Making an Audio Input Adapter Cable for a 1950s Vacuum Tube Radio

I recently fixed up my first vacuum tube radio, a 1956 Philips 353A, which now works well and sounds fantastic and is set up in our front room. The AM/FM signal reception in our house is relatively poor, however, and I noticed that this radio has a “Gramophone Pick-Up” input, which is basically just anContinue reading “Making an Audio Input Adapter Cable for a 1950s Vacuum Tube Radio”

IEC64W IEEE-488 Parallel Interface Adapters for the Commodore 64 & 128

I recently repaired and restored a 1983 Commodore 2031-LP 5.25″ floppy drive, which is unusual in that it uses the came IEEE-488 parallel interface as the earlier Commodore PET series of computers (GPIB connector), as opposed to the IEC serial interface used by the later Commodore 8-bit series of computers (DIN connector). This made testingContinue reading “IEC64W IEEE-488 Parallel Interface Adapters for the Commodore 64 & 128”

Building a Dim-Bulb Tester for Vintage Radios & TVs

I recently bought my first ever vacuum tube radio, a 1956 Philips 353A AM/FM set, which is by far the oldest item in my collection. I’ve been wanting to get into vintage radio restoration for some time now (after watching YouTube channels such as the excellent Mr Carlson’s Lab), as I find the electronics fascinating.Continue reading “Building a Dim-Bulb Tester for Vintage Radios & TVs”

Serial & Parallel Port Loopback Adaptors for the Commodore Amiga

I like to test all of the machines that I restore as thoroughly as possible, because thorough testing is necessary to verify correct operation – electronic devices are complex systems with lots of functionality and components, so just because something looks like it works (i.e. it boots), that doesn’t necessarily mean that it works properly.Continue reading “Serial & Parallel Port Loopback Adaptors for the Commodore Amiga”

Redcar Blast Furnace – the End of an Era

I wanted to take a break from my usual content to talk about a renowned Teesside institution: steelmaking. Today (02/08/2021) is a bittersweet day, because it was the start of demolition works on the now-defunct Redcar Blast Furnace (RBF) and its surrounding buildings to make space for new industrial ventures. The blast furnace was aContinue reading “Redcar Blast Furnace – the End of an Era”

Recycling Scrap Components into Decorative Collectables

Restoring vintage electronics can lead to a lot of waste being produced – failed ICs, failed components, irreparable circuit boards, and irreparable plastic case parts are usually the main offenders. As all of this kit is original and irreplaceable, and to try to do my part for the environment, I try to recycle my electronicsContinue reading “Recycling Scrap Components into Decorative Collectables”

My New Home Electronics Workshop

My partner and I recently bought our first house together, in Billingham – a town currently in the spotlight for its association with one of the new COVID vaccines. Among the obvious work that needed doing to make the house “a home” (i.e. decorating, electrical work, central heating work, joinery work, etc), one of myContinue reading “My New Home Electronics Workshop”

ZX Spectrum 48k Charity Raffle

This year, I am raising money for the Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation to help them continue their “Meaningful Encounters” programme, which my employer supports. The programme focuses on a group of young women (Year 10 students), and aims to help them get started with STEM careers. This is extremely important, as there is still a disproportionatelyContinue reading “ZX Spectrum 48k Charity Raffle”

Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128k+2A/+2B/+3 PSU Build

I like to keep an assortment of working power supplies for various vintage computers in an accessible manner, alongside all my test equipment, so I can easily power up pretty much any computer or board that I might need to. However, I’m often reluctant to use most original power supplies, as they are inefficient, unreliable,Continue reading “Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128k+2A/+2B/+3 PSU Build”

My first blog post!

My name is Adam Wilson, and this is my first ever blog post, on my first ever website. I’m an electronics engineer by trade (my job involves developing software, firmware, and hardware for embedded industrial applications), and for the past few years I’ve been collecting, repairing, and restoring vintage computers in my spare time. ThisContinue reading “My first blog post!”