Author Topic: FranLab is getting evicted  (Read 20451 times)

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Offline nctnico

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #125 on: October 14, 2018, 06:20:40 am »
If you don't sell or dispose of all the excess in time then I guess you can leave some of the clutter behind to get demolished with the building.
I don't think leaving stuff is a good idea. I bet the lease contract says that the premises must be left clean. Leaving stuff usually means the land lord hires cleaners at your expense and they don't choose the cheapest ones.

I think it just comes with the territory. Engineers see the world differently, we know what's inside stuff, when something is broken we often see value in some of the parts contained within and think that some day we might repair the thing or harvest parts from it. I certainly do both of the above, although I also have a lot of stuff I haven't gotten around to doing anything with yet and may never.
That is the hoarder's prayer. I used to hoard stuff as well and in reality you use maybe 0.01% of it. The space to store it costs more than the components are worth. Things get different if you turn it into a repair business but then you have to be disciplined and throw the really old stuff out. For example: back in the day when I repaired PCs I bought some boxes with PC parts. So when I got to an older computer I'd always have a spare VGA card or IDE interface to fix an old PC cheap. When I stopped fixing PCs I threw most of the stuff out or sold it. Discipline is everything.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 06:25:54 am by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online coppercone2

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #126 on: October 14, 2018, 08:28:28 am »
i cant see accumulation of expensive high tech equipment as hording.

I always saw it as a test equipment library. Can you really fault someone for owning a library? So long you don;t have a pile of shit to the sealing and its ergonomic how is it hording?

If you had a nicely arranged library in your home thats dust free, properly maintained an ergonomic no one would say shit. One of my big regrets was selling a old vacuum powered electrometer. I thought I got a digital one, but shortly after I sold it I realized it's nice to have more then one when working on weird circuits like hybrid amplifiers.

To me it seems hording is almost always proportional to your wealth, because wealth is required for proper storage and organization. If someone kept a private library of easily accessible old news papers to archive their towns history or something, and it was neat, no one would say anything bad about it, other then notice someone has money to spend and they have a fancy of archival of information. At that point its considered a private library.

If the same library of old news papers was found in poor conditions, unorganized and stacked in a way thats condusive to fire hazard, mold etc.. then it would be considered the road to a mental illness... even if all the news papers are theoretically readable...

But to follow best practice in manufacturing, like making test circuits in data sheets and all that stuff to categorize your circuits well, you need ALOT of stuff. Look at the PROPER requirements for something like a spectrum analyzer calibration (as per a HP manual). Its a room full of shit for one thing.

If you deviate that means you trust yourself to do research, compare equipment, etc. this can take alot of time for weird tests. Some people want to do it right and don't want to follow rules of thumb that work most of the time or spend their lives becoming a 'substitution expert'. While valuable for a companies bottom line, its not necessarily pleasant to do something like categorize an unknown comb generator to to some test... or figure out why you might get away without needing one

Same with high end mechanical shop. Imagine having all the go-no go gauges, different calipers, different standards etc.. quickly it looks alot different then shoving a bridge port, few end mills and calipers in your garage and calling it a equipped machine shop

Reading this thread I see alot of 'commercial get her done' talk, not actual deep interest in underlying physics, quality, etc.

I call this 'transfer functionitus', where you start to save money and time by making assumptions or making transfer functions equal to eachother in your head in order to solve electrical problems. There is alot more to engineering/design then just transfer functions. Also the more you get into metrology the harder it is to make substitutes. Everything starts to appear as a specifically engineered solution to a specific problem


TLDR:
"u don't work for NASA LOL NO NEED' (and the ~ is EVERYWHERE in your work)


Same thing for shop tools. I did work with my old family crap before I accumulated my own stuff and got used to working at a certain pace, at a certain stress level and certain expected quality per time/energy investment.

