well, thats enough internet for today
I need this
Does this come in varying colours, because I want a rainbow of them.
Jim, i think we found the couch cushions for our future house :D Think your mum would mind??
Not a typo.
These guys are learning that analog is hard! Elegant, cheap, but hard!
Nuclear Icebreaker is my stripper name.
Russian Arktika-class nuclear powered Icebreaker Yamal
LET’S talk about the real Sassy queen of the whole net !
Nice station wagon!
I did that once, in snow, in a 1973 Ford LTD with the Darkside of the Moon album cover painted on the hood. It was perfect and impressive as fuck and I never need to do it again.
No back and forth bullshit when Han Yue made the Guinness World Record for the tightest parallel park, 8 cm (3.15") in a MINI 3-door Hatch, during the China Drift Championship.
Neat! Let's Kickstart a reproduction ENIAC from scratch!
About a decade ago I started a strange little journey in my free time that cut a path across electronics manufacturing from over the last century. One morning I decided to find out how the little glowing glass bottles we sometimes call electron tubes worked. Not knowing any better I simply picked up an old copy of the Thomas Register. For those of you generally under 40 that was our version of Google, and resembled a set of 10 yellow pages.
I started calling companies listed under “Electron Tube Manufacturers” until I got a voice on the other end. Most of the numbers would ring to the familiar “this number is no longer in service” message, but in one lucky case I found I was talking to a Mrs. Roni Elsbury, nee Ulmer of M.U. Inc. Her company is one of the only remaining firms still engaged in the production of traditional style vacuum tubes in the U.S. Ever since then I have enjoyed occasional journeys down to her facility to assist her in maintenance of the equipment, work on tooling, and help to solve little engineering challenges that keep this very artisanal process alive. It did not take too many of these trips to realize that this could be distilled down to some very basic tools and processes that could be reproduced in your average garage and that positive, all be it rudimentary results could be had with information widely available on the Internet.
Here is a typical construction process I utilize in my garage. I would like to point out that these processes include glass, thin metal, mica, and sharp tools that all represent cut hazards. Additionally extreme temperature in the form of hand torches, and R.F. induction bombardment are utilized. With all industrial processes extreme care must be taken in any endeavor. I would also like to point out that no mercury or other harmful materials are used in any of these processes. The primary materials are Glass, Nickel, Mica sheet, and tungsten wire. I.P.A and acetone are used as cleaners and a very small amount of barium is used in the getter.
Nearly all connections within a tube are of a welded variety, and spot welding is the quickest and most economical. I simply modified a cheap store-bought spot welder to accept small diameter welding rods and used a 10 amp Variac to control weld temperature. I connected a spring loaded board to use as a make shift jaw closer pedal.
Above on the right is a typical weld. I use Nickel as it has favorable properties for both vacuum use, and tube electronic characteristics. It also is easy to weld and does not oxidize readily under welding conditions in air, as long as the weld time is kept to a minimum. Also shown here is an exothermic evaporable getter ring. This contains a barium/aluminum alloy that evaporates by applying an induced R.F. heating field and adsorbs gas after the tube has been sealed to maintain a reasonable vacuum level.
To the left is what is called a Cage, with one half of the anode not yet attached. The entire structure is composed of Nickel sheet, wire, and mesh. .015 Clear mica, sheared to shape by a standard office scissor shear is punched by means of an arbor press, a block of wood, and a small steel pin. The anode is a sheet of .010″ Nickel formed around a small block of wood. The grid is made of soft temper nickel mesh that has been formed around a block, and welded to two nickel rods for support. Traditionally Molybdenum or nickel plated steel would be used for grid wires, but both materials are hard to work with and weld without special tools. To the right is the completed assembly with the second half of the anode welded to complete the cage.
Here the Cage has been welded to what is called the Stem and this is turn is called a Mount. The stem is the portion that contains the hermetic glass to metal lead seals and the exhausting tubeulation for connecting the tube to the vacuum system. This particular tube uses a commercially available Stem. They can be made by hand, however is is very difficult to get good results that hold up to use. This is the most demanding and critical part in the tube and there are many electronics glass manufacturers in the U.S. who can provide these parts to drawing, and those who wish to hand craft their own would do well to watch the YouTube videos of Ron Soyland who covers the topic. The tungsten filament is also threaded through the cage and spot welded to the stem leads at this point. This tube uses .0085 diameter 1.5% thoriated tungsten.
