The blue LED inside the radome got fainter as the alkaline AA cells faded away, but remained visible in a dark room until the discrete LM3909 circuitry stopped oscillating with the battery at 1.0 V. One of the cells had flatlined, with the other supplying what little current was needed.
The circuitry restarted with a pair of weak alkalines applying 2.4 V across the bus bars:
The LED waveform shows it needs about 2 V:
It’s barely visible in normal room light and strikingly bright at night.
The Aluminum Black package directions tell you to apply it with a swab, rinse, and repeat, which seemed like a lot of work for a handful of pins. Instead, I poured a little into a pill bottle, dumped the pins in, and gave it a good shake to coat the pins, whereupon the cap blew off as the contents proceeded to boil merrily. A quick cold-water rinse calmed things down, with no particular harm done, although I had to chase the threads with a tap to get the black powder out. A layer of oil prettied them up nicely.
Today I Learned: the reaction between selenium dioxide and bare aluminum is strongly exothermic.
You can’t make up results like this for a techie kind of blog:
Given my demographic cohort, bedbugs suddenly seemed downright friendly.
Overall, this blog had 109 k visitors and 204 k page views. The ratio of 1.8 pages / visitor has been roughly constant for the last few years, so I assume most folks find one more interesting post before wandering off.
My take from the increasing volume of ads WordPress shovels at those of you who (foolishly) aren’t using an ad blocker continues to fall:
The CPM graph scale seems deliberately scrunched, but the value now ticks along at 25¢ / thousand impressions, adding up to perhaps $250 over the full year. Obviously, I’m not in this for the money.
The ratio of five ads per page view remains more or less constant. Because Google continues to neuter Chrome’s ad blocking ability, I highly recommend using Firefox with uBlock Origin.
WordPress gives me no control over which ads they serve, nor where they put ads on the page. By paying WordPress about $50 / year I could turn off all their ads and convert the blog into a dead loss. I’m nearing their 3 GB limit for media files on a “free” blog, so the calculation may change late next year.