Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Micronta 22-214 Multitester (multimeter) User Manual / schematic

A Public Service by your's truly.

I have a copy of the user manual for the 1988-1994 Radio Shack Micronta model 22-214 43 Range, Range Doubler Multitester, Radio Shack's term for what the rest of the world calls a multimeter.

This is a really nice analog multimeter, and I use it fairly often in working on mine and friend's guitars.

There are certain situations in which an analog meter proves to be superior to a digital multimeter.

I won't bore you stupid  by explaining when and where I use an analog meter over a digital one, but I do know that Radio Shack sold many, many, many of this Micronta meter over the years and many are still in use.

BUT, good luck in finding a copy of the user manual!  I googled it and searched links about 10 pages deep and the closest I came to getting a manual for the Micronta 22-214 was 1.) paying a ridiculous price to someone for a .pdf copy, or 2.) malware dangerous web sites that supposedly will let you download a copy of the manual after you download and install their free software.  Jeesh, that's just asking to have your computer ruined.

So, in an extremely minor service to the public, specifically owners of a Micronta 22-214 analog multimeter who want to have a copy of the user manual, I took the time last night to scan mine and created a .pdf and a Microsoft Word document copy of this user manual.

I included a copy of the meter's schematic as the final page of this document, just for completeness.

At the risk of getting myself inundated with requests and trash emails, I'm gonna give my email address to allow folks to request a copy of this user manual that I will then send to them via return email.

The Microsoft Word copy of the Micronta 22-214 user manual is about 13MB, so your email might not allow you to receive a document that big.
The PDF copy is about 5.5MB so is the most likely choice for you to receive via an email.

My email address is mastersja at  Ask for the Micronta 22-214 user manual, and I'll send it along to you as soon as I can.

P.S. I also have a copy of the user manual for the Micronta 22-204, but haven't scanned it.  If you can't find a copy of that meter's manual, let me know and I'll try to scan mine as soon as I can.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

1983 Gibson Custom Shop ES-335 Dot, Pearl White

Since my back is more or less ruined and I went on long-term disability, I've taught myself, bit by bit, how to set up guitars for maximum playability and comfort, and do some fret work on them as well.  It takes me a while to get a guitar just right, working a few minutes at a time as my back allows, but it turns out that I'm pretty good at it.

I own several guitars, but being a little on the broke side of the financial spectrum, my guitars were all carefully chosen inexpensive guitars.  I chose for the best woods and construction I could afford, and over time I replaced the cheap electronics, pickups, plastic nuts, etc., with quality versions of those parts.  The result being that my guitars didn't cost much, but they play and sound great.  The added expense of upgrades was spread over time as I could afford parts and when good used ones came up for sale cheap on ebay.

Another way to get great guitars, if you can afford it, is to simply lay your money down, LOTS OF MONEY, for some of the best guitars on the market.  These guitars tend to play and sound great from the get-go, but there's no guarantee of this.

I have a friend at church who found out that I do guitar setups and and started bringing his guitars to me one or two at a time.  He has shown a willingness, for decades, to lay his money down on great guitars.  I get to play them for a while too, which is a nice benefit.

This particular guitar dates from 1983, two years after Gibson started producing reissues of the 1960ish ES-335 with the pearloid dot inlays in the rosewood fingerboards.

Looking back with 20/20 vision, many guitar players consider Gibson's "Norlin Era" (1974 -1986) to be a pretty dark time as far as quality construction and tone is concerned.  But this Custom Shop ES-335 is a lovely example of Gibson trying fairly hard to get things right during this period.  But, he had to pay a premium for a custom shop guitar.

This 335 has a pearl white finish, a paint scheme that I LOVE, on cars and guitars.  (I still want me one of those Fender James Burton Telecasters in pearl white.)  It's a soft, almost glowing, metal-flake white finish that is turning antique yellow.  The finish has natural checking (cracks in the finish) that happen to most older guitars that are finished with a nitrocellulose coat. 

The owner of this guitar is a true player.  He is a super-good guitarist, yet with no desire to know any details of guitar setup or to learn little things that can be done in literally two minutes with a screwdriver to make an electric guitar play and sound much better.

This guitar has been played a whole lot, but never abused, and simply put away after playing; no wipe down of the sweat from the body or strings ever.  The only changes have been new strings when needed.

So my first order of business was to simply take off the strings, the tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece, the pickguard, and CLEAN THIS GUITAR!  When I removed the pickguard, there was literally 1/8th of an inch of dust under there, dirt and crud held together by what I guess was old sweat.

Using a barely damp cotton diaper, I wiped and cleaned the whole guitar except for the rosewood fretboard.  Once I had as much grime cleaned as I could, I used a liberal amount of Virtuoso Premium GuitarCleaner to go over the whole guitar again.  This cleaned off the last of the built-up crud and also left a bit of lovely shine to the guitar.

