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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in UhClem Centaur's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, December 24th, 2016
4:48 pm
If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words..
..What's a 3D print worth?

Due to a Update/Sidegrade for Repeltier, the PrintRbot Jr X-axis driver was damaged. Lacking a hot air reflow station and the desire to mess about with surface mount electronics, I looked at buying a new logic/driverboard for it.

Instead I found this: http://www.gearbest.com/3d-printers-3d-printer-kits/pp_343643.html
It's a Clone of the highly popular Prussa Mk2 kit.
Pictures belowCollapse )

Currently I'm taking apart the bed and Y-axis so I can add locktite to the screws holding the linear bearings. My fondness for using hexagonal infill gives this printer a good vibratory stress test.

Only get this one if you are low on cash and have time to muck around; if you have the cash get the original kit, lots of cash get a Taz 6.
If you do get this:
..Read the directions all the way through. There is a minor order of operations error somewhere around step 21 (X-axis belt should be installed before mounting the extruder.)
..Locktite and Oil for Linear bearings.
..Check power-supply for input voltage (mine was set for 220Vac, wrong!) and output voltage (12.3Vdc = good)
..add a power switch :P
..Check your filament diameter! the 10M that came with the printer was 1.70mm. it would have saved me a lot of trouble with extruder calibration had I thought to check this earlier.
..Check your heater PID settings. (hey, when did this become PID and not fuzzy logic?) Mine are currently awful.
..consider printing: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1620630

my current mad project: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:724999
Sunday, September 25th, 2016
6:55 pm

..I got an original used South Bend 10 in 1 tool post. It is a Much better fit than the quick change tool post from china, that I paid three times the price of this for. :P (and spent hours filling the tee nut to fit my lathe..)

Health = Horrible.
Saturday, June 25th, 2016
8:06 pm
I do not feel so bright. Apparently I left the tarp off of the lathe. ..or I didn't fasten it down or something. It rained.


After 6 hours with Tool oil, brass bristled toothbrush, and an angle grinder with a wire cup brush:

Well at least I learned some things. Like the apron is held on by only two machine screws, and once that's off, the cross-slide comes off by removing a hold down pad at the back; two bolts and the cross-slide locking bolt at the back. easy stuff. Oh, earlier I found one of the compound gears had been repaired with bronze brazing to replace some broken teeth, well now I found that the tailstock clamp was broken into two pieces, and then brazed back together. Probably by the same person, as both are high quality jobs.

The leather drive belt is a complete loss. :P
Tuesday, February 9th, 2016
9:03 pm
A Pen That Writes On Plastic Cuffs?

I have the wonderful DiMAGE 5, and despite it's abysmal auto focus, it's becoming my favourite camera. My Favourite Camera That I Can't Get Any Pictures From!

I stole the 32Mb flashcard from the Kodak: It died in the reader.
I mail ordered a 16Gb card: This won't work in either camera as it is FAT32, and just too big for either camera's OS to cope with.
I mail ordered a 512Mb card: USPS tracking reports that it left California on the 26th.. And has not been heard from since.
At REPC I found what I thought was a 320Mb card.. And it works in the DiMAGE 5. but.. what I thought was a marketing tool, the label 'Microdrive', is truth in advertising; It Really IS a tiny 1" hard drive.. That my compact flash card -> USB reader can't supply enough power to in order to run/read. I thought about using the camera itself to read the microdrive and transfer the pictures via USB cable. but my large collection of USB cables does not encompass the proprietary cable required... .:headdesk:.

I finished and delivered the Mintysynth to it's new owner. Now I want one of my own. They're a lot of fun.

I found that Step drills and Chassis Nibblers do a nice job of making holes in mint tins. Getting those holes in the right spots is proving to be troublesome however. I'm going to use machinist layout techniques: A bit of glass shelf and my dial indicator base holding a carbide scriber.

I also plan to use the round tins from Trader Joe's Espresso Pillows as enclosures for a portable speaker/amp for electric guitars. The clear round window nicely fits one of the Adafruit neopixel rings, that will act as a UV meter. The goal is a practice amp that plugs into the face of the guitar, sans cord.

After I find proper compact flashcards for the cameras, I think It would be fun to put the microdrive to use in a Raspberry Pi. :)

Current Mood: nerdy, persevering
Thursday, January 28th, 2016
3:51 pm
-Click-Click-Clack- ..-Pop- "..No effect sir. ..It's just not working!"
Before Christmas I made a trip to the east side. I stopped at a Thriftstore while I was there and bought two Robosapians (v1's) along with a Digital Camera as impulse buys.

