Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fixing the Scale

I flew to a friend's wedding and of course was just finishing the blanket on my way. I had my yarn scale with me so I could weigh remaining yarn as needed, and pulled it out when I started finishing colors of the blanket. It read zero. Crap.

 Being an engineer and a broke grad student, I grabbed some screwdrivers and took it apart. It's pretty cool, there's a metal bar that is a cantilever (attached on one side only), so when there's weight on the plate, it bends where it's attached. This bending causes a small amount of stretching in the bar, and since the properties of the metal are known, there is a sensor attached to the side that measures the stretching and converts that to the number of grams that must be on the plate. Really cool.

Anyway, after taking it apart, I found that the wire that gives the power to the sensor on the bar slipped out of the cutout in the internal plastic that housed the wires and slid under the plastic wall. As my bag was roughly jostled in transit (it was in a checked bag), the plastic case cut through the wire. Totally fixable.

I grabbed a razor and stripped the insulation off of the small wire to expose the shiny inner wire. This was actually easier than I thought it would be (I assumed I'd end up cutting through the wire once or twice). I managed to twist the small wires around each other to complete the connection, and finished it off with some electrical tape to seal it all in and not cause more problems.

The things I do for yarn...

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