Florida, we need to talk…

Winter is to COLD as Florida is to:
A) DERP
B) HERP DERP
C) DURRRRRRRRR
D) All of the above

floridawinterPlease note: this image is from December 19, 2016. There’s an image floating around on social media from like 2013 that shows the same phenomenon. You can use either one to describe it as both are equally true. Map source: Weather Underground.

Percussive Maintenance

I was testing something with my trusty old Tektronix 2232 100 MHz digital storage scope and this happened:

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My guess as to what I’m seeing: a pretty significant bit of the input to the DAC (digital to analog converter) that sets the beam’s horizontal position is stuck, causing the display to break up and overwrite itself in unreadable stripes.

This display is of the vector type. There is no linear, raster scanning like in television or computer monitors; it’s more like an electron beam Etch-A-Sketch. Two DACs driven by the microprocessor set the beam’s horizontal and vertical deflection and it excites the phosphor wherever it lands. A control grid in the cathode ray tube allows it to be blanked to be moved without lighting the phosphor it crosses.

When this skipped around the beam wasn’t blanking; you could see it smear right back.

I tried power cycling. It’d be okay a minute or so after a minute off then do that again.

I tried clearing all settings and memory.

I tried looking through the service manual.

Then, finally….

I smacked it.

Gong!

The problem immediately cleared and does not come back.

Why didn’t I try this first? Am I losing my mind here?!

The fault was likely a loose connection at a backplane connector, socketed IC, or ribbon cable down inside, or maybe even a cracked solder joint.

If it recurs I’ll investigate, but for now I’ll rest easy knowing I don’t have to replace this wonderful scope I’ve used for years with some soulless modern piece of Chinese plastic poo that can’t actually do X/Y plot mode right.

So sad. So messy.

It’s always sad when you see that one of your most carefully crafted fixes no longer works.

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Even my amusing low grade British swearing has ceased to have an effect and everyone’s overflowing the recycling bin again!

Jimmy Jib Junk

Oh gee I wonder why your pan and tilt motors were losing torque?

(And I wonder who applied that much grease in there? Holy goobers.)

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💦🎺 Spunk Trumpet 🎺💦

That’s the before…

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And the after.

The motor is a Swiss made Maxon and has lots of life left in it, I just carefully de-melted-rubbered and degreased the pulley awaiting a new belt.

Sometimes high tech problems have low tech solutions.

Curious Crowdsourcing

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Is my place page of "A Beautiful Place Out In The Country" under the "Nightlife" category going to get bumped for this tower? I hope not.

Facebook just surprised me with a new feature. Seems they’re trying to promote crowdsource editing of their business/location database, but… Doing it all weird….

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Not very location aware. I’ve never even been in this city. It seems to give me a mix of questions about 20% places I’ve been, 80% …. I’ve never even been near those cities.

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How is this judging the accuracy?

Also, as for my profile picture —-
This look suits me way too well.

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Waaaay too well.

Just saying. Yarrr.

I’m all for musical creativity but….

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There’s some kind of bizarre avant-garde Caribbean jazz playing in this restroom, and if all my senses other than hearing were malfunctioning, I’d be inclined to believe that I’m actually shitting rack screws into an upended steel drum while someone throws many timbales down a flight of stairs.

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