Pat's Log
Sun, 24 Apr 2011

Boondock Saints Location
20110423 Yesterday, I partook in a quick trip to Toronto. I finally got to try out the Porter service from Ottawa to the Toronto City Airport, on the island right in downtown. It was a "fly-in in the morning, fly-out in the evening" affair, and Porter worked great for that.

On the way back to the airport, I decided to take a quick detour to see if I could find the alleyway used in the movie Boondock Saints. While the movie was supposed to be based in Boston, the big Henry's sign in the background of the alley scene indicated that it was in Canada. A little bit of Google Streetview confirmed that it was in Toronto.

Finding the alley was no problem. The white brick building was recently stuccoed, and the pavement was just being redone. The building closest to the road is actually a Scotiabank.

I was disappointed that the off-shoot alley between the stuccoed building and the bank had a steel door. The door looked like as though it had been there from before the movie was filmed. I was perplexed. Closer examination of the film shows some evidence that the steel door was simply removed for the movie.

I was unable to determine which of the three churches in the area was used for some of the other scenes. It could also have been anywhere else in town.

I enjoy my strange hobby of finding Canadian filming locations.

[] | posted @ 03:54 | link
Mon, 11 Apr 2011

Solder Reflow
Oops, missed March. Nothing much happened: birthday, ridiculously busy lifestyle, etc. Anyhow...

Lead-free solder sucks. I've been complaining about it for years. On the balance of things, considering how disposable electronics are these days, it is probably a good thing. But its characteristics are terrible when you have to re-work a part. It's also brittle and fragile, which is obviously not a great thing with all of the mobile devices we have today.

In fairness, I never thought that its brittle attributes would actually prevent a piece of solid-state technology from working during its lifespan. However, I now know better.

My iPhone is anything but new, but it is still on its first battery and does everything I need it to do. At some point in the last few weeks, the wireless started getting unreliable. Disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling to ensure good contacts did not help. Searching the net for something as broad reaching as non-working Wi-Fi on an iPhone brought dozens of workarounds, many of which probably only worked by chance.

I was quite surprised when I came upon a site that encourages people to reflow their solder in a household oven. The goal is to melt the solder joint at each component and having it re-solidify, thereby making any fractures and imperfections go away.

So, here I was this morning taking the PCB back out of the phone, preheating the oven to 385°F, building up little aluminum foil stands to go on a cooking sheet. In went the boards for seven minutes. I left it in for eight just for good measure. Long story short, it worked.

[] | posted @ 03:02 | link

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