I picked up the camera because I liked it's lines, and bought it because it had a Composite Video Out port. (I was thinking webcam with zoom and controllable depth of field) I thought its Magnesium Alloy body was all plastic. The battery box being built to accept (4) AA cells contributed to my impression of cheapness.

The camera is a Minolta DiMAGE 5 And had a retail of $900 in 2001.

8) ..I paid $8

It's not all sunshine and cookies though:
...It sucked a set of (4) AA Duracells Dry in 15min.
...Rechargeable NiCads 1600mah Are supposed to last ~1hr52min. I now have some secound generation (HR-3UTGA 1900mah) 'Eneloop' in it now. They seem to be holding up.
...The Autofocus is slow. (up to 4sec, according to the review)
...The Compact Flash Card gets hot.
...It will not take any flash card larger than 512Mb
...It was set to overlay text. (this last I have changed ..now, but the photos I got before my flashcard died..)

See for yourselfCollapse )

I took these using the Kodak's 32Mb Compact Flash card. All when well until I bulk deleted the pictures after uploading.. the card promptly died. So now I have no cameras working at all.. If you have any Compact Flash cards that are 512Mb or smaller that you're not using I would be glad to give them a home..
Conversely, if someone needs a 16Gb card, I have one. (trade? )

I wanted to do a couple of build logs: The Lathe, Remotes for the RoboSapians V1 and V2, a Christmas present that I still have to deliver, the camera tripod (a Velbon) repair, Grid Beam tricks, etc.. But it's not feasible without a working still camera..
Sunday, December 20th, 2015
9:13 pm
..And with the Invention of The Motor Operated Pushover..

My South Bend 9" 'Workshop' Lathe. Made in 1934. model#504-Z

Had to replace all the electrical wiring, remove a lot of rust (and still more to go) find a motor to countershaft belt, splice the flat belt, and unstick the Headstock main bearings. But it was worth it.

After this milestone, I packed it in for the day 'cause it was very cold, only to have the new lathe centers arrive UPS. I'm using the original ones in the photo, with the one that's grooved and burnt in the headstock (as the live), and the dented/dropped/used-as-a-center-punch one in the tailstock (as the 'dead', with Lots of oil.)

Done following directions from a service bulletin from 1947.

this motor's shaft was frozen, but some penetrating tool oil and tapping with a hammer got it to run. Surprisingly quiet for an old abused motor..
Wednesday, December 16th, 2015
1:48 am
What Have You Been Doing?
..Playing a lot of Kerbal Space Program(Demo) apparently.
It IS only the Demo, but I had a fun time. If you have the space bug and can't run Orbiter for some reason, or want something tamer, KSP is the way to go I think.

See more...Collapse )
Thursday, September 17th, 2015
7:42 pm
Monday, August 24th, 2015
9:45 pm
Words to create by.
"..Listen; to turn the potential into the actual, you must always sacrifice the ideal. In return you get So Much more: Variety, Strangeness, New ways of Seeing, New ways of Being! But they will not behave as you Expect - Simply because in reality Change is inevitable."

"Study it until the flaws become part of the work."
Buddhist Koan.

"..And then it all rushes together in your head, like an magnificent soundless explosion, and it's like it was there all along; 'Oh, of course it must be this..'"

Current Mood: tired, pained, hopeful
Saturday, June 27th, 2015
12:41 am
'Stray' needs a home.
I am very bad at asking for help.

The storage yard that has been housing my '75 Ford b750 school bus is closing down.

I have until Tuesday to remove Stray or the DOT will have it towed. Apparently the DOT wanted a yard for parking the vehicles it uses for the light rail project, So they bought out Station Self Storage. I'm not finding any place that will take school buses.

here's the satellite view:https://www.google.com/maps/@47.3893747,-122.2844151,364m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en
Stray is the shorter one of the two in the middle.
Stray's neighbour's owner is in Paraguay or somewhere unreachable. :(
There are a lot of vehicles still on the yard that I think will be towed/lost.
If any of you have an Idea of what I should do, or know of some artist types who want something to drive to burning man, spend a weekend repairing/washing/painting...

At minimum I want to rescue my metal lathe and Tectronics storage osciloscope.

Current Mood: Low Grade Dispair/Panic
Wednesday, April 29th, 2015
2:47 pm
..Wait, What?
Paypal has a Policy Updates page ..uh here

The important bit is this:
Amendment to the PayPal User Agreement.

