Join Early Retirement Today
Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-25-2014, 04:00 PM   #14441
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,528
Gym day with DW, played with the new mat cutter that was delivered just as we were leaving for the gym. Tomorrow go to Michael's craft store for some mat board and start framing and hanging photos. I did order some mat board but it won't be here until next week and being a kid with a new toy I'm not gonna wait that long.
__________________

__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline  
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-25-2014, 08:39 PM   #14442
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,809
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
I have to say that an engineering degree does not mean much when it comes to practical matters. There are plenty of EE graduates, male and female, whose last time they held a soldering iron was in an electronic lab in school. Oh wait, some might never have held an iron, as they often use these breadboards in school labs. And then, many now just work with computer software, so they do not deal with "nuts and bolts" at all.
Hey - I resemble that remark. Not sure I had to solder at all when getting my BSEE. I started out getting an associates in electronics tech - and my soldering skills convinced me I'd rather be the one telling the tech what to solder, rather than soldering myself.

I have never had to solder on parts at work -though I have had to use the iron to remove part... much easier since you aren't worried about cold solder joints.
__________________

__________________
rodi is offline  
Old 06-25-2014, 08:46 PM   #14443
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ls99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,792
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
I'm tackling all the deferred projects. This morning's project (after a 3 mile walk with the dog) was to install the magic jack. I've had it for 4 months. Tried to get DH to install it but he never got around to it... so I decided to do it today.

Not complicated - except where our router is is not where our home phones all connect in to. Our old set up had the phone line coming from the phone company block on the side of the house - to a phone wire block on the garage wall - from there 3 hard wired extensions split off. I wanted to keep those extensions. So I needed to run the wire from the router, to this phone block in the garage. That involved fishing the wire through a soffet, then through attic crawl space in the garage.

No biggie - except I had to lean way into the attic space to fish the wire... and when I was backing back out - the ladder tilted out from under me... No broken bones but a few nice bruises where I scraped myself as I fell out of the attic (till I could catch myself on the edge and lower myself down. I'm sure I looked completely ridiculous.

It was fear I'd do something stupid that had me open the garage door before starting - so if I cracked my head open a neighbor might see me bleeding out and call 911. LOL. I always plan for the worst.

Upshot - my landline is now transferred to magic jack and I'm saving money. I have bragging rights with DH over actually getting it done. And ladders are not my friend. LOL
What, no pictures?

At least you are around to post about it.
__________________
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
ls99 is offline  
Old 06-25-2014, 08:53 PM   #14444
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ls99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,792
Mounted a ditch light on my winter beater.

What is a ditch light? It is a light mounted on the front bumper angled at about 45 degrees off the direction of travel, slightly angled down to see the ditch when foggy or in a snow storm..

Why? Last winter several times coming home at night in a blinding snow storm had a hard time figuring out which side of the road I was driving on. The fog lights were marginal help.
__________________
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
ls99 is offline  
Old 06-25-2014, 09:05 PM   #14445
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,405
Quote:
Originally Posted by rodi View Post
Not sure I had to solder at all when getting my BSEE. I started out getting an associates in electronics tech - and my soldering skills convinced me I'd rather be the one telling the tech what to solder, rather than soldering myself.

I have never had to solder on parts at work -though I have had to use the iron to remove part... much easier since you aren't worried about cold solder joints.
Of course an electronics tech has to know to solder, even if poorly.

The truth is that all my soldering skills were self-taught, back from the age of 12 playing with vacuum tubes. In school through graduate program and work, I dealt more with areas in GN&C than hardware. I have done design work in analog, digital, and RF circuits for pay, but GN&C was where people paid me the most money. I still need to build something once in a while to satisfy an itch, if only just for myself.

Is there any engineer left who can read resistor color code anymore? It has stuck with me since early teenage years.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline  
Old 06-26-2014, 08:46 AM   #14446
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Most of the equipment techs at megaconglomocorp just swapped boards when things went wrong.
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is online now  
Old 06-26-2014, 09:08 AM   #14447
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,405
It is getting harder and harder to fix anything, and most chips now have a gazillion leads and require expensive machines to rework. And then, only the factory has the schematic and the design info to troubleshoot and locate the broken parts. And then the parts are impossible to get.