Before I started, one would have thought the guitar had a satin finish.  Now it has a nice shine to it, yet keeping all of the honest wear that helps make a vintage guitar look well-played but still gorgeous.  It's a totally different look than the bogus looking "relic" finishes people put on new guitars with belt sanders, and true player's wear over decades really adds to a guitar's mojo.

The gold plating has worn off in all the places one would expect and after cleaning off the grime there too (some naphtha and lint free cotton swabs), the hardware has that nice, aged look to it as well.

Tim Shaw, a Gibson engineer during this time had been tasked with trying, within budget constraints, to recreate the Gibson 'Patent Applied For' pickups from Gibson's golden era of the late 1950s - early 1960s.  This guitar has a set of those fairly valuable "Tim Shaw P.A.F's" and the tone of this guy is pretty amazing.  Probably a mix of being an older, well-played guitar along with those much better than average pickups Mr. Shaw had come up with.

This guitar is clean, the potentiometers cleaned with DeOxit and working like buttah, and the action is fairly low, but not on the deck, just like the owner likes it.

I used some Stewart-MacDonald Fretboard Finishing Oil to bring the fretboard back to life, and it looks dark and pretty.

Only one problem left to fix on the guitar, and that's a buzz when pressing the 1st string at fret 7, that B buzzes on fret 8, which I have confirmed is a bit higher right there than frets 7 and 9.  That's an easy fix of about ten minutes to file, recrown, and polish part of one fret.

Just thought I'd share a few pics of this fairly rare guitar.  I've seen a few here and there on the interwebs, but there aren't many.

The original case needs two of the drawbolts replaced, but I've never done that.  I might try to add that skill to my set so that I can repair folk's guitar cases as well.

God Bless...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day, 2014

It has been a long time, again.

It's hard for me to find things other than what aggravates me, that I want to write about.  And I don't want to stew long enough on aggravating things to sit here and write about them.

But I do miss blogging.

Thought I'd post this photo of my Dad holding my hand on a visit to Cypress Gardens in Florida in 1966.  That would put me at about 3 3/4 years old here.

This October will mark twenty years since my father passed away.

I still miss him terribly and long to see him again.  As a Christian, I have that hope too.

I'm blessed to still have Mama around though.

-- God Bless

Friday, September 06, 2013

Live Bait - In Living Color!

Nikon D90, Nikon 10-24mm lens at 22mm, f/22, 1/60sec, ISO 200
Nikon D90, Nikon 10-24mm lens at 14mm, f/22, 1/60sec, ISO 200
I have a lot to say, but not enough time to say it. (Obama, war, Syria, hypocritical liberals)

So, I'll just post a couple of photographs instead of writing out a half-hearted rant in limited time.

This is a local fishing / bait store on US 1 in Melbourne, Florida.

I have always loved the colors of this place and kept promising myself I'd come by one afternoon when the evening sun was on the front of the building.

I finally did it.

These were my favorite two of this building.

The colors and the sunlight came out very Florida-ey.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Picture Post, Sunday August 18, 2013

Mainly due to health reasons, it had been six years since I had made a trip to my home town of Monroe, Louisiana.

Along with Number One Daughter and Number Two Daughter, I made the sixteen hour drive/ride from Palm Bay, Florida to Monroe during the first week of August and stayed with Sainted Mother while we were there.

People who think Florida is hot and muggy don't have a freakin' clue as to what REAL heat and humidity are.  Lets just say, if I had any toxins in my body that could be sweated out, they were long gone after the first day in Louisiana.

Long trips are rough on a bad back and chronic pain, but I was able to get out and about a little while every day to visit family and one day the three of us headed for the community of Aimoch, Louisiana (considered part of Olla, La.) to visit the graves of my Father, Big Brother and other relatives.  After turning off of US Hwy 165 in Grayson, Louisiana, we stopped to photograph an old red building that was in great looking sunlight.  Out behind the old building were these two guys, watching our every move.  This is my favorite non-family photo from the whole trip.

Nikon D90, Nikon 18-300mm lens at 300mm, f/5.6, 1/800sec, ISO 200
One evening, Big Sis, Friend Marie, Number One Daughter and I went to Black Bayou National Wildlife Refuge, just north of Monroe, Louisiana, to photograph the very, very Louisiana looking bayou scenery and any critters that we might chance upon.  They had some great lotus flowers and killer, huge lily pads.
Nikon D90, Nikon 18-300mm lens at 175mm, f/16, 1/6sec, ISO 800

I had forgotten just how many kooky buildings and strange "things" that can be seen on just about any rural road in Louisiana.  I could drive for hours on Florida's country roads and rarely see stuff worth stopping for.  Not so in Louisiana.  This was along Hwy 165 between Columbia and Grayson Louisiana.  It looks just like the man in the blown-up space suit in the comedy movie "Rocket Man" to me.
Nikon D90, Nikon 18-300mm lens at 56mm, f/10, 1/400sec, ISO 200

Simply the lovely sunset at Black Bayou NWR that we saw that day.  I liked the way my super wide lens made the clouds look.
Nikon D90, Nikon 10-24mm lens at 10mm, f/16, 1/40sec, ISO 200

The Ouachita River (pronounced WASH-itaw) separates Monroe from West Monroe, Louisiana.  If you watch or have seen A&E's Duck Dynasty TV show, it is shot in and around West Monroe.  In this photo, I'm standing on the banks of the Ouachita in Monroe, looking across to West Monroe.  Just another of thousands of US rivers to most people, but I always though the Ouachita was a pretty river.  This photo is about half a mile from my old high school, Neville High School.
Nikon D90, Nikon 10-24mm lens at 10mm, f/22, 1/160sec, ISO 200

Have a great Sunday!
God bless all of you.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Their Sneaky Ploy Worked!