When I got higher quality tools of my own, more optimized to the tasks even with things like simple ergonomics, cordless, etc.. all aspects of the job were improved so long I planned out how to use everything. When I got certain tools I got criticism (whats the difference with the drill we had), then after a year I am the one complaining my tools don't get put back in the right spot. Sometimes it was the smallest most insignificant detail that changed how a problem is solved... to the point where I was scared that I wasted money.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 08:58:04 am by coppercone2 »
 
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Offline chris_leyson

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #127 on: October 14, 2018, 08:56:24 am »
Fran, you've accumulated far too much stuff, you got to sell some of it, stuff is nice to have but do you really need it ? Sell the stuff you don't use or the stuff that gets seldom use, it's a difficult decision because there is always that "I can use it for this or that" excuse so I will keep it. What is important is the stuff you carry around in your head, the ideas, the projects, the knowlege you can pass on to others, that's something you carry around all day 24/7 and it takes up optimum storage space. It's what is in your head, your persona, that's what defines you woman and not the shiney toys, so just ditch the shiney toys because they are luggage you don't need.
 
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Online coppercone2

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #128 on: October 14, 2018, 09:05:26 am »
I think calling equipment built by brilliant engineers to solve serious problems toys is down right demeaning. I don't know who conditioned craftsmen to call their stuff toys.
 
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Offline chris_leyson

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #129 on: October 14, 2018, 09:59:42 am »
Quote
I think calling equipment built by brilliant engineers to solve serious problems toys is down right demeaning
I wasn't calling the equipment toys but more like the attitude of the collectors, look at me I've got a whole shelf full of toys I seldom use.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 10:18:54 am by chris_leyson »
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #130 on: October 14, 2018, 11:39:08 am »
I think calling equipment built by brilliant engineers to solve serious problems toys is down right demeaning. I don't know who conditioned craftsmen to call their stuff toys.
Even the highest quality equipment becomes old junk at some point. It is not easy to see because you get older as well. I have fallen into that trap myself by buying equipment which was way too old. Nowadays you can often buy better performing equipment which is much smaller and/or cheaper. It is better to have less space to fill because it forces you to think about what you really need in order to be effective. Having one oscilloscope which can do 3 things well is better and easier than 3 old boat anchors each with their quirks and short comings. Sometimes less really is better.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 11:47:08 am by nctnico »
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Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #131 on: October 14, 2018, 11:54:33 am »
I think calling equipment built by brilliant engineers to solve serious problems toys is down right demeaning. I don't know who conditioned craftsmen to call their stuff toys.
Even the highest quality equipment becomes old junk at some point. It is not easy to see because you get older as well. I have fallen into that trap myself by buying equipment which was way too old. Nowadays you can often buy better performing equipment which is much smaller and/or cheaper.
The problem is that in many cases, the modern replacement just doesn't have the charm of the original. It's not very difficult to build a digital audio player that will outperform any record player, but it just isn't the same overall experience.
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Online coppercone2

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #132 on: October 14, 2018, 12:48:13 pm »
I sort of feel like the osciloscope is a edge case in terms of test equipment. Its something thats really useful to everyone so I feel like its been hyper focused on for development.

But in terms of practical use, its difficult to compare a quality tektronix analog oscilloscope to something like a rigol 1052e. I find low end oscilloscopes downright annoying to use, plus you need to consider all the very advanced plugins that were made for certain scopes. With low end stuff you can get hit by firmware bugs.

I actually think that just now you can start to get really good quality digital scopes.. I think I also prefer the trigger system on older scopes.

There is also the repair factor, which can be a big thing, and the up time factor, if your scope breaks and its real expensive you can be in a world of hurt (say a 8000$ scope vs some 100$ old ebay deal).

But some other stuff, like power supplies, there is little reason for the modern ones. Something like a old lambda precision series PSU is a great value, and other then the fact that the display is limited, its very stable, very low noise and very cheap. I would actually consider it a questionable business decision to buy things like a 800$ wheras you can get like 3-5 high quality power supplies (between 1-3 channels each) on ebay for the same price, or even more, to have redundancy and ruggedness, high quality parts being used, established documentation.

