parts including cpu, ram, gfx card etc.

 
 You can repurpose an 20 year old power supply from an i386 ibm pc but even a 5 year old cpu is have no use today. Only thing you can do is extract it's gold plated base connectors.
 
 Well, impossible to convert one element to another as title describes but it's possible salvage hidden elements laying around here. I followed that instructions to initiate process but my experience was different a little due to time and economical limitations.
 
 Probably you have all the required components at the home right now, all you need is hydrogen peroxide and hydrochloric acid That mixture melting the Nickel which used as glue/base plate of gold in electronics. It's easy to find hydrochloric acid but h.peroxide is a little bit challenging. I visited a mall that sells industrial cleaning solutions and readed their labels one by one. Finally found hydrogen peroxide in a fabric stain remover.
 
 Trimmed the unnecessary parts and throwed to 50/50 solution and leaved it overnight. The next morning i noticed the gold dust at bottom of solution. That was a success but i did a mistake by using wool sheet as filter. All those gold specks are attached to wool which removing them was more challenging than extracting them from electronics.
 
 I washed wool sheet multiple times and cut out the clean parts, after couple hours all gold was flying around in pure water. Pulled the water by using a syringe and there it is, an exact 2gr of gold which worth 400tl/75usd today.
 
 Ofcourse it's hard to cash it out but i will try after melted them. It can be used as electroplating material in worst case. 

 Shopping List
 + Hydrogen Peroxide
 + Hydrochloric Acid
 + Syringe
 + Two glass bottles
 
 Notes
 + Do not stir, that dissolves gold into more tiny particles even makes harder to filter it out.
 + Do not use a filter, just let them drop onto bottom of solution and pull solution by syringe.
 + Use a gas mask or do it at outdoors.
 
 that was the first attempt, i'll post the results after the second round.


  

Progress report: soldering station upgrade

November 17, 2018

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 I wasn't active on internet lately. Had unexpected life events, lost in business life, long story.. The primary subject of the last 16 months was cancer. Had loses in family, seen few news stories from internet celebrities, one of followed youtuber died too then i noticed one common point from those cases: They're all engineers.
 
 Primary cause of cancer is genetic predisposition and anything that can damage body cells including radiation and toxic metals. 
 To prevent any possible incident like this, i quit the tinkering first, making money by working double and purchasing things if necessary. Sent all trash in my workroom to where they belong, the trash. Even solder wires just because they're contains lead which blocks the nerve transmissions and even can be absorbed by human skin.
 
 After couple months, my phone is broken and repairman asked too much price. well, story begins again from here. 
 This time i purchased unleaded copper/tin alloy solder wire, the thing that i wasn't know is it's melting point. Copper melts at over 1k celsius and tin's melting point is 231 C. depending on composition amount, that wire should melt somewhere between 400-500 C which my shitty soldering gun can't supply.
 
 So, i purchased a cheap 60W soldering pen. Gets hot enough to work on cu/sn solder wire but this time issue was soldering fume was easily getting vaporated which can't have enough time to do it's magic.
 
 The next week soldering pen broken after one hour of usage anyway. I purchased a second one, i forgot this one keep on and it's burned too. Decided to buy a professional kit but they're extremely expensive in here, did a third final purchase within same month, and installed a digital temperature controller to this one. Nothing fancy, i was about to fit the pen and temperature probe into an aluminium block but realized that i need something more solid to carve a path for a screw bolt. Then i ended up with brass it's alloy of copper and zinc, it's solid as iron and easily dissipates the heat. Also looks cool.
 
 Now i'm setting the temperature to 275 C, it's enough to melt that new wire and makes easier the solder the tiny things. Problem Solved.
 

 Shopping List
 + Soldering Pen: $20
 + Thermocouple: $5
 + Temperature controller: $15
 + 5cm slice of brass: $2
 + IP66 case: $1

 If you're going to build this, i suggest pay a little bit higher and purchase a SSR relay model of temperature controller. the "tick-tock" relay sound of those controllers are really annoying.


  

New gadget: Wireless speaker

March 25, 2017

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 When amazon echo first released at 2014, i impressed with it's shape and unique reflex port design at first sight. The other features such as voice recognition & cloud services looks like chef's special sauce of the meal. useless, tastes bad but increases the price anyway.

 
 The motivation to develop an alexa replica started with release of the orange pi zero at november 2016, it's in a matchbox dimensions, powerful enough to process 4k video and ridiculously cheap ($10 was on first release, even $7 today)

 I purchased the board, installed armbian and conducted few tests with shairport and got acceptable results. Sound quality is exactly what i hear at pc, got 5-10 ms delay however it's still faster than speed of sound when considered we're going to use this thing at 20 meters away. By the way shairport is reverse engineered port of apple's airplay protocol to stream audio between iphone and mac. original git repository seems dead but it's fork shairport-sync still active today.
 
