Engineering Report #3

The defective radio was still sitting on the corner of my desk in the workshop, staring at me… It has been doing that for a few weeks, probably even months… I could almost feel it judging my procrastination…

With Toy Soldier Day upon us and Toy Soldiers’ love for old equipment; especially if it makes sound, has buttons and flashy lights, I had to make this thing work!

I went into the Digital Bunker’s library to see if I could find any reference materials for this device, there should be user manuals or something, right? After showing the Librarian a picture of the radio, he answered with “Oook!” and ran off in that weird way orangutan’s run. I followed him a bit and looked around the walls filled with books. “Why have they still not digitized all these,” I wondered…

I saw the Librarian shift through a pile of archive boxes and then he returned promptly with a terribly worn down user manual. Most of the text is unreadable, but some of the schematics are still mostly intact. With some measuring and deduction I could get this thing to work.

I thanked the Librarian with a banana, and went back to my workshop.

Radio

Back at the workshop I went on the painstaking journey of identifying the components, measuring them if they still work and what values they have, cleaned the circuit board. Most of the components seemed to be intact. I followed the schematics, wrote the missing parts on paper. It should just be able to work. Why didn’t it then?

I reached the last page and saw a familiar component sign, a regular battery…

I facepalmed over the fact that I completely forgot to look for any kind of battery or conventional power supply. I looked around the box and found a compartment for 6 AA batteries.

The plutonium tubes it seemed were just added for the enjoyment of the person who last owned the radio, there was no mention about them in the schematics. I inserted the needed batteries and the radio sprung to life! I will put the radio in the lounge room, so everyone can have a go at it!

Find it here!

I want to thank:
Engineer Airhead, Lucas Usagi and Sari Alwinn. Without them this project would not have existed.

And I hope you all enjoy this BETA version of the Radio that might replace the current audio propaganda page on ToySoldiersUnite.com!

HAPPY TOY SOLDIER DAY!!!

~ Gonzo

Engineering Report #2

Engineering report for the TSU. Date:  27/11/’14

Engineering Report #2 – Researching the device.

Whatever I had done to the mysterious box by ripping it out of the hole it was stuck in, it was not working anymore. I had taken it to my workshop and opened it up. Some glowing pulsating parts were particularly interesting, some green, some red. After careful examination of the glowing tubes, this definitely seemed to be plutonium.

“Oh dear, I’ve radiated myself again…”

When I got back from putting on some protective gear, the plutonium tubes inside the device seemed to pulsate at an extremely random pattern. I went to inspect the device a little more. It seemed some of the plutonium power-cells had run out, and some were malfunctioning, nearly going into a meltdown. I had to get to the wires on the back and fix whatever severed cable was causing the problem!

Some wire measuring and deduction later,I was not close to an answer on  how to stop the meltdown and it was getting awfully hot in there. As hot as going to ComicCon in full armour suit, I’d imagine!

“It’s time for desperate measures!” I thought. I pulled out the only red glowing plutonium tube, and watched the pulsating tubes slowly fade down and synchronize again.

I heard a soft static noise coming from the box, and looked at the front. There were some dials, and a numerical display… I turned the big dial and heard more noise. Ah! An antenna is what I need!

I looked for the traditional antenna sign on old devices and attached a rod of copper to it.

Succes! There were faint noises of people talking. I turned the dial again: music, lovely!

I turned the dial some more and noticed one of the plutonium cells going out slowly, and the sounds faded with it…

I need to figure out how to reproduce this plutonium power cell to get this thing working again!

(Credits to Lucas Usagi & Captain Sari Alwinn)

Engineering Report #1

Engineering report for the TSU. Date: 18/10/’14

During maintenance on a malfunctioning console I heard a strange noise coming from behind the cable patch panel. It sounded as if something was generating a static noise. I have performed maintenance here before, but never heard anything other than the small buzzing overhead from the energy generators. Digging through the cables, I found older and older looking cables going to different tubes leading in different directions. I managed to get through the – what seemed like a hundred or more cables – managed to detach the patch panel, and found a hole of which I couldn’t reach the end with my arm. I felt something like a box, I could feel with the tip of my fingers that it was something with square edges.

I adjusted my uniform LED’s brightness to get a clearer view of what could be inside that hatch. It looked like a metallic, rusty and old box. From what I could see it had some kind of dials on it, and it seemed that the box was the origin of the strange noise, I needed something to reach for the box, as my arms were just a few centimetre too short…

After getting some tools from my workshop I returned to the hatch, but when I tried to reach for the box the sound suddenly changed and I heard a melody I hadn’t heard in ages! It was Dr. Steel’s song: Secret Message, it seemed clear I was dealing with some kind of audio device, an old cassette player or some kind of radio maybe? I had to get to this thing. Working with a pinching tong I could grab an edge of the box and managed to wedge it forward a few centimetres until it got stuck. At least I could reach for it with my hand a bit better now and started to feel around the box, I touched something that felt like a dial and accidentally turned it, the Dr. Steel song disappeared but now I heard a woman voice announcing a string of numbers. I quickly grabbed my notebook and scribbled down the numbers:
6,2,8,8,6 – 6,2,8,8,6 – 1,3,2,9,7 – 1,3,2,9,7 – 6,0,3,1,8 – 9,7,7,0,2 – 9,7,7,0,2 …

After that the sound ceased. I was baffled, what could this mean? What is this thing? I lifted the box a little, and tried to pull it toward me some more, I heard some creaking behind the box and suddenly something snapped and I fell backwards with the box in my hands. It turned out to be a very old and rusty radio. This thing must’ve been down here for ages, by pulling it out of the hatch, I had snapped the cables that were connected, but were very damaged already by the hand of rust, dust, and probably some hamsters gnawing at the cables. I put the box in my bag, and finished maintenance on the faulty console, placed the panels back and returned to my workshop.

Back at the workshop I unscrewed the rusty screws, opening up the radio. It was a very old looking electronic circuit, still generating energy even though it was not connected to any external power source.

Here’s what those insides look like:

Gonzo's Radio

It seems I have a lot of engineering to do before I can begin to understand that weird device, but I will keep you informed about my progress.