Today I mostly .....

Any topics of general interest (not lada related), post them here.
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Zelandeth
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Tue Dec 22, 2020 10:21 pm

Nothing huge to report today, but the enclosure I'll be putting the distributor condenser on the Invacar has arrived.

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Nothing fancy, it'll do what I need it to just fine though.

I'll probably tuck it away underneath the battery tray in the engine bay so should disappear once it's in place and has got a bit of dust and grime covering it.

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Not sure if I mentioned it before, but I really want to install a remote engine start switch in the engine bay. That will likely end up on this enclosure as well which makes it a little less oversized for the job.

Amusing random anecdote from earlier in the day which might give you lot a giggle. Spotify appear as of the most recent update introduced a bug - at least with my exact hardware/software combination. This means that there appears to be roughly a 20% chance of the volume jumping to 100% the nanosecond I press play.

This is significantly annoying.

It has successfully made me jump several times when I've had my headphones on over the last few days. The best (or worst!) by a mile though was this afternoon, when I had it hooked up to my stereo. All 350W RMS of it. Unbeknownst to me the volume on that had been left pretty much all the way up as several of the devices which tend to be hooked up to the and in have pretty low output levels.

I reckon I must have essentially levitated a good couple of feet straight up in the air as the speaker I was actually leaning on at the time literally knocked the wind out of me. In addition to me leaving the ground, it felt like pretty much everything else around me did we well. Including the armchair that's a heavy two man lift, the sofa, both dogs and the foundations of the house.

These things pack a mighty punch...120W RMS (each), with integrated subwoofers.

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The speaker to the right is one of the Pioneer CS-585s I inherited from my grandfather and will never part with as they still sound fantastic. Really do need to sort the cat damage (which happened in the late 80s!) to the cloth covers though. They're normal classic hi-fi speaker sized and are shown there just to give a sense of size of the Sony ones...which are heavier than they look too.

It's astonishing how long it can take you to find a volume control in a situation like that! Hitting pause was out of the question as when I jumped my phone was launched into low earth orbit (we found it down the back of the sofa after about 15 minutes of searching.

Just about everything in that room that was just leaning against the walls or was loosely stacked (it's a bit of a junk store) ended up on the floor as well. My ears finally stopped ringing after a few hours...

If Spotify could fix that bug I'd really be grateful. Not sure my heart can handle that happening again!
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Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Andrew353w » Wed Dec 23, 2020 12:49 pm

The funniest thing I've read all Christmas! "PARDON?"

I said......."THE FUNNIEST THING I'VE READ ALL CHRISTMAS!!!"

I hope the ears recover, but in the meantime, don't pull too many noisy crackers on Christmas Day!
Major Denis Bloodnok, Indian Army (retired) coward and bar

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Thu Dec 24, 2020 1:30 am

Andrew353w wrote:
Wed Dec 23, 2020 12:49 pm
The funniest thing I've read all Christmas! "PARDON?"

I said......."THE FUNNIEST THING I'VE READ ALL CHRISTMAS!!!"

I hope the ears recover, but in the meantime, don't pull too many noisy crackers on Christmas Day!
I'm just bloody glad the Spectra 90D amp wasn't involved. That's 800W at full power. I'd probably have been sweeping the windows up. See also: Why I've no intention of ever using that anywhere anybody else has access to it. The potential for painful or expensive mistakes when someone else leaves it in an unexpected state is just too high.

-- -- --

Nothing to report car-wise today thanks to the non-stop rain. Unless nervously watching as the run off from the driveway made it into the garage counts - thankfully only by a few inches.

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It wouldn't surprise me if there had originally been a proper drain there and the previous owner of this place decided to bury it with a flower bed. That sounds like the sort of thing they'd do based on other sensible design choices found around the house.

Fair warning...The rest of this post is all vintage tech. If that's not your thing, don't bother reading on. I just don't do quite enough of this to really be worth my splitting of an entirely separate thread elsewhere...Plus I know from prior history that I'll utterly fail to remember to keep more than one thread updated.

This arrival was the last one I was waiting for - and one I was very curious to take a proper look at.

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Didn't spot from the eBay listing that it still had the original slip case, that's always nice to have for something in the collection. So what's in the case?

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At a glance it's just a very basic four function calculator, by 1972 when this dates from that really wasn't anything to write home about. What was the standout feature of this example though was the display. This was as far as I'm aware only the second model commercially available which made use of a liquid crystal display. Though it's not quite an LCD as you know it (unless you're into this sort of stuff...though even then I'd not seen one of these in person until this evening).

