Thursday, March 31, 2005

Spring Fling

It's that time of year again.

The last couple of years it's been a cardinal, I think. Maybe I remember wrong. But this year, it's a robin.

In the morning, when the light is just right (wrong?) this robin keeps flinging himself against one of our living room windows. Hurling himself over and over again at what I assume is his reflection.

He lands in the pine tree a few feet outside the window, eyes the window, and attacks. Thump! Thump! Thump!

It's funny at first. After a while it becomes pretty annoying.

The switch on my Rio Riot broke. I had a hunch it would at some point. I asked around about Single Pole, Triple Throw switches -- couldn't find any the right size. Well, since one of the settings was for "Lock" which I don't use, I decided to go with an SPDT switch. Got one at Radio Shack -- a little too big but I figured I'd make it fit.

So, I went to put it in last night. Used some enameled wire to solder to the contacts and ran them to the switch -- worked great.

Until I started to put it back together.

in all the jockying around I had to do to get the switch to fit, one of the wires broke. I knew that was a possibility since it's just mono-filament copper wire. I just didn't think I'd have to do that much wiggling.

So, I decided to pull it off. First big mistake. Should have de-soldered. But I didn't think the solders were that good and I thought the wires would just pop off. That was true for one of the contacts... not so much for the other. It ended up ripping the contact off of the printed circuit board.

Fortunately, I found the copper path (which had partially peeled up) that lead to that contact. But it was fragile. I tried supergluing it back down to the board. I soldered some multi-strand insulated wire to that and the other two contacts and hooked up the switch. Worked fine. Turns on, turns off.

I ended up having to modify the shell a bit to accomodate the switch. So, three hours later....

Put the whole thing back together. It turns on. Matter of fact, it now won't turn off. Which was my problem before I ever started. Further, while the computer recognizes the Rio Riot, the Red Chair software I'd bought to manage it would not connect to it. And on top of that, the selector rotary dial doesn't work.

It may be hosed.

And I got an email from Jeff this morning telling me he found some switches that might work better. That's what I get for my impatience.

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