Microscope. 2 steps forward, 1 step.. uh sideways?

Pretty excited to get the next step of my microscope project. Don’t remember if I did a write up for it yet, but basically I want to be able to look at the tips of record needles to see if they are damaged or not. I cheaply acquired a high end microscope but ran into several problems. One issue is part of the mechanical stage was missing ( the part that adjusts the specimen around ). So I built/bought a “third arm” style clamp, affixed that to a board, then mounted the board to the mechanical stage. This gives me the precision necessary to make fine adjustments for seeing the tip of the needle. This worked out better than expected.


What didn’t work out was my lighting. These are super crappy photos I took by putting my iphone up against the eyepiece. They don’t really show off the main problem though, which is you need LOTS of light to see this stuff. The closer you zoom in the more light you need.

I have addressed this in the past by using a camera, and leaving the shutter open – but that involves a host of other problems ( focus, camera set up ).

That is the next challenge I’ll work on. I have a way to set up a camera, but the focal distance is different from the eye pieces. This means I have to refocus when I shift to shoot. Which is a PITA since my camera view screen doesn’t focus in real time. I have to shoot/focus/shoot/focus/shoot until I get something right.

I could just cheat and use my higher end camera for this task I guess. I’ll see. Would be nice to fix the problem for real – I think I need to adjust the distance of the camera from the lens for that to work.

Faux aging wood with vinegar/steel wool is super unpredictable

Really frustrated how different the color on these is coming out. I wanted something deep and grey/black as shown on the bottom pieces. However the two longer beams just turn really red. I even re-created my formula to have less “rust” color , and without the Tea I normally use. But I’m getting this super red red color. Already sanded it down once, thinking a grey/brown mix would be nice.

I sanded off the bulk of the red, and figured the white /yellow wood => grey. didn’t happen. Unsure how to proceed.

Fairchild 440 Turntable Part 3

Cont from Fairchild 440 Turntable Part 1 & 2 / 3

So I was left with a few problems that need fixing.

  • Tonearm rewire
  • Get new bearing ( 3/8 inch … NOT 1/4 )
  • Adjust height of TT Platter
  • Motor not spinning up quickly

I wish I had video’d this, but it was just too complicated to get it set up. I took it apart, threatened in new wire ( which was easier than expected ).

Major challenge here was getting the bottom brown disk off. At first I tried bending back the pins, but they crshed or snapped. So I used a spanner and rotated the disk… it then slipped off easily.

Stopping here for a few days while I sort out next steps.

Miele Electric Wand – gets clogged and sucks

A few years back Miele updated their vacuum cleaner line to include an “electric wand”. This means that the power cord for the vacuum head was run through the “wand” instead of outside it. The advantage is that it is now easy to unplug and change head attachments. The disadvantage is that crap now gets stuck inside the vacuum tube, which is a major design flaw. In order to allow the length of the tube to change, they used a coiled cord inside. This is similar to old expanding phone cords you might remember – you’d also remember how easy those were to get tangled and catch on things. In this case, it catches on random crap and plugs up the hole.

I often don’t notice it is plugged for a while – you’d think it would be obvious, but it isn’t. So you can vacuum a room or two before you notice just how messed up it is.

Fairchild 440 Turntable Part 1 & 2 / 3

I picked this up at an auction to flip, but when I got it home, it was just so luscious… I really don’t want to get rid of it. Regardless of what I decide though – it needs some fixing up and basic care. There are two major problems to start with – It needs a belt, and the tonearm needs to be rewired. These are both very minor issues, but as I dig in I realize there are additional problems. Part 1 and 2 focus on

  • Replace motor mounts
  • Treat wood
  • Replace belt
  • Don’t fucking lose the bearing, because when you do your life will suck



Unresolved problems:

  • Record speed – unsure if belt is correct size
  • Platter is tipping, I need to tighten up screws on one side
  • Tone arm: solder wires together, possibly replace tonearm wiring
  • Ensure headshell is mounted properly


Time spent: -10
Times shocked: -1
Critical Piece lost: -50
Critical Piece found: +20
Core Fixes Applied: +100
New Fixes Required: -50

Score: <blink>Frenziful</blink>

PART 3: Continued here http://heavymod.com/fairchild-440-turntable-part-3/




Macs are so easy to use!

Because this stupid Epson printer thing couldn’t get any more difficult, of course it is. I tried to print to the printer via a mac book pro, and found out the drivers are only for the very latest OS, which JUST RELEASED LIKE 10 days ago. OF course I didn’t realize this right away… nah, I was like,

“Sure, I’ll upgrade from 10.10 to 10.13 because it’s a mac and that doesn’t even sound like a major upgrade amirite? Fuck no, I’m not right.KERNAL PANIC¬†

Fuck yeah. So installing new printer drivers turned into 2 days of fucking around trying to resolve this piece of shit problem.

Oh and fuck wordpress because I don’t know why it keeps rotating this fucking image.

I’m clearly having some sort of technology breakdown going on in my life. Is this a sign of spiritual sickness? Did I not make the proper sacrifices to Vulcan?


Epson 640XP crap wireless set up

Epson software can’t find the fucking printer on my network. I can clearly see it on the network via router software, and I have literally connected to it via IP. I can print from it now. But the Epson software, and WIN10 says they can’t find the printer via printer software. How the fuck can you make a printer that struggles with wifi in 2017. It blew me away too – I saw all kinds of complaints about cannon printers having issues… wtf guys.