NuTone Appliance Maintenance

My house was built at a time when things were made to last. However, some things are hard to maintain. Hidden appliances, like the kitchen fan, is an appliance that nobody thinks about until it starts making sounds or, in my case, little pieces of dirt rained down when it was turned on. I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been cleaned since it was installed 65 years ago. The entire motor housing and duct was covered with a thick layer of grease and dirt. It was time for some appliance maintenance.

The fan manufacturer, NuTone - best known for making doorbells - made fans primarily for residential homes. My grandmother had one above her kitchen sink that vented out the wall.  There was a pull chain to turn it on.  I remember her climbing up a stool and straddling the sink to clean the fan. My mom stood behind her the whole time waiting to catch her if she fell. These fans were stout, quiet and worth a bit of money if maintained.

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Printer Hacking

Reposted from Hackerspace member Ross’s blog

So the other day I was walking home from school and as I was walking by the dumpster I saw an old printer in there. I don’t know why someone was throwing it away but I didn’t care as I had more nefarious plans for it than simply spraying tree skin with black blood. For a long time I’ve been reading about electronics, about hardware hackers and I thought it was time for some hacking of my own. As someone who doesn’t have that much spare cash to throw at buying the components I want I’ve been seriously interested in what other people are throwing away and how I can use it. To that end this printer became my first victim.

Tearing off the plastic case didn’t take too much and it exposed the electronics underneath.

The control board has lots of interesting pieces that I can salvage

Finally I pulled out what I wanted

From just this old printer I pulled out two controller boards of questionable value but fun to see how the circuits workd and two prizes, a stepper motor and two DC motors. Not a bad haul since buying just those motors could have cost up to 30 bucks separately (new of course). After I pulled this stuff out and threw away the rest I realized that the next time I do this I am going to have even more fun trying to build a CNC using the actual physical hardware thought the steppers are usually too weak but it should be fun.