Archive for Fnord!

And the award for silliest front panel design goes to….

The QEI Model 691 FM modulation monitor!

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It always makes me think of Pokey The Penguin comics.

Please feel free to use this photograph to torture graphic designers.

Sorry about the stray marks, I’ve been asked to respect the secret identity of my client. You’re not cleared for that. Fnord!

Circuit Comedy

Which is funnier? The inductors roasted like weenies or the sticker with a handwritten note that says “Uh”?

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Oops I think I accidentally made myself a rave flyer

Every time I start messing around thinking I want to make business cards for myself, THIS KIND OF THING HAPPENS

 

but believe me the music will be more interesting than you’d expect

Exciting new business opportunity

I’ve looked at the state of American industry and business and, well, it’s time to Make America Great Again. There’s a great business opportunity waiting and ready, and it’s a perfect recession-proof one with potential for tax free income!

Start A Cult!

The conditions are perfect! Your target audience is ready! Currently, you have:

  • Brainwashed masses who have been trained to respond to emotional appeal over all reason and logic
  • Ample tax breaks provided to anything filed as a ‘religious organization’
  • Growing demographics of people driven by hatred who want to live far from — whatever (homosexuals, Jews, Muslims, you name it…)

All you need is this easy to use startup guide! In it we’ll describe how to provide yourself endless interest-free income for the rest of your lives* and the ability to establish your own enclave far from civilization that tries to push you towards acceptance of whatever you’ve grown to hate today.

Call today!

Fnord reacts only.

 

* Included drink recipe will work with any powdered fruit flavored beverage mix.

Things you shouldn’t have to be an engineer to realize

Consider the case of this single occupancy restroom:

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The toilet seat was covered in piss.

Why? The door is behind me in this picture; it actually took extra effort to walk over there and fire hose the seat.

THIS MAKES NO SENSE.

I just can’t make this up. Too illogical.

The authenticity of the video in the previous post has been questioned by a member of the repeater council who was not in attendance.

Are there any nice goth clubs around now? I think I need to go stomp around in the dark to industrial music now.

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Here, have a ShitpostAir image.

Roll VT#7 and we’re out.

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Paranormal transmitter site adventures

I figured now that I wrote all this up I should copy it here finally.

Believe in what you will, or what you won’t, but there are things that lurk in the airwaves aside from our electromagnetic waves.

There’s a radio tower southwest of Miami in the middle of nowhere. Well, kinda not exactly middle of nowhere as McMansions are encroaching on it and it’s next to a country club, but still. It used to be the broadcast tower for Channel 6 before the digital transition. Due to the fact that there was another 6 in Orlando, they had to stick this one waaaay south of Miami to “protect” from co-channel interference between the two destroying the signals of both.

There was an old engineer there, Richard Van Hook, who absolutely loved his job. He was in charge of maintaining the transmitter at the site and the associated equipment. As he got on in years he was fighting cancer but continued going to work there every day until about a week before he passed away. The next day, after he passed, he went right back to work. The security guard at the site (it used to be manned 24/7/365) saw the door open, heard footsteps down the hall.. but…. there was no physical body there anymore 😉

Shortly afterwards they put another engineer down there to watch the site until the analog was switched off for the DTV conversion which put their transmitter at another site about 40 miles north. He was always a little creeped out by the site but refused to believe there was a ghost there.

I was working for a radio station whose transmitter was there at the time. The tower had been sold from NBC to a total smeghead management company, Richland Tower, who laid off the guard and left the site unmanned and unmaintained. I’d often be down there doing maintenance and hear doors opening and closing and footsteps in the hallway, but there was nobody else there in this little tiny building in the middle of a field miles from anything other than a berry farm.

Richland refused to negotiate on a new lease with the university who owned that radio station so we had to abruptly remove all our equipment… then put it back! The transmitters* didn’t survive the moves out and back so I was left to assemble a good one out of the guts of two dead ones.

It was like 3 in the morning and I was sitting on a paint bucket with transmitter parts everywhere when the door opened to the room I was in and closed again. Across the room from me was a small Crown Broadcast transmitter that was keeping the station alive for the time being, connected to an Optimod 2200 processor to handle audio levels and compression.

The Optimod’s front panel lit up like someone had turned the adjustment knob or pushed a button. I looked over just in time to see the display change from MODE -> OPERATE to MODE -> TEST. A test tone started screeching out of the radio across the room (as it did over the airwaves).

I looked over and said “Stop that!”.

