Monday, July 23, 2012

Ah, the blog no one reads. This is like an on-line secret diary, hidden in plain sight. Champlaign (sp?), then Maine in three weeks, God-willing. I only logged in to post on Bill's sight about his trip to hopefully adopt Vlad. Ask me later about conspiracy theory sights and anything I've made recently.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mic Mac Module

So, I signed up for a thing over at Apple's big knowledge base, and said I would try to make something out of a Mac mic module -- the circuit behind the mic in one of the old iMacs I stripped for school projects. The wiring is a follows: Yellow is audio negative, white is 1.5 volts negative, and the red wire is both positive voltage and the audio output. I didn't get farther than getting a piercing feedback a few feet from a small practice amp turned pretty far down. The reason I mention this since no one reads this is that over at Apple I posted my intention of trying this and got one sarcastic response, and nothing else. I'll try DIY Audio for a more supportive response. My intent is to make a large diaphragm low voltage 1/8" terminated field mic for the laptop.

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Saturday, August 06, 2011

When you get there early...or late...

Everything that can happen along the way means the drive can be six or ten hours. New York City traffic, Boston traffic, Mass Pike roadwork...bladder capacities in children...

So you drive through the middle of or skirt the waterfront sdce of Portland and pull into the Casco Bay Lines ferry terminal. There's a schedule, and you get there when you get there. Here's my haunt for the next hour-and-a-half, while Hilary eats a Teriaki chicken dumpling in the car and the kids scatter.

There's a wedding over there today or tomorrow: that's why all the extra car and foot traffic and well-dressed (means uncomfortably warmly dressed) people around.

My goal this year is to start or write a song a day while here. Two weeks, approximately fourteen songs.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Free Motorcycle Scam

I browse Craigslist for free stuff I can use or pass on for good use. I love the idea of these lists: Freecycle, swapping, thrift stores; all that. So wherever something good is being done there's somebody trying to take advantage. I responded to "free motorbike", no address. Shoulda known! "My son died and left his bike, the wife wants me to get rid of it, but I have to move to Anchorage; send me the shipping cost and I'll send you the bike!" Twice bitten, but not dumb enough to send money -- same thing happened last time I responded. Dude: are you scamming me? Are you trying to steal from me? This thief doesn't have the courage to have a conversation about his behavior. Hey dude: don't you think stealing is wrong? That it displeases God and hurts gullible folks?

Hello? ...hello...?

And who even uses the term "motorbike" anymore, huh!?


Thursday, December 16, 2010


And here is a little bridge we made to span a bit of creek back along a bit of the nature trail in the bit of woods behind the school. The ropes are for show: it's not really a suspension bridge. The creek's only 6' wide, maybe. It's summer in the pic; during the wetter months it's very boggy, so I envision a longer section of the boardwalk off either end of the bridge going uphill to the drier ground. And when the oil economy collapses and we're all living off the land again this is where I'll hunt deer and squirrel: don't tell.

Fundraiser Stuff

They asked me to make another "iQuarium" for a fund raiser auction item, and since the original leaked due to unevenly glued seams I think, or just all the condensation and splashing around with the filter and all in there...I wanted to avoid that and try a few other ideas. Here is a guitar amp designed around the Noisy Cricket 9V amp (FET driving a 386). I had some cloth from an organ that dressed the speaker baffle nicely, and a speaker from a leslie unit, and it all fit nicely into a green iMac case. Here are some progress shots. Oops -- no pics of the front after it was done. Sounds decent; one of the students bought it, so I'm sure I'll see it again eventually for repairs.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Matsumin Valvecaster

Finally! after six tries, my second tube-based project! I made a Real McTube...(
that worked some years ago. I corresponded with Fred on that at the time. I tried to gang two of these together and nothing worked, so I got frustrated and did a few Bazz Fusses and May Queens and built most of a lefty Moderne, then came back to this and tried the point-to-point version and it worked. I used u-bolts and some sort of telephone company cable guide for guards over the tube. Eats batteries, so I didn't even bother with a housing: just hung it right off the back. No label or logo yet...Tube enthusiasts don't like "starved plate" 9v circuits. Solid state enthusiasts say, why even bother? Most people say, what are you even talking about...!?

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

For the folks who linked here from the mechanical blog, where I was following a link from an article about a medical device called a diathermy machine (made by AT&T) that microwaved your insides ... I saw it at an abandoned farm lying in a pile of junk ... I kicked it and it started to tick! But that's not what I posted this to tell you about. I'll tell you about that later. Here's a sketch of how my rotating block bow-string release works. The trigger is sprung so as to fall into the square notch as you roll the thing along with your thumb. You stretch the string back, drop it into the u-shaped notch, and the trigger moves pretty smoothly and parallel to the face against which it holds the block, so it releases cleanly and rolls forward, and the string slides out nicely. The bolt was just a stick with some light plastic fins -- oops, feathers -- and an eye hook to carry the kite string aloft, up and over the high rafters in the atrium of my school. As I said, having this thing work out distracted me from all the firearm triggers I was also sketching at the time, with the actual intent of maybe actually mocking up a working proof-of-concept model that would only be a few inches of .22 barrel from being an unlicensed homemade firearm. Which would be unlawful. So. Guitars and effect pedals are almost as fascinating and won't put my eye out if they don't work right, so I'll wander over there to the DIY audio site if my Fetzer-valve into Matsumin twin-caster arrangement works.

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