Last night I bought all the parts that I'll need to make a power supply for hotwiring the foam cores for the HP-24 wing plugs.
The power supply that I'm building is the unit described in this article by Tom Weedon.
That article has circuit diagrams, a circuit board layout, and a front panel guide. But best of all, it includes a complete parts list with Radio Shack part numbers. So all I had to do was march down to what Dilbert creator Scott Adams refers to as "Electron Hut" and pull the parts off the shelf. The only substitutions I had to make was to use a 274-632 for the two-position speaker connector, and choose a different fuse holder because the specified unit was out of stock. But I did walk out of the store everything I'd need to build the power supply, and all for only about $42.
That experience reminded me of how nice it is to have a complete kit at hand. No scrounging, no time wasted improvising, no bothersome phone calls looking for obscure parts or supplies. Just go to the box and get the parts. All building, no "hmmmmm..." time.
As to why I'm building a power supply instead of just buying one, I haven't got a good explanation of that. It will take an afternoon or so to put the power supply together. Equivalent units finished and ready to use cost about $170. So I'm trading a little time for a little cash. But down the road, if I need to fix the unit, I'll already know everything that there is about it. So there will probably be some net savings there. I guess the real reason I don't just go buy one is that I aspire to the status of Resourceful Builder, and things like this are what Resourceful Builders do.
And, of course, a big Thanks for Tom Weedon, for the trouble he went to in designing the off-the-shelf hotwire power supply.
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page updated 6 December 2002 all text and graphics copyright (c) 2002 HP Aircraft, LLC