There Is No Cat

Groovy '60s Sounds from the Land of Smile!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

52@52 Week 41

I think I finally figured out how to make a decent photo with New55. All the shots I see New55 posting on Facebook and to their blog seem to have one thing in common; they’re all shot against a dark background in a studio. None of this shooting landscapes outdoors; things get washed out, the prints look blah. So I grabbed my Foldio2 and put the black backdrop in it.


This is the new machine-coated version of New55, and I developed for the recommended 2 minutes instead of the 3 minutes I was finding was needed with the hand-coated version. I shot this with the Intrepid and 150mm f/5.6 lens, well extended to be able to focus close up, and tilted somewhat to get the entire face of the multimeter in focus. I shot this at f/45. The light meter app on my iPhone said exposure should be 8 seconds, but I figured there might be some reciprocity effect at that length, so I exposed for 12 seconds. That appears to have been the right choice.

We had a power outage on Tuesday around 5pm. The power flickered and came on and off a couple of times, then went completely. It came back about an hour and a half later, but had done some damage with its earlier dance. Everything seemed fine at first, but our Internet (and phone and TV) service failed around 11:30 Tuesday night. Bleah. I looked at it Wednesday morning, and the battery backup unit on our Verizon FiOS setup had the “replace battery” light lit up. I tethered my Macbook to my phone and Internet chatted with Verizon tech support and landed on having a tech come out and look at it. But I know how to change the battery if that’s all the problem was. So I went out and bought a replacement battery and dropped it into place. Bang, Internet (and phone and TV) were back. I cancelled my tech visit for the next day.

Until 5pm, when the battery ran out.

I tested the voltage on the battery when I brought it home just before lunch Wednesday with the multimeter shown in this photo. It was 12.78 volts. 5 hours later when the system failed, I tested it again and it was 6.88 volts. The light on the plug indicated that there was 120 VAC going into the battery backup unit, but it doesn’t appear to have been charging the battery at all. If I let the battery sit for a few hours, it gets back up to 11.5 volts or thereabouts, but it’s basically dead. I can put it back in the BBU and get about a minute of service, but then it shuts down. At $30 a pop, I can’t afford to replace the battery every five minutes. And I would think that if the BBU is plugged in, it should power the Optical Network Terminal outside even if the battery is dead or removed, but I opened the ONT up, and after a minute, there were no lights lit up. So I need to get Verizon out here after all, and probably replace the BBU (and maybe the ONT, but I doubt that one; the ONT seems to work okay when it’s provided with enough power.

So that’s why I shot a photograph of a 35 year old multimeter, which was very helpful in figuring out what was happening here.

Note that even with no Internet, I’m still posting this week’s photograph on time.

Posted at 7:49 AM


Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.


This site is copyright © 2002-2024, Ralph Brandi.

What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio

There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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