- Tube Compressor – A Decade in the making
- Synchrotron phaser
- Tig Welding
- Parker’s Mother’s Golf Cart
- Red Jeep Update
Local Electronic Store Talk
- What local stores can you still buy electronic supplies and parts at?
- Are there any Radioshacks left?
- Electronic Parts Outlet
- Ace Electronics
The MacroFab Engineering Podcast Christmas Project Ghost Names
- The Ghost of Christmas Past represents memory
- Ghost of Projects Past Due
- The Ghost of Christmas Present represents generosity and good will
- Ghost of project ideas
- The Ghost of Christmas Future represents fear of death
- Ghost of unused parts
Special thanks to whixr over at Tymkrs for the intro and outro!
About The Hosts
Parker Dillmann is MacroFab's Co-Founder, and Lead ECE with backgrounds in Embedded System Design, and Digital Signal Processing. He got his start in 2005 by hacking Nintendo consoles into portable gaming units. He also runs the blog, longhornengineer.com, where he posts his personal projects, technical guides, and appnotes about board layout design and components. Parker graduated with a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas.
Stephen Kraig began his electronics career by building musical oriented circuits in 2003. Stephen is an avid guitar player and, in his down time, manufactures audio electronics including guitar amplifiers, pedals, and pro audio gear. Stephen graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University.
Host 2 00:11
Welcome to the Mac fab engineering podcast. We're your hosts, Parker, Dolman.
Host 1 00:16
And Steven Craig.
Host 2 00:17
This is episode 308. So, come check out our live stream at Mac fab.tv. No wait at twitch.tv/macro Fab. I wonder, Oh, I wonder if I should do a macro fab.com/like Twitch stream or something
Host 1 00:36
Or stream do it from the website?
Host 2 00:39
Well that way I can redirect it to to the Twitch channel upon you put some like macro fad branding on the Twitch channel, which we do have one piece so far, which is we knew a little heavy overlay banner thing so that it is Brandon macro fed now we're growing up people. Yeah, not listening to actually like putting a macro icon for the Twitter account and like a banner image and maybe some texts at the bottom is explains what this shows about. Maybe. And also, we actually now have a Subscribe button. To write three hydrogen six episodes, I think we got a couple episodes go. So if you go to macro fed.com/podcast, you can click a subscribe button, and it takes you to basically wherever you can listen to our podcast. And then there's also macro that.com/slack, where we have over 600, fellow podcasts and macro fab enthusiast, most of them are engineers just like you, me. And sometimes me. Yes, Hi, I'm Steven. And I have one more announcement is our product team is looking for people who that use Altium to get feedback on a new product that we are working on. So email us at product at macro fab.com That is product at macro fab.com. Honestly, if you just email me to or post in the Slack channel, you can probably get in contact with the right people.
Host 1 02:17
So do some I guess beta testing in a way? Yes. Cool. LTM plugins with macro fab I I'm just guessing here but that Oh calm. That would be pretty cool. No, God. Oh. Not allowed to say.
Host 2 02:32
All I know is the product team is looking for beta testers.
Host 1 02:36
Yeah, I'm gonna send you an email from an account. Totally not Steven, Greg. I guess I have to get a copy of Altium first.
Host 2 02:48
Yeah, well, how many emails deep Are you now?
Host 1 02:51
Oh, too many?
Host 2 02:52
I don't know. deber emails to get copies.
Host 1 02:56
Yeah, I know. I've gotten all TM I'll DM people are probably listening right now. But I know I've gotten a free copy of Altium, four or five times. Because I just need it for like, a task a task to get something done one trace over of mine. And I'll do that. And and then I get 1000 of call 1000 calls, you know, for the next month or two been like, Hey, I saw you got Altium you really want it. Like, I've gotten to the point where I'm honest now with him. I was like, Nope, I had a client I needed to get something done. I got a free copy. I got it done. Thanks for helping me.
Host 2 03:31
My favorite is. This is back when you still worked at macro fab was you had Altium a sales rep call you during work hours. That story is my favorite. I was hoping you would tell the story. I don't remember
Host 1 03:48
It. I'm sorry. I'm like, I'm gonna tell it because I'm like, I don't know what he's talking about.
Host 2 03:55
The story is they called the sales, the ultium sales rep called you during work hours. Oh, yeah, I remember this now. And they asked. You said because there was this is right when they change to their subscription model. Right. And then the person on the phone, I think asked you like, well, how much would you pay? Because you said it was too expensive? Oh, yeah. She shouldn't be asking how much would you pay? And you said like $10. Like,
Host 1 04:27
I just got real serious with with the woman on the phone. I was like, hey, right now I'll give you 10 bucks for it. We could do that. She goes dead silent. Because like, I cheat. I whatever. She hasn't been trained to answer these. And I'm like that, that that was a joke. Like, yeah,
Host 2 04:42
This is my favorite story for like responding to a sales rep ever.
Host 1 04:49
Yeah, if she would I wonder what what I would have done if she was like, Sure. Let's do it. Come on. Okay,
Host 2 04:55
Yeah, 10 bucks. Because you don't sometimes you get you get the Just text messages for like people wanting to buy your house. Oh, yeah, yeah. Or they call you and like, you know, we're looking for rentals. Do you want to sell your house? I always respond with like $2 million.
Host 1 05:12
No reasonable because you probably would sell your house for it. I'm like, Yeah, sure, sure. Why not? I would do Yeah.
Host 2 05:19
Yeah. No, my house is not worth $2 million. My neither, but it's not worth anywhere near 2 million. Yeah, that's why you just say, but I would totally go through the effort of moving again, if
Host 1 05:33
Oh, my god, yeah, that would be awesome.
Host 2 05:36
So all right. So this podcast, we're going to talk about projects. It's been a while since we talked about projects. It's like electronic projects, I guess. Or I think it's actually gonna be just stuff we've been working on over the past couple months. And what we're gonna be doing over our Christmas, little holiday break.
Host 1 05:56
Yeah, cuz we both had just have a little bit of time ahead. And I'm sure when, when you have time off, like, a lot of what's going through your mind is like, what can I get done? How do I move the ball forward on like, 10,000 things, 10,000 projects, push them up the hill just a tiny bit.
Host 2 06:14
So it's like during the week, it's like, ordering parts. And so that on Friday, all the parts show up. So that's a clock on Friday, I'm in the garage, turning crap apart, making sure I had the right parts
Host 1 06:25
100 100%. Or like, last night, I was looking at a project I'm working on, and I'm cutting wires. And I'm like, I can just do a few of these things. And I'll do the bulk of the hard work on on the time off. But right now I'm just like prepping and things.
Host 2 06:39
Yeah, actually. So it's all about optimizing and making sure that you don't get stuck over the weekend.
Host 1 06:46
Oh my god. Yeah, that's
Host 2 06:47
Host 1 06:48
Right, right. So so I know, this applies a lot differently to people who have other responsibilities, like children and things like that, which I do not have at the moment. So a few weeks ago, my wife was like, hey, you know, Christmas is coming up. And typically, my wife and I, like we spend time on Christmas, we hang out. But we're not like massive gift givers. It's not like I'm out buying her like 15 gifts. And she's doing the same, we usually get each other one thing. And we spend time together. And that's like, that works for the two of us. And so she was like, hey, you know, what would you like for Christmas? I was like, I've actually put a bit of thought into this. And there's one gift I want. I was like, I want time. Just I want to take some time off of work. And I want to go down to my basement. And I don't want to come up until I have to go to bed. Like that's what I want. That's my gift. And like I'm going to, I'm going to work like in the evenings for a few weeks buying the parts I need making sure I have everything ready. And that's my gift. She's like, it's yours. You can have it. We'll we'll get together for dinner on you know, Christmas Eve or whatever. But like, there's your gift. I'm like, oh my god, this is gonna be amazing. Like, I'm just gonna work on projects. She's
Host 2 08:04
Gonna slide Pop Tarts underneath the basement door.
