Saturday, July 20, 2019

Apollo 11

I'd write something about it, but I'm limited to an old man's remembrances of a time long past in a country that sadly doesn't exist any longer.

And others write far better than I.....

Friday, July 19, 2019

My *NEW CAR* Is Ready!

Ladies and gentlemen, GM proudly presents the all new, mid-engined, 2020 "C8" Corvette!

Read all about it here at the Hagerty website.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Meanwhile, Out In The Garage.....

I pulled the wiper arms, windshield trim, windshield header panel, and ventilation grilles, in preparation to clean and refurbish all these bits:

The wiper arms are pretty crusty, and will take some work with the Dremel to get clean, and the windshield trim is a disaster, compared to when it was new. The trim originally had a matte black coating, but that came off in huge chunks the first time I scrubbed the car. I was going to get it powder coated, but I've decided to do it Old Skool, and scuff the trim up with ScotchBrite, and spray it with some matte black epoxy paint I have.

I'll do the same to the header panel and wiper arms after I clean them.

So now all the stuff seen here at the base of the windshield:

Is gone:

I scrubbed out the channel behind the trim as well as I could, looking carefully for any rust popping up:

Unfortunately I found some, on the driver's side "A Pillar" windshield post:

I'm really hoping this is just surface rust caused by the trim rubbing through the paint, but won't know for sure until the windshield is pulled. Safelite has quoted me $335 to come out and replace the glass with a new one, but I'll have to talk to them to see how much extra they'll charge to pull the glass on one day, and install the new glass at a later date after I've cleaned up the rust. Since it's a second truck roll, I'm sure they'll be a charge.

The windshield in the car has 35 years worth of pits, chips, nicks, and scratches in it, and tint has developed that lovely "Old Toyota Yellow Brown Patina" in place of the OEM blue tint. Time for a new one.....

Monday, July 15, 2019

Good News for Little Miss Pebbles

Took her back to the Vet today to see how the meds are working, and this time the Surgeon checked her out. He said she's doing very well, and he thinks that maybe (fingers crossed) she just sprained or twisted her leg causing the injury, rather than actually tearing the ACL in her right hind leg.

And in spite of not getting her daily walks on the nature trails, she's lost about 8 ounces due to our diligently watching her food and limiting her treats.

So we'll continue with the Gabapentin for pain until it's gone, and he'll switch from Rimadyl to a much less expensive generic when what we got from him is used up.

She's definitely feeling better, and wanted to play last night, so we played a bit in the den with a squeaky toy, but I didn't toss it around the room like I usually do because I didn't want her zooming around and getting all worked up.

The lightning detector project is coming along now that my neighbor loaned me a couple of Arduino project books. One of the projects uses the same AS3935 sensor, and has the code I needed to read out and display ALL the registers in the chip instead of just grabbing the "Lightning Detected" and "Estimated Distance" registers. It also uses a different display that isn't limited to 2 lines of 16 characters, and it also includes the calibration routine to properly set up the sensor. It's a far more sophisticated project than the little "kit" I bought, and was pretty much what I was looking for.

The enclosure and Proto-Shields for the Arduino arrived today, along with a "BrutusBot" tracked vehicle semi autonomous "robot" that The Little Guy should get a kick out of as it scoots along avoiding obstacles.

Waiting for some penetrating oil to soak into the splines on the Supra's wiper arms. I may have to go buy a small puller to get them off after being rather firmly attached for the last 34 years!

Friday, July 12, 2019

Collings Foundation "Wings Of Freedom Tour" Is In Town

And I found out about it by hearing and seeing the P-51 and B-24 fly over today on their way to the Northern Colorado Regional Airport down by Loveland.

BUT...we have a birthday party on Saturday, and I'm sure Sunday will be a zoo there.

Maybe next year!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Ms. Swan Got A Scrub!

And man, was she dirty. I used the pressure washer with just water to wet her down first, then switched in the tank of Turtle Wax Max soap, and soaped her up good.

Yeah, I know.....sounds kinky!

So after scrubbing her with a big wash mitt, and a good rinse, she almost shines again!

However, before those festivities began, I pressure washed the engine bay. I'd applied a full can of Gunk to all the problem areas the night before, and another can right before I backed her out. And since the pressure washer has two tanks, I had the #2 tank for of some degreaser/cleaner, and switched to that before I blew all the Gunk, Grime, and Grunge off the engine.

It still needs a bunch of hand detailing in there, but at least all the crud I missed the first time is gone, which will make it much easier to do the planned mechanical work.

