February 06, 2012

Design by Cthulhu

An unnaturally uniformly straight series of yellow outlines lay across the width of the computer monitor looking like the handiwork of a prolific serial killer with obsessive compulsive disorder. Outlines marking not the location of the dead but the future site of a bank of relays. Each socket identical, shoulder to shoulder at an interval of 0.200 inches or 200 mils in the X axis. Each one exactly 6 inches North of the Holy Origin in the far lower left corner of a printed circuit board yet to be. The relays will be born by robot midwives into this rectangular two dimensional world. A world made by robots from fiberglass and copper protected by the familiar green solder mask ubiquitous to electronics everywhere. A virtual world created in software that will become real when I email the CAD files to the fabricator with a credit card number.

Each of the relay contacts fits into a 50 mil diameter hole. The steadfast primary color blue is assigned for the virtual display of holes.  The holes are surrounded with perfectly centered copper disks known as pads on the top and bottom surfaces. Green for top copper and red for bottom. The pads have a good Christian diameter of 100 mils and every contact lies on X-Y coordinates that are wholesome faithful numbers ending with at least two zeros.

When a relay is released from duty an invisible predatory terror of magnetic energy stored in the relay coil goes hunting for a fragile semiconductor to destroy. A rank of diodes stands guard 500 mils North of the relays waiting to confront this terror. Each one squarely centered on his assigned relay. A straight and true uniform series North-South lines of top copper 10 mils wide in green marry the diodes to the relays.

With a keystroke the virtual world view is transmuted as with x-ray vision to make the bottom appear to be on top. A thick red conductor precisely centered on designated relay contact hole centers and 75 mils wide stretches left and right the entire width of the monitor carrying power to each of the relay armatures. It is the law of this land that top copper conductors travel North and South while bottom copper roads lead East and West.

It is Monday morning and I am hiding amongst straight laced, roundly numbered, pious, familiar friends in a finished section of the board. Not yet ready to face the unfinished anarchy nearby. At these coordinates with substantial zoom the chaotic lines are safely masked from view, their demonic chants unheard.

Over there, beyond this narrow view, is a feral gang of digital signals that burrow into the board with 13 mil holes. An odd number. A prime number mandated by the fabricators smallest drill. A malignant unlucky number that when blessed with a virtuous 30 mil pad the hole defiles the pad. A melding of the two creates a demon spawn offspring 8.5 mil asymmetrical copper ring. There is no amount of zoom that permits the software to display the exact center of these evil pits of oddness. I am certain the fabrication company is a co-conspirator in a vast sinister plot.

These digital parasites attack the vulnerable marrow of the board. They spread their diseases on the internal layers formed by sandwiched laminates of copper and fiberglass below the surface. The deep tumors grow on 45 degree angles in a feeble attempt to appear benign. They sneak underneath unsuspecting analog circuits on the surface injecting ghostly voltage echos of tortured hexadecimal screams. The software renders these internal copper layers with colors unseeable by eyes of the male gender. Foreign colors lurking in the slums of the color wheel, indigo, mauve.

Like an old neighborhood in the process of going bad the 45 degree angles look fine at first glance. On high zoom the ragged pixelated edges of the copper traces can be seen. The spacing between the traces looks uniform but the numbers are the bastard offspring of the square root of two, 14.14 mils and his retarded nephew 7.07

The last vestiges of civilization are swept away at the edge of the world. The mauves and indigos burst out onto the surface like tentacles of a monster from the fourth dimension. The perpendicular order of the reds and greens is disrupted and all traces on all layers are twisted into irrational angles. Angles the software can not display. Angles that would drive you insane if you saw them. The final destination is a portal to another world, a portal guarded by an alien metric connector, with 39.37008 mil holes at an interval of 157.08431

That way madness lies.

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February 18, 2011


Got one of these for Christmas and flew it till the gears were gone.

Ordered new gears and other parts to make some improvements.  The first mod is weight reduction, 15 grams removed.

The second mod is to increase speed.  Added a second tail rotor.

The factory tail rotor drive circuit will deliver 1 watt to a single tail motor but won't do well with two motors in parallel or series.  Added a circuit with better transistors that can send 1.5 watts to the second motor.

To fix the center of gravity a simple mod to move the battery is shown here.

The additional speed is mandatory for outdoor flying.  With a single 1 watt tail rotor even a 1 MPH breeze was too much.  With 2.5 watts of total drive it can now be flown on a 3 MPH day if you can handle the turbulence.

All that awesome speed comes with the ability to crash in new dramatic ways.  Have only flown outside once where there is room to make a sustained run at max speed and combine it with turns.  Discovered that it is now possible to make maneuvers that result in bad noises, either the stabilizer hitting the top rotor, or the rotors hitting each other, or the bottom rotor hitting something.  It is also possible to maneuver the heli into a sideways attitude which requires a great deal of altitude to recover from. 

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August 20, 2010

They said what?!?

Confession, I listen to NPR.

