I got a decent and very warm hat from Aldi some time ago. This thing does well to keep the cold out and really is a bit too hot for our kind of cold weather (having spent several winters in Montreal our cold is warm!).

Well, it now has a brother for use when I am on the railway.

The fine art of equipment repair

While viewing the UKuG webcast last night I lost the RHS sound in the headphones. Fiddling with the wire made no difference. The headphones in question are plugged into an audio mixer that connects the radios and PCs. Checking the speakers which are on a different output from the mixer showed the same issue, LHS sound only. As I wanted to watch the webcast I unplugged the headphones and plugged them directly into the MacBook, restoring the audio.

Today, I pulled the mixer out and checked all the plugs. Checking audio from the FT450D showed it, too was only LHS. Hmmm. Figuring out it was probably time to take the mixer apart as fiddling with the pan and level knobs and main slider made no difference I caught one of the push buttons and heard a crackle. Pressing this a couple of times solved the issue. I do like these faults, just fiddle with everything and swear at it to fix. Brings back memories of the house TV in ancient times that would sometimes need a good thump! Very scientific…

Now, do I bother finding the switch cleaner or leave it well alone and hope I remember which switch to abuse next time…

Workshop ramblings

Been rearranging the workshop today because I ended up spreading stuff about rather illogically. I also wanted to add some boards to the roof joists to stop leaves blowing in – the eaves are open and the shed is not insulated. It’s surprising how difficult it is to manoeuvre and fit an 8’x4′ foot plywood sheet into an 8’2″ x 4’6″ space on your own! Anyway, the aim of todays mudding was to prepare for getting all the components and bits and bobs over to one side and to extend the ‘projects waiting to be started’ shelf which was full! All the woodwork is done now and just needs some shelves and boxing to sort out.

Oh yes and there is still the matter of running some SWA Cat6 cable out from the garage which involves lifting flags, digging a trench and other adventures.

This work is partly in preparation for Project QO100 as well as the model railway which will go where the components are now. Any heavy work is now all at one end and all electronics and servicing type stuff at the other, roughly 50/50. Pics will follow once I can actually see the benches and it doesn’t just look like everything has exploded.

Stupid connectors

So, new TV, empty space in bedroom, TV point and Ethernet points nearby, all I had to do was finish the wiring (left unconnected as it was not needed 15 years ago!) and scan for channels. Simple.

OK. So I had a splitter and then found a smaller one so used that. Stuck it to the wall in the airing cupboard, wired in the CT125 coming down from the loft and two TV coax runs to the two bedrooms, and connected the other end of the CT125 to the aerial distribution amp in the wiring closet. Turned the TV on and it began scanning. And found very little. Hmmm. Well, it found the HD channels but would not receive them.

Out with the meter. Connectivity fine from the splitter to the TV, so blamed the splitter and wired in the larger one. Rescanned. Same thing. Got a barrel connector and bypassed the splitter. No difference. Went to the wiring closet and checked the connection there… which I had plugged into the DAB aerial feed input, rather than a TV output!

Put the smaller splitter back in and fitted the cables again and all is well.




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