Well that’s why the start ladder is all pooched

There’s a Paras in it.

In all seriousness though I’m starting to fear I’m temporarily buried in craziness. My boss is trying to track down some 4CX250’s for a Continental IPA and the answer as to where to find these is “go charge up the Delorean and go back to 1985 to pick up some Eimacs”. This business gets weird sometimes.


Sometimes you just wonder “what was ANY OF THAT?”… yeah.

I dunno, I got pretty frustrated trying to get some old equipment up and running again, and then discovered that my wonderful old Tektronix 2232 oscilloscope started also suffering Capacititis or something. First I came in this morning and was like, what on earth even happened to the bench— oh wait, an amazing struggle with a QEI 675…

Then the scope went blank with a weird whining sound that suggests ye olde crapacitors have failed… I had previously had an issue with the screen getting garbled on this, and percussive maintenance brought it back, but not this time. I went to open it up and look around inside and the blue painted aluminum shell got jammed. I even had a coworker tug on one end while I tugged on the other, it was kind of amusing but pointless. I finally got it loose with silicone spray and slowly wiggling it off. What a mess.

Intel Inside

The usual fancy custom silicon that’ll effectively e-waste the whole scope if any of it gets damaged. Luckily, on this scope, they did NOT use a whole horrible death forest of tantalum capacitors.

Guess it’s all just telling me to slow down for a day and get some smaller things done…

An epiphany.

There are a lot of projects going on in my facility up here, complicated by a bumper crop of technical surprises.

Today I had this old QEI 675 exciter on the bench for a capacitor replacement, and it accepted that with no smoke release, but it still has issues. If the control voltage that sets the oscillator frequency goes to the high end, it kind of gets stuck there. I found it would sometimes go back on after cycling the power, and probing below these op amps in the PLL feedback circuit always brings it back into lock, but that suggests something is marginal in there to the point I can’t just put it back up the mountain.

I pulled up the manual and looked at the list of equipment it said you’d need for alignment– a good frequency counter, oscilloscope, among other things…

I don’t have a scope up here so I started getting really annoyed with not being able to figure out what’s going on with the thing. Then there was a moment of nervous tension when someone said one of the stations went really crackly…. but that turned out to just be the exciter popping to life and using my multimeter lead as an antenna and killing his air monitor. I started to think maybe this should just get aligned on my bench at home, but what an awkward slippery slope that can be if there aren’t good policies in place regarding making sure that doesn’t just fall off the clock… it was just making me worried and annoyed in about ten different ways.

I decided to take a little walk down the hill out back, which ultimately proved to be hilariously soft and slippery, but leads to a beautiful little valley with a creek going through it.

I thought to myself, “of course, I’m not in Florida anymore”.

Then I realized, I’m not in Florida anymore.

Up the hill, in my office, my own equipment was everywhere because that’s what I was used to. In Florida I was just expected to provide everything for my work, with the expectation that if I didn’t, I could just be replaced with some desperate contract worker who would, and would work for half the compensation I would.

That’s Florida though, land of the pissboy job that pays 30% of the national average for any given field. I’m not there anymore.

I guess I need to inquire about getting a scope up here.

Also, I need to brush some serious mud off my boots. I sank a little.

Now I realize what those weird holes are– it’s where the deer hooves sink through!!

The Crag!

The washing machine started banging occasionally during its cycle, suggesting something heavy left in a pocket. Well…

I recognize this weird variegated granite; it’s typical of the rock found at about 2500 feet up on the road to one of my transmitter sites – Linguini Mountain, if you’ve been following my crazed shitposting on the place.

This immediately got me thinking of Nickelodeon Guts, as one does, and how the winner who reached the top of the Aggro Crag first got to take home a piece of the Crag.

Does this mean I won?

technology, magic, malevolent sentience, etc

Please forgive the random test posts I’ve made from time to time, I had an odd issue where I sporadically couldn’t log into WordPress but the Jetpack stuff was still working so I could still use the mobile app, which at some point in its history migrated from being just a standalone client for WordPress to basically being a frontend for Jetpack. Because Everything Should Be A Stupid Cloud Service and all that. Fnord. And now for no particular reason, here’s the porcelain thinking chair over at the Noise of NorCal, 106.7 ZRock.

I really couldn’t tell you why the WordPress nonsense happened— it kind of looks like MAYBE the salt value for the salted password hash in the database was not reliably being used correctly?? It was an odd one. Whatever. It works now.

Two for two … Royal Purple Max-clean works.

I noticed last week the gas mileage was starting to get low on my Forester even when I wasn’t fighting a strong headwind up the valley (shake, rattle, and roll!). I also felt a couple of odd stutters on mild acceleration which I usually have come to associate with injector gunk.

Realizing it’d been probably 30k or so since I’d used any sort of cleaner on the fuel system, I did an MAF sensor cleaning for good measure, and tossed a can of Royal Purple Max-Clean in the tank.

Didn’t really notice a huge change until the next fill up for some reason, but the result is fabulous… up from 24 to almost 30.

The reason I say this is a two for two record is this stuff made my old Mazda behave itself after it’d gotten all fouled up. In that case it was a combination of the Max-Clean and running it like a madman on a trip on the more or less open highway to go work on a distant transmitter site. That poor thing literally generated a smokescreen the first time I got it to about 70 mph at maximum engine load— a friend of mine told me that was probably a large amount of soot and deposited oily junk in the muffler and catalytic converter. Faaarrrrt!

I’m not entirely sure how this compares to SeaFoam or other additives, but on the Mazda, I’d tried SeaFoam a while before Max-Clean and didn’t notice a difference.

At times I wish the hybrid version of this car had actually caught on, but when it’s running well, it isn’t exactly excessively thirsty.


How. How can one little mic preamp card be such a pain in the ass??!!

This one didn’t work right at all- heavy distortion on Mic 2. The other one I have, paradoxically, will not drive a processor we have. It’ll drive a board input fine but not that processor, dead silence.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

1 10 11 12 13 14 88