Wednesday, October 5, 2022

tap, tap, tap... This Thing On?

 Ah, there we go......

Been pretty busy here doing Fall Cleanup, both in the garage and the back yard. The back is getting carpet bombed with crab apples this year, and the number of maple seeds on the front yard maple are staggering. Looks like a good feed for the squirrels this year!



 

And mushrooms. These things are like "Aliens"; they just keep coming!


Fortunately, a good blast of 10% Acetic Acid (about 2-1/2 times as strong as household vinegar) takes care of them in about 24 hours. 


I buy the 30% "Agricultural Vinegar", and cut it 3:1. The full 30% strength is quite potent, and will attack concrete. This is a small spill that I didn't promptly dilute and flush away. Or maybe a bit of Baking Soda would have helped....


And work (still) continues on the Pioneer CT-F950 Cassette Deck. Crikey....what a pain this has turned into. Granted, this is the first cassette deck I've ever worked on at this level, but geesh....Make a mistake or maladjustment in the transport mechanism, and it ALL has to come back out to correct. I'm pretty sure I finally have all the mechanical bits, belts, rollers, and idlers properly installed and adjusted, but we'll see.

Since I'm pretty sure the transport is OK, I started listening to some prerecorded tapes I picked up at the local used records, tapes, and books store. So far, the transport seems to handle the tape OK. All the tape handling functions work as they should, and the Fast Forward/Rewind functions really rip now that I've rebuilt the reel drive motor. But in the process of trying all the switches and knobs for functionality, I hit another snag.

There are four slide switches in the photo below. A small one, a long one, another long one, and the fourth is another small one. They're the things with little "teeth" sticking up, and a strip of brown phenolic acting as the "coffin lid".

From left-to-right the switches control the Monitor Function (small selects Tape, large selects Source) Dolby (large is On/Off), and Input Select (MIC and Line), and were quite noisy. I mean like REALLY bad. Not only did the Monitor switches have the typical Crackly/Poppy/Scratchy sounding stuff, but also a high pitched squeal, like feedback happening as you cycled the switches. Once I got it in a Sweet Spot so it played OK, I checked the other two switches, and they appear to be OK.

So, time to give the four switches a good internal cleaning and lubrication. The first hurdle was that these are semi-sealed switches. There's a line of small holes drilled in the top cover, but they're blocked by the white plastic slider that moves the contacts. I took a #50 drill bit in a pin vise, and drilled an extra hole through the phenolic, far enough away from the slider that it uncovered the contact cavity when the slider was all the way forward. Flushed them with alcohol, blasted them with electronic contact cleaner, then  gave 'em a shot of DeoxIT, followed by a drop or two of switch lube. And that's where we left off once the weather dried out enough to resume outside work.

Back in the garage, a new 50MHz, 5/8th wave vertical is being assembled, soon to be mounted on the lonely mast bolted to the side of the carved tree.

It's the long, shiny thing on the table. Yes, I'll dull out the finish (camo, maybe?) before I put it up. I don't think SLW would approve of a shiny aluminum "thing" stuck on the tree!




13 comments:

  1. Is the 6m vertical 5/8 an end fed thing or does it need radials?

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    Replies
    1. It has a matching network built into the base, and three 57" radials. Assembled length of the radiator is 10". It's DC grounded, so I'm guessing the matching network is an autoformer configuration. Pretty classic "Handbook Design, but built like a battleship for commercial service.
      Triple wall tubing for 100"? Geeesh.....

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  2. Fall cleanup for me started with cleaning up after the remains of hurricane IAN in southeast VA. Lots of branches, some requiring a chain saw.

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    Replies
    1. I've got friends in Florida. Some just had rain and wind, while others got clobbered. We have to do the same when we get a late, wet snow that weighs down the trees and breaks off limbs. That's how I acquired a whole big stack of ash wood for the fireplace.

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  3. Slide switches seem to get dirty faster than other types of switches. Thank goodness for DeoxIT.

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    Replies
    1. Part II will cover what else I found. The switches flex a lot as they're cycled, and that causes (GASP!) cracked solder joints.......Stay Tuned!

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  4. I attempted to comment earlier today, from work, but I.T. has the settings locked down to "read only". Anyway, it's clear that you don't have enough to do, and could use a hobby. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). Never fear, the snow's not far away.

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    Replies
    1. Awww, shucks, Pa....I swept and mopped all the tile areas today. Does that count? I have to run the gas out of the Ariens and replace it (and my stock) with fresh fuel, and after it's all nice and warmed up, I'll change the oil in it.

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  5. I just scored a Pioneer CT-1380WR Double Auto Reverse Cassette Deck from a local St. Vincent dePaul thrift store. In very good condition and all was needed was the heads cleaned and a light interior vacuum for dust. It sounds great! I am a little happy cassette camper now. I would be ecstatic little cassette camper if I could find an Alpine, Sony, Pioneer, etc hi end AM/FM Cassette deck for my truck!

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  6. drjim, what I am now looking for is the manual to it, I have scoured my sources for out of date manuals. Would you have an idea? Also the remote for it. It was part of a component system and had a daisy chained remote set up from the head unit remote and the manager of the store wouldn't part with that.

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  7. I have the Operating Manual for it. Couldn't find the Service Manual. Best bet on a remote is eBay. Drop me a line and I'll email you the operating manual.

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  8. No homemade crab apple jelly? I remember my father talking about it and how good it was.

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    Replies
    1. I've had locals tell me the only things they're good for, besides squirrel food, is jams and jellies. Our dog won't even sniff them, so I'd guess they're pretty tart!

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Keep it civil, please....

3~4" Of Snow Last Night

  And from garage door open, to snowblower parked was only about 25 minutes. That 24" Ariens just laughs at 4" of snow......