 Case design
 I was considering a shiny chrome pipe at same dimensions of amazon echo then decided to go with aluminium in case if i need to cut & drill with household tools. Processing the metal is whole another story, an instructable and a video available if interested.

 Audio Output
 Used 3W PAM8403 module as audio amplifier, luckily found two speakers on my scrap box with in exact power. Glued the woofer into a sink pipe to the imitate alexa's sound system and attached tweeter to bottom. There is a lot of teardown videos on the web, This article most clear one that described how original product works.
 
 Software
 Apple's devices still supporting airplay today, I'm using tuneblade for windows and using Allconnect for the android. Also another app called AirReceiverLite allows to stream from pc to android.

 Challenges
 + First problem was the power supply, i had to use two separate 5v-2a cellphone charger for audio amplifier and orange pi. eliminated the emf based resets and audio noise problem by dedicated power sources.

 + Wifi connectivity was another issue, orange pi's embedded chip XR819 nothing but a placebo. Easily affected by interference and got high latency. I used my pc's wifi dongle TL-WN727 which is dramatically changed the visual look. Armbian has limited support on third party devices, you have to find driver's source code and compile from scratch.

 Todo
 Currently attached a microphone array for a possible voice recognition feature, but that's shifts things to a fulltime job from a hobby. A pir and adc module on the shipment for the playing audio only when someone exists on room, takes couple minutes to implement when it's arrived.

 Cost Table
 + Orange pi zero: $10
 + 5mm aluminum pipe: $8
 + PAM8403 amplifier: $3
 + 2x 5v2a cellphone charger: $5
 
 Wifi dongle and speakers was household items but let's give $10 to them, so total cost to me $36 plus 5~8 business days to work on.
Alternatively, working on a freelance job about two weeks and purchasing an airplay compatible speaker also an option.

 
 watch at youtube if having problems with video

  

Preventing cursor tremors via software

November 06, 2016

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 Speaking as the 80's generation, we're getting old. more than two cups of coffee causes hand tremors on our semi-deprecated body and that's makes you useless if you're coding for live. Found few solutions to fix that issue and they're definitely deserves a blog entry.

 Backstory
 Before the touch screen and optical pointers, each computer was controlling by Mechanical mice which is driven by a giant ball at the bottom and connected to serial or PS/2 port. You have to clean them at every month but they were completely stable. I used these things until 2006, then switched to optical mouse and torture has began.

 You don't have to do a periodic maintenance on optical mouse but they're only works on super clean surfaces with no reflectance. Even must be darker as possible. I was using my black shirt as mousepad while using them.

 Few years ago switched to three-monitor setup and purchased A4Tech XL-750BH laser mouse due to necessity of high resolution. Everything was okay on win7 and mouse cursor get sensitive again after upgraded to win8.1
 
 Somehow survived to today by messing with a shaking cursor and finally dedicated my last three days to fix it. My first idea was implementation of a kernel driver with kalman filter which is widely using in smartphones and quadcopters. Then found few similar solutions after a quick web search.

 SteadyMouse (Win32)
 It's almost 10 year old software, specifically designed for elderly users. tried it before but wasn't effective as i assumed. Does the job but you have to forfeit from mouse acceleration feature of operating system. First version is still freeware, 2016 release is more promising and it's asking for $97 for an updated version. download from here
 
 Povohat's mouse driver (Win32)
 This guy probably a gamer, there is a lot of reference in gaming forums and reddit. He's developed him own usb filter driver for FPS games and it's also works system wide. There is no actual repositioning filter implemented but it allows to customize in-depth sensitivity and acceleration settings. Works like a charm since one week.

 Download: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4369386/interaccel_test2.7.zip
 Blog: http://mouseaccel.blogspot.com
 Forum: http://www.mouse-sensitivity.com
 Old site: http://accel.drok-radnik.com/old.html
 
 Smooth Cursor (Mac)
 Seems provides same functionality with povohat's driver, designed for mac users. https://smoothcursor.com/ 

 Tips for higher mouse performance
 + Use an usb hub with external power supply for a seamless mouse movement
 + Find a mousepad which made from fabric material.
 + Purchase a laser mouse if you can afford them, it worths to the investment.
 + Tie the extra mouse cable and shield this portion with aluminium foil. That's prevents the movement interruptions on EMI spikes.


  

New cat on software section

October 24, 2016

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 Shared few abandonware apps from various developers. Abandonware means their creators are long dead, safe to redistribute. most of them almost 10 years old but still works if you turn off UAC.
 
 Check out at here



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