Host 1 08:09
Yeah, I need to make a hatch, where she can just like drop beers down. So, and it's funny, because you were saying earlier, like, you know, during the week, you're ordering parts, making sure it's ready. I had it planned out so perfect. That I finished PCBs, and they're arriving tomorrow. Just before like cut
Host 2 08:33
Offs before like the cut off. Oh, yeah. Holidays and stuff. Yeah.
Host 1 08:36
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. So it's working? I haven't. So yeah, we got I've got a handful of projects that I'm trying to knock out. Some of these are old blood gas projects or projects that I've talked about on the podcast, and some of them are new. Gosh, earlier this year, I talked for a while about a tube compressor. That is the oldest project I've had the oldest continuous project that has just been on the shelf for a decade at this point. In fact, if you go back and listen, I think it was March or something of this year of 2021 that I was talking about it. I have a project that's so old, I recapped the project before it was completed, like
Host 2 09:22
Because because of age
Host 1 09:24
Because it was just like I could go but like I might as well at this point, just recap a project even though those caps had really they'd been turned on like once or something like that. But like mean they weren't they're just electrolytic they just they've also been through a bunch of like temperature shifts from being from traveling and things like that. And yeah, I'll just replace so the thing that was holding up this tube compressor was some rotary switches that I was custom designing that were 24 position, one dB step rotary switches. Each switch which this project has four of them. Each switch has As to decks on it so so I can control stereo left and right or XLR. Hot and cold I guess in one dB steps with moderate accuracy on that so I finally ordered the boards for that I got stencils for it and I'm going to hand build them just because I'm a psycho. And but that also sounds like a really great way to spend Chris actually the best, the best. In my mind like a perfect Christmas is like putting paste on a board, doing hand putting placing SMT parts and looking out the window and it's snowing. That would be amazing apps.
Host 2 10:38
I'm imagining like, what's this Christmas story? What's like the Muppets Christmas story with like, the ghost of Christmas past and stuff.
Host 1 10:50
Oh, that's with the gosh was Scrooge or whatever, Scrooge.
Host 2 10:53
What's the actual book?
Host 1 10:57
Gosh, you know, it's funny. I hadn't ever seen that movie until like last year. And my wife showed it to me. A carol?
Host 2 11:06
Host 1 11:08
Christmas Carol? Yeah,
Host 2 11:09
But something like that.
Host 1 11:11
Yeah, the Muppets Christmas, Carol. That's what it
Host 2 11:13
Is. Yeah. But there's an actual book. That's well, yeah, right.
Host 1 11:17
Yeah, it's basically. Right. Yeah. Yeah, you could hear us both googling.
Host 2 11:28
I think it was a Christmas carol. Yeah. Yeah. Christmas Carol. by Charles. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Host 1 11:34
Yeah, that's it. This is why we need to edit all that out and be like, Oh, Christmas, Carol. We knew what that was.
Host 2 11:44
Because I was, I was like, I was thinking in my head. Like, you had the three ghosts, right. So you have a ghost of projects past that. You have in the future you have. And then because you always buying parts for projects in the future, no matter what.
Host 1 12:07
Oh, well, I mean, a ghost of project future is projects that you finish, but they need they need maintenance. So they're coming back to haunt you
Host 2 12:19
Have a current back down to Yeah. And so a current would be you are like buying all the parts. It's what's on your bed right now. Yeah, I was thinking like, you know, that like we used to have that it's the Mac of Mac, Feb engineering podcast mean, which is like, actually finishing projects, or thinking about finishing projects. And then like, the last thing is like, buying parts for projects, you're never going to start.
Host 1 12:47
Host 2 12:50
Yeah, goes to projects past due, is totally the. That's great. That's great.
Host 1 12:55
That's got to be the name of this episode. That's, that's fantastic. Yeah.
Host 2 13:01
So because I'm going to go on a site, I'm gonna come up with Steven, you talk, I'm gonna come up with ghosts names.
Host 1 13:10
I kind of want. I kind of want now a snowglobe of a dude at a bench soldering. And there's just snow all around like that sounds really. There's something really soothing about that. In a way. I'm looking forward to it. Although it's funny because this this winter, in winter in quotes it I guess, what was today's the first day of winter? Or is tomorrow the first day when say, Hey, first regardless, it's been this today. And it's been it's been so warm out here. Like it was 70 Something we rolled the garage door up at work. And we were all just working with in the open area was awesome. So like, and there's no snow on the forecast. So I don't think I'm gonna get my, my white snowy solder day. But I'll certainly have this otter day. So yeah, I'm hoping to finish this compressor over the Christmas holiday. I'm taking just a few days off. And I think between all of this, just days off, I can just dump hours into it and just be like, done. It's done. I never have to, you know, check it off the list decade's worth of not working on it, and then finally having it done. So that is certainly a ghost of projects past that has been haunting. I do have one other thing that I've got going on, called the synchrotron Phaser.
Host 2 14:36
So I don't know what this is. It sounds cool, though.
Host 1 14:40
It sounds cool. So I developed a new guitar pedal that it just it came to mind one day, it was like you know what I really feel like doing a phaser. A phaser is an effect that's been around for decades and decades. And it basically what it is, is it's a filtering effect on your sound. Where the filter is moved throughout the frequency spectrum with a low frequency oscillator, and it's mixed back with your original signal. So you basically get notches. It's almost like a really bad comb filter that slides around the way I do audio spectrum and it makes whooshing phasing sounds in a way, you've heard it 100 times like go listen to every Pink Floyd album, or go listen to like unchained by Van Halen, like the very beginning of that has, like phaser swooshing around on his guitar sound Well, regardless, I've been wanting to make one for a long time. And I decided I wanted to really play around with melding the world between synthesizer guys and guitar guys, because even though they're both musicians, both of those worlds approach, how they look at or utilize their equipment in so different ways. Like a guitarist is always looking at how does this piece of equipment play with me? How do I utilize this to accomplish a goal that I'm going for in the in the easiest way. And if you look at guitar equipment, it's very stripped down, it's very simplistic. minimize the number of knobs minimize the features and just make them do one thing, such that the guitarist clicks it on hears what they're doing, and then utilizes it. And that's not to like dig guitarist or say like, they're dumb or simplistic or anything like that, it's really more of like, they just need to get to the end result faster than most other people. The synthesis guys, on the other hand, are the exact opposite. They want it to be as complex and convoluted and ridiculous as possible.
Host 2 16:48
The more blinking LEDs and the more switches, the more knobs the better
Host 1 16:51
Blinking LEDs, hidden features, you know, menu diving, button diving, like all of these things that like, Oh, if you can have layers where they uncovered new things that they didn't know about it, even after owning a thing for 10 years like that is that is magical to a synthesizer guy. So I'm like, There's got to be some really cool like middle zone where the guitar guys could learn to utilize their equipment and not be afraid of more knobs. And the synth guys could like, relax a little bit on extreme complexity. And there's this cool middle zone. So I created a phaser. That is meant for guitar, but has a lot of synthesizer style controls. But all the controls are like uni function, they control what they say they're going to control. They don't do extra stuff. There's not like press this button, hold this knob and it does something else. It's like no, the like there is a knob on this thing for rate. It's the rate at which the LFO oscillates. There's it doesn't do anything else. It's just the rate. Now there are like other controls that help modify that rate. But each one of those controls is a singular thing. So I'm trying to take the guitarist approach to synthesizers in that sense. So there's a lot of controls, but they're all they all do what they say they do, and nothing else. So I'm having fun with that. And hopefully I'll get to build that. I'm kind of thinking, get the tube compressor finished over Christmas, and then I have a day off at New Year's do the synchrotron phaser then, and we'll see how it goes.
Host 2 18:29
So you're gonna finish your two compressor.
Host 1 18:32
That's yeah, I think I will have it up and running. And maybe next podcast. I can actually utilize it. Oh, yeah, I can I can speak through it. And we can potentially hear it. We'll see how it goes. Yeah,
Host 2 18:46
Hear it over Voice over IP compression?
