What an adventure….

I’ll discuss it later but for now, here’s what happened to one of the IPA tubes:

One hambarga?

Do not try to correct her spelling. At least not before you safely discharge all capacitors.

is this loss.jpg

Today’s massive nuclear facepalm count:

2

1. I was asked to see what would be needed to put my cluster’s MARTI UHF remote radios back in service.

2. I saw on Facebook that someone got a tattoo of a lineart interpretation of the fucking Loss meme.

Why. why would you do either one of those things to yourself? Using the MARTI for a remote broadcast sucks but having a shit meme tattooed on yourself is just amazingly dumb.

Tattoos are a piece of art, both ephemeral and long lasting, that one displays upon their body. The loss meme is just awful. It’ll be forgotten as all your base in a few years and yet. Well…. can you imagine trying to explain this shit in like ten years? Pictured, the original comic panel and a similar lineart interpretation of loss.

I dunno, loss.jpg will still probably be better than setting up that will-burt mast and antenna only to find you’re cockblocked by having no line of sight and a Fresnel zone situation… I doubt the plan is to use that dino-radio often.

Guess I’m too easily amused

Hey everyone I just learned that the bizarre Bethel cult ministry here runs the… Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.

Yeah they actually called it that and I am laughing my ass off in response. How perfectly pretentious and bizarre.

Apparently there are other Schools of Supernatural Ministry around too.

First image (from Bethel’s Facebook page) is what the second image immediately makes me think of…
(wait, invert that, WordPress is being a dong)

this is actually located in a ‘power strip’ shopping center.

This must sound interesting in the wind

So, uh, the way you usually do this is run the strings between adjacent panels side to side so you can dress the leads to the racking.

Someone thought they were being so clever here, but those wires are just gonna blow around and fatigue. Beehhhh.

“Sungrow” grid tie inverter. Hardly impressive like an SMA Sunny Boy. Feh.

Let’s play Wheel… Of… DUMPSHIT!!!

I just received two new 4CX250B / 7203 tubes for one of our transmitters, an old Continental Electronics with the tube intermediate power amplifier (IPA).

I’m already wondering just how they’re going to fail. Not IF they’re going to fail, more like, how, and how much collateral damage will occur.

The sad story: These tubes used to be produced by Eimac and were perfectly fine. At some point, Eimac got sucked into some giant ugly conglomerate that consolidated their tube manufacturing and made some awful changes, then hacked and slashed at their product line. That effectively led to a quality fade then discontinuation of the tubes.

I’ve been pretty much informed that the way to get GOOD 4CX250B tubes is to either go back to 1981 and stockpile them, or find someone who has them sitting around from back then and hope that they’re not gassy or badly manufactured tubes from Eimac’s Salt Lake City facility.

So now, what do you get when you try to buy a 4CX250B?

….this. this is the dumpshit you get. alibaba.com’s finest, I’m sure.

FEELING LUCKY?

These are “National Electronics” marketed by Richardson Electronics. Richardson’s website only mentions the Eimac tubes that they were a dealer for, and when these were ordered, there was a week’s delay in getting them shipped. National Electronics used to be a perfectly legitimate tube dealer or manufacturer – I think they went with contract manufacturing back in the day, as you’d see a really wide variety of their tubes out there, everywhere from receiving valves to power tubes and even indicators like Nixie tubes. Now, my best guess is it’s just a shell being kicked around via brand name necrophilia.

I don’t know if these even work at all, and won’t until I can get to a mile-high transmitter site whose means of access are currently buried in snow and ice.

So, for now, let me compare them to a new old stock Eimac tube. This is a 3CX800A7, a different tube entirely, but using the same sort of package and plate structure.

Eimac tube on left.

Immediately the bright silver plate finish becomes apparent, along with a far different cooling structure. The fins are brazed or soldered to the plate. This is important as the outside of the plate cooler is usually used as the electrical connection via a clamp around the tube. You do not want a bad connection in there.

And now, the Richardson/Alibaba Special – they just… lovingly shoved it down in there with a press and called it a day.

No signs of soldering or brazing are visible.

All in all, it looks like it was just smashed together using the same tooling one would use to make cheap and nasty refrigerator coils.

Now, about that gray mystery metal….

I looked at the socket pins and saw no marks on them at all, just a uniform gray coating of… whatever.

On the Eimac? There are marks in the silver plating from where the tube was put in a socket for factory testing.

Did they even——??? Is there any factory testing??

How’d this Oddish get in my transmitter?

what the fuck is any of this, i need a nice adult beverage

So yeah— I’m NOT convinced these are even going to work, but I guess that’s what I can get now. Thanks, Crapitalism!

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