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Monday, November 08, 2004

Sigh...

If it's not one thing, it's another. The Java trick to get my pages loaded in the framework, if directly linked, works great... except for blog pages other than the main one. Since the frame loading code is in my blog template it is written on each individual blog file which breaks their direct links when the page tries to load into the framework from an outside link (think search engine result) since individual blog entries are in various other folders that interrupt the path. Something else I have to figure out when I get the time. Seems there should be a way to modify the code to include a variable for sub-folders to get things back on track, but I don't know when I'll get time to start that bit of repair.

Speaking of repair, I'm proud of myself for successfully completing some tricky surgery on my 10 year old JVC CA-C55BK stereo to fix a problem with its design. There was a worm gear that had, over the years, become lose on its drive shaft. Eventually, with the action of the intermeshing gear it was pulled off the shaft resulting in the CD changer and tray not working properly. I had already "fixed" this problem a couple of months ago by gluing the worm gear back on the shaft. A tricky thing to do without a complete disassembly because of tight quarters, but I got the job done with a long brass rod and a rubber band. Unfortunately the glue bond broke and the gear slipped off again. Determined to fix it for good this time, I waded elbow deep into the stereo to lay hands and tools directly on the culprit. Many circuit board plugs and screws later I had the electronics and half the mechanical assembly removed and could see what I had to do to keep the gear in place. I decided I need to make a simple stop that I could anchor to the motor mount. A little stiff paper served to make a template and it was off to the studio to cut and bend some brass. Some slight adjustments and a good polishing on the side that might contact the gear when it tried to slip off and it was reassembly time. Now, it always seems like when one does something like this there's a piece left over and this was no exception. As I was moving the case to install the main circuit board, the last piece before the cover, I spotted a little plastic slab with some springs and a screw attached. Oh, brother! A little disassembly and some looking at shapes and I discovered where the piece belonged, but couldn't understand how it slipped out. Anyway, all back together but for the cover and I was ready for a power-on test. The result? Some unpleasant grinding noise. Sigh. Back apart it came and I turned the motor to see if, for whatever reason, the worm gear was binding on the metal stop, even though I thought I made it smooth enough that that shouldn't happen. Looked like my fix was good. It had to be something else. Now I wondered about that loose piece. It was a "floating" plastic bit that slid in a track. I assumed it would locate itself properly when it's parent part moved. On this I was right, as I discovered after more monkeying around. It turns out that somehow I had failed to get a guide rod back in it's slot AND had a close-tolerance moving part on the wrong side of a part of the CD magazine frame. D'oh! Anyway, all is well now and I can listen to a stack of 7 CDs on random once again without fear of the repetitive action "worming off" the worm gear. Much needed music to get me through the grind of making jewelry for my upcoming shows. The carpal tunnel, tendonitis, upper and lower backaches, eyestrain, headaches, and general fatigue are a little more bearable with some tunes playing. I just wish I had a muse to inspire me, monitor my progress, and crack the whip, when necessary, to keep me going. A back rub now and then would be nice too... Volunteers?


The affected area with my simple, homemade part shown.
Sometimes I feel like that gear, worked back and forth till I just fall down, useless.
All I need is some support to keep me going...

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