If the enemy is going to coordinate their attacks on an unencrypted radio broadcast then some of us have an obligation to monitor the frequency. That and during my four minute drive to work in the morning they almost always say something hilariously stoopid.

The Wednesday morning episode of “All Liberal Things Considered” spent some time on environmental issues and nicely encapsulated the pseudo thinking of people like Alister Doyle.

So they are talking about “green” geothermal energy and how it's greener than wind and solar yadda yadda yadda, BUT, there are some “unexpected” drawbacks, such as man made earth quakes. Then some lefty professor from some lefty university explains that there is no such thing as green energy. No matter how the energy is captured it causes harm to the environment. The energy itself harms the environment, the way we use the energy harms the environment.

We often accuse them of being luddites who would take us back to a primitive hunter-gatherer existence. The truth is, that if they had the power, they would take us back much farther, to a time before fire.

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August 12, 2010

Camera to telescope interface basics

Was having a little trouble describing this with text only emails so here is a page with lots of pictures.

Most telescope eyepieces have a 1.25 inch diameter section that fits in a common focuser.

Larger telescopes have a 2 inch focuser allowing for the use of larger wide field of view optics.

So how do I take a picture of that stuff seen in the eyepiece?

Not like that. Without getting all technical just know that the image ain't too hot after it goes thru the eyepiece optics and then the camera lens too.

On the telescope side the eyepiece is replaced by an adapter like these.

They have a 42mm male thread with 0.75mm pitch. This is a widely used standard interface called a "T ring".

On the camera side a different adapter is requred to replace the camera lens. It has 42mm female threads.

Remove the camera lens.

Attach the camera T ring adapter to the camera body.

Screw the eyepiece adapter on to the camera adapter.

Now you can attach the camera directly to the focuser. The field of view with this basic "prime focus" method is equal to the arctangent of the film (or CCD) width divided by the focal length of the telescope.

Here is a filter wheel which like many things has a T ring interface.

Inserting it in front of the camera is as easy as one...



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November 24, 2009

Crazy like Andrew Sullivan

Just as with the impossibility of Bristol giving birth the Trig we have Doyle claiming that "global warming is happening faster than expected". 


Temperatures are falling, CRU head Phil Jones is looking at serious criminal charges, and Alister Doyle is convinced that the ocean is about to rise two meters.

What is it they teach in journalism school that allows their graduates to transcend the corporeal world and perceive a truth that us mere mortals refuse to acknowledge with our backwards physical sciences?

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November 20, 2009

Fork - Done

I think this is the first proof of intentional fraud.  Up to now there has been plenty of evidence in the form of manipulated data, but the AGW hucksters have been able to claim they were honest mistakes or equipment malfunctions. 

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October 16, 2009

Alister Doyle goes full retard


First there is this "smoke" from a "chemical plant"

Looks like steam to me, and with all the problems Reuters has had with fauxtography it probably isn't even a chemical plant.

Doyle then confuses the very old and unpopular "global warming" cliche with the more recently discredited meme of "climate change"

"A U.N. climate panel report in 2007 said that cuts would have to total 25-40 percent to avert the worst of climate change such as more wildfires, sandstorms, extinctions, rising ocean levels and more powerful cyclones."

Once you start an article like that you might as well close with the big lie:

"President George W. Bush formally dropped Kyoto..."

Always nice to see the many layers of fact checking at Reuters in action.

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September 19, 2009

Anthropogenic Climate Change is Dead

and the harbingers of nonexistent doom have been utterly discredited (again)


Meanwhile Doyle speculates on which of the people most responsible for this grand fraud will get a Nobel Peace Prize:


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January 27, 2009

2009 Blog Update

The problem with this blog is that Alister Doyle doesn't seem to change much.

Clicky here for BS

I suppose it will be fun to watch him continue with the anthropomorphic global warming meme long after it has been totally discredited.

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March 07, 2008

Severe Global Warming Event in Texas, March 2008

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March 05, 2008

The legacy media, intolerant of dissent

Just a reminder that the Alister Doyle blog at Reuters is not accepting comments if they fail to comply with the left wing Reuters global warming group-think.


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March 03, 2008

The legacy media, slow to change

With temperatures falling and the religion of global warming becoming more discredited with each passing week, Reuters Environment Correspondent Alister Doyle is still on autopilot:


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February 29, 2008


Recently expanded my reloading capabilities to include 500S&W and 380ACP. The massive 50 caliber cartridge being the largest thing I have ever reloaded and the cute little 380 is now the smallest.

Here is where the disclaimer is supposed to go about not using this information to blow up your toys and hurt yourself. Seems to me that if you are reading this and have the means to round up the tools and supplies then there is nothing to stop you for using a search engine to find actual reloading data. This is about the joy of shooting, as a form of in your face, anti-environmentalism and how to do it cheaper thus creating as much lead pollution as possible.

Some folks reload for accuracy, or just for the fun of it. For the 50 caliber you can’t ignore the economic incentive. Compare the Hornady XTP cartridge that costs $2.60 EACH to a reloaded cartridge with the same Hornady XTP bullet. Primer + powder + bullet adds up to “only” 77 cents each. Obviously it could be much less with a plain cast bullet.

