Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Feral Eye

I hope all of you remember this amp from Sound Practices #14

 It seems the hudson doesn't care if the item is a part of history.

if you do not know the social importance of this, use social media to find Papa Joe.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hudson drug through.

Historically, some of my packaging sense has been criticized as 'drug through the hudson'.  I present you some examples of what water from the Hudson River really does do as a patina.

Unfortunately, as the title of the post states, this was a case of the Hudson coming up and flooding my friend Steve's  basement workspace.   It just so happens that this particular basement resides in an old Western Electric building converted to artist residences and the reason the Hudson met his particular space was Hurricane Sandy.

The images above were from two salvaged pieces.... more on the importance of one of them in a few days but even in all the destruction...  One can find art.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Portable Electronic Tool Kit...

This post is about a tool kit I put together for a friend who is a maker.  He has built audio kits and *lots* of other things.  When I visited, after his recent move, he had lost his electronic tools.  A nice, new soldering iron had been re-ordered, but have you ever tried wiring inside a chassis with a crescent wrench?  It takes more patience than raising a puppy!  So I put this together for him as a Festivus gift.  (Yes, Win, I said Festivus!)  This is far from complete, and for two reasons.  One, this is the best I could do locally after visiting four hardware stores.  When I get to Germany again, I will add some critical pieces that I think should be of high quality.  Two, I think tools chests should be living things.  I think they should grow and shrink over time.  The tools should come and go to match what you work on.  So, for EM gear, it would have more woodworking tools.  For repair of other gear, it might have more metal working bits, different screws, etc.


 The box itself is an old lineman's test box.  It had already been gutted when I got it.  So I just built a new inner box to help with organization. 

Yeah.  It says Western Electric.  Of course it does.

As you know, I am a junkie for details.  Check this thing out!

It is built like a tank.  What did you expect?


 The inner box that I built.  It is red oak.  I actually hand cut the dovetails.  I need practice!

The initial tools for the top box.

Files and a flashlight are musts.  Shipping damage means you will be "adjusting" screw holes and metal chassis junctions.

I prefer the strippers on the left, but I know I am in the minority. The ones on the right are more popular.

Hemostats, punch, and small screwdrivers.

These are the workhorses.  I actually prefer the Chinese pliers on the left.  However, you have to look at twenty before you find a pair that are straight and have a nice feel on the spring return.  The Knipex are really nice, but the only ones I could find locally are for working with larger gauge wire than I typically use. I think they are 12, 14, and 16 gauge.

the tools in the upper box...


So now we get to what I threw in the lower box.... larger screwdrivers... zip ties and zip mounts.... screws... 

I use Forstner bits all the time.  I could not live without them.  I also included a cheap drill bit set and lots of replacement for teh small size.  Why?  because these will not be used on a drill press.  They will be used on a battery powered portable piece of junk and inevitably will snap before becoming dull.  Oh, and some rasps.  They are handy.

You obvioulsy have to have these:  standard and metric allen wrenches.

 When in doubt, check the socket.  You never know.

These are really fly... a new style socket set from Craftsman... zoom in and check them out... I may get a set for my "living tool chest".... 


 Goop for Josh.  Clip leads for Dave.  European terminal strips for me.

 and this is *the* book on tool chests.  It may be more about life than tools, but it is about tools.  I guess what I am saying is that if you were interested in this post at all, go buy this book...  immediately... this was my other best gift this holiday season... 

some notes on the tool list.. it is missing quite a few things... some obvious... and that is because it is joining other tools when it lands... portable drills are everywhere... a nice, compact soldering station should fit inside.. if not, then a lone soldering stick will have to (and will) do... you also need box cutters... a Sharpie... a pencil and sharpener... note paper.. (I use cards).. and quite a few more nippers and such (local availability was awful).... but this is a good start... it will grow and shrink for years... I hope!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Festivus Cotton Bling.

A few years back at RMAF we received this from the family.

I was disappointed it wasn't black but had a good message and fit the canal jean for geeks look.

This year we get this one... an alleged smarter person speaking... hence a more profound message?

NOPE.... it it red and has short sleeves which will only draw attention to my pasty easily strawberried scrawny ass.  This is my public request for them to get their bosses to get some fashion sense.



Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Culture vs. Culture

Jeffrey noted earlier how paperclips can take different cultural forms.  A number of years ago I realized cartridges can do the same thing. Different people want different things and different packaging.


These are various packages for the Panasonic / Technics EPC-450 (Strain Gauge) cartridge.  It seemed that the ones sourced from Japan were under the Technics brand and were delivered mounted to a headshell.  The US units Came in either an OEM box or Brushed aluminum cases.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

this actually happened at my house...

[warning:  Star Wars content]

my inner geek is on full display... and I actually played the Modal Nodes at VSAC...

my two favorite gifts this season were books.... here is one... the other in a bit... when I finish it...


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Garrard 301 grease versus oil bearing rebuild...


Lenny bought himself a Festivus present that was well past its once in a decade overhaul... and my table was a touch rumbly and the motor ran warmer than I liked, so my partner and I cleaned the bearings and motors, and did the general cleaning that allows you to examine the moving parts while poking around...

I'm not going to tell you how to take it apart... that is the easy and fun part... take lots of photos as you will be glad when you forget which directon the grease port faced...

first set of pictures are of the grease bearing table... the spindle still looks pretty good... some visible marks, but nothing a fingernail can feel... 

same with the bottom... seems just fine.. 

miscellaneous small parts... do not lose them!... grease port... bearing... and gasket (which I just cleaned and reused)...

blatant hammertone photo... 

bearing with new grease... I used bicycle teflon grease... I had it... it works great in a much tougher application, so.... 

grease inside.. use q-tips... there is a hollow inside between the sleeves... stuff with grease, but do not worry about it being perfect as we will stuff it from teh side port in a few minutes... 

I greased this bottom plate as well... the only purpose of this is to keep the grease inside... 

grease spindle (duh)

I would overstuff at this step as we want it to squish out on the next step... 

success!  we have our first mess!

squirt grease into the side port until it is completely full...

I love my cream colored 301 with the hammertone grease bearing.. it may not be worth as much as dave's recent score of a hammertone table, but it is my favorite...

the grease port has to be installed after dropping the bearing into the table... so 
prepare for mess number two!

you can tell if the table is oil bearing or grease bearing by the label.. Schedule 1 is grease bearing and Schedule 2 is oil bearing... so here start the oil bearing shots...  


internal parts... note how there are fewer parts...

bearing is the same...

the hammertone is now gone... and the grease port is plugged... and 
the completely round top now has a straight side... 

here you can see the idler wheel after some "rubber reviver" has been applied... and the magnetic brake has been cleaned up, straightened, and the rough edges taken off... not sure how it got a little banged up... who knows on these old tables?

and here we first get a glimpse of my partner... say, those are small hands!

yep, yet another installment of child labor... it is meant to motivate you to try things yourself!  worst case, you end up shipping it to the same guy you were going to pay $$$ to clean the table anyway..

and yes, my phone is now covered in grease... gross...


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