Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mea culpa

Yes, I'm falling behind on posting photos. I've had a busy week that included both some much-needed family time and overtime at work, so between all that and my pernicious habit of falling asleep every night, writing and photography have suffered.

On Tuesday night, I went to the first FreeWheel seminar about this year's cross-state ride. It was standing room only! Amazing! The route is along the eastern part of the state, and is described as 'scenic'. That means hilly. But it also gives participants the opportunity to visit Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri in one week. Read the report over on the Examiner site.

Just because I haven't posted any photos doesn't mean I haven't taken any.

This is one of my co-workers - back when he had hair. The photo dates from the mid-70s. The car is, or was, green. This is what happens to old photos as the dyes degrade. The dyes are organic compounds that slowly change over time. I've tinkered with this image in an effort to restore some of the original colors, but it's beyond my ability for now.

This is a classic 'brick' camera, an Argus C3. Argus made these for about 20 years. This particular model was produced during WW2. My mom found it at a garage sale somewhere in Georgia or South Carolina.

Here's the interesting part of the C3, the case. There's a name inside: Ray W. Pratt from Bradenton, Florida. The address includes a zip code, so it was written probably in the late 1950s or early 1960s. I tried to locate a Ray Pratt in Bradenton without success.

Shiny objects! Here's a set of Craftsman ignition wrenches that I use at work, along with a Snap-On 1/8th inch wrench and an antique Blue Point wrench. Snap-On and Blue Point wrenches have tiny stamps that identify the year of manufacture. The Blue Point is from 1949, and the Snap-On is from 1980, if I recall right. Like many tools, I needed the 1/8th for just one job and nothing else fit properly. That single wrench cost more than the set of Craftsmans.

Also, there's news on the Yashica Electro 35 GT front. I suspected an intermittent connection at the negative battery terminal. The spring on the negative side goes right through the camera case and has two wires (if I recall right) soldered to it. The connection is buried under the rangefinder assembly, so to reach it, I removed the top case and the rangefinder, only to find perfectly good wiring. Hmmmm. What about the positive end? The camera chassis is neutral, that is, it's not connected to the electrical system, so it's not a consideration. The positive connection comes from a wave washer installed on the battery cover. It contacts a small ring set into the chassis. The ring is visible just under the bottom cover, and there are two red wires soldered to it.

On the GLN I gave to Wade, there's a small paper dot that indicates the positive end applied to the center of the battery cover. I carefully pried up the wave washer so it would definitely contact the ring. Viola! The camera worked....for a while. Then the connection went away again. The wave washer doesn't seem to have much spring to it, so maybe that little piece of paper provides just enough stand off for it to maintain a slight curve. I bent the washer again, but I don't want to make this a regular practice. It's bound to break eventually.

So I'll try a thin piece of paper or plastic in there tomorrow....after I recalibrate the rangefinder. Yep, all that handling put the adjustment off. It now focuses beyond infinity, much to the annoyance of She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed as I wandered through the house shouting, "To infinity and beyond!" all evening. She just doesn't have my finely attuned sense of humor.

There are more photos, but they can wait until tomorrow.

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