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
With the assistance of Jack Davis (Jackpot Engineering), we got in there and changed out the tube body cooler ring, and the whole thing lived to tell about it…
I didn’t get pictures of the process because my hands were two of the six hoisting parts on and off of the thing, but here was the process:
Remove tube cart, place under chain hoist.
Pluck out tube.
Unbolt input cavity/socket assembly from below, drop it down and remove.
Remove bolts holding secondary cavity to cart legs and remove screws from underneath that hold those four round black vertical standoffs to the top plate of the cart. Hoist the top of the cart up a few inches.
Unbolt and remove grid ring cooler.
Admire the corroded mess.
This looks as if water may have been slowly getting out INSIDE the ring in addition to the externally visible leaks down on the lines feeding it, it was DONE. Please note the heavy coating of black silver oxide. This continued to make itself known throughout the procedure.
This was leak #1 down…….
“Does anyone know the last time the ceramics of the tube were cleaned?”
So, good cleaning of the tube is vital as there’s a BIG voltage gradient across the large white ceramic cylinder, as well as between the filament (innermost two rings) and the next ring up, assuming that’s the ion pump (3.5 KV!)….
I didn’t even realize the very bottom there had a ridged porcelain bushing around it – it looked to me like some kind of dull finish aluminum alloy piece from all the mess stuck on it.
Note the spot where I wiped it with my finger which came away black. I guess this also illustrates where all the air gets sucked out at time of manufacturing – it’s got a center exhaust like a light bulb!
The unglazed part of the bushing appears to just be permanently stained. I even tried Scotch-Brite pads on it. The glazed outside cleaned up perfectly.
And now, time for some massive, ugly cleaning.
Ever had a faux leather case on something or a piece of clothing where the outermost texturized layer of the material started shedding, forming an evil sticky glitter-like flaky substance that sticks to everything and spreads everywhere like the DISEASE of craft supplies itself?! Yeah— imagine that, but made of silver oxide, CONDUCTIVE, and coating most surfaces of the output cavities. Gee, no wonder I was getting cavity arcs in the log every day or so. YAAACK.
Brush, vacuum, brush, vacuum, bleeech.
Finally it was time to put it all back together, at which time I experienced leak number 2 — one of the Hansen couplers blew its o-ring and started spraying water down the back of the tube cart. These things work just like pneumatic line couplers you may be familiar with from air tools, just, big and angry and stuff. You can’t see it well at this angle but there’s a hard nylon ring up inside there followed by a rubber gasket. The rubber gasket had ceased to be, just like any of the Barnstead filter gaskets every time you look at them wrong.
So I left the amplifier running into the combiner load overnight, came back the next day and found a nice puddle of red splooey on the floor below the external glycol piping behind the cabinets. LEAK #3!!!
The source was the mid-body seal of a ball valve that literally would never have been touched since the day the transmitter cooling system was filled up and made ready for the rig to go on air. It’s a valve that’d let you bypass the outdoor heat exchangers and just circulate the Dowtherm glycol solution through the pump/tank unit and the amplifier cabinets. I’ve never seen a ball valve fail this way before. have you? Probably not. IT’S JUST POWERFULLY CURSED OK
COVER WITH J-B WELD, FULL SEND, BYE
Finally, Leak #4 happened on some of the blue hoses at the Barnstead filters, I was so done with this thing I didn’t take a picture, just cut the hose a little shorter and smashed it back onto the fittings, BYESIES
So that’s the tale of FOUR LEAKS on the Harris PisserCD.
Stay tuned for when I attempt a grid scrub / outgassing procedure on this stupid thing which has been last performed probably about when the tube ceramics were last cleaned, which is to say, oh, half a decade ago. -29mA grid current? Ok yeah sure thanks for that. What else is even left on this thing to leak??
So, reportedly there is good CCTV footage of this, and it’ll get posted online once the insurance company is done with it. The user at the time kept repeatedly slamming their car back and forth under the machine until they caught it with the top brush down and backed into it hard, tipping the whole wash gantry over and crushing the roof of the car as it came to rest. Amazingly, the Istobal machine looks pretty much unscathed other than the wire/hose guide getting torn off the wall.
Wanna bet this was a GMC Yukon or a Land Rover? Those seem to be the peak derpcastle vehicles around here.