Blog Backup: Incremental Media

The recipe for incrementally copying media files since the previous blog backup works like this:

grep attachment_url *xml > attach.txt
sed 's/^.*http/http/' attach.txt | sed 's/<\/wp.*//' > download.txt
wget -nc -w 2 --no-verbose --random-wait --force-directories --directory-prefix=Media/ -i download.txt

The -nc sets the “no clobber” option, which (paradoxically) simply avoids downloading a duplicate of an existing file. Otherwise, it’d download the file and glue on a *.1 suffix, which isn’t a desirable outcome. The myriad (thus far, 0.6 myriad) already-copied files generate a massive stream of messages along the lines of File ‘mumble’ already there; not retrieving.

Adding --no-verbose will cut the clutter and emit some comfort messages.

There seems no way to recursively fetch only newer media files directly from the WordPress file URL with -r -N; the site redirects the http:// requests to the base URL, which doesn’t know about bare media files and coughs up a “not found” error.


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MicroMark Bandsaw: Blackened Table

The really bright LED worklights I added to the MicroMark bandsaw produced plenty of glare from the raw aluminum table top:

USB Gooseneck Mount - on bandsaw

USB Gooseneck Mount – on bandsaw

No good deed goes unpunished, I suppose.

While rooting around for something else, I rediscovered my bottle of Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black (basically selenium dioxide) that’s intended for touchup work on small parts, not blackening an entire aluminum plate. Well, having had that bottle forever, it’s not like I’ll miss a few milliliters.

If this didn’t work, I could always sand the table down to the original aluminum finish.

So I applied a sanding block in hopes of smoothing the tooling marks:

MicroMark Bandsaw - sanded table

MicroMark Bandsaw – sanded table

Looked pretty good, I thought, so:

  • Wipe it down with alcohol (per the bottle instructions)
  • Slather on a generous dose of Aluminum Black
  • Let that chew on the table for a minute
  • Rinse off with water, wipe dry
  • Perch atop the furnace for thorough drying
  • Spray with Topsaver oil, wipe down
  • Put it back on the bandsaw

Aaaaand it looks great:

MicroMark Bandsaw - blackened table

MicroMark Bandsaw – blackened table

Well, in terms of metal finishing, that blackening job looks downright crappy. Aluminium Black is intended for decorative work and will surely wear quickly on the bandsaw table, but it’s entirely good enough for my simple needs: the glare from those lights is gone.

After I took the picture, I blackened the brass screw in the slot. Came out a weird mottled green-bronze, might look antique in a different context, suits me just fine.



Kenmore Progressive Vacuum Cleaner Carpet Brush Disassembly

The beater bar found and ingested a remarkably long strip of carpet yarn, resulting in a sudden stop and an acute need for disassembly. In the unlikely event that happens again:

  • Remove hose
  • Release latch to lay hose fitting flat
  • Remove two obvious screws
  • Pry rear latches adjacent to hose fitting to release rear of top cover
  • Pry side latches to release middle of top cover
  • Pull rear of top cover away from base
  • Disengage latches along front of beater bar

Those places, neatly marked for future reference, with the top cover against the floor:

Kenmore Progressive vacuum - carpet brush - disassembly latches

Kenmore Progressive vacuum – carpet brush – disassembly latches

With the cover off, the beater bar lifts out and you can easily unwind the mess.

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Forester: TPMS FTW, Redux

Now I know the Forester’s TPMS icon blinks on 1000 feet from a cold start with 12 psi in the offending tire. I returned home and pulled this from a sipe in the left rear tire:

Road debris - blade fragment

Road debris – blade fragment

It’s atop a 0.1 inch grid.

The flat side on the right rode tangent to the tire surface, recessed slightly below the tread, and pretty much invisible inside the sipe. Of course, the point punched through the tire’s steel belt and let the wind out, ever so slowly.

I initially thought it was a utility knife blade fragment, but under the microscope it looks more like a saw blade tooth. It’s obviously been kicking around on the road for quite a while; back in the day, they occasionally swept the roads, but that was then and this is now.

Makes me glad I didn’t buy four new tires after the last flat. I suppose installing two plugs in the same tire counts as a net loss, but they’re small, widely separated injuries and that’s how it’ll roll.

