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Old Dec 29 2020, 10:37 PM   #5641
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I now understand why so many older people and those with underlying problems have so much trouble with Covid 19, it keeps changing the way it attacks. First to hit was the fevers, not high, but last longer, then chills, make you shiver, Then the bowel problems, enough said about that. loss of smell, very irritating, Not a complete loss of taste, but everything but one taste was very muted. the one that wasn't, at least for me was salty. Everything i eat has a very, very, Salty taste that overpowers what other small flavors are there. Oranges were the only food i noticed that didn't lose their taste to me. Then the fever, chills, Stomach distress make a return, along with the infection of the Lungs, the almost constant coughing tires you so much. Breathing becomes labored. I also have sleep Apnea, which having the CPAP machine for that, Actually helped in that area, and i believe was the only thing that kept me out of the Hospital. I made it thru all of that over the last 9 days and am recovering. Dr. says i am improving daily, and can return to work on Monday the 4th. of Jan.
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Old Dec 30 2020, 05:37 AM   #5642
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Default Re: What is happening

Glad you're recovering.
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Old Dec 30 2020, 05:50 PM   #5643
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Kibby's boss is getting irritating. Schedule is suppose to come out Saturdays. It starts on Tuesday. For the last it hasn't came out until Monday. The day before schedule starts. One week it didn't get post until 11 Tuesday morning. The called the ones who had to open late Tuesday night.
Kibby is suppose to be at work at 10:00 am tomorrow. I have 8:45 Dr appt. 2 hours away. Sister has to be at work at 5:00am
We have 2 cars. If we had known Kibby had to be there at 10 we could have asked someone else to take. Since the schedule didn't get posted until this afternoon she's will be late. District manager is not happy with store manager. He's going to cover Kibby until she can get there.
This is the same manager who schedule Kibby to work durring Mom memorial. Kibby even said she would open that day as long as she could leave by 11. He scheduled her to go in at 11.
District manager happened to go by & found out she wouldn't be able to go to Mom's service & covered for her then.
That is not irritating, that is bullying
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Old Dec 31 2020, 05:28 PM   #5644
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Since district manager had to get involved, again, hopefully thing will change.

New Years Eve, I'm going grocery shopping, getting Chinese, going & staying there. I hope everyone has a happy, safe, & healthy night. May the new year be better than the last.
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Old Jan 1 2021, 12:16 AM   #5645
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Glad you're recovering.
Thank You.
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Old Jan 1 2021, 04:27 AM   #5646
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And a happy, healthy and successful New Year to all
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Old Jan 2 2021, 04:06 PM   #5647
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I'm adding my wishes for a Happy and Prosperous New Year for everyone!

I hesitated to do that because after 2020 I don't want 2021 going "Here, hold my beer and watch this!"
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Old Jan 2 2021, 08:29 PM   #5648
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The word I'd like to summarise 2021 with: Boring. Please...boring would be lovely.

Should hopefully have some car work this week as I've a few minor jobs lined up for this week, weather permitting. Need to make a trip out to a pharmacy one day this week too and am fully intending to take the Invacar out for that. It's been weeks since I drove the poor thing.

We had the first actual not immediately explainable 3D print failure today. This was going fine, right up to point where the printer decided that it would be a wonderful idea to jump to Z=0 - which would be fine if there wasn't about 40% of a model in the way.



No idea why that happened. Guessing there was something awry in the G-code, so I went back to the model and rebuild it, tweaking a couple of settings I'd forgotten to save the previous time.

Moved the printer across to the other side of the room too. Firstly so it's not in the way of the paper tray on the normal printer, but secondly to keep it clear of the window. Having a draught over it sounds like a recipe for warping that does.



It's off on attempt 3 of this model now. The first failure was due to a failure of build plate adhesion, which was brought to my attention when I heard a clonk, followed immediately by the half finished model rolling across my desk after it was punted out of the printer by the extruder.

If we get through the next hour without it going haywire again we might be in business this time.

Main job for this afternoon was a quick one but something that's been on the to do list since 2005. Well, kinda. Sorting out the very, very dead NVRAM batteries in my old Toshiba laptops.

They use lithium thionyl chloride batteries for the NVRAM backup so they very, very rarely cause issues with leakage. However after 20+ years they're generally utterly dead. The T5200 has had this issue since 2005 meaning I need to reset the clock every time I start it up. However it's been the T3100e I've been using a bit more lately as it's more portable. So it's the one I'm sorting first.