Here the fit of the Mount to the glass bulb is checked. The mica spacers should come in contact with the glass bulb to minimize vibration in the cage. The next step is to trim the excess bulb material and seal the bulb and mount together. This is done by placing these parts in a specially made lathe with two headstocks that turn in unison. Many shops would have made their own machines as I have done myself. However, in this picture I am using a commercially available Lathe.
In large-scale production, carousel style sealing machines were typical. Generally you would anneal the tube after sealing. Sometimes you can flame anneal the glass without the use of an oven, but this is something that can only come with practice and experience. A better solution is to use borosilicate glasses. These types have greater resistance to thermal shock and are much easier to work with. Unfortunately they are far more expensive as they are typically reserved for extreme use. Large transmitting tubes and vapor style lights typically contain these sorts of glasses to handle extreme temperature variation and not damage the hermetic metal lead in seals.
The tube is placed into the vacuum system. This image shows a typical compression port containing a compressible gland. A high vacuum pumping system contains a mechanical rotary vane pump backing either an oil vapor diffusion pump or a turbo molecular pump followed by a refrigerated trap, and then the manifold the tubes are connected to. This will also typically contain a Ionization gauge, pictured on the upper portion of the picture. The analog gauge indicates fore pressure on the diffusion pump. Typically diffusion pumps require a fore pressure of 100 Millitor or micron to begin pumping action. One micron equates to 1.32 X 10-6 atmospheres of pressure. The ultimate pressure of a well built single stage diffusion pump with no leaks and a refrigerated trap is well below 1 X 10-7 TORR.
In vacuum tube practice however this is difficult to reproduce and only attainable in very small batches with long bake out times and extreme care. In large volume production if the actual pressure in the tube at tip off (The melting of the exhaust tube and removal from the pump) occurs at a pressure in the 10-4 range it is considered a good vacuum. It is then the responsibility of the barium getter to attain the final operating vacuum level. Higher levels of vacuum require more pumps and better practices than can be covered here.
The skilled do it yourselfer need not fret. It is possible to have acceptable results for experimental tubes using only a dual stage mechanical rotary vane pump with a refrigerated trap. However, care must be taken that every attempt is made to outgas the tube with R.F. bombardment and baking out the tube in an oven placed over it while on the pump for about an hour at more than twice the expected operating temperature. Your final pressure at seal off should be kept to below 20 micron and a large volume of getter material should be used. Additionally the tube should be flooded with nitrogen or argon gas and heated prior to evacuation to reduce the average quantity of oxygen in the tube. Many of the very first amplifier tubes were of this type. The resultant tube will emit, but ionization current will occur as the anode voltage increases. Typically this sort of “Soft” tube has an upper voltage range of 60 to 90 volts. As soon as a vacuum system is on and the tube being pumped is known to be leak free, the filament is lighted and remains lighted through the remainder of the exhaust process. This keeps gas molecules liberated from other metal parts from condensing on the filament and adds additional heat to remove gas from other surfaces. Shown to the left of the tube is a coil for R.F. induction heating of the internal metal components of the tube while on the pump. This also serves as the heat source to flash the getter, producing the mirrored surface and maintain a proper vacuum pressure. Generally a receiving tube will operate in the 1X10-6 range after the getter has had a chance to sorption the remaining gas in a commercially produced tube.
You have to remember that in the early days of electronics many of these processes were developed by observation of empirical evidence. It was several years before a serious scientific study of thermionic emission was begun in earnest and many important discoveries in the production of these devices were made by individuals working with little more than basic tools. Some of these discoveries were made purely by accident. There is no particular reason one cannot simply pick up where the innovators of the teens and twenties left off before tubes became big business. Don’t forget, Menlo Park was nothing more than a ramshackle building, and [de Forest] labored in a dark corner of Federal Telegraph when he developed the Triode. The particular type of tube I build is defiantly crude. Its max plate current is only a few milliamps, it’s gassy, and its gain is pitiful, but it works. It’s a reminder that at one time somebody tried something, they were not really sure how to do it and they had no solid plan of how, but they succeeded. They found a way forward and eventually crafted an entirely new area of science an industry. I think I will go play around in my garage a bit more now.
