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View Poll Results: Are you a
DIY person - your soldering iron never gets packed away 97 28.28%
Occasional tinkerer - you can make HW mods but would rather pay for a ready solution 159 46.36%
User - you'd much rather buy a ready made solution instead of wasting your time 87 25.36%
Voters: 343. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 24 November 2006, 11:45   #1
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Are you interested in DIY hardware or would you rather buy ready-made solutions?

This one is just out of my curiosity.. I'd like to know how many like to tinker and how many would rather just use their computers. :-)

Perhaps we can give better solutions to the problems posted here if there was an idea about what you guys are expecting.

Last edited by Jope; 24 November 2006 at 11:52.
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Old 24 November 2006, 12:13   #2
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personally, I can make stuff, but if I can get them ready-made (and thus in better quality) I prefer them... like the idekiller thingie... or the fan adaptor...
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Old 24 November 2006, 13:17   #3
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I prefer to make stuff because I can choose the quality/price and can fix something if it goes wrong.
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Old 24 November 2006, 14:09   #4
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my soldering skills are non existent, i've a story of broken hardware, molten tin on the floor etc. i can repair audio jacks, the big ones. that's all. i'm a consumer.
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Old 24 November 2006, 14:47   #5
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Me's a DIY noob with a lazy attitude

It depends on the advance of the circuit or whatever the device is, i guess... my [not-so-properly-soldered-to-the-a1200-mobo reset button], a [200W PC PSU with cables running here and there], a [3rd & 4th player multi-tap], or some joystick upgrades (seperate 2nd & 3rd fire buttons ) spring into mind, but if it comes to chip programming... No. I refuse
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Old 24 November 2006, 18:44   #6
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I made my own EPROM programmer many moons ago, ran through the parallel, even wrote my own smarty software too

if you added up the time to

prototype the hardware
prototype the software
build the hardware
build the software

test the hardware
test the software

now add the cost of


Adding all that together I could of bought several EPROM programmers...

but hey... mine looks like it could REALLY burn and EPROM!!!

I just love building hardware / software.... I can't help it.

dont ge me wrong i would choose a cost effective solution if I felt i didn`t have the skills....

but me and my ... 8 soldering irons are rarely defeated!!!!!

my ultimate goal is to build an ALU from potatoes powered by lemon juice
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Old 24 November 2006, 19:18   #7
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I tinker.. Modded a few XBox's and a few PSX's and I can be relied upon to try and mend anything (With failure usually )
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Old 24 November 2006, 19:23   #8
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I'm like Bippy too, I tinker around some but would rather purchase due to time constraints
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Old 24 November 2006, 19:29   #9
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Just a user.
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Old 26 November 2006, 19:02   #10
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Afraid I fall on the DIY side, with the caveat that I would like premade boards to be available for more complex stuff, making PCBs with iron on laser transfers and a developing tray, and having to drill them with a cheap handheld drill is not how I want to spend an afternoon, if I could afford a UV unit, and heated bubble tanks, and a proper PCB drill (or CNC drill) it would be a different matter.

I don't have any problems taking a soldering iron out on the hardware itself, having succesfully made both my A4000 and A2000 less broken than they were before, and added a very hastily constructed s-video output to my A600.
I've been idly considering a clip-on-the-68000 4/8MB RAM board for the A600, the design for an A500 version already exists on Aminet, so it's just a case of producing a suitable board. I'm thinking it could be done for about £10 for a non-autoconfig model, provided you don't mind recycling ram chips from old SIMMs, and using a single sided board with wire links, but really I want autoconfig, and nice professionally made boards, which adds substantially to the cost, not least in the form of programmers for the GAL and autoconfig ROM that I'd need.
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Old 09 December 2006, 22:47   #11
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Bit of both, dont mind bolting things together, and can use a soldering iron, prefer ready to run when i can afford it, other wise its diy untill i can afford to replace it - sometimes the diy job even works like it should.
Generally enjoy tinkering, as there's no pressure on how long a miggy is down, as the rest of the family arnt effected. There tortured windoze/linux users.
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Old 29 December 2006, 12:14   #12
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I like the option of having peripherals available as kits. The reproduction Apple ][ Mockingboard that GSE-reactive sold a while back was available in both fully-assembled and kit form, and the kit version shaved something like $10 off the final price.

Thing is, I don't think it's really possible to offer some limited-run hardware like this in kit form. For example, anything that involves surface-mount soldering in putting it together would be beyond the skills of most people.
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Old 29 December 2006, 23:00   #13
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Surface mount isn't that hard, certainly not as hard as people who haven't tried it sometimes think.
What it does require however is completely different equipment and techniques to through-hole. Ideally you'll have a hot-air rework station (Chinese ones can be had for around £60, and should be good enough for most hobbyists), along with a flux pen and solder paste, however, those on a tight budget can get acceptable results with a gas soldering iron fitted with a hot air head.
The actual process is amazingly simple, put some flux on the legs of the component and pads, put a line of solder paste across the pads, place component, heat, and watch as the paste melts and separates before your eyes, and the component shifts itself into the correct position.
Alternatively, the board can be heated in an oven with all components in place.
More modern technology, like BGA packages are near impossible to do manually without very expensive equipment though, fortunately, the only place where they're used in Amiga hardware is PowerPC chips.
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Old 29 December 2006, 23:29   #14
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@secret Vampire

hmmm looks like i need to add some stuff to next years chrimbo wish list !!!

I'v been SMC soldering with 0.4m bit and a steady hand (normaly after a couple-o-jars if ya know what i mean) if there is a cost effective easier way... imma down for that...
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Old 04 January 2007, 17:46   #15
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Bit of both, but I draw the line at soldering. But this is another aspect of why the Amiga has so much soul. How many DIY projects for the PC are there? Other case mods/overclocks, how much DIY tinkering can one do to a PC?

Bugger all.
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Old 13 February 2007, 21:12   #16
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Like to mess around with hardware but usually only need to make a couple of custom power/audio/usb cables for my A1200T/A600.

Never made anything on a PCB or anything. Usually just soldering components which I keep snapping off expansions.

I really wouldnt like to buy a zorro board in kit form. Headaches!
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Old 14 February 2007, 01:09   #17
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Originally Posted by Smiley
I really wouldnt like to buy a zorro board in kit form. Headaches!

Oh my.... sounds like weeks of heaven!!!!!

just not if it only comes with chinese instructions!... that could be bad....
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Old 14 February 2007, 01:19   #18
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It is clear to me by the number of people sending stuff to JJ at Amiga Centre France that there are less "tinkerers" than users regardless of what the poll says.

CU_Amiga for example wanted to flog a great item (Flicker Magic D) as broken rather than fix it (I talked him around, fixed it for him and I think he'll use it once he gets his Amiga back).

I dont think anyone here REALLY does any DIY Amiga stuff?

With prices going the way they are going DIY repairs on broken stuff seems to me the way to get bargains.
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Old 14 February 2007, 01:24   #19
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I sent some stuff to JJB as i dont have the equipment to fix an apollo 060 let alone any logic testing equipment.

and my soldering iron never gets packed away! )
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Old 15 February 2007, 17:18   #20
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Most stuff is pretty easy to fix, like snapped componenets, wire etc.

e.g. Soldering a new capacitator would be easy enough

Its when a track is damaged that I would need to send it off to France.

Ive repaired my Scandy1200, A600 Keyboard, Apollo1240. But it wasnt serious damage, just mostly stuff id broken off
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