I have tried to repair a PC power supply, which is a lot simpler than a PC board. Without schematic, it is tough. In my teenage years, I would spend time to trace through the board and create my own circuit diagram, then studied it to see how it would work, then probed for broken components. Now that I am much older, and been there and done that, I ask myself why I want to spend more time on this kind of task.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline  
Old 06-26-2014, 09:17 AM   #14448
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
HFWR's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Lawn chair in Texas
Posts: 12,964
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
It is getting harder and harder to fix anything, and most chips now have a gazillion leads and require expensive machines to rework. And then, only the factory has the schematic and the design info to troubleshoot and locate the broken parts. And then the parts are impossible to get.
Yep, many of the ICs are proprietary chips that aren't available OTC. And when schematics are available, they're often wrong...
__________________
Have Funds, Will Retire

...not doing anything of true substance...
HFWR is online now  
Old 06-26-2014, 09:21 AM   #14449
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,573
On big iron the boards are simply recycled anymore. I'm sure there are diagnostics run for reoccurring issues. Sad, I guess they figure it is more cost effective then paying for skills to repair, test, warranty.
__________________
MRG is online now  
Old 06-26-2014, 09:26 AM   #14450
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,405
Speaking of part availability, at one of the startups that I joined, we used a superVGA chip in our application, which was an industrial/commercial product and not a product for end users. By the time we had the product in production, that chip was obsolete and discontinued by the chip maker. Yikes!

They ended up spending beaucoup money to stock up on that chip for future production runs for the next few years, while trying to redesign. I had the same problem with another startup. It was tough being a little guy in the hardware business. Software business has practically no inventory, production, distribution costs. Warranty "repair" is not as costly, etc... We were in the wrong business.

PS. By the way, I was talking about something that happened 20 years ago. Gosh, time flies!
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline  
Old 06-26-2014, 10:17 AM   #14451
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
ls99's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 4,792
Some days ago dragged out an old DEL inverter 24-30 VDC in, 120 VAC out 500 watts max, weighing 150 lb. Yeah it was an old one, replete with 2N174 transistors on heat sinks. Still working. 45 Amp DC current draw at full rated output, Hmmm, not very efficient. No idea how many thousands of $$$ it cost new. They were rare items then.

Actual value $0.0 as a ups. Since my camp is 12VDC solar/battery based, could not use it. Nowdays inverters are around $ 350 for 5000 watts. weighing around 20 lb.

Ripped the unit apart, recovered about 40 lb of copper from transformer windings, about $2.50 per lb can get some $ out of it, and another 60 lb of transformer cores at scrap iron rates. Next time I head to the junk jard.

Now if I can figure out a way to recycle power transistors for some cash.

So never mind repairing some stuff, it is not even worth using even if it is working.
__________________
There must be moderation in everything, including moderation.
ls99 is offline  
Old 06-26-2014, 11:20 AM   #14452
Recycles dryer sheets
Pleeplus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Mars
Posts: 135
Last weekend a group of us did some cross training by running up and down a large hill (1/4) mile for an hour carrying 50 lbs sand bags. Long story short, the hill was uncut and I now have poison ivy from my knees to my ankles! I am not sure if it was the repeated exposure, open pores from sweating or me getting to be a wuse as I get older but the itch factor is off the charts! I spent this morning at the docs getting corticosteroid cream and Atarax to speed up the healing process and help me sleep at night. The timing could not have been worse as we leave for a vacation in D.C. tomorrow. At least we should get good seats on any public transportation while we are there as my legs look like I am suffering from some sort of leprocy! Fun times......
__________________
Pleeplus is offline  
Old 06-26-2014, 12:43 PM   #14453
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,929
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Speaking of part availability, at one of the startups that I joined, we used a superVGA chip in our application, which was an industrial/commercial product and not a product for end users. By the time we had the product in production, that chip was obsolete and discontinued by the chip maker. Yikes!
LOL! I worked on a sophisticated in-circuit test system that drove generated binary data streams to device/board inputs, and monitored the output to make sure it was functionally correct. The system was built around 256 bit static memory devices to hold the stimulus patterns for each input.

256 bit memory. Guess how long that lasted...

When I left, they had done a redesign to use the 'new' cheapest part they could find, a 1024 bit chip, with 256 bits actually used. That part was being phased out by the vendor for 4096 bit parts... The control software was in FORTH and couldn't handle more than 256 bits. Oops.