This is the error I get every time it's powered up. Sorry for the image quality, plasma screens and digital cameras are not good bedfellows.



Followed by:



Step 1 is to flip the machine over and remove the three screws under the keyboard front edge.



You can then release the two little clips that are hidden in the screen catch recess.



This allows the keyboard to be lifted up and laid down in front of the computer. The ribbon cable is exactly the right length for this.



Two further screws need to come out at the rear of the keyboard recess then the RF shield can be withdrawn.



You can then get to the keyboard connector. You don't *need* to remove the keyboard, it just makes things easier though as it gets in the way otherwise. This has one of those connectors with a raised collar you have to pull out before you can remove the ribbon cable.



There we go, access to the area we need. If I had a memory upgrade to go in this is where it would be done. Sadly the T3100e uses proprietary memory so I can't just stick any old 36 pin memory in. If I had an 80287 math co-processor it would be fitted to the empty socket roughly central towards the rear.



Here's our target.



The trickiest bit of this process to be honest is getting the power connector off the motherboard as there's very little clearance beneath one of the case retaining lugs.



Still only about a 2/10 though, just a bit fiddly.

The battery holder itself is held in place by a bit of velcro.



While the battery is a standard AA in terms of form factor a bit more work is needed than dropping a new one in, as the connections to the original are spot welded on.





The eagle eyed among you might have spotted there's a tiny little diode in there too. I think that's a holdover from an earlier design which used a NiCd battery and had charging hardware on board. Because of the spot welded connections there are no actual terminals in the battery holder.

I figured rather than messing around trying to solder to lithium batteries, for the sake of £0.75 apiece I'd just get a new battery holder with standard connectors in.



I remember when I first got the T5200 that these batteries were really hard to find...however now you can just get a pack of 10 from Amazon or eBay for less than £20.



The T5200, T3200SXC and T1200 will want this job doing as well, hence the larger pack I picked up.

I just snipped the leads off the old battery so I could reuse the connector etc. For a change I did remember to put the heatshrink in place before soldering the wires together!



I bundled up the extra length of cable with a couple of small cable ties. Not pretty but it'll do the job.



Luckily for me the glue on the old velcro rectangle was still sticky so I was able to peel it off and put it on the new battery holder.



Convenient as that's not something I had in stock.

From this point on reassembly is the reverse of disassembly.

New battery holder etc shown in place before putting the covers back on.



Note when the keyboard goes back in that there's a lip at the back so it has to go in at the rear edge first.





On the first startup it will of course still be complaining so you'll need to set the date and time one last time in the BIOS setup screen.



Date correctly set...no Y2K issues here on a machine from 1988!



I do enjoy the ARE YOU REALLY SURE YOU WANT TO DO THAT?!? nature of the confirmation screen it gives you before saving the settings.



Rebooting a few minutes later gave no error messages, and checking the date once we'd booted into DOS...



Yep...it's saved the date settings and the clock seems to be running properly.

Very simple job really but nice to have something that was quite annoying ticked off after several years.
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Old Jan 3 2021, 10:11 PM   #5649
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I might die of shock...Two updates on my website in three weeks.

The Kovac K-80D is now live in the Vintage Technology section.

Definitely need to get started on the Spring Cleaning of the site as a whole soon though. I'd really like to get some of the older stuff archived and get some actually readable content up there.
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Old Jan 4 2021, 01:33 AM   #5650
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I agree boring would be nice. I don't think boring is going to happen in the US any time soon.
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Old Jan 4 2021, 07:25 PM   #5651
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Finally got around to building up the enclosure for the distributor condenser for the Invacar today.

The 0.22uF caps still haven't arrived, so I've just made up a dual 0.1uF cap. As it will be living in a large enough enclosure there's really no issue with this.



Given the application vibration was something I was wanting to put a stop to, so the innards of the box have been well and truly secured in place with plenty of hot glue. The capacitors are actually a nice snug fit between the outer of the case and the posts that the terminal strip sits on anyway, so it's just belt and braces really. Under no circumstances should the capacitor leads have any load placed on them. I've also tried to ensure that anywhere that the wiring in the box is touching anything that it's held in place so we can't have any issues with things rubbing through over time.