Host 1 18:50
Well, yeah, so I have I've got a year or two ago. Now I finished a two preamp that. And that's, that's completely functioning. So I would love to take this mic, put it through the tube preamp and just make the signal hot as hell and then put it into my tube compressor such that my compressors trying to make it not hot as hell or to compress the snot out of it. And if we do that and throw it into the stream, you guys will 100% be able to hear what it's doing. Yeah. So what do you got going on over Christmas?
Host 2 19:23
So the big project I've been working on past month now? Yeah, about a month, maybe six weeks? Is I think I've mentioned this once before, but my mother's golf cards. Oh, yeah. Yeah, we building that golf cart. So she put it up to write souping it up to it's a it's a 2010 easy go TX T which is a 36 volt lead acid battery series golf cart. It's got like a four wore inch lift kit on it, I want to say were some big knobby tires as for the beach, right?
Host 1 20:09
Host 2 20:12
It was, I've I've never seen that much rust underneath a car or underneath a vehicle before, especially one that's made us so much plastic. It was held on for like half plastic. Everything that was steel was gone. Like I put it on my car lift, and the frame snapped in half.
Host 1 20:32
Wow. So it was like done done. It was done. Though, like, I mean, is it salvageable.
Host 2 20:40
So, yes, because one of the things we wanted to do was upgrade it to 48 volts. So go from 36 to 48 volts, and change over to lithium batteries. And when you start pricing out, like the theme powered golf carts from like, easy go and club car and all those big companies. Like I'm like, I can just rebuild what we have for half the price. So that's what we're doing. I ordered a new brand new frame took the frame. So this is the problem with those EasyGO frames is their steel, which is not a bad thing. It's just that they're poorly coded from factory, they just put this thing called an E coat, which is a really thin, basically a paint on it. And they don't do a really good job painting it so like you flip it over and there's like thin spots and like spots that aren't even painted at all. And you go oh, that's where all the major rust was on the previous frame. So they'll be here. Yeah, so there's just not really well painted from the get go. And so I actually stripped all the coat off the frame. And then I I seem welded so or I say seam welded seam cocked I guess but they can't seem weld. It's it's a body seamer basically that you think about like a caulk that you just putting into all the cracks. So whenever two pieces of metal were butting up against each other, I would caulk everything around it so that when I paint it, the paint doesn't have to flow into the crack itself, it can just make a nice fill it that's what they do on cars. So if you go underneath the car, underneath the car, all the body seams are cocked together first and then painted. It's just prevents water from getting into it. So I did that to the entire frame. Then I painted it with a product called its first time ever used. It's called math. It's a master coat. Ag 111 which is a paint series actually it's like a series of products that you have to use, but it's a first you you get down to the bare metal or or you can actually just use over old paint if you scuff it up. But you prep it with basically zinc phosphoric acid. And what that does is it basically etchant etches the paint etches the steel, and then on the steel, it leaves behind zinc, zinc phosphate or zinc iron, can't remember anyways, it puts a zinc layer down. That's just a temporary anti flash rusting, because if you've ever sandblasted or like grinded metal down, and the moment it gets wet, it will immediately flash rust. And I live in Houston, which means everything's wet all the time. Because the swamp you're wet all the time. Exactly. And so if you like if you sandblast anything in Houston, next day, it's already flush rested. So you have to put this this zinc phosphate on it, and that will prevent it from flash rusting. And the great thing about zinc phosphate is you can basically you just brush it off because it will like dry up and there's like phosphate crystals on it. So you just brush it off with a like a brass brush or I think a stainless brush as well I used just brush it off and then you can paint right over it. So it's really nice for just your process. You don't have to keep cleaning it basically or like strip it back down. The zinc phosphate did it everything like 50 parts, everything that's metal is is coded and then you put in on their metal sealer. It's called metal seal product. But zinc based sealant it's a it's a urethane based one part urethane and yeah, you put two coats of that on there. And then you put the last part which is an epoxy to two part called ag 11 or ag 111 and that product Basically this series is what they paint, subway cars and stuff like that in New York. Oh, wow. Long, long term paint. That is like some of them. It's like something ridiculous like 14,014 Yeah, 14,000 hours of salt spray is what it's rated for just constant. It's ridiculous. Like, everything is coated in that clean my hands a little bit, even though. Like it's amazing. You can wear gloves and you don't get any holes in your gloves and you still take your glove off and you're like, how do I get paint there?
Host 2 25:43
But definitely, if you if anyone out there is I don't know any long term stuff yet with this product. I mean, it's got the credentials and it's got like, like you read like all the stuff that's, that is like it's resistant to it's like you cannot the only way to remove it is by abrasive. There's no way to chemically remove this stuff once it's hardened. That's great. I'm looking forward to not having to worry about my mother's golf cart ever resting ever again.
Host 1 26:16
What I'm curious about though, like how thick does it go on?
Host 2 26:21
It's pretty thin. Is
Host 1 26:23
It? Okay, so like when you have like wormholes or something like that. You don't have to worry about opening them up.
Host 2 26:31
Yeah, because like with powder coating and things like that, and yeah, it gets real thick. Yeah. And that's actually one thing is I thought about powder coating. The problem with powder coating, especially down in Galveston on the coast, is the moment you get one scratch, it will start bubbling underneath and it travels underneath because the what happens to the powder coat. Yeah, it traps the moisture and then we'll keep the rusting bubbling up. Whereas and in chat kabhi Smith, it's a product called Master coat. If you just search that company, you will find it the products ag 111 and they sell like a whole like kits that you can use for frames. So one quart of like the sealer and one quart of the top coat was enough to do like the entire golf cart. So I was like the frame racy
Host 1 27:26
Or is it really reasonable
Host 2 27:28
$140 for like the prep, sealer and top coat. Which is about normal for industrial coating.
Host 1 27:37
Yeah, yeah, it's so it's not like it's not like super cheap, but it now should last a long time. It should last a long time.
Host 2 27:46
It's highly regarded in like the Hot Rod community for frames and stuff. You definitely want to like I have a full face like 3am respirator that covers your entire head. Because like it's pretty nasty stuff. Like I was wearing Tyvek suit gloves. Head sock that mask on. And I was like old done. I take it off and I'm like who hits that bed? Yeah. Had the big fan running in the garage is blown every all the fumes out the garage. Wow. Yeah, it turned out really good. So far. I won't know about longevity yet. But kind of the idea about doing this on the My mom's golf cart is I'm gonna put together and then see how well it works like a year down the road. And if it still looks brand new, then I'm like, okay, it's fine to put underneath a car, right? That's Nike shirt near the coast. Because the problem is that golf cart goes on to the beach and then drives like on the wet sand. So you got you got this wet abrasive material that's also salty, getting flung up by the tires underneath it. Yeah, that's why there's a lot of different other frame paint product products out there. This is the one I was like it actually has test ratings for everything. And so like a lot of automotive stuff will be like this is anti virus and you look into it and the just says it's antivirus doesn't really good. Yeah, it doesn't actually have ratings and like, this has like it's not what we would say like IPCs specs for stuff. Like in like IBC
Host 1 29:25
IP. Yeah. stuff.
Host 2 29:29
Oh, no, no, that's that's, you're talking about, like enclosure ratings,
Host 1 29:34
Host 2 29:34
Well, you're talking about like PCB stuff. Yeah, like IPC 610. For PCBs and stuff. We have like a rating of like, what quality is, there's a YC where this has the same kind of certs for its material. I don't remember what they are. But it has them. So that's cool.
Host 1 29:53
It gives you a little bit more of the warm and fuzzies
Host 2 29:57
A little bit. Yeah. And I also really like Cow, basically how the, since you basically use a three part system, you prepped it, and then you put a sealer on it and then you put this top coat on it is even if the top coat gets chipped, even though it's like super super hard, even though it does get chipped because when you put a bolt into something and tighten it down, that nut is going to rub on the paint, and it's going to grind some of the paint off and scratch it is it won't affect the sealer. The sealer actually like kind of soaks into the metal. And so even if it does that it won't the any rust that does form won't go past that cut into the coding. Unlike powder coats. We'll see how well that translates. But I, if that works really well then I'm like, That's awesome. Then all you got to do is every so often, like find the scratch and then like hit it with a little scotch brite and then with a little spray paint over it. You're done.
