Troublesome Meta Substances.

There are a few substances you should watch out for in the electronics field. No, I’m not talking about lead, not even about beryllium…

  • Unobtainium. This is a substance only really rumoured to exist, yet it’s often the base material for parts in something you’re working on. Nobody can find it now, but there’s always someone, maybe you, who knew where to find the Unobtainium parts… 25 years ago in a tiny shop that’s long gone and replaced by a check cashing store. Unobtainium is known to exist in all three states of matter, but once it becomes gas, it irretrievably escapes ….
A jar of pure Unobtainium, liquid form.
  • Expensivium. While it can be obtained, its scientific purpose is totally unknown. However, Expensivium is the most maddeningly, frightening thing to find as part of an electronic part, for its presence means that these parts will be subject to wild increases in price whenever you need them. Expensivium is usually added to the composition of semiconductors that have been on the market a few years, rf power transistors, high voltage capacitors, wire and cable.
  • Chineseium. A very inexpensive but disappointing element, it has often been unsuccessfully used as a substitute for Expensivium and Unobtainium. Parts based on excessive amounts of Chineseium will usually fail very quickly due to this material dissipating right out of existence. Attempts to refill a system with lost Chineseium will not theoretically work, as in the theories on refilling lost Magic Smoke, for the high concentration of Chineseium will just lead to even more rapid failure.

While Unobtainium, Expensivium, and Chineseium are not directly toxic or harmful to persons, their presence is associated with a scientifically vague yet statistically proven link to migraine headaches and anxiety.

Oops, guess I should write a TV reception guide

Or buy and resell cheap rabbit ear antennas as a barely legal hack device to fellow millenials

 

Picture stolen from Phil Burks.

 

Yes in the actual article they interview people who can’t believe receiving free to air television is legal

you can’t handle our secrets

 

Stumplefloofs.

A couple months back I had a great realization in a dream.

Corgis are stumplefloofs.

I woke up laughing like a madman because it was too cute and perfect.

They’re a little floof that runs around on stumpy legs. Stumplefloof. Yes.

And they have the most darling little fluffy bunny butts, of course.

By my dream logic though, and even my logic in waking hours — stumplefloof is a perfect description.

…. And now I’ll go back to pondering whether creative addition of jumper wires and stuff to an old Miranda video converter board can be used to make trippy video glitch art.

Blazing Carriers

Ahhh, long time clueless pirate Blaze FM is back on 88.7 and causing problems for listeners of WDNA at 88.9.

Let me just hook up the Arizona tea can to the analyzer here….

This is them sending dead carrier. Note WDNA signal over to the right fully modulated. Horizontal is 50 kilocycles/division

Setting the analyzer to peak hold is useless as it just fills up with spurs from who the hell knows what, but here, enjoy this indistinct lump with the interior of the dead 777 International Mall in downtown Miami.

The worst meme

The worst meme: Brand name recognition.

“Turtle Wax” presoak that does nothing but smell bad
Seriously. Presented with the same shit tier product, both with no brand name, and with a recognized brand name, consumers will go for the brand name.

Never mind that the contact that once held that brand name is gone and the brand name itself has been sold off as an intellectual property asset.
Man, people will buy anything. I’m pretty sure underwear with “covfefe” printed on it exists now. Morons.

Tech Note #69: The Fuck You Cracker

Little do you know, until it’s too late, but many electronic systems feature a sort of latent failure mode that can be triggered by a seemingly asymptomatic event happening seconds, minutes, even days prior.

The Fuck You Cracker

Meet the Fuck You Cracker.

When the Fuck You Cracker detonates, it goes off taking the software, sometimes hardware, but always at least a bit of your hard work with it.

The event that lights its fuse is often very strange and minor. In the case of Ericsson IRD satellite receivers, one detonator is a loss or glitch in the black burst sync input when the receiver’s internal frame sync is enabled.

In the case of these camera robotics, it’s a slow loss of nitrogen gas pressure in the pedestal which led to loss of even lens zoom/focus control minutes before a live show. Seen here: Deco Drive before the magic is applied.

Rawr XD

Other examples I can think of:

Internal software fault on a Mazda 6 ECU causing runaway battery charge to 19VDC

Sony XDCAM deck losing sync and trashing closed caption data on line 9 in a recording quietly– it went from Closed Captioning to Clclososeded  Cacaptptioioniningng.

Any number of I/O accesses to an NFS filesystem that’s gone offline

The Monroe Systems DASDEC, where a received EAS alert hangs forever in the machine’s “inbox” if it’s received with an out of range valid time, and there’s no way to delete it or let it expire until the valid window comes up again. This is fine unless you put audio of a national EAS test alert into it, as the infamous Bobby Bones show incident did– the DASDEC will always auto relay this, you cannot override or filter it out, thus not only causing the Fuck You Cracker fuse to burn until it’s valid again but possibly also relighting the fuse on any station that monitors yours………

I’m sure you’ve also run into the Fuck You Cracker. Watch out, it’s a sneaky one.

¿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

Don’t Be Evil

I’ve gotta say, as a kid this would have been freaking heartbreaking to me.

This vending machine promises to have all sorts of goofy wonderful things. 

image

But wait, would some of these even fit in the little capsules?

image

What the hell— is even in those capsules??

image

Are those… Are those actually random printed Tyvek wristbands?

Oh just what every kid wants to see fall out of the machine after putting in 50 cents.

No thanks, I’ll stick with the Frosty Balls.

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Don’t choke on the Frosty Balls.

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