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Old Dec 29 2020, 09:37 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, 04:37 AM   #5642
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Glad you're recovering.
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Old Dec 30 2020, 04:50 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, 04:28 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 Dec 31 2020, 11:16 PM   #5645
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Glad you're recovering.
Thank You.
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Old Jan 1 2021, 03:27 AM   #5646
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And a happy, healthy and successful New Year to all
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Old Jan 2 2021, 03:06 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, 07:29 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, 09:11 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, 12:33 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, 06:25 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, 06:02 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 8 2021, 11:08 PM   #5653
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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, 09:13 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, 10:24 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, 03:32 AM   #5656
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Thanks for the pep talk P'ter.
I agree Allen.
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Old Jan 12 2021, 11:06 PM   #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 12 2021, 11:58 PM   #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, 01:22 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, 08:39 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 Jan 16 2021, 05:13 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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Old Jan 17 2021, 01:34 PM   #5662
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More random ancient technology has surfaced on my website.

This time it's the turn of the Casio PF-3000 Calculator and Data Bank



An interesting little device from back when the designers hadn't quite figured out what form what we came to know as the PDA would take.

Noticed one typo already I'll need to go back and sort later...but think it's mostly done.
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Old Jan 21 2021, 05:45 PM   #5663
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While today has largely been extremely annoying courtesy of incompetent utility providers there was some good news at least: This arrived in the post.



Sadly we do appear to have suffered some damage during shipping. Looks like we have a display issue. This is showing an incremental count through all 12 digits.



Showing all 8s shows that it's the same segments affected in all digits. Negative, memory and overflow indicators should all be lit too.



The photos on the eBay listing for it show the display working properly so guessing this happened on the way here. Let's have a look to see if it's anything obvious.



Oooh, look at that IC package...



Now that's a bit special. Quite surprised to see that on a calculator as recent as 1975 that's not a more specialised type.

The display itself is a bit special too, a Sperry Panaplax II unit... that's worth a closer look isn't it.



Looking at the right angle you can clearly see the ITO coating in front of each digit which forms the anode.



That's lovely. While the digits are quite a bit smaller than those on the Kovac K-80D they are a lot brighter.

Doesn't look like I could have asked for an easier design to fault find on at least. The fact I can immediately see two banks of transistors...in groups of 8 and 12 suggests they are the display drivers. Should be easy enough to fault find there even without a schematic.

Very much liking it though and am glad I bought it, even if it is by far the most expensive one I've bought so far... finally getting one with a proper Panaplax display was worth it. I couldn't ignore the Anita name either.

It seems that besides the display issue it's working, though it's a bit hard to tell the arithmetic is behaving when you can't read 2/3rds of the display! Speaking of arithmetic, this is a proper RPN calculator, hence the switch register button.

As the price has been increased nearly $10 a month courtesy of Brexit I'm probably going to stop my Vinyl Moon subscription. It's just pushed it into the "too expensive" category for me I think. That does however mean I'm more willing to throw a bit of money at things like this - as I've rediscovered how much I enjoyed it.

In a related vein I've had a bit of a look at some basics of how CSS works...and it's not quite as terrifying as I remember. Especially given how simple a website it is...as every page uses the same basic format I'd only need to set things up once, then I should just be able to specify the style sheet in the header for each page. The style sheet itself is literally just a list of parameters and values. May have a bit of a play at the weekend and see if I can get it to work.

There are two things on the site the Google Search Console is still complaining about: Clickable items too close together on some pages, and text size too small to read. Not sure quite what to do about the clickable elements issue... I'm *guessing* that's relating to the home/back buttons at the bottom of the pages as it's still there on pages I've deliberately kept decent separation between things. The font too small complaint I'll mess with... don't want to increase it *too* much though or it will end up looking too clunky. I need to try though as it's hurting the visibility of pages in search results.
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Old Jan 23 2021, 04:30 PM   #5664
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Not been a particularly great day here. Another friend of mine has just had a cancer diagnosis - that's three people in as many months. In addition of course to the other friend who died last year when their treatment was cut off during lockdown. Every one of them in their late 20s to mid 30s.

