I guess I need to figure out what I did to those configuration files but my brain is on fire

First, these three pictures of early stage tri-color foaming wax

Yeah— so I did the config all wrong for this server. Virtual host declarations aren’t in the files they should logically be in and things overlap and I just accidentally found some way to get a horribly blank directory listing to load instead of this page! Very weird, I think I just need to make a backup copy and rewrite the stuff. My apologies if you catch things broken as I’m doing it.

Pictures from The Cloud:

This is the top of the tower elevator and the inside of the tower top hut on Transtower. The lower level is really weird and basically was built by and for Gumby.

My brother sends me regular updates on this kitty named Luna being a cutie peets.

A newborn car wash? I think it’s a Mark VII system.
The ham shack as seen in “Akiba’s Trip”
Rainbow jugs
Useful meme

So I made a previous silly post about this Weston 622 milliammeter… It’s pretty interesting. Inside that removable plug, sealed in place with beeswax, are some kind of heating element and one side of a thermocouple. The other side of the thermocouple is in the meter body. This is actually really similar to the platinum RTD RF power measurement technique that’s the gold standard for average power level measurements on signals that have a varying peak to average power ratio (PAPR). It measures the RMS, “heating value” of the input by….. measuring its heating value! I tested it with DC because that was convenient and the 60+ year old meter agreed with a modern Fluke DMM.

I haven’t come across a ton of info or any original manuals on this meter, but it’s a little different than most I’ve seen when just searching the web or looking at eBay listings (it’s fairly common!). Mine has the thermocouple and heater in an interchangable plug, whereas most have it buried inside the meter case. This suggests that at some point Weston intended it to be used with different detectors. I wonder if there was to be one with 50 ohm coaxial input? A passive thermal RF power meter would be pretty cute!!

UV LED encapsulant musing.

My hair wasn’t glowing. I needed to fix this.

I have this LED blacklight bulb in a desk lamp at my bench at work and it normally makes my hair glow nicely. In case you’re wondering— it’s thanks to the Iroiro Colors 300 series dyes. Neon Yellow, Neon Red, and Neon Pink are probably the brightest. I’m always tempted to just throw Neon Pink over my whole head because it looks so nice, but I am absolutely incapable of deciding on just one color so I continue to be a rainbow.

Anyway, this is what I get when it’s working:

I don’t turn the blacklight off, so it was just kinda cooking there for over a year. Eventually it became a dark purple light that didn’t make any magic.

New bulb
Old bulb

The most noticeable difference is that the encapsulant on the “filament” arrays has darkened right over each emitter.

Old bulb, Well Done
New bulb, the encapsulant is water clear

I had read a while back that some of the nasty but revolutionary UV-A emitters from Nichia, when they first came on the market, were using a metal TO-18 can with a quartz end window to avoid this.

I wonder how many other LED products may still suffer this degradation? I will say I got a good amount of life out of this $12 bulb so I’m not exactly mad, but I feel like if whoever made the “filaments” had used a better goopus on top of the array, it’d still be working fine.

As for the old bulb, I still like its weird violet glow and might try to scrounge up another weird fixture to put it in like this funky 3d printer-activated flicker lamp. I swear I can also see the HVAC chiller out back cycling in its brightness level.

I used to hate this thing but it’s slowly grown on me

Additively manufactured shitpost

* If you’re just here for kitty silliness, scroll down.

No one in particular: “Desktop 3d printing will revolutionize everything! We will have limitless access to rapid prototyping and production of vital parts where and when needed and the resulting advances in technology will be amazing!”

Really now?

Absolutely no one in particular: “But people will print untraceable weapons and… terror!!! aaaahh!”

Me: “heehee it’s a tiny Waffle House.”

scattered, smothered, chunked, capped, and PLA’d

So I made a bit of a silly mistake. I saw that Micro Swiss had this sexy new NG extruder for the Creality CR-10 and Ender 3, and I’d just bought this Geeetech A10M which had a COMPLETELY AWFUL extruder and hotend that had an incurable case of plasti-slobber that more or less made it incapable of skipping and resuming extrusion — retraction doesn’t even stop it AT ALL. I figured, hey, this would fit on the Geeetech too, right?

….the answer is, kind of, if you replace a LOT OF CRAP 😀

I do not recommend this if you’re not dedicated and/or kinda in need of a severe distraction from the trials and tribulations of the outside world like I am. Start with an Ender 3 instead if you want to get up and running on this sexy extruder system quickly. (As of when I wrote this the extruder is out of stock – I hope it’ll be back soon, because it’s SO NICE.)

So, what I found it needed:

* New belt. The belt comes up like 1/2 inch short.

this is a footlong not a bun length frank!

* New heater. Not only is the stock heater a weird size, but… it SUCKS!!! The stock heater is only 30 watts. I don’t understand why they did this but it explains why I was never able to get the thing to heat above 215C without timing out and Marlin screaming “Heeeeyyyy, I’m halting now and just wanted to let you know I might be on fire over here” at me. I replaced it with a 60 watt 24 volt heater which works just fine (don’t forget to PID tune again!)

