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xmaslightguy
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« Reply #2790 on: April 06, 2017, 09:50:49 PM »

@Mike:
I'll let you know on that! I'm kinda curious myself what they're using on Arduino!

I have a feeling if the Arduino won't work, that a Pi would! (it'd be way overkill in processing power, but they're not that expensive) Once I've played around more with the lights software I could probably say on the Pi

Those parts really add up! I personally couldn't spend that much on clocks, but if you have a soft spot for them/its your hobby, I can totally see it. Smiley Any sorta hobby/collecting is expensive these days.
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« Reply #2791 on: April 07, 2017, 11:42:51 PM »

Yeah I probably won't end up fixing all the clocks. Probably wouldn't need all of those for a single house anyway. One in each bedroom, one in the kitchen, one in the living room, one in the basement (possibly two if a big basement) and POSSIBLY one in the garage if it's used as a workshop. So I guess if I did it that way, that would bring me to 8 clocks, which is what I have lol (well I have 10 but two are crappy plastic ones that surface-mount to the wall instead of sitting semi-flush into the wall via a back box). The plastic ones need new movements (the movement is the "gear box") which are $100 parts I kid you not. If I get desperate I'll fix one and convert the other two quartz and sell it or something. Even though they're junky plastic ones I can't bring myself to just toss it in the trash because of the big money they go for when new. The vintage Simplex and IBM clocks go for big bucks on eBay. Just search "simplex clock" or "simplex school clock" and your jaw will drop at the price for some of those clocks, especially when sold in poor condition, as many of them are after 50 years of service.

Yeah Arduino or Pi makes no difference to me lol. I've designed a digital prototype using Publisher of the Master Clock/Time Control Center I'd like to build. I'd be using a 10" X 8" X 4" Hammond NEMA 1 hinged steel enclosure. The LED display, keypad input to the controller, and line-connected toggle switches would be mounted to the door. The toggles would not be involved with the electronics circuitry for simplicity. One toggle would be momentary contact for manual corrections (push and hold for 8 or 14 seconds) and the other toggle would be in between the relay output and the red wire going to the clocks, which would disable automated correction signals (the controller would still energize the relay but the circuit between the relay and clocks would be broken). Might not make sense from a technical point of view (would make sense to disable the controller from even energizing the relay) but that's probably the simplest way to do it. I'd possibly include some LED indicators as well for the "cool factor" lol.
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« Reply #2792 on: April 18, 2017, 06:03:58 PM »

Well I ordered a new capacitor for my bedroom ceiling fan. My brother and I have identical ceiling fans that were installed when the house was built (2003). I've used mine a lot more than he's used his. I've noticed for awhile that my fan is a lot slower than it used to be. I remember when it was on high you could heard the "whirl" of the blades spinning around (sounds like a large waterfall, you know, that white noise sound?) and it was quite powerful. But now when it's on high I barely feel any air at all and moving it to medium or low barely changes the speed at all. I did a comparison with my fan and my brother's on high and his blew my fan's socks off (he normally keeps his fan on low, so our fans are normally the same speed, though mine is on HIGH).

I did a little reading on the internet and found that there are only a few things that could slow the fan down: wearing/dirty bearings bearings (physically hard to turn, which my fan is not; it spins quite freely by hand), bad motor (which I haven't ruled out since I didn't inspect the motor but from what I see the motors are quite reliable. Typically when the motors do fail its due to a bad capacitor to begin with). And the third being the capacitor. Similar to a CWA ballast's capacitor, when the fan capacitor goes bad, it "dims" the fan speed like how a CWA ballast's capacitor dims the lamp it's running when it looses farads. At least that's what I understand from my reading. Someone like Nick from LG would know more about it than me.

I found the correct capacitor on ebay for $7 shipped to my door so I can't go wrong. If it doesn't work my mom said they'd buy a new fan for my room as long as I install it. I'd rather keep my existing fan if I can fix it since it's probably better quality than what they sell today (it's probably a Home Depot special from back in the day but the fans in 2003 were still probably better than the junk they sell now. I know the fixtures HD sells have gotten plenty worse). Plus the fan wouldn't match my brighter's anymore. Not that it's a big deal but one of my peeves is similar/identical rooms having different light fixtures lol. My parents' room has a different fan (Hampton Bay I think) but that's the Master Bedroom, so it's OK in my book lol.

At any rate, I'm curious to see if the capacitor helps. It shows no signs of stress (not bulged, not leaky, etc.). The capacitor is a tiny little black cube about the size of a 9V battery with a red wire and white wire. It's a 4.5uf 250V capacitor. New one is identical except for the brand and wire colors. From what I've read, the capacitors in fans are notoriously junky and often crap out. Sounds just like many capacitor-containing light fixtures lol.
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« Reply #2793 on: April 18, 2017, 06:39:17 PM »

Well I ordered a new capacitor for my bedroom ceiling fan. My brother and I have identical ceiling fans that were installed when the house was built (2003). I've used mine a lot more than he's used his. I've noticed for awhile that my fan is a lot slower than it used to be. I remember when it was on high you could heard the "whirl" of the blades spinning around (sounds like a large waterfall, you know, that white noise sound?) and it was quite powerful. But now when it's on high I barely feel any air at all and moving it to medium or low barely changes the speed at all. I did a comparison with my fan and my brother's on high and his blew my fan's socks off (he normally keeps his fan on low, so our fans are normally the same speed, though mine is on HIGH).

