Archive for category Oddities

MPCNC: Epoxy-filled Connector

When I wired up the MPCNC’s tool length probe, I planned to reinforce the wiring with a dab of epoxy. What I didn’t notice in my enthusiasm, alas, was the opening from the rear to the front in each pin slot:

Epoxied connector - rear

Epoxied connector – rear

Which let the epoxy flow completely through the connector:

Epoxied connector - front

Epoxied connector – front

So I cut the mess off and applied heatstink tubing on each wire, just like I should have in the first place.

Now you know the rest of the story …

I really dislike pin headers as cable connectors, but that’s what the Protoneer CNC board uses:

MPCNC - Protoneer Wiring - SSR

MPCNC – Protoneer Wiring – SSR

It’ll be Good Enough if I don’t do anything else particularly stupid.


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Monthly Image: Snow-dusted Spider Silk

The recent bitter cold and gusty winds swirled a dry snowfall around our back patio, where it clung to the (otherwise invisible) spider silk strands on the cedar shakes:

Snow-dusted spider silk

Snow-dusted spider silk

It’d be Art if a human did it!

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Eyebrow Lights

A high energy collision / accident / mishap in front of Adams Fairacre Farms (a.k.a., the grocery store) demolished 20 feet of their dry laid stone wall along Rt 44, flattened several bushes, gouged trenches in the grass, and scattered plastic debris into the parking lot. The remains of a headlight eyebrow running light emerged from a snow pile:

Eyebrow light - front

Eyebrow light – front

From the back:

Eyebrow light - back

Eyebrow light – back

Contrary to what I expected, it has one white LED at each end of the chromed reflecting channel, topped with a shaped plastic lens collecting the light:

Eyebrow light - Lens mount

Eyebrow light – Lens mount

The LED PCBs are in series, which produced a backwards wire color code on one end:

Eyebrow light - LED PCB 1

Eyebrow light – LED PCB 1

The other end looked more reasonable:

Eyebrow light - LED PCB 2

Eyebrow light – LED PCB 2

The white SMD LEDs draw 300+ mA at 3.6 V, so they’re obviously depending on external current limiting provided by the regulator PCB, sporting a TLE4242 linear current regulator and a handful of passives:

Eyebrow light - Regulator PCB

Eyebrow light – Regulator PCB

AFAICT, they didn’t use the chip’s PWM control input or its LED failure status output.

Extracting the various PCBs from the wreckage and reconnecting the wires produced a satisfactory result:

Eyebrow light - resurrection

Eyebrow light – resurrection

The regulator limits the LED current to 120 mA at any input from a bit over 7 V to well past 12 V, with each LED dropping 3.0 V.

Dunno what I’ll use this junk for, but at least I know a bit more about eyebrow lights. The chip date codes suggest 2010 and 2012; perhaps linear regulators have become passe by now.


Doing Biz On eBay

I’ve always wondered what the Chinese-script company names on eBay meant, so I fed some into Google Translate (clicky for more dots):

Chinese eBay Company Names

Chinese eBay Company Names


As the saying goes, ol’ Deng must be living “… modestly, if the kind of money he was getting out of me meant anything to him.”


Blog Summary: 2017

Page views for 2017:

Top Posts 2017

Top Posts 2017

Plumbing and car troubles continue to plague folks in Search Engine City.

If I could monetize my broom handle thread IP, I’d be rich, I tell you, rich.

Some interesting (and rounded) numbers from the ads you (presumably) don’t see, because adblocking.

The blog gets just under 30 k page views/month, call it 1 k/day. Because most of the traffic arrives from search engines, each viewer looks at only 1.6 pages. Dividing the two suggests 18 k viewers/month.

WordPress now shows 90 k ad impressions/month. Dividing 90 k impressions by 18 k viewers gives 5 ad impressions/viewer, which is about what you’d expect from the three ads appearing on the main page and each post seen individually: 3 ads/page × 1.6 page views/visitor = 4.8 ads/visitor.

Before the big WP advertising push, they reported 15 k ad impressions/month for roughly the same 30 k page views/month and 1.6 pages/visitor. At one ad per page (which I don’t know for sure, but it seems reasonable), 30 k views should produce 30 k ad impressions. I can’t account for the discrepancy.

Those of you using ad blockers (which I highly recommend!) don’t know what you’re missing.

Onward, into the New Year …


Roadside Jewelry

I spotted a piece of jewelry during a recent walk:

Headlight Condenser - rear

Headlight Condenser – rear

The other side shows off The Shiny Bit:

Headlight Condenser - front

Headlight Condenser – front

I seem to have swapped the “front” and “rear” labels; the flat side faces the LED / HID bulb.

It looked even better after extraction and casual cleaning:

Headlight Condenser - sunlit

Headlight Condenser – sunlit

It seems someone with a relatively new car had a fairly high energy accident just north of Red Oaks Mill. The remainder of the debris consisted of shattered engineering plastic. We’ll never know the rest of the story.

Both lens surfaces have a slight nubbly finish, perhaps to produce some side light around the main beam. The rectangular opening apparently shaped the low beam and doesn’t appear movable, so perhaps the car had separate headlights for the high beams.

I’m not quite sure what to do with a chipped condenser lens, so it’s sitting on the windowsill (in a sun-safe orientation) along with many other glittery bits of glass I’ve collected over the years.

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Wandering Washroom Water

You’d think architects would know better:

Fancy washroom counter

Fancy washroom counter

The washroom has in-the-wall towel + trash stations at each end of the counter, but they’re obviously inadequate for the purpose. Fortunately, the counters slope away from the attractive stacks of paper towels.

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