Fluke 87 rip and replace

It finally happened. My trusty, hand me down, Fluke 87 gave up the ghost. 



Busted one is on the left, donor is on the right.  

A friend of mine who is a real electrical hardware engineer gave me his when the ohms side of the 

meter stopped working. Volts was working just fine. Which was fine for me because at the time I was just getting into electronics. And he save me a lot of money for a nice meter. 

All good things come to an end. A couple of months ago it started acting flakey and giving me odd readings. I replaced the battery and checked the fuses. It worked a little bit and then the screen started to fade in and out. I check the battery and it was good. Well, shucks. 

I started the online looking. Yikes, new was out of the question. While I don’t have a problem paying good money for a good tool, this was little out of my league. Nice used ones on eBay were pushing my budget. Then I remembered / noticed something about the Flukes. Their inside come out of the case quite nicely. It is a neat little package. The buttons and dial stay on the front of the case. 

I went on a hunt for a used one. I found one that I thought was a nice find for $70. The case had dings and scratches and some paint or markings on it. There wasn’t a case and no leads. I don’t need a case as I already have one as well as the leads. My case is in good shape, just the guts are shot. 

After a quick surgery I have my Fluke 87 back in action again and for me with an upgrade. I am finally at the point where the other functions will come in quite handy.

IMG 4191

Mac Mini Upgrade – Getting back on track

Alright, time to get back on track once again. I will still have pieces to pick up, but they will stumble in as I get time. It is time to get back to projects at hand; and they have been stacking up on me. 

My kids have a Mac Mini 2011. It is still a solid machine, but the hard drive and lack of RAM are showing its’ age though. It seemed pretty good for a spell, but with kids apps, games, and the lot, it could use a boost. The kids stopping using it so much and when I asked they said it was slow. No it isn’t I said in that fatherly tone of you don’t know what you are talking about. Then I tried to do a little work on it to clean it up and see if I could make it at least “act” quicker. I do crack myself up at times, this was one of them. 

After a little research and checking prices online. I hit the Confirm button for 2 purchases.

MacMini upgrade

The LittleMac only had 4GB of RAM.  Not a lot anymore if you fire up an app or 2 with a couple of browser windows open. I found a stick of 8GB for a decent price on eBay. After saving one of the 2GB sticks of the 4, I brought it up to 10GB.

Second was the hard disk, it was no speed deamon (cracking myself up). Other World Computing has always treated me well when it has some to upgrades, especially storage. It has been a while since I have checked on the prices and I was pleasantly surprised how much they have come down. I was able to pick up a 120GB for $30 and change. I actually bought 2 of them and I am using the other one as the main boot drive in my Debian box now. 

I have not taken apart an Aluminum Mac Mini before. I didn’t think it was going to be a big deal, but to make sure I had my wits about myself I check online exactly how to take it apart. I have long given up my days of manual be gone, hand my my screwdriver! It was a little more involved then I thought, but my boy and I were able to get it done in about an hour. 

Everyone is much happier and I did it under $80. Now maybe we can get a few more years out of it.