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sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets

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(no subject) [Feb. 5th, 2016|10:55 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
We went to an ingress party the other night: a bunch of our friends from both sides, getting together to chat and drink. It was held in the loft-turned-bar of a big building where they used to manufacture trolleys, and then used to have a printing press. A lot of the old equipment was still there, repurposed into decorations for the various businesses that have sprung up in the building.

This thing looks like the control panel for the universe.
It originally ran some sort of reel-to-reel pressing system for the printing business.
control panel for universe (out of order)

The gauges in the center are intimidating to me.
300 volts! 300 amps! yikes!
They indicate whatever this machine was, it could source 300 volts at 300 amps. 90,000 watts. If they had multiple lines running, they probably needed their own power station.

There was a dynamo sitting in front of it.
No way that was sourcing a tenth of a megawatt, though.

Printing press rollers, an antique sign saying Liquor, and a vintage chandelier, just sitting in the corner by the accessibility lift.

This still was two stories high.
still life
This one would fit in a couple of backpacks.
still life
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(no subject) [Feb. 5th, 2016|10:46 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
It's only somewhat below freezing today, so I ventured down to the garage to try out the plywood test cut of the intake manifold flange.
Intake flange on head
Much better than I expected. I think this is a viable design.

When I rode down to Boulder to pick up my broken car I saw this.
Lift your skinny fists to heaven like antennas
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(no subject) [Feb. 4th, 2016|10:06 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
The shop called and let me know my car was all repaired Tuesday, but we'd just gotten almost half a meter of snow. I waited until today to ride down from work and pick up my car.
Original clever plan: drive to the shop, pull the bike out of the back, ride to work, then ride back that evening, pick up the car, drive home. Great, except for half a meter of snow and a sneaking suspicion it'd take more than one day to fix the car, despite what they said.
So it ended up with us driving two cars up there, dropping mine off, driving home, then today me riding down and fetching the car back to my workplace, THEN having to drive up to work at some point and drive two cars back.
And it turns out they have loaner cars. I should have asked.

Riding down was not exactly fun. It was below freezing, the roads had some slush as well as ice, and it was somewhat windy. It was a long 20 km. But hey at least I got a ride in this week.
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(no subject) [Feb. 2nd, 2016|09:39 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
Snow day.
I made pizza. The dough went crazy.
Egads, the pizza dough is escaping!

The nice postman delivered an envelope containing a new-to-me boring head for the milling machine. It's, ah, revolutionary. It makes cutting precise holes in weird shapes so much easier.

I did another intake manifold test cut. The one on the right has half-millimeter changes all over, compared to the initial one on the left. The problem is: the one on the left closely fits the manifold gasket. The one on the right closely fits the original intake manifold. I should probably be matching the head itself, but that's down in the freeeeeezing garage.
Intake manifold trial cuts
Cutting these was not the most fun: the workshop is well below freezing.
But the mill loves the cold.

I thought I'd be all clever and yank a hard drive from a laptop and use dd to simply clone my existing hard drive to the new one.
It appears to have copied but the new one doesn't boot. It doesn't even get to grub so I can shenanigan my way to a functional system. Phoo.
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(no subject) [Feb. 2nd, 2016|10:31 am]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
Last night we got a legitimate snowfall. I just walked Lily, and there were sections that were knee-deep. I'm taking a snow day.
Too bad I don't have a snowmobile: I'd go capture a bunch of portals with the knowledge that it'll be days before someone can make it over there and recapture them.
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(no subject) [Jan. 31st, 2016|05:59 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
I bought a new-used phone, as my phone's gps/location ability has sunk to nearly nothing. It showed up in a box, hooray, and we went off to the AT&T store to get it activated. (It uses a differently-sized SIM card than my old one, and while it is possible to just cut a large one down to fit a smaller socket, it's not exactly trivial to do so.)
The nice lady did a bunch of technical shenanigans, then -- this is the bit I don't understand -- called my new phone to make sure it worked.
We left the store, and about halfway home, found that manintheboat's phone no longer worked, but both my new and my old one worked just fine. My new one now answered to HER phone number.
BACK to another AT&T store, where we got that sorted out.
In other news, we bought a sheep head.
In H-mart, sheep heads are in bags in the deep freezer with a UPC code and everything.