I think that tools useful for digital circuit work have reduced in cost vastly, but still, I would never use a freaking bus pirate over something like a 1660 logic analyzer system, and there are even merits to using things like serial mainframes/mini computer things for some work so you have known good hardware that will work. Easy to access setup, quality cables, good UI, your never gonna be writing fucking useless code to test blink LED's if you have a setup like that.

This is a bit of a stretch, but take something like a PLUTOSDR that I bought. Extremely cheap, extremely good capabilities for the cost in terms of digital/communications work.. but I have had to struggle to use it, pretty much I need to run a separate with a version of linux I don't like to make the thing work, without too much work, otherwise I will be on linux forums all day.

All the minaturization and modern design trends are not all peachy IMO.

I for instance have some Sorensen power supplies for high current use, which are remarkably small and light for their power output but they are a complete bitch to fix, built super compact.. I actually would prefer to dedicate a space to a big old hunking linear supply to work with for the same power levels.. and they are pretty noisy (in both senses) too. I don't wanna deal with that shit when I am making a prototype really. I see it as something to use post development on a test bench after some high power subassembly is already tested in categorized, to approximate what can happen in a realistic power use scenario (where you might use something like a meanwell switcher of the right kind to power it). You end up dealing with more variables that can mask intrinsic problems.

I have a large 3A/8V power supply from HP. Made in 1960. All I ever needed to do with it was replace capacitor.. I see no reason why its junk or why I should replace it with anything else. I can take it off the shelf, put it anywhere I want and do something like a circuit burn in, remote module test, all sorts of things, with no effort to build a power supply, relocate primary lab units, etc. Boat anchor digital stuff often has weird input ranges that make it robust too. You can conveniently probe some weird signal level along with all the other ones without making adapters etc. If its some gigantic digital stream your gonna need  to go with the poorly engineered cheap modern solution, but for nuts and bolt shit, keep it in a drawer. So much less frustrating.

But to be fair, I do have a fair bit of damaged/broke gear that is partially usable. But a economic and space analysis shows me that it siting on a cheap wire rack in the basement, with its cost, still is worth while compared to buying pricier equipment.. just the psychological factor is hard to get over sometimes. It mostly stays broke because there are fucking annoying ass design features which make it hard to fix (there is a HP function generator made of 4 PCB's all connected to each other in a cube made out of card edge connectors). Complete bitch to probe compared to some things. But I consider it a outlier compared to some other stuff. But I have also been getting side tracked alot and not planning it well. If I had to do it for a job, rather then enjoyment, it would all be fixed promptly with minor investment... I could strip and solder in the 40 or whatever bodge wires pretty quickly so it can be laid out on a bench and fixed, but I just dont wanna do that in my free time... if I got paid to do it though it would be done in a jiffy

with it being a hobby its just so easy to find other more entertaining things you can do once you reach a critical mass of crap...


***I do pitty the fool that does not have a digital oscilloscope
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 01:14:10 pm by coppercone2 »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #133 on: October 14, 2018, 02:00:31 pm »
Too many home electronics labs looks like hoarder's rooms. It might be a professional disease, or some side effects caused by too much soldering fumes.
Please don't take this as offensive. I am an electronics hoarder myself, too.

I won't show a photo of the current state of my 44sqm storage bunker...
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 08:42:40 pm by EEVblog »
 
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Offline Bud

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #134 on: October 14, 2018, 03:08:08 pm »
Let this be a lesson for her. If you do not have your own place you have to be mobile.
 

Online ebastler

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #135 on: October 15, 2018, 03:05:30 am »
Let this be a lesson for her. If you do not have your own place you have to be mobile.

Has it occurred to you that this might come across as condescending?
 
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Online coppercone2

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #136 on: October 15, 2018, 03:21:48 am »


for some reason this song comes to mind with some of the responses in this thread, in regards to being condescending lol
 

Online firewalker

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #137 on: October 15, 2018, 05:21:14 am »
She has about 1k of patreons. She must be receiving what? Around 1500 USD per month? Aren;t those money enough to grand her a nice place as a lab in her location?  As far for the moving process she could ask the help of people from a local hackerspace?

