Tri-Color Foaming RF

Me: ponders whether I should have a really nice professional looking website talking about some of my engineering contract work

Press plate on to make the airwaves shiny

Also me: slaps photo of one of my clients towers through the 1980s neon art meets tri-color foaming wax filter and posts it

Lurking in the twilight

My new coat got here from Hilary’s Vanity and I love it. It’s the Devious coat in black PVC. You can’t see any of the cool details of it here but the shape is perfect:

Brb gotta go make a darkwave album now.

Oh, and if you’re wondering if a Crown translator can work on its own first adjacent:

some identifying details were deleted from this photo before further demolition

Yes. Despite the receiver and exciter being adjacent like this, it… works.
In fact it works so well there’s negative reflect.

Your design is bad and you should feel bad for it.

A friend of mine posted a link to this on Facebook and it is literally one of the worst designs for anything I have ever seen.
Straight from the Walmart online marketplace, right next to the counterfeit Duracell batteries

Not that any of these have ever been designed WELL, but this is worse…

It’s literally the worst designed ear piercing gun I’ve ever heard of. Of particular note though, the description suggests it can also be used on the nose or navel. How? No, don’t. Just don’t. On anything.

Also note the random weirdass stud jewelry that comes stuck in a sheet of pink antistatic foam.

A little background on how these things are supposed to work: The tip of the stud (not seen anywhere in the description photos) is pointed. Not really all that sharp, but pointed. The butterfly back of the stud earring is placed in the other end of the gun and it’s driven by brute force (this one appears to use a spring) through the earlobe.

The most common place you find these things is in kiosks and stores in the mall. Claire’s uses a variation made by Studex and theirs has a disposable sterilized plastic cartridge that goes at the end. The gun itself can never be fully cleaned or sterilized, but at least most of it is not in contact with the person it’s used on. Thanks to this, infection caused by bloodborne pathogens left on the gun itself is at least rare. The complications caused by the body trying to heal a rough bruised hole created by jamming a somewhat dull metal stud through, that’s another story. This one, uhhhhh….

good luck

On this design you just get a little stack of steel plates with a notch in them. The outer one is bent to hold the butterfly back of the earring. Sort of. I can’t really imagine how it keeps it lined up such that the stud will align with the hole in the end – chances are better it just kind of crashes into it and either further tears the hole by skewing at an angle, or launches the backing into space.

But it’s not covered with any sort of disposable part…. and it couldn’t even be effectively wiped down to clean it because it’s got all those gaps between the plates.

A felt tipped pen and a magnifying glass are also included for your convenience. I can’t even understand why, as there’s no logical reason this thing should actually make the hole where you want it to land.

 

It should be no secret that I think the ear piercing gun is one of the worst products of modern misengineering, but this just… this deserves some kind of award. This is BAD and whoever designed it should feel bad for it.

Yeah. Do yourself a favor and go find a member of the Association of Professional Piercers if you’re looking to get any sort of piercings and want the process to go as well as possible.

And do beware of the utter bullshit that shows up in the Walmart “marketplace”. Same goes for Sears. It’s all the ecommerce equivalent of the Opa-Locka Hialeah Flea Market or something.

Fnord Motor Company

Last weekend, when I was making the drive to Derp Island, deep in the Florida Keys, it was pretty hot but stormy out and I was driving down there with the A/C on in the car set to use outside air, since the air down there is not 97% diesel spooge like it is up on the mainland. As I was going down the road I noticed the A/C started getting slightly warmer, then the airflow abruptly dropped as if the blower was burning out or the system had sucked in rainwater and soaked the cabin air filter. (I’ve had both happen on that car. We wear out A/C system blowers here in South Florida like mad.)

Then smoke blew out of the vents……!!

I pulled off at a gas station, stopped, and was looking around trying to figure out what Let The Smoke Out, unsuccessfully. Then I started the car again and… maddeningly… everything worked fine, although I had the reduced airflow problem every now and then afterwards.

Last night, I was driving down what I like to call Miami-Dade County’s emergency exit (I’m not telling, otherwise EVERYONE will try taking it!). The road was empty and as it started raining, I hit the vent button again. The airflow faded away again after a burst of fog came out of the vents, then the airflow cut back. I suspected a coil freeze. Sure enough.. I turned off the compressor and cold wet air began to gradually blast out of the vents.

For sake of illustration, a typical, severely frozen over A/C coil. Watch out – this often leads to flooding.

Later, with the A/C back on again, the airflow started to fade away… then the engine misfired(??) and shut down impolitely. I shifted into neutral and coasted into a well lit parking lot to investigate. I found three blown fuses.

Now I was thoroughly baffled, why did things SHORT OUT? I pulled the glove compartment off to look at the area where the cabin air filter is, and found that a wiring harness runs along the plastic air duct. Just almost out of view in the center console area, that ran between the duct and a razor sharp edge on the dash frame.

The plastic duct had swollen up from the ice buildup and pinched the harness, cutting into some wires.

Sorry, no pictures as the clearances were insufficient to get my phone into the space. I was working with a flashlight and a dental mirror!

I fixed the issue for the time being with electrical tape and cable ties to hold the harness out of the area where it’d gotten pinched, and cut up a plastic bottle to serve as a protective sleeve.

 

Lessons gathered from this:

A. fnord!*

B. Never trust lazy automotive engineering.

C. Don’t let your A/C refrigerant get low.

 

 

* Fnord? What is fnord?

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¿Que?

lost in the ether

That moment when you hit seek on your car radio, and it stops on a channel that should be vacant with a dead carrier with a strange warbling beep every second, followed by a voice screaming “¡DISFRUTA!” and then the carrier drops without a trace

I swear my hair is still standing on end

A day at Derp Island Broadcasting

“Hello, Derp Island Broadcasting, may I help you?”

“Hi, I’m with Papa November Network, and I’m interested in an LMA from your site.”

“Okay. We’ll give you 250 watts ERP from our expertly maintained state of the art transmitter site. However, you may not install remote monitoring here, and if you try to visit the site, you will be run off by our management. But rest assured you’re getting your money’s worth.”

*click*

“Hey, can you go check on our station on Derp Island?”

What fresh hell is this

I have screamed internally all I can and now I must shitpost

Oh. Look. A cool waterspout.

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…”

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