Monday, July 30, 2007

New Project - The Gem.

I recently bought a TE Gemini to keep myself busy, get better at 'mechanics' and learn with.

This is it here. It has apparently had a variety of things occur over her lifetime.
Immediately obvious modifications:

Webber 32/36 DFV
Retrimmed Interior.
Beyond that pretty standard.

When I say standard, I also imply "standard back yards repairs". Its amazing what you miss when you get caught in the moment. Things like rust, dodgy repairs etc are easily missed.
Regardless I'm already having fun.

The boot pan has had the common rust repairs done. I'd like you to take note of the very well sorted and connected wiring. In all honesty when I first got all the crap out of the boot and saw multiple wires connected with 'leccy tape and a fuel pump held in place with a single tech screw into the floor pan I was pleasantly surprised to find that they hadn't sourced power for the fuel pump from a stereo speaker lead.
Engine is bay is nothing too exciting. Apart from the obvious removal of the pollution gear and just leaving numerous sensor leads disconnected it all looked pretty good.

Now, I thought I had a photo of what I'm about to describe but apparently I don't. Which is highly likely. This is so, because as soon as I actually noticed it my first thought was (apart from 'wtf is that?') what else can I put in here. Short story even shorter, someone in their infinite wisdom thought the best solution to an oil leak in a unknown spot (I figure unknown because despite their best efforts it still does leak a bit) is too smear some form of metal/engine bog all over the join between the block and the timing cover (oil pump side). So without taking a chisel to the side of the engine to discern wether there is a crack in the block? Timing cover? Oil pump leak I'm just going to get rid of it. As I figure I'd like to have a crack at painting the car too this particular G161 is coming out and never going back in. I dare say a G200 will go back, mind you I did see a 13B mount/cross member setup go on ebay the other day!

The truly wonderful thing I have found so far (despite all the things I have to /want to do) is that this era of car is truly simple. Pulling it down so far has been a breeze.

I mentioned rust?

Yes, Yes I did.

I've removed all of the interior except the dashboard. Heater unit is pretty much ready to come out too. Engine bay is stripped of everything except the engine and the brake booster.
I do have some paint flaking/bulging on the bottoms of the front doors, but not even remotely as severe as seen above.
Sick of typing. Will add more later.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Ultimate Coffee Table Part#2

FYI - I'm covering ground here that has already occured. I will do my best to make sure I haven't missed too much that we've already covered.

So lets have a look at our coffee table.

It's hideous to say the least. However ideal for our project. With 3 compartments we can seperate our units and also have a storage area for the cartridge games.

Off we go to the local hardware store and score some MDF. One 9mmx2400x1200 sheet. So quickly chop it up to size. Rear sides and top are sheeted. We're looking for a modern, fully faced coffee table. This will allow for front side loading of carts directly into the UCT (Ultimate Coffee Table).

Basic sheeting completed. We've got some shocking gaps but nothing so serious we can't fill them out.

Yay for filler. Front sheets are not going on. And probably won't for a while as we've got a lot of work to do to nut out how we're mounting the consoles. We are planning on using one compartment (a far side) to have all the consoles inside. With a hinged door to we can get inside should we need too.

Console Discovery.

What do we already know.
Atari 2600.
This is going to be the easiest unit. The controller is very simple. All buttons are activate by short to common.
IC Controlled controller. 5 pin. The IC used is TC4021BP made by Toshiba.
RF and RCA outputs. We plan on using the RCA for easier switching.
IC Controlled controller. 7 pin. The IC used is V520B made by Motorola.
RF Out. There is a 'Multi Out' which we are pretty sure we can directly map to RCA out for video and sound. Too easy!

We are of the belief given the remarkably similar design of the two Nintendo controllers that we may be able to use the SNES IC to control both controllers.
So we know we have a binary activated controller whose buttons are conductive activated. This is going to make mapping quite a bit more difficult for the relay design we have planned to share the controllers between units. This is Daves area of 'know how' and I'll let him post up what we've got so far.

