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July 24th, 2010

06:36 pm - Somewhat of a success

So for the last... I don't know how long... I've been in the process of working on doing an acid etched circuit board (using instructions from here in order to fix the power supply for the big Biamp board (the board itself now works fine, but the Phantom Power does not and has been traced back to the power supply itself).

The portion of the power supply that is for the phantom power is isolated from the rest of the PCB except for one ground line. After trying to replace a couple suspect components that were targeted while troubleshooting with my friend Steve I ended up getting no love from the phantom power. Enter the site mentioned above; I've decided I'm just going to do a scorched earth fix on the power supply and completely replace that portion of the circuit.

I still haven't gotten a successful etching done yet (I've been having problems getting the toner to stick properly and not come off when removing the paper). I had a couple come out close to perfect so I tried using an etch resist pen to touch up some of the bad traces and the etching turned out fairly good.

Things I've learned/need to do better for the next attempt:

  • Use an actual laser printer for printing on the transfer paper I'm using. (this should help with the toner not sticking
  • Get more Ferric Chloride. (The bottle I got from a co-worker really isn't enough to etch the size of board I'm working with and make it problematic to get it to etch evenly).

This is what the board looked like after doing the etching (a lot of the traces are still pretty rough and there were some patches that didn't quite etch all the way). I haven't used any acetone to remove the toner/resist pen yet, but this was just a trial run to see if this would even be viable. (This was also an older pattern for the traces, the current one doesn't have any of the text labels, I plan to do a reverse transfer on the back side for labeling where everything is).
Current Mood: indifferentindifferent

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December 20th, 2009

11:03 pm - Move of epicness +1
It's on netflix. If you've ever done any pen & paper RPGs and you have netflix, go watch this. (bonus points for it being locally produced)

The Gamers: Dorkness Rising Trailer from Dead Gentlemen Productions on Vimeo.

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September 3rd, 2009

10:25 pm - TF2
You know, I find it interesting that people are freaking out about how recent actions taken by Valve against people who decided to 'game the system' to get unlockables faster. I've seen some posts where people claim that they didn't know that it was against the rules/EULA or that they shouldn't have been called 'Cheaters' and such and that they are going to boycott/uninstall the game.

These people have no ground to stand on. When did they think that using a utility to 'beat the system' to get the unlockables in the game wouldn't be considered a cheat? It's not like this hasn't happened before more than once.

Meanwhile, I'll go enjoy my Halo. ^ ^
Current Mood: amusedamused

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August 17th, 2009

08:15 pm - ... damn it
So last night I got my camera out to take a quick picture of my desk and discovered something.

The auto-focus on my 18~55mm kit lens isn't working.

The lens itself appears to work fine except for the auto-focus. When trying to have the camera auto-focus nothing happens. No clicking, no grinding or vibration. Nothing. It acts like it's in manual mode (though it won't take an exposure because it doesn't think it is in focus yet, but will just fine if I switch to manual).

I tested with my 55~200mm zoom lense and that lens will focus just fine. It's most likely a problem with the motor or with the signal contacts around the mounting ring. I checked them and the contacts don't look dirty or anything so whatever it is is something internal.

This is rather sudden and quite irritating. I volunteered to do some photo shooting tomorrow at the company picnic which I can still do with manual focus (or just use the 55~200). I did some research and talked with a couple friends and I think I've decided what I'm going to do.

The kit lens is a really cheap lens (less than $120 new, so really not that worth repairing unles it is a dirt cheap repair) and I've always kinda wanted a better multi-purpose lens. After doing some reading I think I'm going to end up getting Nikon's 18~105mm DX lens. Based on reviews and testing of the lens combined with the price comparison to other similar lenses (it is about $340 instead which will make it my most expensive lens). The other options were either get the same cheap lens, another similar lens that didn't have the VR, one that was twice as much, or one that was twice as much as the one that was twice as much.
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Current Music: The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robits, Pt. 1

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August 4th, 2009

11:37 pm - Acknowledgment
While doing some ADR recording for Vital Force I found out from Jen that our 48hour film video is now on IMDb and that even though they are still trying to get things with the credits fixed (a number of people for some reason didn't get added in as credits properly including Jen who was the director). The uber cool thing though is that I now have an entry for myself on IMDb. :D
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: "Weird Al" Yankovic - CNR

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July 29th, 2009

08:09 pm - Awesome TF2 remix

Current Mood: thoughtfulmelted

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June 26th, 2009

08:42 pm - Seattle 48 Hour Film Project
I helped participate in the 48 Hour Film Project in Seattle this year (last weekend) with some friends I knew from Project London. I helped doing some boom op as well as provide some of the sound effects for the post production. We won't find out until the 9th if we've won any awards.

