Archive for the ‘toys’ Category

2012 Stereo Build

Posted: April 10, 2012 in toys
Tags: , ,

My parents got me some new speakers for the boat for Christmas. The speakers are Infinity 612m’s which have a blue cone which would look great with the boat. In doing some research, I was told that I should put in a basic amp if I was upgrading to nicer speakers. Thus was born my second off season task for the boat.

The first step was to replace the speakers themselves. The bow speakers came out pretty easily:

But Moomba decided, went mounting the stern speakers, to put them behind the body panels. After bending behind the fiberglass.. and getting lots of fiberglass cuts.. I got the rear ones out:

A trip to Radio Shack to get new connectors for the speaker, and a guess that the copper wire was positive and and silver wire was ground… and the speakers were hooked up!

We took the boat out the next weekend.. and they looked good. However, the power was still a bit low. I could not hear the speakers over the engine. Next up, the amp. Need to get it to sound good. I grabbed an older JL amp off of Amazon, a JX360/4. It got good reviews and the price was right (cheap!). I went with a 4 channel.. doing 2 channels in the front and 2 in the back.

I knew I wanted to mount it out of the way, and I did not want to spend alot on 4 guage wire. I located a spot right next to the battery, and cut some pressure treated plywood I had down to size:

The local audio shop sells speaker box carpet, so I wrapped it in that to make it purty:

I then mounted the amp, the fuse and the wires. If I had done a bit more research.. I may have put the wires behind the wood, but I was pretty happy with how it turned out:

Finally, I mounted it into the front compartment behind the battery. I did not loose any space… and the wires which you see in the photo you really do not see when in the boat:

All and all, it took me about 14 hours to replace the speakers, build the amp wall, and install. I would probably give myself a B-. The wiring could be a bit neater, and the mounting could be a bit stronger. But, the next weekend when we took the boat out.. I was actually able to hear the stereo over the engine!

Here is the kids wakeboardng, while Mom and Dad are listening to Madonna the second:



For our anniversary, my wife organized a tour of down town Raleigh. The cool this was that it was on a Segway with Triangle Segway. We went into this thinking how great it would be to try out the travel mode of the future, but we got alot more out of it.

First off, the technology is great. They are incredibly simple to ride. You feel comfortable immediately on them. I have never had a piece of technology meld so well with the activity you are doing. It feels natural to lean forward a bit to move. And when you think “Oh Sh*T”, your natural body motion make you stop. Very impressive.

The company put together a great tour. I learned more about our city in one hour than I have in the entire 5 years we have been here. I am not a history buff, but I appreciated the stories and the diggs on UNC. I kept thinking during the tour how everyone should take a tour of where the live, to really appreciate the nuances of their home town.

Here is a photo of us at one of our stops. We had an option to stop and stretch our legs, or to zip around and drag race each other. I won 🙂

First Solo Boat Repair

Posted: July 12, 2010 in just me, toys
Tags: , , ,

Last year we purchased a boat. It was our first, so we wanted something cheap which if it sank we could leave it where it lay. We found a Bomber off of Craigslist that fit the bill. Bomber is a real type of boat, one that was made back in the 80s. I think they do bass boats now. If you google it, you will find 3… all of them torn up hulks. This one had a little rot damage, but not too bad.

This year, the engine had been giving us issues. We have a Mercruiser 3.7/LX which I am told is an engine that was made for about 2 years. It was the only 2 years that Mercruiser actually made the engine instead of contracting it out. So.. we have a unique boat, with a very unique engine. I don’t much about engines, but I know having a unique one is not great.

We tracked down the issue we were having to the to the shift interrupt switch. This is what it looks like:

The issue is that little switch which acts like a clutch on a car. It seemed to fail whenever we ran the boat and then stopped it. Since the engine is water cooled, the hottest the engine will get is after you stop running it. We guessed the heat was causing it to fail. We assumed it would be a cheap part, but soon learned that the entire plate had to be replaced. So much for cheap.

Here is the new part which I ordered from ebasic power, a good NC company:

It arrived in one day, which was great. The fix is that little grey piece right in the middle. The rest is what I needed to mount it to the engine block. I set out early Saturday morning to put it back on. It actually slid into place nicely. I disconnected the cables put them off to the side, unbolted the old piece, put the new piece back in, and added back the cables. I tested it with the muffs, and it seemed to work. My wiring was a bit messy, but all and all it looked good:

I read you needed to test this in the water, but saturday around noon it looked good. On Sunday, we headed out to the lake. And.. the boat worked like the champ. Here we are drying off towels and shirts after a good afternoon of skiing:

So, my first solo repair job on the boat.. and it seems to be a success!

My old busted iPod

Posted: March 26, 2009 in toys

I have a gen 3 iPod… and the battery is awful. I know this shocks folks to hear this. But, I have finally discovered how to bring the iPod back from the dead.

Here is the scenario.. it has been sitting in my work bag for 2 days. Naturally, the battery is dead and it will not start. I try the reset steps (fingers on the two middle buttons) with no luck. The trick, I have learned, is to do the following

  1. Grab the ipod in your right hand.
  2. Walk to a table or desk
  3. Put the top side (with the on/off switch) facing the desk.
  4. Slam it down, really hard.
  5. Put the back side (silver) facing the desk.
  6. Slam it down again.
  7. Hold it up, invert it, press the 2 middle buttons.
  8. Plug the iPod into a wall charger or USB charger.

Viola.. it works now.