Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Thought I'd pass this on: Things I Won't Work With.  Janet R. might find it especially interesting, in Jean Shepherd kind of way.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Never leave a copy of this under your landlord's door. I think he would stroke.

OK. That's really funny.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

On violence in society, from the Cat Rotator's Quarterly.

1,454 (edited by njc 2018-06-02 17:33:48)

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Seems I'm not the only one with the notion of a barricade spell.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Name fountain

1,456 (edited by njc 2018-06-06 23:32:42)

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

I've been half-lurking lately, doing some reviews and replying to some.  So, what's up?

I've been trying to get Big Project out of the way, and I was hoping to have it done by last week.  Not done.
First, here are some pictures of the framework:




Before I build the circuit to go into this (you may be able to see the big transistors on the heat sinks, 3 each FLJ4315 and FLJ4215 on each) I need to verify one small part of it.  (There are six sections, one for each column on the front panel, two big FLJ42's or FLJ43's each, 3 sections in each polarity, and I need to get the resistor values right separately for the negative and positive sides).

This will be easier if I have some tools.  I've spent days working on designs, which I invariably grow to projects as big as the first one.  I'd love to build them someday but I can't go off into those right now.

Worse, all of those require units just like the one I need to verify!  I've chosen a bootstrap path, building a modest but capable adjustable constant voltage load.  To bootstrap that, I'll use a network of resistors with switches.  And I've let that grow a bit, too, to give me something I can use in the future.

I thought I had an electrical design I liked, then decided to smooth one irregularity.  I spent 8 hours last night making sure it would work, and working to make the diagram easier to read, so that if I need to refer to it while building the thing, I can do it.


Here's the physical skeleton:


The plastic welding clamps are just there to hold the control panel in place for the photo shoot.  I have to cut a couple of brackets.  Three of the switches are in place.  I have more on order.  These are $5.90 high-dc-rated Eaton DPDT toggle switches.  (That's Newark Electronics price, probably a bit off list.)  You can see lots of extra holes drilled where I made mistakes, then realized I needed to allow for 20 resistors instead of 15, and finally decided that the big power resistors should be placed on alternate lugs to allow more room, and so needed to use a double-column.

What you can't see is that the back and far edge of that board are painted a nice semi-gloss black.  I have four tuck-in-the-gap 10" ship-flat-assemble-yourself bookshelves.  They came with 6 shelves each, but I've only used four, so I have a stack of spare shelves.  When I drilled the holes in this one I was careful not to drill all the way through, so that in the unlikely case that I needed to return the board to its original purpose I could do it with the only evidence on the bottom and ends of the shelf.

You can see the many extra holes where I decided I needed to go to a double-column so that I can place the big 10W power resistors on alternate lugs, and where I drilled holes at the wrong line intersections, and where I didn't think clearly when I marked them and left the ends of the terminal strips hanging off the bottom.

About those 10W power resistors: I thought I had a good cache of 10W sand resistors(*), but the cache turned out to be mostly 10 ohm and one ohm.  I had only a few of the 100 ohm resistor that I will need.  I had enough 50 ohms for that value and to parallel to make 25 ohm and 16.67 ohm resistors, but I toddled off to the Newark website again, looking for bargains.

(*'sand' resistors, also called 'cement' resistors: the resistive element, usually nichrome wire, is encased in a small concrete block, usually 1/4" or 3/8" of an inch square in cross-section and 3/4" to 2" in length, generally with the wire leads sticking out the center of each end.  The concrete used to be coarse-grained, hence the old name.  You can see some sand/cement resistors in the selection advertised here.)

I found a real bargain, but the mobile-device web page didn't tell me that they were in the UK stock, which adds a week and $20 to shipping.  I went looking again and found some others discounted, big cylindrical, non-sand jobbies; I hope to see them by Friday evening.  (Gotta' work on those brackets, and on the battery stack switchbox I need.)  Discount or no, I've busted my budget for the sixth time in three months.  (Learning lessons on drilling stainless and part-stainless steels, TiN and Co drill bit sets, bulk replacement bits for the ones I'm likely to break in the future, a new drill machine (a good deWalt), electronic parts (always cheaper to stock up) and bargains (they'll be bargains when I use them somewhere in the future!), ... ... ...)

Tonight I need to finish a review reply, do at least one review (there are about two###three dozen I should do), and work out a new physical wiring diagram for the revised circuit.  And I have to layout and drill a case to hold switches for a battery stack.

