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.

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And I laughed immaturely at these.

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One size fits all, i guess.

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Welcome to the swamp

No! Not the metaphorical one. The real one!

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Lizard poop in a Harris Z16HD+

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Drum roll………..

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Success! The lizard poop was not load bearing.

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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.

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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

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The barrel. What’s in it?

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

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Algae and calcium build up all over

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A pump that sounds fouled

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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

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

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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:

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(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!!

STUPID DEVELOPMENT UPDATE!

A few years ago, I met a guy who came down here to South Florida after graduating with a master’s degree in community planning.

He could not find a job in Southeast Florida at all, because no planning exists. “Communities” do not exist. What exists is just spray and pray.

Here’s what’s making me mad due to its total illogic and general idiocy.

American [Wet] Dream Miami has not died, sadly. The developers are on board and Miami-Dade County, seeking a new economic engine to the region, is pushing for it to get built as soon as possible.

The State of Florida doesn’t think it’s going to work and may step in to stop it, as they realize the critical lack of transportation and other infrastructure to support the project. Broward County looks on horrified yet powerless to stop it, like a damsel in distress.

Speaking of damsels in distress, let me digress a moment and share with you one of the fucking creepiest ad campaigns I’ve ever seen:

This shit makes me cringe so hard in so many ways, but— I’m not one to speak, I’m just the engineer.

So, since the last time I’ve yelled obscenities at the wall about this thing, they’ve released some informative graphics on the project:

Please note the “Graham Project” – even MORE townhouses. Gr8. Why the hell does it have “DEMO VERSION” watermarks?

The Graham Project is just fucking stupid. Do you really want to live there and find yourself locked up in 1-5 hours of traffic just to get to anything as common as a full sized grocery store? Great! You’ll love this place. The only planned access appears to be by the feeder roads to the mall.

Sprawl kings Lennar Homes also want to shit out another development over protected wetlands to the south of the Graham Project.

And now, site leasing plans revealing an interior floor plan!

First level. Click for full size, but the resolution isn’t much better.
Second level. For some reason the image won’t scale the same way. I can’t even.

The ski slope looks like a robot dick. I’m sorry. It does. There’s no denying that.

And now, here is why this shit will fail and fail hard.

Miami-Dade County’s economy has been in a meltdown since the mid 1990s that is now almost complete. Miami’s got effectively two classes: The rich, who either come from old money, own big foreign corporations…. and those who attempt to make a living working in what businesses are left in Miami-Dade County, or— the flat broke.

Studies have shown that Miami is one of the least affordable cities to live in (or around). Rental housing? Forget it. You pretty much need to be ready to buy a property to live in Miami-Dade County, and you need to be ready to buy that in cash, because you will be competing with foreign cash buyers for that property who just want to sit on it to pad their portfolio with some crap houses that keep a more or less stable value.

Nobody who is going to work in this shit show will be able to afford to live in Miami-Dade County.

Nobody who is going to work in this shit show will be able to afford the time and expenses to commute from anywhere that housing still remains affordable.

And, most importantly:
RETAIL IS DEAD. DEAD. DEAD AS FUCK. STICK A FORK IN IT, IT IS FUCKING DONE.

Yes, I realize the alternate use of this little fuckball is that it contains a half assed “theme park” and water park in its two large open spaces, in addition to what appears to be a specially constructed lake where you can… go fishing?? I don’t get it. Also, where’s the water coming from? If you’ve seen my previous posts on this cocksplat of a plan, I’ve brought up the question of where they’re going to get water. Florida is in drought again this spring, and we haven’t seen the worst of it yet. I hope you’re ready to deal with begging for sustenance from the Department of Water and Power. 😉

FUUUUCK THIS NOISE.

Triple Five group made a half assed promise to run shuttle service between several existing transit hubs to alleviate the congestion. That… just won’t do a thing. They would have likely run shuttles anyway for tourists – Dolphin Mall and Sawgrass Mills have had airport shuttles for years. They transport a few dozen shoppers back and forth a day and that’s about it.

God damn it. I’m not even done here, because the idiots over at Mana Wynwood decided to dig the area a nice posh grave lined in million dollar velvet and bury it. What is Wynwood? Wynwood is an old warehouse/business district that attracted an artists’ scene because it was a good place to find affordable studio space and host some events. Unfortunately, well—

If you’re a Miami native, please try to jog your frame of mind and look at this like an outsider to see how fucking ridiculous it is–

The site of an abandoned RC Cola factory managed to become the preferred site for music festivals and performances. It’s all outdoor – in Florida – no climate control, not even a proper toilet. And now… everything around the abandoned RC Cola plant is HOT SHIT. Just like what’s inside the RC Cola Plant’s portapotties.

So now the plan is, redevelop this area with high density luxury housing, multi-million dollar condos, and high end designer retail that nobody will be able to afford to shop at. Also, the buzzwords “trade center” were thrown out there, but look at every other “trade center” project that’s been attempted in Miami. The “trade center” never materializes and all winds up being “empty-ass class C office space” or ballrooms or other under-utilized shit.

Please note the amazingly good roadway access to this super high density urban development. Oh baby. Fuck you. Fuck. You. (Public transit is available via overcrowded buses that run every 30 minutes on NW 20 ST and NW 2 AVE, if you’re lucky.)

 

Artist’s rendering of…. bullshit, with nauseating perspectives.

What in the actual fuck are you thinking? This is like Brickell City Centre run through a few funhouse mirrors. Unlike the Brickell City Centre, it doesn’t connect to Metromover, so there’s no easy way to just stroll right on in there.

This isn’t … gentrification. This is just plain dropping a Daisy Cutter on the neighborhood and telling everyone fuckety bye. So much for that art community that drew everyone to the area – this will surely make the spaces they work in more valuable as valet parking spots than studios. Oopsie! I’d heard rumblings that there was an effort to provide artists new spaces over in Opa-Locka before everyone just runs out of money and leaves forever, but that’s… Opa-Locka… and safely preparing that space for new use will probably require actual Daisy Cutters.

So previously I’d also questioned the redevelopment of two sites in Broward – the old Plantation Fashion Mall site and the old Boomer’s Dania– those… those seem almost… well designed in comparison. Both are infill developments slated to be mixed use with janky condominium housing and very limited road access. But at least… at least they have road access… and aren’t expected to be quite the same sort of massive overload on the surrounding areas.

Holy shit, nobody has even a sixty fourth of a fucking clue here.

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