It’s been a slow few months with little to report. I’ve lost faith in a few things, with a couple problems and issues with projects that had me baffled and I kinda lost interest in them.
However, things have picked up a little and I’ve gone back to the troubled projects or made some headway.
I bought some replacement tuning slugs for the Marantz receiver. They aren’t 100% the same permeability but they are the correct screw thread.
Replaced them in the transformer after carefully breaking the old ones up and getting them out of the core. Now I know what they feel like, the old ones were broken before I even started- the lack of decent radio reception certainly points to that.
I got all set up and the thing refused to tune well. I could get a couple of strong local stations but the tuning meter and tune indicator would not light up, and those are partially controlled by the transformer. I connected my oscilloscope to the input side of the transformer to check the waveform was not distorted and all of a sudden, LOUD radio, strong signal! Uh.. yeah ok. Reflowed the solder, no effect.. touched the oscilloscope probe to the transformer again gently, and bingo. Strong signal. Touched my finger to it.. improvement. Okay, so it’s a capacitance issue. Experimented and ended up with a 10pF ceramic cap across the terminals to bolster the transformer. Now the selectivity and sensitivity are great. It’s right now the best radio I have in the house for FM stereo.
Carried on with it but now it keeps tripping out into protect. I’ve troubleshot the protect circuit, one of the other boards must have a leaky cap on it somewhere. I need to pull the boards power supplies off one by one and see what fixes it.
Next up, refinished the floors at the house. Edging strip all done in the kitchen:
Finished up in the utility room, flooring strip and the paneling done:
Finished up the cabinet around the water heater:
Pulled the stove to bits and thoroughly cleaned it, the glass particularly was vile.
Finished the floor edge strip in the living room, split the flooring between the two rooms where it was buckling and added a divider to allow for expansion.
Rented a floor sanding machine and sanded the floors back, as previously they had looked OK, but having painted the walls and tidied up they were the least well-finished parts of the room.
Solid cypress flooring. Smelled real nice when lain bare.
A few coats of polyurethane clear varnish later:
Looking much better. Also, picked up a nice Holophane light fitting on clearance for $4 at Home Depot. Fitted an LED light to it that has 4 segments inside, looks rather like a standard light bulb:
Been troubleshooting the brakes on the car for a while. Stumbled across a post on a Ford Explorer forum with the same symptoms as mine. Turned out to be a faulty brake booster servo. I’m going to vacuum test mine this afternoon, have my MityVac for the purpose (shown here with brake bleeding catch-can fitted):
Also picked up a GTE Palco payphone, which has gone into service here at the house, with the requirement for coin removed.
I repaired a little Realistic PA amplifier that got struck by lightning, and built a cardboard speaker to test it with.
Also cleaned out and got fixed up the Kerosene lantern, for hurricane use.
That’s about it for now.