Freeform Friday

I am not exactly a fount of ideas today.


My Mustang has already had its first hiccup. A couple of days ago and out of the blue, the nav map seemed to have no idea where I was and did not correctly show my heading. When I started the car yesterday, the map righted itself after a few minutes, but I was unable to play audio from any source other than Sirius/XM. I could not switch to FM or use the songs from my iPhone.

I decided the only solution was something Ford discourages, a Master Reset of the SYNC system. That, as of now, seemed to fix all of the problems. I hope this is not an ongoing issue. Even though the car is still, obviously, under the bumper to bumper warranty, the last thing I want is a repeat of the Z06 nonsense where repairs take an inordinate amount of time because parts are not available.

My wonderful wife’s Corvette memory seat setting has been finicky for quite some time. In order to get the steering wheel and seat in her desired setting, my wife first has to move the seat a bit. Then, pressing the #1 setting button in the door finishes the job. The car is supposed to automatically go to the correct settings for her key fob. On occasion, it does function properly, but most of the time she needs to “remind” it by noodging the seat.

EVERYTHING comes with a trade-off. The modern safety, convenience and entertainment systems in cars add complexity. I am not an electrical engineer and don’t know if such issues are the result of too many devices for a standard 12-volt system to handle. Once again, I fully understand why many automobile aficionados prefer cars from the pre-computer era. No, I am not going to show that picture of a Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk in light green with a white top.



Well, it’s not the one in light green and white. What do you think of this paint job? This is a 1962 model, which I would not prefer over a ’63 or ’64, but supposedly the interior has been replaced. The ’62s were notorious for a bad vinyl interior that virtually disintegrated over time.

The seller, an independent dealer of classic cars in Michigan, is asking $15,900 for the car. That’s not an outrageous amount, some sellers are asking twice that much for allegedly pristine examples, but that doesn’t leave much money for modifications for me. Hemmings has another Gran Turismo Hawk listed at $9,900, but it’s a ’62 with no mention of a new interior and is in an exterior color that does not appeal to me. Good paint jobs are VERY expensive.

So many cars, just one life.


We received rain yesterday that, once again, was not really forecast by the National Weather Service. My admittedly anecdotal impression is that WeatherNation seems to be a bit more accurate in forecasting rain for our area. Here are a couple of videos from yesterday.



Hopefully, in one of these videos you can see the mountains in the distance that are in sunlight while it was raining at our house. When I write a post and insert videos I do not exactly know the content as all I see is wpvideo and some numbers/letters inside of brackets. I think the video to which I refer is the second one.








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5 thoughts on “Freeform Friday

  1. As a practicing Registered Professional Engineer – Mechanical, I learned a long time ago to design by the K. I. S. S principle. Most people interpret the acronym to mean Keep It Simple and Safe. In reality is for the engineer to look in the mirror and repeat Keep It Simple, Stupid! The best and most used designs are those which are simple. Simple in concept, construction and operation. In my project truck, I have added a engine computer for the EFI and some other non-1948 items. But on the whole it is a relatively simple assembly of parts compared to most of the four-wheeled computer controlled things sold on car dealer lots. I am stepping down from my soap box and my rant is ended.


  2. ” too many devices for a standard 12-volt system to handle.”

    I also am not an electrical engineer, but I did stay next door to a Holiday Inn Express, so here is my $.02;

    There a couple of issues that could be the problem.

    First and foremost would be the quality of the parts being used. OEM is always looking for the “cheapest” they can get, doesn’t matter what they are building (cars, computers, industrial machinery, anything). Often times quality suffers in the lower cost options, because, well, the company making that part still wants to show a profit.

    Second issue would be the grounding of the systems. From my experience both in cars and in industrial machinery. a minor drop in supply voltage (which needs a good ground) will result in loss of function for the effected circuit. These are the most aggravating to repair as they are usually not constant, they “come and go”.

    Last but not least; SORCERY. I sometimes think some electrical devises are possessed by demons and the only cure is to burn them until only ashes remain. JK, kinda. 🙂


    1. DDM, as a mechanical engineer, I believe that all electrical stuff works on the FM principle, i.e. Forking Magic. I replaced the actual first word with one suitable for a public forum. Having worked on 1960s and 70s electronic sensors in USAF aircraft, that stuff with discrete transistors, etc., I understand completely about the NEED for a good ground. This is also where I learned about the FM principle mentioned above.


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