Sunday, March 01, 2009

CherkyB, The Man

Yes, it's true. Womens flock to me like flies to a rotting carcass. Why, you ask?

No, of course you don't ask that. You know. You know it's that magical combination of my fahbulous good-looks, professional-grade sense of humor, and high-paying yet unusual job.

But mostly, it's my ability to fix stuff.

Womens looove it when you can fix stuff.

Unfortunately, The Mrs. is one of those insanely jealous individuals who simply assumes that if some woman I have never met is leaving a comment on my blog, it must be because I'm secretly banging her. Thus, it is with great hesitation that I post yet another blog about me fixing something. But, you know, how can I blame her? I am, after all, quite a catch.

Today, in addition to the normal Sunday chores of cleaning the hot tub filters, the pond filters, and topping off the ponds with water, I had decided to figure out what was wrong with one of our outdoor speakers. See, ever since The Dave Guy set us up with our Sonos whole house music system, I've been wondering about the left speaker out on the deck. It buzzed a bit when we first hooked it up, but not too badly. But lately as the weather has been warming, we've been spending more time in the hot tub, and the buzzing has been getting worse. And it doesn't help that The Mrs. has recently switched over to listening to nothing but Hawaiian music while we're in the hot tub. Hawaiian music is somewhat sparse, and thus the buzzing is far more noticeable.

I figured it was a blown cone, but these guys are about 14 ft up under the eaves over the deck, so I figured I'd rule out other stuff first.

See, that's the kind of big brain you get when you marry Me, CherkyB.

I even kept notes as I went, because I've learned that between The Mrs. and The Childrens, there is no hope of me completing anything longer than about 5 minutes without interruption.

I first ruled out the amp buy changing the channels that the speakers were connected to over to ones that had been driving the master bedroom until we added another Sonos zone last week. Those channels I knew worked. No improvement in the buzzing, though.

Then, I tried bridging channels (the recommended setup for higher-power 8 Ohm speakers as most outdoor speakers tend to be). Again, no improvement.

I then took the volume control out the wall and swapped left and right wires. If it were the volume pots, the buzzing also would have swapped, but it didn't. So, most likely it was the speaker. Sadly, this would be the most expensive part to replace, thus it was almost a foregone conclusion that this was where the problem would lie. But I like to hope, despite hope being an express ticket to crashing on the rocks.

Witness the failed presidency. A presidency based on nothing but hope.

So I got the damned ladder out and took the grill off the speaker. No visible damage to the cones, but I did notice that if I placed my finger on the center of the "woofer", the buzzing stopped. Something fishy there. I also noticed that if I jiggled the black wire, the sound would cut in and out. There was visible corrosion on the wires, so possibly a bad connection was involved.

I pulled down the speaker. I learned that it was a CSI SP-250W, which is a brand I've never heard of, and it was 8 Ohms as suspected. I took it into the garage to fart around with.

I cleaned the contacts with WD-40 and a jewler's screwdriver. I inpected everything, and it all looked fine. Then, I grabbed my can of compressed inert gas to spray all the dust out of the tweeter.

Unfortunately, I actually grabbed the can of spray foam insulation. Those cans look identical. You know, excpet for the writing. Happily, the spray foam takes its time coming out the tube and I was able to avoid gobbing up the speaker with insulation.

Then I grabbed the actual compressed inert gas and shot out the speaker. A couple pine needles came out. Then, I sprayed the woofer to get the dust out, and the little center dome flipped up. What is this? Another shot, and it pops up again. Upon further inspection, that little dome had come unglued almost the entire way around. A quick application of cyanoacrylate glue ("medium" variety) fixed it back in place. After a suitable drying time (medium takes forever compared to fast, but it's thicker, so it stays where you put it rather than running all over), I tried it out on my basement stereo. It worked fine. After reinstalling it outside, it worked fine.

Yup. I am The Man. That's an $85 savings for a couple cents of glue and some compressed gas.

Now that they are confirmed 8 Ohm, 80W speakers, I'll have to set them up with bridged channels on the amp. I'm only getting 30W/channel right now, and the sound doesn't carry all the way to the neighbors' houses no matter how much I turn it up.

And maybe we'll be able to hear the music with both high-speed hot tub pumps running.


Fat Moother said...

Now you can fix my casette player - the play switch is broken!

Fat Moother said...

Now you can fix my casette player - the play switch is broken!

fat moother said...

Guess you can fix it twice!

paula said...

your a man of many talents cherkyb

blogauthor said...

Re: secretly banging - i distinctly remember a post of yours stating that the lower half of your body stopped working after 40? Once again, happy birthday.

Isnt a monthish in a bit premature to declare it a failed presidency? Oh wait, you meant Bush who hoped being stupid would work. And he hopes he will be seen as a good president. Silly me!

country girl said...

What do you know about getting red algae off our pond. We have tried everything. I throw myself at your feet. I'm with blogauthor on the presidency.

CherkyB said...

Red algae - float 1/8" of kerosene on the pond, then light it. Whoosh! No more algae. You'll have to repeat about once a week forever, though.