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>





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.

Battle: Keyboard. [Roland 77 Keyboard Repair/restore]

Battle: Keyboard

Setup: 8 Roland 77 Digital Pianos. Purchased at auction. Were previously teaching pianos. Were left in sun and many melted. I was an idiot and did not inspect these before bidding. I thought they were high end Roland’s which could fetch $500 each. Off by a factor of 10.

Pass: Earn more than $100.
Win: Earn more than $200

I should be able to sell these for $50-$100 each, so I only need a few working ones to make this happen. Should be “easy”.

Skirmish 1: Success.

The first keyboard is cake. Mostly it is just dirty. I have to swap out a speaker, which is relatively easy. relatively because I had all sorts of issues trying to crimp the fucking speaker wires together. After like 30 minutes of messing up strips/crimps I just twisted the damn things together, electrical taped it, and called it a day.

I have 1 piano with stand that could sell for $125.

Skirmish 2: Strip and clean

Encouraged by the easy win, I decide to go deeper. I could just walk away right now, donate the extras and move on with my life. Determined to avoid failure, and a firm believer in the sunk costs fallacy – I move forward.

After an hour of trying to pry off stickers and clean in little grooves, I remember to “work smarter not harder” – words of capitalist exploitation I learned at the knee of my rich uncle.
I rip off two of the keysets ( what I’m calling the keyboard unit inside the piano ) and two of the frames and throw them in the shower. Yep – the shower. As long as I let them dry properly, the electrical circuits wont’ get damaged, and it will get them looking nice and clean, which will help them sell. And I’m really tired of trying to clean these things the hard way.

3 days later I’m convinced they are nice and dry, and am back to work

Skirmish 3: Failure and more sunk costs fallacy

With the lowest of hanging fruit plucked, it’s time for the next rung. Easy Fixes. I’m going to start with one that has a warped frame, but otherwise is working. This warp has made some lower keys stick.

pull out the 40 goddamn screws in the bottom, pull out the keyboard ( only 4 screws… it comes out super fast ) and start moving it to a less melted frame.

Here I am halfway through. The new frame is the one above, the older frame is below. I’ve moved the left speaker and jacks into position. The rest follows pretty easily. I did try and jam some “long” screws into short screw slots, but let’s not dwell on this.

Now – I have 2 nice and clean keyboards from the shower the other day, so I’m going to drop those in. I’m pretty surprised when I find that the keyboard STILL has key sticking. How is this even possible!?! Easily answered, the keyboard really has to be forced into position – doing so stretches out the frame to allow for keys to work. NICE. All that’s left to do is test it out.. and…

some of the keys don’t play. shit. maybe the whole washing thing wasn’t so smart after all. So I pull out clean keyboard 1, drop in 2. Same issue, different keys. NOTE: This is another great place to walk away from this project. NOTE: I do not.

Skirmish 3b: fucking fuck

I’m really tired, so I’m gonna just skip through a bunch of crap. Basically I wasted 2 hours cleaning out the contacts to the boards. I did the best I could and while all keys are playing, they are not playing uniformly. For example, some of the keys will play at full force no matter how lightly they are struck. I know in general what the problem is, but I’m just too tired to work on it more, and I’ve already put in too many damn hours on a keyboard I’m maybe going to sell for $40.

Interesting part : here are the contacts, and you can see how they are a bit .. clogged.. for lack of a better word. I found some of the kid stickers covering part of one, but mostly the bad keys looked like this, and were “fixed” by just licking my finger and wiping off the contact. I thought they were fixed, but some are still playing at full velocity, and unsure how to address that. I have ideas, but.. yeah. it’s 4 am.

Roland 77 Keyboard PCB. Looks just like a regular computer keyboard, except there are two connectors. This allows the keyboard to time the difference between when the two connectors are depressed. by playing them at slightly different heights, it can interpret the speed at which you hit the key and convert this to a guesstimated velocity / loudness.

You can see some residue on the … not sure what to call this. “connector” maybe.

So, I just jammed the original dusty nasty keyboard unit in from the old frame. I’m too tired to even listen to it.

Skirmish Score:

  • Time wasted: 2 hours
  • Stuff learned: +3
  • Keyboards working: 1/8
  • Real work avoided: Lots. -20
  • Money made: $-100

SCORE: Scrotum Slammed



Straighten bass guitar neck

Nope, I don’t play the bass, but I picked one up as part of a deal. Opportunity: l2Fix bowed neck.

