Barnstorm! Or, No Good Deed….

Ever had water start gushing out of something that’s fundamentally made of eldritch terror and high voltage? Why I’ve never…..

And it gave me a nice shower the moment I got the door open. And I accidentally did the Wrong Button Thing again in the confusion.

h. hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

H
Cursed

So the fitting that became a showerhead is the one on the left. I didn’t get a picture of it but basically it’s the same as half of that coupler I found in a parts box that’s sitting on top… However it didn’t have the O-ring. The snapped trapezoidal profile ring sitting on the right sits in the bottom of the socket. The fitting plugs in there, held against the trapezoidal ring by two locking pins, you can see the head of one of them on top here. I can’t identify the type of connector or even find any evidence that it ever existed. Anywhere. Needless to say I didn’t have a spare for that ring, but luckily taking one of the round o rings off that close nipple and putting it in the seat in the socket and reinstalling the thing worked! No more warm shower of DI water.

Oh, and now I know how the funky bascule bridges work. A rather buzzy motor cranks up in there and rotates pinion gears that engage with rack gears on these two long braces on each side of the bascule, which protrude outward from the waterway to lift the well balanced assembly. You would be well advised to stay clear of that counterweight as it comes awkwardly close to the road surface as it nears fully open!

And this is uhh, Stuffing Shit In Tower Elevators, Medium Difficulty Level. I rode down squatted inside the cabinet and it wasn’t the best. The elevator is kinda both bigger and smaller than it looks as it’s a weird shape and the control cabinets stick out. If there isn’t a large object rammed in the, there’s enough space to comfortably sit down on the floor as it slowly creeps its way up or down at 85 feet per minute.

The broad side of a Barnstead

The Space Station Toilet knows its days are numbered so it’s started acting accordingly… The resistivity of the cooling water was down so it was time for a new filter. An unpleasant looking black scunge was present in the bottom of the filter canister.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwww toilet juice

Whyst in doth actual feck do these resistors run so hot?

Note four smt resistors above the interlock plug with the two red wires
Boil me up some resistors

And now, random shitposting

I have no desire to know what these things are doing as they run on 35 kilovolts and pure engineer frustration

A clarification

I realize thinking about some of my posts in the past that it might sound like I have an anti-development stance….

I don’t. I am only opposed to *stupid* development – examples being attempting to create pockets of high density development in suburbs where no infrastructure exists to support them, gigantic shopping malls, and YAFULC.

I’m all for development done well, housing, especially affordable housing, and by that I do NOT mean “it’s a small percentage below the artificially inflated Market Rate so therefore It’s Affordable”. No, that’s not how it should work, go YAFULC yourselves. Picture unrelated.

Out of sight, out of mind

This is certainly a thing. I don’t know how half this crap even got up here.

This is mostly just a picture dump that begins beyond the read more tag. This is weirdness like 1600 feet up a tower inside a weird triangular room wrapped around it.

But first, one of the more unique elevator controllers I’ve seen.. the red cylinders are crystal filters of some sort used to detect control tones that are inductively coupled by a plate on the cab that rides next to a wire stretched along its path up the tower. It works pretty well as long as everyone remembers to keep the cab panel batteries charged.

From here on just remember “treat your fiberoptics with more respect than this please”

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Noooooooo springs!

Up on the bench today: A Lectrosonics wireless microphone cube.
This unit snaps right into the XLR connector at the bottom of a ‘stick’ microphone for handheld use. You’ve probably seen these in use on the news before (though often the bottom of the mic will be out of the shot and you won’t see it hanging there).

This is the upper end of the cube, as seen with the mic in a position of normal use.
The black plastic coated cone serves two purposes. One, you twist it to press the locking tab on the XLR to eject the assembly from the microphone. Two, it’s always being forced towards the tip by a strong spring, so the mic is gripped firmly and prevented from rattling around.

NOOOOOOO SPRINGS! Heeheeheeheehee

See how the XLR is all chewed up on this one? The spring failed over time (and LOTS of hard use) and allowed it to rattle around, causing eventual failure of the connector.

