Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

The Battle Goes Slowly, Sire

This turntable is actually for DJs. I don't care about the speed matching a bit, but the direct-drive and general toughness are handy in a camper.

This turntable is actually for DJs. I don’t care about the speed matching a bit, but the direct-drive, dust cover and general toughness are handy in a camper.

Feels like things are going slowly, anyway. On the record front, I’m tackling the 78 RPM records first because, song for song, they are the bulkiest and heaviest by far. It takes only about 6 minutes per side to record them, and I’ve managed to go through 3 cartons so far. In general, a carton of 78s takes two very long days to record. Now and then, a record will be in such rough shape that it’s unplayable, or it will be warpy enough that the stylus won’t be able to maintain contact. In the latter case, the thing to do is to kick the turntable speed down to 45 or 33 RPM to keep the needle planted, and then raise the speed back up later, in software. It takes much longer to record, but the needle stays in the groove.

I'm looking from the old section of the park toward the new. The spaces in my area are shorter and narrower. Except for weekends, it's less crowded, too.

I’m looking from the old section of the park toward the new. The spaces in my area are shorter and narrower. Except for weekends, it’s less crowded, too.

Yesterday, I began an unusual album of 13 sleeved records. I found it odd because first, the album cover and interior are blank, signifying a typical aftermarket album. Those usually have some kind of markings somewhere though, and a 13-sleeve album is unusual. Inside are a complete set of 13 records of the opera Traviata by Verde. It was done in Italian, by Carlo Sabajno and members of the La Scala Orchestra, Milan, and recorded by RCA Red Seal in England. I’m not a big fan of operas, but this one is decent. Not inspiring, but okay to listen through because the performances are very good.

There are plenty of small ponds throughout the campsite, especially in the seasonal area.

There are plenty of small ponds throughout the campsite, especially in the seasonal area.

The thing to do with albums is to record every side in one shot, pausing the software while changing records through their proper order. It makes later processing and cataloging easier. My disappointment hit when I got eight sides into the 26-side stack and that record was both double-warped and off-center, making the stylus look like a rodeo bullrider as it did its best to stay in the groove. Such moments are a time for decision: Is this album worth starting over with and taking twice as long to record because of the slower speed? Unfortunately, this one is. Ever listened to a very long opera at half-speed? Woof. It’s unpleasant. Let’s hope there aren’t too many more like this – I actually have a schedule to keep, and going off it costs fuel for extra trips to the storage unit. I’ll probably record the LPs at 78 RPM to quicken the process, as long as each record is flat enough. I was concerned that doing this would degrade sound quality, but my tests so far sound just fine.

The small main lake is generally choked with algae, but I do see people swimming in it on a fairly regular basis. Me? I doesn't not appeal, thanks.

The small main lake is generally choked with algae, but I do see people swimming in it on a fairly regular basis. Me? I does not appeal, thanks.

Conversion of the physical movie DVDs to digital files is eking its way along in fits and starts. My usually-trusty DVDFab 8 software takes it time to chew through a DVD, and then converts it to an .ISO file that the media streamer gizmo attached to the TV can read. If the hard disk remains intact, this format also allows me to cut a replacement DVD should the original become damaged. Unfortunately, it can take as long as three tries to convert, and I haven’t been able to single out what causes the software to barf. Some DVDs work great, while others struggle. I tried DVDFab 9, and it eliminates that problem but also shows a propensity to freeze the iMac’s operating system solid, which is a very good trick. That requires two hard resets to get rolling again, and that makes DVDFab 9 unusable. DVDFab software has always been feature-packed and very capable, but buggy.

The driveway going out has a farm on either side. Here's an unusual planter in a grazing field for cattle.

The driveway going out has a farm on either side. Here’s an unusual planter in a grazing field for cattle.

The weather here in northern Illinois hasn’t been very cooperative, either. Nearly every day seems to either threaten or deliver thunderstorms and high winds. High winds here can make Arizona’s high winds alerts seem pretty tame, so I’m having to play it cautious. Except for the lightly-loaded CPAP system, I’m off solar for the time being. The house pack is both lightly loaded and is being trickle charged by the charger built into the trailer’s shore power electrical box, so that’s been disconnected and the third solar panel has been added to the office pack. Between the tree shade, the near-constant overcast, and all the solar panels usually being strapped down into “high wind” position, the office battery pack would definitely not be able to keep up with my 12-hour-a-day use. It would technically work, but I’d be pounding it. No point in stressing it, because that would shorten its service life when I really do need it. The electrical power here is really expensive at industrial rates, so I’ll sweat a lot more than I’d like in this high humidity, and run the air conditioning only when absolutely necessary.

I should also be complaining about how the weather is keeping me from effectively working on the various mods and repairs the trailer needs, but I really, really don’t want to be hauling 200 pounds of records around for the next two years if I can help it!

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9 thoughts on “The Battle Goes Slowly, Sire

  1. Hi Doug

    I sent you a e mail also if you wanna trade some music ?
    I finally made it through your blog & found where to post comments

    • Jerry, I’ll have to let that soak for awhile – all I’m doing now is to record, and that’s it. They aren’t usable except with the software they are created on, and file sizes are huge. I expect it to take me a couple of years to individually trim the excess, remove the scratches and pops, normalize volume, divide each into individual tracks within each album, and generate MP3s. The sheer number of raw recordings I will have made is sobering…

  2. Oops one more thought, while driving I would strongly recommend turning all computer equipment – especially hard drives off. Stuff with solid state drives might be ok , but I heard they fail also.

    • Thanks, Jerry. Except for the fridge on propane, all systems are off when I travel. No point in pulling down battery packs when they can’t be promptly recharged. I’m aware of how fragile HDDs are, especially when running, so I make it a non-issue by shutting everything down.

      • I can still send you some songs if you like ?
        The never adjust breaks only work with dexter axels – it also comes as an add on kit for about $75 per axel if I rember correctly.

        One more thought on a fridge , I’m using an ARB 63 Q cooler , it work on 12 volt , 24 volt ? And 120 . A little small & expensive but great quality German compressor around $900 BUT works at up to 30 deg incline no problem :-))

        This model is used in outback mostly uses 250 watt at 80 deg to 500 watts at 100 deg F days , does however not cool as cold as they advertise , they say 0 deg at 100 temp , I would say maybe 20 at best.

        My reason for no windows is to conserve energy, stealth & I have exterior cameras & interior LED – can open door if I really desperate to need light !!

        Hey -we gotta work on a way to make a few $$$$ while on the road. So you can get money to build version 3.0 of my model & improve on my mistakes. I think as a single guy 16 ft should be ok , I went to 18 because of the solar mostly. Besides I have to drag along the old ball & chain – we are both broken down & not even 60 yet …… Don’t know how the great masses will make 67-68 for SS , many will die before they get there

        BTW – really nice red Furd truck – go to “” they have perfect matching red trailer :-))

        Cheers Jerry

        • Songs now? No thanks. I don’t have time to listen to pick and choose, and won’t for a long time. I’d lose your memory card long before I finished. I have more self imposed projects long term that you can shake a stick at. But thanks.

  3. Ops here is complete link – so you can dream a little RED trailer Porn

    This should be in red :-)) ENJOY !!

  4. Doug

    A lot of people say that about me , but I’m dreaming for you to get a red trailer.

    LOLROTF :-))

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