At the very moment we're working out auto power on switching for the consoles. We've stripped a SNES apart and have nutted out the basic circuit for power (short). We plan on using a momentary switch beside the cartridge rail so that instead of having a seperate power button for each console, we can activate the power by just inserting a cartridge into the unit. Progress was slowed by a dud SNES which despite showing 16v DC when shorted would not actually turn on. Stupid bloody thing.

Ultimate Coffee Table Part#1

G'day again.

I'm going to start using this space again as a home for a project that Dave and I have started.

The idea we have began with a old coffee table that I had. When I moved in here we started using it. However a comment of Dave's that it was 'As ugly as sin' had the table quickly resigned to sitting out of the way. We recently also acquired a number of classic consoles and quickly discovered that having 4 odd consoles lying across the floor was not only a horrific mess but incredibly complicated to work out what cable was what. One of Daves drunken moments had him making his very own Atari 2600 controller from scratch. With the removal of the coffee table and the again lack of some kind of surface to put things on an idea was brewed over numerous beers one night to create the ultimate coffee table. We could incorporate multiple consoles into one unit. Further ideas were brought to light over more beers, such as a universal controller for our consoles. Thus again reducing the amount of cables everywhere. While we're at it lets stick a pc with video out inside the cabinet so we could have a full multi media unit for music and videos. Why not do that over wi-fi too!

So what do we have already?

One ancient coffee table in desperate need of 'Modernisation'.
Atari 2600.
3 x Super Nintendo Entertainment Systems.
Nintendo Entertainment System.
Playstation II.
Hewlett Packard P3 PC with video out.
Apple Airport.
Semi wired CAT5e house.
Loads of beer.
A project that is going to take forever and probably lead to many a hangover.
A pile of enthusiasm.

So there you have it. An idea and a place to share it.

Next post - Initial Construction and Console Discovery.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I'm moving.

I'm relocating my virtual me?
I'm moving here.

In other news, I began some financial re-arranging today. Happy with todays result and it should lead to more free funds to divert into god only knows what. The most important goal being I'm not paying money hand over fist at the rate I was for absolutely no purpose. I really should have done this sooner. I actually managed to do it all over the phone which was really quite remarkable.

In about 12 months time if all goes to plan I will relocate banks. If not sooner depending how and what happens in the next 6 months.

Monday, July 10, 2006

If i had time.

Do you know how hard it is to do anything when the person beside you is eating with such lack of grace a pig with their head deep in the trough would probably make more pleasant sounds. Urghh.

Anyway, that aside it has been again another reasonably interesting week. I might not be racking up the hours I have been, but neither am I exactly sitting around with my thumb up my respective behind. The off and on again work with Rob is apparently back on despite a serious lack of funds deposited to my account. Something to be dealt with tomorrow.

I've been house-sitting this past week odd which has been somewhat different. The best thing has been actually having a sdecent size kitchen to cook in. That and a cooktop that can actually do more than just barely boil water. The cats have made interesting company. Even if they do cause an increase in lack of sleep. They appear to take great pride in making noise when ever I sleep. With the apparent aim of repeating this gesture untill I go crazy.

Cats 22 v Dave 0.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Week in Albury-Wodonga was very interesting. Goal achieved. Interesting things on the horizon but will share more in due course.

So after flying back from Albury on Friday morning, working all day and spending quite a number of hours that night cleaning my flat. I was back on a plane again flying to Brisbane. I'm here for my grandfathers funeral. I wish I was here on better terms but this is the way it is. If anything I think I'm here as much for my immediate family whom have spent the past number of years living with him and dealing with his illness.

Regardless it is lovely to be around the family again.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

12 Hour Stint Day 2

A few hours into yet another 12 odd hour day. I'm already well tired. It sure is an effort trying to get so much done before going away for a week.

Previous statement retracted. I was wrong.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Well yesterday my trip away was off. Today it is back on. I even have tickets now!
It is just so busy at the moment you barely see the day pass before its over and about all I know is there just aren't enough hours in the day to achieve what needs top be done. Certainly testing the skills of prioritising.

Regardless I'm looking forward to doing something a bit different for a week, however it leaves me a lot of things to get sorted before I'm away for a week.

Think I might be starting very early tomorrow.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Back. Sort of.