Looks easy enough to replace, right? It’s just screwed to one end plate of the ‘cube’ housing, into which there are five screw holes – two on the flatted side that’s down on the static mat in this picture, three of which face the rest of the pack body.

OH AND NO REDEMPTION EITHER.

Anyway….

Step one… get the pack open by removing all the tiny screws surrounding the display and controls then lift that out. Good luck. That part is fecking DIFFICULT, I have always just firmly stuck gaff tape to it and used it as a handle to lift it out. Be careful as you will be disconnecting a small pitch set of header pins above the top of the display towards the XLR end. Don’t bend them. The whole thing will come free when lifted only about a millimeter out of the recess though so the risk of this should be small. The two screws right next to the XLR are longer than the others as they land in the XLR endcap.

Step two, proceed to gut the whole damn thing like a fish. Photo captions inspired by the short film above.

I OWN YOUR ASS, FAT BOY!

You’ll get your way…. IN HELL!!!

Off comes the battery door – 4 pieces – first to come out are the four long larger black cone head Phillips screws, followed by the outer plate and the battery flap, then three more short small cone head screws to get that thin inner plate and spring off.
Now you can see the three screws on the back of the XLR plate down holes drilled through the cube body… but you can only actually reach one of them! This is gonna get sillier. Trust me. You’ve gotta get the radio board out of there.

On a side note, see that little black biscuit on the radio board? That’s topped with a strong magnet. Is that…. a whole-ass miniature RF CIRCULATOR?

The short black wire is the antenna lead. This must be desoldered along with the red and green power wires. Oh, also, to get to this point, you have to take out four tiny pan head Phillips screws and three larger short pan head screws that hold the control/audio board to the back of the front panel. Disconnect the one flat flex connector to the front panel membrane switches. The audio wires are Kynar and are looped through a hole in the board next to where they’re actually soldered down. There are fine pitch SMT components RIGHT NEXT TO the through holes they are soldered into. Be careful. This precluded the use of a vacuum desoldering pump and made me swear even more.

And finally, here’s the small mountain of screws that you’ll find yourself facing midway through the process. Don’t ask me to explain the “Line ‘Em Up” thing because I don’t understand it either. It just spontaneously came to be one day and that’s all I know. Oh, also, there IS a little bit of extra room in there to where you can leave the battery leads slightly long-ish, but you’ll have to carefully roll them up into that void between the flat flex connector on the control panel and where they land on the power / radio board. There isn’t enough clearance between that shield can and the chips on the back of the control panel.

Oh, one more thing: those hex screws are English size – I think 3/32 inch. The tiny set screws on some of their connectors are 0.9 millimeter. Yes, an unholy blend of English and Metric. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

But hey, I can think of worse ways I could have spent the late morning hours. Well I still don’t have to fix the couch, so bite me.

AMazing!

These photos are from fellow engineer Chris Hall. The owner of an AM station reached out to him for advice after a contractor from two states away rebuilt the transmitter facility and it just wouldn’t make power. Wonder why? What’s the dielectric strength of a Mason jar? Which parts went Exxon Valdez in there?

My experience with AM antenna systems is limited but I can say that I would not trust even a single component in this ATU – it’s probably all been compromised by excessive voltage, current, and, uh, mechanical abuse, fire, and overheating. Call up Kintronic Labs, ask for a quote….

How do you do that to a poor innocent vacuum variable cap?! I mean uhhhhhhhhh. What. I’m guessing the voltage flew off the handle when it ran far off resonance, I can’t even fathom which part would have failed first, or maybe if the contractor just tried to bring up full power with the Vise-Grips not clamped on or okay that’s it I’m done I can’t even. This is why I like coming up at the lowest possible power first if in doubt….

20 years in the toilet

So, my thoughts on the past 20 years of life in America…

First off I wish to mention that I in no way am unaware or intending to downplay the tragic losses of life that occurred as the result of the September 11, 2001 attack on New York City. It’s just unfortunate that this was allowed to negatively affect so many more lives than necessary.

That being said…

This is just a weird set of disjointed observations I felt like putting in writing so I could get them off my mind and go back to thinking about cats and video feedback.

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