Just to add to that I've also heard today that an artist who I've followed the work of since the late 90s passed away in their sleep overnight completely out of the blue for reasons unknown. While I don't know them personally, when you've followed someone's work for that long it's still something of an emotional slap to the face to get news like that.

Not a great day.

So I went and hid in the garage instead of doing a thousand household jobs which have been on the to do list all week!

I've been doing a bit of a poor job of updating things on the cars lately, though mainly because not a huge amount has been going on. It's a good time I've found to start ticking off a few of the jobs which had been waiting for the right time to happen and/or further information. One of these jobs was replacing the rear brake hoses on the Invacar. While the rubber on the ones on there seems fine, the ferrules are quite crusty and I've just never fully trusted them given their age. Despite them passing the "literally having me hanging off the brakes with my entire body weight" test without any signs of distress. However the tricky part there was figuring out what I needed to buy. My original plan had been to take one off the car (or one from a spares stash a friend has) to a local hydraulic specialist and have them make me up a set using the original as a template. This turned out not to be necessary however as someone else had found a Girling cross reference catalogue which showed the part number fitted. The rear brake hoses on an AC or Invacar Model 70 is 64047355. A bit of digging around has confirmed that this is the same as the front brake hoses used on the single master cylinder equipped versions of the Mk I Triumph GT6 (among others...but this seems to be by far the easiest one to find parts for). After initially getting one wrong part delivered (which turned out be a foul up on my part) I got the correct parts ordered.

That was at 16:34 on Friday afternoon, through the eBay shop of MEV Spares...The package dropped through my letter box a couple of minutes past noon the following day. That's some speedy service!



Their part number for those playing along at home.



Perfect weather to be working on cars.



Despite being in the garage, with the door deliberately left out a bit to provide an overhang, and inside a car, the snow STILL managed to find ways to get down the back of my collar and into my right ear while I was working.

What then followed was the best part of two hours swearing at this thing.



The nuts securing the hose to the chassis and suspension arm fought me the entire way off. Not helped by the fact I was working in a space precisely 2/3rds as wide as I needed it to be to realistically get both hands in - and access from underneath is even worse because all of the brake lines are on top of the chassis or suspension. Realistically I should have just removed the driver's seat first...but that sounds like extra work!

With the hose *finally* liberated I was able to confirm that it does look like we have a perfect match this time.



Thankfully the retaining nuts survived the brute force required to remove them as I didn't have anything else in stock the correct size or thread. Fitting the new hose was a far quicker process! Doesn't this look better?



The new hose looks a lot more twisted than the original in the photo mainly because the curve in the pipe is off to one side rather than upwards - that's the orientation it was naturally sitting in before any securing fixings were tightened up, so it's not under any undue strain.

Hopefully get the other side done tomorrow, get the system bled and adjust up the handbrake which is blatantly obviously doing next to nothing on the nearside at the moment - which ties in with me having noticed a bit of extra free play in the brakes recently - the handbrake adjustment plays a big part in that as it basically sets the rest position of the shoes. Car is just coming up on 1000 miles travelled now, so makes sense to my mind to have expected to need to do this as the shoes will have bedded in properly and cleaned any crud off the surface in the drums by now.

Will just be nice for long term peace of mind to know that these hoses have been changed. For all they looked crusty, I don't think the original ones were in imminent danger of failure (or I wouldn't have driven the car!), but it's nice to know I'm not relying on potentially 48 year old rubber hoses when I hit the brakes! *Especially* as this car has single circuit brakes - something I'd really like to look at upgrading in the future for obvious reasons. the flexible hose on the front brake was physically damaged when I got this car so was replaced with a NOS replacement. This part while also an off-the-shelf Girling item doesn't look to be shared with anything common enough to be readily available these days. For peace of mind I may well look to get one of these made up by Pirtek or similar outfits. Though the front hose at least is easy to inspect - unlike the rear ones which are essentially inaccessible unless you're going in through the service hatch in the rear of the cabin.

