The original plans for the weekend were thrown in to the air for a number of reasons. I spent most of Saturday with a saw, drill and screwdriver rebuilding part of the summerhouse in the garden and ferrying the old rotten parts and other garden waste to the local refuse tip!
Today (Sunday) I had the house to myself as the wife was off visiting her sister. As the weather has been absolutely atrocious, raining most of the day, I decided to have a bit of a clean up in the den. I'd noticed the fans in the main computer have been roaring under the slightest load recently and as I suspected the reason was the air intakes were blocked with dust and dog hair! While not quite as bad as these it was still pretty shocking as I do regularly check them.
As I had to pull them out from under the desk I decided to have a bit of a rearrange. While doing this I removed a redundant ethernet switch and an unused USB 1.1 hub, both were cheap far-eastern ones purchased many years ago. It now turns out they were a major source of interference on my scanners!
The tidy computer centre (yes the external HD are sitting on a 1980 2001AD annual!)
One other task I achieved today was to replace the backlight on my Realistic PRO2006 scanner.
I purchase the PRO2006 from ebay about four/five years ago, I got it for less than £20 as it was advertised as for repair or spares. It was described as powering up with sound but because there was no display it couldn't be operated.
When I got it (in it's original box with manual) and opened it up it was obvious what was wrong as it appear to have spent most of it's life in a shed or workshop, it was full of fine dust (I suspect from sanding wood) and this has blocked out the LCD display! It also had flecks of paint on the casing. The paint was thankfully emulsion and was easy to remove I just soaked the plastic case in warm water for a few hours. I stripped down the rest of the unit and removed the dust with a can of compressed air and a brush, other than that it worked perfectly!
One downside was the display backlight had faded, the backlight on many of the Realistic desktop scanners is an electro-luminescent panel and their output fades over time. Today I finally got around to replacing the panel, it isn't as straightforward as it sounds as the spare part is no longer available but using the instructions found here I was able to replace it with a panel cut from a larger sheet purchased from Farnell.
The display panel removed from the scanner with original backlight
Original panel removed (top) and replacement panel cut to size (bottom)
The new panel in all it's glory!
The only downside is from this angle you can just see the connector on the panel.
The backlight is now really bright, in fact I have had the 'dimmer' switch activated because it is so bright! I also have a Realistic PRO2022 and the backlight on that is fading too, it is nowhere near as bad as the PRO2006 was, but you can see the marked difference below.
This shows the repaired PRO2006 compared to my PRO2022.
One other benefit of opening up the PRO2006 was I discovered a soldered connector on the shielding behind the front panel had come adrift. I have resoldered this and this has dramatically improved the reception and audio from the unit. Today has been a good day!