Fair Weather Air Conditioning

So I figured if I’m gonna rant about stupid construction, I might as well also mention how not to run a facility air conditioning system.

First, the chillers.

A chiller is essentially a giant version of what’s inside a drinking fountain. It sucks heat out of water and kicks it into the air (usually, but not always… I’ve seen one that heated a swimming pool!)

Or in this case, it does fuckall nothing.

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That’s the unit, installed outdoors. The long insulated weinerschnitzel on the bottom is the heat exchanger that circulates water around the evaporator coil of the sealed refrigerant system. This one uses, or used, R-134A. I wonder if it’s all still in there? The two devices on top are a pair of compressors.

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Or, maybe, “were”.

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When a picture is worth a million words

….the next thing out of it was “Failed to communicate with the ScanSnap”… I WONDER WHY??

Nopefish
Sorry, the Sketch Aquarium just doesn’t like you anymore.

The Harris Quest FM

I could write volumes on how awful and ridiculous this box is, but… Here, I summarized it in one image: if you add thick eyebrows, a moustache, and a goatee to it, it looks every bit as malevolently untrustworthy as it truly is. They’ve been out of production for a long time (cheers were probably heard all over Quincy when the order to discontinue them was made) and certain key parts are looooong gone.

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Cool ferroresonant power supply though.

Maybe it wasn’t a typo?

A while back I spotted this.

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Imagine my surprise seeing the package has been redesigned and still says the same thing about the vswr!

I’m now officially recommending this antenna for all deployments of Harris Stingray units, Bluetooth spammers, over modulated pirate FM’s advertising strip clubs, and iHeartMedia stations.

What, does it vibrate?

Waaaaaait for it——–
It's IP67 rated in case you drop it over the side of the Love Boat.

 

I wonder if the Tytera MD-390 will have fixed some of the oddball bugs from the MD-380? One notorious one that’s come to light recently is that if you un-key then key up again shortly afterwards, the radio’s transmitter timing slips and it’ll scribble over the opposite timeslot. Sounds like a show stopping bug and I’ve seen it blamed on a bug in the Texas Instruments DSP chip at the heart of the radio, which… I’m not inclined to believe.

Either way, even if it was, it’s not like there haven’t been software workarounds to hardware bugs that work successfully before. Just look at the Linux kernel – it’s got a LOT of fixes for CPU/chipset issues which would otherwise be show stoppers.

I’ll never complain about that dumb floor outlet again

I used to go to the Melbourne hamfest every year. Hosted by the Platinum Coast Amateur Radio Society, it’s a really nice show, usually coinciding with pretty good weather up on Florida’s Space Coast.

This year I didn’t get to go because my scheduled vacation days for the event were wiped out at pretty much the last minute. I seem to remember being there last year though, and tripping several times on a floor mounted power outlet in one of the first rows of the inside vendors’ area. They throw a rug over it, but it’s… silly. It’s used to provide power to the first couple rows of tables. I can’t say I noticed if it’d be possible to drop it down from above, even though I’ve snuck all around the venue in places I shouldn’t really have even known to exist. That one ladder, man… every year I forget just how DIRTY that thing gets and thank myself for wearing black clothes all the time…

For no particularly good reason I started browsing around its area on Google Earth in ground level view.

So, okay, the imagery isn’t all that good. Not surprising…

Maybe a little rough.
Maybe a little rough.

 

Okay, let’s see what happens if we try to move inside and….

Okay, you can just plug that extension cord right into the Milky Way there...
Okay, you can just plug that extension cord right into the Milky Way there…

 

What.

space-floor-2

THE TREES ARE MELTING
THE TREES ARE MELTING

 

Man, what kind of show did I miss here?!

On a side — this is about what my dreams look like nowadays if I can even remember them. That’s why it weirded me out so much seeing Google Earth glitch this way. I kind of just wondered if my brain was giving up the ghost. Just need to hold out a while longer — only ten more days then I get *one* day off from work to recover a bit. Yay? I’m currently in the middle of a 16 day straight marathon from hell and already feeling it…

A Guide to First Night Microphone Setup for Musical Theatre

By Scott Johnson.

1. Neutralize all console controls, because the last guy never, ever zeroes the console properly. Even when the last guy was YOU.

2. Choose a test subject. Ideally this should be the director in row five, but there is no need to be particular here. If no expendable test subjects are available, use of the lighting designer is permissible.

3. Identify the actor who just stepped onstage for mic check. Greet him or her in a friendly manner.

4. CORRECTLY identify the actor and apologize, repeat step 3 using the correct name.

5. Arrange the equalization controls on the channel into a visually pleasing and eye-catching pattern. Raise the fader to unity, or trinity, or solidarity, or any other convenient position. Unmute the channel.

6. Note that you cannot hear the actor at all. Ask the A2 to turn on the actor’s microphone pack. At this point it is also a good idea to ensure the actor is wearing a microphone, but this is entirely optional.

7. Increase microphone gain slowly until feedback is achieved. Note the level and reduce slightly until the actresses stop screaming. Think of Jimi Hendrix and take a moment to feel like a real rockstar.

8. Ask the actor to sing typical material from the show.

9. Remind the actor that this is a musical, not The Voice, and repeat step 8.

10. Observe the test subject. Note that he is holding his hands over his ears and is probably also rocking in his seat and moaning. If he is not, do not panic. You have chosen a deaf test subject. Choose again, being careful to avoid drummers, electric guitarists. and judges on The Voice.

11. Rapidly and randomly rearrange the equalization controls on the console channel until the subject’s moaning diminishes, rocking ceases, and hands drop. If your test subject loses consciousness or his ears bleed, reduce the channel gain very slightly.

12. Repeat step 11 until the test subject sits comfortably and does not appear visibly distressed, or in the case of a director, any more distressed than usual.

11. Thank the actor, close the channel, and resume at step 3. Continue this process until all microphones have been checked or your beard has grown one inch, whichever comes first, then report “mic checks complete” to the director.

A what now?

After reading the system requirements printed on this Arris/Motorola SurfBoard 6141 modem box, I’m legitimately not sure if I’m looking at Chinese fakes or not. Then again… Arris… Not a brand known for getting anything right. And this is Walmart.

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