* New fan. The shroud that comes with the Micro Swiss NG is sized for the 40mm fan on an Ender 3, but more importantly, the (20? 30?) mm sleeve bearing fans that come on the Geeetech are terrible. 😀
Amazingly, the print cooling fan which is a 4010 blower can stay – that is identical to what comes on the Ender 3 so it transfers over.
I spliced the wires on the fans to use the original JST plugs because they’re weird and I wanted to keep the neat little carriage board.

* Lots of random Metric screws!!


The original Geeetech mixing extruder is a hot sloppy soup sandwich of failure and it just had to go. This is what it looked like as I was disassembling it. Also, the “3dTouch” probe is a wobbly shaky mess with poor repeatability and has been replaced with a real BLTouch. Only buy the 3dTouch if you really really like having to mess with the Babystep Z function EVERY DAMN TIME you want to print something. Argh!

…also the default config for Marlin 2 on this mainboard does not enable babystep! WHY? Enable this!!! HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH—-

And now……. the new, beautiful little extruder…..

Tool marks on the Micro Swiss


First off, I found it necessary to add washers and different length screws to secure the rollers to the carriage. The washers were needed because I guess the wheels Geeetech uses are thinner than the Ender’s wheels and the carriage scraped the rail.

Washer behind the roller


The spacing of the mounting holes in the carriage board on the Geeetech are the same as the mounting holes in the stepper. I mounted it around the top of the stepper with a couple of longer screws and spacers. Please note the pinout of the probe – this is documented exactly nowhere by Geeetech aside from a very poorly made video. The pinout from left to right (facing the heater plug) is brown, red, orange, black, white. Also note that the heater wire fell out, it was not tightened correctly at the factory and I’m sure that helped that 30 watt heater warm up even faster! Uh, no.

Remove Before Yeet

So, the Micro Swiss is kinda cool but boy, can it ever develop extruder pressure – if you have the first layer too high, it will buckle *violently*, catch on the nozzle, and result in the print getting yeeted right off the bed!!! So, if you get lumps, bumps, buckling, waves, etc, STEP UP! I’m used to the behavior of cheaper Bowden extruders where the extruder doesn’t have reduction gears and will just skip steps when the pressure gets high, combined with the spring action of the filament in the Bowden tube – you can get away with having the first layer too tight and it will mostly print accompanied by thumping noises. This one will not let you get away with it, the print will get yeeted! 😀

Anyway, that’s dialed in and it’s printing a tiny Waffle House. Good times.

Now, as for that feline silliness: This is Gingy being all like “HOW ABSOLUTE DARE” over having to share her dish with a wild turkey. The turkey would be absolutely fine with sharing, but Gingy doesn’t trust him.

Rest in peace…

One of my giant platform boots broke apart after probably about two years of me wearing them to work every day. For them being boots more intended to be worn for stompy dancing at a goth club, they put up with that amazingly well.

Duck tape held them through their last day.

My boss saw this and said it actually looked pretty neat – he envisioned a pair where one boot is black and one silver being pretty awesome. I agree.

Mystery boots at the top of TransTower. They must have been left when the tower was painted.

A Payne in the butt

Do you ever look at something and wonder, “why in the actual hell?!”

This is one of the RTU (Roof Top Unit) air conditioners at one of the transmitter sites. It looks like a total pile of garbage but still works for some inexplicable reason. It was made by Payne – their logo still survives on one side but all other identifying marks are gone.

Bizarre condenser fan setup

Just look at that glorious weird ductwork. It’s next to the roof kerb where the ducts pass into the building, and then the ducts do a giant whirl around it. There might be an inline heater in the duct at the very end but who the heck knows.

Every now and then, it’ll yeet the evaporator fan belt. Last time, it yeeted the motor pulley too!

It looks like someone replaced the motor in this thing’s history and when they installed the new one, they found the shaft key didn’t fit and left it lying in the bottom of the cabinet and just tightened the set screw against the shaft. This worked until it eventually started slipping and the pulley spun on the shaft. I found it with the belt off and the pulley dancing around on the shaft. When I turned the power off, the pulley fell onto the roof. The shaft bore now measured 5/8″ on one side, 3/4″ on the other — it had become conical!

I got a new pulley and shaft key from McMaster and put it all back together, it works, but sounds a tiny bit more like a lawnmower. I don’t think it’s all that much longer for this world, honestly.

So on another note, Carrier got away from belt drive fans on their newer RTUs! Look at this monster that just went in at the other site..

Please ignore the terrible wire management. I’m trying to….

The evaporator fan, which moves the air to be cooled from indoors, is now a big vaneaxial type. It’s amazingly quiet too. Smaller vaneaxial fans can be found in 1 rack unit servers where they are most definitely NOT quiet, and larger ones are used in tunnel and parking garage ventilation.

I dunno, it seems like replacement of the Payne at the aux site is low on the priority list but I’m a little concerned that we’ll find it should have been higher on the list if we have to broadcast from there for a while over the summer. I can only imagine how many kilowatt-hours are being wasted via that pile of rusty crap. Somehow I’m imagining it being 10 SEER or less…