It looks messy, but that's kind of the curse of hot glue.

The lead that you can already see connected is the ground connection, which is just going to a ring terminal which will be secured under one of the mounting bolts.

You can also see that there's more than just the condenser in here - that's because I'm also using the enclosure as a convenient location to fit a remote engine start button for use when I'm doing testing in the engine bay.



If I find I have issues with the plastic enclosure cracking I'll replace it with a metal one. It just seemed like plastic was less likely to dissolve the first time it got wet.

Drilled and tapped a couple of holes for it to attach to in the engine bay (okay...Three holes because I totally fouled up the location of the first one and the enclosure would have had to be halfway into the space occupied by the voltage regulator) and hooked it up.



Still need to install the wiring for the starter button but the distributor side is all hooked up now. I had planned to get the starter hooked up as well but by this point I'd completely lost all feeling in my fingers so retreated back inside!

It's a small detail but it's really nice to have got something on the car side of things ticked off again as it's been a while. Plus this gets rid of my cable-tied bodge from a few weeks ago and is far tidier. It looks a bit new and shiny in the engine bay at the moment but once it's got a bit of road dust on it it'll blend in just fine. Plus I'm more interested in long term reliability and things which make it easier to live with than absolute originality.

I really do need to rebuild the rear of that wheel tub sometime too...
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Old Jan 6 2021, 07:02 PM   #5652
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Despite successfully finishing wiring up the condenser enclosure and getting the remote start button working yesterday the day ended rather depressingly when I managed to lock the keys in the van. I also discovered that the battery charger I thought I had repaired following it going bang quite spectacularly a couple of weeks ago is still broken...and was actually sucking juice out of the battery rather than charging it. I know there are three conventional chargers in this house, but could I find one? Not a chance!

I don't have a full set of spare keys for the van. I've been meaning to remedy this for a while but it's never made it to the front of the to do list. Biggest stumbling block was that Timpson's (etc) couldn't apparently source a blank for the key for the actual van bit. Apparently you'd need to get it direct from Mercedes for stupid money. As other jobs took precedence I never really chased that up.

With the keys I did have, the only useful thing I could get into was the gas locker.



My plan was to unbolt the draining board which sits above the locker, climb into it, then reach up through there to get hold of the keys - assuming they were sitting next to the sink where I thought I'd left them. Of course just to add to the fun, all the blinds were closed so I couldn't see!

This plan then encountered another frustration when I went to pick up the 8mm spanner.



It should be on the hook nearest the camera. Last time I used it was when I was rebuilding the Jag's wiper motor...in the van. Ah.

After far too long wrestling with an adjustable spanner that was far too big for the job at hand I had the draining board out - at which point the 8mm spanner I'd mentioned earlier bounced off my forehead and everything I'd left stacked on the draining board cascaded onto the floor inside.



Now I'm not flexible enough to actually climb through that hole, but I thought I knew where the keys were, so should be able to reach them.



Thank goodness for that! I was just able to reach them at full stretch.

Sorted!



Then I just had to tidy up the mess I'd made and reassemble what I'd taken to bits.

With the van back together and now accessible I was able to dig out the backup backup battery charger out of the service locker.



It's a cheap and nasty thing but will do just fine for a bit of a boost. Think everything is struggling a bit just between winter and lack of regular use.

So basically back to where I was hoping to be when I wrapped up yesterday!
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Old Jan 9 2021, 12:08 AM   #5653
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Default Re: What is happening

Looks like I was right, it's not going to be a peaceful new year for the US. This not meant to be political, just stating a sad fact.
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Old Jan 9 2021, 10:13 AM   #5654
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Look at it this way: you'll be able to really appreciate a peaceful year if/when you get one.
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Old Jan 9 2021, 11:24 AM   #5655
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I have completed my free 7 day trial of 2021. I don't like it. Can I now reject the whole program and move on to 2022?
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Old Jan 10 2021, 04:32 AM   #5656
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Thanks for the pep talk P'ter.
I agree Allen.
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Old Jan 13 2021, 12:06 AM   #5657
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Alec Johnson shared the eulogy he said at Anne's funeral
I hope the link works.

https://m.facebook.com/groups/Dragon...8695835238070/
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Old Jan 13 2021, 12:58 AM   #5658
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Oh goody, someone at Kibby's work has Covid. The year keeps getting better.
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Old Jan 14 2021, 02:22 PM   #5659
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Got kibby's results back quicker than I thought, she does not have covid.
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Old Jan 14 2021, 09:39 PM   #5660
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After disappearing for a few weeks the charging issue on the Jag has reappeared.



