Tuesday, October 31, 2023

BOOOO!

 The Little Ones will be over tonight to raid the neighborhood of candy, while I'll have Door Duty to hand out the treats to the various raiding parties who'll show up. Not sure what we're going to do with Pebbles, as she'll want to meet-and-greet all the visitors who come by.

My costume? I'm going as a battleship......



Sunday, October 29, 2023

Active Weekend

 Been running around trying to be myself again, and actually got a bunch of stuff done. A good chunk was paperwork in the design-and-chase-parts-for category for the electrical subsystem in the Supra. I need to replace the crusty, brittle, 40 year-old, barely-big-enough battery cables for newer, better ones. I found a place that makes beautiful custom battery and other power cables for a reasonable price, and since they're custom cables, you can have them made with other leads coming out on either end. This opens up an area that needs improvement on the car, and will allow me to integrate the function of the disintegrated and unobtainium "TB1" terminal block into a more functional "Terminal Block Assembly", and bring all the power wiring up to current standards. It will also allow me to easily upgrade the cable from the output of the new high-current capable alternator to the car's existing wiring harness, and allow me to easily add the two new relays for the electric fans (the fans, shrouding, and new aluminum radiator arrived last week), and the two new relays to properly power my 125 Watt high beams.

There are three distinct wiring harnesses under the hood;

1) The main 12VDC Harness for charging, starting, and lighting distribution

2) The Fuel Injection/Sensor Harness that runs to the Engine Control Unit on the passenger side of the firewall

3) The Fusebox/Main Distribution Harness, or "Everything Else".

This is the existing mess at the positive battery post, where the #1 harness begins:

Toyota just used a stud and ring lug to attach the fusible links to the Battery positive post. Pretty crude, and prone to flexing and corrosion. "TB1" is dead center in the picture. It's toast. I don't trust those lengths of fusible link wire, either. Looks like a whole buncha bad connections to me. Checking my sources, calling around, and cashing in a few favors, has found ZERO of these in Japan, Down Under, or on The Continent. Decent to Very Good used ones are out there, but people are loathe to hack one off an otherwise perfectly good, and therefore irreplaceable and valuable, wiring harness. I don't blame them. This car is never going to Pebble Beach, so if I have to replace it, upgrade it! It'll give me better reliability, improved access, expandabilty, and a neater engine bay. Sounds like a win-win to me.

This is the Fuel Injection and Sensor Harness:

ALL of the plastic connector housings that plug on to the individual fuel injectors are broken. They've been in a very hostile environment for 39 years, and have given up the ghost. They crumble very easily and need to be replaced. Parts are readily available, and come in pig-tail form, or loose parts. All the non-adhesive vinyl wrapping tape is hard and brittle, so I'm going to get that off, inspect and clean the individual wires, and re-wrap it with new, better quality tape.

Here's a closer look:

And this is the Everything Else harness:

All these connectors will get cleaned with DeoxIT, and then given a shot of silicone grease before re-mating them. This vinyl wrap will also get replaced, and the wires wiped down before being re-wrapped.

Tedious work, but the engine bay will sparkle when it's done!



Wednesday, October 25, 2023

All Current and Pending Medical Procedures Completed and Checked Off.......

 WHEW! 

 


Been a hectic six months here, starting with "The Case of the Fractured Femur", which brought this issue to the front-burner. A first procedure to determine the state of the internal plumbing cleared me of any abnormalities or carcinoma. The next step was a "Urodynamics" test of nerve and muscle function, all of which were verified as being in good working order. I always thought of that test as the name of a French or British Aerospace company, as in "EuroDynamics", or maybe "EuroDynamix" if it were a media company.

After these tests and the procedure were performed, and the results carefully analyzed, a decision was made to do The Procedure I'd heard about from a few of you. Despite it's nickname of "RotoRooter", which conjures up grisly, Medieval images best left unthought of, it was pretty much a non-event. Other than going through General Anesthesia, which leaves me a bit loopy for 36 hrs, I had essentially ZERO issues. No "pain", and low levels of "discomfort" so far, which surprised me. Not only did I not need the knockout drops I was prescribed, I also didn't need the 1,000mg of Acetaminophen twice a day. The only side effects I see are from the specific medications for this procedure. One of them turns the urine a really psychedelic orange, right straight out of a Peter Max poster from the 60's. The other med "just works".

