Point to point wiring with magnet wire

I’m currently rewiring a part of the Monsputer’s CPU board that was implemented with several patches. I’m reusing an Atmel CPLD used for another board. A problem with this chip: it’s a TQFP package. Without a PCB, it’s difficult to connect to the pins … or maybe not.


With common tools and a steady hand, it’s possible to connect very fine magnet wires to the pins. A soldering iron with a needle tip, some tweezers, a magnifier (or a stereomicroscope), some liquid flux, an x-acto knife. Some spools of enameled wire (#36 for signals, #26,#24,#22 for power), some tinned wire (#32,#36) for direct connections. The flux is an essential ingredient to a good solder.


Here is the culprit, with many connections made already:


To connect to the pins, the insulation on the wire must be removed. For convenience, we allow two ends when finishing a net and beginning another: about 5 mm of nude copper. When the current net is completed, an half is used for the end of the current wire, and the other half is used for starting another net. In middle net points, we remove 3 mm of insulation. For the TQFP package, we make all nets ending on the TQFP. Instead of 2.5 to 3 mm, we only need about an half of a mm.cut-diagram2

To cut the insulation, we do 8 cuts to scratch the enamel. While there are enamels that melt for soldering, this may cause problems. The 8 cuts are done with a hand held x-acto or similar knife. Here, the x-acto is shown in 2 positions.cut-diagramBefore soldering to the TQFP, the exposed copper wire should be tinned. With a bit of flux, a steady hand (“doigts de fée”), place the wire end on the TQFP pad, heat the pin and the connection is done!

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FE/GE experiments: air against vacuum

One of the flat earth arguments is that we can’t have a pressurised region and a vacuum coexisting side by side.

It would be possible to replicate in small scale the gradient effect of the atmosphere. Inside a vacuum chamber, we put a rotating container with an opening in the center. We make it spin, so the centrifugal force will keep the air inside the container. If we make the vacuum, we would be able to get the air against the vacuum.

Of course, for now it’s only theoretical, since there is no scientific interest except for teaching or demonstration purpose.

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FE/GE experiment: water clinging to ball

In the flat earth/globe earth “debate”, the flat earthers say “water doesn’t cling to a ball”.

A possible way to prove that water can comform to the exterior of a sphere is to use a Van de Graaff generator upside down so the electrode can drop water in a safe way. The high voltage should be able to hold the water on the sphere.

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One of my first projects

I found some picture on the web, several years ago. It happens that I made a similar project a long time ago, but there’s something a bit special about the pictures.



I have sold my project a long time ago at a flea market. But on these pictures, I recognized the parts that I scavenged from old TVs, the hardware, even all the aesthetic imperfections!

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Globe earth and the horizon experiment

For a person with eye level at 6 feet, the horizon would be 0.0419° below eye level.

To do an experiment to test this, we need a way to measure very small angles. A very cheap and easy way is to use an ordinary ruler.

Let’s take a 30 cm ruler, place it at 57.296 m and voilà! The value in meter gives almost exactly the same value of angle in degrees within maybe 0.1% error (guesstimate). I.e. the 0.0419° value should be at 0.0419 m.

Next, we need to have a very precise level. An easy way to do this is to have a hose a bit longer than 57m. The hose should start at the reference point and end at the observation point. Both ends will serve as an horizontal reference.

The water level in the hose should be at the 0 of the ruler and a telescope should be at the height of water at the other end of the hose.


While you can rent a theodolite, not everybody is familiar with this and its principle of operation may not be recognized by flat earthers who will say most probably that it’s a free mason instrument.

This experiment is very easy in principle and works with easy to understand concepts, and it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. It can even be implemented in a permanent installation. Happy experimenting!!!

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The moon and the globe earth

I took this picture of the moon a few days ago. From the angle of the moon, we can see that the sun’s light comes from “below the flat earth disk”. This wouldn’t fit with a flat earth model, for which both the sun and the moon are always above the disk.


Moon around midnight a few days ago


Another flat earther claim is the discrepancy between the continents size.

There is an image explaining this discrepancy, but apparently, some flat earthers are not knowledgeable in photography.

Globe comparison with distanceGlobe comparison with distance

I reproduced this myself with a Canon Coolpix:


Photo of a globe from about 30 cm (1 foot)


Photo from about 1.3 m (4 feet)

On this photo, I zoomed in to bring the globe to the same size as the first picture. We can clearly see the “discrepancy” in size. The images are ‘as is’ from the camera. No photoshop, no fakery, no NASA, no freemasonry.

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Some (unsuccessful) experiments with magnetic bearings

In the confrontation of the globe earth and flat earth models, still believed by many religious oriented people or uneducated conspirationists, the flat earth supposedly doesn’t rotate, because we can’t feel it. It doesn’t occur to flat earthists that the speed of rotation is too small to be felt.

To prove the earth’s rotation, there are several methods; one of them is to use a gyroscope. Commercially available gyroscope available to the great public isn’t suitable for showing the earth’s rotation. They have too much friction and can’t sustain the rotation for very long. Other principles can be used, of course (laser ring, etc.) but are too expensive or inaccessible or hard to understand. There is the geeky Copernitron among other methods.

Ideally a gyroscope should have frictionless bearing and run within a vacuum. Frictionless bearings can be done with permanent magnet arranged in a specific way. There are several demonstrations on You Tube, but nothing was useful for a gyroscope.

I decided to do some experiments with magnets and bismuth. I bough some NdFeB magnets and a chunk of bismuth on ebay. The smaller magnet is supposed to be suspended within the bigger magnet, lined with a bismuth ring (homemade). The picture below shows the bismuth chunk, the two NdFeB magnets in the left, and the bismuth ring on the right.

Here are the dimensions:

big magnet: 3/4″ OD, 1/2″ OD, 1/4″ thickness

small magnet: 3/8″ OD, 9/64″ ID, 1/8″ thickness

bismuth ring: 1/2″ OD, 7/16″ ID, 1/4″ thickness


The bismuth ring was not easy to make; I’m not well equipped for working metal. I made it by melting the bismuth in a 1/2″ diameter mold. I then drilled a hole in the center, working it bigger with a small drill and increasing the drill size. At the end I used a file to get the ring’s final dimensions.


The magnets are magnetized axially. Once the bismuth ring is placed in the bigger magnet, the small magnet can be inserted in the center. When the magnets attract each other, the smaller magnet isn’t suspended in the center; it’s attracted to the side. When the magnets repell each other, the configuration is unstable.

Conclusion: it doesn’t work, yet!

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