Apparently I can’t heat the planet

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So it seems that despite climate change and the impending destruction of civilisation and the immense insecurity of food approaching, I took it upon myself to try and head the entire planet. Not, it must be said, a serious directed effort. I tried to make some attempt to keep the heat in the garage void. But not though an effort that was sufficient.

See now, I wanted to oil some wood. For which, as we’ve previously discussed, the garage needs to be warm. And given that it’s winter that means that the garage would be heatable. Not — y’know — generally warm or anything. Not until it’s finished. Then I’m hoping that it will be more-or-less heatable (because I intend to use part of it as an officey space). No. But right now it would be handy to be able to get the temperature up to the working temperature of the oil we use on the trim in the house.

Unfortunately, despite my beautiful artwork with drapery:


Well…after a full day of pumping the all-of-a-killowatt that maxes out US outlets (bleh) into the space I’d hit the heady heights of 12 degress C. Only…about 10 degrees below what’s required.

So new plan is that we’re going to have to insulate the garage. If we’re insulating, we may as well put wiring and drywall up. Pain in the bottom though that is, it just makes more sense than any of the other alternative routes.

Which means pausing on the house.

Which is not what I want to do.

We have one other possible option – which is to ask family who have some space in Oly that they’re not using that frequently right now whether we can use their garage which miiiight be heatable? Or already somewhat heated? I mean, ours is detached and sports a ridge vent; so getting the heat to stay in there is essentially impossible.

This is, I think, one of those cases where I’m used to the UK where I can pull 3kW out of a wall socket and heat a poorly insulated space; and you just can’t do that on 110V @ 15A max. I’ve tried.

So… that means another permit. Bleh.

I think we just need a permit for the power outlets and lights, though.

And I *think* we can ignore the need for a separate panel if we’re willing to just have two circuits. Which I am. I think. And possibly a run of network cable (we’ll run it, but I don’t know if I need it yet, but I’ve a ton of it so I might as well.

Sooo, that’s a medium size project. Rebecca needs to be mobile first, so that’s up before we do that.

In other eggtremely eggciting news that got us quite eggsuberant… Our chooks have started laying. Well, two of them have. We’re pretty sure it’s Mymble and Pippi.

We’ve now had 7 eggs from them (although 4 are waiting to be omelette tomorrow).

And yes, I did spend the entirety of the first day they laid telling them how clever they are*.

In other less positive news, I think I’m giving up on fixing the dyson fan. I’m sure that it is possible, and I could play ‘draw out the circuit’ followed by ‘scare it with test equipment’, and if I was back in the UK and John was okay with me tapping his skills I would be more inclined. But I think we’re pretty much at my limit of knowledge right now; and I’m not that enthused about it. I also suspect I can sell it for as much as I paid for it, and it allowed me to practice my soldering and break out my rework gun, which was part of the point. It’s not like I have to list it with the statement that I’ve replaced a bunch of bits and it’s still not working.

So… meh to it not working, but I’m okay with it.

What I did fix, however, was the CD player.

This is terribly pleasing, especially since it goes “mmmmm, nummy CD” when you press close, and then returns it with a “Aaaah, your CD, m’lady” type speed.

This wasn’t the first power-on. I did that in the garage and checked that it both turned on (without going bang) and spun a disk. But this was the first power on where I had it plugged into an amplifier.

Hitachi DA-1000

And it works! All those custom chips in there. All those discrete components… They all worked. It does run warm, unsurprisingly. I mean, it’s the bleeding edge of technology for the time. About $900 of hifi equipment in 1982. Roughly.

It’s always a good reminder how what once was bleeding edge becomes essentially zero value. It is a curiosity piece. Still, I enjoy it.

And I am, it must be said, quite happy to have managed to fix something.

Also, contrary to step 2 in the service instructions, you don’t need to remove the little plastic lugs. Oh, and it seems that if you try and use my temperature controlled soldering iron in a room at 8-9C, it gets very unhappy. I’m hoping it will be okay when I turn it on in a warmer environment. Handily I had my non-temperature controlled one, and dealing entirely with big through-hole components, it was just fine.

Interestingly, my guess is this is one of the last non-updated models they produced. The Hitachi DA-1000 comes in two flavours, DA-1000 (the original) and DA-1000R (the revised version). Mine has all the mods that are suggested in the many service manual updates – changing the voltage of the audio output to the modern standard, and some other bits and pieces…

Buuuut. The kit I bought (which I got refunded on because it arrived so late that I’d given up, and the original sender hadn’t provided shipping info) and which it turned out had been crushed in the mail so that one of the new capacitors was dead, didn’t have all the capacitors in that mine needs. I’m guessing this is because one of the boards appears to have components marked with an R, which I think is related to the revision.

Not sure, but I certainly ran out of capacitors well before finishing. Mainly 100uF 16V ones, but there were a couple of others…

Anyway, I left the originals in place – really the ones I was most concerned about were the power supply ones which did seem to have maybe had some leakage. At any rate, it went from not working when supplied to working after my interventions. So I’m taking that as a win.

I’m now playing with my 3D printer – I’m tempted by the idea of building the mycroft AI after Google’s yet-again-ethical-debacle. It’s becoming harder and harder to ignore the fact that I don’t want these companies surveilling me, because I don’t trust them.

Soon I shall be living in a cave, if I’m not careful.

*For doing what their bodies require.


Kate's allegedly a human (although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise). She's definitely not a vampire, despite what some other people claim. She's also mostly built out of spite and overcoming oppositional-sexism, racism, and other random bullshit. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, she's here to reassure that it's all fine.