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So it's got the light/dark flipped...what's the big deal?

Oh no...It's much more than that. This is a DSM LCD - or Dynamic Scattering Mode LCD. The Twisted Nematic LCDs you're used to seeing work by changing the way the polarise the light depending on whether a segment is subjected to an electric field or not. These are very, very different. For a start, no polarisers anywhere here. The way these work is that in their rest state they are completely transparent, however when current is passed through a segment here the crystal structure is disturbed so the segment becomes opaque, taking on the appearance of frosted glass.

The way Sharp used this actually to place the display segments in front of a mirror.

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The inside of the hood on this calculator is lined with a black felt which is what the mirror behind the display reflects so as to give a good visual contrast.

It's a challenge to photograph clearly! However the display is every bit as clear as it looks in the photos. The really interesting thing is that if you look close enough you can actually see a sort of shimmering effect within the LCD segments due to interference patterns set up within the crystals.

There are far less decent photos of DSM displays out there than I expected, so here's a few. I took something like 75 photos trying to get decent ones actually showing this display in its full glory...They'll have to wait for me to put it on the website.

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That's where I've slipped a bit of paper in between the hood and the display so you can see how the digits actually do appear like frost on the mirror rather than anything vaguely resembling the appearance of any other type of display I've ever seen. Nothing looks anything like one of these.

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(That one was from before I cleaned it, sorry).

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That almost retroreflective like texture on the surface of the digits isn't a camera artefact - it's not static either. The digits do actually shimmer very slightly whenever the display segments are powered. It's quite beautiful to observe through a powerful macro lens.

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I'll need to do some experimentation with a macro lens and natural light to see if I can do better.

A video showing some absolutely gorgeous super-macro video of these displays in action can be found here though:



On a completely unrelated note to display technology, which is why I bought this thing...Is it just me, or does this thing seriously look like an Original Series Star Trek tricorder?

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The quality of this thing is worlds apart from anything like this nowadays...Absolutely everything about it just *feels* expensive and just oozes quality.

Quite a bit smaller than I thought it was, here's it next to the Kovac which turned up a week or so back.

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Yeah, this one is going to be staying on the desk full time I think.

That pretty much gives me *nearly* full coverage on display technology now I think...

[] Nixie: Check. Fine, it's a benchtop multimeter, but Nixie calculators are EXPENSIVE.

[] Panaplax: Nearly...The Kovac has a segmented neon display which is nearly there. The only calculator I'm actively looking for just now does have a Panaplax display though. Compucorp 324G or similar if you happen to have one floating around...

[] EL: No...Though I don't *think* anything as small as a calculator has ever used an EL display. They were more of a competitor to plasma displays in the early days of laptops I think.

[] LCD: All three generations, check.

Only missing the really exotic ones like edge lit incandescent or single plane projection (Don't think numitrons were ever used in calculators?)...Still have my eye on getting a proper flipdot display at some point to, but that's nothing whatsoever to do with vintage technology really, I just want one!

Oh...Or CRT. A Friden EC-130 or 132 would be sort of the "unicorn" find for me. I seem to recall making strange squeaking noises when I spotted one in the National Museum of Computing. Odds of ever finding one: Slim to zero. Odds of finding one for sale at a price I can justify paying: Probably less than zero.

Hopefully I might actually be able to get back into the garage at some point in the next couple of days if the rain ever stops!
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Dec 26, 2020 12:09 am

Someone was enjoying this afternoon...

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Getting to destroy the wrapping paper is pretty much his favourite thing in the world.

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The main box waiting under the tree for me this year - completely unexpectedly - contained this.

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This contains a 3D printer.

Immediate reaction "Oh god...this means I need to learn how to drive Blender!" Which is a bit of software I've generally run in terror from on all previous encounters!

Would have been nice to get to set up the 3D printer this evening wouldn't it?

Life had other ideas though. Before we'd even tidied up from dinner it became immediately apparent something was amiss with the fridge. It was 15C and the lower veg drawer was stuck in place by a block of frost at the back.

Fine...everything out and start pulling it to bits.

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Became immediately apparent we had a defrost issue - not least because the lower moulding there (which is the airflow duct covering the evaporator) was completely frozen in place.

As it was clearly stuck to the evaporator I couldn't be too rough with it - but eventually I got it free.

