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Old 12-01-2014, 11:14 PM   #581
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Thanks. Looks like a fun project. I find these 'off the beaten path' speaker designs interesting. I still have a pair of speakers with the Heil 'air motion transformer' tweeters that sound pretty good (fairly cheap speakers, unimpressive woofer/mids/crossover, but still sound good). And my main speakers are Maggies (planar speakers similar to electrostatics, but all done electro-magnetically rather than with high voltage fields) - no bug zapping!

-ERD50
I thought Maggies were a modern electrostat design.

Regardless, they are a good speaker, if you have a high powered amp.

My main system has homebrew flea power 2a3 tube amps and high efficiency speakers. Good sounding combo.
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Old 12-02-2014, 06:54 AM   #582
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As we were leaving to visit friends during the Thanksgiving weekend I heard a loud THUD in the basement. A panel in our drop ceiling fell out due to being soaked with water. After removing soaked ceiling insulation there was a steady drip from the compression joint where the 1/4" plastic line from the fridge joined a 1/4" copper pipe, right at the basement ceiling. In addition, when pulling on out the insulation I jerked out the other end of the 1/4" copper pipe where it had been soldered into a 3/8" copper pipe, about a foot from the shutoff value. So now I had 2 leaks to deal with.

It took me most of a day stumbling through things, but I fixed it by running in a new plastic line from the fridge down into the basement, and then joining it to the 3/8" pipe. The end of the copper pipe had old solder that was preventing a compression coupling from going on, and instead of taking a chance with a torch with all the insulation and other plastic pipe around (I'm daring only to a certain degree), I cut off that section of the pipe.

Unfortunately my first cut crushed the pipe out or round, and I couldn't get the compression coupling to stop leaking. I was about to give it but decided to more carefully cut the pipe again one more time. This time the compression coupling worked and, with no water leaking for 3 days, I am declaring victory.
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Old 12-02-2014, 10:59 AM   #583
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Couple days ago, played plumber on Sunday. It has been real cold here previous 2-3 weeks. It was nice weather over the weekend here and since we have been so dry, needed to water the bushes and lawn on Saturday. Front hose faucet seemed low water pressure. Soon found out why, the freeze-proof faucet had froze and split. When the first hard freeze snap hit early November, the hose was still connected to the faucet. By design the freeze-proof faucet has the actual shut-off valve located back about 8-10 inches from the handle. In other words back in the wall. *IF* the faucet is disconnected, it drains and prevents freezing problems, however between my wife and I we forgot to disconnect the hose and this caused the faucet to be full of water. Sorry no pics of the split pipe.

Took out the stuff in garage that got wet being on the floor, removed the faucet and got a new one without a split. $45 in parts later and about 2-3 hours of work and cleanup I was back to normal conditions.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:00 PM   #584
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New question... Not as involved as the last wiring problem, but something I don't understand.

It involves power supplies (transformers) for electronics. Since one of my hobbies is to buy older electronics of all kinds... toys, computers, phones and a whole lot of other things like remote thermometers, digital cameras etc, etc... Anything that's in the resale shop for $.10 to maximum of $2... (Thats for the REALLY good stuff, like CB's or Bose Speakers). Latest is an airplane Altimeter (went all the way there...$2.)

Anyway...Most of the powered devices require a power supply. Over the years, I have collected about 100 different power supplies, that I search through to get my latest purchase working (as some devices don't come with the supply).

Most of the devices have a terminal that fits the power supply, as in the 5V USB plug ins, but others either have no voltage indications or will accept the male terminal ends for supplies that differ in voltage. Also, is the matter of amperage. Some devices call for 100mA, other 200mA, 300mA or 500mA.

Here's where the questions come in...
1. The male terminal ends may fit into devices that call for more or less Volts.
2. Some male terminal ends that are the same size, can be on supplies that output anywhere from 2.5V to as much as 32V... on an old printer.
3. The outside of the plug and the inside of the plug (the pin) differ . Is that to prevent using a higher voltage power supply?
4. What happens when the power supply fits, but is lower or higher than the specs. So far, I haven't burned any devices out with too much power, and the difference between 3.7V and 7.5V on some devices DOES work.