I've been absolutely flat out with work of late. Has been keeping me very busy indeed. I'm being sent to Wodonga for a week to help close a shopfront up which should prove very interesting. At least I'm getting put up for the week and I'm being flown there and back! Plus I'd assume there are allowances aswell for feeding and other such activities.

Otherwise I've had a few things late which have been some what taxing.
1- Lost a headlight on the Calais. After many evenings in the dark it was discovered an entire loom had unplugged itself. Don't I feel like the idiot.
2- My sub has decided to give it up. I will be investigating further, but if she is toast I am going to be most upset. Secondly I will not be looking forward to spending the same amount of money again on another one. Maybe this might encourage me to upgrade my front speakers and head unit? I need to remove the head unit and see what options I have. X my fingers there are some pre-outs there. I really would like to keep the stacker and steering wheel control / whole original unit there if possible.

I've finally started putting some evening time into writing music again. My word have things become a lot more complicated than in my tracking days of the late 90's. It is like learning it all over again which is proving to be a challenge. More challenging is trying to do this on a couch. This is a situation I really wish I could find a solution for.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Back into the fray.

Back at work. It has been quite the reality check coming back into it after having enjoyed so much 'cruising' time.

Finally setup a PC at home, I've yet to however decide about Internet.

Off to Sydney tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to it, yet.. I hate Sydney.

The return drive was quite pleasant, despite the abrupt change in climate as I ventured further south. I'm quite happy with the collection of pictures I've taken on my travels and am looking forward to getting some printed.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Need a GT wing?

It still amazes me the size of a wing people can place on their car. Josh and I were not totally convinced this was even a real GTR. The fact a GT wing the size of a small country was pop rivetted to the back didn't exactly aid in this cause either. Mind you it was also evident that some people are just straight out totally confused about what they are actually driving.

This poor chap and his Nissan Exa are one such case. The Kompressor badge off a Mercedes implying that his Nissan is supercharged is highly amusing. This person also had managed to purchase just about every known interior 'rice' accessory that could possibly be available. To the extent he even had a 'stick on' sheet of fake red anodized checkerplate on the passenger side dash. Each to their own but sometimes you'd wish a mate would step in and say 'Mate, you've just gone too far.'

Then there is this chap. You can't be doing it that rough when you drive an X5. However if your memory is so shot that you can't remember its an X5 or a V8 then theres a problem. There is also the other possibility this person uses the number plate to help differentiate his X5 from the 90000 other ones driving around Brisbane. I can see it now, you go down to the local shops and park in a row of 5 other black X5s and easily locate yourself?

Of course some people spend their extensive money supply somewhat more wisely (it could be debated of course) but at least they drive something that isn't just another BMW. This is from what Josh and I believe a TVR Cerbera or maybe a Chimaera?

Moving along Josh recently had a rather extensive upgrade of vehicle himself. Moving from a mid 90s Ford Telstar he now owns this puppy. A HSV VX R8. Went for a few straps around the place which was good fun. He still hasn't braved to disengage the traction control. Rightly so, I'm sure it could eat a set of rear tyres in no time.

And finally I share this. This is the kind of situation where you stop for a moment. Look around. Wait a while. Then really cross those fingers that some kind of bizarre accident does not befall you. The train sitting in front of us is loaded with only two kinds of product. Cyanide and N.O.S. I could use the term 'truck load' to quantify how much there was, but that would be absurd!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The sunday surf.

When I get home, share photos I will.

In the mean time. Why women won't buy a Lexus. But if you owned a Lexus you probably wouldn't be spending this on a car wash. An interesting approach to security.

Not having much luck?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Holiday - More!

Big day yesterday. Kicked off with a sleep in and some fiddling with my car, followed by a pretty good lunch with my dad and a bunch of his old workmates/coffee buddies. Decided I should have a wander and spent the next few hours wandering around Brisbane. Checked out West End which was nothing to write home about so I thought I'd hit up the museum. This was pretty unspectacular. Paid to check out the Egyptian display they have on which was reasonably interesting. They had some real mummies and all sorts of trinket like things but the coolest thing was the mummified body parts. Stuff like a head and foot. Excellent! Decided to keep on my way and continue wandering and headed down through South Bank. The Buddah Birthday celebrations are on so there was lots of things to check out. I would have taken some pictures but there wasn't much point. Everyone has seen Pagodas and Buddah shrines before. What did amaze me though was that some of the folk running stalls there were there purely on a commercial basis. But honestly who goes to the Buddah Birthday celebrations to buy some 30 year old clock radio and second hand clothes?

