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Thompson's Corner






Current Projects

Inductance-Capacitance Meter Adapter

Link to Inductance-Capacitance Adapter Page

I had to use a signal generator, resistor, and oscilloscope to measure the value of an inductor for my battery-charger project. That was just irritating. So, after looking for a reasonably priced L-C meter and finding none, I started looking at articles for building one. There are many on the net. I picked the best one based on cost, ease of assembly, and ability to check all sizes of inductors I needed with minimum errors due to resistance and core saturation. The capacitance meter was thrown in for convienience and does not pretend to be anything but a simple capacitance checker.

Automobile Battery Charger

Link to Battery Charger page

My Mustang spent the winter in the garage, and ended up with a un-chargeable battery this spring. Now, the battery was only about 6-months old so I began research how batteries die and what to do about it. This project came out of that research.

It seems I did everything wrong. I let the battery go completely dead, no float charging. I started the car a few times during the winter, but never allowed the battery to get fully recharged. I charged the battery incorrectly with a bench power supply. The result is a battery with sulphonication.

So, what I wanted to build was a battery charger that would charge a battery at about 10 amps if it was very discharged, and then switch to a float charge of about 100 ma when the battery was nearly charged. I wanted to use one of the old PC power supplies that I have laying around as the power source for the charger. In addition to the charging and float maintenace, I wanted to periodicaly apply a load to discharge the battery slightly and follow the discharge with a re-charge.

Welding Cart

Link to Welding Cart page

Initial design is done. Construction is from bed-frame angle iron. It will hold my arc welder, the TIG Arcstarter and Power Control, my MIG welder, and two gas cylinders


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Past Projects

Garden - Waterfeature

Link to Garden - Waterfeaturer Page

This is a "snowball" project; one of those that starts small and then snowballs. It started as a perceived need to get the lawnmower over a drainage ditch. That resulted in a bridge. Then an extention walkway was wanted to connect the bridge to an existing path in the garden. And a waterfall / stream would look good next to the bridge walkway, "don't you think." But I have small Grandkids, so a pondless stream would be required. The "snowball" finally melted, but not before it started another project.

Stream Water-Level Control

Link to Water Level Controller Page

This project was a "snowball" from the Waterfeature project. After losing a pump due to loss of water in my pondless stream, I decided I needed a system to automatically add water as needed, and to turn off the pump if the water was not added. This system is more than a simple float switch.

Klipsch Promedia Speaker Repair

Link to Klipsch V.2-400 Repair Page

Faced with the lack of support from Klipsch, I began tracing the BASH amplifier circuit for my Promedia V2-400 BASH amplifier. The resulting schematics are my best effort to document what I found. I have also described design defects I have found and what I am doing to improve them.

Thanks to the circuit tracing and schematic drawing efforts of Evan Shultz, the Promedia V2.1, V4.1, and V5.1 have been added.

Small Projects

Link to Electronics Projects page

Other electronic projects and gadgets.

TIG Arcstarter and Power Control

Link to Arcstarter page

This project started from seeing pages describing arcstarters that could be constructed for practically no cost from stuff just laying around in the typical tinker's shop. It has been a fun project, but I have a basement crammed full of stuff and still had to spend over $600 to build the thing.

A typical homemade arcstarter, but the power control section is not typical of home made circuits. Power control is linearly controlled from zero to full power at no, partial, and full current.

Welder Foot Pedal and Torch Controls

Link to Welder Foot Pedal  page

The foot pedal for the TIG Arcstarter and Power Control box. Both power-level and On-Off control can be controlled by the foot on this pedal. A round body potentiometer was used, so the pedal had to convert the angular motion into rotation of the potentiometer shaft. Constructed from aluminum plate with hand tools and a drill press.

A small box added to the torch provides the same power-level and On-Off control that the foot pedal gives, but can do it in cramped locations.

Jetted-Tub Controller

Link to Jetted-Tub Controller

A set-it-and-forget-it controller for my jetted-tub. Turn it on and the tub fills to the selected level, heats the water to the selected temperature, and turns on the pump. This is not a project for a person used to plugging in off-the-shelf components. The water-level sensors, the water heater, and most of the other elements of this system are hand made.

House Projects

Link to House Projects page

A few of the better home improvement projects.
  • Rose Trellis
  • Decorative Oak Floor
  • Cantilevered Bay Windows
  • Wisteria Arbor
  • Radon Mitigation System
  • Improved Rain Gutters and Downspouts

65 Mustang Intermittent Wipers

Link to Intermittent Wiper Control page

The windshield wipers were changed into intermittent wipers without altering any original switches, wiring, or body parts. This cuircuit plugs in to the wiper motor and the original wiper switch. Selection of three different time delays is done by counting the number of On-Off switch cycles immediately before the final On selection. Turn the switch On and the wipers run at normal full time. Turn the switch On, then Off quickly, then On and the wipers operate intermittently with a small delay. On, Off, On, Off, On increases the delay.

Convert 65 Mustang to
Dual Master Cylinder

Link to Dual Master Cylinder Conversion page

Documentation of the switch from a single to a dual master cylinder and replacement of the rear brake lines. The old lines were missing and had been replaced by the wrong parts for a dual-exhaust vehicle. Included is a warning light and switch that warns if there is a failure of the master cylinder balance or if the emergency brake is left on.

65 Mustang Blast Panel

Link to Blast Shield page

Made from four pieces of sheet metal, this panel fits behind the rear seat to slow the fireball that may occur during a rear-end collision. The panel is positioned behind the prevent fuel and flames from passing through the rear speaker cutouts. Construction is simplified, strength is improved, and sealing is tightened by using four panel pieces instead of a more conventional single piece of sheet metal.

This design is untested - thank God - since I only have one Mustang. There is no stated or implied guarrantee that the panel will prevent or lessen injury. Use the information only as an example of what someone else has done.

More Mustang

Link to More Mustang page

A few more Mustang projects I have done for which there is not much documentation.
  • Make a Rusted-Out Top-Hat Replacement - Mustang.
  • Retractable Shoulder Seat Belts for a Mustang.

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free web tracker

Random Links That Don't Fit Any Place

Make printed circuit boards using photocopier
Good description of the technique
A source of paper for making circuit boards that is closer to home - Staples.
Detailed description of technique and experimental results. Paper is Staples' "Picture Paper" (SKU 471861 UPC 7 18103 02238 5 or SKU 471865 UPC 7 18103 02241 5)
Cupric chloride as a board etchant

Easily made cupric chloride
I use cupric chloride as a board etchant.
Link 1 above is a detailed description.
Link 2 is the simpler instructions for using muratic acid and hydrogen peroxide.
Software I frequently use and recommend.
Most of these programs are free. None are mediocre. All that are purchased are a tremendous bargain.
Convert DesignCAD drawings to image files
A method to convert DesignCad vector drawings to bitmapped output files.

Link to CrossFIT BWI
A Fitness Program Designed to Take Your Strength and Cardiovascular Fitness to a Higher Level.
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Comments, Suggestions, and Contact Information

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Copyright Notice

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The copyright of the material contained in this website belongs to and remains with Dale Thompson, unless otherwise stated. Your access to it does not imply a license to reproduce and/or distribute this information.

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This website has been compiled in good faith by Dale Thompson and all information is offered without warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or completeness or accuracy of the information it contains. Information on this website may contain technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Information may be changed or updated without notice. You should always verify any information before you act upon it.

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By accessing this website, you agree that Dale Thompson will not be liable for any direct or indirect loss arising from the provision or use of the information and material contained in this website.

Copyright Dale Thompson,
2 April 2004 through
last revision on3 December 2014.