That fan hasn't been doing anything for a while...

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Yes...definitely looks like the defrost heater has died. The inch and a half deep block of ice immediately below the heating element tends to suggest it's not been doing much. For those not familiar with the innards of refrigeration equipment, he heater is the black thing below the silver coils.

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Also...the bits of a fridge you can't get to to clean become utterly disgusting.

After some attention with a hairdryer I got the fan freed from the ice cube it had turned into and it seems to have survived. I chiselled the block out of the condensate drain tray, blasted the drain clear (no idea if it was clogged before it froze up or not), and reassembled everything.

Sadly this fridge is intelligent enough to know if anything is unplugged so will just throw error codes if you try to power it up in bits...so I had to put it all back together before I could test things.

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I also had to dismantle the door hinge to find and defeat the switch so I could ascertain whether the fan was working...as it only runs when the door is closed.

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Fan is running, cool air is being circulated...good. Everything can go back in.

I'll need to investigate why the defrost heater isn't working but that can wait until tomorrow. I can easily test whether voltage is being supplied to the circuit from the main control PCB.

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I've done work on this board before as the relay that controls the compressor burnt up a year or two ago. Was pretty painless really.

Credit where it's due to Samsung, by the standards of modern white goods this thing isn't bad from a service perspective. Everything is held together by normal Philips head screws (all of which are identical) with no daft clips, and even the pin headers in the control unit are labelled. It's also 18 years old so isn't doing bad to be honest! Especially given the abuse the kit in this house took before we moved in...The dishwasher for one was scrap! I do question why such control circuitry is needed for a fridge freezer though!

Given the freezer seems to be working normally my money is on a dead heater element, in which case it should be a pretty simple fix. Which is appreciated as American style side by side fridge freezers are extremely expensive!

Seriously though...Christmas day?!?
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Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Dec 27, 2020 3:24 am

This afternoon I wanted to make something useful out of this box of bits.

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Wasn't entirely sure what to expect here. Two reasons...One is that I've never set eyes on a 3D printer of this type in person before, and secondly this is a direct from China box...so you're never quite sure what that means where assembly is concerned.

For those playing along at home, this is a Flsun Q5 printer.

Everything was soon out of the box and laid out on the desk it will live.

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At this point a couple of things became immediately clear. Firstly being a delta printer means that there are far less bits than more conventional design. Secondly that my immediate impression of everything as it came out of the box was that it felt like a quality product.

The instructions were somewhat classic Chinglish, but to be honest beyond "the rails are labelled X, Y and Z, match them up..." You really don't need them.

They have included everything you need in the box, including all the Allen keys (including those for maintenance in addition to the actual assembly), cable ties, a screwdriver and even a surprisingly decent set of side cutters.

The three linear rails slot into and bolt onto the upper housing (where the controller and power supply live).

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The only slightly fiddly bit is plugging the data leads from the controller into the stepper motor control boards. Not bad, but if the leads were 1/4" longer it would have been a 0/10 for difficulty rather than 3/10.

Five minutes later we had all the rails attached.

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Then you need to flip it the right way up and bolt it down onto the base. At this point there is one more screw that goes from the outside of the upper casing as well. They're not taking chances with rigidity.

Forgot a photo of that stage...but the next one is then to attach the actuating rods to their bushings on the rails and the extruder to them. You could probably attach them all to the extruder then to the rails...but I figured doing them one at a time reduces the number of bits and pieces you've got flailing around.

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The filament reel holder then goes on top, the cabling all gets connected up along with the filament guide. The wire connectors are all either keyed or colour coded so you really can't go wrong.

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We're about 20 minutes in at this point.

Time to hook the power supply up (after double checking the voltage selection switch is indeed set to 230V not 110) and seeing what happens.

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Powered up normally...bonus.

At this point with a conventional printer you would normally enter the time consuming faff where you have to level the build platform.

Not so with a delta printer. You attach a little levelling tool to the extruder (there's a magnet in it so it just snaps into place)...

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then click on "Autolevel" in the tools menu.

It even reminds you to attach the levelling tool when you start it. Nice touch.

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The printer then goes off and gently "pokes" the build plate in a couple of dozen places to build up an accurate map of where the bed is. The levelling tool can then be unplugged and stored safely.

The only remaining configuration step you need to do is fine tune the actual level of the Z axies. There is a dedicated button for this in the tools menu too. This scoots the extruder down to nearly touching the bed, you then slip a piece of standard paper in there and manually lower it until the extruder nozzle *just* drags on the paper. Click save and you're ready to go.

