Saturday, July 30, 2005

A package from El Salvador

It's no secret, I've wanted a Treble Booster stompbox for long time now. Today I've finnaly started building one.

After doing a little research, I found a couple of places on the web that had free schematics of the stompbox cicuit in question, but only one place sold a working PCB (printed circuit board). was a life saver for someone like me; good enough soldering skills to make a circuit, but not quite smart enough to cipher a schematic without a modicum of book learning. Tonepad had the layout schematic and the PCB so ordering was a no brainer. When the package containing my PCB came in the mail I noticed the return address was in El Salvador. I've never had any mail from Central America so I was as excited as a little kid.

I started soldering today after a trip to Radio Shack for resistors, caps and LEDs. I wanted to go to this oldtimer electronics parts store but they were closed because they're moving their store closer to my house. They open on Monday so I'll get the rest of the parts and a metal enclosure then.

About the only thing I can't locally are the vintage knobs I like. But Small Bear Electronics is turning out to be the online store for parts.

I should have the circuit done by Tuesday, but I'll be working on the enclosure for the rest of the week.

That'll leave me open for next weekend to build the digital delay kit I ordered.

Clear is my favorite color

I've always been a suck for the vintage acrylic Dan Armstrong guitars. There's just something cool about them. They scream Rock and/or Roll!!!

So imagine how I felt when I stumbled across Love Is Music Store and their collection of plexiglas guitars and basses.

The best part is that you can get a plexi Les Paul or Strat for only $160 then mod it with quality hardware and maybe a neck too and you're looking at a pretty cool looking and sounding guitar for about $500 total.

I really need to put up a PayPal donation button so I can feed my addiction.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Mercury Theatre on the Air

"The finest radio drama of the 1930’s was The Mercury Theatre on the Air, a show featuring the acclaimed New York drama company founded by Orson Welles and John Houseman. In its brief run, it featured an impressive array of talents, including Agnes Moorehead, Bernard Herrmann, and George Coulouris. The show is famous for its notorious War of the Worlds broadcast, but the other shows in the series are relatively unknown. This site has many of the surviving shows, and will eventually have all of them."

Why I love Wal-Mart!

After running a story about the true cost of the low prices of Wal-Mart (how WM's non-benefited, under payed employees are costing states millions of dollars in welfare and medical care), The Pensacola News Journal is no longer available at Pensacola area Wal-Marts.

To be fair, the Journal could have played Wal-Mart's brand of ball and everything would've been OK. [/sarcasm] This is just another example of how Wal-Mart bullies companies and people to get its way.

Thanks to Richard at Electronic Ephemera for the find.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


As in WhatTheFont.

Have an image with text in an unknown font? Upload the image from your computer or elsewhere on the web and it matches the font for you.

Pretty accurate and pretty damn cool.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Thank you PayPal!

Today I kept PayPal busy.

I ordered the DD80 Digital Delay kit from Josh
ponyed up $50 for my old delay so I had enough money to feed my new

I also finally ordered the PCB (printed circuit board) for the vintage
Range Master Treble Booster that I plan to build. I still need to buy
the enclosure to put it in but I can get that in town. The PCB will be
here in a few weeks; the dude takes forever to ship but he's the only
game in town and he was referred. I ordered the other hard to get
components earlier this week but I have the above mentioned DD80 to
keep me busy until the PCB arrives.

Oh, because of the DD80 Digital Delay I came close to kicking a guy at
work in the Willy! I was yakkin' that I needed a cool name for the box
because DD80 is sooooo boring and this mook said I should name it "Tom
Delay". GRRRRR!!!

So anyway, Paypal is may friend .


Je n'ai pas une crainte des endroits élevés, mais mon estomac a
flotté un bit à ceci.

Je suis vraiment comme le quart VR Panaramas et je souhaite que j'aie
eu la patience pour les faire. Je devine que j'aime la satisfaction
instantanée trop.

Friday, July 22, 2005

No wonder I've always had a thing against dysentery. It all makes sense now.

In a Past Life...

You Were: A Forlorn Sailor.

Where You Lived: Portugal.

How You Died: Dysentery.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


My DD80 plan is coming together quite nicely, indeed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Wheeling and/or dealing...

After building the Tonebent! Fuzz I'm already itching to build another box. The only prob is that I can't justify paying $75 for another kit.


What about that guitar playing son I have? He's been looking for a delay. Maybe he could buy my Danelectro PB&J Delay?

Yeah, that's it.

So today I went up to the boy and told him I'd part ways with the PB&J for only $50. Now before you think that I'm taking advantage of the boy, let it be known that he's getting a good deal. New they cost about $65 new and mine's never been out of the house. Finding one that is as good as new in the real world for the same price would be pretty hard.

So if he decides to buy the my old delay I'll be able to get the DD80 kit.

It's not a bad little box with about 600ms of delay which can be modded to 1200ms with just the change of a pot. The 1200ms mod starts to sound lo-fi but that's a sound I'll prolly use. I've always liked that kind of thing. There's also a "self-oscillation" mod that causes the effect to feedback on itself with really strange results.