I started with this video, showing how to straighten the truss rod on a vintage guitar. This one has a slight up-bow ( towards the strings ). This appears to be a common problem as the strings pull on the guitar neck over time. The truss rod is designed to counter this. The more you tighten the truss rod, the more the neck will bow backwards ( down-bow ). This way you can keep the neck straight. in theory.

I followed his instructions:

  1. loosen strings and loosen truss rod nut
  2. put wood blocks on neck

    1. cut blocks to fit between frets. Tried to cut a fret line into a block and almost chopped into my finger. can’t wait to get video camera set up, so you can see all these near mangles on future projects
    2. mark blocks before cutting. this makes sure the same side is used as “up” and keeps width consistent.
  3. clamp.
  4. gently tighten truss rod nut. I’m not sure how tight it should be. so I just did it to where it felt snug without too much torque.
  5. let sit for a few hours



EVDI – the imaging company that couldn’t / GearView Basic

Had an interesting time with EVDI and my insurance. The first was the usual: We can’t tell you what it will cost / We can’t tell you the codes bullshit. I eventually had to get someone from Healthnet on the line to talk directly to EVDI to explain how to bill it. And of course it was done wrong, both by EVDI AND Healthnet. Luckily there was a transcript of the conversation so Healthnet only charged me the $50 they stated they would.

Now I’m in the process of trying to get copies of those scans. You’d think it would be easy. They are are afterall a fucking imaging company. This is the digital era. Getting a jpeg shouldn’t be a giant deal.

Now, I understand that Hippa makes this a GIANT PAIN IN THE ASS. So I end up with an encrypted CD with my data hidden somewhere in it. Still, shouldn’t be a problem. The problem? The instructions are incorrect. They tell me to run a “start.hta” file that does not exist. The Launch and Check.bat files also reference the start.hta… so someone clearly intended this file to be here.

It should be noted that my first request for a CD went unanswered. After a month, I contacted them asking where it was. They sent me a second one. Now – I contact them about the missing file, so they send me a third CD. It shouldn’t be a surprise that this CD is missing the elusive START.HTA file as well.

Calling EVDI I learn that I need to buy an expensive program to see the file. This sounds like complete bullshit to me, but who knows. And of course IT has left for the day ( 4:15 pm ) – so could I please call back tomorrow if I want to talk to them about it. I’m not optimistic, but we shall see.

Just a recap, all I need here is a fucking encrypted jpeg.


UPDATE: Found a free viewer that works: http://www.microdicom.com/dicom-viewer/

Run this, open the CD, bam. files viewable.

Win10 Update Error 0x880070002 – 0x20009

Continued from Another Patch Today

While attempting to update Windows 10 to version 1703, I ran into problems.

“We couldn’t finish installing updates” And it would then tell me an update was available. MS Community responded to my questions:

“KB4034658 indicates you are on version 1607. The latest stable version of W10 is 1703 and the computer might be failing to install it. KB4034658  also has removed update history which had an evidence if the PC was failing to install the feature upgrade aka 1703.

Nevertheless, try updating manually to 1703″

I first downloaded the Win10 update assistant. This time I did not receive any errors, and it appeared to work. But after reboot the update was still not showing up as installed, and like before, an update option was available.

My next option was to do a repair/install, which I was hesitant about. I opened another thread confirming this would be a non-destructive windows install.  The community was extremely helpful. I downloaded the media creation tool, and burned the ISO to a DVD. Afterwards I ran “setup.exe” on the DVD.

I ran through the install and saw this error:
0x880070002 – 0x20009

“The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during PREPARE_ROLLBACK operation”

This lead to a number of helpful google links. Several people had success removing all external drives and then reinstalling. I had several (5+) drives connected, including a label maker that shows up as a hard drive.

Ran the DVD again, and while the install appeared to work – on reboot I found the update had not been installed.

I ran a chkdsk, which was fine, and sfscan:

This was what i did when I ran my win7 to win10 upgrade. Even though everything verified without problems, this appeared to fix the issue.

I ran the DVD setup, and was excited to see new information this time, the welcome to win10 screen, along with a series of set up questions.

When I checked update history / and updates:

wo hoo! Checked for additional updates, found a few, run and restarted and ( I’ll admit I was a bit nervous I was stuck in another loop here… but… ) they installed properly.

good times! Now to clone ( again ) my main drive for a backup, and reattach all my drives.