For the record: with 14 k miles on the tires, tread wear = 2/32 inch of the original 6/32 inch depth.

Those tires should last another 30 k miles at our current pace, although I expect more random debris will kill one stone cold dead before that.


Bandsaw Worklight: LED Cable Clips

Adapting the sewing machine cable clips for larger USB cables:

LED Cable Clips - solid model

LED Cable Clips – solid model

The calculation positioning the posts wasn’t quite right; they now touch the cable OD at their midline and converge slightly overhead to retain it.

They’re great candidates for sequential printing:

LED Cable Clips - Slic3r - sequential print

LED Cable Clips – Slic3r – sequential print

With the basement at 14 °C, any cooling is too much: the platform heater can’t keep the bed above the thermal cutout temperature, the firmware concludes the thermistor has failed, and shuts the printer off. So I popped the four finished clips off the platform, removed the skirt, unplugged the fan, rebooted that sucker, and restarted the print.

One clip in the front keeps the cable away from the power switch and speed control directly below the gooseneck mount:

USB Gooseneck Mount - cable clip

USB Gooseneck Mount – cable clip

A few clips in the back route the cable from the COB LED epoxied directly onto the bandsaw frame away from the motor enclosure:

Bandsaw platform COB LED - cable clips

Bandsaw platform COB LED – cable clips

They’re mounted on double-sided foam tape. The COB LED on the frame isn’t anything to write home about, but you can see the foam tape peeking out around the clip base:

Bandsaw platform COB LED

Bandsaw platform COB LED

Unlike those LED filaments, it seems you can gently bend the aluminum substrate under a COB LED.

The bandsaw platform now has plenty of light: a fine upgrade!

Yeah, you can buy stick-on cable anchors, but what’s the fun in that? These fit exactly, hold securely, and work just fine.

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:



Bandsaw Worklight: USB Gooseneck Mount

The bandsaw now sports a chunky mount for its gooseneck light:

USB Gooseneck Mount - on bandsaw

USB Gooseneck Mount – on bandsaw

The gooseneck ends in a USB Type-A plug, so an ordinary USB extension cable can connect it to the hacked hub supplying 9 VDC:

USB Gooseneck Mount - interior

USB Gooseneck Mount – interior

The plastic came from a slightly earlier version of the solid model, with one foam pad under the gooseneck’s USB plug to soak up the clearance. The four smaller holes, with M3 brass inserts visible in the bottom half (on the right), clamp the gooseneck connector in place against the foam; you could push it out if you were really determined, but you’d have to be really determined.

If I ever build another one, it’ll sandwich the plug between opposing pads:

USB Gooseneck Connector Mount - Slic3r preview

USB Gooseneck Connector Mount – Slic3r preview

The lettering on the block stands out much better in the solid model:

USB Gooseneck Connector Mount - solid model - overview

USB Gooseneck Connector Mount – solid model – overview

Obviously, I need help with the stylin’ thing. This looks better, but with terrible overhangs for printing in the obvious no-support orientation:

USB Gooseneck Connector Mount - solid model - rounded top

USB Gooseneck Connector Mount – solid model – rounded top

Anyhow, the USB extension cable (on the left) has plenty of clearance and pulls straight out of the housing, so I can remove the bandsaw cover without unwiring:

USB Gooseneck Mount - assembled

USB Gooseneck Mount – assembled

The LED ticks along at 40 °C in a 14 °C basement, suggesting a thermal coefficient around 14 °C/W. Even in the summer months, with the basement around 25 °C, there’s no risk of PETG softening at 50 °C.

I’ll epoxy a similar 1.8 W COB LED onto the curve of the bandsaw frame where it can shine on the left and rear part of the table; it doesn’t even need a case.

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:


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Proto Board Holders: 80×120 mm

Another stack of proto boards arrived, this time 80×120 mm, and I ran off another pair of holders:

Proto Board Holder - 80x120 - tooling

Proto Board Holder – 80×120 – tooling

Not wanting to, ahem, screw around with the lathe, the screws got themselves shortened the old-fashioned way: by hand, with the screw cutter, then filed and passed through a 4-40 die to clean up the threads.



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