Next project is to remove each fuse, clean the contacts with DeoxIT!, and put the fuses back with a dab of silicone dielectric grease, something I've been doing to every connector pair I've had apart. Should probably do it to all the connectors, but these are high-quality, O-Ringed connectors, and every pair I've separated has been very clean inside. Anyway, this is brought on by the fact that when I started her yesterday, the voltmeter indicated 12.8 Volts, rather than the 14.1 Volts considered 'normal'. I figured great, the alternator went AWOL over the winter, but today it was indicating 13.8 Volts, and would go to 14.1 with some revs, so that kinda points to a connection problem that "cured" itself with a bit of vibration and/or thermal cycling. I was planning on replacing the alternator with an upgraded one from a 1992 Camry V6 that has 100 Amps output compared to the 60 Amps of the OEM unit. They're about $50 more than the OEM alternator, and are 100% compatible with the car. These cars all have a trait of weak alternators that dim the headlights at idle, and this cures the problem, and provides plenty of extra current for the electric fan(s) I want to install so I can delete the engine-driven fan and free up a few HP.

And cleaning up the garage yesterday really helped with locating stuff that was misplaced. I found several boxes of things I was going bonkers trying to find, and they turned up buried under some stuff on the totally wrong shelf from where they should have been. When I shelved all the "Garage Items", I wasn't too careful where I put stuff, and it bit me.

Now to get started on that FUGLY front bumper. Sorry, Ms. Swan, but you really need a "Nose Job"!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Garage Cleanup Time!

So this afternoon I cleaned a winter's worth of stuff from around my poor old Supra, and backed her outside.

Then I took stock of what had to be done with the shelves, and set to it.



Doesn't look like four hours worth of work was accomplished, but since half of the stuff on the shelves was just tossed up there to get it off the floor when I built the shelves, there was a lot of sorting going on as I emptied the shelves.

All the antenna/radio stuff is now on specific shelves, all the car parts have been sorted and shelved according to what they are, several boxes of stuff that should have been in the basement are now down there, numerous boxes were consolidated with the empties flattened and tossed, and (once again!) I found a bunch of stuff that was MIA.

Tomorrow I'm going to Gunk the engine again, and give her a bath and pressure wash of the engine bay.

For now, she's back in the barn sleeping.....

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Coaxial Cable Entrance Box est Finee!

Yeah, I know....."The Older I Get, The Better I Was" and all that. Time was, though, when I could have terminated these four connectors, and had my tools all put away in under two hours.

Today? Not so much. Took me a total of four hours, start to finish, to get the connectors installed and the tools put away.

Of course that includes going out with the dog twice, going to the basement and/or garage numerous times to retrieve tools I thought I had in my "Connector Installation Field Kit" (they're back in the tub where they belong now), finding the new tips and installing one in my 40 Watt Weller iron, moving the wife's car into the garage after hearing the weather/hail report (BTW...the weather reporting station at the Fort Collins/Loveland airport went down Tuesday afternoon and is still down!), and briefly stopping for a hot dog and some of that great macaroni salad my wife made.

ANYWAY......the connectors are installed:

And sweeping them from 3~600MHz with a dummy load on the other side showed.....a nice, flat, 1:1 VSWR over the range, just as it should.

I put the cover on it, and I'll call it completed until I decide to modify it!

Coming up next is where I get off my duff and plant the posts. I'll get a hold of my ham neighbor and see when he has some time to help me this week.

I'll sure be glad when this project is wrapped up and I can get back on the Supra!

Think I'll back her out tomorrow and hose her off..........

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Happy Independence Day!

Lawnmowers are running, people are gathering, and soon mass quantities of hot dogs and hamburgers will be consumed.



Fuel State?



Proudly Displayed, SIR!

And it's a gorgeous day today in Northern Colorado. Partly cloudy, 82*, 44% relative humidity, light variable winds.

And as I used to hear years ago in my headset, "Altimeter Two Niner Seven Zero".

But we have a Tornado Watch until 2200, and a possibility of severe thunderstorms with hail, so I cleared the garage out so my wife can get her car inside tonight.

Y'all have a Safe And Sane Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Another "45 Minute" Job Takes How Long?

Almost three hours, and it was a comedy of errors.....

When I mounted the box and drilled the holes through the wall the other day, I used a 'minimum size' hole. And seeing as the holes on the two boxes aren't perfectly aligned, their effective size is lessened. The first time I tried to push the bales through the wall was no joy. The cables never made it to the other hole, and wound up coiled inside the wall.

I grabbed my drill and a 1/2" paddle bit, and bored out the holes. Then I used a length of #10 wire from my scrap box as a fish tape, pushed it through the wall, taped the coax to it on the outside, and pulled them both through the wall. Between going back and forth to the garage to get stuff, and shepherding the still lame dog in and out (she's much better with meds), this simple little job took waaay longet than it should have.

The outside box:

Connectors were given a squirt of silicone dielectric grease, and torqued down snugly. A drop of green "penetrating" LocTite was applied to keep them snug through the temperature fluctuations they'll see. I'm going to cut up some styrofoam to fill the box with for insulation, one of the main reasons I wanted to keep the through holes as small as possible. Probably should have drilled one big hole dead center in the box, but oh, well....20-20 hindsight. The loops in the cable are for stress relief.

And on the inside:

Yeah, three hours futzing around to get this far, and I still have to install the connectors on the cables.

At least they're adequately long. I would have been pretty upset if they were an inch too short.....