How to measure a fan's RPM without special equipment

While we're at it - see previous post - here's a decent way to measure a fan's speed without having access to specialised hardware.

  1. Extract the fan and provision it for power, but do not start it yet.
  2. Ready a sound recording device of any type, such as your phone.
  3. Using stiff but not overly stiff tape - I used packing tape - construct an inverted T type tab and adhese the top of the T to one side of the centre portion of the rotating fan blade assembly so that the extended tab spans the radius on one side of the fan, and the tab portion sticks out, away from the fan. If any part of your assembly has any possibility of hitting any other part of the fan, you're putting it in the wrong place. The tab you've made should rotate with the fan blades, once per revolution of the blade assembly.
  4. Using the same tape, construct a lightweight rod of, oh, 5cm length. Exact length doesn't matter.
  5. Start the fan.
  6. Position the rod so that it is continually struck, lightly, by the previously-made tab adhered to the fan. It should make a ticking sound, like a playing card in bicycle wheel spokes. Each tick sound will represent one (1) rotation of the fan.
  7. Start the sound recorder, and record some number of seconds, making sure you get as light an impact on the tab you constructed as possible while making sure the tick sound remains clear. (This is so you slow the fan down as little as possible or not at all.)
  8. Save the recording, then load it into any audio software of your preference that will let you display the waveform and zoom into a one second section thereof. Audacity is one such free software package, but there are many others.
  9. Looking at the waveform, you will see a series of vertical lines, each one of which is a tick noise, which should be louder than background/air noise in the recording. If you do not see (or hear) this, you have a bad recording.
  10. Count the number of these lines contained within exactly one second of time. That gives you revolutions in that second. If you are comfortable that this one second is representative, multiply by 60 for revolutions per minute (RPM). Alternatively, count across several seconds and do math accordingly. It's up to you.

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Amiga 4000 desktop power supply unit (PSU) fan

In case anyone ever needs to know - and this is written a bit repetitively for searchability later, if someone finds it via web searches later you're welcome:

The stock Amiga A4000 desktop power supply (PSU) 12V (12 volt) fan runs at 3000 RPM ( 3000RPM ) by my measurement, moving 20-30 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of air according to what little data I can find online.

(Obviously, that's an outside-of-PSU measurement, as case affects airflow.)

It is a standard 80mm fan by measurement and can be replaced with a Noctua NF-A8 FLX 3-pin fan running on the low-noise but not lowest-noise cable, which gets you just under 25 CFM - at least in the current (2021) iteration of that fan's lineup.

This does not make the PSU run silent but does make it run a lot more quietly.

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"The tyranny of evidence-based medicine."

another twitter essay nobody will read, this one on received knowledge vs. empirical knowledge, fundamentalist rejection of it, and how we got here.

Steve Silberman - @stevesilberman · 7h
Mind-blowing phrase from a right-wing doctor in my inbox this morning pushing ivermectin for what he calls the Wuhan virus: "The tyranny of evidence-based medicine." #medtwitter #COVID19
fundamentalism has been railing against empiricism - the idea that you can learn about the world through observation/evidence and make improvements based on what you learn - since before I started following/studying them.

in that context, this is predictable.



mostly because their worldview is contradicted by it. but also because their view religiously and culturally is that truth is inherited from a better past, handed down from ultimate authority, maintained through authority. “received knowledge,” essentially... from god.


And they like it that way. any change is a threat to their authority as holders of that received truth. so of course they push against it, obviously.

(many of them say/said western culture lost its way with the italian renaissance - because that marked a “turning from god.”)


mind you: it’s all bullshit. their beliefs are _much_ younger than the renaissance, centuries younger, no matter how much they insist it’s eternal unchanged truth.

but it’s bullshit they believe.


and one of the reasons - one of the attractions - is that you don’t have to _think_. just react.

andrew the racist dickhead sullivan may be a racist dickhead, but he made a cogent observation years ago about his own side: most conservatives _really_ don’t like having to think.


whoever wrote frank burns in MASH and had him say, “I don’t _think_, I _know_” was, sure, setting him up for a punchline (“I don’t think you know either”) but like a lot of good jokes, it’s pointing at a reality.


frank burns was a christian conservative, in the text.

he didn’t want to have to think. not critically. he just wanted to already know - or be handed down the “truth,” whatever that was, which he’d accept as long as it didn’t offend other received “truth.”

or his wallet.


