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Topics - culturejam

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Open Discussion / NAD: Mesa Boogie Mark V 25
« on: March 14, 2019, 06:52:02 PM »
I'm still not sure what the hell all the knobs and switches do, but so far I like it.  ;D

The way Mesa has things set up is definitely NOT like any other type of amp I've played.

Open Discussion / I have finally revamped my personal web site...
« on: January 08, 2019, 10:28:35 PM »

I have a ton of content to repost still, and the focus (har-har) is now as much on photography as it is effects projects, but it's got enough stuff in place that it's ready for prime time.

I have a backlog of another 10 or so effects projects I plan to post in the next 7-10 days. But if there are ones that any of you want to see that I did in the past, let me know and I'll make it a priority. All of my effects projects will now include Eagle files to make it easier for folks to get started on doing their own tweaks.

I'll also be adding other DIY content, such as my forays into cheap laser engraves, 3D printing, and the like.

Open Discussion / Strat body built out of 1200 colored pencils
« on: January 06, 2019, 09:28:25 AM »
This shit is amazing:

But does pencil wood have haunting mids?  ;D

Open Discussion / Vocal-use pedal with XLR - Need some input
« on: January 04, 2019, 11:59:52 AM »
A buddy of mine asked me about making him a distortion pedal for vocal use. He obviously wants XLR in/out (and phantom power if possible, but not required). My knowledge of anything vocal-related is laughably minimal.

If any of you have built a pedal for vocal use, I'd love to  have your input (or give me a link to an existing project). I've done some light reading on balanced vs unbalanced signals, and I have some ideas on how to make it work, but I'd rather hear from direct experience if possible.

I suspect it's going to be a lot cheaper for my buddy to just buy a used Helicon or whatever, but I'm doing the due diligence anyway.

So, I've been carting around some comic book cards since the early 1990s, and I think maybe it's time to part with them. But I'm having trouble finding info on how to price them. eBay values are all over the place.

So I have a complete set of 1992 Marvel Masterpiece cards (including the 5 etched foil cards). I also have a 1993 set of non-Masterpiece Marvel cards with the bonus cards. And some Deep Space Nine cards (which I think is a complete set with holograms, etc). And then some "Deathwatch 2000" cards that I don't even remember collecting. All of these are in excellent shape and in plastic pages/binders.

Oh, and I have a bunch of older Empire Strikes Back cards that I think were gifted to me when I was maybe 8 or 10. They are not in great shape, but are kinda cool.

Can anybody point me in a good direction for realistic sale prices on these cards? Thanks, boys.

Open Discussion / EZdrummer users: what Midi packs do you like?
« on: October 22, 2018, 04:46:04 PM »
There's a 20% sale on midi packs through the end of October. I was thinking about maybe picking up another pack to expand my library. I currently have Post Rock Grooves and The Progressive Foundry. I also picked up a couple libraries from GrooveMonkey, but I don't like those as good (seems like the "hundreds" of variations are almost nearly identical).

What I'm looking to do in the near future: stoner metal (medium tempo) and some noise-rock/post-rock stuff.

What are you guys using?

Not even sure what to say here, other than: WHOA.

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You old-timers will likely recall that I was a homebrewer before I was a pedal builder. I was so into the hobby, in fact, that I was a regular writer for the national homebrew magazine called Brew Your Own (or BYO). I used to write the DIY column for the guys who wanted to build gear instead of buy it. Shocker, right?  ;D 

Anyway, I was assigned to develop a build guide for a hop 'oast', which is a fancy way of saying dehydrator. So for the guys who grew their own hops, this would be a way to dry them in large quantities so they could be preserved and used over time. The pro versions had active ventilation and air-flow, and I wanted that on my home/DIY project as well. But I had no idea how to wire up a fan with an on/off and a speed control. At the time I was riding a train to work, and one of my commute buddies was a white-hat hacker and telephone system guy, and he drew me a schematic of what I should do. This was about 6 months before I built my first BYOC kit pedal.

So here is the top panel of the oast box -- my first actual electronics project --  with the fan, switch, and pot. It's been sitting in my garage since late 2006, and I've finally rolled it out to the curb for disposal. :)

I grew up right in the current likely storm path (southern-most coastline of NC) and have evacuated for hurricanes many times. I know the feeling well.

