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Thread to discuss negative things in a very general way, just see where it goes y'know?


DAL59
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9 hours ago, Delay said:

I'm not entire sure what I would look for when I do eventually open up the console.

Both of those are indeed capacitors. The SMD capacitors are smaller, and can only vent downward. The larger capacitors on the motherboard are through hole type capacitors, and yes you can see the blue one has it's top bulging. That's a clear sign of failure. Notice the notches in the top of the through hole capacitors? Those notches are meant to have some give, to allow the capacitor to expand if it releases gasses internally. The SMD capacitors of the 1990s often did not have this feature, so any pressure that built up forced the electrolytic fluid to leak through the rubber seals of the bottom, and to get on the circuit board.

My recommendation, if it's something you want to consider learning yourself, is to just go on Youtube an look up N64 recapping.

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Currently learning a third language.

Would like to complain about how terrible Google Translate is.

It's so bad. So bad it's gone past annoying, past hilarious and is now floating somewhere in just plain irritating.

It's terrible.

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38 minutes ago, Earthlinger said:

Currently learning a third language.

Which language family is it ? What is it written in ?

I know that their translation is terrible but I've often ended up with little alternatives...

Some have recommended DeepL but I'll say that it breaks in its own ways.

Edited by YNM
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I usually use https://context.reverso.net to imitate knowledge of English.

It doesn't give literally a word translation, but shows pieces of text with the required words in two columns, so I can understand and select proper context.

Probably, there are other websites based on same principle.

Edited by kerbiloid
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3 hours ago, kerbiloid said:

It doesn't give literally a word translation, but shows pieces of text with the required words in two columns, so I can understand and select proper context.

There's a character/word count limitation though...

With the language I'm trying to learn the sole thing I'm on lookout for when translating is whether it can pick the right word and context partitions since it doesn't come with much punctuation.

1 hour ago, Earthlinger said:

It's Norwegian ;)

Ah alright. Though I'm not sure how much more different their pronunciation is, given the consonants and the extra vowels...

Edited by YNM
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Did you know that if at restaurants the wall between you and the outside is made of cloth or plastic, and the heat comes from CO producing propane burners instead of nasty wood or masonry with heat from regular HVAC systems—you're magically safe. Because science.

I'm so glad my health department has done the difficult computational fluid dynamics work on 0.6 micron particles in a restaurant setting vs tent to demonstrate the efficacy of these brilliant, life-saving measures vs anti-science people pulling numbers out of their nether regions.

Such very smart people.

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38 minutes ago, tater said:

Such very smart people.

Did you know it's impossible to die in a car crash if you're in a bus? They figured that out long ago which is why busses don't need seatbelts.

No actually that is a stupid exception and makes no sense. I'm going to start ignoring all traffic laws because the people that make them are clearly idiots.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Shocking news (and tl;dr): Cheap push buttons suck and break quickly.

Right, so a while ago I bought an Arduino as part of some larger set of parts. One of them was an 8x8 LED matrix that was driven via an IC, along with 5 buttons. I decided to code a small, simply and very known game for it - Snake.

That was quite fun, since it was the first time I used a datasheet for a chip I actually had and a chip had a use for. It's simple serial communication, but I was glad when it worked flawlessly on the first attempt. Then I had some problems setting up the buttons because they worked a bit differently to what I expected and I wondered why three of the four didn't break the circuit. And I thought I made a mistake in the code first, checked the function numerous times and couldn't find anything wrong.

Anyways, I got the buttons working in the end and around a day and corrections of minor brain farts later I had everything running as well as I had hoped.
The controls are still just on a breadboard and the display on its own, premade pcb, but I genuinely want to solder this onto a perfboard or something. I'm proud of this and I really want to keep it. This was the first time I technically developed a game!

However, not even a full day after I had everything working, the buttons started breaking. I know it's them and not the wires (i.e. not the breadboard's fault) because they sometimes work depending on where I press. And that's incredibly annoying, especially if you want to test a "winning" state you just implemented to prevent a softlock if the snake gets too long and can't get that far in the game because the damn thing doesn't turn left!

I need some better buttons for this. Ones that don't break after a week of use.

 

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6 hours ago, Delay said:

I need some better buttons for this. Ones that don't break after a week of use

The buttons they put on arcade machines work really well for this.  Lots of people are into building retro-style arcades and so many components of that sort are readily available online. You might be looking for something a little smaller, but those buttons are pretty durable.

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I've spend a few hundred on computer parts, and I can't find a processor or GPU anywhere. The freaking Crypto miners are buying everything up. Last generation's cards are going for double their MSRP and trying to find a current gen card just isn't happening. This sucks. I just want a new PC to render video and play games with ray-tracing. I don't want to battle scammer, scalpers, miners and bots just to find working parts >:(

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11 hours ago, tater said:

Face to face contact with your fellow humans is substantially more impactful for a long life than exercise, vaccination against flu, etc...

