Saturday, July 23, 2011

Motorcycle needs help! Have parts, need sons to help.

I crashed my bike. My muscles don't work sop well, and I suppose I was an idiot to cruise the extra windy part of Muholland Drive.

If either of my boys, Mike Orme or Alex Orme wants to come help me fix it (I have all the parts but am not strong enough to move it), They can take it with them. I have everything but riding pants, which I would hope they would buy. I have the armoured jacket, boots (size 14), Helmet etc.

My legs got all scrapped up when I laid it down, so If it gets fixed I'll be sure to buy armored pants. 

So kiddos, please come help me fix it even if you don't want to ride it. I loved taking it to the beach and would like to ride it again while I still can.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Home Made Precision Stylus Force Gauge

I love my Thorens TD-145 turntable, but it has one glaring idiosyncrasy. The stylus force is set with a dial gauge on the mount that is connected to a spring on the rear of the tonearm via a thin cable. As you turn the dial to change the force, you tighten/loosen the spring attached to the cable.

What this means is that when you raise the tonearm, you pull harder on the cable, stretching the spring, and the force increases. If you lower the arm, the force decreases.

So, checking he force with a scale can only be done with the scale pan at the same height as the record surface.

Originally I just took the platter off and set the scale on something to raise the pan 1.25" from the plinth (turntable base)

Looking at scales online, I saw a $100 scale that was made with a pan with an extension that is a better version of what I made.

I copied the design by using a cut up credit card with wood toothpicks gorilla glued on for stiffness.

When you take the record off the platter, and put the scale on the mat, the weigh point is very close to the same height as the upper surface of a record. Now, measuring the force becomes very easy.

This all started because my tracking force was significantly off when using the dial force gauge. I suppose the spring has weakened over the last 40 years. You can use a screwdriver to change the spring tension. There is a small tube on the back of the tonearm that is threaded on the inside. You can see the counterweight cutout for the tube. When you screw in the plug from the rear, you reduce tension on the spring, and reduce stylus force.

I knew that I wanted 1.75 grams, so I balanced the tonearm to zero by moving the counter weight, with the dial set to zero. Then I set the stylus force to 1.75 grams, and adjusted the spring until the scale read 1.75g. The scale reads to within a couple hundredths of a gram where ever the scale is set. Now I can trust the dial gauge when I change cartridges.

I have several good Phono Cartridges. I have seen them all at $350 (each) on eBay. The designs out of the 70's seems to command a premium. It was the height of demand for vinyl. The 80's saw the introduction of CD's.

I read about shops that stopped setting turntables 30 years ago that are starting to sell lot of them again. Audiophiles are rediscovering the sound of vinyl.

I just bought Allison Krause and Union Stations "Paper Airplane" album. It came with a free digital download card. I then downloaded the album as a wave files (the same as a CD). I look at it as a digital download with free vinyl album.

Goldring G900SE by far my favorite
Shure V15 type 3 (Type 3G body with .3x.7mil elliptical stylus. The "G" indicated a conical stylus.
Goldring G900E grey body, designed for high mass tonearms to track at up to 3 grams. This cartridge with a black SE stylus
Audio Technica AT13Ea
Audio Technica AT15XE and a separate ATN15 stylus with a Shibata stylus from an AT15Sa cart.
Micro Acoustics 2002E (good electret type)
Ortofon M20E Super
Ortofon VMS 20E Mk II

The cartridge is a Satin M-117G high output moving coil cartridge. Worth about $350 ish today. Tracking force is recommended 1-2 grams, but I find heavier tracking force reduces mist-tracking which makes the sound suck, and damages the record.

I really hope one of my kids grabs the hi-fi and record collection. You might not like Miles Davis "Kind of Blue" at 19, but you probably will at 25, and for shure by 29.

There is a wealth of wonderful music available at used record shops. Things you will never find on CD or digital. Listening to a record is a very relaxing thing to do. It becomes an activity like watching a movie, and makes the music much better.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I miss my boys so much

Give me wings. Let my flight.

