The toxicity simply explained

Gate erected by Sylvester Stallone to seal off access to a public park and trail.

The one underlying rule of living in Southeast Florida:
If you can afford to make life difficult for everyone else, you are required to make this investment.


Examples of this include the pictured Stallonegate, countless ten foot concrete walls in residential areas, the building of condo towers in areas where the infrastructure can’t support them, the entire city of Golden Beach, people paying $14.50 a pop to further encourage the spread of Lexus lanes, etc…

Golden Beach is a total joke.

Not only is it one of Florida’s most notorious police traps, but it’s also kind of literally useless. Last night they abruptly sealed off all traffic on A1A for over three hours to start checking vehicles… Guess the ticket quota was running behind.

But what even is Golden Beach?

Useless.

From 1981:

They are the poster child for shitty little beach towns, really.

Sony AIT Tape Library

Found this cast off in the garage here. This unit has less storage in it than the hard drive in my laptop nowadays, but boy, was it ever cool for its time, and the way it’s implemented is nothing short of amazing.

At center: The AIT tape drive. To the left, the loading assembly. At right (not visible) is a small motorized access door and LCD user panel.

Each tape has a barcode label, and this scanner flicks on to read it.

 

The tape cartridges and the library unit support R-MIC (REMOTE Memory In Cassette). 64 kilobytes of metadata are accessible via an RFID interface.

As the library queries these chips, it does a very strange and very slow little dance, rocking the wheel back and forth. I had no idea what it was doing at first. I suppose I could skip this by turning off R-MIC from the front panel. The barcode scanner works almost instantly, like, you know, any other proper modern barcode scanner 😉

 

Inside the AIT drive. I just thought its little tiny BLDC direct drive reels were kinda awesome.

The CPU board looks very… well, very Sony… all of THOSE capacitors… Also, the RAM and Flash were put up on that pluggable daughterboard, probably due to this same CPU board being used in a couple different units with different storage needs…

The motor and gear train that move the loader back and forth…

And the big motor that rotates the turntable. The turntable moves on a set of sealed ball bearing rollers, it’s very slick!

At left and right: IR emitter and detector. These just beam right through each tape slot to determine if a tape is in place.

 

The loader grasps a tape via the two claws at the front, which land in recesses in the back of the AIT cartridge. This allows it to grab the tape cartridge positively and securely for handling. The small metal finger directly to the left of the R-MIC logo on the cartridge is the write protect sensor; if the cartridge is set to write protect, it’ll fall into the hole opened up by the tab having been moved and the opto interrupter flag at the right side of the blue circuit board will clear the sensor to indicate the cartridge has been marked read only.

 

Load and make ready……….

Video contains loud and very unfitting music. You’re welcome. I want to make a better video of this but my phone is rebooting after about 30 seconds of video… It’s telling me “go buy that BlackMagic Pocket Cinema camera… you know you want it… MICRO FOUR THIRDS GOODNESS…”

Cost engineering blows warm air, or “don’t murder your AC”.

May I take a moment to express my admiration to auto makers for not putting sight glasses or high side service ports on their air conditioning systems??

“Pound My System In The Ass can”

Sure, while having a gauge on the high side while charging and testing the system isn’t an absolute necessity, it helps a lot!! It can warn you if the system is overcharged, the orfice tube or thermal expansion valve is obstructed, or of bad cylinders in the compressor (wild gauge vibrations).

Excessive high side pressure can pop the compressor or even cause an explosion.

With only a low side port, you might as well just be using one of these stupid “pound my system in the ass” cans.

Believe it or not, I’d actually say the TOP of that can is kinda alright to use, if you have a one port system. Guilty parties I’ve seen this from to date: Mazda, Ford, and Volvo.

The problem is the can. These kits come with a can of pure death: the can injects additional compressor oil into the system as well as a “stop leak” compound.

The additional oil can really screw things up. It’s not compressible. There’s a sump in the bottom of the compressor that collects it and splashes it on the swash plate drive and backs of the piston rings. Overfill and it will enter the cylinders and cause liquid slugging which will bend and break parts. BANG!!!

Stop leak is just vile. The most common form is a substance that soaks into, swells up, and structurally weakens elastomer O-ring seals. There just aren’t that many in a car a/c system and they are easy to replace. The proper procedure is, if you have a leak, have the system recharged and a UV dye injected. This will make the leak glow and it can be detected with a blacklight. The o-ring can be changed after recovering the refrigerant. My own experience has been that a compressor seal failure tends to follow the use of one of these, leading to a slow expensive leak.