(of course.)

so as surprising as this “doctor” railing against “evidence-based medicine” might seem to be, it’s really kinda... not.

it’s _bad_, fuck, of course it is.

but it’s not _surprising_.


it’s what they are.

if reality offends received knowledge, it’s not received knowledge at fault. it’s reality that’s the problem - and which must be denied or attacked.

and in _that_ context, all it takes is the right kind of evil opportunism to make a crisis into a disaster.


and with the @gop more than happy to become a literal party of sedition and plague to keep power, well.

the crisis became a disaster, exactly as you’d expect - if you’re willing to think about it.


which they aren’t. not if they can help it.

it’s genuinely two different theories of knowledge at war here. if you wonder how they can reject reality so consistently and in real time, well, this is how.

and they have _lots_ of practice at it. so it’s easy.


(if you’re wondering whether the explicitly fascist slogan of “reject modernity, embrace tradition” is connected? yes. it is. it is _exactly the same thing_, lightly rephrased just with more explicit emphasis on racism and patriarchy. not that either faction is light on either.)

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The GOP hate fair elections

Lawsuits claiming 2020 ballots were manipulated come to WA
Sep. 21, 2021
The Seattle Times

[Again, written originally on Twitter]

Now the @GOP are working here, too, to discredit elections. Understand this: no matter how overwhelming the loss, they'll allege fraud, because the only elections they consider valid are ones they win.

(Are various @wagop members involved? Absolutely.)


They're not dumb enough to claim right out that results were changed. Not here.

They're just raising questions, you see, by filing a set of lawsuits based on Arizona-style bullshit, demanding an Arizona-style "audit" circus.

As one does when one wants discredit elections.


What they want is an Arizona clown-car "audit" in every state they don't win, so that all elections they lose are "stolen."

As a profoundly anti-democratic party, discrediting elections is in the @GOP's best interest.

They'll bring it to every state they can.

Including yours.


This is one reason why @SenateDems and @HouseDemocrats need to STOP FUCKING AROUND AND GET VOTING RIGHTS PASSED while you still can.

Because if they'll bring this shit here? They'll bring it everywhere.

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absolute bodyslam on electricity

Year-over-year electricity usage on the new bill (mid-August to mid-September) down 17.2%. Absolute bodyslam to the usage rate. So much of one that despite a rate hike the bill went down year-over-year by double digits.

Now, this period is 2F cooler than last year. That's material. But it also includes a head advisory day and a day where things got pretty warm but not warm enough inside to really require the AC, and the next day we had it back under control - all through air exchange.

Also, cooler means more likelihood that Housemate Paul (on the ground floor) will use his space heater in the morning, which he did a couple of times - but despite the cooler temperatures, that, he reports, is still dramatically less common than the year before.

Which goes back again to the whole-house air circulation keeping his space at housewide average, bringing it down on the main floor, and up on his floor.

(Despite, again, cooler temperatures.)

Also, today was the third day since moving to "winter" (warming) mode that we've been able to do a little air-exchange warming, and I think the most effective day of it so far. I don't think we're going to get a lot out of it, because the heat pillow out front only forms on days with fair amounts of sun, and we won't have that many of those past the next week or maybe two if we're lucky. Also, the temperature deltas are just much, much worse than the other way around - a hot summer day is 20F too warm, a cool to cold winter day is 30-40F too cold, and that matters.

But there is a little proof of concept in it, just because today it both felt like it worked, and kinda looked like it in the graphs. It's not dramatic, we're talking probably around 1C of gained temperature, but that's still more than zero, and basically free.

And now it's time to see what things look like heading into the autumn and winter. Over the last 12 months, last October was the least-usage month before I built the sensor network. While I don't remember specifically when I took down the AC units last year, I'm sure there wouldn't've been any AC usage in October, but there would've been a lot more space heater use on the ground floor. So I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.

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You're a ruthless little cunt, Liam, I'll give you that. But I've got no time for grassers.

Another piece from Twitter, written after someone who should damned well know better disappointed me deeply, and was unfollowed.


I really am at the point where exactly one (1) “democrats are no better than republicans” tweet triggers an unfollow.

If your leftism is so deeply unserious that your take is “letting actual fascists into power is better than the democrats” then I just have no time for you.


For that matter, if your take on the democrats is that they’re all the same too then your political understanding is so deeply unserious that similarly, I have no time for you.

Even I acknowledge the difference between a Mitt Romney and a Marjorie Greene and that this matters.


If your demand is that everything be fixed immediately, I understand that.

If your _expectation_ is that everything be fixed immediately, and your response when it isn’t is “we may as well have voted in fascists,” you’re an idiot, and the left has so. many. idiots.


The other part that pisses me off is the assertion that everyone working to, you know, keep the actual fascists out of power by electing people from the party that actually accepts election outcomes somehow believe that magically everything will be okay now, and since it’s not…


…then _we’re_ the problem and need to admit we were “wrong” and…

…should’ve let the fascists actually have hands on all the levers of power, apparently, since that is literally the only _actually possible_ outcome.


I didn’t expect fucking rainbows and flowers out my ass from keeping fascists out of power.