Well nearly. You need to load filament, *then* you're ready to go. That's simple too. Probably far more so with decent filament, the little starter reel that came in the box is pretty cheap and nasty.

You preheat the extruder nozzle (two button presses) for the appropriate type, then press the filament change button and "load." You need to make sure you cut the end of the filament to a point so it doesn't snag while feeding. Basically just a smaller version of feeding wire into a MIG welder then. When you hit the button to load the filament it runs the feed motor for a preset time to ensure it's all the way to the extruder and any air has been expelled. Getting the filament into the feed roller is a bit fiddly but it's pretty self explanatory what you need to do.

*Now* you're good to go!

The SD card they supply in the box has a few example designs on, so I picked one at random and pressed print.

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Off we go!

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Yes, the wiring still wants to be tidied up a bit, figured I'd ensure everything worked before I got too involved there.

I then left it be for a while while I got dinner.

When I got back this message was waiting on the screen.

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More surprisingly though, this was on the build plate!

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Seriously?!? Straight out of the box, with the horrible freebie filament, we've got a successful print?

Nothing wrong with this.

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Now I've never owned a 3D printer before, nor ever printed anything myself on one. I have watched a friend getting things printed on their Makerbot Replicator...which did a good job but did involve a not insignificant amount of wrangling after any period of inactivity.

This just working out the box is definitely a good sign.

Overall impression so far: hugely impressed. I've assembled IKEA bookshelves that were more complicated to put together than this. If you've got any vague engineering know how you could put this thing together with your eyes closed.

There's only one type of screw used in assembly. Connectors are all colour coded or keyed, all the holes are precisely drilled and tapped cleanly. The critical ones in the rose joints on the extruder actuator arms have thread lock already applied, the edges are all nicely machines so there aren't any burrs or sharp edges...and it just worked. Overall the impression is one of really decent quality.

Very pleased so far.

Delta printers do take up a pleasingly small footprint on your desk too, as the build platform doesn't move nothing actually extends beyond the footprint of the printer.

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Only gripes? The stepper motor wires could do with being a tiny bit longer. Not a big issue but it would make assembly that little bit easier. Finally, the filament they include in the box is pretty poor...but having said that, it did the job and proved the printer works! So can't grumble too much.

Only time will tell when we start getting more involved projects underway, but really impressed so far.
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Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Dec 27, 2020 5:22 pm

With a working 3D printer now in hand, software wise I suspect I've got quite a steep learning curve ahead I think.

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While I know there are a few more basic tools out there, I do tend to think that if I can wrap my brain around it that learning to drive Blender is probably worthwhile. Purely because of how versatile it is and that it's what a few folks I know use, so there's a bit of a safety net out there I can turn to if I get stuck with a very specific task. Plus there are more tutorials out there then you can shake a stick at.

Just finished putting together the second box that was gifted to me. A proper dual monitor mount for the right hand two monitors to get them up off the desk and clear me a substantial amount of space.

Before:

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Annoyingly I did have to pay extra for some adaptors as HP oh-so-helpfully decided not to include VESA mounting points on the Pavilion 24XW monitors. Given how much better the image quality was than the others I was considering I'd probably still have bought them even if I had spotted that...but it would have made me pause. HP want £40 a shot for the adaptor plate!

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Helpfully you can get a pack of two on Amazon for £15...which still stings for a bit of stamped steel which as far as I'm concerned there's no excuse for HP not just including in the box with the monitor - especially given these things cost the best part of £250 each when I originally bought them if I remember right.

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Work in progress...

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The end result:

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It's hard to convey on a photo quite how much of the desktop it has cleared. I'll get an additional single arm for the left hand monitor shortly as well. At least that does have standard VESA mounting points, which also allow the ability to flip it to a portrait orientation to be retained as that can be handy sometimes.

The original stands for those HP monitors weren't exactly sturdy either so they used to wobble quite a bit when I was typing, glad to report that's now a thing of the past.
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Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:57 am

I might die of shock...I actually just uploaded a new page to my website.

First time since 2017 I think! Hopefully the first of many as I've quite a few things I want to get written and uploaded - and I *really* want to rewrite some of the older pages. A huge portion of that site was written when I was in my teens and it really, really shows. Nothing will be actually deleted, but a large portion of it will be stuffed behind a clearly labelled archival link, and the pages themselves labelled accordingly in case anyone lands on them via a Google search or anything like that.

