A few weeks ago I had repaired a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) and realized I had forgotten something. Yes, I knew where most of the wires went but was unable to remember where two wires that were green and yellow plugged in. Of course I had, at the time, thought that I would replace the relays and my troubles would be over. But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself.
Six months ago, the UPS started buzzing like an angry bee whenever I would turn it on, in preps for the day’s activities, you know, GAMES! Anyway I had turned it off one too many times because it refused to start after switching on. All I got was that really loud buzzing sound, which is more like a clacking, but really, really fast.
I ordered parts from Mouser Electronics and they arrived in four days, which is pretty fast for having to cross the Pacific. In fact, it was faster than the highly touted Next Day Air (which for us, takes eight to twelve days). With those parts, I disassembled the UPS and I remembered, at the time, the wiring configuration. What escapes me now, is why didn’t I use one of the four digital cameras lying around. Who knows, I don’t.
With parts in hand, and a gas soldering iron, I went to work, albeit six month later. Yes, that too. I beg you not to ask. In my defense, I must have had something else going on. Okay, maybe not. But I did finally work on it. I replaced the relays and rehooked the battery into the circuit. It worked. Fantastic. But, uh oh, I realized that I had no clue how to hook the last four wires into the circuit. After doing much research and consuming massive amounts of frosty cold Coca-Cola, I figured out that there was nothing on the internet and that the company would never respond to my emails.
All was not lost, however, as I had emailed the seller of the UPS and explained the problem. So I went to them, and for 15 buckaroos, they hooked it up and tested it. I was all smiles when I departed their place and raced home. It worked for about six weeks. Instead of repairing it this time, I put it on the shelf pending a good schematic, and replaced it with a newer and cheaper unit. Which is why I am typing this now.
Another problem I had was that the primary computer, yes, the one for GAMES! had developed issues of its own. It also just quit working. Just like that. After taking a meter to the power supply, I found one of the 12 volt rails was bad. Now, that was a very expensive power supply, an 850 watt monster from Antec. But hey, it was ten years old, black with yellow racing stripes and all the cables were long enough for the server case I was using. Yes the case was the size of one of those wine rack coolers some people have. I nearly broke my back carrying that thing up two flights of stairs. Plus, it’s made of steel. But I needed it because I was running eight 500 gig hard drives. Right after that, one terabyte drives came out. I was not a happy camper.
Anyway, I used a spare power supply to check out the motherboard. To all intents and purposes, it was dead. So, in despair, I started combing the net for a new barebones unit compatible with the memory and other parts I have. While doing this, I came across a little visited blog (it had 8 hits in 3 years) that showed me that I had to run more tests. Specifically, I had to remove the CMOS battery and let it sit for two days. I did that, and boy was I happy! In the words of Dr. Frankenstein, It’s Alive!! Yes! I could play GAMES!
Now, I was not bereft in a digital-less void. No, far from it. I had my trusty Mac Mini, sometimes booted to Windows, to help assuage my hunger for games. Alas, it is not fast enough to run Albion Prelude or HomeWorld2 and the accompanying mods. But I could still play Transport Tycoon. Sometimes those old games are a kind of pleasant diversion. On the Mini were all the files I would need to help me rebuild the gaming machine.
So two weeks ago I received a used standard size case, new cpu fan and two really fast one terabyte SSHD units. (That’s Solid State Hard Drive) Now, with the 8 gig of memory restored, 9 terabytes of standard hard drive storage and these little gems, along with a new NVIDIA video card, I can get anything done, including beating the hell out of the Chinese in Civ5 and kicking Cylon ass in Albion Prelude. The computer now boots from power up to usability in twelve, yes, twelve seconds. As for the games, they don’t look like slide shows any more.