Host 1 30:52
Yep. Yeah, that's that's the big thing about powder coating. It's really awesome. Until it gets its first chip that red. It's game over.
Host 2 31:01
Right powder coat looks so nice though.
Host 1 31:03
It Yeah, it's super and and it's it generally inexpensive. And you get the ability to choose a bunch of different finishes and a bunch of different colors. Yeah.
Host 2 31:16
So that's just the painting part of this project, which is almost done. I finished painting that on Sunday. So like my garage, everything still hanging in my garage.
Host 1 31:28
Does this still stink in there?
Host 2 31:30
No, it doesn't need more. I'm hoping tomorrow to take everything down and just lay everything out on bunch of folding, I have like four folding tables on lay everything out and I'm going to inspect them, make sure I got good coverage. Because I'm gonna get I'm gonna actually gonna have my I'm gonna put a headlamp on and so I can actually like really look at him. Make sure I got good coverage, because the last thing I want is paint being thin and spot and it runs through in that one spot. And all this work is ruined. At that point. Yeah, yeah. So I'm gonna inspect it all. I actually have a sheet of little s&t inspection stickers. So I find a thin spot on a sticker. Yeah, put a little arrow towards it a little arrow. And it's in there yellow, and yellow contrast really going on the block paint, so that I can easily figure out where where the spots are at. Because my idea is, what I want to do is I'm going to assemble it all. I'm not going to touch up yet, I'm going to put it all together and then touched up at the end. Right. So that way in place, yeah, touched up in place. And that way less risk of introducing more scratches or chips. Because when you assemble stuff, it's not going to be perfect, right, you're gonna have to like hammer stuff together. Because you know, the paint is thicker than what it originally was to. Because that used to be just eat coat, which is super thin, so it's gonna be a little bit thicker. So I might have some clearance problems or might have to like chase some threads, that kind of stuff.
Host 1 33:01
Okay, I've got a funny, quick tangent. So you were saying like, you have to hammer things together. And that's, that's true. And a funny side story on it. So we, I've been making a lot of changes at work. And one of the things that we're that I've I'm doing at work is we're moving all of our inventory 100% of our inventory is getting moved. So I created a new area for inventory. We're doing shelves, so we're doing a cycle count of literally everything in the shop, getting rid of old stuff, and then making a whole new location. So we've we had pallet racks at it for some period of time and we need to do buy some more so actually, just this morning, I went out and bought new pallet rack beams, the crossbeams eight foot Yeah, they're the teardrop style. That hasn't happened. Yeah,
Host 2 33:56
We have the fab two. Yeah.
Host 1 33:58
So everyone if you've if you've worked in manufacturing at all, you've or even if you've worked at like department stores, like Home Depot, Walmart, you know, anything like that, where they have this kind of racking it's so weird because it's like pallet rack goes from being brand new to being janky and destroyed in like two minutes like rips right off. Well, and if you've ever had to like disassemble a pallet rack and then reassemble it like it can be a nightmare if you have old used stuff. But today I got brand new pallet racking. It was a dream, like you just it just clicks right in and everything's like we had some use stuff that we had to get an 80 pound sledge hammer to just beat the bars out of them previously, and like we hadn't touched these in years, they literally just sat there. It's like It's like they degrade somehow by just sitting there. Just a little bit of corrosion, I suppose but wait, but it's just I don't know. It's been my experience with Pallet Racking that I Uh, even if even if you just click it into place and it sits there, the next time you go to disassemble it, it will be a nightmare. Yeah. And I was telling that to all everyone, as we were building, I was like we're building this now. And if we ever have to leave this building, it's going to be awful that when we undo these,
Host 2 35:18
Remember when we moved the Fab Four, the is your first time moving fab, right second time moving the fab. And we had to take our pallet racks apart. And yeah, it was, it was, it wasn't as bad as 80 pound sledge, but it was five pounds sledges,
Host 1 35:33
Beating on it to get the bars and then and then we moved it
Host 2 35:38
Basically only halfway across Houston. And guess why we set it up. And then things just goes click into place. Because they were they were only like, two years old at that point. So like they saw the fresh paint and still on him. Right. But yeah, but everything just kind of clicks together. It goes together so easy. It's a nightmare taking them apart.
Host 1 35:56
It's they're awful to take up. Yeah, yeah.
Host 2 36:00
So I'm hoping the good thing is most all the fasteners that are on this golf cart are stainless. So that's good. I'm just going to clean them up on the wire, we'll put it back on. Now, electrical went through. It used to be 36 volt lead acid. And so that was six, six volt batteries, like think of a car battery, but instead of 12 volts and up at six volts, and you have six of them. So 36 volts. Well, I'm moving over to lithium. And there's a couple of different lithium systems you can buy out there for golf carts, or for cars, anything that's 12 volt rated, or six volt or whatever, you can get six volt lithiums. So you need six of those, or you need eight of those, because I wanted to go to 48 folds. And it's got room underneath it to fit eight batteries. It's like there's like two spots that you can put two more batteries in. I was looking around. And there's a company called allied batteries. And they make a different system where one cell outputs 48 volts. I mean, there's probably multiple lithium cells inside of that. Yeah, just all in a box case. Yeah, but one case is 48, which is really nice, because I can get three of those or three of those at 48 volts is like 96 amp hours in parallel. So I think each battery is like 33 amp hours then and one, one, but 33.33 repeating the course amp hours. So it's 108, almost 100 Amp Hours, whereas the original 36 volt, six by six volt cell bank was about 100 amp hours total. Because each lead acid batteries 100 amp hours at six volts, and they're all in, in series. And so I'm getting the same amount, basically about the same amount of amp hours with more voltage now with three less cells. And each battery is like only 40% of the weight as a full cell. So like basically, I cut like 300 pounds off this bad golf card out. And the great thing about it is, since I went this route, if my mom or my dad need more range for the golf cart, instead of having to basically sell all the batteries and then read juggle the configuration of like the series of batteries like so hit 48 volts, I just had to put another 48 volt in there and put it in parallel.
Host 1 38:39
Hey, I'm on their website right now it looks like they go all the way up to 72 volts. I mean, don't you want your mom to haul ass around?
Host 2 38:46
So so that's the other part of the equation is I bought a new electric motor controller for the whole golf cart. And it's, it's it can go up to 96 volts. So I basically bought the biggest of the baddest. It's by all tracks, I think what's the brand? Alright. And yeah, I went with the like, I think it's like 96 volts at 500 amps is what this motor control. I went that route though, in case my parents ever want to go more voltage. The reason why I stuck with 48 is because that's about the max that motor electric motor can handle. Because we're technically overvolt in it already, because it's only technically rated for 36. But you can run 48 through it, it's fine. As long as you keep the the main thing you actually run into with that motor is as over revving it or over spinning it. And so the stator runs to your stator runs too fast and the stator explodes inside the motor. Nothing once you get like I think I think they max out at like 8000 rpm and then the stator explodes. So we'll probably limit it to like 6000 RPM, fuel safe. Whereas like on the old 36 volt, it can never ever get to that RPM range anyways, but now we can. And so you. So basically what you do, when you control the motor with this, this because you're running more voltage is you don't want it just the use the, all that extra voltage because it would it would be too much power for that motor the handle is you actually with the motor controller, you limit how much power it can take, not how much current it takes, or how much voltage it takes just limit the max power that you can deliver at once to the motor, and the motor control voltage AC shunt the current and lower it down to make sure it doesn't overpower it. But the great thing about that is with 48 volts, you have more potential. And so you can basically get faster rise time and your motor and it will go faster, a lot faster. Especially once you I think that it will basically go about 25 miles an hour is what I calculated.