I did realise a few minutes ago that I didn't so much as proof read the page I just wrote before uploading it...Though I need to go back tomorrow to add the alt-text to the photos anyway so can do a quite spelling and grammar sanity check when I do that. Just had it so close to done that I really wanted to get the page up this evening rather than delaying it a day.
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:39 am

So fleet summary for 2020.

Out:

1993 Lada Riva 1500EFi Estate.

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Had just had a bit of an enthusiasm crash for it to be honest. The injection conversion had been working reliably for about a year, just needed a few things tidied up before I could actually call it done.

Then I had a really poor experience with a prospective buyer, and it just put me off the car.

I really wasn't sure what I was going to do with it to be honest, ideal probably would have been finding somewhere to store it for a year or two...but that was going to cost a small fortune. However fate then intervened, leading to the next item.

In:

[] 1985 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE.

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- Age: 35 years.
- Mileage: 81K Miles.
- Cylinders: 12.
- Gears: 3.
- Economy: Don't ask. So far averaging about 12MPG.

Lada was swapped for this, and both of us seemed happy with the exchange. Hadn't planned on this really sticking around, but have grown rather attached to it. Even though it's an absolute pig to work on. Changing the alternator belt was pretty much a full day's work.

Non movers on fleet.

[] 1973 AC Model 70.

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Finally started getting some actual miles covered this year, hoping to do a lot more this year.

- Age: 47 Years.
- Mileage: 12K miles.
- Cylinders: 2.
- Gears: Infinite.
- Economy: 28MPG and rising now the carb and CVT are happier. Looks to be mid 30s we should see.

[] 1984 Sinclair C5.

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Wasn't used nearly as much this year as it really should have been.

- Age: 36 Years.
- Mileage: Not recorded, but has done at least a few hundred miles since I resurrected it.
- Gears: 1.
- Cylinders: None...Pedal power, 250W DC Motor with optional husky power assist accessory.
- Economy: N/A.

[] 1990 Mercedes T1 208D AutoTrail Navajo.

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Sorted out the kitchen and the saloon heating during lockdown so hopefully we can get it out this year sometime.

- Age: 30 years.
- Mileage: 63K miles.
- Gears: 5.
- Cylinders: 4.
- Economy: ~25MPG.

[] 1996 Citroen Xantia Activa.

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Needs a good service, some spheres and a timing belt kit, but still as downright capable as ever.

- Age: 26 years.
- Mileage: 140K miles.
- Gears: 5.
- Cylinders: 4.
- Economy: 22mpg.

Actually no particular plans for buying or selling cars this year unless something really on the wish list were to pop up locally at the right price...
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Tom. » Sat Jan 02, 2021 7:19 pm

Zelandeth wrote:
Sat Jan 02, 2021 12:39 am

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Lada was swapped for this, and both of us seemed happy with the exchange.
And the world champion swapper title goes to Zel :D
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Sun Jan 03, 2021 12:26 am

Should hopefully have some car work this week as I've a few minor jobs lined up for this week, weather permitting. Need to make a trip out to a pharmacy one day this week too and am fully intending to take the Invacar out for that. It's been weeks since I drove the poor thing.

We had the first actual not immediately explainable 3D print failure today. This was going fine, right up to point where the printer decided that it would be a wonderful idea to jump to Z=0 - which would be fine if there wasn't about 40% of a model in the way.

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No idea why that happened. Guessing there was something awry in the G-code, so I went back to the model and rebuild it, tweaking a couple of settings I'd forgotten to save the previous time.

Moved the printer across to the other side of the room too. Firstly so it's not in the way of the paper tray on the normal printer, but secondly to keep it clear of the window. Having a draught over it sounds like a recipe for warping that does.

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It's off on attempt 3 of this model now. The first failure was due to a failure of build plate adhesion, which was brought to my attention when I heard a clonk, followed immediately by the half finished model rolling across my desk after it was punted out of the printer by the extruder.

If we get through the next hour without it going haywire again we might be in business this time.

Main job for this afternoon was a quick one but something that's been on the to do list since 2005. Well, kinda. Sorting out the very, very dead NVRAM batteries in my old Toshiba laptops.