It almost feels anticlimactic, I guess. After six months, I was getting a bit too used to the "Disturbance in the Force" (Stockholm Syndrome? Thousand-yard Stare?), and being back to normal feels strange.

I'm glad I finished the 20 Meter Vertical Antenna installation before I had the procedure, as I'm on a Light Duty Restriction for the next several weeks. It would have been a real drag if I couldn't have listened to the radio, especially since the band conditions have been really good the last few days. The 10 Meter (28MHz) Band has been usable for an hour after sunset, which hasn't happened in several years. Conditions within the CONUS have been very good, with most signals (and there's a bunch!) are of moderately strong ("5x7") to very strong ("You're twenty over here!"), making some stations sound like they're only a few miles away. The loudest signal I've heard here has been from a local ham the next street over. Google Maps indicates our antennas are only about 500' feet apart. If one of us hears the other on a given band, one station will change bands. BTW, he was +55dB over S9 on the big Yaesu. Haven't heard too much from Europe, but plenty of stations in South America. The lowest frequency band I use is the 40 Meter (7MHz) Band. I've heard ZS6CCY in South Africa numerous times on this band since we moved here. I used to hear Australia and New Zealand ("Vee Kay / Zed El in ham speak) on a regular basis back in SoCal, but they're weaker here. One of these days I'll look at the Great Circle Route between my previous and current stations. Might be interesting. This version of the antenna is noticeably quieter on the 7MHz band, where I went from an "S3" background noise level to "S0", which is pretty quiet. Considering it was "S7" in SoCal, this is a huge improvement. If/When we get the structure built over the concrete patio, I'll put my Big Gun version of this antenna up, my 33' Shakespeare Model 2011.

Winter is on the way! We're expecting our first snow of the season this coming weekend, all day Saturday and Saturday night. There's no talk of accumulation, but the low temps are forecast to be in the mid to low teens. I'm sure SLW will want her snows put on soon, even though some call this start a "False Winter", and we'll have some more nice, sunny, 70* days before Winter clamps down.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Little Ones Are Over.....

 

Well, one of them is. TLG has school tomorrow and can't stay, but his little brother, TNLG, can. 

He's napping right now, so I get a breather.

The antenna project is 95% finished, and it works quite well. It seems quieter, possibly due to the two 1Megohm, 5Watt, Carbon Composition resistors I added from the center conductor of the coax to ground. This bleeds off the static charge on the antenna, which is caused by wind, rain, and/or snow getting blown past the antenna. Some people use an inductor (250 mH is popular)to do that, as it has a much lower DC resistance, so the charge current flows through the inductor relatively unimpeded. It's an old trick, but sometimes The Old Ways work just fine.

And the healing is continuing. Very little to no "pain", more like a slight discomfort, and the meds the Doctor prescribed work very well.

Uh-Oh......I hear a little voice calling.....

Hope y'all have a pleasant  day, and a Blessed Sunday.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Some Fall Color!

 

And as usual, the camera just can't capture how vibrant it looks it the sun. It looks like the squirrels have stripped it of seeds!

The apple tree in the back yard has a bumper crop of little apples, but hasn't turned color yet. The squirrels and birds likewise enjoy the apples, and have been visiting the tree regularly.

And I'm wondering if we're going to have a severe Winter. The squirrels and rabbits seem to be grazing 24/7, and even Miss Swan has started her own midden.

 
 
As far as the TURP procedure goes, it went smoothly, no surprises, and nothing unusual was found. All the biopsies came back "Negative". I'm advised to drink LOTS of water for the next few days to help keep things flushed out. I'm only in minor discomfort, and my urine looks like Hawaiian Punch. Next week I'll get the catheter removed in the morning, and then go back in the afternoon for a "voiding" test. Hopefully everything works normally, and I can put this all behind me.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

20 Meter Vertical Back In Service

 Finished up a few things, and ran the coax from the surge suppressor to my entrance box.

Didn't take any pix because I just wanted to "Get 'Er Done".

It seems to receive a bit quieter, but it's been down for quite a while now, so I really don't have anything to do an "A-B" comparison with.

I'll sweep it with my antenna analyzer later, but my in-line Vector Wattmeter indicates the SWR never gets above 1.33:1 over the entire 20- Meter band.

Gonna have a bite to eat, and hit the rack early so we can get to the hospital by 0530.

Monday, October 16, 2023

OOOPS!

 Wrote the wrong day on the calendar.