Host 1 41:06
That's pretty fast for a little golf. Well, yeah,
Host 2 41:10
The stock speed is like 14. Yeah. So yeah, it's gonna be a little quick. And we're keeping the stock breaks for now. And the stock breaks are just too rear drums that are like they're no bigger than a tea cup saucer? Like, they are seriously like six inches in diameter. Little tiny drums. So scary.
Host 1 41:34
Yeah. So do those motors have a transmission on them? Or are they like direct drive to
Host 2 41:40
The direct drive into a into a gear set for the differential? Oh, okay. Got it. Yeah, yeah. So it's got it's got a gear reduction in their in. I don't remember what the ratio is. But it's like it basically think about it, if your car didn't have a transmission, so the engine went right into the differential, because your differentials got a gear reduction in it. And so it's whatever that reduction is, is what your final drive ratio is, well,
Host 1 42:08
Is the only reduction in the differential on this thing? Or is there a separate? No reduction as
Host 2 42:14
Well, it's differential well, and then you also factor in your tire size,
Host 1 42:17
Because I was thinking you have your tire size, right. And I was thinking if the max is 8000 RPM, if one of those little tires is ripping at 8000 RPM No, I think it's a it's
Host 2 42:28
I haven't checked it. I don't I have checked, I don't remember what the final drive. The differential ratio is. I want to say it's four to one, somewhere it's either three to one or four to one somewhere in that range.
Host 1 42:42
Yeah, because I mean, just just thinking about those numbers, it seems like with the with the diameter of that wheel, that would be really fast.
Host 2 42:52
And so my idea was go 48 Because that's about the max performance we'll get out of the stator that's in that motor. And if they ever want more, then we can I can sell basically the 48 volt lithiums and put 72 volts and put a bigger or basically different motor that has the main thing is the right using stator right? What's a common to a rotor?
Host 1 43:19
I don't think it's stator
Host 2 43:24
Yeah, maybe commentator won't be used.
Host 1 43:30
What? What is the diameter of those? golf cart wheels? Are they 10 inch? They got to be a little bit bigger, I would think.
Host 2 43:37
Oh I think it's 18 inches is the diameter of the wheel tire the tire. commutator is what not that stator commutator Yeah. commutators the spinny bit in electric motor.
Host 1 43:57
Stator is the stationary bit Yep.
Host 2 44:04
Which thinking about it, that I was thinking about a brushless motor. Because brushless they're kind of inversed but yes, the commutator is the term I was thinking about. got that wrong for the last 20 minutes. Yeah, cuz the thing about the stock motor on those golf carts is the commutator can only spin up to like 8000 RPM if you're lucky. And then you need more voltage isolation to go higher voltage. So yes, in chat row copy Smith, the golf cart is rule drive. I have thought about making all wheel but you'd have to do a motor it and then figure out how to like do a CV joint in the front. It's not really set up for it because it's the the front end axle is a solid axle with kingpins So, you can't really fit a CV joint in there. It's not like a knuckle or a dual wishbone setup where you can easily add a drive into their drive axle. I love to do it though. I've saw some kits for it maybe if you turn the whole axle like this I can't remember kind of steering that is, but it's awesome. Has. So for those that listened to the podcast, I was doing like a seesaw motion. It's kind of like, really, if you've ever made like a soap box, it's like how soapbox. Carts turn. You just have one pivot and the whole axle and the front pivots around it. It's great for something lightweight like a soapbox. But once you get enough weight the scrub radius really starts to hurt. Yeah. So that's that's my mom's golf carts.
Host 1 46:02
So So I've given given the diameter of the wheel of 18 inches and at 8000 RPM max on that on that motor I kind of back calculated maybe I got something wrong along the way but I bet calculated that at 8000 RPM it would only be eight point or it would basically be nine miles an hour. So I think I think perhaps there's something with maybe I got something wrong there but because that because gut feel was like that seems really really fast but maybe not.
Host 1 46:39
What 25 Well, no,
Host 1 46:41
I mean eight the motor running at 8000 rpm. What that translates to in speed seems like it would be really fast but maybe the the maybe the gear differential of four to one is it's 12 the
Host 2 46:55
One actually in the rear.
Host 1 46:56
Is it really?
Host 1 46:58
Host 1 47:00
Okay something Something seems off there because that would be slower in my calculation then. Oh, well. Oh, well. So yeah, that's the golf guy. So what are you doing on what part of Oh, working on over Christmas?
Host 2 47:20
I'm so over Christmas is the reassembly and then getting electric? Working? Oh. My favorite thing is I got to buy the biggest cable cabling I've ever bought for a DC current setup. Okay, why not wire? Wow. Yeah, it's stock like four gauge whatnot. What?
Host 1 47:46
Like what, like what kind of connections? Did you get one of those big like barrel crimpers
Host 2 47:51
Oh, I've got Bell crimpers for doing battery cables and stuff. And yeah, I got one ought lugs and stuff for so I get to make a bunch battery connector space that has
Host 1 48:02
A diameter of point 289 inches. Yeah, that's it. That's a fat boy.
Host 2 48:09
It's not the biggest conductor of RBOB it's the biggest for DC I've ever bought. Because I bought I think I bought for ot four conductor before for running power running three phase power out in Oklahoma. When I've worked up there in the oilfield for a bit
Host 1 48:33
On my brew rig. Some of the wiring is four wires six gauge and nuts. BV
Host 2 48:40
Six gauges is beefy. Yeah, cuz I have six gauge on mine per rig too. Yeah, but yeah. And that's AC though. Yeah, this is this is one not for DC. For a while
Host 1 48:55
Volt, that's beefy.
Host 2 48:58
Potential 500 amp, it's probably only gonna be like 250 Maybe 300 peak. So, but I wanted, I wanted to spec it. So I can just use the cables later, if we ever go 72 volts, and more amperage later down the road, right? So I'm really looking forward to seeing how this codeine really holds up. And it's kind of also my first dabble into the motor controllers program level two. So learning how to program a DC motor that's that powerful. That that's kind of like learning kind of like electric car stuff. Because I do kind of want to build my own electric commuter car someday. And this is kind of my way of, I get the test to law stuff. I get tests like this new coding, this new kind of process of processing a frame that keep it from rusting. Building ginormous battery cables, like do I have the right tools to make that work?
Host 1 49:58
How is the is the accelerator connected to like a, an encoder or is it?
Host 2 50:04
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, it's actually connected to a. So on this got that some golf courts use an encoder. This uses a Ferris rod that goes through a, a hall effect sensor. Oh, okay. So when you push the pedal down, it moves a rod through basically a doughnut.
Host 1 50:24
Right? Right. Okay.
Host 2 50:27
So I bet you that rod is probably magnetized in a certain way. So the Hall Effect sensor knows the position. It doesn't absolute position on it. It's not a relative position. So it's got to be a some kind of special you know, feedback. Rod on it or something. Be interesting. You know that like that plastic that AV e that YouTuber AV doesn't see magnetic fields. Oh, yeah. Yeah. What is that stuff called?
Host 1 50:59
What's it? Yeah. Gotcha. Get some he even has a whole video. Well, a short one about that. Because he's, he was asked so many times.
Host 2 51:09
Yeah. I love to get some of that and see what this rod is that's on the throttle. Because it has to be some kind of
Host 1 51:21
You know, yeah, magnetic viewing film. That's what it's called.
Host 2 51:24
Okay. I have to go look some of that up.
Host 1 51:27
Yeah. Wow. That's cool. Yeah, I'm just went to a link on Amazon. It's 10 bucks for a big ol sheet of it.
Host 2 51:33
I'll go over that after this podcast. Because I'd love to see what that actually looks like. See if it's I betcha it's like a gradient, like one and like a cone almost. Yeah, like a cone. Because then it wouldn't know basically, that sensor would know where that rod is at inside of its donut hole. Yeah, it would seem
Host 1 51:55
Like a system like that is like probably has pretty wide tolerance. I wonder if it has some kind of a calibration thing where it's like, here's the pedal at none. Here's the pedal at max. And then, like, interpolate in between?