I worked to get Democrats into power so that the party in power would be _easier to fight_, and not coincidentally, would not _actively be trying to kill me_ as I demand better from them.


Exactly what part of this is “wrong” of me?

Exactly what part of this should I be apologising for?



Get a goddamn grip on yourselves, get _out_ of your fantasy world and work for what can actually be accomplished _now_.

Then take the win and fight for the _next_ win.

Victories breed victories. Noble losses breed more losses. Sometimes that’s needed, yes. But mostly, it’s not.


I know. I know. Looking more than one step ahead, it’s soooo harrrd, why can’t everything be perfect now?

Because fuck you is why.

You want better? Great. We all do. So get a goddamn grip, get to work, and _stop_ going at all of us who already have been at it.


And that’s why one (1) “they’re all the saaaaame” tweet is all it takes for me to drop you like a hot potato these days.

I just don’t have the patience for that kind of bullshit anymore.

I got no time for your whingey negging.

Not with fascists at the goddamn gate.

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The Big Lie, Updated

Originally written on Twitter. I may post a revised version of this, but I want to get this version posted before I lose it in the mess that is Twitter's interface.

ALT-immigration Passport control - @ALT_uscis · Sep 14
If you had some doubt about Gen Milley, trump just went on new max and confirmed milley did the right thing.

WATCH: Trump predicts America will end in three years during unhinged Newsmax interview

...got it.

He's rolling out the next phase of the big lie. Right here. And it is:

There was no pandemic under Trump.

Oh, there was some COVID, but it wasn't too bad. Wouldn't even have been noticed that much if Democrats hadn't lied about it to undermine his presidency.


Even with Democratic undermining, Trump handled it perfectly. He closed the boarders and there was a treatment and a vaccine which you don't really need but still.

Everything was great and going to be great until the Democrats stole the election.


Then the Democrats stole the election and immediately made everything horrible.

All the bad stuff you remember? None of that was under Trump. The bits that were were because the Democrats sabotaged the economy.


All the rest is senile Biden and his Socialist Democrat puppetmasters wrecking everything.

The fact that absolutely none of this is true is irrelevant.

The fact that everything Republicans are doing makes the plague worse is _incredibly_ relevant.


The narrative justifies literally anything. More election theft, violence, another coup attempt, whatever.

So they're going to keep turning it as far up as they can at every step.

Power at any cost. They have to, after all. To save America.


They'll consider everything they do fully justified.

After all, the Lying Democrats stole an election, destroyed the booming Trump economy, and trampled American liberty and freedom underfoot over a disease that barely exists.


Why? Who even cares. The Devil. That's why.

What matters is that We The Republicans have to Save America from the Satanic Communist Democrats at any cost.

_Any_ cost.

Or it's the End of America.


That's the package he's rolling out.

Right now, Republicans are happy to buy it. 59% think it's _important_ to believe the original Big Lie to even be a Republican.

This just takes the idea one step further, completing it.


Take back power or America dies.

Everything and anything is justified because the alternative is national death.

America is dying right in front of you, don't you see it?

Take back power through any means necessary, or America dies.


Fascist politics, re-created as illiberal democracy, where sure, you have elections, but only the right people can win.

Just like his best buddy, Putin.

That's the campaign. That's the New Big Lie.


They'll be revising history like Stalinists on meth for the next two years. I mean, yes, obviously, they already do that - but they'll do it _even more_.

(While running as many sabotage operations as possible, of course.)


Never let it stand, not one lie, one revision; hold the line at every turn. This is existential politics.

They won't stop, but you can stop others from falling for it. If people don't fall for it, they fail.

Brace yourselves




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The Arc of Dominion, Fragment e22,2: The Worst Third

The war is won. Oasis and the Concordat are at peace. Overwatch has been folded up again, this time made into an intelligence arm for Helix, under new - and the UN hopes better - leadership. The Gods are free - largely - to do as they will.

It took news of Pharah and Mercy's daughter - and the defeat of Overwatch - to bring Ana Amari to Oasis. But now that she's there, Moira O'Deorain has something she feels duty bound to let her know.

As unpleasant as the task may be.

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Dominion
Fragment e22,2: The Worst Third

solarbird and bzarcher

Of Gods and Monsters: The Arc of Dominion is a continuance of The Arc of Conflict, The Arc of Ascension, The Arc of Creation, and In the Beginning, There Was an Armourer and a Living Weapon. To follow the story as it appears, please subscribe to the series.

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Block Tripwire Interactive on Steam

So Tripwire Interactive's president strongly endorsed Texas's anti-abortion/$10,000 bounty on women this weekend.

Here's how to block his entire company and all its games on Steam. Even if you've never had any plans to buy anything from them, if you have a Steam account, please do this anyway. Thanks.

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