More impactful for a long life? Time to get (and survive) Ebola, then.

Note that it says "vaccination against flu", not "contracting the flu". That can still end your life regardless of how many social contacts you have because the flu doesn't care about that.

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2 hours ago, Delay said:

Note that it says "vaccination against flu", not "contracting the flu". That can still end your life regardless of how many social contacts you have because the flu doesn't care about that.

It's statistical, what describes the variance in lifespan between people. Both the social factors are each responsible for ~3X the variance the flu vaccination. It doesn't say getting vaccinated is not sensible, it says that not all do, and it's not as impactful on lifespan as their social situation. get vaccinated AND have a social network.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had to saw 2x4 rectangular multi-LED modules into pairs of 1x4 modules, in order to make the color bar backlighting for my Kerbal Instrument Panel analog meters. The diffuser epoxy was a breeze to saw through, even if it took me a while to saw all the pieces... No... It was the reinforced fiberglass circuit boards that the LED dies were bonded to. I wore out two blades sawing through them, by hand, since the parts were too small to really use power tools on.

I have since assembled all the modules, and just need to do soldering, a little epoxy, and final assembly. What do I find today? Why it's my stash of 1x4 rectangular green LED modules... Of course!

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FR4 isa pain in the butt to cut. It's very abrasive and will dull pretty much everything.  I've found only a handful of viable solutions.

My go to method is a tablesaw with carbide blade. It's fast and cuts clean. The blade does last for a while, but even with decent vacuum I have on the saw, it still kicks up some dust that can't possibly be healthy. Gotta die from something, might as well be pulmonary fibrosis.

A dremel tool with diamond blade. Cuts slow and getting straight cuts is difficult (unless you have some freakishly steady hands; I know I don't). Not practical for bigger cuts and tool body can get in the way causing a tilted cut. Some dust is still generated.

Hacksaw is fast, and produces nice cuts. Blades are not bank braking expensive, but even high quality ones do dull very quickly. A good workholding solution is very important here since wobbling board is just a nuisance. A vise is strongly recommended. Minimal dust.

Utility knife. Scoring the board on both sides and then breaking it over a table edge or something produces some surprisingly usable results. Needs a little bit of sanding to clean up the edge. Tiresome and usable only on relatively large boards that can be held securely while scoring and breaking. Works particularly well on thinner boards.

Industrial cutting is done by milling with carbide end mills. Even though I do have a milling machine I'm certainly not using it for this. Not only is it woefully slow for this (1 800 rpm, compared to 50 000-100 000 rpm on a proper PCB mill) the dust is abrasive and would ruin the ways on my machine.

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On 2/20/2021 at 1:42 AM, Shpaget said:

I've found only a handful of viable solutions.

My favorite solution is finding the correct part before I have to resort to cutting another one... Advice I wish I could have followed.

As for my past few weeks... My car is acting up. It is intermittently misfiring, suddenly going from 4 to 2 cylinders, and then randomly returning to normal. I wanted to discount other ECU based errors, and be certain it was purely an ignition system problem, and not bad sensors or some otehr system, so I ordered an $8 bluetooth OBD2 diagnostic dongle.

And so begins my adventure in frustration...

First, the arctic decided to migrate south for the winter. If you think Texas got cold... Try Minnesota! This meant going outside for more than a few minutes at a time often risked frostbite, or required working in enough gloves and coat to restrict my motion to that of an animal in a "Rolling Wild" animation (Look it up, they're hilarious, unlike a Minnesota winter!)

I quite literally signed up for one of those $1.99 one week Prime trials, JUST to beat the cold weather... Some items I ordered arrived the next day, others in 2 days... It took 9 days, very much NOT beating the upcoming cold weather. When it arrived, I discovered that my LG V40 was refusing to connect to the device. It would show the device, attempt to connect, then fail and attempt to repeatedly reconnect. After half an hour of trying, I found online that Android 10 has known issues with establishing connections to some bluetooth devices... joy...

Cold days and slow work, specifically, not having any near approaching deadline for the work on hand (Most of my work is soldering at home) meant I really wasn't in a rush to use my functional (most of the time) car. It normally would only act up only once fully warmed up. Basically, it meant that a week went by between my first and second failed attempts to read the ECU's error codes.

I ended up needing to run to the hardware store for some hardware for my Kerbal instrument panel's analog meter backlight modifications, and decided to stop at a local auto part shop, cause I knew they had an OBD2 code reader. I don't know if it was cause it was a trash reader, or cause it was so cold the reader was just nopeing out, or both, but it literally froze up, and we were too froze up to wanna spend any more time messing around with it in the cold... Attempt three thwarted...

