This dumpshit is getting out of hand

Three different variants of Chinese fake ULN2803 chips available on Amazon and eBay. No genuine chips are available on either.

Bonus: “18 pin” DIP socket from Chinese mega-dumpshit-flooder uxcell, who deserve their very own angry shitpost. Hey at least they didn’t send me mis-molded automotive trim clips instead of LED mounting bezels OH WAIT THEY DID

I’ve used up all my actually genuine ULN2803s so I don’t have one for comparison, sorry. 🙁

Home Depot is hilarious.

Last night I bought a Ryobi cordless tool set at Home Depot that’s supposed to come with a drill, a small circular saw, a battery, a carrying case, a saw blade, and a charger. What was in the box was… a dusty carrying case with the drill missing the chuck, the circular saw with the blade missing, and no battery or charger.

I brought it back today and they had no problem with exchanging it, but then the girl who handled the exchange asked her manager what to do with the incomplete box.

“Tape it up and put it back on the shelf”.

I asked the manager immediately what they were going to do when it came back AGAIN, and for that matter, how many times she expected it to come back again? She sighed and explained it was just corporate policy – if the item LOOKS saleable, they have to keep putting it back out over and over and won’t get new ones in until the old ones stop coming back.

Gotcha. So next time I do everyone a favor and soak the box in used motor oil and glitter.

Where the common and mundane become unattainable.

A couple of years back I had to install a toilet. When you install a toilet, there’s a seal between the base of the throne and the “closet flange” on the top of the drain pipe, which can be an oddly shaped gap– the usual type of seal is a paraffin wax gasket that’s crushed into place under the toilet as you place it. All of the stores in Miami had USED wax rings in their boxes waiting for you. Of course, a crushed wax ring is useless, not to mention THAT HAS BEEN UNDER A TOILET THANK YOU NO. My only guess as to how they were getting these was that customers were buying new wax rings when removing and reinstalling toilets during renovation/flooring work and just returning the old ring in the new box… but you couldn’t find a new one! I wound up having to buy a wax ring from an Ace Hardware store an hour’s drive away.

It also reminded me of how a former customer of ours back when I worked at the Solar Shitshow in Miami  (please, stop having your customers call me, I haven’t worked there in years and have no interest in doing so again!) would come to Miami from Haiti every couple of months. When he did, he’d rent a car at the airport, usually preferring a Ford Mustang. In his luggage he’d have a few defective engine management sensors and other parts for a Mustang there, and would swap them for the working ones in the rental car, returning the poor thing barely working in limp mode….. I’m not sure whether that’s more clever or pure evil.

Diesel-Electric Shitpost

I propose we rename the notches on diesel locomotive throttles to the following:

  • Stop
  • Idle
  • A
  • AA
  • AAA
  • AAAA
  • AAAAA
  • AAAAAA
  • AAAAAAA
  • AAAAAAAA

I mean it makes sense, it controls how loud the locomotive screams and the ammeter that shows how much load you’re putting on the traction system is labeled in amps – A.

This A meter is pretty cool and it appears it’s been installed to a model railway for extra coolness. (This model of Weston meter is easy to open if you want a custom scale but this one looks 100% original!!)

And yes this does look like the right meter– EMD just put it behind a panel, likely with a small lamp behind to light the face. I’d post the link to the original if I could find it, but it seems the metadata on railpictures.net just doesn’t match up for me to find it. The picture is of an EMD GP7 cab.

An affirmation to nobody in particular

You are proof that truly amazing things exist in the world –
Your mind proves that modern science and engineering have figured out a way to install Nava Shield on the human mind.

Fight crapflood with crapflood

If anyone knows who is behind the robocall bots that flood the entire 305 and 786 area codes with “Hello, this is Rachel at Card Services…”, I suggest that a DDoS of amazing proportions would be justified.

PTEK combiner. Shibe version.

I have no words. This thing is so wack i didn’t even recognize I was looking at a classic Wilkinson combiner implemented using cast off garbage. I’ll let the shibes speak.

The exciter power divider. This seems to depend on the external jumpers

Shitposting Electromagnetically

This miniscule coax from Pasternack carries 500 watts over its… 26-28 awg center conductor??!!

Also yes I know, time to repaint

Wild life.

I was about to fall asleep when I heard a really bizarre undulating, non stop … grunting? It sounded like the distant residue of a low male voice but did not match anything like a singing or speaking pattern. Did I mention, NON STOP? If it was a voice it was something that never stops to breathe…

I also heard an actual voice through the wall. It sounded…. worried.

Somehow I came to realize I’d left the balcony light on so I reached over to turn it off. Just before my hand touched the switch, I saw a shadow flicker by the light.

Click.

Instantly— silence.

What the crap was ?!!

Save energy or we sic the flying hellmoths on you. – Pacific Gas and Energy.

Fnord over IP.

The best thing about voice over IP / digital voice networks for amateur radio is that there are so many of them!

You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike, yet none interconnect. There is a mailbox here.

> open mailbox

The mailbox contains a QSL card.

> read QSL card

Dot matrix printer ribbon fun (TFT EAS 911 and others)

(We’re saved! The original Epson ERC-09B ribbons appear to be available again via Amazon.)

This post has been technically deemed a shitpost because WD-40 is involved. Also something that looks like Comic Sans.

Shitposting loudly

This is the tiny printer ribbon used on the TFT EAS 911 and many other devices using a small dot matrix printer mechanism. This particular unit is hilarious, it’s less than half an inch thick and appears to contain a one pixel printhead!! The way it works, noisily, is that the printhead cycles back and forth on a bihelical gear as the paper feeds one pixel height at a time. It takes like a minute and a half for the log output from a RWT (Required Weekly Test) to creep noisily out of there.

So the ribbon was fading away on this one and i opened a fresh… new… old stock (uh oh) box of ribbons. They were all dried up in the box.

The ribbon feed knob wouldn’t move the cloth ribbon at all. Curious, I carefully pried the top off.

Larger ribbons as used in some dot matrix printers like the Citizen 200GX/GSX140 models had a big boxy space filled with lots of ribbon that kinda folded up in there and flowed to the other end. Smaller ribbons that went on the carriage (Okidata, IBM, and Apple printers were like this) usually contained a foam roller that stored ink and transferred it to the ribbon. They were easy to re-ink; I always just applied stamp pad ink and WD-40 with good results. The light mineral oil from the WD-40 helped the ink transfer and lubricated the print head pins.

This just has a small band and two foam rollers. The ink was there but dried, so I just applied WD-40 to the ribbon and both rollers.

Success.

I tried this on a second one in the box but it seemed its feed roller had separated – the plastic core spun free in the foam sleeve. That seems to be the game over point on these things, it can’t feed anymore once that happens.

I’m not sure if these are still made fresh somewhere. I’ll have to check later. For now, Fun With Subcarrier Audio is on the agenda.

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