They use lithium thionyl chloride batteries for the NVRAM backup so they very, very rarely cause issues with leakage. However after 20+ years they're generally utterly dead. The T5200 has had this issue since 2005 meaning I need to reset the clock every time I start it up. However it's been the T3100e I've been using a bit more lately as it's more portable. So it's the one I'm sorting first.

This is the error I get every time it's powered up. Sorry for the image quality, plasma screens and digital cameras are not good bedfellows.

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Followed by:

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Step 1 is to flip the machine over and remove the three screws under the keyboard front edge.

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You can then release the two little clips that are hidden in the screen catch recess.

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This allows the keyboard to be lifted up and laid down in front of the computer. The ribbon cable is exactly the right length for this.

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Two further screws need to come out at the rear of the keyboard recess then the RF shield can be withdrawn.

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You can then get to the keyboard connector. You don't *need* to remove the keyboard, it just makes things easier though as it gets in the way otherwise. This has one of those connectors with a raised collar you have to pull out before you can remove the ribbon cable.

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There we go, access to the area we need. If I had a memory upgrade to go in this is where it would be done. Sadly the T3100e uses proprietary memory so I can't just stick any old 36 pin memory in. If I had an 80287 math co-processor it would be fitted to the empty socket roughly central towards the rear.

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Here's our target.

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The trickiest bit of this process to be honest is getting the power connector off the motherboard as there's very little clearance beneath one of the case retaining lugs.

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Still only about a 2/10 though, just a bit fiddly.

The battery holder itself is held in place by a bit of velcro.

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While the battery is a standard AA in terms of form factor a bit more work is needed than dropping a new one in, as the connections to the original are spot welded on.

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The eagle eyed among you might have spotted there's a tiny little diode in there too. I think that's a holdover from an earlier design which used a NiCd battery and had charging hardware on board. Because of the spot welded connections there are no actual terminals in the battery holder.

I figured rather than messing around trying to solder to lithium batteries, for the sake of £0.75 apiece I'd just get a new battery holder with standard connectors in.

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I remember when I first got the T5200 that these batteries were really hard to find...however now you can just get a pack of 10 from Amazon or eBay for less than £20.

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The T5200, T3200SXC and T1200 will want this job doing as well, hence the larger pack I picked up.

I just snipped the leads off the old battery so I could reuse the connector etc. For a change I did remember to put the heatshrink in place before soldering the wires together!

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I bundled up the extra length of cable with a couple of small cable ties. Not pretty but it'll do the job.

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Luckily for me the glue on the old velcro rectangle was still sticky so I was able to peel it off and put it on the new battery holder.

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Convenient as that's not something I had in stock.

From this point on reassembly is the reverse of disassembly.

New battery holder etc shown in place before putting the covers back on.

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Note when the keyboard goes back in that there's a lip at the back so it has to go in at the rear edge first.

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On the first startup it will of course still be complaining so you'll need to set the date and time one last time in the BIOS setup screen.

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Date correctly set...no Y2K issues here on a machine from 1988!

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I do enjoy the ARE YOU REALLY SURE YOU WANT TO DO THAT?!? nature of the confirmation screen it gives you before saving the settings.

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Rebooting a few minutes later gave no error messages, and checking the date once we'd booted into DOS...

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Yep...it's saved the date settings and the clock seems to be running properly.

Very simple job really but nice to have something that was quite annoying ticked off after several years.
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Mon Jan 04, 2021 2:10 am

I might die of shock...Two updates on my website in three weeks.

The Kovac K-80D is now live in the Vintage Technology section.

Definitely need to get started on the Spring Cleaning of the site as a whole soon though. I'd really like to get some of the older stuff archived and get some actually readable content up there.
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

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Zelandeth
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Mon Jan 04, 2021 11:21 pm

Finally got around to building up the enclosure for the distributor condenser for TPA today.

The 0.22uF caps still haven't arrived, so I've just made up a dual 0.1uF cap. As it will be living in a large enough enclosure there's really no issue with this.

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Given the application vibration was something I was wanting to put a stop to, so the innards of the box have been well and truly secured in place with plenty of hot glue. The capacitors are actually a nice snug fit between the outer of the case and the posts that the terminal strip sits on anyway, so it's just belt and braces really. Under no circumstances should the capacitor leads have any load placed on them. I've also tried to ensure that anywhere that the wiring in the box is touching anything that it's held in place so we can't have any issues with things rubbing through over time.

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It looks messy, but that's kind of the curse of hot glue.

