Sunday, January 11, 2015

The fifth anniversary of my retirement

Since it is my mother's birthday, it is also five years from when I fully retired. What a wonderful five years! Each anniversary I write a short blog and I've just been back to review them. I see that in other years there was a lot more snow than what we have now, but I am not complaining. I also see photos of Robin when she came home for Xmas but she has missed out the last two Xmas's. She is coming home in June / July to be bridesmaid at her best friend's wedding.

As usual, I went for my three mile walk. The day before it was so cold and windy that I had to give up and take a short cut home. I suspect the windchill was dangerous.

The bay had frozen over so the geese were just standing on top.

The ice is not thick enough to walk on.

This year I am planning to go to Turkey for about a month in April or May, travelling all over the country from Istanbul to Kars by train and also walking part of the Lycean Way along the Mediterranean coast. It should be interesting since I have never been to Turkey.

In July and August we have house exchanges lined up for Near Leipzig in Germany and near Selestat in Alsace. We are thinking of doing our annual Oz trip in late October / November. Marianne wants to experience some Aussie heat again.

And now, announcing the cat vomit proof tube amplifier. Early last year I started a thread on one of the hi-fi forums about how to deal with a vomiting cat that wanted to enjoy the heat of a tube amplifier when it was feeling cold. I'm not worried that the cat would be hurt by the heat but that it would be electrocuted. Here is my solution.

These 6C33C tubes put out a lot of heat and the design also uses two big fat black 100 watt resistors. All told there is 200 watts of heat rising up. The amp itself produces about 14 watts per channel to drive the loudspeakers. I've covered the really high voltage (480 v) with black electricians tape.

Those of you who are older might remember a Russian pilot defected to Japan in 1976 in a MIG fighter jet. The Japanese let the Americans examine the plane and they were puzzled that the Russians were still using tubes / valves in their planes. It turned out that the tubes were not effected by the electro magnetic pulse generated by a nuclear explosion. Ordinary solid state components would be effected or destroyed by the pulse. These are the same tubes used in the jet fighter. They cost about $20 each when you buy them from Russia or the former Soviet bloc countries.

The grates came from Ikea I think and were originally serving stands.

The amplifier circuit for those of you who can understand it.

By the way, it sounds very good. Catty-watty of course got up to investigate, I could see her thinking 'What the hell is this?' and then she wandered off to sit on the old laptop that I use as a music server.