Reloading the 380 is a less obvious choice. A box of Remmington’s around here cost 36 cents each. My cost for this first reloading session added up to 11 cents each. If pulling the handle on a reloading press doesn’t sound like a fun evening and you are trying to add your labor cost to the total, then reloading the 380 might not be your bag.

The difference between the two calibers really stands out when it is time to measure out the powder. The 380 uses only 3.0 grains of Bullseye but those long fat 50 caliber shells each got 40 grains of 2400. (15.4 grains = 1 gram) So a single 500S&W cartridge contains more powder than two full Kel-Tec magazines. It is also twice the powder charge and double the bullet weight of my favorite 44 magnum recipie. Bwuhahahaha!!!!!

Perceived recoil with this 380 load is slightly less than with Remmington factory ammo. The semi-auto functions, the brass lands in about the same place, lead goes downrange. What more could anyone want? The recoil generated by this 50 caliber load was significantly less than factory ammo with the same bullet. This was in line with expectations and was the desired result. I love big artillery but not so much when it still hurts a week later.

Will update with accuracy test results later….

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February 09, 2008

Kirkwood, Missouri

Yes, home sick today.  Laundry and dishes are done, slept most of the day.  Blogging as a last resort you might say.

No, this is not a defense of the actions of "Cookie" Thornton.  My prayers are with his victims and their families.

Maybe, he was insane, or maybe not.  Have a look at the Kirkwood
City Ordinances.  No doubt about it, if he lived in a zoned residential area he was not permitted to drive or park his business vehicles in the neighborhood.

Am I spoiled for the freedom of living in rural Texas?  The Kirkwood city ordinances make the place sound like a micro managed over regulated hell hole full of little Eichmanns.  At any rate, the solution to the problem is NOT to go shoot up the city council chambers.  The solution is to go live someplace with more of a free commerce orientation.

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February 08, 2008

Everything old is new again

Not exactly, this IBD editorial is not a 70's style ice age prediction due to man made pollution:

Not every scientist is part of Al Gore's mythical "consensus." Scientists worried about a new ice age seek funding to better observe something bigger than your SUV — the sun.

If Alister Doyle and the other man made global warming nuts are paying attention they might take this opportunity to make the scheduled switch back to global cooling.  At the turn of the century (the one 108 years ago) it was impending ice age, by the early 20th century there were dire predictions of global warming.  For most of the 2nd half of the 20th century it was back to impending ice age.  The most recent global warming hysteria has lasted nearly a quarter century already.

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Monsoon collapse imminent, women and minorities hardest hit

It has been a while since I bothered to read the retarded nonsense Doyle writes so the idea that the collapse of a monsoon is a "damaging" environmental catastrophe is a new manifestation of the usual insanity

The rest of it is just the same old tired discredited clichés.  Human use of fossil fuel, global warming, the evil logging industry, and the yet the be seen 2mm per year sea level rise, yadda yadda yadda...

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February 05, 2008

Duplicate rants

Had a couple of incredibly bad customer service experiences in the last few days. Instead of typing up a big long boring blog post, how about if I just direct you to rants which have already been written:



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January 08, 2008


A stopped clock is right twice a day. How many years can he continue to be so very very wrong?

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December 28, 2007

Stuck on Stupid

If you were curious, Alister Doyle is still out there spewing his nonsense

Still waiting for these Goracle worshipers to seamlessly switch back from man made global warming to man made impending ice age.

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December 27, 2007

Ameritron AL-572 progress report

After four months of use it is time for an update

First of all, I don't agree with Ameritron shipping this amplifer out with the power supply generating a plate voltage of 3000 volts.  The data sheet for the tubes clearly calls for a lower voltage.  IMHO the excessive plate voltage is the primary reason this model has such a bad reputation for blowing up tubes. 

The internal jumpers on mine have been changed so that the plate voltage is about 2400 volts.  With the lower plate voltage, this unit can still produce 900 watts continuous on the lower bands, 700 watts on 10 and 15 meters, and generally manages over 1000 watts peak on single sideband.

On the plus side, the amplifier does exactly what is expected of a kilowatt  class amplifier.  Reaching out past 500 miles on 80 and 160 meters with marginal band conditions is not a problem.  The amplifier also continues to function at a lesser power level with one or two tubes inoperative (more later) plus it helps keep the radio room warm on cold winter nights.

Last week the notorious MFJ lack of quality control finally struck.  Turned on the amp one evening and noticed that it was only doing about 600 watts and two of the four tubes were dark.  The cold solder joint was found and fixed easily but how many more have I not found yet?

Overall, I give it one thumb mostly up with qualifications.  It does near legal limit power for SSB, it doesn't draw too much current from an ordinary 120VAC outlet, and it can continue to operate with 1 or 2 tubes out, if you are willing to deal with making modifications and repairs yourself.

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