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Archive for September, 2010

29
Sep

Oh Silly Scope

It’s been what seems like a zillion years since vie owned an oscilloscope. The last one I had was about 30 years ago and it was a 5mhz Eico scope. Which worked but not all that great.

Course that was when computer speeds, like the old Trash 80, barely managed 4mhz so it wasn’t a big deal. The limited audio work I did was meager at best. Not to mention that decent scopes cost about the same as a new car. In that respect scopes still cost a lot…at least good ones do…

Since I’ve been getting back into building stuff again, a scope would be very handy. It would match up my programmable function generator very nicely.

At first I was going to order one from eBay but I’d like to use it not have to repair it, or sent it out to have it calibrated. If you add shipping into that, I found you end up paying $400-$500 for a 20 year old scope. Not looking good…

I found a web site that had a lot of information written by people who were far more versed in this stuff that I ever was. One of the highly recommended scopes was the Rigol 1052E, a digital storage model with an LCD display. So after reading a lot of reviews and getting information on it, I ordered one.

It looks like a great scope and the $359 that I paid for it is peanuts in the great scheme of things. Should have it in couple of weeks depending on shipping (that was free)…

25
Sep

The Wabbit Wanch Team

Not that anyone cares but here’s the Wabbit Wanch software develop team caught playing hide and seek at a company function. We will leave to your imagination as to which one I am.

21
Sep

I have the power…

UPS that fine courier service who charges you for almost anything they think they can get away with delivered my power supply today. The delivery driver must have been having an off day or he needs to work on his people skills. A lot.

As I expected there was this silly brokerage clearing fee attached to the package. At one time they would call you and you could clear it yourself. It’s not that hard. Then they came up with the excuse that it streamlined their deliveries if they cleared it for you because you couldn’t clear as fast as they could. Which, to give them the benefit of the doubt is partially true. Some of us do have priorities that don’t include clearing packages.

FedEx never used to charge for clearing but it didn’t take long for them to jump on the cash udder either.

If you’ve had both services deliver for you the difference between them is huge. With FedEx you can actually track a package and their delivery people have a pulse. No, I don’t like UPS. But at times there isn’t much of an option.

So considering the cost of the power supply, even with the delivery charge, nothing local was in the ballpark. I think I got a good deal.

But I always wonder what it is that I did get…so..as is my habit that I have, I opened it up and looked. Not too shabby really. Pretty decent build and quality. No, it’s not a replacement for a $500 professional bench supply, but for a hobbyist, it’s more than ample.

By the way, a word of warning here. If you’re thinking of one of these, that so called heatsink they use in this is just a chuck of slotted aluminum. The big noisy fan in the box ensures that heat isn’t a problem. Note that I did say, NOISY! I guess if it drive me nuts I can put a big heatsink on it and toss the fan. Always options…

20
Sep

And the parts trickle in

Today the first parts rolled through the mail slot. Good thing they were small parts…

So those dual relay boards showed up. And the usually quantity of junk mail. I tested the relay boards and the quality was quit surprising and they all work. I expected some cheap or quick and dirty work on those printed circuited boards, but they are actually quite nicely designed and put together.

I’m hoping the rest of the parts show up. The power supply I ordered should be here since it will help to do all the board level tests. I was going to build a supply but this one only cost $85 and it’s linear so what’s the point.

16
Sep

Burger mmmm

I immediately thought of a number of people who always complain that the burger are never big enough. This should keep them happy….

7
Sep

Loopy de Loop

I’ve been watching Craigs List and eBay for a good price on a Midi controlled loop switcher for the studio. The Rocktron Patchmate 8, Voodoo Lab GCX are what I’ve been looking at.

New either of these is going to run in the several hundred buckaroo range. Even used they’ll command a few hundred. And they aren’t exactly programmable in the true sense. You can turn the loops on and off individually but you can’t control what triggers them. That’s hard coded in each unit.

I’m going to build the whole thing in rack mount box, that should fit nicely under my current pedal board and then use some short patch cables to route the effects boxes to the control unit. I figure I can even build a buffer circuit if I have to.

Here’s the controller board from Highly Liquid:

And the relay board I found on eBay:

Should be an interesting build…

2
Sep

The Little Things

Every now and then the younger generation does something that catches me a little off guard. No, not the big things, just the little ones. Like when you’re leaving a store and you hold the door for them and you hear those two little magic words, Thank You. Sometimes it’s just Thanks.

But in this fast paced world wind of a life, just the hint of politeness reaffirms to you that there are parents out there who’ve taught their children some life long lasting values.

If you pointed out to these kids what they just did was really nice, you’d probably get an odd stare or something because it’s their nature to do it. Without thinking about it.

Now I’d like to think that these few will aspire to go on and accomplish great things with their lives. They’ve already got an edge on the “takers” in this world as far as I’m concerned.

Oh, and the proper response to the thank you? You’re welcome. Really.

2
Sep

Tis the rack

I’ve started amassing all the bits and pieces to built a small cabinet I can rack mount my V-Amp Pro in. eBay has provided most of it so in a couple of weeks I should have some of the bits. I picked up the pine board to build the box today.

The covering is the main hurdle. Most cabs are covered in Tolex and it sells for a princely sum. Like $30 a yard and shipping can easily double that. Why? Seems a lot of them ship by Fedex or UPS. That’s not cheap to do. I got my Tolex from Steamco in Winterpeg.

I’m also going to add in a Peterson Stroborack. It looks like a nice tuner, accurate and should work well in the studio.

Looking forward to building it all.