30 October 2017

Marantz Model 112 Tuner - LED wow

Gotta start purging some posts I've got stockpiled.
Here's a boring how-to mini-project 
I just finished.
Portland craigslist is addicting.
There are some great deals,
that would be scooped up in seconds in San Diego.
Here they linger for days,
and it's still possible to lowball a better deal.
This seller was interesting.
Willing to give up a Harley restoration shop,
in trade for a life busking a$$,
singing on the streets for money.
He was gonna start taking voice lessons even.
We had an interesting conversation,
paralleling shop stories of projects done for chump change.
I went to a life as an indentured government servant,
he was looking for freedom.
Ahh getting old...
Well we needed a tuner,
as the sansui au-717 is just an amp,
and recently I've been hooked 
on the local jazz station KMHD 89.1fm.
It's a great backdrop to life.
Stream it sometime 7-10am and 3-6pm.
Good chit.
This is the first Marantz piece I've scored.
Many love the brand,
but they're a rare bird in SD.
This Model 112 tuner had good reviews,
even though it's a bit simple.
The little machine pulled in radio stations
with the shortest of antennas.
The only issue being some burnt "fuse" bulbs.
LED upgrades were found on eBay,
and the install was about 3 long songs,
with one shot of whiskey.
Wow what a difference!
I'll definitely stick with the hi-tech upgrade
for future projects.
They use less energy,
don't create melting heat,
and supposedly last forever.
Way more rambling audio fixes in store.
Our new place has the perfect repair bar,
and I've been hunting craigslist like a madman.
Now time to crank some tunes...

20 October 2017

Whaler Resto XX - final bye bye

This has been our little secret for the past year.
No we didn't paint it,
we ended up letting it go bye bye...
And dang the new owner basically changed it 
from a family cruiser,
to a bloody decks fish machine.
Bummer to see all that work torn off,
but what can you do.
The duckets came at a crucial time,
we were able to pull off the PDX move much easier.
If we had stayed in SD,
there's no way we would have ditched it.
The old whaler had become a backdrop
to many great memories,
never letting us down.
Gave the kids a bunch of lessons,
maybe the seed to not always be landlubbers.
And the dogs too...
One of the last jaunts was a good ole bay cruise.
We were trying to push pig out!
Dang this phone has lotsa pics!
Obviously the boat became a fixture.
It was normal to have to walk around it.
Sadly it was a turning point in hot rod building.
My focus had veered greatly,
this thing siphoned my energy away 
from our Ford collection.
In typical perich brothers and sisters fashion,
starting with the most beat up,
barely worth the time donor.
Well the new owners got it all gussied up.
He definitely didn't hold back on the white paint.
I don't think I'da painted the engine,
that yamaha was so cool original.
But it's neat to see some clues of its past.
The rails and motor mount are hard to miss.
Someday we'll get another...

11 October 2017

mellow yellow

After 20+ years on my own,
it's been tricky adjusting to a boss/peon hierarchy.
However this job really feels like retirement,
following a "do what ya think ya need to do,
as long as the basics get done first"
type daily strategy.
At times it seems like I'm screwing off.
Thats usually when doing something on the high priority list.
A little bit of mowing,
a little bit of fixing...
I usually get in trouble for squeezing in random projects,
the type that fill up small chunks of time
before breaks and lunch.
Union rules require 10-12-2 interruptions.
These are the projects that I want to do,
so I'll rush through the "important" stuff,
instead of milking an easy job the whole day.
The funny thing is,
it feels like I'm sneaking around,
when trying to add in extra work.
Probably cause my boss doesn't approve of multi-tasking!
On my review,
I actually got dinged for having more than one project.
Still don't quite understand that.
Well if I'm going to get busted,
it may as well be for working harder,
or trying to make things look nicer,
or trying to make things work better!
These rolling gates have bugged me from day one.
The wheels barely rolled,
and the yellow had faded and chipped,
camouflaging instead of standing out.
We had boxes of yellow spray paint too.
Ya know how I love to rattlecan!
It'll take months to sneak them all in...
The back gates were ridiculous.
I'd wondered why the rubber in the wheels was diagonal.
They don't turn,
so they'd drag them around.
Not a problem with the short one,
but the 20 footers were a pain.
Little hitches were cut and welded,
and a roller was modified to allow sharper turns.
This brought them out of the caveman era,
and into at least the 19th century.
Yea the little things...
fun stuff nobody else has to think about!

03 October 2017

mowin for $$

So part of this newish job is actually mowing grass.
Effin lotsa grass to mow!!
It would seem boring,
and at times it is,
mainly the wide expanses.
Fortunately there are only 3 of those parts.
Even then things happen that are like...
What the heck are those beaver bites?
They call that girdling the trees.
Or how about...
holey chit there's a bald eagle!!
Or holey chit there's 3 bald eagles
fighting over a Canadian goose body!!
Half the time mowing is basically a form 
of technical off-roading,
the Toro 580D is a 4WD crawler,
with acres of hills, berms, trees 
and other obstacles to navigate.
This part is called the east berm or bank,
a long gradual side slope,
that runs the entrance to the track.
This is where it gets tricky,
the side wing cutters act like outriggers
as well as weight distributors. 
The 3 black knobs control the hydraulics.
On a light left slope like this,
both sides are down all the way,
the lower deck pushing down as it keeps us upright,
uphill deck on reserve to go up for balance.
The knob control looks like this.
Thumb pushing down,
pointer on guard.
On a steeper right slope the position is reversed,
but the same.
Both decks down,
the 16' width really grabs the slope.
Here's the hand position,
right knob pushed down,
left on guard...
On guard for the steeper slope ahead!!
Here's where it's important to raise the uphill deck,
giving traction to the uphill wheels.
Even then there's a little bit of sliding involved.
The below pic was in the early days,
and looking back is a definite holey chit moment.
If you see the mow mark I overextended the downhill turn,
and had to raise the deck quickly
as the machine lost the traction to turn.
(Rear steer on a front heavy machine)
The Toro 580D doesn't handle well going straight downhill,
and with the guide wire in the way 
there's not much room for error.
I don't get that close anymore!!
Easier to send in guys with weedwackers...
Moving the sticks almost comes naturally,
and I'll give Chief credit,
with its 2-knob shifter system.
People always ask how hard is it to shift.
Muscle memory is powerful!
When slipping down the dirt hills,
it's surprising how automatic controlling the hydraulics becomes.
Months ago I showed how the frame actually broke,
now ya know how critical it is that it stays together!
The day before a big race,
one of the deck frames broke.
4100 hard working hours will create metal fatigue!
This is when the years of metalwork experience kicked in.
I finished an easy day job in a hard couple hours,
while race cars ran their practice laps.
Fat gussets and fish plates,
this will be stronger than new.
Since the grinder was out,
I sharpened a set of blades,
picking some donors from the junk pile.
Typically the outer blades get hammered by gravel and rocks,
so 7 out of 11 are good for a couple grinder edges.
There's a point where they all get pro sharpened,
but where's the fun in that?
The mower was all assembled 
just in time for the spectators to pile in.
The east berm grass died off in the summer!
The flatter areas kept a little green,
although it was more a mix of random weeds 
rather than blades of grass.
After racking up hours of mowing,
I still end up getting stuck.
This was my 8th time,
and first in a couple months.
The ground was so hard the mower just slid sideways like on ice,
then the skids hook into the fence.
Over the winter I'm going to round out the ends 
so they're not hooks.
Here's a huge change from San Diego.
It felt wrong hosing the machine down,
however the track has a well,
with an almost unlimited supply of water.
One of the perks of Oregon...
More soon!