I tend to believe that the problem is mainly psychological and not practical reasons. Tired of moving, bored of the process etc.

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Offline RoGeorge

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #138 on: October 15, 2018, 05:49:37 am »
She has about 1k of patreons. She must be receiving what? Around 1500 USD per month?

My guess is 1k patreons, after all fees and taxes, means way, way less than $1500.
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Offline Bud

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #139 on: October 15, 2018, 06:51:38 am »
When are you  guys going to realize that relying on donations is not a sustainable business model. If what Fran is doing is not making her living she should think about doing something different. Like it or not.
 

Offline Bud

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #140 on: October 15, 2018, 06:55:51 am »
Let this be a lesson for her. If you do not have your own place you have to be mobile.

Has it occurred to you that this might come across as condescending?

I speak from experience. When i did not own a place i only had what i literally carry in hands, and two suitcases. I moved all stuff in 3-4 trips by Public Transit. Have You never owned a place ? 
 

Online ebastler

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #141 on: October 15, 2018, 07:21:56 am »
I speak from experience. When i did not own a place i only had what i literally carry in hands, and two suitcases. I moved all stuff in 3-4 trips by Public Transit. Have You never owned a place ?

I do live in my own place, and have done so for many years. But not everybody does, because not everybody has a sufficient (and sufficiently steady) income to afford property and convince the bank to bridge the gap. Or people live in rented property by choice, because they actually want to stay flexible and mobile: In Germany, only 45% of the population own the place they live in. The cost of selling and buying a new place adds up to around 10% of the property value; so you are far less mobile once you own property.

But whether someone lives in rented space by choice or by necessity -- I would not demand that they reduce their lives to the contents of a couple of suitcases. Or tell them "that will teach you" when things go wrong and they have to (painfully) figure out new solution for their life.
 
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Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #142 on: October 15, 2018, 07:47:06 am »
She has about 1k of patreons. She must be receiving what? Around 1500 USD per month?

My guess is 1k patreons, after all fees and taxes, means way, way less than $1500.
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I calculated that if supporters were to use some old smartphones/tablets to mine Swagbucks (at current profitability - i.e. including the recent halving) and send her all the profit, it would only take a little more than 100 supporters (each running one old smartphone/tablet) to basically double her donation income.

Now I wonder how to make use of that to actually help her. If I release the code used to make my miner run so well, would supporters be encouraged to set up their own mining rigs and pass a significant amount of the profit onto her or would all I end up accomplishing is destroy the only thing I like about Swagbucks - the high mining profitability?

There are other coins to mine, of course. Given it's entering winter in the northern hemisphere, maybe some less efficient coins are also worth considering?
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Offline nctnico

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #143 on: October 15, 2018, 07:59:09 am »
Let this be a lesson for her. If you do not have your own place you have to be mobile.
Has it occurred to you that this might come across as condescending?
I speak from experience. When i did not own a place i only had what i literally carry in hands, and two suitcases. I moved all stuff in 3-4 trips by Public Transit. Have You never owned a place ?
I don't think owning or renting a place is the issue. Even if you own a place you can be evicted for various reasons (toxic ground, unstable ground, building a road, etc, etc). The trick is to buy or rent something which is not going to be subject to those kind of problems.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline chris_leyson

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #144 on: October 15, 2018, 08:06:21 am »
I don't drive so for me it's public transport. Last year I was made redundant, owed two months salary and was living away from home in a single rented room, quite a large room. No money for rent so I sold the two TEK7000 scopes and all of the plugins. Had enough to pay the rent and I managed to bundle all of the other miscellaneous crap into a taxi to get me the 150 miles back home.
It was an easy decision to sell the TEK gear, I needed the money and didn't have room for it back home. Loads of stuff just went into the local "electrical waste" recycling bin, some of which I regret, but you got to make tough choices. It took me about a week to sort everything out and finally move, dump the stuff you don't need and pack to stuff you might need. Managed to get it all into three 42L plastic storage containers and one of them was for books ! In the six years living and working away from home I had managed to collect a reasonable sized pile of stuff and out of 5 scopes I sold two, dumped two and kept a working one. Maybe I should have kept the 2465 and 2235 both with only one working channel but they came with the 54610B at auction. That was my biggest regret.
 