The procedure is on Wednesday.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

"Roto-Rooter" Procedure Tomorrow

 Every one I've talked to said that aside from some discomfort and work restrictions for a few weeks, it's an easy-peasy operation. It has some possibility of causing other problems, but the success rate is something like 90%, complications are rare, and I have high confidence in the team that will do the procedure.

I check in at 0530, surgery is scheduled for 0700, and I'll be staying the night "Just In Case".

I feel strangely apprehensive about this, but I have no idea why.

See you all in a couple of days.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Busy Week!

 Been cleaning and organizing SLW's "side" of the garage, and doing the usual "winterizing" tasks, as we'll have overnight lows in the 20's, so time to roll up the hoses, collect the sprinklers, and put the hats on the outside water spigots. And cut some more wood now that the garage has been gone through, cleaned, sorted, kept/tossed, and boxed up in labeled boxes.

Oh, those speaker kits that were delivered the week I broke my hip seven months ago?

The enclosures are finally ready for coating and final assembly:

I should have had my fan running to blow the dust outside, but......I didn't, and a haze of MDF dust was everywhere:

All over my nice, clean garage, too! Yes, I had a dust mask on, but still shoulda used the fan...

Anywhoo...they're downstairs on the Operating Table so I can install the crossovers, input terminals, glue-and-screw the one side on, and coat them.

The lengths of wire are used to connect everything together inside the enclosure, and the threaded inserts are for the mounting feet.

And since my "Roto-Rooter" procedure is coming up a week from today (had the pre-op this afternoon....), I've rounded up a bunch of little "Bench Projects" to keep me busy while I recuperate. I'll be under a 35 pound weight limit, NO lifting, toting, bending low, squatting and/or working on the floor for four weeks. Glad I have a ton of "little stuff" to keep me busy, or I'd go bonkers in four weeks.....





Monday, October 2, 2023

I Survived!

 Oh, yeah!

 

Hit by "Hurricane TLG", followed by "Tropical Storm TNLG", and they were both in the same area for a time on both Saturday and Sunday. Got us coming and going!

I'm OK, but the playroom and den took a beating.


 

TNLG is a lot like his older brother in that he copies a lot of things his brother does, and has most likely taught him. He was having an absolute blast with the motion and sound activated Halloween decorations his Big Brother, SLW, and I put up on Saturday. And they both run around in circles in the den, and spinning the "Rotary Ottoman" we have.

Besides the chair rotating and rocking, the foot stool also rotates freely, and can be brought up to an almost scary RPM by a determined 6 year old!

Nobody's been flung off it yet, but they're still little.....

 I marvel at their energy and stamina....

Had some brief showers which gave us .1" of rain. Not much, but we'll take it! Northeastern Weld County got clobbered, along with Fort Morgan. They always seem to get hit a lot harder than we do, being out on the wide open Plains, while we're in the foothills. Quite a big difference! WSF told me there are something like 17 micro climates running North up the I-25 from Denver to the Wyoming border, and I believe it! We never had weather like this in SoCal, and it's helped me learn some of the correct terms for things.

And I'm taking advantage of the nice weather by getting the garage all squared away so SLW can park her car inside. Since the bed on the truck is approaching 80% of capacity, I'm going through ALL the boxes of "Misc Stuff", and either giving it away (Fairly new 12V battery, lots of 10ga stranded wire...), or taking it to the dump.

And I finally managed to get the two sections of the intake manifold separated!

Some of the bolts are hard to get at, and can be easily confused with some bolts holding a hard-line vacuum line manifold, so I wound up taking all the bolts out, only to find I missed two! ARRRRGH! I'll get the entire assembly off the engine as soon as I can figure out a way to remove the electrical connector on the Cold Start Injector, which acts like a "choke" by enriching the cold-start mixture.

Yeah, lousy picture. The "Banjo Bolt" just to the left of center is the fuel line, and the red tagged wiring harness that's nicely out-of-focus is the connector, which has to have a spring wire released so the locking tabs unlock, and you can unmate the connector pair.


Extreme Bokeh?

Now I can de-crud it in the garage, and then take it downstairs to inspect, clean, measure, and adjust it per the Toyota Service Manuals and EFI Service Manuals.



Still Here, Just Busy, Busy, Busy......

 Doing mostly home owner stuff. Cabinet hinges, hanging things for SLW, and trying to knock out a bunch of "little things", like m...