We also stopped by another supermarket, that had name-brand bandages, insofar as experience with cheap bandages has been disappointing. I tried out one of the snazzy new health monitor thingies, that sets up a profile for you and allows you to store the data on your phone. Man that thing looks like a security nightmare. I did not plug my phone in.
It claims that while dressed like a South Park character I weigh 150 pounds, which I'm pretty sure is significantly lower than my actual weight. It also claims I have 15% body fat, which I'm pretty sure is significantly higher than my actual percentage. But, hey, it's free. I partly got interested because I looked over at what had previously been a standard blood pressure monitor thing and saw a bunch of cords terminating in USB and apple connectors hanging out of the side, and I was all what's up with THOSE shenanigans?
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(no subject) [Jan. 30th, 2016|09:03 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
While we were waiting for the tire people to put new tires on the car, we went out and did some walking. There was an Ingress portal down the way, in a very obscure location, owned at that moment by a guy on the opposite team who annoys a lot of people, so we wandered over and captured it. Whilst there, we saw this odd house, that used to be a standard 1950's brick house but then someone added to it on both ends using corrugated steel with everything at nonstandard angles and lots of huge glass. Plus, it appears, an overhead garage door on the second floor.

One of his next-door neighbors had a type of HAWT, aka horizontal-axis wind turbine. It appeared to be made of some sort of plastic bottles daisy-chained together on a steel loop.

There were a lot of other weird things going on at this particular house.

Lily was pretty exhausted when we got home: 8 km of walking.
She fell half-asleep in her Superdog position.

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(no subject) [Jan. 30th, 2016|08:44 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
It just started snowing.
Lily desperately wants to go outside anyway.

I'm messing about with a CAM program. It converts a 3d model into a sequential set of x,y,z coordinates suitable for cutting the model out of some solid material.
The one I mostly use is SLOOOOOOWWWWWWW. The pic I took last night, of that piece of plywood, consisting of two circles, two ellipses, and a somewhat interesting mix of arcs and line segments, took two hours to render in this package. Another version today, that only had the two ellipses moved upwards 1mm, took four hours. The package is known to be slow, but this laptop is also slow. I have a much faster one with a screen that only sometimes works, so briefly thought about replacing the screen.
The inexpensive version of this laptop -- the one I'm typing on right now -- costs $25 on Ebay. The replacement screen for the nice one costs $75. A used nice version of the laptop costs, oh, you guessed it, $75. If I can keep the nicer one running for long enough, I'll update the os, update the cam package, and use it to process the files remotely. Unfortunately, these are inherently visual packages, so I can't just run it via scripts as a totally headless setup. Harumph.
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(no subject) [Jan. 30th, 2016|04:49 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
I went out this morning and lifted every wheel and turned it by hand. No horrible clunking sounds. I gently drove it around the block. No clunking sounds.
That's good and bad. It's good because it likely means the transmission/transfer case is okay. It's bad because this means the sound was probably the center differential limited-slip clutch pack overheating and failing. This happened on my previous one as well, and results in a car that goes straight pretty well but really dislikes turning corners.
I've never managed to find anyone who will sell me one, although I suppose I could pull one off a junkyard car and see if they're rebuildable.

Anyway, went down to another tire store, and they had some cheap tires that'll keep me going for another year or two, and didn't bankrupt me. Now all I have to do is deal with the shot driveshaft.

At noon today I went out and chipped out a bunch of ice in the driveway, because it was 70F and cloudless and we have a blizzard scheduled for tonight.
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(no subject) [Jan. 29th, 2016|11:41 pm]
sprockets, sockets, grommets & gaskets
I'm cutting test flanges for a new intake manifold for the Spitfire. What I meant to type was 0p125 -- use a 1/8" milling tool. What I actually typed was 0p25 -- use a 1/4" milling tool. Both are totally reasonable things to use, but boy do you not get the right part shape when you're supposed to be cutting along the outside edge of an item, and instead you're cutting a channel twice as wide.
I suppose I could have done the same sort of typo in metric, but somehow it seems more invisible in imperial, where a single digit deletion results in a completely sensible but wrong choice.


The two holes in the plywood test piece are 2mm larger than the ones in the original because there are 1mm wall thickness tubes that fit in them.
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