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Thousand Dollar Supercar

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About Thousand Dollar Supercar

  • Birthday 16/10/1979

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    Music - metal (relatively traditional and melodic, no growly vocals), rock, blues, bit of oldies and random stuff. Amateur pianist.
    Sometimes known to do a bit of photography, cartoon something or dabble in electronics.


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  1. That's 'Run of the Mill' by Judas Priest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuXoalKim9c I picked it because of that quiet section which shows off the fact that the kit works in stereo. With most busy and full-sounding music tracks, the tube displays just sit near their maximum most of the time.
  2. My magic eye VU meter parts arrived! Magic eye tubes were used as signal strength indicators on old valve radios, to help show you when you'd tuned the station accurately. Fast forward 90 years and this kitset just makes the tube displays dance to the music. I went for a pricier kit, but made up for it by getting the tubes on TradeMe and supplying my own case. Here's the kit assembled: I set about installing it in the project box and started to freak out that it would look like a monster face - the box for the head, tubes for eyes and a grille for a mouth. I added a Tesla nameplate below the grille to try to minimise that, but from some angles.... Anyway. Here's a video. Behold the pointlessness!
  3. Welcome to oldschool! This event always seemed a bit seedy. Jag IRS parts tells you all you need to know.
  4. Making slow progress on this whenever I can be bothered. The control panel is covered in leather jacket, and we have volts! I bought a kitset of a motorised chain similar to a tank track, and used it to create a motorised curtain. The curtain grinds its way noisily open and closed, which adds to the cheese factor. It's lit by some Christmas lights: Hopefully the lights in front are sufficient to stop lights behind from being visible through the thin fabric. I discovered that my plasma globe causes my neon bulbs to glow dimly, which is kinda cool. I hope I don't have to ditch the plasma globe because it scrambles electronics in its vicinity. Next up on this project is puzzling out what the rest of the controls should do, and deciding how much effort to put in. I'd quite like a magic eye VU meter.
  5. They have nixie watches now: https://www.fesaaides.com/products/nixie-watch The battery lasts 3~4 weeks because of tube power consumption - nixie life.
  6. Fast forward half a decade, and not much had changed. I put microswitches into the cupboards so that the lights actually turn off when you shut the doors, and I continued puzzling about what I should put in the radio hole and how I should control it. I decided I wanted a retro-style control panel, so I tried to make one out of a piece of wood covered in the vinyl wrap from the guitar amp case. I got to this point and decided it was rubbish and unable to be saved: One of the problems (besides using wood, the wood being too thick, me not having a drill press to line up the holes etc etc) was trying to sit that modern-style voltmeter behind the panel to hide its age. So I went to Kumeu and bought a voltage gauge from an old car, and started on version 2 of my control panel. The panel was always going to sit in the top of the cabinet somewhere, but I thought it would also be cool if it rose up automatically when you opened the lid, for no good reason. So I bought my first linear actuator, in giant overkill size, without thinking it all through too much. Here is the mock-up of control panel v2 in its raised position. All of the stuff is just sitting in place and is not wired up. I'm gonna cover the panel, most likely in leather, then I'll start deciding what all the switches do and wiring them up. I'm basically an electronics magpie, and over the last few years I've been buying any shiny things for this project that catch my eye. I can't be bothered acquiring the knowledge to create anything too clever with them; I'm just aiming to create a simple retro/steampunk-inspired display that's hopefully not entirely lame. After all, it would be nice if this project actually got finished within a decade of being started....
  7. I had a cheap guitar practice amp kicking around, plus various old speakers and a hand-me-down micro system. I chopped them all up and made a new speaker panel, like so: I got some new fabric (the old stuff was rotten) and covered it up... Then I put the guts of the guitar amp in behind, and put the controls where the knobs of the old valve radio were. This meant I had to use rotary switches for on/off and for the overdrive button. I cut holes in the cabinet for the guitar input and headphones sockets. So in this photo, the original knobs are now controlling the guitar amp: I've also got a few vintage bulbs, a plasma globe and random junk in the hole where the radio dial used to be. This is just 'proof of concept' decorative electronics and I'll be developing this aspect further. =) I sat the micro system in one of the side cupboards, so that (in theory) I could play my music and jam along. The cabinet actually produces almost excessive bass for some reason, but anyway..... I put some lights in the back of the cupboards, and that's about where the project got to in 2014. Here are some staged photos:
  8. Oldschool home entertainment circa 1940s(?): I didn't choose this project - my brother just turned up with it on my birthday in 2012 (a frabulous, grabulous, zip-zoop-zabulous present). It contained the expected Bakelite record player and reel-to-reel tape machine housed in the top, and a built-in valve radio. I set the needle to 88mph to see if I would be transported back to 1945: Nothing happened except a loud 50Hz hum. None of the other gizmos was fully operational either. I pulled the radio and speakers out: My plans were to use the cabinet for storing booze, and to put some electronics back into it which were more functional and decorative than the original stuff. Basically keep it as a man cave accessory / conversation piece.
  9. I've had enough time to grieve the loss of my Alfa now, and to grow sick of jump-starting it to move it out of the way. Yowser made me feel guilty for hanging onto it for ever and ever and ever, so it's finally listed for sale. https://www.trademe.co.nz/a/motors/cars/alfa-romeo/listing/2865335316
  10. I promise I wouldn't know an AE101 brake kit if it had a label on. You must have tagged the wrong person?
  11. I'll be in Wellington unfortunately, on the wrong week for the Wellington meet. =(
  12. I went to visit some fuel injector specialists to see about eliminating possible causes of my car's stumbling idle and poor starting after days of inactivity. Because of the logistical hassles of leaving the car with them, I decided that I should first try ordering an injector seal kit myself. Here's the fuel rail removed from the mighty AJ6. 'AJ' stands for 'Advanced Jaguar' - nothing but the finest electronic port fuel injection, don't you know. I ripped into installing the pieces from the kit, having never dealt with fuel injectors before. I almost wrecked the first one trying to get the filter out of it - they're a tight press fit into the rail end of the injector. Then I almost wrecked it again trying to get the old pintle cap off - they clip on firmly but the plastic was too old for my bodgy removal methods. Subsequent injectors got easier as I refined my methods, and eventually they were all done: On the plus side, no injectors were harmed in the making of this post and the car still works. Unfortunately the idle's still not what I'd expect for an EFI car.
  13. I’m in town again this week. Might try to find my way out to this place to show off my white automatic Toyota Corolla.
  14. I like that your service manual comes from the thirties! Hard to get much more oldschool than this car. Unfortunately, whenever I read your build thread, my brain plays this song: Let it never be said, that Austin is dead... Ruby ruby ruby ruby!
  15. Yay page 2! Discussion link: https://oldschool.co.nz/index.php?/topic/58671-thousand-dollar-supercars-1988-jaguar-xj-s-36/ The cheek of it - Dillon Photography cut me off in favour of some hairdresser's car! I filled the tank up with injector cleaner and went racing at Hampton Downs to blow out the cobwebs. After I locked up my brakes severely and made huge clouds of smoke, the angry man driving the pace car informed me that we were not in fact racing - this was only the track cruise.
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