Also on the long-term peace of mind list regarding the brakes: A few folks have raised concerns about the suitability of copper for rigid brake lines - in spite of it being sold for this purpose with all the prerequisite safety standard markings stamped on it in most motor factors. That message has been received and understood, and I do fully intend to replace all the copper rigid lines with cupronickel ones in due course. I want to fully investigate the possibility of the dual circuit setup first though as I'd rather not do the job twice. I've been as careful as possible to avoid bending the pipe at all beyond what's necessary to form it into the necessary shapes so as to avoid work hardening it, and have made sure it's secured in place as thoroughly as possible (and have actually just bought some more clips to improve on that a bit along the chassis rail for the front to rear main line). Thanks for the advice on that folks, it's not something I would have ever known about without the feedback.

Of course once this work is finished it'll probably be a while before I can take a test drive to see if it's made any noticeable difference to the behaviour of the brakes (not expecting it) given the current situation.
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Old Jan 25 2021, 12:35 AM   #5665
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Zelandeth, since you like older tech things, ever see one of these?

I found it in a box I bought at an auction. It was an unexpected bonus since I bought the box for a glass vase that was in it. Turned out to be this and some other neat things in it.
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Old Jan 25 2021, 01:10 AM   #5666
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I've been working with my new laser engraver, developing a couple of new techniques. Samples:

This is on an 11 X 14 inch canvas. Three layers of spray paint; in this case white, brown, and black, laser etched.

Done the same way, two colors, brown over white.

Laser etched into silver scratch art paper.

Dragonwolf. Again, silver scratch art paper.

11 X 14 canvas, black over blue over white spray paint.
The color pictures take anywhere from 16 hours and longer to etch. The scratch art paper pictures take 3+ hours average. I've done more. Yes i make them to sell. In fact, the two scratch arts are already sold and gone, but I can do them again since I still have the patterns on file.
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Old Jan 25 2021, 10:30 PM   #5667
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Ugg once again Kibby's work schedule, which syarts tomorrow isn't up yet. Does she have to be at work at iam? Who knows? There are 4 people 2 cars. We make it work. It helps to know what everyone has going, at least a day in advance.
It's not that darn hard to do a schedule.
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Old Jan 25 2021, 10:34 PM   #5668
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Allen I would love a picture of a dragon eating a fairy, that says my dragon ate your fairy. Partly to bug Kibbu, which is always fun. Can you make one? How much would it be? It doesn't have to be very big, around 8X10.
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Old Jan 26 2021, 11:28 AM   #5669
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Allen I would love a picture of a dragon eating a fairy, that says my dragon ate your fairy. Partly to bug Kibbu, which is always fun. Can you make one? How much would it be? It doesn't have to be very big, around 8X10.
I would need to find the actual image. Size of the finished pic isn't the problem, since I can resize, crop, and so on easily. In color on canvas, I'm pretty much limited to 3 colors right now, since the pic is translated to a greyscale (black & white) pic then made into a "negative" pattern, like the negative of a black and white photo from the past... Remember film? LOL! But the problem is that red and blue for instance both show up as grey. One may be a bit lighter grey than the other, depending on the actual colors, but the laser software isn't that picky. I haven't gotten good enough to figure out where to put red, where to put blue on the canvas so it would be where needed. Remember, I'm dealing with cans of spray paint, not an artist's airbrush. But as I do these, my mind is working on the problem in theory. Fact is, while describing all this to you, I've had a bit of inspiration, so I will have to look into it. One thing I already know is the time painting and preparing the canvas may go from hours to days. The burn time shouldn't change too much. Right now, a 3 color pic like the two I posted take anywhere from 15 to 20 hours to run. Scratch art paper, between 3 & 5 hours, since they're basically a B&W pic.

Now about price... The canvas pic, even in an 8X10 instead of 11X14 would have to be in the range of $40, more or less, because of the prep labor time. I get canvasses of either size so close in price that it doesn't count.

