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The Latest from The Skunk Works

June5

I’ve recently found myself in need of an air compressor larger than the one I currently use. After a bit of poking around on my favorite marketplace (eBay), I ran across a manufacturer of compressors within easy driving distance (Dayton, OH). I had a 5HP engine sitting around and decided to put together a compressor.

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A7N-8X Capacitor Replacement

May23

From the late 1990’s through the early 2000’s there were a bunch of motherboards (and probably other electronics) manufactured using electrolytic capacitors with rather undurable electrolyte. Assuming you throw your technology away after two years, this isn’t a problem. But I don’t; I try to wring the last bit of useful out of hardware.

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Delta 1010 Repair

February19
delta1010-tI love my Delta 1010. It has given me several years of reliable service. One morning several years ago, I noticed the the VU meter on my Alesis 12R was staying partially lit. Turns out that all of the outputs on the Delta 1010 had noise in them and the audio that did come out was distorted. I thought it might be the end of the road for my 1010, but after a little looking I found that there had been problems with the capacitors on some models. I cracked the case on mine and much to my relief, I spied that one of the caps in the power supply line had swelled and was leaking some electrolyte. How can that be relief? It meant that the problem was probably right there and should be quite easy to fix. Read the rest of this entry »

Edwards E2M-1.5 Post-Rebuild Run

February13

E2M1.5 ThumbnailIn the interest of full disclosure, it has been months since I got the E2M-1.5 running. The first thing I did was hook it up to the SMC Digital Pressure Switch to see how much vacuum I had.

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The Behringer B2301 Repair

November11

B2031In the last episode of the B2301 saga, we watched in horror as capacitors exploded in our beloved monitors. Now begins the task of cleaning up the destruction.

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The Subwoofer Project v1.0, Part One

September6

Sub thumbnailI’ve known for quite awhile now that my Behringer 2031’s lack sub 60Hz punch. Having a desire for the low-end reproductive capabilities of a subwoofer, I decided to build one. The following article details my process.

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The Aquamatic 425 Valve

June30

Aquamatic 425In 1998 or so, there was Spud Gun MkI. There are very few surviving pictures of it and even fewer of it in action. It was built wholly of 2″ PVC pipe. Two 10′ joints made up the tank; the barrel was a single 10′ piece. A 1/4-turn ball valve controlled the firing and it was sticky and hard to turn. More important, the person firing the gun was so occupied with turning the valve that they couldn’t watch the spud fly. MkII needed some sort of quick-action big-bore remotely-triggered valve. Several years ago browsing through Mendelson’s in Dayton, this beauty was staring at me from a shelf. I bit.

It was painted with three or four coats of ugly cafeteria-green paint. I stripped it and put a coat of primer and safety yellow on it. I also plumbed it up with a MAC electrically operated valve and a gauge. Until today, it had never been fired. After some less-than-spectacular firing, I tore it down to make sure the piston hadn’t rusted in place. These are the photos. Also included, photos of firing.

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One Behringer B2031, Fried

June15

B2031One of my B2031 studio monitors crapped out in spectacular fashion last night. In a pyrotechnic display reminiscent of an arc welder, an apparent failure of the power supply treated me to flashes of light, copious amounts of acrid smoke, tiny drippy bits of melted metal and an aural experience only available when large alternating currents pass through components undergoing transition from solid to gas.

Downside: It’s broke.

Upside: I get to take it apart, see what broke and fix it.

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ITT Radio Engineers Reference Data Book

March23

ITT Radio Engineers Reference Data BookThis book surprised me. I picked it up on eBay for under 10 bucks and it has to be one of the most information-packed tomes I have ever bought. No, it isn’t useful on a day to day basis, but as a first-line electronics engineering reference, it seems pretty good.

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Brook Crompton Motor Repair

March4

R8ZZ BearingThe bearing for the motor on the E2M1.5 vacuum pump came recently and I took a few minutes to put it on. Since it was missing when I bought the pump, I also fabricated a new cover for the cooling fan.

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