Online maginnovision

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #145 on: October 15, 2018, 08:25:35 am »
I think the point is that if you have the space and money for everything you want have at it. If however a time comes you don't have that option you do the responsible thing and downsize. Selling stuff, giving it away, throwing it out, all valid when you don't have the option of keeping everything. I'd get rid of everything I have to keep my wife, kids, and myself together and safe. It's not even a dillema you just do it.
 

Offline nctnico

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #146 on: October 15, 2018, 08:31:21 am »
I think the point is that if you have the space and money for everything you want have at it. If however a time comes you don't have that option you do the responsible thing and downsize. Selling stuff, giving it away, throwing it out, all valid when you don't have the option of keeping everything. I'd get rid of everything I have to keep my wife, kids, and myself together and safe. It's not even a dillema you just do it.
That depends on whether you'd need the gear to make money or whether it is 'just hobby stuff'.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #147 on: October 15, 2018, 09:12:16 am »
Good luck Fran.

Sure if she owned the place there would be no question. Sure if she was making a lot more money it would be easier. Not everyone does either though.

A lot of creative people tend to accumulate tools and parts and think more about their passion and making stuff than about potential long-term issues.
That's just how it is. As long as it's not hurting anyone...

Since we don't know squat about her life outside of this (at least I don't), there's not much we can say. Just hope she'll be able to relocate without having to give up too much.
 

Online maginnovision

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #148 on: October 15, 2018, 10:10:37 am »
I think the point is that if you have the space and money for everything you want have at it. If however a time comes you don't have that option you do the responsible thing and downsize. Selling stuff, giving it away, throwing it out, all valid when you don't have the option of keeping everything. I'd get rid of everything I have to keep my wife, kids, and myself together and safe. It's not even a dillema you just do it.
That depends on whether you'd need the gear to make money or whether it is 'just hobby stuff'.

Sure, and that can vary case to case. However most people I've known end up collecting stuff they don't need over time(For working or hobbies). I was an automotive technician who moved into electronics design. I have 2 10' wide, 3' deep, 8' tall shelves in the garage, a large and a small toolbox, 4 large inside shelving units, and 2 decent size workbenches(one for each discipline). I have way more stuff I could get rid of than I need. Probably close to 4:1, in volume it'd be even greater. I wouldn't hesitate to get rid of anything not damn near worth its weight in gold and if it makes you money it probably is. Some stuff will absolutely make sense to keep, way more isn't worth the hassle if I had issues. I stopped using storage units years ago because I decided if I was storing it, it was likely losing me money. I'd be better off selling it or getting rid of it rather than letting it get old(er) in storage and paying for the privilege.
 

Offline chris_leyson

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Re: FranLab is getting evicted
« Reply #149 on: October 15, 2018, 10:25:04 am »
Quote
I'd get rid of everything I have to keep my wife, kids, and myself together and safe.
Quote
That depends on whether you'd need the gear to make money or whether it is 'just hobby stuff'.
That's two different perspectives on "gear" business or hobby. How much gear do you really need and Fran has collected one hell of a lot gear. So if there is anyone in Philly please drop by Frans lab and give her a hand to help sort shit out or a least organise and help pack it, the clock is counting.
How many guitar effects pedals did FranTone Labs sell ? I don't know I don't play guitar.
That's the problem with creative people, we are like moths we flit from one "light bulb" to another, and collect all of the gear we need for the next "light bulb".
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 11:04:46 am by chris_leyson »
 


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