Please be safe and don't take any chances on "riding it out". You can't magically save your posessions by simply being present. You can't stop storm surge or flooding with willpower.

I'm really hoping this is another case of the media outlets excited at a non-Trump story and over-estimating the impact of the storm.

Either way, godspeed and good luck!

It blows my mind how complicated the PDP-11 was, and it was considered a "mini" computer in its hey-day. That one part with all the wire connections is crazy (why didn't they use insulated wire!?!?!). Dude replaced some old monster electros with some MKT gi-normous box caps.

What really took me aback was how long it took to call up a directory listing (around the 13:45 mark).  ;D

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Open Discussion / Game guys: Need some game suggestions
« on: August 05, 2018, 08:56:37 PM »
I just got a "gaming" laptop with decent specs. Nothing cutting-edge, but good enough to play quite a few mostly modern titles. I haven't seriously looked at any games in several years, and it's an overwhelming landscape (which is a good thing). I've got a Steam account setup now, so I'm good to go in that respect.

I do not want a "totally immersive life-consuming experience", haha. I want something I can play somewhat casually. I like stuff with guns, explosions, and gratuitous violence. I also dig post-apocalyptic stuff, but it's not required.

I'm fine with stuff that's a couple years old. Don't need teh newest-greatest, as I'm still occasionally playing Unreal Tournament (the original), haha.

Here's what I have found that looks good for my general interests:

Taking all suggestions. Thanks!

Open Discussion / NGD + Opinions Wanted
« on: August 03, 2018, 02:56:41 PM »
Just picked this up as a "consolation" for selling the CS Clapton guitar.  ;D The rest of the cash went into the new-roof fund.  :-\

This is a Squier Deluxe Strat in daphne blue. Been wanting one of these for a couple years. The quality overall has exceeded my expectations, and it arrived perfectly set up (and in tune!) straight out of the box from Sweetwater. The neck is almost exactly the same feel and shape as my '91 American. Same radius, too (9.5").

I would say that nothing *needs* to be upgraded on this model. The hardware and electronics are actually quite decent (or better). But of course, I have already ordered locking tuners.  ;D

So I want opinions from the peanut gallery on something. Since I have a Strat set up with the classic SSS config, I was thinking about doing this one with two humbuckers. Either that, or doing two single coils a la the old Duo Sonic setup (minus all the switches and whatnot). I like the 25.5" scale, but I also like two-pickup setups. What do you guys think? Should I do something unconventional or just leave it as is?

Got my low-power laser etch test boxed up. My dimensioning was slightly off in the artwork, but close enough that it worked. Forgot to move the TONE text over when I moved the drill mark, but it's close enough for rock n roll. Accidentally shot clear *satin* over the etching, so it's sort of a semi-flat look. But it's sturdy enough for stepping on.

Got the knobs a long time ago from BLMS. Enclosure is from there as well. It looks rough around the edges because I've dropped it a few times and smudged it up, etc.

The circuit is one I've been diddling with for years. It's a two-transistor overdrive with Volume and Tone pots and a switch that engages/defeats some clipping LEDs. It started life as my first-ever original circuit and then was sold by Rej as the Temple of Giants. Since then, I've added some major tweaks. It's got the same basic vibe, but it plays a lot better with different guitars and pickups now and is a lot more flexible (previously just had Volume control). I also added a couple of ferrite beads for noise suppression (stole this idea from Spaceman) at the audio input and power input. I went SMT to save space.

It's quite possibly the most controllable gain-wise with guitar volume that I've ever played. It can go from spanky to stanky with just a change to the guitar's volume. I actually can't believe it works so well at that, especially since that was never a design goal for me.  ;D

I had originally called this one "Bad Hombre" as a poke at our fearless leader. Then I decided to make a few minor layout changes and rename it "Polecat". But then I wanted some dragon art on this first build, so it's a whole mish-mash of ideas.  ;D

Anyway, here are some pics. The damn 9V jack is janky, so I'll have to pull all the jacks out and replace it, but it was good enough for a quick test.

Also, I have like 100 of those footswitch PCBs, so if anybody wants a couple let me know.

Ran out of room at the top (placed the art too close to the top and the footswitch too close to the bottom) so I had to get creative on the wiring, but it works. Learned for next time.

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