April 2013

Springbok neck recipe

The new hunting season is almost upon us, and I still have a couple of hunks of springbok left in the fridge from last year. Including a whole neck.

So I found this recipe. It calls for neck chops, I had the neck whole… ah well, let’s try it anyway.

Mixed up the marinade of an onion, some garlic, 500ml red wine, didn’t have port at hand so left it out, fresh rosemary, forgot about the bay leaf, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 4 tablespoons soy sauce, some paprika — blended that all together, stuck it and the neck in a ziplock bag in the fridge. Used a tin of cranberry jelly I had kicking around, and some sugar to compensate for the extra tartness.

Removed neck from bag, browned some bacon, browned the neck in the bacon fat, removed it from the pot. 500ml of stock, the marinade, some tomato puree, bring that all to a boil, float the neck back in, oven at 180 for three hours or so. Didn’t bother with the onions, we were hungry.

Good stuff.

Don’t ditch the sauce. I ended up with quite a bit of meat left over, so I boiled two potatoes and four carrots (sliced and cubed) in the sauce, added the meat back in, and made 36 pies. They freeze well, pop ’em in the oven for half an hour, serve with chips or mash and gravy.




Haunted House

No, not the one we live in, but my pinball machine.

The upchucker and the 5-bank reset were not working, and the replacements have been sitting around for a while, waiting for a rainy day. Well, today was that day.

Replaced the upchucker coil with an A-4895 as per Clay’s notes* (the manual calls for an A-5194) and the fuse with a 2.5A slow-blow (again, Clay’s recommendation) and it worked about three times before the relay arc’ed and the fuse popped. I might need the pop bumper driver board modification, but I’ve been thinking about it and I don’t think it’s necessary.

SW31 tells the CPU that there’s a ball to be up-kicked, and the CPU then pulses the K relay once which kicks the ball… once. This is what the pop bumper driver board also does, except using a one-shot (74121 originally, 4538 in the Rottendog replacement) and not a CPU (well, except for the www.homepin.com solution, which uses a PIC).

My problem is that the K relay is failing, and replacing that with a modern transistor should do the job. This seems to be what’s happening here, as far as I can tell that’s a PNP/NPN pair driving the coil, the capacitor provides extra oomph locally, with the oomph held locally by the big-arse diode. It might be a hack, but I think it’s a good hack.

I also replaced the 5-bank reset solenoid, no joy. Clay (again) notes that the transistor is very likely to fail, so I replaced it with an MJ2955 I had kicking around and all is well.

Under playfield transistor on right hand side of lower playfield — this transistor is driven by a lamp (low current) output and drives the 5-bank reset coil.

* Which I downloaded way back before he went commercial. Seems one has to pay for them these days. I would. They’re really good.