Lost in Space S2:EP6 Severed: Scientific Innacuracy That Ignores A Law Of Thermodynamics Bullshit

  • In this episode, on top of a whole list of ridiculously unbelievable human feats, there is a glaring scientific Inaccuracy that I have to document on the net. When Penny, bogus Dr Smith, Vijay and the teacher escape the jettisoned section of the Resolute in a large hermetically sealed and insulated sample container they are in space for a matter of minutes but are depicted as being in the later stages of hypothermia by the time they get to the Jupiter ship. This is totally wrong. Yes, deep  space is on average around 3 Kelvin or -270 °C but space has such a low density that heat transfer by conduction from the box would be negligible. The predominant method of heat loss would be electromagnetic radiation which would cause them to freeze eventually but not within a few minutes.
  • You may think it doesn’t really matter, they’re just bending the truth for the sake of an exciting plot but I say it does matter and is completely unnecessary. Nature and the laws of the universe  can create jeopardy enough in our human lives without making stuff up. It just shows a lack of imagination on the part of the script writers.

The Q-Chord Omnichord

This is one of the more interesting jobs I’ve had. The Q-Chord Omnichord which is actually made by the Suzuki Corporation. The current owner of this one took a gamble on buying it in a broken state. It looked as if a previous owner had not noticed all the screws that hold the covers together and had tried to prise it apart with a screwdriver. The PCB inside had a big crack in it and the DC power input jack was mashed. I did manage to get it all working in the end though you had to press quite hard on some of the chord buttons on one row to get them to sound. They use a conductive rubber pad under the button sheet to make contact. I cleaned the pads as best I could and guessed that with use they might improve. This model has a rhythm section. The plinky plonky tune (in a key to match the chord button currently playing) that is created by touching the touch sensitive strip to the right is quite delightful.Electronic instrument

Here is a photo of another one I have just been working on: The Omnichord OM-84.


Trace Elliot 1215 Bass Combo: Oh Dear, Wonky Knobs

Trace Elliot manufacturing, what were you thinking?! Expensive looking collet knobs on splined potentiometer shafts. They didn’t even put little shims in the slots as I have seen some manufacturers do so the slot closes up. The knobs just go on wonky and come loose so you would be paying for this lazy solution when the warranty claims start rolling in.

By the way folks. Don’t ever try to prise the slot apart, the metal breaks so easily and you end up paying for a new potentiometer. The only technique I found to get them to stay on was to give them a really good tighten with a good driver and hope for the best.

Gibson Les Paul Deluxe 100 Boost Circuit Schematic

I had to repair a Gibson Les Paul boost circuit and drew out the diagram which does not seem to be available on the net so I thought I’d share. The 47k trimmer sets the boost gain. The 4.7pF caps are an educated guess. I think they are just there to avoid RF interference. It was odd but the source terminal of the J202 FET was connected to the 22k load resistor R3. I guess they are interchangeable.

Gibson Les Paul Boost Circuit

Gibson Les Paul Boost Circuit

Latest Repairs: Fender Rhodes 54 Electric Piano

IMG_1882I had a Fender Rhodes 54 key electric piano in for repair last month. They use guitar type magnetic pickups wired together. If one pickup fails, every key goes silent. It is still easy to get spare parts for these so they can be brought back to top condition. The 73 or 88 key versions are more popular than this 1980 vintage 54 key instrument. I repaired or replaced 17 pickups on this one, re-adjusted the hammer action and individual note volume and re-tuned. IMG_1876 IMG_1875Call me if you have one needs some attention.

Fractal fern – totally irrelevant but lovely don’t you think?

I used to burn the midnight hours coding computer programs. This bracken fern style picture is generated by a fractal generator I wrote from scratch. I think the program got deleted (probably on a non-readable floppy disk somewhere!). The fractal was generated in monochrome at a very high resolution then each pixels intensity was set by the number of hits within its bounds. I then gave it a green tinge.


Fuck all to do with amp repairs though!