Thursday, October 20, 2016

Not Too Much Going On Here....

Not too much going on here other than we got .3" of rain the other night. Just enough to wash most of the road dirt off the Supra, and turn my Jeep into a bloody muddy mess.

Spent yesterday on the Iowa, and volunteered myself for another project, but this time it's a small one.

We have several unused audio inputs to the "Coke Machine", and some of the Grey Radio Guys decided that it would be nice to have them available to use with "external" devices.

These lines are in the "Crypto Room" (FACCON 2), and are just cables hanging on the bulkhead right now. They used to connect to some audio encryption equipment, but that stuff was stripped out of the ship many years ago, and FACCON 2 is now the server room for all the various things on the Iowa that need a server. Somebody had purchased a conduit box, and some cable clamps, along with a mismatched set of XLR audio connectors. They asked me to fab a top plate that would mount the connectors, so I brought the stuff home. When I told them I didn't think the finished project would look very good, the response was "That's OK, nobody will ever see it".

Yeah....well since I'm building it, I'll see it, and it will gall me knowing that I contributed to the hack job hanging on the bulkhead in FACCON 2.

SO.....I stopped at my favorite little hole-in-the-wall electronics parts place on my way home, and picked up a nice cast aluminum box and some nice XLR connectors and mating plugs for them. I'll get the XLR jacks mounted on the front panel, drill some holes for the "cable glands" where the .625" audio cables will come into the box, and fab some mounting brackets out of aluminum angle so we can bolt this thing to the bulkhead. We've got the green light to just drill and tap holes in the bulkhead (it looks to be 3/8" steel plate, possibly thicker, with nothing on the far side), but I think there might be a nicer way to do it. I'll worry about that after the box is built.

I'll post some pix of my progress, which should be pretty quick as the garage is cleaned up and sorted out after The Great Supra Suspension Rebuild.

And as far as the "Coke Machine" goes, the last time our pillage/plunder/salvage crew was up in Bremerton while I was in Vegas, they found a COMPLETE SET of the plug-in cards, and the manual patch cards, for the Coke Machine!

Not only was this stuff was considered to be unobtainium by people that know these things, but also to be ULTRA unobtainium, the rarest sort, so we really lucked out in finding a set of these.

Rather than having to manually patch audio connections by using small wire between the card connectors and a "patch block" I ginned up, we can now just push the buttons on the front panel to set up the circuits we need. I think the Iowa is probably the only museum ship with a fully functional "Coke Machine".

And that, in itself, is pretty cool....


  1. That's pretty freakin' awesome, right there. Congrats!

    1. Yep, getting the circuit cards was really something. I almost couldn't believe it when I heard about it.

      And I'm pretty sure we were able to scrounge TWO sets of cards, along with the correct power supplies and misc connecting cables.

      IIRC, they found one full size "Coke Machine", and one half-size "Mini Coke machine", and totally gutted both of them!


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