There are a few videos and websites on the net that show in excellent detail some of the finer points of tube production.
Charles is production manager at Alex-Tronix and also in charge of new product development, but he gets bored easily so he moonlights at M.U. Incorporated fixing vacuum pumps and tube test gear. He is also an on call technician for the most downloaded podcast on earth and several recording studios because he hates free time… I mean he really hates it. If he were to ever actually have any free time he would most certainly consume it in one of his many hobbies like: more electronics projects, prospecting, or HAM radio.
This giant hole is the result of water flowing into a salt mine in Russia. When the soil started shifting in 2005, the government shut off power to the area to encourage residents to leave.
On Tuesday, the mines were evacuated due to shifting earth, and the hole opened up on Tuesday evening. Russian authorities are studying the scene and performing air quality tests to determine whether noxious gasses are being released.
I wonder if it comes with a LED petticoat?
I like it! Though I would have made it more beat up.
Barcroft Cars traveled to Clinton, Illinois to interview mechanic Rick Sullivan, who constructed a custom truck designed to look as though it had been flipped over while driving. The car, which boasts the license plate “FLIPOVR,” took six months and $6,000 to build.
People are amazed, it’s one of those things when you first see it, it’s hard to recognise what it is but when you take the second look then they want to pull me over and take a closer look at it
images via Barcroft Cars
Yes! Blanks to CNC a new bridge for Mer's StrohViol that uses a hard drive head bearing instead of the stock brass block pinched between two screws.
I do think I'll wear my remote air supply mask next time. While I never smelled the sickly sweet tang of zinc fumes I sure as hell saw the freak yellow-green zinc-fire coming off the pot of brass.
Two perfect little brass cubes!
Few trucks highlighted in our daily “Find of the Day” piece receive the same amount of commentary as vintage Dodge Power Wagons, which appear in our classifieds on a somewhat regular basis. Perhaps it’s the rugged good looks of the WM series, which carried on with World War II styling from 1945 until safety and emission regulations killed the truck for good in 1968. Now, thanks to Legacy Classic Trucks in Driggs, Idaho, the Power Wagon has been reborn for a new age, and is available in two-door, four-door or Carryall (SUV) variants.
To be clear, Legacy isn’t building new Power Wagons from the ground up, although given how much work goes into producing one of its trucks, it would be hard to tell the difference. Beginning with a clean Carryall WC-53 or pickup donor (which can be sourced by Legacy or provided by a customer), the firm performs a body-off-frame restoration and then begins reassembling the truck with modern mechanicals and interior appointments, many of which can be chosen by prospective buyers during the ordering process.
Power comes from the customer’s choice of a 6.2-liter, 430-horsepower Chevrolet LS3 V-8 (to which purists would cry “blasphemy”) or a 3.9-liter inline
six four-cylinder Cummins turbo diesel, which delivers 480 pound-feet of torque yet reportedly returns 24 MPG highway fuel economy. Buyers get a choice of either a five-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic, and heavy-duty cooling comes standard on all builds. The suspension is upgraded for longer travel and fitted with Bilstein shocks. A Dynatrac ProRock 80 rear axle is fitted, while the front gets a Dana 60; both differentials lock for optimized traction in sand, mud or snow. Four-wheel disc brakes replace the original drums, and a variety of wheel and tire packages permit owners to choose the ultimate on- or off-road setup.
Inside, the Legacy Power Wagon bears little resemblance to its utilitarian donor truck. Front seat passengers get swiveling leather captain’s chairs, while rear-seat passengers (on four-door or Carryall models) enjoy a substantially upgraded leather bench seat. All passengers get modern three-point seatbelts for safety, and air-conditioning is a standard feature. Custom audio packages allow buyers to add features like satellite radio and Bluetooth phone integration, but don’t think that the redesigned truck has gone soft; rocker switches are sealed, marine-grade units, and even the wiring harness is purposely designed to be weatherproof.
As one would expect from a completely customized vehicle, upgrades are limited primarily by the buyer’s imagination and budget. For additional ground clearance, portal axles can be ordered, and a supercharger is available for added power on gasoline-fueled engines. A roll cage can be fitted for additional occupant protection, and a rear winch can be specified to supplement the 16,500-pound Warn winch that’s affixed to the front bumper. Powered side steps allow for easier entry and exit, but retract to provide maximum ground clearance and additional protection for the running boards. For those with a real sense of adventure, even long-range fuel tanks can be configured.
