Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why Start This Blog?

Why am I starting this blog? I don't know that I have a really good answer other than I have been wanting to learn more about blogging and maintaining a blog so why not start one? For years now my cube neighbor Jeff Guin has been trying to talk me into starting a blog about cemetery conservation. Cemetery conservation is my specialty and I have a good reputaion for it, I cordinate NCPTT's training and research efforts as they purtain to cemeteries. However, that is what I do all day for a living and I don't want to get total burned out.

Lately as a past time I have been reading up and trying to refresh my knowledge of electroninics. I took electronincs in undergrade and had a little in high school but haven't used it since. My brother has been bugging me for the past year to pick-it up again so we can start some fun projects together.

Last summer at NCPTT the Materials Research Program begain working on a project with Curtis Desselles using Eddy Currents to analysis metals for cultural materials. Working with Curtis opened my eyes to how much could be done with electronics for the field of conservation.

So there is my answer finally, I have started this blog to address electronics projects that could be benificial to conservation and the conservator. I have decided to start from the basics approch mostly because that is the level of experties that I am currently at.

I know that there are a million DIY blogs out there and I am going to try and not just repeat or redistrubute those same sites and projects. I am (with the help of Curtis Desselles, Jeff Church, and others) going to come up with new projects for the conservator. Also, we will be preforming conservation/ preservation work to vintage and historic electronic instruments and components. We will try and keep in mind cost (lots of recycled parts and reuse) and quality at all times. If you are in the realm of cultural resources most likely your broke. I have always said you defiantly get into this career for love not money. If you have found differently let me know.

To start I have been reading the book Practical Electronics for Inventors by Paul Scherz. One of the first things addressed is the basic tools needed (some I already own others I don't) to do electronics.
Multimeter -check
Soldering Iron - check
Oscilloscope - check
Power Supply- NO

So this makes our first blog project easy... a power supply. Power supplies are not very expensive MPJA Electronics Online has good power supplies for $150 and up. Not to bad but if you are in the world of conservation most likely your broke.

My favorite professor Bill Hanner used to say there are three reasons to make anything yourself.
  1. You will know everything about when your done.
  2. You can usually build it cheaper and out of better materials.
  3. You can customize it to reflect your use or personality.
We will cover each of these as we build.

Next post selecting a power supply to build.