Headed over to Josh's pad by which time I was rooted from walking. Drank beer. Ate Sushi Train. Demoloshed bottle of Vodka in record time watching the Aussies pound the shit out of New Zealand. Of which I have to say Matt Cooper is a star. Absolute work horse the entire game. Some brilliant kicking from Andrew Johns and Carmichael Hunt was quite impressive untill he caught the wrong side of a shoulder and was down for the count.

Then Kristian rang. By this time I'm more than lubricated. End up hitting the valley and going to all sorts of random clubs. Most of which Kristian would say upon entering 'Thats usually where the band plays' point to some corner. Of course not one place we ventured had a band. House music friday it must have been. Four am arrives and I'm quite surprised I'm still walking. We sit down and smash a coffee and some breakfast into us before parting ways and going home. Going home involved walking around the corner and into the elevator. Josh's pad is very conveniently located. Mind you I had a bastard of a time again with the swipy card trying to get doors to open and elevators to elevate. This may have been due to blurred vision caused by aforementioned heavy lubrication. Ended up speaking to Kahlia numerous times through the night which was also rather amusing. People (including me) should just not try use mobile phones to communicate whilst inside noisy clubs.

Anyway, I'm gonna go have a swim. Its a rather toasty day today here!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Holiday # Entry 3

Well into 'holiday' mode now. Lunch with father and work mates today which should prove quite interesting. Then onto drinking copious amounts with Josh this evening I dare say.

In a slightly different note, I finally bought some new wheels for the Calais. This was spurred on by the rather 'worn' condition of my previously existing tyres. For me it did not make sense to buy 4 new tyres for a set of wheels that I really didn't like. So I spent some time looking for some wheels. I hadn't planned on buying anything larger than 17". However the 'standing remark' I recieved at each shop I went to was that there was no point staying with 16". So it began I started looking at 17" & 18". All within budget constraints. I ended up buying a set of 18" wheels off the display car. And as you can see they are a pretty standard 5 spoke, reasonably similiar to the styling used by HSV. I'm most happy with them and I have been quite surprised by the only small change in general ride comfort from going from 60 profile down to 40. On the highway the difference was barely noticeable which brought me a great deal of joy.

So onto next week I should be heading out to the Gold Coast to visit a few people and should be spending a couple days out that way. Looking forward to seeing some people I haven't had a chance to see in quite some time.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Holiday # Entry 2

I've been kicking back a few days now and I am really enjoying myself. Got a few things to keep my occupied and still have mates to catch up with yet. Sadly I've only a bit more than a week to go.

So this was the result of driving through Sydney. Being the highly skilled driver I am, I turned off the M5 throwing myself directly into the Sydney CBD. However I did get to go over the Harbour Bridge. Most nostalgic.

Further on I spent a day and a half in Coffs Harbour. It really is a very pretty area. This is the view from the look out out over the wharf. It amazes me the progress of towns like Coffs Harbour. It has been two odd years since I was last there and I swear everytime I visit the place is totally different. Spent some time wandering around and had myself a pretty decent cup of coffee along at one of the many coffee shops that seem to have appeared just about every two metres.

Moving along to Balina, here resides one of Australias very ridiculous novelties. Big Things! The big prawn has seen far better days and a lick of paint really wouldn't go astray. There is also some sort of attempt at a Ayers rock (whats the PC name now?) further south after Newcastle somewhere but I couldn't be bothered to pull over and take a pic. Fear not, it is ever more crass than the Big Prawn. I did think about taking a picture of the Big Banana (Coffs Harbour's very own 'Big' thing) but again just couldnt be bothered pulling over at the time.

The final run up into Brisbane was pretty mundane. The M1 is an excellent road. 4 lanes wide there is room really for everyone. I almost had trouble keeping up with this to get a picture but it did make me laugh. At least someone has a sense of humour.