If I can't identify the power supply for the device, I take a picture of the device and go to Google Images which almost always solves the problem...

So... without going into a treatise... are there some general rules of thumb? And is there a Voltage/Amps for Dummies article available. Current question is for an unidentified 2.0 USB splitter hub. I'd assume 5.0V 300mA but saw another one on Amazon with a 3.5V 100A. The hub works w/o external power, but I'd assume that some USB devices need more...

Confused and Amused in Illinois.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:22 PM   #585
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New question... Not as involved as the last wiring problem, but something I don't understand.

It involves power supplies (transformers) for electronics. ...

So... without going into a treatise... are there some general rules of thumb? And is there a Voltage/Amps for Dummies article available. Current question is for an unidentified 2.0 USB splitter hub. I'd assume 5.0V 300mA but saw another one on Amazon with a 3.5V 100A. The hub works w/o external power, but I'd assume that some USB devices need more...

Confused and Amused in Illinois.
AFAIK, there are no standards for those power connectors, it seems a real jumble to me (maybe someone can prove me wrong?).

But some basics:

1) Matching the voltage is usually pretty important. Some devices are more tolerant of a range of voltages than others.

2) Some are AC outputs, some are unfiltered DC (just one half of the sine wave for half-wave rectifiers, or a 'flip' of the other half of the sine wave for a full-wave recitifier - google those terms for pictures of the waveforms), some are filtered DC (a cap to smooth the peaks), and then finally.... some are regulated, which will provide a smooth, steady output of DC at the rated voltage and load.

3) Polarity is usually very important for DC circuits (rare exceptions have a built in bridge rectifier to handle either polarity), AC might be polarity sensitive if one side is grounded, but they are usually isolated.

4) AMPS - people get confused about this. You want as many or MORE amps for the supply than what the device calls for. You can't 'push' more amps into a device at X volts, it will take what it needs. Just like opening your faucet - you get maybe 2 GPM, regardless of the million gallon municipal supply feeding that faucet. It is the pressure (volts) that determine the flow (amps) through your faucet.

To function to spec a USB hub requires a power supply with at least 500mA (0.5 Amps) per port. It can run un-powered by splitting the minimum 500mA that the computer supplies, and dividing that to 100mA to each of the 4 ports, but that limits you to low pwoer devices. When you plug in a device, it draws no more than 100mA and then negotiates to determine if full power is available. If not, it must remain at 100mA max, or shut off if operation requires higher current. USB2 specs are 100mA max draw in low power mode, and 500mA max draw in high power mode. USB3 expanded these I think.

The supply for a hub is usually a bit more than 5V to allow some headroom.

-ERD50
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:40 PM   #586
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Thanks... The AMPS were my major concern, as very often, the needed voltage is shown on the device at the plugin. I always worried about the amps, so where I had multiple supplies, I always started off with the lowest.

As far as the tolerance for varied voltages goes, I'd agree as I have made mistakes, without destroying the device. Occasionally a 6V device won't work with 4.5V.

Appreciate the reply.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:41 PM   #587
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Disagree with the above somewhat--Amps do matter with some of the cheaper transformers. Without a certain minimum draw, the voltage runs higher than spec. Most devices are pretty tolerant of moderately higher voltages than designed for. They use linear regulators and will throw off the excess power as heat. Might limit the life of the device a bit but for <$2 who cares. If you open the devices you may be able to figure out what the voltage required for the device is by checking the regulator component and looking up the data sheet. If there is a zener diode or other voltage clamp you can certainly find out the top end of what it is designed to handle.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:52 PM   #588
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There are reasons for the somewhat regular adapter voltages. Digital logic is normally at either 5V (old devices) or 3.3V (newer). On digital devices the regulators need a little higher voltage so they can regulate down. .6V overhead is usually a good minimum but some devices will run straight off the adapter. Automotive is 12-13.8V but is usually very tolerant and runs from 9V-15V. Some other toys and analog electronics are based around battery stacks with 1.5V per cell with 3V and 6V being the most common.
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Old 12-03-2014, 03:03 PM   #589
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Finished re-installing seven year old faucets on new granite countertops and noticed that the Moen faucet spout was leaking where it swings.