I did a little reading on the internet and found that there are only a few things that could slow the fan down: wearing/dirty bearings bearings (physically hard to turn, which my fan is not; it spins quite freely by hand), bad motor (which I haven't ruled out since I didn't inspect the motor but from what I see the motors are quite reliable. Typically when the motors do fail its due to a bad capacitor to begin with). And the third being the capacitor. Similar to a CWA ballast's capacitor, when the fan capacitor goes bad, it "dims" the fan speed like how a CWA ballast's capacitor dims the lamp it's running when it looses farads. At least that's what I understand from my reading. Someone like Nick from LG would know more about it than me.

I found the correct capacitor on ebay for $7 shipped to my door so I can't go wrong. If it doesn't work my mom said they'd buy a new fan for my room as long as I install it. I'd rather keep my existing fan if I can fix it since it's probably better quality than what they sell today (it's probably a Home Depot special from back in the day but the fans in 2003 were still probably better than the junk they sell now. I know the fixtures HD sells have gotten plenty worse). Plus the fan wouldn't match my brighter's anymore. Not that it's a big deal but one of my peeves is similar/identical rooms having different light fixtures lol. My parents' room has a different fan (Hampton Bay I think) but that's the Master Bedroom, so it's OK in my book lol.

At any rate, I'm curious to see if the capacitor helps. It shows no signs of stress (not bulged, not leaky, etc.). The capacitor is a tiny little black cube about the size of a 9V battery with a red wire and white wire. It's a 4.5uf 250V capacitor. New one is identical except for the brand and wire colors. From what I've read, the capacitors in fans are notoriously junky and often crap out. Sounds just like many capacitor-containing light fixtures lol.
I had a ceiling fan in a storage room that wouldn't even spin when you turned it on, it would just hum. I fixed it by replacing the cap. Have you got any pictures of the fan?
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« Reply #2794 on: April 18, 2017, 07:24:25 PM »

I'll post a pic on LG in the off-topic section. Look for it in like 10 minutes... Cool
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« Reply #2795 on: April 18, 2017, 11:06:09 PM »

I've seen malfunctioning ceiling fans which were probably on low but barely turning at all and wondered why; now I know.  I've also seen the motors just plain flat out fail, we had one do that, one day it just burned up and that was that.  It was in a master bedroom and 25 years of hot California summers over a bed did it in I guess.
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« Reply #2796 on: April 27, 2017, 10:03:09 PM »

@Mike
Last weekend when I went to the meetup of local light guys, I did get a chance to talk briefly with the guy I mentioned who used an Arduino for controlling lights.
He had one of his Arduinos there too connected to a relay board & a few strings of lights. Even fired it up. Pretty neat little setup. I think something like that would deff work for your clocks.
He said there's a bunch of little programs out there on the Arduino website.


@GEsoftwhite100watts:
You'll probably get a laugh out of this since you're into radio stuff...
I was listening to one of the local stations (its HD-2 channel actually) tonight, at one point they messed up!
They said their station name, then started a song...then maybe 30 seconds later said their station name again (while the song was still going), and started another song! So yep they had 2 different songs playing simultaneously! .LOL.
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« Reply #2797 on: April 27, 2017, 10:06:55 PM »

Hahahaha those "bloopers" can be pretty hilarious, were you able to record it?

Mike, I found out that Richardson Highway was actually built as the 4-lane it is, the OLD Richardson highway was/is 2-lane.  Drove the whole entirety of it's at-grade-intersections mess with a fellow LG member recently.  While being told about all the interchanges they've added.  LOL. 
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« Reply #2798 on: April 27, 2017, 11:47:58 PM »

Nope, didn't record (I could have easily gotten part of it but the thought never crossed my mind) though without the beginning it would be really missing something .LOL.
First time I've ever heard any station mess up in that way

I bet that highway trip was actually kinda intresting with the 'history' he was able to tell!
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« Reply #2799 on: April 28, 2017, 07:19:07 AM »

The radio station I listen to here all of the time always screws up. For example, accidentally playing 2 songs at once, songs that randomly stop for 5 minutes resulting in complete silence, and talking over songs.  Tongue
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« Reply #2800 on: April 28, 2017, 05:12:23 PM »

I know a radio station which at least used to drop the legal top of hour ID (Call letters, city of license, moniker) in mid-song. Usually it's done give or take five minutes to as to between songs/program segments, but this station was more or less fully automated so I'm not surprised it just dropped in mid-song at the exact top of the hour.  It was a syndicated, canned classic rock format, fully automated, not even many local commercials.  For those of you who really want to know, it was KSBZ/103.1 in Sitka, AK. 
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« Reply #2801 on: April 28, 2017, 09:45:08 PM »

