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Bennett Harris
Works at Harris Educational
Attended North Carolina State University
Lives in Burlington, NC
269 followers|39,779 views
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Bennett Harris

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it's mini-ben...
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Bennett Harris

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RCA actually prescribed the pigtail method of component replacement on early sets (even Color sets into the mid 60's) for two reasons.  Firstly was speed and accessibility for the service man. The other reason had to do with poor trace adhesion in the early printed circuit boards.  They would make it through the manufacturing solder bath just fine (with even heating) but under the stress of de and re soldering the foil tended to lift away from the board.  This is made worse by the large and irregular size of the pads and traces for many components requiring a larger wattage iron.  Zenith actually capitalized on this design flaw to point out in advertising why their all hand-wired sets were more reliable than other manufacturers printed circuit boards, implying they were cutting corners and you get what you pay for. Just cut the leads as close to the faulty component as possible and then twist the new component onto the remaining pigtail.  Its often a good idea to use a heatsink at the base of the board to avoid desoldering the pigtail from the board if you leave your iron on the joint too long. One RCA educational guide for early color TV even shows removing carbon resistors with short legs by first crushing the resistor with a pliers and then twisting the new component onto the stubs that are left behind. (and that is in a set where you do have full accessibility to both sides of the board) The early printed circuit sets were definitely designed more for quick (and lower labor) manufacturing vs. serviceability. In some ways it wasn't until the boards themselves became exchangeable modules that the designs got better. 
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Ahhh the days when we actually REPAIRED electronics instead of tossing them out. 
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Had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Steve Wozniak at Elon University's Fall Convocation.  I had really lucky timing, getting good seats, being the first question in the Q+A session, and being the last person to speak with him before he left the hall. Got his autograph and his thoughts on the Maker Movement!  Really great day.
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Photos from this weekend's Burlington Mini Maker Faire! (as you might notice from a few of the photos, I now have my own Muppet doppelganger "Mr. Ben"... a gift from local artist John Otero) 
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Make Magazine article about this weekend's upcoming Burlington Mini Maker Faire!  Really cool to see so much of what I and the Alamance Makers Guild have been doing covered by Make!
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Bennett Harris

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The Burlington Mini Maker Faire is this Saturday April 12th here in Burlington NC at the Holly Hill Mall and Business Center.  10:00am to 5:00pm.  Very proud to have started this event in Burlington and amazed at the wonderful folks I get to work with to produce it and bring it to the public!
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An amazing video (at 1 hour long) that shows how becoming a "maker" (in this case a blacksmith) has the power to change lives for the better. 
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This weekend's Burlington Mini Maker Faire (an event I direct/produce here in Burlington NC) went amazingly well!  We topped last year's attendance (more than doubling it) to around 4000 people!  Very thankful for all of the support given by the community, our volunteers, exhibitors, planners, sponsors, and the public.  It was a great time, and I was even turned into a Muppet! 
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This morning I was the guest on WCOM 103.5 FM's "Home Power Hour" a radio show/podcast about alternate energy.  The topic of today's show was the Burlington Mini Maker Faire.  I also talked a little about the EV Challenge Troubleshooting Simulator I'm developing. http://www.ibiblio.org/wcom/podcast/mp3s/mp3s/HPH08142013.mp3
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People
In his circles
128 people
Have him in circles
269 people
Chris Yahnker's profile photo
TechShop RDU's profile photo
Matt Richardson's profile photo
Zener Diode's profile photo
Karen Harman's profile photo
Keith Simmons's profile photo
Michael Castor's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Inventor, Educator, eLearning Developer, Consultant
Employment
  • Harris Educational
    Inventor, Educator, eLearning Developer, Consultant, present
  • IBM
  • CTG
  • Sylvan Learning Center
  • Carolina Biological Supply Company
  • Butler Curless and Associates
  • North Carolina State University
  • Mac's Electronics
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Burlington, NC
Previously
Smithfield, NC - Raleigh, NC - Statesville, NC
Story
Tagline
The guy behind Harris Educational and the Reinventing Science Kits
Introduction
I am an inventor, product developer, educator, educational materials developer, and all around good guy.

I am also a husband, and pet owner of 2 English Setters and 2 House Cats. 

I'm proud of accomplishments in my career such as publishing a textbook while still an undergraduate, starting my own business, creating a best selling line of science kits, and working with many childhood heroes later in life as peers.

When I want something I go after it passionately.  I believe learning comes through making mistakes.
Education
  • North Carolina State University
    Technology Education
  • Smithfield Selma Senior High School
  • Smithfield Junior High School
  • Wilsons Mills Elementary School
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Harris Educational