Like the Toyota FJ40 Land Cruisers repurposed by custom builder Icon, the Legacy Power Wagons don’t come cheap. According to the company representative we spoke to at SEMA, base prices start in the neighborhood of $170,000 for a turnkey truck with very few options (less, presumably, for buyers who supply suitable Power Wagon donor vehicles). The relatively rare Power Wagon Carryall seen here carries an as-equipped sticker price of $189,950, and we suppose it wouldn’t be difficult to top the $200,000 barrier by checking more option boxes during the build process; check all of them, and the price will approach a quarter-million dollars. While that may seem like quite a bit of money to spend on a Dodge Power Wagon, the end result is effectively a hand-built, low-production vehicle that delivers a unique blend of classic looks and modern functionality. In these days of $38 million Ferraris and $3.5 million Hemi ‘Cudas, there’s surely a market for $200,000 Power Wagons.
For additional information, visit LegacyPowerWagon.com.
Ohana means Magneto was right.
Thor has his Hammer, I have my Rammer.
3D printed pattern + Old hard drive chassis + propane = New sand mold rammer!
I love Waze, it's found a way through traffic on my commute home that I thought was impossible. Since Waze also watches your speed along your route these folks tactic wont work unless the crawl down the street, or maybe carry their phone while they walk the dog.
I had my first appointment with a new eye doctor recently. The day before the appointment, I realized I would have to figure out my answer to the seemingly simple question:
"So, what do you do for a living?"
Sometimes this is really easy for me to answer. If I’m somewhere where I’m specifically intending to talk about my work, or if I’m at my local maker space, you’ll hear something along the lines of: “Oh! I prototype hilarious sex toys, and I’m launching a sex-positive nonprofit.” Depending on how you respond, I can talk more about what I do or steer the conversation elsewhere. No problem.
When I’m out in the Real World, away from my sex-positive bubble, it feels much more difficult. When I started thinking about my eye appointment, I realized that I’ve been following a very specific pattern when meeting random adults:
Huh, I thought. I considered the random, older guys I’ve tended to meet. It turns out that these men usually have some kind of expertise that I lack — I’m coming to them because they’re a medical specialist, or I need my knives sharpened, or I’m overdue for an eye exam.
So, let’s see: If I’m confronted with an older man in a position of authority, my automatic response is to hide what I do.
As soon as I’d put those pieces together, the light bulb went on. Could this behavior possibly be connected to the fact that I was raised as a girl in a conservative, religious, sex-negative environment where wives submit to their husbands; children submit to their parents, with their father as the head of the household; congregations submit to their male pastors, and everyone submits to a triune God (in which the majority of Divine Persons are referred to as “He”)?
Sigh. Sometimes it feels like no matter how much progress I think I’ve made, my past keeps finding new and clever ways to haunt me.
I know that I don’t have to tell everyone I meet the truth about what I do, but I want to live in a world where I can. I want to be able to tell random, older guys in a position of authority what I do. (For one thing, creating the kind of social change that I want to see is going to take a whole lot longer if I can’t talk to older men in positions of authority.)
I decided to start with my new eye doctor.
"So, what do you do?" he asked, conversationally, as I sat in the exam chair.
"I’m starting a nonprofit," was my neutral reply.
"To improve sexual health and well-being."
I can’t remember his exact words, but it was something equivalent to, “Oh, that’s nice.” I think later he asked how things were going, and I said I was making forward progress, it just felt slow.
Of course, I didn’t expect this conversation to be a big deal — certainly not from his perspective! This is just the small-talk game that professionals play with their clients.
For me, it was a big deal. I found some language that I was comfortable using. And if I could tell this one older guy at least a little about what I do, maybe I can also tell the next one.
We do not cone shame in this household. We are cone-positive, it is a cone of healing.
1955 VW 23-window Samba Microbus Deluxe. Photos courtesy Auctionata.
Volkswagen’s Type 2 microbus enjoys a worldwide following, and among the most revered models is the 23-window Samba bus. In June of 2011, a 1963 23-window Samba sold at auction for a record-setting hammer price of $198,000 ($217,800, including buyer’s fees), but now a German auction firm believes it will shatter this benchmark with a 1955 Volkswagen 23-window Samba Microbus Deluxe, set to cross the stage in Berlin on November 28.