The alternator is still producing power, albeit vastly reduced and is relative to engine speed. I've noticed over the last couple of weeks that the cut in point has been sitting unusually high, at about 1500rpm. Anywhere below that it would sit off charge. No slipping belt this time, it's actually an internal issue.

New alternator time methinks. It's probably a regulator issue (don't think it's a sticky brush like I had on the Saab as the ignition light on the dash is behaving normally), but given how much of a pain access is (I'm assuming it's not really any better from underneath) I'm disinclined to mess around swapping parts. Even if it costs me an extra £150 or so I'd rather just fit a new one. Otherwise Murphy's Law ensures a bearing will self destruct in six months time requiring me to pull it out again. Once it's done it's done. I could potentially overhaul the old one on the bench and sell it on later to recoup some of the cost maybe. Though given what a pain selling anything is these days it'll be far more likely to disappear onto a shelf in the garage as a standby spare.

Oh, and rear tyres definitely need to happen. They seem absolutely fine in the dry, but are utterly lethal in the wet. Had the first instance yesterday of it *properly* trying to go sideways on me while pulling out of a junction, even though I was barely touching the throttle. She's a heavy old girl with a lot of momentum when that happens! It was all managed tidily and without any real drama, but really does hit home quite how much respect you need to treat a car like this with. All it takes is a millisecond of carelessness in the wet to end up in a lot of trouble. Especially bearing in mind that on a damp road, in a straight line if you're on more than about 2/3rds throttle she will light up both rear wheels when the gearbox drops from 1st to 2nd - at about 60mph, which is a somewhat alarming moment to discover you have wheelspin. So I very deliberately ease off momentarily at about 40 to encourage the box to make that change in a less dynamically unpredictable manner. There are moments when an LSD is a liability rather than an aid. I've been pleasantly surprised by the ones that went on the front recently, so may well just stick with those again. I'd still *like* to get a proper set of 215/70s on there, but just can't justify the price given our current situation.

I have spent just under five hours over the last two days on the phone to broadband suppliers. We're meant to be switching to a new one next week, however the new provider fouled up something on their system which resulted in the order being (silently) cancelled. We got that resolved relatively quickly...but it's resulted in the connection date being pushed back from 19th January to 2nd March. Our existing service is already set to be terminated on that date (well, day after actually), and they're absolutely not willing to move that date unless we were to sign up to a new 24 month contract - at nearly double what we're currently paying them! Now bear in mind we currently have three people here working from home - one in the medical field and one rather high level risk manager in a financial institution - who are in virtually non stop video conferences at the moment. Our existing 30 megabit connection has been struggling badly with the load (especially since both of their employers have insisted on switching to Teams...I have never known such a resource guzzling piece of software!), which was one of the main reasons for the move, allowing us to move from a 30 Megabit to 900 Megabit connection. Oh, yes...in addition to Teams etc, they're working over a VPN and with a remote desktop session as well...so that needs to be added to the network load. As stated, our existing connection is being saturated pretty much throughout the whole working day.

The new provider has sent us a mobile router to tide us over...which is about as much use as a chocolate teapot as the 4G coverage here isn't that great. Usually looking at 3-4 Megabits of bandwidth available. I've never bothered about that as for anything I'm using my *phone* for that's absolutely fine. However people tethering five computers and four tablets to that connection is a rather different picture! It's barely going to handle two people browsing the web in 2021, much less anyone running resource guzzling business software.

So far nobody involved is interested in being helpful. Equally unhelpful is that I've not even got any choices for the upgrade as there's only one provider offering the full fibre to the premises service in our area, and no others indicating interest in joining the party - likely because they know we're only 20 miles from an area with solid 5G coverage and two operators have our area planned to have that service running within the next couple of years - At which point the fibre network is likely to become largely redundant overnight given the performance offered, so nobody's really interested in investing in it.
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Old Yesterday, 06:13 PM   #5661
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Got kibby's results back quicker than I thought, she does not have covid.
So glad to read this !
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