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post #101 of 121 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 11:18 AM
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My old boss gave me a kegerator. It was an old commercial True unit from the 70's. The condenser fan had locked up so it would freeze up, so he tossed it in a storage shed and left it (this was from a bar at a golf course).

I cleaned it up, POR15'd the rusty interior, rigged up a new condenser fan, and had a working kegerator.

First keg was Boulevard Pale Ale. Good stuff. What I quickly learned though, was that craft beer doesn't last that long once you tap it (kegerator uses C02, so it doesn't go flat, but the flavor changes more quickly than the pasteurized mass produced beers). So I ended up drinking a lot of beer to try to drain the keg before it went bad (I hate waste). Net result was pants that got REALLY tight REALLY fast. Full calorie beers consumed in mass quantities will do that. I switched back to cheaper lite beers just to avoid turning into Jabba the Hut.

Then Arkansas changed the law so that kegs had to have a paper trail. This was supposedly to keep adults from buying kegs for underage parties. Kegs had to have a sticker with the purchaser's info on it, and this was accompanied by a $75 deposit (this is in addition to the $50 deposit for the actual metal keg that the breweries charge). If the sticker was gone when you took the keg back, you didn't get your $75 deposit back. So that meant $125 worth of deposits PLUS the price of the keg. Initially would suck but once you got the deposits of the way you wouldn't have to keep paying them on exchange.

BUT, the paperwork required by the state was a PITA too, so nobody wanted to mess with kegs anymore. All the stores stopped stocking them and if you wanted to special order them they priced them at a premium to make up for having to deal with all the state's bureaucracy. In the late 90's a keg of Bud, Miller etc was $70ish. After this law went into effect a keg jumped to about $125, because no beer stores wanted to go through the hassle of it all.

End result? I have an empty kegerator in my shop, and buy my Miller Lite in cans again. Thanks a lot nanny state government.
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post #102 of 121 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wheelsquad View Post
And in the meantime while @retro is popping tops, the FBI is scheming their raid on this guy living in some backwoods place that keeps buying one-off circuit boards and enclosures...
They'd better pack along some portable x-ray equipment, their own lunches & ATVs, I got a lotta unmarked hollow trees scattered about out here, n' no marked trails through the woods! LOL :-)

I'll dump a few pics in here now before I go any further, cause soon, these bits will be assembled and hidden forever.

And yeah, they've been getting awesome'er an' awesome'er a lil' bit each day, if I may say so myself! Lotta steps to them though... 'n everything being fabbed up by hand, kinda sorta almost precisely. Lotsa glue 'n wait steps too, but only got two more gluing steps left now to be patient with, me thunks.

After sleeping on it I did figure out a way to move the boards down a bit more...! Which improved the sealing clearance at the top of the window a bunch. That original .016" markout was just too scary tight... I'm sure I'd have messed that window opening up, so I'm quite happy now that I took the time to move those PCBs down a bit. I had to put back some material that I had originally removed for mounting the boards using JB-weld for filler, now I will grind a small amount of that filler back out for relocating those boards where I put the new marks. I'm gonna use LOCA to mate/seal the display to the window gapless, its gonna work! :-)

In these pics you can see the mounting clamp assembly on the back cover that I made from extruded aluminum, then painted and baked in the oven. That clamp is drilled and tapped & semi-permanently mounted through the back cover using two #4-40 screws/washers and Ultra-black for glue/sealant. As you can see I have clamped a scrap strip of plastic in it so I won't knock the paint off of it while handling during the final assembly steps. The two clamp screws and nuts are #6-32s. I may swap some #8 or #10 screws in them though, if it turns out we need more clamping power. Stainless steel screws and washers would be nice to have there too, me thinks.

On the inside of the back cover you can see the 6 wires (two harnesses) shoved through 6 snug holes then zip-tied together to provide sharp bends in those wires right there, so they can't pull out... then JB-weld glued to stiffen that knot and seal them all through their holes in the cover. You can see the JB-weld filler I added back in on the mounting posts too. Those posts are gonna get ground down a bit for precisely relocating the PCB board. The PCB board will be permanently JB-weld mounted down there so it can't ever shift or move, if the enclosure ever has to take an angry blow from a fist. LOL :-)

The front cover is all put together now too. As you can see, the button strips that I had to use had 4 buttons... We only needed 3 buttons properly spaced to match the spacing of the 3 momentary switches on the PCBs and those strips were the only ones that I could find on the 'net that met that spacing spec... so I trimmed off the 4th button flush with the silicone rubber strip using a sharp razor blade and then fabbed a button strip frame & display window together using some 1/8' thick smoke-grey tinted polycarbonate. The button strip was glued/sealed into the back of the cover with Ultra-black and allowed to cure first, then JB-weld'ed into the polycarb frame and the entire frame JB-weld'ed down into the inside of the cover for a 100% waterproof seal. I also used Ultra-black to seal the polycarb around the display window opening... hopefully water won't be able to seep between those parts, become trapped and be any sort of nuisance inside there. I think everything'll be just fine, regardless. Its definitely a very strong and stiff enclosure now.

