Posts Tagged Repairs

Leitz Trinovid Eye Tube Lube

We’ve had this/these Leitz Trinovid 8×20 binocular(s) approximately forever:

Leitz Trinovid binoculars

Leitz Trinovid binoculars

The logo indicates we bought them before Leitz became Leica in 1986…

Recently, the eye cups became difficult to pull out. The problem seemed to lie in the seal around the exterior of each tube, rather than with the internal mechanism, so I eased the tiniest possible drop of clock oil into each gap, spun the tubes, cycled them in-and-out, and wiped off essentially all of the oil as it spread over the exterior of the tubes.

The eye cups work fine again!

Frankly, I felt a like a Visigoth upgrading the Large Hadron Collider, but I trusted those old-school Leitz engineers would protect their optics from everything happening outside the sealed tubes.

The new Leica Trinovids carry 8×42 optics, with 8×20 glass in the Ultravid Compact Field Optics line. They’re definitely spendy, but probably less in constant dollars than the ones we have; in any event, they’re definitely a a buy-and-hold investment.


Road Conditions: October 2015 Summary

It took a while, but the owners of Janet Drive did a commendable job of resurfacing the giant potholes that were consuming the parking lot entrance:

Janet Dr at 708 Dutchess Turnpike entrance - 2015-10-05

Janet Dr at 708 Dutchess Turnpike entrance – 2015-10-05

That patch covers all the holes, has a smooth surface, and neatly joins the adjacent pavement without huge bumps. It’s entirely possible to do good repairs, if you just hire the right contractor.

Which doesn’t happen if you’re NYSDOT, unfortunately, as they regards a few random hand-tamped blobs on a section of Rt 44 (and Bike Rt 44, for whatever that’s worth) as entirely adequate:

Rt 44 - 695 at Quest Diagnostics - 2015-10-05 - no progress

Rt 44 – 695 at Quest Diagnostics – 2015-10-05 – no progress

The sinkhole on Rt 376 that we must dodge maybe four times every week continues to grow:

Rt 376 2015-10-05 - Northbound milepost 1110 - sinkhole

Rt 376 2015-10-05 – Northbound milepost 1110 – sinkhole

Somebody who should know better suggested the NYSDOT crew just ran out of asphalt after patching all around the sinkhole that I’d reported back in July, but …

The NYSDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator (yeah, she exists) assured me the engineers were studying the signal timing and would contact me directly:

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-08-31 - Yellow 8 s after green with cars

Burnett at Rt 55 2015-08-31 – Yellow 8 s after green with cars

That hasn’t happened after four months, so I’d say NYSDOT uses the word “study” to mean “stonewall”.

There are more examples, but, to make a long gripe short, I’ve (once again) proven to my own satisfaction that there’s no point in reporting bicycle-related maintenance problems to NYSDOT: it only annoys them and they retaliate by making things worse.

We just keep riding…

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Debranded HP w2408 Monitor Cap

Quite some time ago, I picked up a nice monitor that turned out to be a debranded (all OEM labels removed or covered) HP w2408. It eventually became erratic, refusing to turn on or return from power-save mode, so I took it apart. All the caps looked good and seemed to have low ESR, except for the big one in the middle of the power supply board:

HP 2408 monitor power supply - HV cap

HP 2408 monitor power supply – HV cap

It’s 30 mm in diameter, with 10 mm lead spacing, and stands a squat 26 mm tall, ignoring a millimeter or two of bulge in its should-be-flat black cap:

HP 2408 monitor power supply - HV cap bulge

HP 2408 monitor power supply – HV cap bulge

Having never seen one of that size before, I sent a note and picture to folks who sell re-capping kits for monitors, in the hope that they’ll have a lead.

Otherwise, it’s e-trash…


Garage Door Torsion Spring Break

The really good thing about having torsion springs on the garage door is that when one breaks, not much happens:

Garage door torsion spring - broken end

Garage door torsion spring – broken end

We decided to spray money on the problem and make it go away; the Dutchess Overhead Doors tech was here the morning after I called: quicker than Amazon Prime and he works much faster than I can.

As nearly as I can tell from the checkbook (remember checkbooks?), an original (to us, anyway) spring broke shortly after we moved in. If so, that spring lasted nearly 17 years; at two open-shut cycles per day, let’s call it 12,000 cycles.