The lead that you can already see connected is the ground connection, which is just going to a ring terminal which will be secured under one of the mounting bolts.

You can also see that there's more than just the condenser in here - that's because I'm also using the enclosure as a convenient location to fit a remote engine start button for use when I'm doing testing in the engine bay.

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If I find I have issues with the plastic enclosure cracking I'll replace it with a metal one. It just seemed like plastic was less likely to dissolve the first time it got wet.

Drilled and tapped a couple of holes for it to attach to in the engine bay (okay...Three holes because I totally fouled up the location of the first one and the enclosure would have had to be halfway into the space occupied by the voltage regulator) and hooked it up.

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Still need to install the wiring for the starter button but the distributor side is all hooked up now. I had planned to get the starter hooked up as well but by this point I'd completely lost all feeling in my fingers so retreated back inside!

It's a small detail but it's really nice to have got something on the car side of things ticked off again as it's been a while. Plus this gets rid of my cable-tied bodge from a few weeks ago and is far tidier. It looks a bit new and shiny in the engine bay at the moment but once it's got a bit of road dust on it it'll blend in just fine. Plus I'm more interested in long term reliability and things which make it easier to live with than absolute originality.

I really do need to rebuild the rear of that wheel tub sometime too...
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:46 pm

Despite successfully finishing wiring up the condenser enclosure and getting the remote start button working yesterday the day ended rather depressingly when I managed to lock the keys in the van. I also discovered that the battery charger I thought I had repaired following it going bang quite spectacularly a couple of weeks ago is still broken...and was actually sucking juice out of the battery rather than charging it. I know there are three conventional chargers in this house, but could I find one? Not a chance!

I don't have a full set of spare keys for the van. I've been meaning to remedy this for a while but it's never made it to the front of the to do list. Biggest stumbling block was that Timpson's (etc) couldn't apparently source a blank for the key for the actual van bit. Apparently you'd need to get it direct from Mercedes for stupid money. As other jobs took precedence I never really chased that up.

With the keys I did have, the only useful thing I could get into was the gas locker.

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My plan was to unbolt the draining board which sits above the locker, climb into it, then reach up through there to get hold of the keys - assuming they were sitting next to the sink where I thought I'd left them. Of course just to add to the fun, all the blinds were closed so I couldn't see!

This plan then encountered another frustration when I went to pick up the 8mm spanner.

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It should be on the hook nearest the camera. Last time I used it was when I was rebuilding the Jag's wiper motor...in the van. Ah.

After far too long wrestling with an adjustable spanner that was far too big for the job at hand I had the draining board out - at which point the 8mm spanner I'd mentioned earlier bounced off my forehead and everything I'd left stacked on the draining board cascaded onto the floor inside.

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Now I'm not flexible enough to actually climb through that hole, but I thought I knew where the keys were, so should be able to reach them.

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Thank goodness for that! I was just able to reach them at full stretch.

Sorted!

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Then I just had to tidy up the mess I'd made and reassemble what I'd taken to bits.

With the van back together and now accessible I was able to dig out the backup backup battery charger out of the service locker.

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So basically back to where I was hoping to be when I wrapped up yesterday!

It's a cheap and nasty thing but will do just fine for a bit of a boost. Think everything is struggling a bit just between winter and lack of regular use.
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Aaron » Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:33 pm

I had the fun of removing the heater assembly from the LADA today. Of course, when I say fun...
I had a seized heater valve and also i suspected water ingress through the air vent (which i confirmed).
And now i can look forward to the joy of putting it back together again.
Aaron, Grantham <br>
Riva1600SLX (floorless example, sadly not a spelling mistake)
Citroen (surprisingly quite good) C3
Nissan (it's only for towing the caravan) X-trail
Simson S51

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Zelandeth
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Re: Today I mostly .....

Post by Zelandeth » Wed Jan 13, 2021 5:00 pm

Aaron wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:33 pm
I had the fun of removing the heater assembly from the LADA today. Of course, when I say fun...
I had a seized heater valve and also i suspected water ingress through the air vent (which i confirmed).
And now i can look forward to the joy of putting it back together again.
Well done. How many of the spring clips did you lose when they pinged off into an alternate dimension?
LOZ: Oddball cars, lighting information, and anything else I remember to upload!
Current fleet: 96 Citroen Xantia Activa, 90 Mercedes 208D Autotrail Navajo, 85 Jaguar XJ-S V12 HE, 85 Sinclair C5, 73 AC Model-70.

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