Intellectual Property

We are adding a new paragraph to section 1.3., which outlines the licence and rights that you give to us and to the PayPal Group (see paragraph 12 below for the definition of “PayPal Group”) to use content that you post for publication using the Services. A similar paragraph features in the Privacy Policy, which is removed by the addition of this paragraph to the User Agreement. The new paragraph at section 1.3 reads as follows:

“When providing us with content or posting content (in each case for publication, whether on- or off-line) using the Services, you grant the PayPal Group a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicensable (through multiple tiers) right to exercise any and all copyright, publicity, trademarks, database rights and intellectual property rights you have in the content, in any media known now or in the future. Further, to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law, you waive your moral rights and promise not to assert such rights against the PayPal Group, its sublicensees or assignees. You represent and warrant that none of the following infringe any intellectual property right: your provision of content to us, your posting of content using the Services, and the PayPal Group’s use of such content (including of works derived from it) in connection with the Services.”

The uh what part for me is the "Surrender your moral rights".
Can anyone tell me what that actually means in the real world?

Overall this sounds like a 'we get to use your stuff however we like, forever and ever, because you got money for it, through us, that one time.'
..Depending on their definition of content.
..which might include things that you're accepting donations for, like a webcomic, say

As I read it, they can Sell their rights to your copyright, as well.
and If they use it, and it's already copywritten to someone else, they don't get the blame; you do.
..So don't post pictures of the Disney plushies you're reselling.

There's a bit about fees that sounds like what banks have been doing for years as well.

Current Mood: cynical
Friday, March 27th, 2015
7:50 pm
Message #652
I transcribed this because not many people are reading subnormality and it's a rather long way to the end of this one, and I feel it's good enough that it should not be missed..

(Message #652, +cntdn exit)Collapse )
Wednesday, February 4th, 2015
8:46 am
You're Not Still Going There, Are You?
The one time I went to this chain service store, they were polite, and friendly, but compleatly unable to change the transmission oil in my odd '70 Hanomag Henchel. They had no spec listing for it and didn't want to risk putting the wrong kind of oil in. I admired their caution and honesty. That was in 1998.

Last night Moose calls me; He's on his way home and The new Big White Bunny Rabbit is having trouble. He has just picked it up from having the oil changed and it refuses to idle and stalls the instant he takes his foot off the gas. He asks if this could be related to the oil change or is it just coincidence. I ask what the guages are doing and he tells me giving detail and it all sounds good. the critical one being the oil pressure; it's in nominal range. I tell him I'll look at it when he gets home.

..And I do. Whatever they filled the engine crankcase with, it's not motor oil. what it is is a clear, low vicosity liquid that smells like brake fluid. I told Moose about this and he's going to have the van towed to a shop to be diagnosed.

I have little hope that this chain store is going to own up to their mistake.

Because others now report the same kind of carelessness and outright abuse:

~15 miles running on brake fluid. That engine is not ever going to be the same. :(

Current Mood: angry and dispaired
Tuesday, January 6th, 2015
8:17 pm
New camera: a Kodak DC4800 Zoom Digital that I got For $1 from UW Surplus (sans Compact flash card, powersupply, and working battery)

I thought I had some Compact Flash cards from the cannon A-1 about but haven't seen them or it since moving. OfficeMax had CF 64Mb cards for ~$50, but I wasn't feeling that confident that the camera would work. RE-PC had a 32Mb for $12 that I bought after powering up the camera with a patch cord from my breadboard.

To my surprise the dead battery (that floated at .01 volts, initally) started to hold a charge again. I'm guessing that it has maybe one quarter the capacity it had new. 3.1M pixels isn't much by todays standards, and it dosen't have some of the effects that I like, but it does have zoom and exposure/speed controls that my cheap phone camera lacks. It also has NSTC video out, so mahap I can Rube Goldberg it into a Webcam. :D

Pictures under cut, (and overpriced)Collapse )
Friday, December 12th, 2014
11:20 pm
Birthday Blues
I'm now 50..

How the heck did that happen?

Oh well.. Some pictures behind this cutCollapse )
Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014
1:34 pm
Go To Plan B: ..Muffins
One of the solutions to the alternator belt squealing problem was based on a misconception; to wit, that the pump taking up one of the drive pulley postions was an AC compressor. It's not.

It is an air pump to force fresh air into the exaust for the catalytic converter. So scrap option two:

2) add another V-belt to drive the installed alternator. Sacrificing the AC pump by using its position on the crank pulley set. This sounds bad but the body and wiring have no AC elements for the pump to use.. so why does this engine have an AC pump? no clue.

and go with option three.
I have a new belt that Might fit. The Vin on the van matches the info I have in the books eccept for the engine model digit. 'G' is not identified in the manuals as anything. No identifing marks on the engine itself either. (yes, I have looked in the right spots, the area is blank, unmachined, I have photos of it, ok?) It is some form of slant six/225ci, though.