Okay, so if you still really want to use one of these goofy can top kits….

Do not use the can with stop leak and oil. Get a can of straight up R-134a ONLY.

Put a digital thermometer in a dash vent and place it where you can watch it while charging. If you observe a rise in temperature, STOP, turn off the ac system immediately, and go confess to your local actual professional what you’ve done.

NEVER TURN THE CAN UPSIDE DOWN. You’ll slug the compressor.

Incompatible

There are two places I can think of that I’ve been to where I felt like a horrible match to the crowd there:

1. The Bal Harbour Shops in Bal Harbour, Florida.

I don’t think I’ve had enough starring roles in movies or television or been an old Russian mobster long enough to belong there.

2. A Tractor Supply Co. store.

Being the goth dude who walks in there in black leather …..

Well at least that wasn’t a total waste, I got to watch the little cheeplets.

image

image

And I laughed immaturely at these.

image
One size fits all, i guess.

image

Welcome to the swamp

No! Not the metaphorical one. The real one!

image

image
Lizard poop in a Harris Z16HD+

image

Drum roll………..

image

Success! The lizard poop was not load bearing.

image
What's the purpose of these neat looking hinged flaps?

SLIME.

This has been a bad week when it comes to things full of water.

First, early in the week, I was walking down a corridor at work when a big fat raindrop got me right in the eye. I jumped a little and this caused my shoes to hydroplane on the wet floor.

Upon further inspection, it was coming from a large overhead AC unit. The drain was clogged. I used a wet vac to clean up and finally to forcibly blow the snot rocket out of the line.

Then the toilet tank in my apartment spontaneously cracked open and tried to start a flood. It started with a bang, ended with the somber howl of a Home Depot cheapie wet vac.

Then I was informed that water was pouring thunderously down the side of the building while I was at work. The fault was one we’re not unfamiliar with.

image

The thing in the foreground is a large ballcock like that which would fill your toilet. Something was wrong inside it and it wouldn’t stop gushing so I reduced the water flow to it from a roaring geyser to a smaller, “someone left the sink on” flow and went back inside.

Later, the 11 pm news had just ended when I heard a very odd noise in the building and started trying to track it down. My first thought was maybe the water level in the tower had fallen, but there was still water pouring off the roof, so that couldn’t be it. It seemed like a lot, actually. And that’s when the temperature alarms started going off….

I switched on a backup ac for our most critical server room and took a look at the pool on the roof. The first thing I noticed was it was overflowing but I didn’t hear much water flow in it and the fan wasn’t on. I peeked inside again and realized that this time I couldn’t see the sieve at the bottom anymore. I opened the filler valve back up full blast so I could also use the garden hose up there.

Uh oh. I located a stick and started poking around. I found the sieve had become totally occluded with a mat of algae.

Scrape
Schlorp
Bloop
Slurp
Squirt, squirt
Chatter
Bang
Gurgle

The next thing I knew, I was looking at the sieve…. but no water. It was running down there as fast as it filled the basin, but now it was also raining down through the fill like it should, albeit slowly.

It continued to do this a while as the entire system refilled.

My only thought is that the entire system had basically started sucking air back through the overflow pipe adjacent to the main drain/return as the sieve plugged, and the pumps had cheerfully returned all the water back to the overflowing tower until there was just about nothing left but the small amount needed to churn back and forth in the pumps and make awful sounds.

Once refilled, I found all the AC units cooling once again, and the awful sounds absent.

But why the slime? There’s a system to prevent that….

Oh

Heck

image

The barrel. What’s in it?

image

Nothing. In fact there’s algae in the barrel itself…

image

Algae and calcium build up all over

image

A pump that sounds fouled

image

And a cool looking skyline

So at least there’s that

Also, for no good reason one of the air handlers seems to have experienced an accidental thrust reverser deployment and yacked all over the place

image

image

And it’s still pissing itself. At least everything is staying cool…

image

Good night from beautiful Broadcast Key, Miami, Florida.

Guess I didn’t need a Fluke…

Now that’s a power glitch!! This voltage surge was long enough to get captured on an old school mechanical pen recorder.

Colorized for no good reason:

image

(It’s physically impossible for the trace to reach the jackpot mark without blowing through the side of the meter movement. I was just being silly.)

Guess that explains why every time I’m looking at that transmitter the PA PLATE overload trip indicator is on showing that it had tripped and reset itself at some point. KABANG!!

1 2 3 4 5 66