There's only one rock station in the Rhode Island area. 94.1 WHJY Providence. There's also classic hits (70s, 80s, early 90s rock and other hits from the era) on a few stations. (101.5 B101 Providence, 100.7 WZLX Boston, 101.9 WCIB "Cool 102" Falmouth/Hyannis, and 105.7 WROR Framingham/Boston)

There's one station in Providence that plays alternative music called 95.5 WBRU, which is an otherwise-professional station done by a local college (Brown University, hence BRU (BRown University)). Other than that it's all pop/rap/hip-hop/R&B crap plus some miscellaneous stuff like talk radio, religious, a couple of country stations, and some elevator music. All stuff I'd never listen to. I hardly listen to the radio at all because I can't stand the 20 minutes of commercials that they play every 10 minutes. I get in the car to drive and by the time a song comes on I'm at my destination. And half the time they play the same songs three times a day, so when I leave my destination to go back home, I catch the SAME song on the way home lol.

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« Reply #2802 on: April 28, 2017, 10:20:20 PM »

My area has some interesting and actually quite good radio stations.  This isn't an exhaustive list but I'll name off some of the ones that are remarkable.

KRFF/89.1, a rather unique noncommercial community station serving much of Interior Alaska via a network of translators.  Imagine a noncommercial station playing classic rock/oldies/classic hits, no joke! 

KUAC/89.9 Fairbanks, AK  Fun fact: KUAC stands for K-University of Alaska College, a student run station with NPR, BBC, etc. type programming, and also classical/jazz music.  Fun fact #2:  KUAC was the second FM radio station to hit the air in Alaska, first air date October 1962.  Originally debuted at 104.7 in 1962 but in 1998 was paid to change frequencies to 89.9, down in the 88-92 non-comm part of the FM band, so another station could take their place, KKED/104.7. KKED is a rather unusual, albeit iHeartRadio owned, alt-rock station, "104.7 the Edge, Alaska's Rock Alternative".  They do however pitch their audio which is slightly odd. 

KSUA/91.5 College, AK  Another student-run station at UAF, I'm pretty sure the call letters stand for K-Student University of Alaska.  Basically motivational talks and weird dubstep music.  LOL.  I've thought about working at either KUAC or KSUA.  First air date 1984, was commercial until a 1993 shutdown, then reorganized as non-comm under university ownership.  At some point moved from 103.9 to 91.5 to allow another commercial station.

KJDF/93.5 Ester, AK:  A rather interesting country version of the "(male name) FM" classic hits type format, "Chet FM", a massive ecletic mix of all types of country music, lots of older stuff like Willie Nelson and the like. 

KWDD/94.3 Fairbanks, AK:  "Alaska's MOST Country, GUARANTEED: WIIIIILLLLDDDD 94.3", your more common new-hit country type station, but completely local. 

One of my personal favorites, KXLR/95.9 Fairbanks, AK "X-Rock".  A really well done mainstream rock (I wouldn't QUITE call them active rock) format which plays everything from Led Zeppelin to Stone Sour.  Has the typical suggestive morning show type stuff of course, but what do you expect from an active rocker in a college town? 

KYSC/96.9 Fairbanks, AK: A fully automated (read: crap) classic rocker, "Alaska's classic rock authority, 96.9 the River".  Used to air the UAF Nanooks hockey games back in the day or so I'm told. 

KWLF/98.1, "K-Wolf 98.1" a rather well done and suprisingly big-city-sounding CHR format, playing the likes of Chainsmokers, etc.  Apparently started in 1987 by someone who worked at KSUA/91.5 before that.  The moniker cracks me up, I'd expect a 'wolf' to be a country or MAYBE classic rock, not an upbeat urban CHR. 


KJNP1170AM/100.3 FM, basically the hugest Gospel station you can imagine, call letters stand for "King Jesus North Pole".  With a 50,000 watt signal even on FM from Ester Dome outside Fairbanks they get OUT signal wise. 

KAKQ/101.1, an odd "mix" type format run by iHeartRadio, but NOT a 70s/80s/90s/00s "adult hits" format by a long shot. 

KIAK/102.5, "Kayak FM".  A massive, 100,000 watt flamethrower of a signal with a nondescript new-country format but that signal gets out, they give weather reports for places like Tok and Delta Junction!  Even Delta Junction is 2 hours from here. 

KTDZ/103.9, an odd locally run but fully automated/on autopilot/jockless 70s/80s classic hits format, kind of unusual. 

I think that covered some of the major ones besides Gospel stations and the like.  (Did I mention we even have a Spanish-language Gospel station here?) 


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« Reply #2803 on: April 29, 2017, 08:27:24 AM »

Here's a more complete list. Most of the stations here are garbage. We get several stations from Massachusetts though, some of which are OK. My 1990 Buick doesn't pick up the MA stations though (but any cheap modern radio will). In fact, my car has trouble picking up the local Providence stations a couple miles away lol.
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« Reply #2804 on: April 29, 2017, 03:13:55 PM »

Yeah, outside this area it's a whole lotta nothing FM wise so nothing to "DX", it's all local. Closest place with "other" stations outside the whole Fairbanks/Ester/North Pole area would be Delta Junction or Anchorage I believe. 
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