FranLab, Nimo Tube & Google / YouTube Games

I ran into FranLab when one of her videos popped up on the YouTube ‘suggested for me’ options on the Roku. (The one where I was looking at tech stuff and electronics, so it thinks I’m a nerd… not the one that thinks I’m a cool Hispanic Guy from watching Spanish Language TV & Music Videos ;-)

That first video, I’m putting at the bottom of this posting. It is essentially a “complaint” about YouTube (Google / Alphabet) removing her videos from the “suggested” box when you watch something similar. Seems that about last April Google changed something and her “hits” from being suggested dropped to near nothing.

She does an in depth analysis of her stats to figure out when and what…

The idea is presented that perhaps, as she is supported by donations and not by advertizing, Google might have stopped “suggesting” all educational non-profit videos (where they don’t get a cut of the advertizing). That would be a reasonable thing to think that a for-profit company might do, but not in the best interests of the public. Or maybe it is a side effect of their censorship push? Who knows.

But first, this is a video about the Nimo Tube. A dinky CRT (about the size of a C cell battery) that displays just digits of numbers. She gets one up and running and talks about capabilities, rarity, and how to make it go. A bit quirky at times (but what do you expect from a woman interested in electronics? Betty Crocker?) and kind of fun; but also interestingly technical.

Oddly, I already learned one thing from one of her videos: She wore rubber gloves while soldering / working on circuits. Well Duh! Why didn’t I think of that! (Memories of spatter burns from solder and a few dozen times I “took volts” through a stray hand move…) Maybe it’s the way men just plunge hands into dishwater and women protect their nail polish with gloves… Whatever, it was a bright idea and now I have clue too.

The Nemo Tube:

I find it great fun that she uses an IC board to drive a vacuum tube! ;-)

The Google / Alphabet / YouTube Change:

In Conclusion

I also watched one of her videos about a Russian made bit of kit from about 1992 that was still using a Nixie Tube like display (IIRC). It was fun too. Including the history of when that stuff was no longer used everywhere else in the world, but still in use in Russia. Then I started on one about a subscription radio (think elevator music) that had a chronometer in the back of it to record hours of use – FM Sub-band radio. But I didn’t finish it as the Honey Do list was applied as a priority ;-)

So I’ve come to like Fran, and her channel. It’s interesting to have nostalgia for some of the odd bits of the world of electronics, and it’s also interesting to discover there are still some bits of kit I’d never seen before. To discover some of the odd complexities folks invented.

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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6 Responses to FranLab, Nimo Tube & Google / YouTube Games

  1. corsair red says:

    ” Maybe it’s the way men just plunge hands into dishwater . . . ”
    I don’t understand the problem here. Men have always put their hands in dishwater while working on circuits. We just redo our nails afterward.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    @Corsair Red:

    Cute…. you left of the smiley ;-)

    Men, in general, are just not interested in protecting their hands when dealing with various things (from dishwater to yard sprays to engine grease & oil to…). After a while, we learn sometimes though. I’ve used “surgical gloves” when working on cars & motorcycles (but often I’m too lazy to put them on if I’m thinking I might not get greasy…) and my son bought some dedicated “mechanics gloves” when we rebuilt a motorcycle together. So it does get done. But it isn’t our first “go to” instinct for most of us.

    Women, in general, are looking for the gloves and aprons and such right out the gate. Likely due to the time, money, and effort that they put into hair, nails, skin, and clothes (why would you be willing to waste all the effort? Better to secure it.)

    So there’s Fan, using thin dark rubber gloves to work on electrical gear. Just makes a whole lot of sense! Yet I’d not even thought of it… after at least 1/2 century of putting my hands into electrical and electronic “stuff”. Just made me feel a bit dumb ;-)

  3. Ralph B says:

    I have enjoyed Fran’s videos for a while now. Compare her to BigClive who never wears gloves and usually has some sort of healing cut or blood blister under his nail.

  4. corsair red says:

    @E.M.Smith:
    ;-)
    My wife solders jewelry, has for about four years now. I don’t think she wears gloves for that, though she does wear eye protection and a mask for her mouth. She never has worn gloves to do dishes. She doesn’t do small electrical work. Now house wiring, she is good at that, plus plumbing, painting, building cabinets, things along those lines. She does look after her skin, but nail polish and hair styling just isn’t her style.

    I can braze copper pipe. All my other attempts at solder ended up in crimped joints. :-)

  5. E.M.Smith says:

    @Corsair Red:

    When soldering, I’ve found that iron power and temperature are critical and cleaning the tip before applying heat really helps.

    What I had most trouble with was the low power rod irons. They sit, hot, and the surface oxidizes, then it makes variable heat flow into the work piece and embeds oxides in it. Adding some fresh solder to the tip, then wiping it before you hit the work piece really helps.

    For me, the solder “gun” with click-on instant heat worked better as I did irregular time spacing on my soldering (i.e. solder, add a part with variable time needed to do that, solder that part, add…) so having it cool between uses helped reduce tip oxidation. Then I’d hit the tip with a bit of filing to clear the oxide, hit the one switch and apply it and the solder to the joint at once, remove solder wire and then gun almost as fast, then click off.

    Make sure your physical joint is tight prior to soldering (so it can’t wiggle and make a ‘cold solder joint’ when you take the iron away), and put a very thin layer of “tinning” (solder) on each part prior to assembly so you don’t need to ‘wet’ the part then, just heat and go.

    Hope that helps.

    Oh, and tell the spouse I need to repaint the house and could she come over? ;-)

  6. philjourdan says:

    Leave it to the women to know the tricks to not get scrapes, gouges, cuts or burns! It is not that men do not know, but mostly just being men and not wanting to appear frail. ;-)

    My wife is constantly asking me how I “cut” myself. The truth is I do not pay attention until it stains my clothes.

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