Archives for category: Randy Destroys Things

It’s winter time everyone, and that must mean that it’s time for Randy to break things and perhaps put them back together. Or perhaps not, only time will tell, friends.

Anyhow, from my friends at Chimera Maker Space I was handed a not-exactly-functioning Bits From Bytes BFB3000 3D printer that was, in the words of Executive Director Dana Woodman, “about to be shitcanned” (NOTE: those were probably not his precise words). My mission, if I chose to accept it was to “make it work.”

Of course, I took this to mean I had unlimited budget and resources. And by that, I mean that whatever I felt like spending on it out of my own pocket to get it running was probably what it would take.

But first…

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It’s not often I get permission to take stuff apart. More precisely, I spend a lot of time doing creative stuff, so my purely destructive side rarely gets its time in the sun to frolic and cavort and otherwise express itself in all it’s entropic glory. Today, however, is different.

But first, a story

A tidy little instrument from the front.

A tidy little instrument from the front.

On a recent trip south to the desert to visit the family (something of a do-over for Christmas, since we were all sick as dogs over the holiday and didn’t see anyone other than ourselves), my brother-in-law gifted our family a used Squier Mini Player Strat with a built-in amplifier and speaker. This thing is a true piece of guitar oddity, and pretty freaking rare apparently. It’s a “mini,” which apparently means it has a 3/4 size neck, even though the body is the same size. Usually Stratocaster-style electrics have three pickups and a selector switch, along with a couple of tone knobs and a volume, but not this one. Because of the speaker, there’s really only room for a single humbucking pickup, one tone knob, and the volume. Of note is despite the somewhat toylike look of the body with the speaker grille, there’s really nothing toy about this; it’s a real instrument. Read the rest of this entry »

The sometimes vexing and mostly curious InfoLithum M

The sometimes vexing and mostly curious InfoLithum M

As part of my business, I deal with a fair amount of batteries. I’ve dealt (and still deal) in all flavors of these: alkalines, nickel metal hydride (NiMH), sealed lead acid (SLA), the god-awful Nickel Cadmium (NiCd), Lithium Polymer (LiPoly or LiPo) and the now rather venerable Lithium Ion (Li-Ion). Recently, I purchased a really amazing camera for the production company, and in so doing have come into possession of some Sony InfoLithium batteries (the “L” type, for professional camcorders). As it happens, I already had some of them because of a piece of audio equipment that runs on those type of Sony batteries, but that’s not the point, is it?

Years back, I purchased a Sony MiniDV camcorder, a really nice compact one. And as part of that, it came with a (now totally defunct and dead) InfoLithum M-type battery, model number NP-FM50. Now that those years have passed and this battery is no longer viable, I figure its best purpose is for science, wouldn’t you agree?


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