It's a harder build than the Tonebent! Fuzz with ICs and stuff but I think I can build it if I go slow.

I learned a few things from the last box.

This time I'll paint the box first.

And let it dry so I don't put permanent fingerprints in the finish.

Oh, and I'll actually have an idea for the finish before I pick up the spray paint.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Finally done...

Today the rain never stopped, so I used the time indoor to repaint the Tonebender.

Orginaly I thought that the red paint wasn't going to be red enough but it's almost too red. The white rub on letters shows up pretty well though the red could've been a little darker. I was a little too eager to finish today and you can see a couple of big thumb prints if you hold the box up to the light just right. I ordered some white knobs to keep the whole red & white look.

I had to re-wire a pot, the AC jack and the LED before I closed it up. I should have just left the AC jack bypassed because the circuit is positive grounded which shorts out any multi-unit AC adaptors when other negative grounded effects are connected. So the unit's gonna run of battery.

I placed an order for some components to build Rangemaster Treble Boost box last night so I should be busy soldering next weekend. The schematic is simpler but it'll be harder because it's not a kit, so I'll really have to take it slow so I don't screw anything up.

One day I'll actually play through this stuff.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Bender Update MKII

After finishing the Bender kit a couple of weeks back I finally got off
my ass and painted the box.

I put a really nice hammer-pounded copper paint job on it, labeled it
with some cool scratch on letters I found at Office Depot then decided
that it didn't look right.

For some reason copper didn't look right.

Red is the color (there's this pretentious sales chick at work who
spells it "colour", for some reason it irks me). It just goes with the
white lettering better. And it'll go with the cool white retro knobs
I'm ordering.

So I yanked the guts (resulting in some re-wiring I have to do), stripped the paint
with brake fluid then buffed the box (again).

I sprayed the box earlier even though the humidity was about 90%. I'm
"baking" the paint job with a hairdryer in the garage.

When the whole thing is done I'll post a couple of pics.

The next thing I build may get a "Day in the Life" treatment on the blog.

Friday, July 15, 2005

A little help please...

I'm getting a little pissed off at FLICKR!

The silly little FLICKR photo badge I have in my sidebar works for me only part of the time. Sometimes I get the cool photo montage thingy, sometimes it diplays "no such photos".

So, if a couple of you 2.73 readers could let me what you see that would be great.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Which Rock Chick Are You?

Other than the whole killing Kurt thing, I really don't mind Courtney.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Listen to me!!!

Not to me actually but to my Pirate Radio Station!!!

THESE GUYS have figured out how to get a little more distance and power from their iTrip FM transmitter and iPod setup so that they can actually overide other stations signals. While not truly "Pirate Radio" it still seems fun.

The hack involves voiding the warranty of your iTrip so I prolly won't be doing it, I'm a cheap bastard. Maybe I can find one cheap on ebay so I can force all of my music on unsuspecting gridlockers.

:insert evil laugh here:

:and here:

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Mobius Loop Pt. 2

It's always interesting to see in to an author's mind, to see how it ticks, what his/her personal motivations are.

Most authors however are closed, they want their privacy. And who can blame them?

So it's a treat when an author like David Brin opens up and gives us a peek. Contrary Brin is David's blog and he covers the way things are.

It's surprising how much like we he is to myself and the readers here.

Give his blog a read and comment there.

As promised...

Here're a few pics from our trip.

If it hadn't been for the whole driving thing I would've enjoyed it more. I'm still cramping from the driver's seat.

The cabin isn't finished, but the cabin and the lake are beautiful.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

If I had the money...

This guy has stolen my dream.

I've always wanted to go to space. Ever since I saw some way retro pictures in a grade school science primer I've had my eye pointed to the sky.

I had dreams.

I knew that civilian space travel was going to happen by the time I was 30. I thought for sure by 2000 that we'd have a moonbase vacation spot.

I was so wrong.

We don't even have aircars yet.

So the idea of a rich guy buying his way to space is okay with me.

All I need to do is start buying Lotto tickets.

100 things I don't care about.

1. hamsters

Uhm, that's pretty much it.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Very short vaction summary.

Day 1: Drove 12 hours from San Antonio to Oletha, Kansas. Dodged one funnel cloud.

Day 2: Drove 9 hours from Oletha to Chanhassen. Had dinner with father in-law and his mom and his 3rd or 4th wife.

Day 3: Drove 3 hours to some lake to stay in what will be a really nice cabin. Went boating.

Day 4: Drove 5 hours total to see Duluth and Split Rock Lighthouse. Went back to lake cabin.

Day 5: Drove 3 hours back to Chanhassen after fishing at lake cabin. Watched fireworks.

Day 6: Drove 10 hours to Wichita. The hotel next door is on fire.

Day 7 prediction: more driving.

Fuck, I'm tired of driving.

Friday, July 01, 2005

vacation day 1

Pretty uneventful.

Drove almost 700 miles. Dodged funnel clouds in Kansas.

Free WiFi at the hotel is cool.