Out of curiosity, I pried apart a laser pointer from Dollar Tree. See that tiny spot next to the blob-top circuit (probably the current regulator/driver)? That’s the laser diode.
I really want a microscope now to see what the heck is going on here!
There’s a lens to focus this into a more, uh, pointer-like beam. I haven’t figured out how to photograph this well yet but the uncollimated output is a wide elongated ellipse of light with pond ripple patterns at the ends.
For some reason I always envisioned the common laser diode to be a bigger object, but no— it’s teeny weeny. Cool.
After months of neglect, I redyed my hair. Interestingly it seems like the blacklight at my workbench has become…. a dim purple light. The UV emission appears to be mostly gone. I’m not surprised as this has always been a common failure mode of uv led emitters. A lot of plastics that are common in other LED carriers will degrade from the UV and begin to absorb it, letting through only the visible blue/violet color, if much at all. The bulb has been on 24/7 pretty much ever since I started doing rainbow hair so it’s given a good service life. It occurs to me that one of my coworkers who just came back to the office today has never seen me with rainbow hair before, and he didn’t say anything about it…… but he suddenly decided he’s now tired of only wearing black clothing! Well then… I’m glad to be bringing more color to the world. :3
There are visible black spots on top of the LED emitters in the “filament” now. I don’t remember if they’re that way on these bulbs new but I’ll compare them when I get a new one. That is assuming I don’t just get some UV LED tape for my workspace where I sit and yell about things like these cursed faders in a JLCooper audio controller.
A lot of equipment with motorized faders has pretty similar faders, but these are all weird and look almost like a totally custom bizarro construction. They’re not Alps, Penny & Giles, or Midas, they’re just weird and we kill them every year and change. Uh, okay.
Hmm, weird….. There are three different sets of CPUs and RAM in there!
what. WHAT. It left the factory like that. It passed “QUALITY” CONTROL. What.
You know what? I never want to see this again and maybe they were doing us a favor by using those crappy screws on the top cover where you have to drill out one or two because they’re galled and the head is made of pure nacho cheeze.
Or, “Why I wanna replace the Carlson LongHaul radios”.
I’m basing the name of this post off incorrectly remembering this glorious scene from the Pop Team Epic anime and thinking it said long strokes, not longs for good strokes, but whatever – I’m keeping it:
Ever just work with a piece of load-bearing hardware that is just asking for the sweet release of the e-waste bin? Yeah, that’s what half the entries on this page are about, but here’s one that, uh, yeah. The Carlson Wireless LongHaul… It’s still on their website as if it were a current product but upon calling their support engineer for assistance he told me what I had already come to suspect, it was abandonware from over a decade ago. The unit is a long range microwave radio designed to carry telephone traffic and look like a TDM (T1?) link, but also IP traffic, which is what we’re using it for.
So let’s check off the Boxes Of Decay:
Flash user interface
User interface via https with REVOKED SECURITY CERTIFICATE
Best I can tell— based on 802.11A wifi hardware
Did I mention cursed
The only way to keep these things in service is to have an old version of Flash that hasn’t been expired via logic bomb – Ruffle won’t cut it as it doesn’t support Actionscript 3, though it handles http://aktiv-schaum.kg4cyx.net/ just fine. I’m sure you all missed those goofy Flash shitposts, right? I sure did. It also seems to play my old Fanimutations just fine.
If you have the Ruffle extension loaded: Aligator (unfinished!)
I wish to state here that there are some dumb jokes in there that were very much a bad product of the time and I feel like they don’t age well, but not that I’d want to bury this entirely.
Anyway— on to the weird old hardware.
The board says “Avlia Networking Platform” on it and it looks like maybe an older version of this guy
The wifi card slotted into it is a Wistron-Neweb dual band radio, interestingly.. this unit only supports the 5.8 ghz side but some of the other ones we have in service, inexplicably, support both 2.4 and 5.8, consult your pineal gland
The serial and USB connections are unpopulated and I found no other way into the device…
Well, you can telnet in, but the user/password are unknown. It says it runs FreeBSD.
Finally by some sheer luck I found I had one old system with Flash on it and was able to set these creaky old things up. In the user interface (I can’t be arsed to take a screenshot) it has signal level readings which… uh, it’ll say it’s seeing -38dBm when the radio it’s connected to is unplugged and disconnected, and everything takes like four tries to get it to save and take effect and the Reboot button doesn’t work and
I’m so tired. I’m just so tired. can I just have a couple of Ubiquiti bullets and a nap? Please? Thank you. GAAAAAAABORAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
A while back I bought a semi assembled Anycubic Kossel Linear Plus 3d printer from a Tesla engineer down in the bay area. He was selling it pretty cheap because it had just become a project he couldn’t finish while working 80 hour weeks (WTF, Tesla?!). I completed the build but could just never really get reliable prints from the thing – I’d often have issues with what looked like one of the stepper drivers losing a lot of steps and the effector drifting off to the side.
The stock configuration came with the “Trigorilla” motherboard which is a perfectly fine atmega based board, but doesn’t have support directly for TMC2209 stepper drivers from Trinamic. One of the things that bugged me about the hardware on this printer was that the screws for the endstop switches just barely rubbed on the belts, and, uh, no thanks. The endstops also basically took up about half an inch of possible travel – that could be more build area.
I ran into what was either a bug with Marlin or an issue with the SKR V1.4 Turbo board wherein the three tower motors (some people still call them X, Y, Z, but I’ve also seen Alpha, Beta, Gamma, which makes more sense) would run just fine but the extruder motor wouldn’t turn. The most I could get would be the motor being enabled which caused it to get a hold current, but then it just wouldn’t move. I kinda have in to cargo cult ways and just changed that driver to an A4988 from the old setup. A4988’s still a perfectly fine driver with microstepping, it just isn’t as quiet and doesn’t have the missed step detection, which didn’t matter to me for the extruder which doesn’t have to be an absolute position sort of system.
Now what to do with all this horror pasta?! As soon as I get it up and printing I’m gonna make a little box for the controller.
The bracket it’s on is reused from the stock setup which had the controller right under the heated bed! I didn’t like that. I think that was inherited from the early Anycubic Kossel delta printers which originally came out without the heated bed – that came out as a later option. Mine has the glass bed which I put the build plate sticker on (…why?) – I’ll probably strip that off later as I’m a believer in the magic of the glue stick. All hail the glue stick.
I can’t figure out if it’s actually possible to do Marlin’s delta calibration without a leveling probe. I tried using the delta calibration menus and just didn’t get anywhere. A probe is on order and I’m going to get some spiral wrap or split loom and Velcro for all that… aaaargh!