The parts clerk thinks I might have some other problem with the alternator.. i.e. bearings going out, thus making it harder to turn.
Penitrating oil should show if that's the case, and provide a quick temp. fix.
Bought a passinger side mirror, installing it today.
Going to buy more bobbins for the Elna sewing machine.
and I need to get the turntable from storage; E. and B. both want to listen to Firesign Theater.. :D
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014
8:14 pm
Seattle is now Cold. Winter has come. And revealed a hidden flaw in Simba's electrical system; Headlights, heater, windshield wipers, charge battery, Pick any two. getting greedy and trying for three or more at once will be punished by loud squealing noises from the alternator belt (echo off buildings loud).. There are good technical reasons that this happens. Mostly it's because the engine is running a Heavy Duty alternator that normally has two V-belts driving it with one near dead wornout belt.

I have three options:
1) use the repaired alternator that I found. nontrivial wiring change involved to remove the Autolight and it's external regulator and replace it with the Hitachi internally regulated lighter duty single belt unit.

2) add another V-belt to drive the installed alternator. Sacrificing the AC pump by using its position on the crank pulley set. This sounds bad but the body and wiring have no AC elements for the pump to use.. so why does this engine have an AC pump? no clue.

3) live with it. i.e. replace the belt with a new one and tighten it to with an inch of it's life.

Oh. And the LED dome lights came. Very nice.
Sunday, November 16th, 2014
9:08 pm
Machines, If you can't run your tongue over them, merge with them.

So I've pulled the new video card and gone back to using the old.
CD/DVD drive wouldn't burn data DVD's for me, with or without the powerdraining video card, (a ATI Radeon HD 3870 512Mb, for those who're interested.) so, no backups.. Still have all my stuff, and sound (!) but no sound icon, and the system settings folder is still pretty close to empty. eh, I can still use firefox and other Utils so.. Not Going To Mess With IT Any Further.. (Until backups are made..)

My plan is to make a games machine; separate from this one, and put it in the room with the giant HD display. Maybe find some differant blank disks to try burning as backups, because I did burn a boot disk DVD on this machine using Ubuntu 7, and it worked fine.

M. has offered both $ and minion support for Simba. Having it running even partally has been a boon for the house. I have hopes that this will go well. :) Simba's gas milage has gone up as one would expect: some ~38 miles on an eighth of a tank.
Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
3:20 pm
Sorry to disappear for a week. A windstorm reset one of the routers in this barn of a house, triggering a TCP fight that the wireless routers got caught up in. This caused one of my houdemates to panic call our ISP, who then Reset our modem to 'defalt'. All we've had here has been the WiFi, which I (the one person in the house WithOut WiFi devices) can't use.. Until the person with the admin passwords got some time to deal with it.

The Van:
. . . Over a two day period I filed and greased the brake caliper ways.. This seems to have done some good, 'Simba' now climbs hills, and moves forward at idle, ..and has a distressing tendancy to roll into traffic at stoplights. I guess I got used to the brakes the way they were. :D
. . . The replacement brake shoes I bought online do not fit.
. . . Drilled a hole in the dash with step drills and my 'Hand Powered Cordless' breast drill, so I could install a 12v outlet that uses the original wiring, having reclamied that from heater fan use. Blew the fuse for said wiring, despite trying to be careful. :P
. . . Retightend the altenator and steering pump belts. Both of which were squeeling quite loudly. both are quite worn. I bought a replacement for the alternator/water pump belt, but the parts store clerk was clueless as to the existance of the steering pump belt.

Driven five times since the brake repair; three were for housemates, and once for me (to the store), and one for the van (gas station)

The Computer:
. . . This is what 'Guns of Icarus' used to look like:Photos under this cutCollapse )

I was quite distracted by the shiny. So distracted that it took 20min of gameplay to discover I had no sound. ..and not just in game, no sound anywhere. my attemts to fix this (forcing alsa to reload, reinstalling alsa, rebooting, etc.) have made things worse. I now have no sound icon on the taskbar, important things are missing from the system settings folder, i.e: displays, color, network, etc.

It was a pain to install this video card. I had to Splice power to it as it wants a lot more current from the 12v line than the motherboard can safely supply. Now it seems as if ubuntu is having a bad reaction to it's Own Driver. Why does it force the defalt sound to HDMI output and erase all other options? THERE ARE NO HDMI OUTPUTS ON THIS CARD!

So I'm making bakups of all my .tar utils packages. If the cd burner fails to work I'm going to lose quite a bit of music and video files.

..Frankly, I'm suprised Firefox still flies.

..Games are fun, but not worth this pain.
Sunday, November 2nd, 2014
12:28 pm
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