Did everything humanly possible to get it apart to replace the O rings, but failed.

I called Moen and they are sending me a whole new faucet - for free.
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Old 12-03-2014, 03:51 PM   #590
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There is a silicon grease you can apply to o-rings. This lets them slide without skipping or sometimes even tearing. Check your local plumbing supply house or plumbing section at the big box stores.
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Old 12-03-2014, 04:41 PM   #591
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I've been resuscitating an older Dell DImension 2400 which runs a really ancient program for a client. During that fix I made changes to an alternate system I use to run Netflix on a 26" LCD TV, and broke that Windows installation. After fixing and delivering the older Dell I decided to put Linux on my Dell Optiplex 755 instead of reinstalling Windows.
- downloaded latest Kbuntu and installed to a bootable USB
- booted and installed to the 755. Updated, and so on.
- Opened Firefox and found that Netflix would not run in the environment. LOL.
- Found the fix which involved installing various packages and plugin to Firefox which add Silverlight, Windows fonts, and ability to switch the User Agent of the browser.
- While watching questionable content, I decided that being able to remote control the 755 from across the room was necessary. This required Desktop Sharing install on K-box, and install of TightVNC on my primary desktop box.

As seen in the picture below, I have a functioning node, and learned quite a bit in the last four hours. There were about six different bends in the road, but I held on and enjoyed the ride.
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Old 12-03-2014, 06:51 PM   #592
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There is a silicon grease you can apply to o-rings. This lets them slide without skipping or sometimes even tearing. Check your local plumbing supply house or plumbing section at the big box stores.
Thanks, but my problem is that I can't get it apart to replace the O rings.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:10 PM   #593
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Disagree with the above somewhat--Amps do matter with some of the cheaper transformers. Without a certain minimum draw, the voltage runs higher than spec. Most devices are pretty tolerant of moderately higher voltages than designed for. They use linear regulators and will throw off the excess power as heat. Might limit the life of the device a bit but for <$2 who cares. If you open the devices you may be able to figure out what the voltage required for the device is by checking the regulator component and looking up the data sheet. If there is a zener diode or other voltage clamp you can certainly find out the top end of what it is designed to handle.
You're right - in some cases they may be depending on the load to pull the unregulated supply down to a particular voltage. And some regulators need some load before they regulate properly. Probably not a big concern for most applications, but it could bite you in some cases.

-ERD50
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Old 12-04-2014, 09:53 AM   #594
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I thought Maggies were a modern electrostat design.

Regardless, they are a good speaker, if you have a high powered amp.

My main system has homebrew flea power 2a3 tube amps and high efficiency speakers. Good sounding combo.
The Maggies are planar speakers, like the electrostatics. A mylar sheet, about as large as the face of the speaker moves a small distance in-out to move the air to produce the sound waves. Since the area is so large (relative to the traditional speaker cones), the movement is small in planar speakers, and this can have some advantages (potentially better linearity, but the devil's in the details - and some think that lower IM/Dopler effect improves sound, never really heard that verified, but they do sound good!) .

The difference between the Maggies and electrostatic designs are that electrostatic relies on a high voltage ('static') field, and modulates a voltage to move the mylar, making it attract/repel the plates. In the Maggies, there is a copper trace printed on the mylar, it looks like the traces on a printed circuit board. And there are arrays of magnets just behind the mylar sheet. So the copper traces really act the same as the voice coil in a cone speaker. No high voltages involved. it's really just lying the traditional cone speaker/voice-coil out flat, in a way.

Yes, they are not very efficient, fortunately I found a high-end, powerful amp used at my local audiophile store at a good price. Need a big amp for even moderately loud passages.