Host 2 52:09
Yeah, I was looking at the software for that controller. And yeah, there's like a calibration like, yep. Okay, so that's zero. And this is 100%. Throttle. And then it just goes, Okay, here's your linear map in between, I'm guessing everything is linear or linear enough? Because it's, it's a golf cart.
Host 1 52:28
Right? Yeah. Well, it's a golf cart. But but you'd be surprised at how good human minds are at like, PID being their, their limbs to adjust for how a system responds.
Host 2 52:39
Yes, yes. And then, before we go back to one of your, what you're going to be working on the next one, I think is we're gonna talk about TIG welding. And something I want to talk to you about that too. Yeah. But the red Jeep is all back together and actually been driving it around. There is one thing stopping it from being done. I cannot get better.
Host 1 53:08
I believe you on that. Believe me on that.
Host 2 53:12
There is another project that's out there but I'm not actually going to be working on that project. I'm actually gonna take it to gas a shop to do it. The fabrication work that
Host 1 53:21
I interrupted you what what was what was that?
Host 2 53:24
I'm not wrong. Oh,
Host 1 53:26
What was the one thing the one thing
Host 2 53:29
Is the serpentine belt that the drive belt that runs all the accessories will not stop squealing and I have no idea how to keep a squealing
Host 1 53:40
Little bit of grease on it. It'll be fine.
Host 2 53:44
Host 1 53:48
That's not how that works.
Host 2 53:51
Like I replace every single pulley, every single idler belt every single, it's not anything like that. If you spray a little bit of degreaser on it, the squeal merely goes away so it's something with it slipping too much. Tighten it, loosen it, tighten it, loosen it try different belts, different brands. I know what pulley it's slipping on. And it's the alternator pulley. And basically because now I don't have enough like wrap around the pulley because of my new I've a new air compressor onboard air compressor. So I don't have enough wrap around the basically the alternator pulley. I'm actually thinking about taking that pulley off. And there's a couple different products out there you can get applied to them because there's a lot of superchargers out there that are run off serpentine belts now. So you can basically force inject air into your engine with the surface because like when you remember if you think of like a classic supercharger, like the supercharger is like sticking out of the out of the hood, with a big baffles moving around. Those are driven off cogged like tiny belts because they don't want to need the belt to slip because you want all the compression. Well, modern cars like let's say, a Dodge Hellcat that has a supercharged engine underneath it, it actually runs its belt officer off its normal serpentine belt. But when you start running a lot of boost on those kind of engines, you start getting belts slip, which means you don't get as much boots as you want. And so they apply a basically a super textured, almost like a powder coat. But it's like grippy, like a super grippy powder coat to a pulley, and then that makes it it doesn't slip. And then why
Host 1 55:35
Don't you just change the cogs and chain and just change drive it
Host 2 55:39
Drive the whole thing? That'd be so noisy,
Host 1 55:42
It would be so loud. And you'd probably have to have it. You'd have to have like an oil drip or something like that. Yeah, you'd
Host 2 55:49
Have to gotta be awful. around everywhere. Yeah,
Host 1 55:53
Oil be messy, but zero slip on the only chain stretch.
Host 2 55:59
And actually, that's not a good thing. On a, we're going to get the more science here. And the reason why they use belts for that kind of stuff, is because they do want some slippage. And they do want some flex, because if you think about revving your engine, okay, your revenue your engine, and then you immediately thought you take your throttle your foot off the throttle. And so your engine RPM immediately drops down to like 700 or idle, whatever it is, well, all your other accessories have all this inertia built up. And now they need to have to slow down. So think about like a, it's like an inductor, it doesn't want to change its inertia. And so that you need that belt that kind of like flexing give, and some cars have like auto tensioners that allow even more flex in the system. So actually, a chain drive probably wouldn't be a good idea.
Host 1 56:50
Yeah. My Tacoma has that. An auto tensioner on it. Yeah, that's it's a little bit of a pain in the butt too, if you ever have to actually work on the serpentine.
Host 2 57:01
But yes, most I think most cars do now, the funny thing is that red Jeep, it was like one of the last cars that didn't have an auto tensioner with a serpentine. It's got like a screw drive that you can tighten and loosen it. So I'm also I'm thinking about taking that pulley out and just getting it coated in that stuff. And that will definitely stop it from squealing because it will it cannot slip after that. It does slightly shorten belt life. But $10 belt every couple years first listen to going all the time. It is it's it's not this. It's like it's embarrassing to drive around. How much noise it makes. It's just that frickin thing squealing Yeah. All right, TIG welding.
Host 1 57:58
So, yeah, this is a future project, but but something that I'm keeping my eye on right now. And I'm going to start doing some practicing on this, because I bought a TIG welder three years ago, something like that. And if you looked at my weld, you'd be disgusted. TIG welding is just really, really hard. It's super hard. It's really hard. And I want to get better at it. Because it's really cool. And there's a lot of things you can do with it. And one of the things that so I when I first started I was just like, go buy chunks of cold rolled steel, and stick them together. That's like it. Basically, I did weld up an aluminum bike frame. And that worked and it still holds up and that's that's fine.
Host 2 58:42
Yeah, we know that was always up there.
Host 1 58:44
Yeah, yeah. Parker inspected by Well, it worked. Yeah. Still Still holds my
Host 2 58:51
Fat but you're like, and I'm like, Dude, you got painted?
Host 1 58:55
Yep, yeah, it's still Yeah, we just put some random red spray paint on it. It works. It works. So the thing about it is, I've been looking at my brew rig. I've brewed a handful of times since both Parker and I finished our brew rigs into their current state. And there's, there's a few things I'm like, with a TIG welder. I could I could get rid of a lot of problems that I have with my rig. I see a lot of my rig is holes punched in the side of a kettle. And then, you know with with silicone gaskets, yeah, well. I hate that. I absolutely hate them so much. They're, it's worthless. It's garbage. They leak and you have to be so careful about how you tighten everything. And like NPT fittings are fun and all but like, I just hate it. I want to hard weld my stuff to my kettle. I just be done with it. And so, the problem is what I want to what I'm looking for is a really difficult weld, because you have a giant chunk of steel that you're trying to pin to 20 1000s of stainless sheet metal. So that's what it takes for though. It's yeah, yeah, exactly. This is where TIG is magical. But that requires a ton of skill. Because and I have tried sticking a big thing to sheet metal before. And of course, it did the newbie thing where like, you start up the TIG welder, and then poof, just a whole range. But I've been I've been looking at doing tack welds that were basically the strategy is, in general, with TIG welding, the rule of thumb is one amp per 1000s of thickness. So you know, with sheet steel, you know, say 20 20,000 thickness or something like that, you'd go 20. Yeah. But with with this new strategy that I want to I want to play around with with just tacking things is you double the amperage, and you use a finger controller, which actually came in my kit. And basically what you do is you just blast it with double amperage as fast as possible. And what that does is it just gives a quick surface tack on everything. And you do that all around the weld. And then you can go back and clean things up at a lower amperage because I want to buy some, like threaded bongs that I can fit through a hole and just tack all around without the worry of punching right through. So I'm gonna get my TIG welder, I need more gas for it. But if I have some time over Christmas, I want to just go get some sheet steel and put big blocks of steel onto thin sheets of steel. Yeah, just blast them. And that's the one thing I haven't done yet. Because when I first got my I got a MIG welder first.