The processor turned back to OPERATE mode, the station went back to normal operations, the door opened and closed again and I heard footsteps down the steel staircase fading into the distance.

I fell on the floor laughing, it was the most hilarious thing I’d seen ALL FREAKING YEAR.

 

There were another couple of times I went to try to contact spirits in haunted buildings. One was in the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. I was there with some of my friends from the station and we were walking down a stairwell in the tower next to where Al Capone used to have a suite and we all heard a whisper “hello!”. One of my classmates had a portable Minidisc recorder running on him with a funky field mic that looked like a pair of earbuds in reverse. We’d tested it prior to going in but now… it was recording *dead silence*. Testing it afterwards showed the equipment was working perfectly fine. Trolled again, but that’s not ALL we we were gonna get. We found access to the rooftop which was via two staircases and an equipment room and were walking around up there when we all heard, very clearly, a toilet flush.

There was no toilet on the roof. The nearest toilet was two floors below us. The only thing above us was a weird architectural dome full atop a ladder that’s potentially made of solid pigeon shit that also housed the 147.150 Mhz amateur radio repeater…

We all just couldn’t stop laughing at this point.

We later went back there with an Ouija board and the first thing that came out of it was my ham radio callsign KG4CYX. I guess they’d heard me use the repeater at some point in time. We asked the spirits there if they or their friends ever hung out on campus, and someone did reply that they often visited one of the older buildings there.

I had been reading about the “Spiricom” experiments and decided to try replicating that, first off because I’m freaking obsessed with electronics and radio, but also because I’d hoped to actually get a recording like they did out of that project. Instead of using a bunch of discrete tone generators to create the voice band audio frequencies, I just synthesized them in Audacity and played the result on loop. As I was messing with the janky little iPod transmitter and receiver I had up there, I heard a voice from behind me (seemingly out of the solid plaster wall) say “Shut up!”. It caught me by surprise and I tried to play back the recording in Audacity—-

You guessed it, DEAD SILENCE. I mean, the least significant bit of the analog to digital conversion didn’t even change (meaning, there was literally, absolutely, no sound there.)

 

Ridiculous pranksters, they are.

 

Say, wouldn’t this make a fairly good Creepypasta? Dunno, since it’s not a work of fiction……..

How to tell you’ve entered clickbait hell

Boy, the clickbait “news” sites are thick as a brick nowadays. So you see a link, or maybe even clicked it – how can you tell if it’s clickbait garbage or not?

First off, take a look for the story they’re talking about by searching via Google News. Look to see if the same subject comes up in a well established source such as the New York Times, Reuters, Washington Post, etc. Huffington Post kinda doesn’t count that much anymore, sadly.

But second, well, visit the link with uBlock Origin installed and active on your browser and see what happens. Do you get bombarded with prompts asking you to disable ad blocking and/or turn on desktop notifications for that site? Yeeeah—- chances are good you’ve found bullshit clickbait. Well, unless you’ve gone to Forbes, but that’s malware spewing bullshit of a different stench. Actually, I primarily run uBlock to protect against malvertising– I don’t really mind ads so much as long as they don’t block the page content or require interaction to get them out of the way first, but the ad networks have allowed sponsors to abuse the privilege of injecting active content for years. Oh how great were the days when ads could only be a 468×60 pixel jpeg or gif??

Look at the article. Sometimes you can actually, once in a blue moon, find a good reliable source cited in clickbait, then sometimes laugh as it contradicts the clickbait article you found it from. More often than not it’ll just lead you to some cesspool like Alternet though.

And then other times you’ll find something that looks so bloody insane that you think it HAS to be clickbait and then you find it proven true by Reuters, BBC, NPR, PBS, NBC, Fox, CBS, CNN, and official White House press releases, and you lose a good chunk of your faith in humanity…. oh wait, that’s just the last week or so… and the next four years… nevermind

A tiny time capsule of data (compare again in 2020)

Baseline values….

Picture related…
Inauguration Day 1/20/2017
Gas $2.33 a gallon national average
Dow 19,827
S&P 500: 2271
NASDAQ 5555
Unemployment 4.7%
CO2: 406.88 ppm
Gold: $1,213/oz
Oil: $52.42/bbl
$1 = 0.93 Euro
$1 = 6.88 Yuan
$1 = 114.62 Yen
$1 = 21.59 Mex Peso
1 BTC = $919.22
1 ETH = $10.61

 Copy and paste if you wish so we can see if “America will be great.”