/!\ DANGER: THIS POST CONTAINS COMIC SANS /!\



This dumb thing has never once inspired any confidence in me, between the choice of font on its GUI (various old Harris / Leitch products are infected with Comic Sans including whatever this was based on) and the fact that it ROUTINELY makes one of our stations fail to black and has to be bypassed out brutally with a patch cable and whacked in the face with a large trout with great vigor until it reboots. As an added bonus, the setup / diagnostic screens do not work, you instead get a big fat flash of “Not Available” in Comic Sans.

 

this inspires about as much confidence as it should (none at all)

also wordpress literally reverted automatically to the default style and will not allow me to type more than one block of text in Comic Sans and this is probably very much for the better ok

At least the actual keyer card (as unstable as it is) presents a tiny bit of data via a… perplexing, tiny, graphic VFD display on the module edge. Why a VFD here? At least it’s not an OLED that goes unreadable after a year.

ok that’s enough comic sans now i’m gonna go wash my eyes out with tape head cleaner

 

assfoam

I can’t even. The wall shaker A/C was iced over when I got to the site and a mix of frost and mildew was coating the front grill. I set it to fan only and let it sit there and think about what it had done while I went up to the Ace Hardware and got some coil cleaner. Here it is initially, after most of the ice melted.

slinger ring fan description
that sloshy noise making thing

Then I shut it and the small backup unit above it off, applied the coil cleaner to the evaporators and condensers of both, waited ten minutes, hosed them down thoroughly with my pump sprayer bottle full of water, and turned them back on.

Seems I forgot about four important things:

A) both sets of condenser coils and evaporator coils had a massive amount of oily smoke residue from the wildfires and the transmitter fire on them;
B) when you use this cleaner, it saponifies oily (non polar) residues into a soap that will bind to water molecules for easy removal, using a nice amount of sodium metasilicate as an alkali reagent;
C) the drain pans on most modern wall/window A/C units RETAIN some water and use a slinger ring on the condenser fan to throw it on the coils;
D) this action will cause a lot of air to be entrained in whatever condensate water runs into the pan….

I heard the fan speed slow on both units after they’d been running a while and looked out to find this great outpouring of suds that smelled strongly like ass. Assfoam. ew. ASSFOAM!!! Get it out of here! Ugh.

While this was all happening, one of the neighbors came walking up, noticed my Golden State Pinball Festival shirt, and asked me how a Death Save is supposed to work. I admitted to him that while I know how it works, I’ve never been successful in coming away with anything but a bunch of tilt warnings and sore hands. (It’s banned in tournament play as it can cause player injury and damage to the pinball machine. Don’t do it on someone else’s game, or on yours if you don’t like the idea of damaging the legs and cabinet, mmkay?) Video of a successful Death Save below.


Here’s the Death Save in action. It’s fairly brutal. If the ball right drains on me I just let it go, but I’ll certainly shake the game around a bit to try to bounce the ball out of the outlane area before it decides to sink in there!

Here’s the more dangerous (to the player!) left-handed brother, the Bang Back… it doesn’t appear to be as likely to damage the game, but as they mention in the video, you can break your wrist trying to save the ball!

Of all games they could have chosen to demonstrate this on— they chose the mighty, heavy, widebody Twilight Zone!!! Hardcore.

Here’s another video where several different types of nudges are shown as a game is being played and explained, including forward nudges to bounce the ball off of the rubber parts near the outlane to get it out of harm’s way, and sideways nudges for slap saves of balls headed straight down the middle [SDTM].

 

Best error message ever

Found on a monitor of unknown function at a Love’s truck stop

OH SNAP THE WORDPRESS MOBILE APP GLITCHED ITSELF TO DEATH WHILE TRYING TO POST AN ERROR MESSAGE ABOUT AN ERROR MESSAGE AND DID IT TWICE 😀

The Forbidden Object

I’ve been at odds for over a week with a small plastic object that apparently has, encoded in its folds, some devilish conflict with the laws of physics and sacred geometry of the universe

that

makes

it

ENTIRELY

unprintable.

It’s not even that tricky, it’sjust a little box for an r/c receiver, but so far I’ve tried it on two different printers and every time it just curls into a ball of fail.

First layer on blue tape… OK! Looking good, this one’s gonna be perfect aaand

Blaaaarrrggghhh

Ok fine let’s try with the bed hotter, looking good so far, hey wait STEPPER DRIVER ERROR JET PIPE OVERHEAT DUMPING CORE

one cooling duct and blower for the Trigorilla board later

What the deuce? Now the skirt lifts and I get all sorts of unhappy noises from the extruder??

It was about at this point that I grabbed the top of the effector and shook it very gently and it rocked about like a pendulum. I looked and saw that all three linear guides on the towers were not moving, so I grabbed my hex keys and started going around to all the bolts. I found a couple loose by about a whole turn. Now there’s a peculiar offset so I ran the DELTA_CALIBRATE again…

Will I ever get the FORBIDDEN CURSED OBJECT to print? Stay tuned for either a post of blissful success or me giving up and printing it ass over teakettle on breakaway supports.

Ok, it’s Pizza Mountain now

From now on I have a standing rule that our site with the three ArmNOPEs is Pizza Mountain, because if I have to go up there to fix anything the company is going to have to buy me pizza in exchange for doing so.

Our engineer from the two markets down south sent me this picture of where the transmitter for the “Power” CHR station… well, it had a power…. problem. Its latest trick was to roast the primary lead to the plate transformer.

A couple weeks ago I went up there at night and reset the breaker to put that thing on air. I had no idea the reason it likely tripped was that it was slow-roasting itself to death internally. OH WELL!

So that’ll be spinach, mushrooms, extra cheese, roasted garlic, and Canadian bacon, please…. I still have to fit one of the other transmitters up there with new motors for the input tuning caps in a “nobody’s made this gearhead DC motor in two decades” situation, gee, where have I seen this before?

So, to be fair, Pizza Mountain is a ridge you get to prior to reaching a taller mountain range to the west. I tried to drive up there to explore a bit but got SNOped out, oh well! I should go up there in summer and see what’s beyond here. I know this highway eventually goes over the other side and lands in the Mendocino Forest.

say, isn’t this what led the donner party to expand their culinary horizons?

The solution

So what do you do when the factory service loaner for your STL receiver (which is working fine other than having a dead display so you can’t get to the settings) arrives deaf and sounding like a dirty skipping CD?

You place the 3d printed Pusheen atop the transmitter and prepare to launch your revolt against a toxic society and eat the damn rich

Regarding my previous shitposting, the cable length from the filter output to the LNA input turned out to be maddeningly critical.

Six feet:

Three feet:

About 18 inches:

I’ll take it! My concern was mainly attenuating crap around 1 GHz that I suspect is some kinda leakage off WiSP radios…

CAT Scan!

So I have melted from cute when Cassie here helped me turn a screwdriver, but now she’s also helping me with component level repair….

Warming up the Cattoscope….

Sniff snuff sniff snuff hey, what’s this? She stopped and gave me a look after sniffing right here….

Yep, that old Sprague cap has signs of creepage around its seal!

Clearly I am but part of a team of two, and the other member of the team has toes that look like beans.

I should also mention she likes turning on my GW/Instek GDM-8251A multimeter. I think she likes the feel of the power switch and the little relay plinks it makes as it powers up. She leaves it on a lot, so I have the default power up state set to come up with the display dimmed to reduce phosphor burn in. (It’s a thing with VFDs too! Look at your old VCR!)