The Samba to be offered was built in February of 1955 and sold new through Autohaus Retter in Innsbruck, Austria. As a Deluxe model, it came equipped with chrome hubcaps, a polished VW emblem, two-tone paint (split by chrome trim) and an upgraded interior. In addition to its plentiful side and roof windows, the bus featured a folding cloth sunroof, which further improved ventilation for its nine passengers. As the most luxurious offering from Volkswagen in period, the Samba Microbus Deluxe was even used by European airlines to shuttle passengers to and from the airport, at a time when flying was generally reserved for the most affluent travelers.
The “barndoor” nickname comes from the oversize engine hatch door.
The Sealing Wax Red and Chestnut Brown bus remained in Austria until 1990, when it was sold to a new owner in England who opted for a repaint in the original colors. Aside from this bit of upkeep, Auctionata describes the Samba as “mostly original,” including the lighting, glass, reflectors, wheel trim and even the wraparound Plexiglas rear windows.
Over the course of its 59-year life Since the restorative work was performed in the UK, the Samba has reportedly accumulated just 10,305 kilometers (just over 6,400 miles), and is being sold with complete documentation dating to the original owner. There’s also a certificate of authenticity from the Volkswagen Foundation Auto Museum, and the auction firm is claiming that this is one of 11 “Barndoor” Sambas (named for the oversize engine compartment door) remaining from the 1955 model year.
That population claim may be difficult to prove or disprove, but there’s no doubt that 23-window Samba buses are both rare and desirable. Since the record-setting Samba sold in 2011, prices for pristine examples in the United States have dropped, but remain firmly in the six-figure range. In January of 2012, a 1963 23-window Samba, complete with a 1971 Eriba Puck camper, sold for $128,000 in Scottsdale, and in April of 2013, another 1963 example sold for $126,500 in Palm Beach. Last August, a slightly less desirable 21-window microbus from 1966 sold for $110,000 in Monterey, so it appears the market for these Type 2 buses has leveled off in the United States.
That may not be the case in Europe, and the example to be offered at the end of the month in Berlin appears to offer a unique combination of low mileage, extensive documentation and a large percentage of original parts. Auctionata’s opening bid will be €120,000 ($149,725), and its published pre-auction estimate has the bus selling for a record-setting €240,000 ($299,450). Should the bus reach this figure, it may well spark an increase in Type 2 pricing on these shores, too, and it will certainly increase the number of VW buses crossing the stage in Scottsdale next January.
The Auctionata Classic Cars sale takes place in Berlin, Germany, on Friday, November 28. For additional information, visit Auctionata.com.
Phfft! I saw that on the Jetsons decades ago.
The PianoArc is an electronic keyboard created by Roland that is made up of 294 keys, which are formed into a perfect circle, completely surrounding the keyboardist. The circular keyboard, which combines three 88-key keyboards and a 30-key control section, was developed for Roland by Lady Gaga keyboard player Brockett Parsons.
image via PianoArc
As the inventor of the pennyfakething, and the owner of pennyfakething.com, I hereby declare this the gnarliest pennyfakething ever built.
The concert scene from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension (1984).
Musician Billy Vera can be seen at left (in character as Pinky Carruthers). Peter Weller actually played the guitar solo and piccolo trumpet himself, and said he patterned his character after Jacques Cousteau, Chuck Yeager and the similarly-cheekboned Adam Ant…
Why and I at fucking work when I could be in the shop playing with molten metal?
3D printed pattern for mold rammer.
Sweet! Will have to try this at work for when I blunder on Snowden posts.
It allows you to erase your browser history/cookies for 5 minutes, 2 hours, or 1 day, in case you want your browser to be able to unsee wherever it is that you've blundered into. Read the rest
Yay! Finally getting to play with fire again!
Conditioning my new crucible.
Poor doggie was sooooo stoned from the anesthesia!
Tiberius gashed his leg running in the woods. The vet sewed him up. Apparently The Cone has been replaced by The Donut.
This season's best new police procedural: Padfoot and Prongs!