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