Michael is in a lot of pain. He needs my help, but I am helpless to do anything. I don't know anything about Alex. I wish he would just go for it, and come see me. At least they should have bargained for new cars. If their grandfather could spend 1.5 million fighting me in court, he can spend the cost of new cars to bribe them to stay away from me.

Look at what has become of them. Good Job mom.

When I look of photos of them when they were with me and Mia, they were happy. Sailing, hanging out at the beach, trips in a Winnebago, visits to the aquarium and the squirrels, whatever, but they were happy until they were sucked into the nelson world. What a change.

They can be happy again.

One of the most happy times in my life before they were born was when my dad came to live with me in Seattle. I had a 1bd + den apt on the east side of lake union with a view of the Space Needle out the left in the living room, Queen Anne, and all of Lake Union in the center, and the orange Fremont Bridge to the right. It was a wonderful apartment.

My dad lived in West Hills in the same house my mom lives in now, but he was subcontracted to Boeing, so he spent weekends in LA, and workdays in Seattle. Instead of staying in a long term hotel, he came and camped out in my den. I think I was working for Speakerlab at the time, but might have had my own business, Marine Support, working on yachts. I made about $40-50 an hour, which was pretty good in the late 70's 0r early 80's.

Anyway, having an adult relationship with him was great. I am so sorry that I probably won't be here long enough to have the same kind of relationship with my boys.

Call me, come see me, write to me. I need to hear from you while I am still alive.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Home Made Lead Hardness Tester for Casting Bullets

Homemade Lead Hardness Tester (click on images for full sized view)

I bought a Lee Hardness Tester, and it was just too hard for my old eyes and shaky hands to use. So, I used what I had around and made one myself.

I have a 1/2 ton arbor press which is perfect as a starting point. Unfortunately, the mechanical advantage ratio was a PIA to calculate because my postal scale only goes to 5 pounds, and the force of the handle alone was more than that. I ended up using cast iron pipe on the back side to counter balance the weight of the handle and used a hanging pan on the end. I just added bullets until I got to the scale limit, and then weighed the bullets, and did the math. (all science is math).

I just checked the force using some better tools. I went online and bought a digital scale off of ebay. Check this out. The scale was only $3.97 including shipping, so I bought 2. I just checked, and they are now only $3.46. No wonder we buy so much stuff from china.

I needed a flat scale instead of a hanging one to measure the force of the scale, so I tool it apart and placed the load sensor assy under the press ram, and measured the force made by a 1 pound weight after I tared for the force of the arm alone.

It seems that the force mechanical ratio is about 18:1.

I ordered 5/32 and 9/32 chromium steel balls from Small Parts on Amazon (about $2-3 per pack of 25) .

The weight I use is cast from lead contaminated with zinc. It weighs more than my scale can measure, but back calculating produces a result of 128.5 lbs of force at the press (including the weight of the handle)

I use a bit of soft bullet lube to "glue" the ball to the test piece, then wipe it off and measure the indentation diameter with calipers.

I plugged the formula into my G2 cell phone, which has the QuickOffice spreadsheet included, and just plug in the indentation diameter and it gives me the hardness. I double checked with the Lee hardness tester, which I will sell. Since 5/32 is the size of the ball in the lee tester, I could use the spreadsheet to replace the chart Lee provides (which does not go below BH 7, so it can't measure pure lead)

I made the spreadsheet on my PC, then copied it to the MicroSHDC card on the G2.

Here is the actual spreadsheet formula entry

BHN = P / {pi * D * 0.5 * [D - sqrt(D*D - d*d)]}

P = the imposed load in kilograms (63.0 kilograms in our example, and it should be approximately one to five times D*D) (13 to 65 kg)
pi = 3.14159
D = the diameter of the ball in millimeters ( 0.143" or 3.63 mm in our example)
d = the diameter of the indentation in millimeters (0.177" or 2.9718 mm in my example)