The scratch art paper is 8-1/2 X 11 inches to start with, so if you wanted to trim it down, it's paper, so you could do that. That would be cheaper because lots less prep but believe it or not, the paper cost more per sheet than canvas does. If I could find the right pic for the pattern, I think I could do it for you for about $25.

The scratch art paper loses some of its shine because of etching the glossy silver or gold a bit, but I like the way it reflects as you shift it and catch the light on it.

Here's a couple more pics I did on silver paper. Just a bit "darker" subject matter.

This is WolfMother

The Hedge Witch. Like I said, not exactly the mowt pleasant of subject matter. But here's one more:

These Velvet Skies.
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Old Jan 26 2021, 11:59 AM   #5670
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Allen I would love a picture of a dragon eating a fairy, that says my dragon ate your fairy. Partly to bug Kibbu, which is always fun. Can you make one? How much would it be? It doesn't have to be very big, around 8X10.
Well! Finding an image turned out to be easier than I thought! You can click on the thumbnails below to enlarge them. I decided to downsize my images so the page doesn't take forever to load.



This last one is my favorite, I think. But the choice would be up to you, of course.
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Old Jan 26 2021, 09:39 PM   #5671
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I've seen these & that was what I was thinking. I'd love the 25$ one. I'm waiting for life insurance or stimulus check. Both should be in a few day, hopefully.
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Old Jan 26 2021, 10:45 PM   #5672
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I've seen these & that was what I was thinking. I'd love the 25$ one. I'm waiting for life insurance or stimulus check. Both should be in a few day, hopefully.
Okay, which pic would you like so I can earmark it for you?
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Old Jan 27 2021, 01:04 PM   #5673
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Kibby says no. I like the middle one.
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Old Jan 27 2021, 09:48 PM   #5674
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Zelandeth, since you like older tech things, ever see one of these?...
That's not one I'd seen before...Looks a lot more modern than it is - I was expecting late 90s from the styling - not 1993!

Computers and calculators have always been the main interest - though I do seem to have started accumulating PDAs recently too - and of course there are then some oddballs like the Casio PF-3000 I got a few weeks ago which kind of blurs the line between a calculator and what became the PDA.

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I've been working with my new laser engraver, developing a couple of new techniques...
That looks really impressive Allen!

-- -- --

Busy day in the garage today!

The box with my new steering linkage ball joints has turned up. There's a little play in a couple of the ones on the car and one of the others has a shredded boot, so I think it's time to replace them.



These are standard Mini track rod ends so readily and cheaply available. Conveniently they've got a hammered black finish as well which fits in perfectly with what I've generally been using for the cabin metalwork!



I'll probably do that one first just to confirm they are actually correct as that one is by far the easiest to get to. That's a job for another day though.

Today I wanted to get things mostly buttoned back up - but there were a few tasks I wanted to do while I had the seat and service hatch out.

[] CVT Belt.

Our research had shown that the Dayco HP2020 should be a "drop in" replacement for the original Dayco 43-5639 belt. Having compared the two next to each other they appear identical (well within the variance that there seems to be between various batches of the original belts).

Checking my notes it's hard to believe I've done a little over 400 miles since I fitted that NOS belt! Taking a close look at it though it seems to be doing absolutely fine.



I was particularly interested to check for any signs of either overheating or the outer braiding failing given that she's done quite a few high speed blasts up the A5 recently - and I don't think howling along at 70 was really in the original design spec for these belts! That's one area where the HP2020 is a better bet as I know it's factory spec for some vehicles with quite a bit more power than the Invacar so hopefully it should be able to stand up to this sort of punishment reasonably well. Even if I do wind up changing the belt annually or something as a service item at £35 it's hardly the end of the world.



Changing the belt takes a grand total of about fifteen minutes from stepping into the garage and requires a 17mm spanner...that's it. In my case there's also an 8mm one needed to actually open the service hatch. Suffice to say these are kept in the car as standard these days. That belt I've taken off will be getting tucked away somewhere in either the engine bay or under the front hatch as a spare so should I have issues with a belt letting go unexpectedly in the future I shouldn't have issues getting myself going again.

