Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Uranium Glass Marble Christmas Tree

Here is a picture of some uranium (vaseline, carnival) glass marbles that are arranged in a Christmas tree pattern. The top marble is an orange-reddish fluorescent under ultraviolet (UV) light. The fluorescent activator could be magnesium. The trunk marble is just a brown swirled glass and has no fluorescent properties.

The tree glows when exposed to black light from a compact fluorescent bulb.  See one here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ultraviolet-UV-LW-Black-Light-Bulb-Fluorescent-calcite-mineral-uranium-marbles-/110785264269?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19cb50fa8d#ht_981wt_1365

See the Christmas tree pattern marbles here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Christmas-Tree-Pattern-5-UV-Light-Fluorescent-Uranium-Vaseline-Glass-Marbles-/110785256231?pt=Marbles&hash=item19cb50db27#ht_663wt_1365

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Animation of Queen Tears Flower Blooming

Here is a video I created from a series of images taken on 11-11-11 over a span of several hours at 7 minute intervals.  The plant is called Queen Tears or Billbergia nutans. The video is dedicated to my Aunt Nita who gave me this flower many years ago.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Model Airplanes on Display

The Jeffersontown Historical Museum has an impressive display of model aircraft on display until 2012.  The models are the life's work of Floyd Wilder.  He served in the U.S. Navy and then worked for AT&T. This first picture is of a flying wing of model he created himself.  See next image for description.

This next picture is of one of the model display cases.

Historic plane models are on display as well such as the Bell X-1 (first plane to break the sound barrier).  In addition, models of the X-15 and NASA Space Shuttle can be seen.

Maybe one of the fastest airplanes ever to fly, the SR-71 Blackbird model is shown in the image below.

These next two images are just a small sampling of military aircraft models.  Probably the majority of models are of World War II aircraft made the United States, Great Britain, Japan, Germany, and Russia. In addition, a number of World War I aircraft and jet age models can be seen.

Here is a post-war Japanese defense force jet protecting Japan from monsters like Godzilla!

Plaque educating visitors about the model assembler, Floyd Wilder.

Learn more about the museum located in the Jeffersontown, Kentucky library building at their web page: http://www.jeffersontownky.com/Museum%20Historic.html

Friday, October 14, 2011

Evening Rainbow

Part of a rainbow seen during a rain storm when sunlight broke through the clouds in the west.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Watermelon Harvest 2011

The watermelon harvest was disappointing this year will three melons picked and maybe another two that will be harvest in the next few weeks.  A total of 47.6 pounds of watermelon was picked which consisted of two Charleston Gray melons and one unidentified green striped melon with almost jet-black seeds.

Over 40 immature or rotting melons were picked and thrown away.  I did not do enough to control weeds this season and the lack of rain during the growing season seemed to contribute to the bad harvest this year.

The watermelon shown that has been sliced is delicious.  It is quite sweet.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Robber Fly in Kentucky

While tending to the watermelon plants in Hodgenville, Kentucky, I came across a robber fly (maybe Atomosia puella).  It had taken a grasshopper that was larger than itself and was having trouble flying.  I was able to take these pictures.

One can see more information about these at the University of Kentucky Entomology web site: http://www.uky.edu/Ag/CritterFiles/casefile/insects/flies/robber/robber.htm

This web site shows a number of robber fly pictures which helped determine the species of this insect: http://www.pbase.com/tmurray74/robber_flies_asilidae

Unfortunately, the watermelon crop is one of the worst I have seen in many growing seasons.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Potato Flowers

Potato flowers growing in a garden in southern Indiana (July 2011).  The progress of the potato was checked as well.  See next image.  As one can see, they are being grown in grass clippings.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Repairing Another Samsung LCD TV

This Samsung LCD TV (model LNT4065FX/XAA) was having a number of problems including taking 30-45 seconds to power on and sometime showing purple lines on the display when first turned on (see blog post about it with pictures CLICK HERE).  After contacting Samsung through their on-line form, I was contacted days later by a service person.  He did not think the problem was caused by capacitors but was instead the display controller board.  Well, apparently not.  The repair took about 30 minutes but capacitors had to be ordered on-line, they were $0.91 a piece.  After the repair, the television turned on in about 5 seconds and no recurrence of the purple display issue.

See this entry about another Samsung LCD TV that needed a  similar repair: CLICK HERE

UPDATE (Feb. 2012): Samsung has listed a settlement for this problem on their web site: http://www.samsung.com/us/capacitorsettlement/

Tools I used to make this repair: Philips screw driver, Weller soldering iron with stand, desoldering tool, wire cutters, and solder

This next picture shows the cluster of capacitors causing the problems.

The green arrow points to the area of the power supply board the capacitors were found on.

The next two pictures show the 1000 uF 25 V SAMWHA electrolytic capacitor with bulging tops.  Note the small brown spots on top of two of the capacitors.

Last two pictures are of the repaired board with Panasonic capacitors.

Picture of underneath circuit board before the capacitor leads are clipped.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Fixing Samsung Television

Recently, I was asked to look at a Samsung LCD television (model code LN26A450C1DXZA) that would not turn on. The red LED was lit so the power supply board was still supplying power to the television.  Even so the television would not come on.  The red LED would blink from time to time.

Update (Feb. 2012): Samsung Electronics of America has listed a capacitor problem settlement on their web site: http://www.samsung.com/us/capacitorsettlement/

If one does research on the Internet one can find that Samsung LCD televisions have had issues with capacitors. So I decided to investigate. On the power supply board, a SAMWHA 2200 uF 10 V electrolytic capacitor was found with brown material out of the top. I did not have a spare one but found a salvaged 2200 uF 35V one and wire it in.  The television began to work so I ordered extra capacitors because we had another Samsung television having trouble powering on. See this problem in an earlier post: CLICK HERE and it was repaired (documented in this posting CLICK HERE).

Here are the pictures of the repaired television.  It now turns on almost immediately.  The new capacitor costs ($0.89).  I ordered an extra one.  A possible class action lawsuit might be filed against Samsung about this issue. I read part of the filing and the lawyers contend this is being caused by a design flaw in the board allowing the capacitors to overheat.  If this really is the reason then this capacitor could fail again.  Oddly, they also bring up faulty capacitors which means it is not the board but the components used.  In this case, I believe the new part is from Panasonic.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Furrow Spiders

The Furrow spider (genus Larinoides) is a orb-weaver spider found in Kentucky.  Learn more at the University of Kentucky Entomology web site on orb-weaver spiders.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Fixing a G&E Dryer

A while back, I got an e-mail from a relative about their dryer being broken.  They wanted to know I could haul it off before the replacement unit arrived they had ordered.  After inquiring why they were replacing it, the answer was it would not turn on.  Well, one should investigate before spending a lot of money for a replacement.  Possible causes could be a blown fuse or failed connection.

My response was to hold off on ordering a new unit until the old one could be examined.  Looking at the dryer it indeed did not turn on.  I first looked for a fuse that might have failed.  After not finding one, I went over the control knobs and switches which seemed to be in working order.  Next the door switch was examined.  It was somewhat difficult to pry out and part of the outside plastic broke but it did come out.  Using a multimeter the switch was always opened thus it failed.  As a test, I shorted the two wires that connected the switch and dryer began to work.  Since the dryer was pulled out, all the area was vacuumed to remove lint and dust.

A new switch was ordered on the Internet for about $25 with $10 shipping.  Once the switch arrived, I replaced it and the dryer is back in service.  Interestingly, the dryer was manufactured in Louisville, Kentucky years ago.