Host 2 1:01:55
And I actually went to our local hackerspace here in Houston, TX RX and took a welding class there. And I don't know how they teach welding at other places or other hackerspaces. But at TX RX, they don't teach you how to weld as much as they teach you how to practice welding, the difference there, because you're not going to learn how to weld in an afternoon. No. So what they try to do is like, basically, it's like, half the classes safety, of like, making sure you can properly operate something that's going to spit out, you know, 200 amps, right. And most of it's about temperature, safety, that kind of stuff. And then you start learning how to practice to weld proper technique, how to hold the gun, right, that kind of stuff. And there's a and then a little bit of science on like, this is what gas does is what other gases can do. And then I went home, I bought a MIG welder and I spent like every single afternoon after work, in my garage welding metal the metal is just cold gold seal the cold Gold Seal just like just constant practice, constant practice and after about a month, I built my first thing I built a welding table. And I still use that table every day. And I still won't say I'm a welder because I for me, you have to be certified to be a welder in my opinion, you can mix things together I can stick metal together really really well. Yeah, and a lot of times so I do use a grinder. A really big hot glue gun. That's very that's actually how I explain people to MIG welding is it's using a glue gun that just spits out metal instead of what liquid nylon or what is glue what is glue gun material, or is that polyester?
Host 1 1:04:03
Oh I don't think it is let off to Google
Host 2 1:04:09
Surebonder All Purpose stick glue sticks What is this matter? Doesn't say what actually plastic it is.
Host 1 1:04:20
The most commonly used polymers in hot glue guns include ethylene vinyl acetate. What polyesters you were right. Okay, polyethylene and ethyl methyl accurately Yeah, go figure.
Host 2 1:04:36
Speaking of hot glue Oh hot glue gun should have been on our like equipment list because I know
Host 1 1:04:40
All the time don't use hot glue guns. No. I love hot glue guns no hot glue guns are art for their for arts and crafts. They're not for like engineering.
Host 2 1:04:51
What have you ever an industrial hot glue gun like
Host 1 1:04:53
I That's a MIG welder.
Host 2 1:04:57
It gets it will make his way hotter. But this is 400 degree Fahrenheit hot glue gun. Okay,
Host 1 1:05:03
Hot glue guns for like hot snot on capacitors and things like that. That's yeah, yeah. But like, if you're trying if you're trying to build a product and you blew your enclosure together like yeah, that's
Host 2 1:05:19
For doing prototypes stuff like that.
Host 1 1:05:22
Yeah, sure, sure.
Host 2 1:05:24
Yeah, as awesome blossom says in chat, industrial arts and crafts. I like to mix MIG welding is like that. I would 100% recommend like going into like your local hackerspace and taking a welding class on MIG welding. I would say just don't do it unless you have an application don't because a lot of old welders and stuff like that would be like you should start on stick I'm like you only the stick of your welding like rail cars together.
Host 1 1:05:59
And it's like they I feel like a lot of people say that it's like school of hard knocks. You've got to learn the way I learned. Exactly. Oh, you'll be fine.
Host 2 1:06:08
Pick up MiG. Because you can because MIG you can do practically anything with MIG write MiG is very much the most very year. You can even do sheet metal with MIG you just get the smoke you get oh 27 wire and turn your amperage down. Use a little less gas. And you can do I've done sheet metal. I've done. I don't remember how I think 16 gauge is the thinnest I've done. And it turned out great. Now, TIG welding, I picked up my TIG welder what, two years ago? No, a year and a half ago. Yeah. It was no it was during coat when COVID was was because I had had so within the last two years, it was within the last two years then. Man I had not put my dedication into practicing as much as I need to. And I think I started I started off on aluminum first and got really frustrated.
Host 1 1:07:06
Because nothing sticks. It wasn't
Host 2 1:07:09
It wasn't that sometimes I was like I couldn't form a puddle on the aluminum I know is because aluminum oxide, but I like will take it to a belt sander. And it's sand whole surface off and I still couldn't like make a puddle on that aluminum. And then I'll pull like some random aluminum I had like, outside for like five years, and I could make a puddle right away. I'm like without him cleaning it. I'm like what is going on
Host 1 1:07:35
Different pieces of aluminum respond massively different. You gotta you gotta change your duty cycle and everything I say, oh, it's rough. So this
Host 2 1:07:45
I have one piece of loom and I could not form a puddle. I turned the inside of that stock bar into a Molten Aluminum. The outside oxide that I thought couldn't have existed because I belt sanded it off. It was like it was like a jelly bean of aluminum. Oh gross. Where the outside was just I couldn't make it.
Host 1 1:08:08
Like, like a like a 1000s thick or less, I guess oxide layer
Host 2 1:08:15
That just holds this molten? Yeah, it was so frustrated. I just kept pumping the amperage into I'm like you have to make me I had to make a puddle. And just would not adventure I stopped. And I I could poke and like make the whole thing jiggle. Because it was just full of Molten Aluminum
Host 1 1:08:33
From my from my research, which is minimal, but yeah, with aluminum that the duty cycle is what matters because, yeah, get a punch through and then B and then pull away basically.
Host 2 1:08:46
Yeah. Yeah. And that's all I was trying. I was trying all different settings. I could not make that piece of aluminum. I just chalked it.
Host 1 1:08:55
And so I got discouraged to weld.
Host 2 1:08:57
Yeah, I got discouraged. And then I had a project where I needed to put some pieces of stainless together for my red Jeep and actually showed you I send you those pictures because I can post his pictures on a podcast notes. And I just tacked two little brackets stainless brackets onto a stainless little reservoir basically for my radiator. Yeah, and they're not pretty, but I'm like they're still holding and they not they're not rusting away. They look. I mean, I actually pulled it up with a nice and shiny. And I'm like, okay, that kind of really motivated me I think to back away from aluminum, and just I want to work on okay, I'm just gonna do steel. I'm gonna just practice on steel until I can get steel to look good TIG welding and then go to aluminum.
Host 1 1:09:51
I did nearly the exact same thing where I was like, I did some steel. I was like, Okay, I get the basics of it. I'm not good at it, but I get the basics I was like, I really wanted to try some aluminum. So I tried aluminum and it was like, I'm the worst welder that has ever existed ever. And then and then if you ever need some confidence, just go buy a bar of garbage steel from Home Depot. And you could stick that to anything with a tape thing. Yeah, it's a call,
Host 2 1:10:18
I have a project I bought all the material for that I want to build. And I want to TIG weld, because I can easily MIG weld this together. Like, I'm like, I'm like Parker, you can do less like 30 minutes with a MIG welder. But I want to do it in TIG and I know it's gonna take me like three days to do a TIG sign. You'll be mad the mad the whole time I got I got to build the motion. The motion skills using that tool? is I want to build a gas can holder for the back of my red Jeep? Well, that's cool. Off Road, I can hook a five gallon jerrycan in the back. And then, and have a look a little latch on it. So that Yeah, well, yeah, well, like a little hinge. Yeah, so you can pop it in and not have to worry about it. And then now, I also want to make it so it can pop, the whole thing can come off. So when I'm like not off roading, which is most of the time with that car, I can just have it not on the Jeep. And so it's not back there rattling all the time, or just being empty, because I'm not going to carry five gallons of gas on the back of the Jeep all the time. That's probably a good idea. It's just a lot of people do that. I'm like, why are you carrying all that extra weight for nothing? Anyways. So that's the project I want to build, I have all the angle iron, I bought like little bumpers, like I already calculated out, like how big I need to make it. And I bought low bumpers, I can line the inside of it. So that when you fit, the jury can end it doesn't rattle around on metal. Really looking forward to doing that. I just got to get the get the time. I think it's after the golf cart. It's fun to get that done. And that frickin belt. And,
Host 1 1:11:58
You know, actually that might coincide. Maybe we'll be doing TIG welding products at the same time.
Host 2 1:12:03
Share notes, because I am.
Host 1 1:12:06
And the notes are just like, Is it going well for you know, is it going well for you know,
Host 2 1:12:12
That's like the person that like, do a dual stream? Yeah. Yeah, we won't be able to like people will be able to seal the beat. But I'll be like, we'll try it and like to show the camera and stuff and how Yeah, let's do
Host 1 1:12:26
It. I'd love to do that. Because I'm literally just my thoughts right now is I'm just going to find some way to take the valves on my brew rig, stick them to the front and just tack them in place. Because they don't need to be unbelievably strong. They just need to sit there and not leak. And I'm thinking about like, spin it like go all around the circumference and just tack weld a bunch of times. And do that all without blowing holes through the sheet metal.
