More K-20X mods!

I finally added a “kick stand” to the little guy. I used a brass rod, a cable clamp and two screws. All stuff I had laying around. The bar is from our bed’s headboard, our Son dismantled it when he was about a year old lol.

K-20X w/new brass rod - back view

K-20X w/new brass rod – back view

K-20X w/new brass rod - side view

K-20X w/new brass rod – side view

K-20X w/new brass rod - front view

K-20X w/new brass rod – front view

Posted in Circuits and Electronics, Music, Personal, Projects, Upgrade | Leave a comment

My Mission

To help those around me.  To show love, peace, and kindness to those filled with hatred, anger, and pain.  To educate the less fortunate in hopes of being a catalyst in their forward progression in this modern world.  To show my Son how to be a man.  To love my wife to my fullest capacity.

These things aren’t always easy, but most things worth doing aren’t.

Posted in Personal | Leave a comment

Brick Church Concerts – The Mt. Blue Voices

The Mt. Blue Voices will be playing on March 29th at 7pm as part of the 2014 Brick Church concert series.  Tickets are $10 at the door, children under 5 are free.  All are welcome.  Proceeds will be split between the Church general fund and the Mt. Blue Voices.

** All Brick Church concerts are performed at 21 Cape Cod Hill Road, New Sharon Congregational Church UCC in New Sharon, Maine.

Posted in Community, Music | Comments Off

Project Tele complete

The new (to me) Telecaster I bought came with a few issues, primarily that it wasn’t properly set up and the volume and tone potentiometers were completely worn out.  I have replaced the volume and tone potentiometers with proper US Fender spec A250K units (originally spec’d with B500K for the Affinity series), rewired the improperly wired CRL replacement 3 way switch someone had put in, moved all grounds to a ground strip instead of the “back of the pot” method, replaced saddle intonation screws (had been cut by previous owner), adjusted action, adjusted intonation, adjusted pickup height and tighted up the tuners to get rid of an obnoxious buzz.  Now it falls completely within Fender’s American Telecaster spec and it plays great!

It could use a good thorough cleaning and I will do that next time it needs strings.  Overall I’m very happy with the guitar and only have $162 into it including the blow mold SKB case.

Posted in Music, Projects, Upgrade | Comments Off

Got a new guitar!

So I picked up a sweet deal of a tele.  It is a late 2000′s model Squire Affinity Series Telecaster.  It’s been stripped and poly’d so it has a natural finish.  I already have plans for this guitar including new tuners, electronics and pick guard.

K-20X with my new telecaster

K-20X with my new telecaster

Posted in Hobbies, Music, Projects | Comments Off

I finally did it – IEC jack mod

I’ve been considering removing the attached power cord from my Dean Markley K-20X amplifier and putting in its place an IEC jack with fuse.  I finally did it last weekend.  Not only does this allow for quick cord replacement, but also easier storage, the use of a 90 degree cord so you can put the amp closer to other devices, and it puts the fuse in an easily accessible area (back panel).  The old fuse location being on the PCB was not only inconvient, but arguably unsafe (putting mains current and voltage to the PCB).  The mains wiring now bypasses the PCB completely making the amp safer and easier to service.

As a side effect, I needed to relocate the power transformer to have room for the back side of the IEC jack.  It is now directly under where it use to be, same mounting holes and all.  This puts the transformer outside of the metal enclosure.  This potentially removes some noise (though so far I haven’t noticed a difference), but as a negative, it does put the transformer in an area where it could potentially be damaged.  I will be attaching a shield of some sort over it so that it cannot be damaged so easily.

**Edit 2/27/14**
I have added a shield to the transformer and some wooden brackets to the back of the amp that allow me to store a guitar cable without it falling out.  Picture below.

K-20X w/modifications by Joseph Raymond

This is the back side of my K-20X. I have added a line out jack, speaker jack and IEC power jack w/fuse. The power transformer has been relocated from inside the amp chassis as well (below the IEC jack).

Final product of my modifications on my Dean Markley K-20X

Final product of my modifications on my Dean Markley K-20X

Posted in Circuits and Electronics, Music, Projects, Upgrade | Comments Off

What will they think of next?

A cardboard printer, that’s what.  Now…they say it is more “green”, which I suppose the plastic displaced by the cardboard is.  But what about all the printing machinery inside?  PCBs, plastic gears, trays, etc all come to mind.  It’s interesting none the less.

Posted in Computers and Hardware, Environmentalism, Technology | Comments Off

I didn’t know you could recycle those…neat!

Earth911.com has a great article about things you can recycle that most people didn’t realize.  But the thing that surprised me the most was crayons.  Evidently there is a company that specializes in recycling old/broken crayons into new ones.  Cool!

Posted in Environmentalism, Home and Homestead, Personal | Comments Off

Windows XP – EOL…finally

Windows XP is finally reaching it’s end of life status.  Microsoft is pulling the proverbial plug on April 8th.  Read more below:

Official Microsoft Notice: Windows XP End of Support – Microsoft.com:

Microsoft has provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years. But now the time has come for us, along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences.

As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC. Microsoft will also stop providing Microsoft Security Essentials for download on Windows XP on this date. (If you already have Microsoft Security Essentials installed, you will continue to receive anti-malware signature updates for a limited time, but this does not mean that your PC will be secure because Microsoft will no longer be providing security updates to protect your PC.)

If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.


Why This is Important

Without security patches from Microsoft, Windows XP is left vulnerable to many viruses, malware, trojan horses and root kit hacks.  This means that not only could the computer in question stop working properly, but worse, it could appear to work normally but be tracking you and sending your personal information (banking account, credit card numbers, passwords) to a server where the data will later be sold and used for less-than-honest purposes.

What To Do

  1.  Stop using Windows XP on or before April 8th.  A new desktop running Windows 7 can be had for less than $300.  Or if your computer is less than 5 years old, you should be able to upgrade to Windows 7, the software for this would cost between $100 and $150 depending on the version you get and where you purchase it.
  2. If you must use Windows XP, disconnect the internet from the machine
  3. If you must use Windows XP online, make sure you have a current antivirus software on your machine and only use the machine for non-critical use.  This means no banking or online purchases.
Posted in Computers and Hardware, Technology, Upgrade | Comments Off

Brick Church Concerts – Walking With Horses

Walking With Horses will be playing on February 8th at 7pm as part of the 2014 Brick Church concert series.  Tickets are $10 at the door, children under 5 are free.  All are welcome.  Proceeds benefit the Church general fund.

** All Brick Church concerts are performed at 21 Cape Cod Hill Road, New Sharon Congregational Church UCC in New Sharon, Maine.

Posted in Community, Music | Comments Off