MicroREKT

I always used to wonder why every time I worked in a radio site I’d find the transmission lines going through the entry panel just goobered in there with silicone sealant or spray foam and the unused pieces of the Microflect / Andrew / CommScope / insert today’s name of the conglomerate cable entry port system lying around unused

Now I understand why and my arms and hands and back and legs all hurt, hours later

Woop Woop the FUCK POINT has been reached, this is as good as I can get this one. You just can’t get these things together if the cable doesn’t wanna go through straight.

No!! You savages!!

I’d seen these photos of the Mt. Shasta Mall food court….

But apparently someone thought it’d be a better idea to throw that beautiful thing down the grinder and cut it off with the blank wall of an Ulta Beauty store.

Even the Orange Julius is gone in favor of yet another SalmonellaWay.

Press F to pay respects.

Tire_Tech_Job_Security.jpg

Les Schwab Tires is a pretty great company, they do free repairs… apparently, even if you didn’t buy your tires there. They’ve fixed a couple of flats for me but their techs keep looking at my tires and asking what the spoony heck I’m doing to them?!

Note the chunks of rubber missing. There’s also a weird scrub texture that’s visible when the tire is clean (when does this even happen aside from 30 seconds after exiting the car wash?)

You can see the wear indicator bars at right. Amazingly this tire has survived to almost its end of normal life.

A fresh new scrub mark. The camera decided to white balance on the very red dust.

So to answer the question of what I’m doing to them, enjoy this shitty moonscape.

This was always a rocky mess, but in places it got worse as the Carr fire passing over shattered some of the rock and made it even more jagged and fugly.

Here’s one of the worst burned areas on the approach to the summit. Whereas some green foliage is appearing in less damaged areas, this remains totally dead. It’ll be interesting to see what pops up again here in the fall when the first rains come down (and how much of this area suffers landslides).

Smoked out…

As I drove into Redding this morning I saw this wall of muck…. visibility dropped to just a couple hundred feet.

The map on purpleair.com confirms my suspicions that I should probably just top up the generator fuel tank and go home early today. This is well beyond “unhealthy”, it’s probably all the way up into “unsuitable to support life, GO AWAY”.

This is the result of the Delta Fire burning north of Shasta Lake. It’s currently 24,558 acres in size and has reached over east to meet the area affected by the Hirz Fire.

 

Interestingly there seems to be exactly *one* PurpleAir sensor in use in Southeast Florida. I thought about getting one at home, but someone right across the street already has one. Maybe adding them at our transmitter sites would be useful…?

The Subaru and Nissan brake light switch… Of DRAMA

The contact that turns on the brake light, turns off cruise control, and triggers the solenoid that lets you shift out of park got all pitted! Ewww. Needless to say this was a show stopping bug… but it died at a gas station in walking distance of a Walmart where I was able to get some CRC QD cleaner and 2500 grit sandpaper and burnish it back to life. Here’s the before state. The contacts are actually proper silver buttons and the switch can be disassembled to clean it.

What a right mess though.

Not sure why the CRC QD cleaner turns my skin all weird looking like that.

The switch has a Nissan logo on it so I’m guessing some Nissan model out there in addition to the 2014-2017(?) Subaru Forester have the same thing.

Why am I suddenly reminded of Winamp?

The Wheatstone 531HD broadcast audio processor has a really Y2K-futuristic look about it, all it’s missing is neon colors and weird shaped non-rectangular windows.

There are two versions of the utility – one is called the Guru interface, the other, uh, isn’t.

First, the non-Guru

The jewel dots are draggable to adjust, and the knob controls are…. those… drag to turn things that have invaded all sorts of audio software

What look like text input boxes aren’t, you have to use the virtual knob / slide fader thing. Weird.

The usual nice meters from the Vorsis platform are available but they pop out as a separate window.

 

So what about the Guru interface?

Best I can tell, it does the same stuff but in a more convenient use of screen real estate.

Interestingly, there is a skin selector dialog. Only one skin is present and there is no real indication on how to modify it. Is this— a good thing or a bad thing? Who knows. Does this processor whip the llama’s ass? Maybe. Gotta play with it a bit more to be sure. It’s interesting how the 31-band limiter interacts with the program content though!

Boku no Hero Alternating Current

I misread the label on this generator as “Allmight” and now I can’t unsee that.

Proposition 65-G warning— Caution: This shitpost generates chemicals known by the State of California to cause groaning.

Wheatstone Console Connectors

Putting this note out there for anyone who needs it—

The Wheatstone R-60, A-50, and other Wheatstone / AudioArts products use Amphenol MR series (Miniature Rectangular) for audio connections. The usual configuration of this connector is a 12 pin array – 4 rows of 3 pins.

Pinout for the audio inputs on each channel usually go like this: (Audio – = low, + = high… different strokes for different folks)

Ground / Audio - / Audio +
   1         2        3     Input A Left
   4         5        6     Input A Right
   7         8        9     Input B Left
   10        11       12    Input B Right

what the ass

The connector parts are all available from Digi-Key.
Connector Shell

Connector Female Pins

Pin Extractor Tool

The original crimping tool Wheatstone would send along with the console was the Panduit (now Greenlee Communications) PA1645, which Digi-Key doesn’t stock. It’s available elsewhere. What I’ve been using at the office is an Iwiss IWS-1424A which supports five different sizes – size E works on the wire to pin crimp and size D on the strain relief tabs around the insulation.

GOTCHA: You may find an older Audioarts or Wheatie console prior to the mid 90s or so (I’m unsure on this date!) where a different style pin extractor is present – it’ll look like a fat hat pin with a spherical head. If you find this, DO NOT LOSE IT! At some point the Amp MR series connector was subtly redesigned, and the two extractor tools are not exactly identical. The newer MR pin tool is larger in inside diameter. The old tool is LOOOONG out of availability anywhere (I haven’t even been able to track down a part number on what it was!). The new tool will not cleanly release the old pins – you will wind up with one of the retention barbs on the side folded in half when it comes out. It won’t damage the connector shell when it’s ejected, though.

New pins will release in the old tool, but the retention barbs will be smashed way in there and be difficult to “reset” back into a usable position.

Chances are this won’t matter anyway, as you’re probably not removing the pins unless you’re entirely changing the cable that they’re crimped onto. 🙂

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