The HP2020 is a directional belt, so the arrows want to be pointing towards the left hand side of the car (as if you're sitting in the driver's seat), I assume this is to do with the direction that the braiding is woven, so if a thread were to come loose the rotation would tend to keep it from unravelling.

Virtually impossible to get a photo of that because of the guard and poor lighting...but you get the idea.




[] Gearbox oil leak.

While TPA's engine is pretty much entirely oil tight, the gearbox isn't. It's fine when stationary but is clearly losing some when you're driving. One of the main sources is from the top cover, from where it's then running down the offside of the gearbox casing. I can't tell for certain if there's an additional leak from that driveshaft seal as well until I've sorted the leak immediately above it. Helpfully it's only held on by four nuts so hopefully an easy solution. It doesn't look like there was ever a gasket in here, just a smear of instant gasket goop. So I've scraped it back and replaced it with the same.



While I had the cover off I checked to make sure the oil level hadn't dropped - and it is still level with the top of the fill plug. It is a bit murky though and seems to have frothed up more than I'd expect from my messing with the pulleys while fitting the belt.



When I changed this oil originally it was drained cold when the car had been sitting for a while...so I reckon there may well have been some gunge in the bottom that was left behind (there's no drain plug on the gearbox so you have to drain it with a suction pump). The car will be getting an oil and filter change in roughly 150 miles anyway so I'll make sure that the gearbox and diff oils are changed then as well - I'll make a point of ensuring it's done right after a run so nothing has a chance to settle out this time. If it has been foaming though that won't have helped with any potential leak issues.


[] Electrical Isolator Switch.

I noticed that this was wobbling around a bit by random chance so took the opportunity to nip this up a bit.



Easy fix.

[] Seat improvement.

The seat base on the Invacar is a little unusual because the seat is designed to be able to slide a foot or so over to the left to aid someone transferring from a wheelchair into the car. To allow this it sits on rollers at both the front and the rear. The lateral movement is only locked by a single latch on the front runner...the downside of this is that between play in the latch, the front rollers and the unsecured rear, the rear of the seat can of course shift a little - probably an inch or so - during cornering. I imagine this was probably far less of an issue with the original seat as it wouldn't provide any lateral support to speak of - the one I have fitted does though. After a year and nearly a thousand miles, the feeling of that moving just as you start to go into a corner is still extremely disconcerting.

My solution for this was actually very simple.



I just drilled two holes through the rear of the seat frame, through the back of the backplate the runner is attached to and out the back of the bulkhead, then stuck two bolts through it. This simply prevents the frame from being able to move left or right.

It's a tiny detail in the grand scheme of things, but I think it's one of those things which will make a huge difference to how pleasant the car is to drive.


[] Reassembly.

Last thing I had to do before putting the interior back together was to return the rigid brake lines to their clips, then it was just a matter of putting the hatch back in place and bolting the seat back in. Which took about half an hour because it decided to fight me.



That seems to happen about one in four times you have the seat out, it just refuses to line up properly when you're trying to get the bolts in. Got there in the end though.

That's where I ran out of time today - hence why there are still tools strewn all over the place. I haven't fully bled the brakes yet as I'll obviously need to do that once I've fitted the new master cylinder and done the associated plumbing modifications. I did get enough air out though so I could get full pressure in the braking system to do a leak check on the pipework I'd disturbed - everything seemed just fine.

Before I got stuck into the Invacar I did take a look at the alternator on the Jag. I wanted to see how accessible it isn't.



Actually looks a lot less buried than I expected...Awkward yes, but not utterly impossible. I reckon once the airbox is out of the way and maybe that idler for the air conditioning belt it should be *reasonably* accessible. Of course being a Jaguar I'm sure there will be one fastener that's completely inaccessible and probably isn't shown on the parts diagram just for giggles...I'll have a closer look and pull a couple of bits and pieces out when I've got a bit more time...but I'm leaning a lot more towards having a bash at changing the alternator myself than I was this time yesterday.

