Archive for category Oddities
We spotted this assortment of jewelry gleaming along Clove Creek:
A closer look at a necklace:
And the brooch:
The water level has been dropping for several days as the air temperature went from tolerably cold to well below freezing.
It’s better in person; I couldn’t get close enough to avoid using the Pixel’s digital zoom, so the images have more gritty texture than you’d expect.
After the Great DMM Probe Debacle, I picked up similar-but-different set of cheap probes and clip leads.
The needle-tip probes carry a 20 A current rating:
If you look out along the wire, though, you’ll find a 10 A rating:
Now, even though 20 AWG wire in silicone may carry a 17 A spec, the corresponding 200 °C temperature seems excessive for a test probe. Limiting the current to 10 A would reduce the power dissipation by two thirds, which should limit the temperature rise. Whether the wire actually contains 20 AWG of actual copper strands remains an open question.
The kit also had banana plug / test hooks with no particular rating, although the wire allegedly has 16 AWG conductors:
The banana plug / alligator clip combo claims 30 A, also with 16 AWG conductors. Who knows? It could be true.
For comparison, the Siglent SDM3045 DMM came with these probes:
The probes carry a 10 A rating and, although the wires aren’t branded, I’ll assume they have good-enough QC to ensure the copper matches the claims. The production values seem a bit higher, too, even if they bear a striking resemblance to the cheap probes.
And, for reference, the probes with the cold solder joint also claim 20 A:
Wouldn’t trust any of ’em for more than a few amps, tops …
In the process of sorting out the Small Box o’ Soldering Tools, this well-used treasure emerged:
Yeah, the Genuine Article. Note the spelling and hyphenation: “Soder-Wick” is a both Registered Trademark® and patented.
Of course, the patent having long expired, there exist knockoffs with slightly different spelling:
“Size Good”. I like that. “Made in Taiwan”, though, suggests it’s been in my collection for quite a while.
Despite the fact they’re all supposed to be coated with flux, I generally run a flux pen over whatever length I’m using, because it’s the only way to be sure.
So this arrived from an email address similar to, yet not quite the same as, the URL of a physician’s office where I had an appointment a few days hence:
My email client is set to prefer plain text, disallow remote content, and not open attachments, so that’s as far as it got. Donning asbestos work gloves and face mask, I pried open the message and its attached HTML file with the appropriate tools and found, as expected, scripts doing who-know-what.
Called the office and, also as expected, was told my appointment time had been changed.
Showed up, mentioned it to the doctor, and was told the office must check off many boxes to demonstrate its HIPAA compliance.
Bottom line: HIPAA now requires patients (a.k.a., us) to open random attachments from random senders, all in the name of privacy.
Banks do that, too.
Before my Genuine IBM 5160 PC XT with an 8088 CPU, I scratch-built a Z80 “personal computer” and wrote a primitive multitasking OS. Plenty of electrons have flowed through the transistors since those days.
A great way to start the day; ya can’t make this stuff up!
Judging from the squirrel tracks on both sides of the scuffle, the squirrel lived to tell the tale:
I think the squirrel came in from the right, the hawk stooped from a pine tree on the left and missed the catch, whereupon the squirrel departed leftward as fast as its little paws could go.
Surely a hair-raising encounter!
I’ve used the LMS set of inch-size MT3 spindle collets on occasion, but releasing them required an unseemly amount of drawbar battering. It recently occurred to me to check their fit in the spindle taper:
The only place they touch the spindle is right around the base, so it’s no wonder they clamp poorly and release grudgingly. I tried several others with the same result.
Cross-checking shows a much closer fit along the entire length of the dead center, so it’s not the spindle’s fault:
Stipulated: we’re not talking toolroom precision here
I set the collets on centers:
And proceeded to file away the offending section to move the clamping force closer to the business end of the collet:
I did the small collets, the ones I’m most likely to need, and left the big ones for another rainy day.
They don’t have much clamping range and seem good only for exact-inch-size rods.
I should lay in a stock of ER16 and maybe ER32 collets for small stuff.