Welcome to Jim’s Blog

This blog was initially created for me to document the conversion of a 1968 Australian Morris Mini Deluxe fitted with a A+ 1310cc engine to EFI, utilising a Megasquirt ECU and a Patton Machine HIF44 SU carburettor adaptor which provided the TBI.

I was not working at the onset of this project, due to suffering from major depression, (something I have suffered all my life), so I decided I needed a project with set milestones to get me out of the black rut I was in. Hence this project was born. It was successful in getting me motivated and back into gainful employment, even though In reflection, I wouldn’t recommend a project of this magnitude due to cost and time considerations, failure would have been even more depressing! Nevertheless I got there, and the various completed milestones on the way encouraged me to push myself further onto completion.

The EFI project and various upgrades were originally documented on the Ausmini forum and the now defunct Minidriver forum, help was also garnered from the Megasquirt Support Forum (MSEXTRA), on all of these I’m known as ‘jb007′. I then moved the information from these forums to this blog trying to manage and present it in a chronological order. I had a lot of help and encouragement from the various members of these forums. Thanks guys.

Well after some 15 years of ownership for both financial and a change of direction in my personal life, I sold the car minus all the EFI. It was a sad day seeing the car go, especially for my son who basically grew up with the car.

Moving on to now and the future, I’ve found renewed interest in electronics, and software engineering as a part-time interest, I even have a web application PCBConverter Wizard I’m authoring using the XOJO programming language, that will hopefully be available for testing soon on this blog.

Use the ‘Search’, ‘Menus’, ‘Categories’ or ‘Recent Posts’ to locate or browse for a topic of interest. I hope there is something of interest to you here and please feel free to leave a comment, after all this blog is here to share ideas and information, just not my ramblings!


PCBConverter Wizard – Update

Just to let everyone know, that I have been doing further development on the PCBConverter Wizard, but it has slowed down due to:

Work pressures, yep we all have them… in my case I’m a part-time employee, but my depression and anxiety has been all over the place lately and I have been finding it hard to burn the candle at both ends i.e work then and all of my own personal interests, plus trying to get plenty of rest!

Changing my development operating system from Microsoft Windows 10 to macOS High Sierra 10.13.1 ( I’m running this on a Intel PC commonly called a Hackintosh).

Updating my blog… what you are reading. Went to do a minor update on some of the posts and ended up spending more time than I wanted too on it. Something like 15 hours+ in one mammoth session, plus today I’ve installed Google Analytics to garner a better understanding of where my audience and the topics that they are viewing.

The purchasing of various software packages, major ones being:
XOJO (cross-platform Object Oriented RAD environment that produces native code for MS Windows, macOS, IOS, Android, Raspberry Pi and Web platforms)
Navicat for SQLite databases (Navicat Relational Data Modelling (RDMS) software).

Familiarising myself with the XOJO and Navicat applications.

Creating some documentation e.g. ER diagrams, UML User Case diagrams etc, to help me with the architecure and deliverables of this application, so I don’t go off track. It might seem an overkill to some, but years of experience in the commercial world of software development has made me realise, (even though I hate doing documentation), that this is needed. Many a time I have come back to a previous undocumented project and had trouble with remembering what I was trying to achieve and/or deliver! Plus as I age it only gets worse!

I have modelled the SQLite database that will be used in this application, which is now done(?). For those interested in technical details, I will be using an SQLite database (the world most used database, it’s in everything nowadays, phones, smart TV’s etc), as an in memory database which will capture the parsed PCB entities. This will enable me to running SQL queries against it to give me a very flexible way of viewing the data. Speed will not be an issue due to me having this SQLite database created running in the CGI applications memory space. This has great speed advantages, as it doesn’t have to be on a file system with it’s higher file I/O overheads and other file based issues etc. Another advantage is it will protect the users Intellectual Property (IP), as the database is released from memory once the user exits the Web CGI application, or loads another PCB for conversion. I will not have visibility of users Protel Autotrax PCB files, I feel strongly about this as some users PCB’s may be of a commercial nature.

Minor computer hardware upgrades to help me with the development of this and other applications, plus getting two Dell P2415Q 4K@60Hz Monitors working nicely with macOS, which is now put to bed, as macOS High Sierra nearly (just a minor tweak) supports AMD Radeon cards. I ended up selling my NVIDIA GTX960 for a AMD RX 580 NITRO+ 8GB OC graphics card, and it can drive both screens at 3840×2160@60Hz, but to be kind on my eyes, I normal run them at 2560×1440@60Hz, or whatever is best for the occasion. One thing is, the HiDPI problem of MS Windows is non-existent with macOS, one of the major reasons I changed over to macOS;

Also after much fighting with MS, I have transferred my Digital Licence for Windows 10 over onto a virtual machine on my macOS using Parallels Desktop 13 for Mac. it joins my other virtualised OS’s… Windows XP, Windows 7, Ubuntu 16.04, MS-DOS 6.22, FreeDOS, and I run Protel Autotrax in DOSBOX;

I’ve also been investigating another hardware/software project… I must have Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), so many projects not enough time and money!

So sorry for the delays, but as you can see it’s still happening. I’ve had very little feedback on this application and I suspect the audience is a very small one. Sometimes the bigger picture takes precedence.

My desk, showing, (invisible me), editing this post in WordPress.
My development Web Server… RPi 3 now has a home in a case with a LCD.