Today I opened my Playstation 2 Slim, cleaned it, replaced the laser and lubed the machanic. It was an easy and affordable (13€) fix that surpisingly went well so it can now read game and movie DVDs again!

Dear battery spot welding people: when recycling old battery packs, do I want to remove the old welds or cut them short and weld another layer over them? If I remove it, a bit of it will stay in the battery (see picture) - that's why I am asking. I don't have a spot welder yet so I am lacking experience but want to prepare everything now.

The three cells I've tested so far have a remaining capacity of around 2000mAh, originally the had 2300mAh. They are probably over 5 years old. Does it still make sense to use them as a battery pack for portable operations? Or is it not worth the effort? Maybe build a bigger pack for stuff at home where weight is not an issue?

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I've showed you the many battery packs I've inherited and now have decided to disassemble them, test all cells and build a bigger pack for powering my Hardrock 50 when operating portable.

For this I need a (cheap) spot welder. Can you recommend me one please?

Today I received a Component video cable for the PlayStation 2. The difference between this and the component cable is huge! I also upgraded from Gran Turismo 4 PAL to NTSC which supports 1080i and has a higher frame rate. This is brilliant!

A few years ago I bought a XBox One for my the-kids-are-in-bed-and-I-want-to-relax-on-the-couch time. Big mistake. Everytime I fire it up after some weeks/months, it updates for 1-2h, I need to re-log in with this crappy MS account, new games need to be installed, the HDD is full etc. It simply sucks. A lot.

This sunday I bought a PS2 Slim on a flea market for 20€. I am now playing Gran Turismo 4 in the evenings and it so much fun.

Reviving the good times, no hassle, just playing.

Today I activated DA-0221 again and had lots of fun. Worked 15 stations in 9 different European countries on 20m SSB with just 5W.

The system (rpi + keyboard + screen) draws 8 to 8.5W in console mode while logging a contact. I think that's not too bad.

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I just fried my Banana Pi by connecting it to an ethernet cable with an inline passive PoE injector :(

Added a pic of me as asciiart to the about page of my personal web site:

I know it's a bit silly but I like it :)

I've now decided against the Pi Zero because I would need adapters for keyboard and HDMI. An old Pi 1B should be sufficient, no adapters needed and it has Ethernet.

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I think I've asked here twice before what you could recommend as a super low power and super low price PC for the shack. I have now decided on the following:

* Raspberry Pi Zero 2
* 10" monitor for car use (
* cheap tenkeyless backlit mechanical keyboard

I can then hopefully use the monitor for the C64 or other consoles, too. It can be operated directly with 12V and thus with solar power.

Use case: logging, antenna switching, dx cluster - all on the console.

I furthermore simplified everything. qrzlogger is now reduced to one script + documentation files.
Moreover I deleted the project at so you can't install it anymore via pip. It's just to much overhead. Just clone the repo or download the single .py file and have fun :)

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I've updated qrzlogger (

* rudimentary contest mode is now available by starting the programm with "./ -c"
* fast forward mode implemented: you can now press "d" to skip the rest of the QSO related questions. You can now log a QSO with a bare minimum of two questions: call sign and band. The rest is populated with defaults.
* changed order of questions so that the most important (for me) come first. This is because of the fast forward function

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