Gain? Oh I love their detergent.

The hardest part of having false hope is when it all falls apart. Here, I’d been told that the PowerCD transmitter that I lovingly call the Space Station Toilet was going to be replaced starting in April or so.

Oops. Turns out nobody has any of the required supplies for that project in stock anywhere and production isn’t expected until July at least with an estimate on replacement being maaaaaybe September… and every tiny setback adds another fortnight of business days to the backlog. Time to start making this thing as happy as possible to prolong its final year (or decade?) of service…

Another adventure at the Space Station Restroom standing tall in a field by the river… This is cabinet #1 of 3. Cabinet 3 was the one that gave me such elegant fits before when I did a grid scrub. Cab 1 wasn’t causing as much drama but it just wasn’t making enough power prior to the scrub and was occasionally arcing out, roughly once a day. Let’s gooooooo to the wash!

π amps
As it fights me, the usual

Yes, of course it keeps trying to flip back to BG Heat every few minutes so you just have to stand there in front of it and pwap the standby button each time. Annoying. I thought about just raising the filament voltage in BG Heat but realized that’d be a terrible idea as the cooling system shuts down when you’re in BG Heat! I can’t remember if the air blower eventually goes down, but the water pump definitely does.

As I prepared to do the grid scrub (which requires hooking up an external power supply to the ESCIOT tube grid and cathode), I went into the high voltage cabinet with some isopropanol and blue shop towels and did a, well, scrub.

The long blue voltage divider resistors in between the insulators on those weird terminals were pretty mucky.
My unspoken rule: always say “boop!” each time you touch something with the discharge stick. This helps me get over the slight fear that something is going to go SNAP! due to residual charge.
Ew.

What’s that now? Oily sticky gook…. just like I found in the other cabinet? Hmm. I’m beginning to wonder if this is ethylene glycol that’s been electrostatically precipitated out of the air, since this rig is known to absolutely REEK of Dowtherm SR-1. The recirculating pump/reservoir unit is far from airtight so it just outgasses.

And now, Deja Moo: the feeling I’ve seen this BS before—

Yes, again with the weird scunge fractal on the +3.5KV ion pump supply

Look at the upper left: this robot has seen some shit, man

He likes it! Hey Mikey!

Amazingly I did not find it necessary to readjust the grid voltage after the scrub, it just… Worked. I was not expecting this. Not out of this turdly transmitter.

Then came the surprise. I was walking past checking the coolant system pressure on the pumps for the other transmitter in the room (a rather boring solid state ULXT-80) when I saw one of its variable frequency drives blinking “OCL”. Interesting. I first foolishly decided to take the cooling fan cover on the TEFC pump motor off, thinking I was going to find a seized pump. I spun the fan and found no unusual resistance. Upon opening the cover over the drives I was greeted by….. toast.

Not sure what went first, the screw terminal or the crimp forked terminal that was stuck in it, but something got hot until it cratered the poor drive. Ow! And to make matters more fun, as is always the case nowadays…. nobody seems to have these drives in stock anymore. Luckily, GatesAir has them, for about the same price as a better quality Fuji Electric drive from Grainger. Hmm. Do I…? I’ll have to make sure the Fuji has the right I/O first before doing anything that daring. On a side note, if GatesAir is going to charge that much for a drive they marked up like 100% they could at least take it out of the box and program it for you. They do not do this.

Then again this is the same manufacturer that charged us about $500 for four small rubber washers that I strongly suspect were just pieces of EPDM rubber hose cut carefully to length.

H. HhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

It’s my personal opinion that these Toshiba drives are built like damn toilet paper. They were only common in everything because they’re cheap and have tons of I/O options. Bad power will murder them in no time. It didn’t even get a chance on this one as thermal runway at the terminals Popped It.

Well then, all that resolved, it was time for the last silly task of the day: go see why the surveillance camera up top was giving us no usable image….

🐦💩

Yeah, uh… That’ll do it.