So a lot of little things today, but it feels like a reasonably productive afternoon as it ticked a few things off on the whiteboard in the garage.
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Old Jan 28 2021, 10:08 AM   #5675
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[QUOTE=Zelandeth;210267]That's not one I'd seen before...Looks a lot more modern than it is - I was expecting late 90s from the styling - not 1993!

Computers and calculators have always been the main interest - though I do seem to have started accumulating PDAs recently too - and of course there are then some oddballs like the Casio PF-3000 I got a few weeks ago which kind of blurs the line between a calculator and what became the PDA.

Is it something you'd like to have? I could send it to you. Both batteries (button for usage & whatever for data retention) are both quite dead so I don't know if it works, but I have no interest in it. I might ask you to reimburse me for the postage here to UK is all.



That looks really impressive Allen!

Thanks! There are several I'm quite proud of, others I know where tiny misques in programming the laser engraver would make them better when I correct them.


-- -- --
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Old Jan 28 2021, 09:45 PM   #5676
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That's not one I'd seen before...Looks a lot more modern than it is - I was expecting late 90s from the styling - not 1993!

Computers and calculators have always been the main interest - though I do seem to have started accumulating PDAs recently too - and of course there are then some oddballs like the Casio PF-3000 I got a few weeks ago which kind of blurs the line between a calculator and what became the PDA.

Is it something you'd like to have? I could send it to you. Both batteries (button for usage & whatever for data retention) are both quite dead so I don't know if it works, but I have no interest in it. I might ask you to reimburse me for the postage here to UK is all.



That looks really impressive Allen!

Thanks! There are several I'm quite proud of, others I know where tiny misques in programming the laser engraver would make them better when I correct them.


-- -- --
If you don't have any interest in it I'd definitely happily give it a safe home. More than happy to cover costs and such, especially given how daft shipping costs from over there are. I'll drop you a PM with my details.

I imagine getting the laser engraver set up properly is something of an art in itself - similar to what I've been discovering over the last few weeks with this contraption.



Getting it set up is as much an art as the actual design work sometimes, has been quite a learning curve so far.

-- -- --

Just noticed something when flipping through the photos I took when looking at the alternator on the Jag.



If I can get to it, that's getting trimmed back and re-terminated... I'm not honestly expecting it to make the slightest difference. However it's £1-200 cheaper than an alternator so definitely getting tried first. The behaviour initially seemed to suggest a high impedance issue somewhere...

Could I be that lucky?
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Old Jan 28 2021, 10:33 PM   #5677
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Kibby's work is closed again. "For maintenance," in other words someone else has Covid. Luckily Kibby had not worked with for about a week before he got sick. They think he got it from his mother.
She's not complaining, she found out she gets paid while off. She also won't have to do heavy cleaning, due to asthma.
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Old Jan 29 2021, 09:48 PM   #5678
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It's been a bit of a frustrating afternoon. Spent another hour and a half on the phone to Vodafone, trying to give them their stupid 4G modem thing back. No surprises that they've charged me for it, despite assurances half a dozen times that I wouldn't have to. Seriously, if you have a choice just don't go near them. They'll be losing me as a customer once my current contract is up, after 25 years.

I then set about trying to revive my desiccant dehumidifier as I'd really like to properly dry out the Jag. This thing is supremely effective. When I put it in my original Xantia after discovering a swimming pool under the rear seats it pulled over 20 litres out of the car within a day and a half. Unlike refrigeration based dehumidifiers which really don't work well below about 15C, the cooler it is the better these work. In addition to that this thing kicks out about 650W of heat as well, which is obviously helpful when you're trying to dry a car out.




It's actually quite well designed and by the standards of 21st century plastic tat it's actually pretty well put together. Unfortunately Amcor dropped the ball by using the cheapest and nastiest motors in the world. I've already changed the one which drives the desiccant wheel, but last time I had it running the blower motor seized up.



