Diesel-Electric Shitpost

I propose we rename the notches on diesel locomotive throttles to the following:

  • Stop
  • Idle
  • A
  • AA
  • AAA
  • AAAA
  • AAAAA
  • AAAAAA
  • AAAAAAA
  • AAAAAAAA

I mean it makes sense, it controls how loud the locomotive screams and the ammeter that shows how much load you’re putting on the traction system is labeled in amps – A.

This A meter is pretty cool and it appears it’s been installed to a model railway for extra coolness. (This model of Weston meter is easy to open if you want a custom scale but this one looks 100% original!!)

And yes this does look like the right meter– EMD just put it behind a panel, likely with a small lamp behind to light the face. I’d post the link to the original if I could find it, but it seems the metadata on railpictures.net just doesn’t match up for me to find it. The picture is of an EMD GP7 cab.

An affirmation to nobody in particular

You are proof that truly amazing things exist in the world –
Your mind proves that modern science and engineering have figured out a way to install Nava Shield on the human mind.

Fight crapflood with crapflood

If anyone knows who is behind the robocall bots that flood the entire 305 and 786 area codes with “Hello, this is Rachel at Card Services…”, I suggest that a DDoS of amazing proportions would be justified.

PTEK combiner. Shibe version.

I have no words. This thing is so wack i didn’t even recognize I was looking at a classic Wilkinson combiner implemented using cast off garbage. I’ll let the shibes speak.

The exciter power divider. This seems to depend on the external jumpers

Shitposting Electromagnetically

This miniscule coax from Pasternack carries 500 watts over its… 26-28 awg center conductor??!!

Also yes I know, time to repaint

Wild life.

I was about to fall asleep when I heard a really bizarre undulating, non stop … grunting? It sounded like the distant residue of a low male voice but did not match anything like a singing or speaking pattern. Did I mention, NON STOP? If it was a voice it was something that never stops to breathe…

I also heard an actual voice through the wall. It sounded…. worried.

Somehow I came to realize I’d left the balcony light on so I reached over to turn it off. Just before my hand touched the switch, I saw a shadow flicker by the light.

Click.

Instantly— silence.

What the crap was ?!!

Save energy or we sic the flying hellmoths on you. – Pacific Gas and Energy.

Fnord over IP.

The best thing about voice over IP / digital voice networks for amateur radio is that there are so many of them!

You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike, yet none interconnect. There is a mailbox here.

> open mailbox

The mailbox contains a QSL card.

> read QSL card

Dot matrix printer ribbon fun (TFT EAS 911 and others)

(We’re saved! The original Epson ERC-09B ribbons appear to be available again via Amazon.)

This post has been technically deemed a shitpost because WD-40 is involved. Also something that looks like Comic Sans.

Shitposting loudly

This is the tiny printer ribbon used on the TFT EAS 911 and many other devices using a small dot matrix printer mechanism. This particular unit is hilarious, it’s less than half an inch thick and appears to contain a one pixel printhead!! The way it works, noisily, is that the printhead cycles back and forth on a bihelical gear as the paper feeds one pixel height at a time. It takes like a minute and a half for the log output from a RWT (Required Weekly Test) to creep noisily out of there.

So the ribbon was fading away on this one and i opened a fresh… new… old stock (uh oh) box of ribbons. They were all dried up in the box.

The ribbon feed knob wouldn’t move the cloth ribbon at all. Curious, I carefully pried the top off.

Larger ribbons as used in some dot matrix printers like the Citizen 200GX/GSX140 models had a big boxy space filled with lots of ribbon that kinda folded up in there and flowed to the other end. Smaller ribbons that went on the carriage (Okidata, IBM, and Apple printers were like this) usually contained a foam roller that stored ink and transferred it to the ribbon. They were easy to re-ink; I always just applied stamp pad ink and WD-40 with good results. The light mineral oil from the WD-40 helped the ink transfer and lubricated the print head pins.

This just has a small band and two foam rollers. The ink was there but dried, so I just applied WD-40 to the ribbon and both rollers.

Success.

I tried this on a second one in the box but it seemed its feed roller had separated – the plastic core spun free in the foam sleeve. That seems to be the game over point on these things, it can’t feed anymore once that happens.

I’m not sure if these are still made fresh somewhere. I’ll have to check later. For now, Fun With Subcarrier Audio is on the agenda.

Mystery thing on the Sacramento River

I noticed this odd thing near the Sacramento River next to the Bonnyview bridge south of Redding and wondered what it was. A closer look reveals more interesting details, but still no great clues.

View from the bridge. I used enhancement filters in Pixlr that took a very impressionist view??

Another less detailed structure across the river; no sign of a similar spout on it. Maybe a flap gate though??

Water valve at the base.

Bolts and remains of some wooden piece that was attached to the end of the spout

The top has an interesting shape with pointed ends. I keep thinking maybe it supported a pier or bridge deck?

Climbing rungs are present. Also, note form marks. Whatever it is, it was poured in place concrete using wood slat forms. The spout has marks suggesting that either water flows from it (why and from where??) or that’s just the path rainwater takes while draining off it.

So here’s what really gets me about this thing. It sticks way up beside the river. There’s nothing nearby in sight that’s up higher than it is, which would logically drain from it. It’s fairly small and very very high up so it doesn’t make much sense that water from the Sacramento River would divert through it in a flood. The angle of the spout with its sweeping curve does sort of suggest an inlet though. Could it predate the Keswick Dam regulating water levels and reducing seasonal flooding down here?

I’ve found nothing looking it up online; there’s gotta be somewhere it’s documented, but I’m not sure where to look.

Bizarre.

You go away, Pennywise. Nobody asked you.

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