-ERD50
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:17 AM   #595
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That was very interesting. Thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
The Maggies are planar speakers, like the electrostatics. A mylar sheet, about as large as the face of the speaker moves a small distance in-out to move the air to produce the sound waves. Since the area is so large (relative to the traditional speaker cones), the movement is small in planar speakers, and this can have some advantages (potentially better linearity, but the devil's in the details - and some think that lower IM/Dopler effect improves sound, never really heard that verified, but they do sound good!) .

The difference between the Maggies and electrostatic designs are that electrostatic relies on a high voltage ('static') field, and modulates a voltage to move the mylar, making it attract/repel the plates. In the Maggies, there is a copper trace printed on the mylar, it looks like the traces on a printed circuit board. And there are arrays of magnets just behind the mylar sheet. So the copper traces really act the same as the voice coil in a cone speaker. No high voltages involved. it's really just lying the traditional cone speaker/voice-coil out flat, in a way.

Yes, they are not very efficient, fortunately I found a high-end, powerful amp used at my local audiophile store at a good price. Need a big amp for even moderately loud passages.

-ERD50
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:05 PM   #596
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Doing a little repair on the charger contacts for some little rechargeable LED flickering 'candles' I have, I came across some technical info and I was blown away at how clever this is.

Like most engineers, if I don't actually take something apart, I at least mentally reverse-engineer how they might do something. Now, there are many ways to create a random-looking variable voltage to create the candle 'flicker'. But I never would have thought of the actual method used.

The candle is actually playing Beethoven (Fur Elise)! They used one of those super-cheap little chips they put in greeting cards or other novelties, and when you drive an LED instead of a little speaker, the voltage fluctuations are random enough to appear like a flickering candle.

So I took one of mine apart (the battery would not charge), connected a headphone and found that mine uses a different 'tune', more of just a semi-random beep-beep. beep, beep, beep series, but definitely in the audio range. The bursts will translate to variable light levels to the eye.

Listen to a led tea light

Clever!

I'm tempted to make a little light receiver and go around testing different lights like this. There's no cap, so the LED should be putting out audible light modulation.

-ERD50
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:09 PM   #597
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Not a "repair" but a friend recently told me about a foam item that fits in your gutters to allow water to flow but doesn't allow leaves in. Material is kinda like the green scrub pads we use in kitchen, but larger gaps between material. I have a lots of leaves from trees over garage, so I put them in the 2 gutters, front and back and they seem to work very well. I was cleaning gutters every couple weeks, but no problems since I put the foam fillers in about a month ago. Got them at Home Depot, where they have the gutters. Looks like my friend had good idea!
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Old 12-04-2014, 03:30 PM   #598
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Not a "repair" but a friend recently told me about a foam item that fits in your gutters to allow water to flow but doesn't allow leaves in. Material is kinda like the green scrub pads we use in kitchen, but larger gaps between material. I have a lots of leaves from trees over garage, so I put them in the 2 gutters, front and back and they seem to work very well. I was cleaning gutters every couple weeks, but no problems since I put the foam fillers in about a month ago. Got them at Home Depot, where they have the gutters. Looks like my friend had good idea!
Thanks for the tip! I just climbed off the roof from cleaning the gutters 5 minutes ago.
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Old 12-04-2014, 03:33 PM   #599
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Not a "repair" but a friend recently told me about a foam item that fits in your gutters to allow water to flow but doesn't allow leaves in. Material is kinda like the green scrub pads we use in kitchen, but larger gaps between material. I have a lots of leaves from trees over garage, so I put them in the 2 gutters, front and back and they seem to work very well. I was cleaning gutters every couple weeks, but no problems since I put the foam fillers in about a month ago. Got them at Home Depot, where they have the gutters. Looks like my friend had good idea!
I put some in last year, seem to be working well. Costco had them much cheaper than HD, but I think they only stock occasionally.

-ERD50
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:34 PM   #600
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Just finished restoring an old Schwinn Mirada to give to a friend who wants to start riding. It was my wife's old bike. She crashed once and never wanted to ride again. It sat hanging in the barn for nearly 30 yrs and was a total rust bucket. Now it has a new life.
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