I did pull the motor itself to bits to see if it could be saved, but the bearings are just utterly shot. Then started a swearing match with Google (etc) where 85% of my search string was just getting ignored. Thankfully I was offered assistance and a replacement has now been ordered.

By the time it arrives from China summer will probably be here so it'll be a moot point!

At that point I was able to escape to the garage for an hour to start getting the brake upgrade on the Invacar installed.

There's just a *bit* of a difference in size between the old and new!



The mounting points are identical though as we hoped, though I obviously needed to swap the pushrod over, was expecting that though. Is a simple enough job, it's just held in place by a circlip...the removal of which was made slightly more awkward as this happened to my circlip pliers the moment I tried to use them.



Yep...it's one of *those* days. After about 15 minutes of swearing at it I eventually managed to ping it off my forehead into the footwell.

The new cylinder has a spring clip, so was easy enough to remove with a normal pair of pliers.



My *plan* had been to transfer this clip over as it would be far easier to manhandle into the groove...however I then discovered that the spring clip was too small to hold the washers of the old cylinder in...so I ended up having to wrangle the original flat circlip in.



Got there in the end. One assembled cylinder ready to go on the car.



Having learned my lesson before, I made sure that the "fork" of the pushrod was around the handlebar home rather than off to one side. It's a real faff to get this into place if the cylinder is already bolted in place if the pushrod isn't centralised properly.



Getting the roll pin back in is a pig of a job just because it's fiddly. That's on the docket for tomorrow hopefully.

The cylinder is actually in place now though.



I can't actually finish the installation yet because I completely failed to realise I needed to buy one additional part in. The current setup has the line from the master cylinder coming straight into a 4-way splitter block. From there it splits the hydraulic line to the front and rear of the car, with the brake light switch screwed into the fourth port. Of course there will be one less line there because there's a separate port on the master cylinder for each circuit.

I should have realised that before I even ordered the cylinder...bit annoying as I'll need to wait for that to arrive. Sadly I'm pretty sure I don't have one in stock given the lengths I went to to save the rear axle T on TPA. I'd not have spent hours salvaging that if I had a spare! Annoying.

The reservoir is meant to be at a slightly steeper angle than it is on this car but that won't be a problem at all in use as the cap is at the highest point and it's only a very slight tilt.

In the meantime I will get the rest of the plumbing done and will take the opportunity to pull the mud guard out and attack it with a large hammer to beat it back into something resembling the right shape. I suspect I may need to attack the bolts with the grinder as they're pretty crusty. While in the area I'll get the foam finally installed under the fuel tank upper strap and get rid of the folded up Amazon box which has been in there for a year.

I've got a couple of cans of truck bed liner spray on order as well. I'm going to paint the bulkhead with that on the outside to see if that helps reduce the drumming of that panel a bit. If it works I'll probably go round the inside of the other hollow body sections too.

Just more little bits and pieces it'll be nice to get ticked off the to do list. She's worth it, and they're all things which will add up in future when the car's in regular use.

No huge progress today then, but at least I did get a couple of steps done!
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Old Jan 29 2021, 11:49 PM   #5679
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This is my second try at posting these photos of my laser art. The first ended when as I was completing the post, I absently clicked on the wrong thing and closed the whole browser window. I'll try to better this time.
( these are thumbnails; click on them to view the full size photo.)

The off-color across the top is from a shadow, not in the painting.

This was my first picture I did, since it was only 2 colors.

This originally was a wood block print called 'Ruggiero riding the hippogriff," a scene from an epic poem named "Orlando Furioso", written in the early 1500s.

There are two pictures I've done that I don't have photos of. One was done for my nephew, the other I did for his mother. That last one was trying out gold scratch art paper, and is of her daughter, my niece, from a few years back. She was out dancing in a rainstorm at the end of a long dry spell. The original photo that my sis took is one of her (our) favorites. It came out VERY well on the gold paper. Sis loves it.
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Old Jan 30 2021, 04:03 AM   #5680
granath
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Wow, those are amazing!
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