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: qrz.is/about/

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 (aliexpress.com/item/1005004018)
* 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 pypi.org 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 (codeberg.org/mclemens/qrzlogge):

* rudimentary contest mode is now available by starting the programm with "./qrzlogger.py -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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