For the record, the springs are:

  • 29 inches long
  • 1-3/4 inch ID
  • 0.250 wire
  • 7 foot tall door

He cranked in seven full turns, corresponding to the “one turn per foot of door height” rule, although the door doesn’t quite balance on its own. I’d have done one more quarter-turn to match the chalk above the door (a good example of write it where you use it), plus maybe another for good measure, but I’m reluctant to mess with success:

dsc08582 - Garage door torsion spring - installedPerhaps the 1955 springs were 32 inches long, but the tech replaced what he found both times. It’s a brute of a door, two generous cars wide, with plywood panels in heavy wood framing, plus a few pounds of filler I applied to the rather crazed surface before painting it some years ago.

I’m mildly surprised none of the dimensions changed in the last 60 years: the springs, end caps, pulleys, and hardware directly interchanged.


Drying Rack Rung Repair

One of the rungs in the drying rack that keeps my bath towel from crawling away broke:

Drying Rack - broken rung

Drying Rack – broken rung

The rungs have turned-down pegs on the ends that slide through the inner side strut and anchor into the outer strut with a nail through the end. You can see the peg between the struts.

Removing the nail split the end of the strut, so I slobbered urethane glue into the crack and clamped it together overnight:

Drying Rack - strut gluing

Drying Rack – strut gluing

Rather than removing the strut and doing it right, I gingerly freehanded a 3/8 inch hole into the end with a Forstner bit:

Drying Rack - drilled reinforced rung

Drying Rack – drilled reinforced rung

Yes, that’s off-center, but it’s dead on the scar where the peg broke off. I have no idea how they could turn down a cylinder to get an eccentric peg on the end.

The black heatstink tubing reinforces the absurdly thin wood shell remaining around the hole. It’s probably not required, given that I’m about to fill the hole with a hardwood peg; nothing exceeds like excess.

Cut a suitable length from a nearby foam paint brush handle that just happens to be both hardwood and 3/8 inch in diameter, dab urethane glue in the holes (but not in the inner strut!), stuff peg through inner strut, seat in outer strut, stretch things enough to slide peg into rung, separate struts to avoid inadvertently pasting them together:

Drying Rack - reassembled

Drying Rack – reassembled

Took about fifteen minutes over the course of three days while the glue cured.


Those of long memory may recall a similar repair to the previous rack; we do, occasionally, toss things. I did, of course, add some of its dowels to the Long Things Stockpile.


Alpha Geek Clock: New Battery

After the CR123A lithium cell in the Alpha Geek Clock gave out:

Packaged Alpha-Geek Clock

Packaged Alpha-Geek Clock

I duct-taped a pair of D cells onto the case and returned it to the bedroom shelf. According to the date scrawled on the tape, that was five years ago: 26 November 2010.

Over the last few months, the LED gradually faded from a blink to a steady glow as the battery voltage dropped below 2 V and the WWVB receiver output no longer reached the MOSFET’s threshold.

We’ll see how long these last:

Alpha Geek Clock - new batteries

Alpha Geek Clock – new batteries

Yeah, I should probably do something involving 3D printing…


HP 7475A Plotter: Inmac Ball-Point Pen Tweakage

The big bag o’ new-old-stock Inmac ball-point plotter pens had five different colors, so I popped a black ceramic tip pen in Slot 0 and ran off Yet Another Superformula Demo Plot:

HP 7475A - Inmac ball pens - weak blue

HP 7475A – Inmac ball pens – weak blue

All the ball pens produce spidery lines, but the blue pen seemed intermittent. Another blue pen from the bag behaved the same way, so I pulled the tip outward and tucked a wrap of fine copper wire underneath. You can see the wire peeking out at about 5 o’clock, with the end at 3-ish:

HP 7475A - Inmac ball pen - wire spacer

HP 7475A – Inmac ball pen – wire spacer

The wire holds the tip slightly further away from the locating flange and, presumably, makes it press slightly harder against the paper:

HP 7475A - Inmac ball pen - stock vs. extended

HP 7475A – Inmac ball pen – stock vs. extended

A bit more pressure helped, but not enough to make it dependable, particularly during startup on the legend characters:

HP 7475A - Inmac ball pens - extended blue

HP 7475A – Inmac ball pens – extended blue

That black line comes from an ordinary fiber-tip pen that looks like a crayon on a paper towel by comparison with the hair-fine ball point lines.

Delicacy doesn’t count for much in these plots, so I’ll save the ball pens for special occasions. If, that is, I can think of any…


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