I was doing some channel surfing earlier after watching some Netflix.

The Science Channel is always one of my first stops when surfing; I'm a sucker for a good astronomy / cosmology show.  (BTW, is it a law or something that Michio Kaku has to be on every single science show made these days?  Seems like it, but I digress.)

Anyway, when I arrived at the Science Channel, "Build It Bigger" was on.

I watched a couple of minutes of the construction of a huge hydroelectric dam being built in Turkey (the Deriner dam), then they were going to break for commercials.

But before the commercials, the show had a teaser question. "Which country on Earth has the most large dams?" and promised to provide the answer when they came back to the show from the commercials.

So I patiently sat through Progressive insurance commercial and others and then the show came back.

Did you know that China has more than half of the world's 48,000 large dams?  I didn't either.

Then it hit me.

I had totally fallen for it.

I sat through the two minutes of commercials just so I could find out which country in the world had the most dams.

Those sneaky Science Channel / Build It Bigger producers!  They KNEW that I would be compelled wait and learn that tidbit about dams.

I have long known that I'm a science geek - you don't work your way through the pain of engineering school without being one - but I still totally fell for that simple commercial ploy just to learn one more science-ish fact.

I'm such a dweeb.

But I guess there are worse things to be.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year to Y'all, 2013

When Good Intentions Get Trampled by Reality:

It's over in the evening, almost dark on January 1, 2013.

As 2012 came rushing to a close through November and December, I began to have a little up-tick in my spirit; I felt that I was turning a corner and had that almost forgotten feeling that I used to get when I had the courage to make big changes for the better in my life.

Oh well, so much for that plan.

My back problems and chronic pain have made the past few years of little consequence when it comes to moving forward and achieving goals in my life.

I call them health issues because I have a screwed up back and hurt all the time, but at the same time I've never felt that "health issues" or "health problems" is the right way to put what I deal with.

To me, health problems is more along the lines of sickness.  Sickness is usually acute, and can kill you quick.

Skeletal problems that have been repaired as best the doctors can do and continuing chronic pain doesn't sound or feel like sickness to me, so mentally I feel I should be able to struggle with my pain, struggle through my pain and confidently still attain my dreams and goals, albeit on a slower trajectory.

Yeah. Right.

December found me feeling increasingly bad - just generally bad - and then to top it all off, my back began hurting in certain new spots.  Hurting as in when the pain hit, I would yell out with no control, as if a mule kicked me in the back.  Just instant 0-10 level pain jump and after a few seconds, the pain would begin to taper off, only to leave me breathless, shocked and relieved that the episode was over.

On Christmas Day, a light was shined on my new issues when I went to pee about 1pm.

Peeing felt like I was passing sulfuric acid, and it hurt so bad that my body fought itself, both to relieve my full bladder, and to not pee so the burning would stop.

Long story short, I had a pretty nasty urinary track infection.  The tests run so far have indicated I have kidney stones, but with it being the holidays, getting x-rays and confirming various possibilities has been progressing at a snail's pace.

As I sit here this first day of a new year, I WANT to be working lickety-split on getting out of the rut I've been in for the past three years or so with my chronic pain.

But along with the chronic pain, I now face the dilemma of getting to the bottom of my kidney stone problem, because, though the antibiotics have almost cleared me of my infection, I still have the new pain, theoretically from kidney stones.

Kinda puts a crimp in the idea of hitting the ground of the new year running, you know?

I've never been a New Year's resolution kind of guy, but I hoped that the spiritual surge I was getting into at the end of 2012 would help me get a good start in being diligent in working on my (admittedly simple) goals for the new year.

Instead, I begin 2013 with that old "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" situation instead.

But I am SO thankful for a loving and supportive family; my lack of progress on where I'd like to be heading in my life exists only in my head.

All of this reminds me to 1. Be thankful to God for all the wonderful people and things in my life, and 2. That my problems aren't life threatening (at this point) so I know I can get back on track, if very slowly instead of quickly.

First priorities of this new year are to get on track health wise, and to get better on my guitar.   That's it.  Down to two goals from about one thousand always kicking around in my head ten years ago.  

Simple as these two goals sound, they're actually pretty lofty from where I am right now. 

Just wanted to post a blog post on Jan. 1, and now, have metronome and guitar; time for some scales, baby!

God bless all of you.