Stay tuned folks, more pics are due up this week as we finish massaging the final few strokes of life into this bugger. :-)
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post #103 of 121 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, thats a really messed up law Jeep! What in the world were they thinkin'... I can't figure out how can they benefit from that mess? You're dead right about the high calorie problem with most homebrews.... I can't gain any weight no matter what I consume though, so the richer homemade stuff doesn't bother me a lick! :-)


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post #104 of 121 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 03:05 PM
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Nice work Retro !



If I go to a party or fair and all they got is draft , I am not drinking , I don't like the taste and the way I fell the next day , draft gives me a bad hang over ----- I was looking at prices the other day while at the store , could help too , it was posted on the glass front door , if I remember right it is $80 for a half keg and $150 for the whole one -----

I like to drink out the bottle as much as I can , and you got to rotate them in your fridge or drink them all up , cause I find they will go flat in a couple of weeks
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post #105 of 121 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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I hear that! Draft gets real mean and ugly about 10 minutes before I wake up the next morning! I like bottled a lot better than canned too while its fresh, but I don't drink very often... though some of my friends & neighbors do... so I usually buy cans and store them in a bucket with my 38 degree artesian well water flowing in/out. Every now 'n then they'll leave a couple for me, or leave some of their own distilled crafts in trade an' we'll celebrate something. During the spring/summer/fall seasons we mostly celebrate fishing & hunting tho. LOL :-)

I got the wires soldered into the back of PCB today and JB-weld'ed the PCB into place on the pads in the rear cover. I'll begin wiring up the PS/relays box tomorrow. Do a final calibration on the stovetop using the new 9v power supply after that is together... then drop a dollop of LOCA onto the display to mate with the polycarb window, seal the cover onto the back and into the UV oven the tiny enclosure must go...!

Expect us! Soon! :-)
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post #106 of 121 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 08:01 AM
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I've had a lot of people tell me they get bad hangovers from draft beer.

My take on that is, draft beer tastes better. I'll say that with the caveat that you MUST keep your lines and tap clean or your beer won't taste right, but if you get a fresh keg with clean lines nothing tastes better. That's why you get a hangover. You drink more, and you don't keep up with how many you've had (16 ounce pint glasses vs 12 ounce cans too)

Sorry for the hijack Retro. LOL. I like beer...a LOT.
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post #107 of 121 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 08:26 AM Thread Starter
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There is no such thing as a hijack in my threads... everyone is welcome to come as they are and talk about whatever they want to. Derails are just as fun and sometimes more interesting than a thread is anyway... especially in my rambling threads! LOL :-)
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post #108 of 121 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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Besides, beer IS relevant! :-)


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post #109 of 121 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 03:02 AM
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The sickest I ever remember getting from drinking was draft beer, but , it was green draft beer at St Patrick Day , I swore I would never drink green draft again and to this day I have not , the green jello shots that went along with that green draft probably didn't help much ----"party with the Irish they said" , I couldn't hang
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post #110 of 121 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I'm irish and I can't hang either! The most memorable days after (yes thats plural!) for me was the result of an all day/night tequila backroads tour up through the east/central mountains of New Mexico. I was working midnight shifts on a drilling rig way out in the boonies NE of Roswell and riding my dirt bike to work every night. One morning at dawn as we were going on days off my boss said lets go for a ride in my Bronco. Grab your holster off your bike, lets go plink a few coyote... :-)

He pulled two fifths of tequila out from under his front seat, twisted the lids off and handed me one of them. We cruised dirt trails and backroads headed west up into the mountains, plinking at jack rabbits and coyotes until we both ran out of 9mm ammo. So he found a blacktop road and we loaded up on ammo and sandwiches and I carried out 2 more fifths. He wanted to show me where he went muley hunting, so we cruised dirt trails a few more hours shooting and drinking until we found his cabin and he showed me around. By this time the sun was setting and we were both pretty trashed, so we put the guns away and hit another liquor store for two more bottles, just in case. We got back to the rig just before dawn as guys were arriving for shift change. Neither one of us could walk very well, but I managed to kick start my bike and he followed me out to the highway. That long ride in the open air home on my bike helped me a lot. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny sunrise... the antelope were out along the highway... just gorgeous... But I got sick as soon as I climbed off my bike and I spent my next two days off in bed. That was the end of tequila for me. I get nauseous just seeing a bottle of that stuff.


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