(Digression: If you are buying things that use AA, AAA, or D batteries, check out the Harbor Freight alkalines.  They seem to have at least 90% of the energy reserve of Duracell and Energizer, at about half the price.)

And now I've spent a long afternoon on this posting.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

NJC, is photobucket free to use, or do you have to pay for storage?


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

They've bounced back and forth.  Right now they're free again (for small collections) and so you can see my pictures here again.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

A pair of brackets for the switch panel cut, not yet drilled:
I wasn't planning on having them go most of the way down the panel, but those switches are stiff.  Note that two of the top-row switches are absent so that  I can work on the mounting.  I plan to drill the bracket holes to mount the panel for tapping, and to tap them for the #4 machine screws.  The nuts behing the brackets will be jam nuts, to keep things from working loose.

After the review for Amy I'll finish the wiring layout.  Saturday later I'll get on with the drilling and mounting.

The 100 ohm resistors are the cement block type; the 50-ohm resistors are deep black cylinders.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

devil's magic

1,461 (edited by njc 2018-08-28 12:27:31)

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

A very quick note:

I'm tied up both with other projects and with figuring out how to organize my thematic material and weave it into the large-scale, multi-volume plot.  It's becoming clear very, very slowly, and more in my mind than on paper.  I've got reviews to do and should get at least four done in the next twenty-four hours.

Good news, sort of, is that one insight is good for Books Two and Three, if I can do it.  This is looking into the real face of evil and writing about it.

Look at the wiring diagram, page 2, box c: https://www.jameco.com/Jameco/Products/ … 620576.pdf


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

looking forward to it


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Re: The Sorcerer's Progress


Anyway I have a chapter up.  It's not in the main storyline, but it's a diversion of sorts and it introduces a character.  And a legend of sorts: Count Hulhauzen Lundersot.  But don't expect too much of him.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Sounds German.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Well, see for yourself.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

It's a chapter from Being a Complete and Unembellished Account of the Instructive Journeys and Improving Adventures of the Sober and Sagacious Count Hulhauzen Lundersot, and of His Life and Times, presented as a Seeming.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

I can't find your chapter. Which book is it in?



Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Book 2 of The Sorcerers Progress, Earth by Fire: https://www.thenextbigwriter.com/conten … /version/0 .  Looks like it's published everywhere it needs to be


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

Working on Merran's next chapter.  I spend hours catching up with stuff, another hour or so on how I'm going to do this or that bit that I haven't done before, then I spend a couple more hours getting names that feel right, and I have an hour or two before I'm falling over for want of sleep.

But soon.  Not quite Real Soon Now, but Soon.

On the sound of names and other words:

Call upon the wheels, master, call upon the wheels,
Weary grow the holidays when you miss the meals,
Through the Gate of Treason, through the gate within,
Cometh fear and greed of fame, cometh deadly sin;
If a man grow faint, master, take him ere he kneels,
Take him, break him, rend him, end him, roll him, crush him  with the wheels.

Behemoth is my serving man!
Before the conquered hosts of Pan
Riding tamed Leviathan,
Loud I sing for well I can


Read these aloud and let the shape of the words shape your voice.

1,473 (edited by njc 2018-10-22 09:47:20)

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

I have a few hundred more words to write on Monday, and a few notes to make for previously written chapters.  And a few more names to invent.  Then I'll have probably about 2100 words to type up and edit.

1,474 (edited by njc 2018-10-26 02:13:34)

Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

I've got a couple hundred words ready to go, but they depend on a few hundred not written, which in turn depend on the ensemble I've been trying to move Merran in with.  I finally saw that I needed to get a full picture of them, nailed down, and to get that I needed both their current economics and their backstory.  I've spent three days on that, and the think-engine doesn't seem to work until I've had the question back-burnered for  four to six hours while I contemplate other problems, like heat flow through stainless steel struts.  I'm reviewing my solution now, looking for obvious implausibilities ind inconsistencies, especially involving ages.  I expect that no later than Friday morning I'll be writing about characters named Lortimer, Irvat, Sharna, Sonshue,  and (provisionally) Arlain, as well as Pausonallie and Thorodeus.  And Merran goes on informal trial. Oh, did I forget to mention Valto?

Correction: Sharva.


Re: The Sorcerer's Progress

It's been a long time since my memory worked, but even in the past I don't think I could have put pieces together the way you do. My thinking was either hierarchical or linear. Maybe if I had done more puzzles as a kid...

My hats off to you.