The idea behind the 48 hour film project is at the start of the project all teams are given a character with a brief background, line of dialog, and a prop that must be used in the production. Each team also draws a random genre to work in. Once you are given the information, you have 48 hours to write, shoot, and edit your film.

For this year all the teams were given:
Character: Kristy or Kyle Brown, Illustrator
Prop: a tie
Line of Dialogue: "Wrong. Guess again."

And our team drew the genre Horror/Suspense (which was awesome luck considering the location Jen our director/team lead managed to secure for us).

Echoes from Adventure Star Pictures on Vimeo.

Current Mood: amusedamused

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June 18th, 2009

08:24 pm - The following is a tale of chance luck, woes, and triumph
A number of weeks ago I purchased an old Biamp Columbia series 32+/488 mixer board. A friend of mine from work had been talking with a guy he knows down at the bar he helps out at and found the guy was trying to get rid of the board for a pittance of $250. That's $250 for a 32 channel 8 bus, 8 aux mixer board. It's older, but it looked in really good shape. I didn't really have an actual use for it, but for $250 I couldn't really pass it up.

It took a long time for the guy to get something to transport the board with, but I finally was able to pick it up and brought it to the new apartment. It barely fit in the back of the car. I was expecting it to be about on par with the size of the Mackie 32ch 8bus board we used at school but it is actually about a foot wider and weighs about 115lb. But nonetheless, it was mine and goobersotp came over and helped me get the board out of the car and into the apartment.

When I first brought the board home I started off by just setting it on top of my PA speakers (for lack of anything better to put it on). I went out the next day and picked up a pair of saw horses to set the board and things we're going pretty good.

I spent the next week or so testing out the inputs, channel faders and repairing a couple loose BNC lamp connectors and re-soldering the RCA jacks on the one stereo input channel.

While doing my various testing of the inputs I was making use of the tape outputs to run into my old receiver which was hooked up to the PA speakers since the receiver only had RCA inputs and all the outputs on the board are on XLR connectors except the tape outputs.

Finally I decided to go ahead and test the main outputs on the board. As I mentioned, all the outputs on the board are on XLR connectors which is all well and good, but I don't have many XLR-> 1/4" adapters so in order to test the main outputs I figured I would just test the outputs by running the outputs into one of the mic inputs on my small Mackie board and just leave the gain turned all the way down. It was just going to be for doing some quick testing. I hooked up the Biamp to the Mackie while I had my iphone playing some music on the sterep input of the board. The first channel wasn't putting out any sound but I was not really surprised by this as the board was $250, pretty old, and it wouldn't surprise me if there was some major issues with it. I went ahead and plugged the cable into another output to test the next, this too was not putting out any sound. I ended up testing 4 of the 5 balanced main outputs (Main L/R/M, Aux L/R). A couple of them were getting sound out, but still sounded a bit odd.

It was about this time that I smelled smoke.

and made a mad dash for the power switch on the power supplyCollapse )

Overall, this was a pretty crappy experience. New 32 channel 8bus/aux mixers run $3,000~$6,000. Granted the Biamp is pretty old (the dates on the PCB's were 1990) but it's in startlingly good condition. For as crappy as the experience was, I'd say I've learned quite a bit about troubleshooting and repairing (relatively) simple circuits. I also learned that just because you haven't turned on the phantom power on a mixer in over 6 months, check it anyways before plugging anything in. As near as I can tell it must have gotten accidentally switched on when I had to move the board out a while back.
Current Location: Lynnwood, WA
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
Current Music: Upstanding Youth - Paint By Numbers

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May 19th, 2009

07:26 pm - Jumping on the bandwagon.
Ganked from codexrau
1) Who are you?
2) Would you consider me a good acquaintance? Would you like to know me better?
3) When and how did we meet?
4) Would you buy me a drink? What kind?
5) Give me a nickname and explain why.
6) Describe me in three words or less
7) What was your first impression of me?
8) Do you still think the same?
9) What reminds you of me? What do I remind you of?
10) If you could give me anything, what would it be?
11) How well do you know me?
12) Would you like to know all this if I were to fill out this questionnaire about you?
13) Would you meet up with me?
Current Music: Johnny Cash - Hurt

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May 1st, 2009

03:34 pm - Out of the loop

Today work issued everybody a small bottle off purell and a box of Kleenex Anti-viral tissues...

And to think I've been ignoring the news for so long I hadn't heard anything about the flu that's going around until a couple days ago...

Current Location: US, Washington, Snohomish, Lynnwood, 204th St SW

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