Meanwhile, in The Cloud…

Radio repeaters

The Walnut Grove Tower Amateur Radio Club, K6DTV, now has both VHF and UHF repeaters. Cool. The UHF might need a better duplexer though. I’m on the lookout for better cans.

Meanwhile, down below, the GatesAir ULXT got hungry and started eating engineers*.

Really, we were changing out a PA backplane where one of those little D shell connectors had gotten too toasted by a loose contact incident. It was an insane process, three of us were taking turns working on the beast, and we had to take out both backplanes to get in because the connectors on the cables from the backplanes to the 90 degree hybrid splitter mounted behind them collided, making it impossible to get it out past the divider that forms the rack between the power supplies and pallets.

Eventually after that and another half hour or so of Fonzieing modules back into contact, green lights.

And blerp. I tried to get a picture of Cassie yawning and got blerp. I love it.

* Really the company calls us maintenance technicians.

Sniff sniff fall in love

(to the tune of the Ouran High School Host Club opening theme)

…. Look who just fixed this transmitter by sniffing it.

Previously, on site, it just wasn’t happy – the power supply wasn’t coming up and it’d report 4500 watts forward and reflect, or it’d start boot looping. Updating the firmware fixed the boot loop, but I still wasn’t getting a proper power on sequence and couldn’t get out of RF mute.

I brought it home, hooked up a dummy load, and Cassie eventually came along and sniffed it.

*click*

It sprung to life.

All hail the tortie tushie!

Psyyyyyydduuuuuccckkkk??!!

Psyduck saying everything’s fucked

That moment when you find a very load bearing server on which a process has been repeatedly crash dumping since about August this year, squirting out thousands of 512Kbyte dump files until it’s generated about 1.7 terabytes of them and the machine is almost out of disk space, you find that any attempt to delete them barely deletes, oh, maybe one or two files per second, and then you find out that the mechanical hard drive based raid volume the thing runs on has never once been defragmented since the day it was commissioned

I’m sorry, it’s time to go home and cuddle with Cassie now

Send transmission from the one armed scissor

It’s been way too long since I’ve updated anything here. I’m definitely burned out like one of those terrifying light bulbs and my work environment is really absolute blowage like a poorly balanced 5015 blower hanging off a 3d printer carriage and making the print look absolutely raunchy as its vibration slightly shifts the base of a bridge in the print as the GCode rolls off an M106 S255 to increase airflow. Not that I’d know anything about that. (I wonder if ebm papst makes 5015 size blowers? Their dynamic balancing is TOP NOTCH.) Yeah uh. In the last few weeks we upgraded the brains of our stupid robot camera pedestals and now they’re…. somehow less reliable. Cool.

Meanwhile I experienced a really dumb thing: after one of our new members of the engineering team was telling me about the features of his Prusa 3d printers, I realized I have a couple that were sidelined ages ago due to failures I didn’t really understand how to fix, and… Oops now I have too many working machines

Fun fact: the big delta had been previously, incorrectly assembled by a Tesla engineer and had never successfully printed anything. It works now!

Everyone in the room understood me when I said “oops I accidentally printed a Triscuit”. This is the result of accidentally using a stock ender 3 profile in PrusaSlicer on one of the two direct drive machines up on top here with an all metal hotend, that setup really doesn’t like the 5mm retraction distance! 1mm works fine.

Oops I forgot the bean dip

The Ender 3 is running Klipper now. This one has a Creality 1.1.3 mainboard which I should just replace – it’s fairly awful. The CPU on it doesn’t have enough storage for Marlin to use its latest and greatest bed mesh leveling tricks (the UBL features). That being said it’s also kinda short on pins….. but it isn’t! Note this unused EXT-A2 header in the middle with the capacitor stuffed in it. It goes to pin PA2 / 29 on the CPU. Marlin calls it 29, Klipper calls it PA2. Creality famously never provided schematics for this board so I stabbed it with a Fluke till I found it. I soldered on a header and put the cap back as well.

On a side note be very very careful if you buy a Creality branded Bltouch. Their ribbon cable has the wire colors completely wrong. Go by pin number, DO NOT TRUST THE COLORS. The only reason this atrocious board didn’t blow up from having its +5v rail shorted to ground by the Bltouch cable when I went by color code was that it is simply such a stubborn abomination with its loud ass A4988 stepper drivers that sound like a running toilet that it simply refused to be cleansed from the earth by a mere short circuit. Well that and think it essentially just has a LM7805 on there somewhere.

There’s also this post on Simon’s Tech Blog detailing some more intricate hacking of this board by repurposing an SD card IO line, though not the low hanging fruit there on pin PA2. I’ll be honest, it was kinda me seeking an *easy* place to land the BLTouch control wire that led me to look here.

I mean it about the running toilet noises. It’s kinda obnoxious. I remember my Monoprice mini delta printer* making these sounds too and…. ugh.

* probably a lost cause and it’s been thrown in my bin of crap to trade to a fellow tinkerer for something I actually want. On a side note I started looking at my old Monoprice Select Mini V2 last night and realized maybe I can revive that thing too.. But why? Or why not? Uhhh.

Anyway, now for an assortment of fine balderdash.

“hey, it’s warm in here, I wonder why?”

Thankfully this all just hosed off. This condenser is less than a month old.

Not pictured, sadly: the surprise indoor waterfall that occurred when an air vent valve on the chilled water air handler in one room at work blew up following a chiller failure. Squirt, squirt. 💦💦💦

Suddenly the logo changed on this one screen. I’m pretending not to notice. HhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
After that air conditioning meltdown you bet you’re gonna be able to lure me into a scene live on air with popsicles.

Nyaaaaaa.

Silly felines

Oh, you wanna know what happens when you totally spoil an adorable little kitty with all the love and scritchies?

Why hello there

Surprise, it’s never enough. You get yelled at for mooooooore. MOOOOORE!

My butt. It has no hand on it.

Thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening!

(Won’t you scritch my butt?)

I love this silly little baby so much.

Time to open up the Crayola box again

Heck the rules. Post colorful nonsense.

I’m really pleased with this edit of the KOVR / KMAX STL stick.
Bench top at work

The print up there is by Amara Goldwalker and has a kitty looking out on a neat neon cityscape in it. I have another print of one of her paintings that’ll probably go near my bench at home which has some neon jellyfish action going on in it. I may or may not have gotten her up to this by sending along photos of the jellies doing their thing at the San Francisco aquarium…

Mighty need.

This is probably in Akihabara but would be 100% right at home in any maker/hacker space!!

The following cat is absolute bebby:

Welcome to the Vaporwave Suites

If you look carefully at the texture you can entirely see what I got the colors from. Extra hint: it is…. everywhere throughout this site. :3

I’m gonna have to elaborate more on how utterly cool this old Leader oscilloscope is in a post that’ll require a little more brain foam than I have available right now
very useful feature of the NanoVNA

That’s Fry’s Electronics right before it imploded completely. Even in that sad state it still had more useful products in store than anything in Florida.

Finally… I just randomly scored two Ergotron keyboard/monitor arms. These were $600 new and are just fine aside from some dust and a couple missing screws, washers, and nuts lost when they were removed from service. Guess I now have a solution to the computer taking up too much space on the home workbench!