22 June 2021

PROJECT: RCA TV Adapter for Record Player

Recently my significant other got a record player (SONY PS-LX250H) to play her childhood records. However there was one minor issue, we did not have any speakers that supported the relatively old-school RCA audio connector

Well as luck would have it, our TV (Samsung UA50J5100) has an RCA input. But again there was a catch, the TV expects to see a video signal before it gives access to the speakers. So a new project was born, a box that generates a "fake" RCA video signal to trick the TV into sharing it's onboard speakers 

To achieve all this I used the super nifty TVout library along with an Arduino Nano, which I also programmed to display 4 different items (controlled by two switches):

  1. Blank screen
  2. Pictures of our cat =^..^=
  3. Pictures of us ;^)
  4. Conway's Game of Life (which I got from Emily Velasco)

With all that said, here is how the box looks as well as the "pixel art" it produces:

3D Printing Text

Now for some advice on 3D printing text. I find that using an "equal width font" works best, for example when I design items with text in SOLIDWORKS here is what I use:

  • Arial Rounded MT (bold)
  • At least 5mm high
  • 110% spacing

Basically the taller/higher the font, the better it will come out. Also if you are dealing with smaller/shorter font (≤5mm) then it's worthwhile removing any "islands" to improve readability (think difficulties when printing smaller features). For example, with above I had to clean up A, B, O, & P to get a nice print

Finally, to make the text stand out I debossed it by 1.5mm and then filled the cavity with nail polish. The trick here is to use a fine-tip flat-head screwdriver to dab the nail polish into each cavity, then wait for the nail polish to dry before cleaning up the edges with an IPA soaked cotton swab

UPDATE: If you want to stop the inter-layer/capillary action bleed then add a coat of clear spray, as this fills in the micro-grooves - ubermeisters

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