At this point, I remembered that I still have my old 2012 LG Spectrum, running some variant of Android 4.x... I knew it would run an OBD2 reader app, so I booted it up, went to the Play Store... And it crashed while searching, and proceeded to get stuck in a boot loop... popped the battery (remember those wonderful days... When you could just replace a battery! Yeah, I miss 'em too...) and restarted... and still boot looping. Crud... I pulled the battery, let it sit a bit, and tried again, aaaaaaand still boot looping. Oh well, RIP LG Spectrum, 2012-2021.

Oh, except it suddenly got better! RIP LG Spectrum, 2012-202x??? :confused:

I was gonna use it to try to test the car, but unfortunately, when I got out to the car (on Sunday), I discovered the Dome light wasn't turning on. Oops! Turns out the diagnostic port on a car gets power whether the key is in the ignition or not, and I left the dongle plugged in since Thursday, back when the LG died  LOL nope, it rose again three days later... NO! It was my battery that died hard.

So, queue today... I've had a battery charger trickle charging the battery, thanks to three extension cords and an outlet all the way across the parking lot. Fortunately, the battery appears to be fine, although time will tell if I have any capacity issues. At least as far as I can see, I don't think it was permanently damaged. I was gonna test the car, but I got a bit distracted, to say the least...

I decided to check my mail while finishing up the battery charging, and low and behold, I find a letter from the housing office saying that I hadn't paid a $25 fee in January, and as a result, I was having my income adjusted rent program terminated. This would have more than doubled my rent on the spot... Needless to say, I was pretty freaked out, especially since I distinctly remember making that payment! I made a call, got voicemail, left a message that I'm 1000% certain probably sounded ever so slightly extremely frantic, insisting I made said payment! I proceeded to try to find the receipt... Which of course, I could not find for the life of me. After such a long half hour, they called back and informed me that there had been a filing error, and to disregard the letter. Someone had just not recorded my statements properly... Yikes! I thanked the lady for getting back to me so quick, and for resolving the error, and mentioned I needed to cash my last paycheck anyway (bank is across the alley from the housing office), so I'd likely just stop in and make this months payment right away, so it's done with (and so I'd have a receipt saying my payment was current)...

She left and closed the housing office early. :mad:

Fine... I got paid, I need to get the car dealt with anyway, so I drove to a different auto parts shop. I realized, with te battery dead, all the codes might have gotten reset, but like magic, the engine started it's misfiring mere blocks away. Thanks perfectly timed intermittent engine fault! For once things are going right... in going wrong... When I arrive,  see the OBD2 Reader is in use by another customer. That's fine, I can wait. Other customer finishes. Misfiring. Ah, you too. I know the feel. I scan my car, get a pure single error code of an ignition misfire, with no other detected faults. That's good enough for me. I see that this auto shop has a complete ignition kit with both the coil pack and the ignition module, and replacement spark plug boots, for barely more than the coil pack alone at the other store. Nice! I decide to go whole hog and add new spark plugs to the order, and with a discount code I had, ended up getting the whole works for the price of teh coil pack and half the cost of the ignition module at the other store.

Lets hope when it all arrives tomorrow, things go well!

And that's why my Kerbal instrument panel's analog meters ain't done! :rolleyes:
Spoiler alert: I'm 20 LEDs, 20 resistors, 4 wires, 4 light shields, 2 meter movement installations, and 4 cover plates away from being 100% complete!
This is just a few hours of work that was supposed to happen today, and didn't because shenanigans!

 

Edited by richfiles
Is my old phone a zombie now?
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  • 2 weeks later...

oh boy its another exam week done very remotely. time to wake-up tomorrow at 3 am (again) and try not to fail things.

Corona has its benefits. Uni from home is one of them kinda, but not very helpful if your uni is 6 hours ahead.

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Got my physics exam back today.
So far I haven't even tried to be happy about getting 39 out of 42 points. I know I could have done better than that, I should have and I didn't. It's a frustratingly poor result.
And one, only one point more would have sufficed to give me a better grade. That's just insult to injury.

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44 minutes ago, Delay said:

Got my physics exam back today.
So far I haven't even tried to be happy about getting 39 out of 42 points. I know I could have done better than that, I should have and I didn't. It's a frustratingly poor result.
And one, only one point more would have sufficed to give me a better grade. That's just insult to injury.

I remember the first time I took my CCNA exam (Cisco certification). I figured out afterwards that I missed passing the exam by one (1) question. Which was a bummer considering I had paid a not-insignificant amount of money to take the exam, and would have to pony up more cash to take it again.

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