Welcome to the Moore's Law hamster wheel. 1983...


Today is Happy Fun Analog Day, where I'm playing with antennas, signal processing, and other such radio stuff in preparation for a huge exercise this weekend, the ARRL Field Day activity.

I like this more than digital.
__________________
M Paquette is offline  
Old 06-26-2014, 04:42 PM   #14454
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,528
DW has the dining room table back, at least for a while. I bought a mat cutter for framing photographs a few days ago and neglected to study the dimensions. Set up, the thing is huge! The only place to use it comfortably is the dining room table because that's the only place that has good lighting and a table that I can walk around on all four sides.

While I also ordered a variety pack of color mat board those are apparently traveling from Australia via itinerant steamship since it won't be here until next week. So I went up to Michael's craft store and bought a few just to see what it was like to do mat cutting, but I don't have the colors I need to do the other photos that I want to frame. And the stuff is expensive at Michael's, $15/sheet vs. $4-$8/sheet online so I won't be buying much of it there.

Fortunately this mat cutter easily disassembles to a more manageable size and can be stored under a workbench in the basement. And DW does like the results so she'll tolerate the occasional dining room takeover.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is offline  
Old 06-26-2014, 04:56 PM   #14455
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,424
Yesterday I rented a drywall hoist to sheetrock the ceilings of our attic loft over our new two-car garage. Only 10 sheets of roc, but lots of cutting, positioning, etc. DS came over to help, thank God. Anyway, it was one of the most humid days we have had thus far and I was sweating like a pig, but we got it done.

I usually like DIY projects but am able to take my time. But yesterday I was rushing to get everything up in order to go to a friend's for dinner and return the hoist as I had my golf league today so I was rushed and didn't enjoy that at all.

As sore as I was from all the overhead work, I thought I would have a bad day today at my weekly golf league, but I had an very good day (6 under net) and we finished second.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is offline  
Old 06-26-2014, 07:03 PM   #14456
Moderator Emeritus
Khan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Pine Island, Florida
Posts: 6,868
Send a message via AIM to Khan
Received a package of smoked fish, and mangoes from Florida.
__________________
"Knowin' no one nowhere's gonna miss us when we're gone..."
Khan is offline  
Old 06-26-2014, 07:10 PM   #14457
Dryer sheet wannabe
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Is there any engineer left who can read resistor color code anymore? It has stuck with me since early teenage years.
Of course, but the short phrase that we learned to remember the code in our first EE class is nowhere PC enough for me to print here.

And all the techs I worked with early on were very patient to teach me good soldering techniques. Working late nights might mean I had to do reworks all by myself at times.
__________________
JLoft is offline  
Old 06-26-2014, 07:33 PM   #14458
Administrator
Gumby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 10,143
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLoft View Post
Of course, but the short phrase that we learned to remember the code in our first EE class is nowhere PC enough for me to print here.
I've spent my whole life looking for Violet.
__________________
Living an analog life in the Digital Age.
Gumby is online now  
Old 06-26-2014, 07:40 PM   #14459
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso) Give me a forum ...
REWahoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Texas Hill Country
Posts: 42,102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
I've spent my whole life looking for Violet.
__________________
Numbers is hard

When I hit 70, it hit back

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension
REWahoo is offline  
Old 06-26-2014, 07:40 PM   #14460
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,405
My early knowledge of electronics was self-taught, starting when I was 12, so did not know of any shortcut. After working enough with these resistors, I could tell their value at a glance, because with 20% and 10% tolerance, there were only so many values and the color patterns became instantly recognizable.

I just recall this incidence. A circuit I built did not work right. It drove me nuts! Then, when probing around, I found that one of the resistors was of the wrong value for what I wanted. One color band was slightly off-color and I took it as something else. Much swearing and frustration prior to that discovery. Arghhh!!! No, I was not color-blind.

PS. I did not grow up here to learn the bad mnemonic phrase. Indeed, I just looked it up on the Web. Yes, after all these years!
__________________

__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline  
Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Did 2008-09 Results Help You Now? Idnar7 FIRE and Money 42 10-27-2015 10:10 AM
California Munis Closed End Funds tanked today, why? Disappointed FIRE and Money 10 01-20-2008 07:15 PM
Did you retire or Did you quit GTM Life after FIRE 19 03-09-2006 02:06 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:07 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.