Host 2 1:12:54
Yep. Yeah, I haven't gotten that we've The next step is trying because I want to do the same thing with my brewery is move away from mine are actually sweated on or soldered on. Right? Which are okay. But I want to do a bottom drain and the only way to do that, I think is with TIG welding.
Host 1 1:13:16
Host 2 1:13:20
Now one more topic and I will this a long podcast but hey, it's Christmas miracle
Host 1 1:13:29
Host 2 1:13:31
Local electronics store talk. So Misha who's actually the CEO of McAfee I've actually posted this top like an article for EPO which is electronic parts outlet here in Houston in our Slack channel a couple days ago at this point. So we were talking about local parts stores and stuff like that. And I kind of want to so in Houston, we got to the I know of there might be more ever. We're not gonna include RadioShack anymore, unless you if anyone has a legit RadioShack that's still open post in our Slack channel. Because I thought I think they're all out of business. Now at this point. There might be some franchises left. But and then Fry's Electronics went out, because they used to have a small, small section there or center has a small section. Who does micro center micro Center has a section. Is it as big as Fry's was. No, no,
Host 1 1:14:34
Maybe a third. Okay,
Host 2 1:14:37
Well, I still have a DIY electronics projects area. So, in Houston, we have EPO, then electronic parts outlet and then there's a select tronics. And what's interesting is, is not dig at any of the companies but whenever I see this article of like, it's always EPO is on the brink of going out of business. But no one talks about ace electronics. Even though I think they just cater to different crowds, maybe
Host 1 1:15:08
They 100%. That's exactly it like in industry goes to ace, because they have it. That's just how it is. Yeah. And then hobbyists go to EPO.
Host 2 1:15:20
I think that's what it is. Yeah, it's when you walk in there, it's definitely completely different kinds of way of running business to.
Host 1 1:15:28
It's also the people who run the stores. No, dig on anyone on either store. They're very different. Like if you go to EPO, it's gonna be a chat about like, Arduinos. And if you go to ace, it's going to be like, hey, this thing in my downhole, whatever radio needs replaced, and you thereby like, Oh, it's over here.
Host 2 1:15:47
Yeah. Because I shop at both. And just recently I was at EPO is first time in a couple of year. Two years been three years since I've been EPO. And I went over there to buy some parts from a pinball machine. I needed a a. What was it a NOR gate? I can't remember what was that part number I sent you? It's like, oh,
Host 1 1:16:11
There's some logic chip. Yes,
Host 2 1:16:13
There's a quad logic gate, I think is the NOR gate, or Nan, Nan and I think it was a NAND gate. Anyways, I called up EP because EPO is actually closer to my home, whereas ace is closer to macro fab. So if I manage my crab, I just go to ace if I'm at home I go to EPO call them up and they go like yeah, we got your for those. And I'm like, awesome. Went over there picks them up. And it's it's so it's a it was full of people buying stuff in like, that place has gotten even more JAM PACKED of stuff now. Oh, it's floor to seal. It's always been like floor ceiling, but it's even more floor ceilings. But yeah, it's nice having that kind of option because my only other option would be ordering it on Mauser and waiting a couple days, right. And also paying $8 in shipping. So I kind of want to know, anyone out there. What local parts stores do you all have to buy parts? Just share them in our Slack channel. Because I know like in California, especially like Silicon Valley area has got some I know some of closed down too recently. To Steven, you've been in Denver for three years now. Yeah, three and a half. You need to get a logic gate quad logic gates, is there a place you can go run and buy one maybe
Host 1 1:17:51
The best hope I have is that our company has that in stock. And I could just buy it from my company. So there was an electronic store that apparently was like the cream of the crop. And I've only heard stories of it. It was called fist STELs Oh, yeah, I've actually heard that one. Yeah, it closed down and in 2014 but it opened in 1936. It was 99 decades of being opened and they closed down and and all the people at work said it was it was just a mecca of electronics. And you could go there like all the guitar guys were going there and buy an old vacuum tubes and like anything and everything. It was just it was fantastic. And now there is virtually nothing like we do have a Microcenter here and you can like yeah, there's a diode, maybe yeah, you can get a diode. Right. But I'm not going to draw on in for 401 Probably. Yeah, so if I need parts I online or if if the company has them, I can usually pick them up there. Yeah. Interesting. I think the way of the surplus store is it's dying. Yeah.
Host 2 1:19:07
EPO is definitely shifting off the surplus. And I know ACE has been doing that too because he sells more industrial stuff. So they have Industrial Surplus like connectors and switches and stuff, but like they carry that kind of surplus stuff that you'd like break in will need like right away more often. Whereas EPO has like more components I guess. But ace does carry a lot of crazy like resistors and stuff it's kind of weird. Yeah. The I imagine your margins are not very good for brick and mortar store selling surplus electronics there's
Host 1 1:19:47
There's zero basically. Yeah. Which is kind of a shame but
Host 2 1:19:51
It's also like you know, a lot of people will complain about you know, all these stores are closing and stuff But it's one of those like welding go shop there
Host 1 1:20:04
Yeah they only close if you stopped dropping there or never shop there whenever I got my driver's license in the first place I drove to by myself was EPO to go buy parts?
Host 2 1:20:16
Yep. I remember ya EPO was one of the I think was the third place I went to. So, yet so open over there on Fondren
Host 1 1:20:30
That question in in Twitch awesome blossom is EPO a chain? Unfortunately no it is not. It is a mom and pop store out in Houston. And the people who run it are good friends of mine and there are awesome people. But I wish it was a chain I wish there was more EPO is all over the place.
Host 2 1:20:48
Yeah, I do find it interesting. EPO. Whenever I whenever I go there, I try to buy like soldering supplies, because they actually their prices on their soldering supplies are identical for what you can get online. So always try to buy them there. They are. They rarely have stuff in stock for that though. I'm going to imagine the margins are not good on that kind of supplies. Because like, it's really hard to keep a bin of $40 rolls of leaded solder on stock. Yeah, so they might have like, one.
Host 1 1:21:26
Somebody buys it. And there you go now yeah. Do you guys
Host 2 1:21:29
Tend to have like, their bins might be a little more full on that kind of stuff? Yeah. I always find that interesting. Whenever I go to EPO. I'm like, I wanted flux cleaner. And they didn't have any flux cleaner. They had isopropyl. Like, any flavor of isopropyl alcohol I wanted, like spray keychain. jugs. 99% 70% 80 apple, strawberry. Yep.
Host 1 1:21:56
Cheeseburger, cheeseburger ice. And it
Host 2 1:22:02
Was I couldn't get I wanted some that mg chemical flux cleaner that we were talking about, which is where I bought this. Yeah, no, that's what you said. You're like, yeah, EPO hasn't I went there and they they didn't have any. They had a little tag were supposed to go. Yeah. So So I did come up with names of the ghosts. Okay, that's our closing statements for this podcast. Right? Okay, so because each of the three ghosts is this is going way an hour and 22 minutes ago people about A Christmas Carol where there's there's there's three ghosts, there's the ghost of Christmas Pass, which represents memory. A ghost Christmas present, which represents generosity and goodwill. And then a Ghost of Christmas Future which represents death. And thinking about those what those ghosts mean and reading his nose. And, and, and seven eyes. Six years of doing this podcast going coming up on seven years soon. So we have ghosts of projects past due. And I have to thank chat for that one. That was a really good one. And then ghosts a project ideas which represents Ghost of Christmas Present. And then ghosts of unused parts of Ghost of Christmas Future.
Host 1 1:23:25
I'm trying to think of which one I have more of. And I just think overall, I just have a lot of all of those. Yeah, you'd have all those. It's just there's a lot of ghost in my basement.
Host 2 1:23:39
Hopefully no skeletons so
Host 1 1:23:42
Well with that. That was the macro fab engineering podcast. We were your host Stephen Craig and Parker Dolman. Take it easy.
Host 2 1:23:51
Transcribed by https://otter.ai