Who would have thought sitting home daily with my two kids during the Covid-19 crisis would lead to the kids each wanting a gaming computer. After pricing out what a “pre” made gaming computer would cost it was decided to build our own on a budget. The goal : How powerful a computer could be built for under $1000.
Gaming computer parts
The debate was on, which parts to spend money on and what parts could we save some cash.
It was decided the 3rd generation Ryzen 5 3600 processor would be used. The Ryzen would give great performance at a budget price. At the time of this post the Ryzen was down to $155 on Amazon (I paid $175)
MOTHERBOARD – MSI B450 gaming Plus Max $110
Finding a gaming computer motherboard proved to be a challenge. I would guess due to the shutdowns in China, and higher demand (I’m not the only one building a gaming computer) many motherboards were out of stock.
Another old meter to add to my collection. This Sencore FE160 meter was manufactured in 1973 and has aged quite well. I connected the meter to a wall outlet and it fired up and is working great! The only reconditioning was to give the exterior and interior a through cleaning.
When cleaning equipment I like to use as mild a cleaner as possible and work my way up to something stronger if necessary. I find automotive products to be very mild and since I’m always cleaning and polishing my cars I have many different types of cleaners at my disposal.
Old radio enthusiast please don’t send me hate mail after reading this blog. I know many of you will frown on what I have done to this 80+ year old radio. I promise you this Zenith will get tons more use in its current condition rather than in original form.
The project consisted of gutting the original electronics from the radio and replacing them with newer more modern tech. Resulting in a working radio that still has the spirit of the original.
Covid19 has pretty much left me trapped in the house over the last few months. Needing to keep busy I started to clean out the basement, selling some stuff on Ebay while tossing the rest out in the trash. I did come across this Everedy Gear Top Bottle Capper under a table gathering dust and rust and decided it would be a good restoration project. Restoration would be very easy as there are only a few parts and the capper was simple to take apart.
Tools you can use
Since the bottle capper is made of cast iron and had some serious rust, I decided to go with a wire brush to remove the dirt and prep the surface for paint.
I am still trying to figure out the back story on this restoration project. What I do know is this is a Dynarometer Model 1260, under the bezel of the meter movement is says Superior Instruments Co, New York NY made in USA. I am not sure if these were sold as a kit or even the exact model year. If I was to guess I would say 1950’s give or take a few years.
A friend was tossing this out so I adopted it and decided to keep it from the landfill. It was dirty and quite rusty. After a through examination to make it operational again would be virtually impossible, however restoration as a piece of art would be the second best thing.
We all accumulate stuff in our homes over time. In fact George Carlin has a great comedy skit about “stuff“. While going through my stuff I came across this antique projector. A Moviegraph D752 made by Keystone in Boston Mass. The wiring was dry rotted and belts were broken, and I was going to toss it in the trash. The only question was does it have any value? After a quick check on eBay similar projectors in better condition than mine were selling for $50 to $100. Not worth my trouble to sell, but old enough to keep as art work!
If you read my blog on a regular basis you may know that my boys are into youth & college hockey. We are always looking new training tools to try and even build. The Falcone TR-15 looked pretty cool so we thought we would give it a shot.
My boys are probably the biggest skeptics when it comes to new hockey training equipment, and after unboxing the Falcone TR-15 they immediately laughed and thought this device was going to be a waste of time. Having many more years under my belt, I told them to give it a try before making any judgment and to my surprise they did just that.
If you have been to my site before you know that I’m a DIY type of guy and that includes taking care of my cars. I have been hand washing and waxing my cars since I was 17 years old. Car care technology has changed over the last 30 years and I’m always looking for the next big thing to try on my vehicle. Lately there has been lots of talk about Ceramic Coating your car for the ultimate shine and protection.
I did a ton of research into different types of Ceramic Coatings and most of them have proven to be very expensive, and they come in small bottles so you could possibly need two to complete your car. Also, if you put too much on your paint could develop high spots and it could wind up worse than when you started.
We all rely on the 12 volt auxiliary power outlet (formerly know as the cigarette lighter) in our cars. They charge our phones, power our GPS, run our kids video games. When the power goes out it can really be frustrating. Most of the time these auxiliary power outlets are easy to fix and get back into service quickly and easily.
Sometimes its as simple as a fuse
The car auxiliary power outlet was designed in the early 1900’s for lighting cigarettes in automobiles and though we have a profound new view on smoking the outlet itself has not changed much since then. The shape of the outlet opens itself up to issues simply because small metal objects can become lodged in the socket causing short circuits. In all honesty, there have been quite a few times I had a penny fall into the auxiliary power outlet and caused a blown fuse.
In the case of my 2014 Dodge Charger I’m not exactly what caused the fuse to blow, but its a simple fix none the less.
If you have read my blog before you would know that I’m a DIY kind of guy. I love to fix anything and everything including my own cars. Since the mid 90’s car computers and systems have become increasingly complex. Though it would be quite simple for most modern cars to display any errors and trouble codes on their numerous screens, the manufactures still love to light the check engine light! This is where the BlueDriver comes into play. The BlueDriver can help you scan your cars computer and not only read the trouble codes, but it also suggests common fixes for your issue.
A little history – Why the BlueDriver exists(or scan tools in general)
In the 1990’s the world was becoming more aware to the global warming crisis and how automobiles were contributing to the problem. Governments were trying to help by passing more stringent emissions standards. The problem was how could we insure the new emissions systems were properly working? The solution came in 1996 with the ODBII system On-Bard Diagnostic System 2. Prior to 1996 there were other more rudimentary systems, but ODBII was the standard for them all and still the standard today.
When an emissions fault was detected by the ODBII system it would light the MIL (Malfunction Indicator Lamp) also know as the check engine light. You would then take the car to your local dealer and they would use a scan tool to pull the error code to diagnose the malfunction. At first in the 90’s all cars had the same codes to diagnose emission issues, however as time went on manufactures started to add manufacture specific codes which required a manufacture specific scan tool.