Author Archives: Jim

Shiny thing Fail, or Jim: RTFM!

I ran across running Neopixels with just 2 wires here.  Looked neat. Unfortunately, despite many much more pressing tasks, that was too shiny to pass up, so I decided to try it.  Won’t take too long, right?  Following a pic … Continue reading

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Baling wire stuff

Redneck jokes aside, baling wire is a great way to hold broken stuff together when function is more important than form.  Sometimes the driver is cheap, but sometimes replacement parts aren’t available and you just need to get running again.  … Continue reading

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Latest leaf vac repairs and bag plans!

Here are the latest repairs of my dear old Craftsman leaf vacuum.  (Original notes here.)  But more importantly, here are also the details of what I learned reverse engineering the no-longer-available bag!  I tried to include enough info for someone … Continue reading

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Replacing a driver in the Chi-town Yak

One driver in one of the Chi-town Yaks had its magnet break off presumably after a fall at AACE 2018.  Blanche (Len Christiansen) asked if I could take a look if he provided the driver.  I said of course. First … Continue reading

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“Emergency” watering while we’re out of town

Lauren is considerably more comfortable when we turn the water off when we’re out of town – especially longer trips like our upcoming week at Kirkwood.  Watering – including the very nice impatiens by the  garage – via the normal … Continue reading

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Water softener leak

Wet socks told me about the water on the floor around the drain pipe from the kitchen and the laundry tubs, near the water softener.  It took moving a kitty litter bucket full of long scrap, mopping up the water, … Continue reading

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Adding audible alert to Panasonic answering machine

We’re pretty pleased with the new Panasonic KX-TGD530 answering machine/wireless phone system.  The 3 handsets (expandable, unlike the AT&T EL52209 it replaced) gives us matching phones for kitchen, bedroom, and computer room.  Matching means only one user interface to learn. … Continue reading

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Hacking reading glasses

This is part of the post-cataract adaptation saga.  I had a Technis Symfony toric IOL put in my left eye 4 days ago as the first of 2 cataract surgeries.  While I have concerns, I can certainly see better than … Continue reading

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Repair of Keith Rubow RF Remote transmitter

This (~12/11/17) is the fourth repair of this device – I can’t believe I didn’t record the others.  The $75 device is a 6 button “garage door opener” and USB receiver designed to control music playback software for “tape group” … Continue reading

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Trivial zero clearance table hack for belt sander

I’ve lost a couple of small pieces to the innards of the belt sander by having them sucked down between the belt and the table.  Inspired by various zero clearance inserts/whatever from Matthias and Jimmy DiResta, it occurred to me … Continue reading

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